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No Other (Head Covering) Gospel

No other (Head Covering) Gospel...

I walked wearing my tichel-style head covering on a recent mission trip to Haiti. At first, my teammates assumed that I covered for fashion purposes. Soon it was revealed that I believed in Christian head covering. The questions started rolling in. Like most American Christians, head covering was as foreign as the Haitian soil we were standing on!

I tried to explain it all as best I could under pressure. Most of the women were mesmerized with the entire teaching. Like many American Christians they haven’t given much thought to the idea of head covering, much less met anyone that covered.

No one joined me in covering during the six days I bunked with them even though I covered for most of the trip, but seeds were planted. At least that’s all I can hope for.

As head covering Christian women, we love to introduce to other people how covering has revolutionized our hearts. This is a beautiful thing. It’s how we were created — with a desire to see people live in the fullness of Christ.

Sharing the truth we’ve found is at the heart of the great commission — go forth and make disciples, right?

But what happens when your passion about head covering usurps the actual gospel? What if you find yourself preaching about head covering more than you preach about the cross of Christ?

This doesn’t just apply to head covering, it could be your gluten-free diet, dressing modestly, homeschooling or your latest obsession with Crossfit. Anything has the ability to steal our hearts away from the message we are supposed to be preaching — Christ’s death and resurrection.

While The Head Covering Movement supports head covering and has an entire website dedicated to it, we never want the message of head covering to overshadow the true message of the gospel of Jesus. This website was created because a need was revealed — a need to support the head covering community as a whole, to make those who cover feel like they weren’t alone, and to strengthen their resolve to cover.

Choosing to cover your head while praying or prophesying (or without ceasing) will not earn you a spot in Heaven. We should be careful to not, as Galatians says, pervert the gospel of Christ — boiling Christianity down to a list of dos and don’ts. Although The Head Covering Movement, believes in adhering to the law and commandments — we know that’s only an extension of our faith and love for what Jesus already did for us.

I love the quote from theologian Jonathan Edwards:

You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.

We can cover our heads all day long, but if we forget to preach the gospel of repentance and grace and instead only preach the gospel of head covering, we’ve missed the point. We can’t earn our salvation. Only Jesus could do that. And He already did.

3 Tips to Avoid Overemphasizes Head Covering

1. Be aware of your own heart

Does head covering make you feel a sense of pride? Obedience to the Scriptures should be a badge of honor, but always watch out for your own motivations when telling people about the reasons you cover.

Informing women about covering should be for their benefit, not your ego.

2. Broaden Your Horizons

It’s totally cool (with me) if you go on a head-covering-tutorial-watching-binge on YouTube, as long as you eventually get off your device and play with your kids. You can read blogs and Scriptures about head covering, but make sure you are equally reading Scriptures and blogs about different Christian topics.

Think about it this way, if you go to a gym and only workout your legs, they will be in shape, but you will look lopsided. You need a well-balanced workout so your entire body gets stronger. It’s the same with head covering. Head covering is just part of the Bible — not the center of it.

3. Focus on Jesus

What kind of covering should I wear? Should I cover when I pray at home or just during corporate prayer? All these questions — although valuable — can sometimes become our focus. We get wound up in the logistics of covering and the peace of God leaves us. Too many details can a) make us give up covering altogether or b) create a cage for our souls that God never intended us to live in!

Too easy we can focus on the act of head covering and forget the ONE who we head cover for!

Focusing on Jesus and following the peace of God will allow us the wisdom to answer these questions.

Final Thoughts

Paul knew people tend to diffuse the true gospel with a list of ‘things to do.’ He also knew of the temptation of serving a watered-down and more palatable message to other believers. In fact, it surprised him how easily it happened!

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7

As head covering ladies, we should uphold the command of covering and not discard it so as to make other Christian women feel more comfortable, but we shouldn’t elevate obeying it as a mandate of salvation.

Grace comes not by head covering, but by Christ alone.

Elaine Mingus

Elaine Mingus always knew that some day she’d be a real writer. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism, she imagined herself walking up and down the streets of New York but instead found herself walking up and down the stairs of a house in the suburbs of Austin, Texas chasing six children. Today, she writes on the side, happily pimps a white picketed-fence and a minivan but still dreams of New York. She blogs regularly at Radical Christian Woman.

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  • Kinuko H

    Dearest Elaine, what a wonderful message! You made me re-consider about my own heart regarding Christ’s salvation and headcovering. Thank you so much for these useful tips. I respect you, Elaine. from Kinuko

    • Elaine Mingus

      Thanks! I love Jesus so much and hope that others can see that through my writing.

  • clarinetlaj

    yup!! Great job sister!

  • pjoy

    Your writing was very timely Elaine. Thank you for reminding us where we should put our hope and value – not in our (sadly unusual) obedience to this neglected doctrine, but in Jesus alone.

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