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Posts Tagged ‘head coverings’

Can’t do it. I can’t be silent. I won’t. And that doesn’t make me less fond of my beloved Savior nor He of me. Nor does it mean the Bible is so full of holes that it’s unreliable or useless. In fact, I’m not even arguing with the truth of it. I’m just not going to do it.

I Corinthians 14:33b-34
As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.

There are certainly cultural and historical bases for this verse (and others) about the roles of women in the church. I understand that.

And yet, on one hand, New Testament women were free to worship and participate equally in the promises of Christ and even perform as leaders (e.g. Lydia & Priscilla) and yet, on the other hand, great limitations were placed on their authority within the church.

Some liberal-leaning Bible historians have explained away this verse by saying it refers to the disorder of the Corinthian church and that women were calling out across the room asking for explanations and the like. Good luck with that one. Maybe so.

And yet, I tend to agree with the more conservative approachs: Paul meant what he said. So be it.

But I cannot keep silent. I don’t cover my head in church and I still wear jewelry and I don’t always “submit” to my husband’s point of view. These things are also part of who I am and I come to Christ honestly.

I have been gifted to speak and even, on occasion, to write well. There have been anointings. The Holy Spirit has flowed through me and I have spoken out of that secret place. I have experienced the pleasure of my God in His creation–me. And although I love the scriptures and all that those words have given to me and revealed to me, I will not allow this verse to condemn me.

So, I’ll wait. And on that great day when we no longer “see through a glass darkly” [I Corinthians 13:12] but understand the greater meanings of our three-dimensional life on this earth, it will all make sense.

I trust God and lean on His grace and that grace is sufficient, even for this intentional rebellion.

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I was going to review some of the current exegesis on hair & head coverings for women and/or men and how it’s applicable today. Forget that. It’s massive and contradictory. So what is my “take away” today? Where is the nugget that will have meaning and application for me?

I Corinthians 11:2, 7
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God . . . A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

With just a little reading about these passages, it’s clear to me that a great number of the verses are grounded in the culture of the day. There are modern day examples of coverings like the burqas of the Middle East, the “caps” worn by Mennonite and Amish women, or the veils worn by women in various high church services and masses. Some of these traditions have morphed into the custom of wearing hats in church, a practice still prevalent among many African American churches or seasonally in a variety of churches, like Easter Sunday.

But here’s the truth of it: I don’t wear head coverings. I don’t wear them to church (unless I am visiting a church where this is expected) and I don’t wear them to pray, sing, or worship. About the only time I wear a hat is to shield my face from the sun at the beach.

If I weigh the controversy over head coverings with the Jesus Creed, to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul & strength and to love my neighbor as myself, could it possibly matter? Does God love me less? Do I cut myself off from the blessings of God?

Now, what about the sister verses that are slipped in between the head covering ones? That “man” is the image & glory of God while woman is the glory of man or that Christ is the head of man while man is the head of woman. Hiccup. Hiccup. I need to take a breath here.

All right, I can work through the headship scenario: since Christ is the head of man, well, then Christ is ultimately the head of woman too (If A=B and B=C, then A=C). That was easy.

But what about the glory piece? Am I the light of “man?” Do I, woman, reflect the character of “man” by who I am, what I do, and what I say? Do the men I know reflect the character of God in Christ?

If my previous post about the default of glory being both male and female believers reflecting the glory of God, then, wouldn’t we be the glory for one another, whether male or female. It’s about relationships, to God and to each other. If I am not in community with men and women, there is no reflecting going on anyway. I cannot be the glory for any person without being in relationship with him or her. I cannot sustain the light of Christ if I am not in relationship there either.

I’m sure there is plenty of room for debate about these verses and the “roles” of men and women, but I’m not going to spend more time trying to justify my stance. If I can be the light and glory of Christ in the world, then the rest will work out the way it is supposed to work out. If I love as Christ loved, then glory abounds. If I learn and practice authentic humility, then both man and woman are lifted up. This I believe.

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