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Bible Studies/head covering in worship


Good Day

I was just reading 1 cor. 11, and was wondering if the bible speaks of head covering for woman on any other place and thus what is the correct way for female to go in to church and worship God, with or with out head covering, biblical what is right

Dear Gawynne;

First Corinthians 11 is the only place that mentions a woman covering her head or how long a woman's or a man's hair should be in the New Testament. In the Old Testament the men were to cover their heads either with the skull cap or a prayer shawl. In the past women of all denominations covered their heads when they went to church, but these days few women do. Covering the head on the way to church is symbolic, the woman could be in rebellion against authority even with her head covered, just as the man could be in rebellion with his uncovered.

A deeper look at the context and history of the passage sheds some light on the issue. Corinth was the Sin City of the era. It was on a isthmus where a canal had been cut to shorten the journey for ships engaging in trade between the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. The temple prostitutes of the time shaved their heads--hence Paul mentions a woman's hair as necessary sign that she is submitting to God and to her husband rather than to a pagan god. The woman's hair did not have to be super long, it just had to be longer than her husband's. A woman with a shaved head announced that she was in rebellion against God serving an idol and had no husband to protect her. Paul wanted the Corinthian church to be set apart from the pagans that surrounded them. For Christians, Christ is the head of all, but for wives and children, the husband is in authority over them, serving them as Christ's representative to them, leading the family. The head covering and/or hair was a symbol that the wife was in submission to her husband and hence to Christ.

The real issue here is not specifically head coverings or hair length, but the condition of the human heart. As mentioned above, a woman can be in rebellion while she is wearing a head covering and man can be in rebellion while he is not. The issue is the condition of the heart. Is the wife looking to her husband as the leader of the home? Does the husband look to Christ as his leader?

The condition of the human heart is paramount to God. Paul resisted the Judaizers who wanted Gentile Christians to observe all the Jewish practices before they would be accepted into the church. Paul argued against circumcision and compelling the Gentiles to observe all the Jewish feasts etc. because those are outward acts and do nothing for the condition of the human heart. The Law of Christ is LOVE, there is no other Law in Christ. It would be a mistake for us to adopt a practice Paul advised Corinthians to observe as if it were an edict that applied to everyone--it would be the same as what the Judaizers did to the Gentile Christians.

If you are a husband and your heart leads you to ask your wife to cover her head during worship or prayer, then ask her to do so. You have that right as leader of the home. But not to force her, for Jesus never forces you to do anything, but reasons with you and sends the Holy Spirit to nudge you or even nag you when He needs you to do something or understand something. Husbands need to copy the Lord Jesus in how they treat their wives and children. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your wife and not nag her yourself, if she is unwilling to obey you. He can do a better job convicting her of her sin than you can. Your job is to love her and care for her.

You do not have the authority to require other women to cover their heads and it would be a mistake to judge them if they do not. You do not know the condition of their hearts or what is going on between any person and God. Pray for people who worry you and let God deal with them.

Head covering is not an essential to the faith in Christ, therefore we must not make it a point of argument or a stumbling block for others.



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I can answer questions on issues about evolution and creationism. I can answer questions on how the Bible applies to every day life and the future of mankind. I have some understanding of spiritual warfare. I have a broad, basic knowledge of many topics and can answer general questions. If I don`t know the answer to your question, I`m not going to try and pretend that I do. But every answer a questioner receives from any person, expert here or anywhere else, must be weighed against what the Bible says and laid before God in prayer. Spiritual issues are too important to just accept what a person tells you without confirmation from the Bible and the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who gives a person wisdom. He will give peace regarding how to handle any issue or teaching if it is correct.


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