Head Knowledge

August 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Posted in I Corinthians | Leave a comment
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I Corinthians Chapter 11 begins with a compliment (“now I praise you”) to offset the criticism of the previous chapters.

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

I Corinthians 11:1-2

Paul could exhort people to follow him because He followed Christ. The Holy Spirit had him praise the Corinthian Christians for remembering the ecclesiastical practices that he put in place among them when he was in Corinth, but he was also aware of a problem concerning what the women were wearing on their heads during church meetings.

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

I Corinthians 11:5

The women that were “prophesying” were not necessarily giving new revelation, but rather “proclaiming” the Word. Short hair on a woman in 1st Century Corinth was disgraceful. It was the sign of a prostitute or of a woman who had been sanctioned for immoral behavior. For Christian women, it showed a defiance of authority – of getting out of rank.

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

I Corinthians 11:6

“Shorn” referred to a short, manly haircut; “shaven” meant completely bald. The women in church were not forbidden from prophesying OR praying. They were forbidden from getting out of rank. Men and women have equal standing before God, but different roles in church.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

I Corinthians 11:3

Head coverings symbolized their submission. God is the head of Christ; Christ is the head of the man; the man is the head of the woman – in marriage and in church. Head coverings in Bible times symbolized submission and purity. Going to church without a head covering, for women, and especially daring to pray aloud or prophesy without it, was a show of defiance.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

I Corinthians 11:7

There were symbols of the proper rank for BOTH men and women.

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

I Corinthians 11:13-15

The symbol for men: short hair and no head covering. The symbol for women: long hair and head covering. Head coverings – either in the form of veils or hats – do not carry the same stigma today; they do not have the same symbolic meanings, although I would argue that hairstyles do carry symbolic meanings, and that it would be wise for men and women not to distort God’s ordained roles with hairstyles that are confusing. What a person has to say about his or her gender, these days, is more important than actual hair length. Modesty and distinction (Deuteronomy 22:5) should be the main criteria in our choices about our outward appearance.

Biblical Men

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 6 Comments
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Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost…

Acts 6:3-5

A while back I read a survey that said the typical U.S. church congregation is 61% female, and that women are also the force behind most lay organizations and volunteer activities, and that they make up the majority of church employees. This should be disturbing news for Christians. Women are certainly important to the work of the Church, but why are more men not stepping up? Of course, the modern-day church’s response to this has been (predictably) more pragmatic than Scriptural. Some people say that men don’t feel comfortable in church because there’s too much focus on the “love” of Christ, and not enough on the “Kingdom” of God. There’s too much emphasis, they say, on the “meekness” of Jesus, and not enough on the “military” symbols of advancing the Gospel. Too many floral arrangements and paisley carpet patterns; not enough mounted elks’ heads, swords, and battle hymns. One church I read about – in what has to be the lamest attempt I’ve ever heard of to attract men to church – decided to decorate the men’s room in NASCAR decor! Are these really the answers? It seems foolish to me to try to trick people with advertising gimmicks at the expense of preaching the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)

Acts Chapter 6 records for us a time when the Church was just getting up and running. Some of the Greek-speaking widows were thought to be getting better treatment than the Hebrew- (or Aramaic-) speaking widows. The Apostles were spending too much time “waiting tables,” and it was taking away from their time studying the Word, preaching, and praying. So, inspired by the Holy Ghost, they commanded that seven men be found. These were men, not women. They were looking for certain qualifications: men of honest report, men full of the Holy Ghost, and men of wisdom. The reason that more men are not serving in church is not that the church environment is too “feminine.” It’s because the men who call themselves Christians are not living honestly, are not Spirit-filled, and are not applying the Bible to their lives.


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