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Can Wedding Rings Replace Head Covering?

Can Wedding Rings Replace Head Covering?

Those who take the cultural viewpoint of head covering often argue that since the veil has no meaning in modern Western culture, believers can uphold the principle by substituting the symbol with something that has more modern relevance. The most often cited replacement is for women to wear a wedding ring.

As one example of this recommendation Dr. Roy B. Zuck in his book “Basic Bible Interpretation” says,

Should women today wear shawls on their heads in church? No, because the significance of women wearing shawls in the Greco-Roman world no longer holds true in our culture. The act does not carry the symbolism it once had. But is there a principle here to be followed, and to be expressed in a modern-day cultural equivalent? The principle of subordination (not inferiority!) of the wife to her husband still holds because that truth is stated elsewhere in Scripture. A possible modern cultural parallel, some have suggested, is the wife’s wedding ring (and changing her last name to that of her husband) which shows that she is married and thus is under her husband’s authority. 1) Zuck, Roy B.. (1991)., Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth (p. 97). Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.

There is a foundational reason for why I don’t accept symbol replacement. We simply do not have the authority to change what God commands in Scripture. As his people, our responsibility is to accept what He commands and put it into practice, not modernize or update it. I’ve already covered this point in-depth here and shown how this hermeneutic actually undermines other biblical symbols (like Baptism and the Lord’s Supper). For this article, I’d like to narrow my focus on the “wedding ring” and share why I do not believe it is a suitable replacement for head covering. I’ll lay out my case through five reasons. Read more

References

1.
 Zuck, Roy B.. (1991)., Basic Bible Interpretation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth (p. 97). Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook.

If Paul appeals to the Creation Order, why didn’t Eve wear a Head Covering?

Why didn’t Eve wear a Head Covering?
The Objection: You say that Paul appeals to the creation order in 1 Corinthians 11 and I agree that it appears that way. The thing is, if that is the case, where was Eve’s head covering? Genesis 2 says she was naked, and not ashamed. And you can’t turn around and say that it only began after the Fall, because then it wouldn’t be a Creation mandate. How would you respond to such an argument?

In 1 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul grounds his argument for head covering in the pre-fall creation order. This is one of the strongest arguments for why veiling is not a cultural practice but rather is something that is to be upheld by all Christians. In making a distinction between the principle (biblical manhood and womanhood) and the symbol (head covering), some hold that only the principle needs modern affirmation. The symbol is seen as a cultural practice that pointed to proper gender roles in the first century, but that has no meaning today. Many complementarian theologians arrive at this conclusion because of a wrong expectation of continuity in practice. Meaning if the veil was truly grounded in the creation order, then not only would Eve have worn it before the fall, but also every godly woman throughout biblical history.

Head covering is not a practice that was required under the Old Covenant (though many women did cover throughout this time). It is only a requirement for those under the New Covenant (like us). So let’s first state up front that I agree that head covering was not supposed to be practiced in continuity from Eve onward. But that does not deal a death blow to the creation order argument. My position is that God has taken something common (a covering) and has infused it with creation order meaning. So he has set up a brand new symbol which he designed and gave meaning to, and then had His apostles deliver it to the churches for them to practice. This is not an anomaly as God has always been about creating symbols to visually teach different truths. Many of these symbols (like head covering) were only to be practiced under one covenant. For example, the sacrifices and the feasts (Col 2:16-17) were only to be practiced under the Old Covenant whereas Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are only for the new covenant. Read more

A Muslim Asks, Why Aren’t Christians Practicing Headcovering?

Marjolein is a Muslim from Holland. She asks us “Why aren’t Christians practicing head covering anymore”. In this video I lay out three general reasons why.

For info on how to submit your own question watch this video:

My Wife Didn’t Wear A Head Covering to our Church Prayer Meeting

My Wife Didn’t Wear A Head Covering to our Church Prayer Meeting

It’s true. The wife of the Head Covering Movement‘s founder was at a church prayer meeting without her head covered. Let me explain and tell you how I handled it.

Our church recently had a “week of prayer” and on one night they had child care to make it easier for the parents to come out and pray. We took advantage of this and came out as a family. I was in the prayer room a little early while my wife was downstairs getting our children settled away. When she came upstairs to the prayer room, I noticed she didn’t have her covering on. For those who don’t cover all day, it’s an easy mistake to make. So I quietly got up to let her know she had forgotten. She placed a hand on her head to confirm and said “oops”. We’re prepared for situations like this, and store a couple extra coverings in the glove box of our minivan, so she headed out to grab one. A few minutes later she came back to let me know, the back-up coverings were gone. I figured they were as the previous week we had forgotten as well. So on Sunday we used the back-up coverings in the glove box and forgot to replace them. So here we are, at church, about to spend some focused time to prayer and my wife doesn’t have her covering. What should we do? I’ve thought about this situation before, but this is the first time it wasn’t just hypothetical. There are two options 1) My wife sits in the foyer and doesn’t join us for prayer or 2) she comes in and joins us uncovered. Read more

We need your Video Questions for a new Series on Headcovering

We’re about to start a brand new series where I answer your head covering / 1 Corinthians 11 questions. In this video I explain how you can participate by recording and sending in your video questions.

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