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Head Coverings and Decorum in Worship: A Letter by John Murray

Head Coverings and Decorum in Worship: A Letter by John Murray
John Murray (1898-1975), a native of Scotland, studied at Princeton Theological Seminary under J. Gresham Machen and Geerhardus Vos. Murray left Princeton to help found Westminster Theological Seminary, where he taught Systematic Theology from 1930 to 1966. Murray was also an early trustee of the Banner of Truth.

Badbea, Bonar Bridge, Ardgay, Ross-shire IV2 43AR, Scotland
16 November 1973

Mr. V. Connors,
Presbytery Clerk,
Evangelical Presbyterian Church,

Dear Mr. Connors,

I am in receipt of your letter of the 8th. I very deeply appreciate your request even though I may not be able to provide any definitive advice on the questions asked. Allow me to give my judgement on the second question first.

If the Presbytery becomes convinced that a head covering for women belongs to the decorum governing the conduct of women in the worship of God, then I think Presbytery should declare accordingly. I would not suppose it necessary expressly to legislate. I think it would be enough to make a resolution for the instruction and guidance of ministers, sessions, and people. A higher judicatory has both right and duty to offer to those under its jurisdiction, guidance respecting divine obligation. This has been recognised in Reformed Churches throughout the world.

Your main question turns, of course, on the interpretation of I Corinthians 11:2-16. Permit me to offer some of my reflections in order. Read more

Where To Buy Head Coverings Online

Where To Buy Head Coverings Online

Last Updated: April 8, 2024

This is a list of online stores where women can purchase head coverings. Though we could list hundreds of stores, we’ve decided to list only those that sell coverings as a large part of their business. Not all of these businesses are run by Christians.

Additional options for purchasing head coverings include: Amazon, Walmart, Target, dollar stores, etc.

If you know of a store that’s not listed or if one closes please let us know so we can update it. If you’ve purchased from any of these stores, share your experience by contacting us.

What is a sufficient head covering? Does it have to be a certain size or style?

What Kind of Head Covering Does the Bible Command?
What is a sufficient head covering? Does it have to be a certain size or style?

A covering in the context of 1 Corinthians 11 is a Christian symbol to be worn by women while praying and prophesying. Paul says this covering is a symbol of authority (1 Cor 11:10) and it’s to be worn on top of her head (1 Cor 11:5-6). No other information is given so where Scripture ends, Christian liberty begins. What that means is the specific type of covering you use is your decision as an individual or family. Having said that, there are other Scriptures that will help guide our choices byway of principle. I’d like to present that to you and also deal with issues such as hair being exposed (outside of a woman’s covering) and face veiling. Read more

What Did Martin Luther Believe About Head Covering?

Head Covering: Church History Profiles

[Series introduction: This post is part of a series that will examine what certain leaders in church history believed about head covering. Their arguments, choice of language and conclusions should not be misconstrued as an endorsement from us. The purpose of this series is to faithfully show what they believe about covering rather than only selectively quoting the parts we agree with.]

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a German theologian who was the catalyst behind the Protestant Reformation. He is author of many books, lectures, commentaries and hymns (including “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”). Luther also translated the Bible into German. Today there are more than 73 million Christians who identify with his theology, known as Lutherans.
Martin Luther

On January 15th 1525, Martin Luther preached a message on marriage. In his sermon he said this:

Women, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife” [Eph 5:22-23]. Again to the Colossians in the third chapter [3:18]. Because of this, the wife has not been created out of the head, so that she shall not rule over her husband, but be subject and obedient to him.

For that reason the wife wears a headdress, that is, the veil on her head, as St. Paul writes in 1. Corinthians in the second chapter, that she is not free but under obedience to her husband. 1) A sermon on marriage, 15 January 1525 WA XVII/I – Quoted from Susan C. Karant-Nunn & Merry E. Wiesner – Luther on Women: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 2003) page 95

Luther makes a direct connection between veiling and the creation order. He points out that woman was not created out of the man’s physical head, but from his side. Luther sees the place she was created from as important due to the symbolism. She wasn’t created from man’s head, as if she’s head over him, but rather she wears a headdress to show she’s under her husband and obeys him. Read more


 A sermon on marriage, 15 January 1525 WA XVII/I – Quoted from Susan C. Karant-Nunn & Merry E. Wiesner – Luther on Women: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 2003) page 95

The Understanding Test

The Understanding Test

Have you ever engaged someone in a friendly debate only to hear them say, “That’s not what I really believe” or “That’s not what I mean?” I’ve said that to others and have heard that said back to me. This often happens when we learn about a position from someone who doesn’t hold to it. Though it may be unintentional, when we disagree with a position we will usually not present it in the same way as if we agreed with it.

So how do we know if we truly understand a viewpoint or doctrine? Do we really understand Buddhism and Islam? Calvinism and Arminianism? How about the various views on head covering? How would we know if we really do understand them? Read more

A Response to “Of Hats and Head Coverings” by Rob Slane (as posted on American Vision)

"Of Hats and Head Coverings" A Response
This article is a response to “Of Hats and Head Coverings (1 Corinthians 11:1-17)” by Rob Slane. We recommend reading his argument in full before reading our response. We’re thankful that American Vision decided to post on this topic as it’s causing many people to look deeper into their Bibles and study 1 Corinthians 11. Though we disagree on many points, we appreciate the respectful, well thought out argument and the invitation to dialogue.

An article was recently published on the American Vision website putting forth a new interpretation of head covering (1 Cor 11). The article was written by Rob Slane and it shares many things in common with the position we advocate (head covering as a timeless symbol). Rob shares that he’s familiar with the debate but doesn’t find any of the three major positions on head covering persuasive (long hair, cultural or it being a timeless symbol). He then shares his understanding of 1 Corinthians 11 “to try and generate some comment”. He calls his position a “minority view” and said he doesn’t expect “anyone to agree with it”. However, he raises many good points that are worthy of contemplation and discussion. I’d like to first articulate back my understanding of Rob’s position and then respond to many of the points he raises. Read more

Obeying God in the Small Things

Obeying God in the Small Things

[Guest Author: This article was written by a guest author. If you’re interested in writing for the Head Covering Movement please visit this page.]

About the author: Brother Greg is the founder of SermonIndex.net which started in December 2002. The ministry began with a burden for true genuine revival from the ministry of Leonard Ravenhill and specifically his book: “Why Revival Tarries.” The ministry of SermonIndex is continually reaching more people with classic preaching from the past and the message of revival.

When we consider our walks with the Lord we sometimes can put great emphasis on the larger areas that the Lord desires from us. Such things as repentance, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, fellowshipping with others and sharing our faith are to us bigger things in the Christian life. Yet the Lord has put every verse in the Scriptures for our encouragement and exhortation, that we take heed to these things. We should understand that the Lord provides direction and help to lead us in every area of life. We should not consider only some of the Lord’s commands and view the others as a choice. Everything in the Christian life is to be guided and filtered through the Holy Scriptures and God’s leading by the Holy Spirit. Read more

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