Name: Rachael B. | Age: 28 | Location: Wyoming | Starting Covering: May 2016
1) Introduce yourself to our readers.
I have been a Christian for 9 years. My husband and I were in Bible studies led by a Godly mentor when we were in college and we chose to obey the gospel through baptism the same day. We married a year later and have been faithful to God and each other ever since. We have one daughter who is 2 years old. At the end of this year, we have committed to leave my husband’s military job so he can begin full time ministry work as a preacher.
I work part time as a massage therapist and teach natural birth education. Most of my time, I love being home with my daughter, making delicious and healthy food in the kitchen, and visiting the mountains.
2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it. Do others practice headcovering there?
I worship with a local church of Christ that teaches the Bible in truth and spirit. We have lived and worshiped here for 4 years. Head covering is quite unorthodox here so I am the first woman to begin covering on my own initiative and there is only one other woman who is 90 that has worn a hat to church all her life.
3) What led you to start covering?
Six years ago, someone gave me a pamphlet on head coverings. At the time I was spiritually immature and afraid to read it for it might have told me something I didn’t want to hear or do contrary to the satisfactory explanation that head covering is a cultural matter. However, I never threw it away, but kept it, for no “apparent” reason. This past season, I was being taught in a personal bible study, exegetically going through all of 1 Corinthians verse by verse, which finally lead up to chapter 11. I knew it was there and was getting nervous but was ready to be brutally honest with God’s Word and obey Him with all my ability, regardless of the conclusion I came to regarding the text. I read and reread the chapter many times to become familiar with Paul’s words before reading the pamphlet so that I could decide for myself if it measured up. It seemed to confirm many of my suspicions about the argument that head covering is merely a cultural matter and was instead supported by Paul’s reasons. To my surprise it lit a wild fire in me, which resulted in countless hours of obsessive research, finding every piece of argument against head coverings that I could get my hands on. After I met with this teacher again (who does not believe that these instructions apply to us) to discuss this chapter after more research, I was convinced that the head covering applies directly to me and that I would need to start covering at once. The teacher respected my decision, which I’m thankful for. This has brought so much peace and joy to have faced and overcome one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make as a Christian in response to God’s Word!
I could go on and on about the details in the text I used to conveniently skim over (as do some commentators) to get to a cultural application conclusion, however I will only give one example of a compelling argument which has changed my mind. Most people assume that Paul gives these instructions to correct a wrong behavior within the culture, that women were disrespecting their authority by removing their head covering to be equal to men. However, Paul’s first words in this pericope are “Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.” He actually praises or commends them for something they are doing right which is hard to come by in this entire letter. This was something he already delivered to them; previously taught them. Secondly “traditions” means apostolic teaching and the same word in greek is seen in 2 Thes 2:15 and 3:6. The tone Paul uses in these instructions (vs 2-16) is positive which is clearly seen in contrast to the very upset and negative tone he uses when immediately following, he corrects them about misusing and abusing the Lord’s supper (vs 17-34). Verse 17 he begins “But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse.” Verses 2 and 17 directly parallel one another about how he feels in giving each set of instructions. Until I saw this, I realized I had previously been practicing perfect eisegesis (inserting ideas into the text). I believe Paul’s reasons for writing to them about the head covering was to affirm the spiritual reasons why it is necessary (headship design vs3, creation vs7-9, angels vs10, appeal to nature vs13-15) and of course to correct anyone who was disregarding these instructions. Nowhere in this text does Paul argue culture being a reason. Instead he ends by reasoning that there are no opposing practices to these taught in the churches of God. Read more
The following article is a part of our re-blog series where we seek to give exposure to those who are writing interesting pieces on Complementarianism and head covering. We are not the author.
A Christian woman who was forced by DMV staff in Alabama to remove a headscarf she wore as a symbol of her faith in order to take a photo to renew her driver license is now suing local officials for violating her religious freedom rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.
The ACLU announced on Tuesday that it had filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Christian woman, Yvonne Allen of Tuskegee, asking the court to order DMV officials to allow her to retake her driver license photo with her headscarf intact.
“Today, the ACLU and ACLU of Alabama filed a federal lawsuit on Ms. Allen’s behalf, arguing that Lee County’s refusal to provide a religious accommodation to Ms. Allen violates her rights under the Alabama Constitution and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit asks the court to order Lee County officials to allow Ms. Allen to retake her driver license photo with her headscarf,” the ACLU said.
“Wearing a headscarf is an integral part of my Christian beliefs. In 2011, I moved with my children to Alabama after the end of a 12-year relationship with their father. I was lost, confused, hurt, and broken. But I turned to God and spent hours in prayer and study. During that time, it became clear to me that, to be obedient to God’s Word and show my submission to Him, I had to cover my hair on a daily basis. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul speaks very clearly without ambiguity about this. I have followed this command every day since and believe that removing my headscarf in public is extremely shameful and dishonors God,” Allen first wrote in a statement on the issue in April.
According to the lawsuit, Allen visited the DMV office in Auburn on Dec. 29, 2015, to renew her expired license and was told she had to remove her head covering and eyeglasses in order to take the photo for the document.
“No ma’am, I don’t uncover my hair,” Allen said she told the clerk.
“She asked me, ‘Is it for religious purposes?'”
“I smiled, ‘Yes, ma’am,'” said Allen.
The clerk then asked Allen if she was Muslim and when Allen told her she is Christian the clerk told her that she would have to remove the headscarf.
“Ms. Allen informed the clerk that she does not uncover her hair. In response, the clerk asked her, ‘Is it for religious purposes?’ Ms. Allen responded, ‘Yes ma’am.’ The clerk then asked, ‘Are you Muslim?’ When Ms. Allen explained that she is a Christian, the clerk told her, ‘No, then you need to uncover your hair. Only Muslim women have the right to cover their hair in the driver license photos,'” the lawsuit said. Read more