2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. I Corinthian 11:2-15
Growing up, I never took notice of this passage. I'm not sure why I never did, but I don't think I'm alone in that. Then, when I did read it seriously for the first time, I assumed that it was cultural. I don't think I'm alone in that either. Then I realized that since this passage refers to both creation and angels-- both of which transcend culture, it cannot be considered simply an indication of the culture in the Corinthian church,so I assumed that long hair (because of vs 15) was enough. I know I'm not alone in that line of reasoning either. Nor am I alone in trying to weasel my way out of this passage in every possible way.
The fist idea that piqued my interest and led me to start thinking that perhaps I was wrong, was the fact that for ALL of church history until the last 100 years, women have covered their heads. (see this article: "The Christian Woman's Head Covering Through the Centuries" ) That shocked me! You see, when I think "100 years ago--fashion," I think, "beginning of immodesty and foundational roots of what eventually became known as the sexual revolution." I don't think "a bunch of godly men and women deciding after much prayer that cloth head coverings are unnecessary." In fact, there is no evidence at all (that I could find) that there was any thinking what-so-ever put into that shift. From what I can tell, head coverings turned into fashion (remember all of your Grandma's fancy hats tucked away in the attic in hat boxes that you loved to dress up in?) and then, because there was no longer any substantial thought behind the fashion--they disappeared.
But rather than re-writing everything I've been reading concerning the issue...here are two links:
The first is the most convincing article I happened upon (strangely enough when I typed "why women should not cover their head during worship" into my swagbucks search engine...haha!--have I mentioned that I've tried to weasel out of this? :). It mentions the fact that R.C. Sproul Sr. believes women should cover their heads during worship. (What?! I grew up in the PCA with Sproul as a household hero! Why have I never heard this before??) This article is from monergism.com website and also gives a good explanation as to why long hair isn't what is meant by a 'covering':
Why Christian Women Should Wear Head Coverings Today
And this article is from Andree Seu of World Magazine. I LOVE her approach. It resonates with me.
A Symbol of Glory
Anyone else ever thought through this issue? I'm interested to hear your thoughts... :)
And, if you are considering wearing a head covering and you want stylish ones--not just a lacy doily-- check out this website:
Garlands Of Grace