The Head Covering Movement does not support “Hebrew Roots” or “Torah-observant” theology. Since we view Christian head covering as based firmly in biblical theology, our response to the Hebrew Roots Movement is described in detail below.Read more
According to one worldly stereotype, the modern man is lazy, selfish, and disengaged. His wife may even feel that she needs to act like his mother in order to make him more responsible.
The maturing Christian man pushes back against this stereotype, both in his own life and in his influence with other men. “Authentic Manhood” is an excellent video series about biblical masculinity, with a frequent call to “reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously, and invest eternally.”Read more
Objection: Cloth head coverings are not biblically required. In Scripture, the Apostle Paul spoke only of a “spiritual covering.” Specifically, he taught that a woman’s husband is her “covering.” The woman’s responsibility is not to put a piece of cloth on her physical head; rather, she simply is to live under the spiritual covering provided by her husband (her spiritual head).
SYMBOLISM & LITERALISM
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul provides instructions for two important symbolic practices within Christianity. The most well-known is the Lord’s Supper, also called “Communion” or “the Eucharist.”
The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.1) 1 Cor. 11:23b-26, NASB.
The death of Jesus — the powerful event behind our salvation — is symbolically portrayed here in the Lord’s Supper. And just as Jesus commanded, this personal and meaningful tradition has been regularly practiced by the Church for the last 2000 years.
Unfortunately, though, some Christians have mistakenly understood this passage to mean that during the Lord’s Supper, the bread literally becomes Jesus’ body, and the drink literally becomes Jesus’ blood. This belief is called “transubstantiation” and is often associated with the Catholic Church. In effect, transubstantiation substitutes the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus (Heb. 10:10) with a recurring sacrifice of His “real” body & blood during the Eucharist portion of each Catholic Mass.2) “The Eucharist performs at once two functions: that of a sacrament and that of a sacrifice… the sacrament is intended privately for the sanctification of the soul, whereas the sacrifice serves primarily to glorify God by adoration, thanksgiving, prayer, and expiation [atonement for sin]. The recipient of the one is God, who receives the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son; of the other, man, who receives the sacrament for his own good. Furthermore, the unbloody Sacrifice of the Eucharistic Christ is in its nature a transient action, while the Sacrament of the Altar continues as something permanent after the sacrifice.” Pohle, Joseph. “Sacrifice of the Mass.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 24 Mar. 2019 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10006a.htm>.
In addition to the statement, “This is my body,” Jesus made a variety of other comments that were also intended figuratively. For example, He said, “I am the door” (John 10:7), “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35), and “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). These words were obviously not meant to be understood literally, but rather as figures of speech. However, an opposite type of confusion can also occur: Christians sometimes disregard the plain (and literal) statements in Scripture, as they seek to discover “deeper” figurative or symbolic meanings behind those statements.Read more
↑ “The Eucharist performs at once two functions: that of a sacrament and that of a sacrifice… the sacrament is intended privately for the sanctification of the soul, whereas the sacrifice serves primarily to glorify God by adoration, thanksgiving, prayer, and expiation [atonement for sin]. The recipient of the one is God, who receives the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son; of the other, man, who receives the sacrament for his own good. Furthermore, the unbloody Sacrifice of the Eucharistic Christ is in its nature a transient action, while the Sacrament of the Altar continues as something permanent after the sacrifice.” Pohle, Joseph. “Sacrifice of the Mass.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 24 Mar. 2019 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10006a.htm>.
“Religious headcoverings” is one of those topics that can trigger a variety of strong emotions & opinions.
Some folks are adamantly against the use of headcoverings for themselves and others. And some folks make headcovering the defining feature of their faith, such that wearing a headcovering becomes part of their identity.
Some churches practice headcovering due to a strong denominational tradition or a careful study of Scripture. But other churches consider headcovering to be so irrelevant that it’s not even worth a serious consideration of the passage that promotes it (1 Corinthians 11:2-16).
So where is the balance?
The Bigger Issue
I serve in full-time ministry and I see 1 Corinthians 11 as being applicable today — but I rarely bring up the topic of headcovering with others. Why? Because there are dozens of theological truths that have greater importance. As presented in Scripture, the Christian walk includes so much more than the practice of headcovering. Read more
It’s the passage that your pastor recites every time he introduces the Lord’s Supper (a.k.a, Communion or Eucharist). “This bread is My body, which is broken for you… This cup is the new covenant in My blood… Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” These are the words of Jesus, quoted by the Apostle Paul in First Corinthians 11.
To institute the Lord’s Supper, Christ took an ancient practice (the Passover celebration) and gave it a powerful new meaning. Eating the Passover meal had already been a standard tradition in Israelite culture for hundreds of years. But Jesus’ divine adaptation of it became an honored practice of the Christian Church. Two thousand years later, Communion is still regularly celebrated around the globe.
What did it take to transform this Jewish tradition into a new universal Christian practice? We see the combination of three factors: (1) a description of the new symbolic practice, (2) an explanation of the uniquely-Christianreasons for the new symbolic practice, and (3) an unqualified command to perform the new symbolic practice. Regarding Communion, each of these components was provided by Jesus, taught by the Apostles, and maintained in the pages of Scripture for Christians throughout history.
But here’s the interesting thing: the practice of (and meaning behind) the Lord’s Supper has no unique relationship to modern Western culture. Yet, separated from its initiation by 2000 years, believers today feel quite comfortable with continuing this ancient practice. Because of the three key components listed above, Christians affirm that Communion was intended by God to extend well beyond the local First Century churches.
However, it would be easy for modern churches to find reasons to give up this tradition. For example, Christians today could simply say…
“The Lord’s Supper is not understood by the average person on the street nowadays. If we practiced it in our church, visitors would be confused.They may even consider leaving if we start talking about eating Jesus’ body and drinking His blood.”
“Jesus and His disciples were Jewish, and they were employing a Jewish practice. But we’re not a Jewish church, and we’re not trying to import Jewish culture into our church.”
“People today want substance, not rituals. The Lord’s Supper was only a symbolic tradition — the reality is in Christ Himself. Just experiencing Jesus personally is more than enough for us.”
In spite of responses like these, the Lord’s Supper is a solid component of Christianity — both historically and biblically. Most believers would agree that if a congregation decided that Communion is no longer relevant, they could not base their discontinuation of it on the teaching of Scripture. Read more