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Is Head Covering “Majoring in the Minors”?

For even more on this topic, check out this article.

What Charles Spurgeon Can Teach Us About Lost Doctrines

What Charles Spurgeon Can Teach Us About Lost Doctrines

Christian head covering is not a new belief. It is a practice with a long history that has been largely forgotten in the 21st century. Similar to the Reformers of years past, the goal of each generation of reformers is not to invent new doctrines, but to re-discover the old ones.
The 19th-century preacher Charles Spurgeon helped do this for the Doctrines of Grace, also known as Reformed theology. Although this system of Protestant beliefs was the dominant view during the Puritan age in England, during Spurgeon’s time it was a minority (and largely-forgotten) position. Steven Lawson explains the situation:

When Charles Spurgeon burst onto the scene in the mid-19th century, he appeared heralding the doctrines of sovereign grace. At that time, Calvinism was no longer the dominant theology in England, as it had been in Puritan times. Instead, the doctrines of grace were becoming obscured from public view, cast aside as dusty and archaic relics of primitive 16th-century Europe. Victorian England had come of age, it was supposed, and its philosophers championed the autonomy of man, not the sovereignty of God. The teaching of the Reformation had all but faded from the evangelical scene. But rather than becoming infatuated with the current theological fads, Spurgeon chose to stay true to the old paths, those laid out in Scripture long ago, including the teachings of sovereign grace. He said: “It is no novelty, then, that I am preaching; no new doctrine. I love to proclaim these strong old doctrines, that are called by nickname Calvinism, but which are surely and verily the revealed truth of God as it is in Christ Jesus.” (Lawson 37-38) 1) Lawson, Steven J. The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon. Reformation Trust Publishing, 2012.

Spurgeon is affectionately honored as the “Prince of Preachers,” not because he was a clever man who devised new theological fads, but because of his bold proclamation of doctrinal truths that had been forgotten in his generation. It is easy for the people of God to forget. We take the Lord’s supper regularly “in remembrance of [Jesus]” (1 Cor. 11:24 ESV) because we are prone to forget. Every generation must take up the task of teaching Christian beliefs afresh, so that they will not be lost to the pages of history.

In Spurgeon’s day, the practice of head covering was not an abandoned doctrine but something that was commonplace. Referring to his own church, he wrote:

The reason why our sisters appear in the House of God with their heads covered is ‘because of the angels.’ The apostle says that a woman is to have a covering upon her head because of the angels, since the angels are present in the assembly and they mark every act of indecorum, and therefore everything is to be conducted with decency and order in the presence of the angelic spirits. (Spurgeon 98) 2) Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Spurgeon’s Sermons on Angels. Kregel Academic, 1996.

Spurgeon understood that the reason for head covering was not related to first-century culture, but rather to the angelic spirits (who transcend time, place, and culture).

Charles Spurgeon had a profound impact in both Christian theology and practice. Partly due to his influence, Reformed theology is more widely accepted nowadays.  While the same cannot be said for the practice of head covering (yet!), the same principle applies. We must follow Spurgeon’s example by “[staying] true to the old paths, those laid out in Scripture long ago” (Lawson 38). 3) Lawson, Steven J. The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon. Reformation Trust Publishing, 2012.

References

1.
 Lawson, Steven J. The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon. Reformation Trust Publishing, 2012.
2.
 Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Spurgeon’s Sermons on Angels. Kregel Academic, 1996.
3.
 Lawson, Steven J. The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon. Reformation Trust Publishing, 2012.

The Reasons Why Most Women Stop Covering

The Reasons Why Most Women Stop Covering

As the founder of the Head Covering Movement, I have the privilege of hearing from women (all around the world) as they begin following Paul’s instructions about head covering. Many times, I also hear as women abandon the practice. Starting and stopping, and re-starting then stopping — and then re-starting again — is sometimes common. Many others start covering for a time and later quit, never to return.

Throughout the years, I have noticed several characteristics of those who eventually abandon the practice of head covering. I’d like to share these trends with you so that you can evaluate whether any of them might be part of your life as well.

  1. Lack of Study. There are many women who begin the practice of head covering, but who don’t have a personal conviction based solidly on 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. They started covering for the sake of modesty or because someone they respect does it, but not primarily because Scripture teaches it. Further, women who start covering may not be familiar with the reasoning used by those who reject head covering. They’ve never read thoughtful objections to the practice (such as the “cultural view” or the “long hair view”) so when they are later confronted with those arguments, they are taken aback and start to doubt the practice. One way to help yourself is to study the biblical case for head covering. Also, become familiar with the reasons why people reject head covering and how their objections compare with Scripture.
  2. Mystical Reasons. There are many women who decide to begin head covering due to certain personal experiences such as a dream, an answer to prayer, a sense of peace (or other emotion), or circumstances that seemed to be more than coincidental. But whenever our behavior is based on subjective experiences, it’s not likely that we’ll continue that behavior very long.  Feelings change and experiences can seem to lose their intensity (or even doubted entirely) later on. One way to ensure consistency is to ensure that your reasons for head covering are based on objective truth: the Word of God.
  3. Lacking Community.  Many women find themselves as the only one covering in their church and have few people encouraging them in their decision. One of the downsides to holding to a minority practice is that it can often feel very lonely. It can be easy to glance across the Christian landscape and feel like an outcast, even if that’s not how other people view you. I recommend intentionally finding supportive people those who build you up in your decision and also those who practice head covering with you. If you can’t find them locally, try to find them online.
  4. Covering More Often Than Necessary. A woman’s long hair is her glory (1 Cor 11:15) and is meant to be enjoyed. It is a special gift that God has given to beautify a lady, which is not given to men. Similarly, Proverbs teaches that a man’s glory is his strength (Prov. 20:29). Can you imagine if a man felt obligated to hide his strength, rather than use it? Human glory is a gift which is meant to be on display except when we’re worshiping God (1 Cor 11:2-16). Many women “burn out” on head covering when their beautiful hair is covered more often than necessary. They rightfully miss it. Some cover their heads more often than I believe is Scripturally required (and for them, they should follow the conviction of their conscience). But if you don’t feel that conviction, then you should let your beautiful hair be visible and not cover more often than Scripture teaches.
  5. Not Being Yourself. Sometimes women begin head covering along with a bunch of other practices that were previously foreign to them. They see a woman that they admire and then they imitate her (or the group/culture she’s associated with). Believing in head covering does not mean you need to move to a homestead, wear plain hand-me-down clothes, or burn your jeans while switching to “dresses-only.” When you start covering, do so in a way that fits you as a unique individual. The styles you see others wearing might not be a good fit for you. Perhaps a woman who struggles with vanity decides to no longer use makeup. That’s fine, but new behaviors that might be helpful for some women are not always Scriptural obligations for all women, and might not make sense in your life. Instead, embrace head covering because it is biblical, not because someone you look up to does it.
  6. Legalism. This one is more common among newer Christians. New believers will often make some very radical changes in their lives (usually very good changes), but can also become overly strict in creating various “rules” for their new Christian walk. Those new practices sometimes get joined together (in their minds) with head covering. As they mature in the Christian life and understand their freedom in Christ, they begin to discard the various practices that were connected with their former “legalistic” stage — which can include, unfortunately, head covering.  So, it is important to understand what “Christian liberty” is and why head covering does not fall into that category.

Maybe you’ve stopped head covering and you can see yourself in one or more of these situations. If so, can I encourage you to re-start in a different way than before? Go through our guided study of headcovering with an open Bible, and be convinced by the Scriptures about why head covering is for you. Buy some beautiful head coverings that make you smile when you look in the mirror. Try covering for church and maybe a few other distinct times if you feel like it’s helpful (such as your quiet time with the Lord). Let your glorious hair be seen all other times — it is God’s gift to you. Finally, make friends with other women who cover and intentionally encourage one another. If those women aren’t available locally, meet some new friends through our recently-started HCM Community Group.

We’re planning a re-launch. We need a team!

HCM Relaunch

The Head Covering Movement is planning to re-launch at the beginning of the new year!

However, there’s one caveat. We can’t launch without a team of content creators and curators behind us.

From 2013-2017, I (Jeremy Gardiner) was the primary author and curator of content. However, I am now in Bible school and have additional responsibilities which prohibit me from being relied upon to do as much as I did before.

As our name indicates, this website represents a growing movement of people coming together to encourage each other and spread a shared belief. So today, I am reaching out to everyone who considers themselves a part of this movement, asking you to consider helping with our re-launch.

We are assembling a team of content creators, managers and editors to help continue the work undertaken over the last few years. We believe that a greater diversity in voices will not only unite us in belief and practice, but serve to better share our beliefs with the wider church.  Do you think you might be able to help? A list of possible tasks we need help with is set out below.

At the bottom of this page, you will find a form to fill out. This will tell us how you envision helping and why you’d be a good fit. If we can fill most roles in the next month or so, we will re-launch in early 2019 with consistent posting and all new content.

If you can’t help with your time, but want to give financially you can donate here. 100% of the funds will go towards the costs associated with re-launching and promoting this movement.

Here is a list of jobs we need help with:

  • Editorial Board (Male and Female): These people will be responsible for determining which submitted posts get published on this site. They will edit all posts as a team, checking for grammar, consistency, tone, and accuracy.
    Qualifications:  Must demonstrate theological aptitude as well as experience in writing and/or editing (online or print).
  • Regular Contributors (Male and Female): These people will contribute their own original content on head covering (as well as related topics taught in 1 Cor 11:2-16) in the form of articles and/or videos for posting on the HCM page. Frequency should be about once per month (though we’re flexible).
    Qualifications: Demonstrated ability writing articles and/or producing video content (ex. vlogs). A regular contributor must show that they’ve published lots of content online. If you do not meet that qualification we do accept single submissions (and will consider you for a regular contributor position after we’ve published three of your writings).
  • Social Media Manager (Female preferred): This person will manage our social media pages with a focus on community engagement. We desire to have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and potentially Pinterest. Though we prefer one person to manage all of them, we are open to multiple people being in charge of one (or more) network(s) each.
    Qualifications: Must be active on social media and demonstrate the ability to craft compelling posts while engaging your audience.
  • Testimony Coordinator (Female only): This person will conduct interviews with those who indicate a desire to share their testimony. Ideally, they will also conduct some video interviews as well (though not a requirement). [POSITION FILLED]
    Qualifications: Demonstrated writing and/or editing skills. Familiarity with WordPress preferred.
  • Sermon Coordinator (Male or Female): This person will be in charge of regularly listening to sermons on 1 Corinthians 11 and then identifying ones that will be helpful to share with our community. [POSITION FILLED]
    Qualifications: Demonstrated theological aptitude. A desire to listen to lots of sermons on the same topic.
  • Web Content Coordinator (Male or Female): One or two people will be in charge of scouring the internet to find relevant content on head covering and 1 Cor 11:2-16. Helpful content will be identified to share with our community through our social media pages.
    Qualifications: Demonstrated ability at doing advanced Google searches (such as negative keywords, search by date, exact phrase match).
  • Graphic Designer (Male or Female): We are in need of one graphic designer who can design quote images as well as other content for our blog and social media posts.
    Qualifications: Demonstrated ability to make high-quality beautiful designs. Understands brand identity and consistency.
  • Video Editor (Male or Female): This person will edit all videos for our YouTube channel & Facebook page. Additionally, If they have production skills, they would also create short explainer videos.
    Qualifications: Demonstrated ability to edit and produce high-quality engaging videos.
  • Publicity Manager (Male or Female): This person will form relationships with like-minded bloggers as well as publishers and media outlets. They will arrange publication of our writers work on other blogs and magazines to expand our reach. This position will also include the management of Jeremy Gardiner. Tasks related to that role might include arranging podcast interviews, speaking engagements, and the publicity related to his second (forthcoming) book.
    Qualifications: Must have previous publicity experience (either for yourself or another). Can demonstrate past success in working with the press or media.
  • Marketing Manager (Male or Female): This person will handle all the marketing for HCM. This will include strategizing and executing on both free and paid promotions. It will also include arranging giveaways for our readers.
    Qualifications: Must have demonstrated experience in digital marketing. This will include launching promotions at strategic times and measuring the effectiveness through analaytics.
  • Administrative Assistant (Male or Female): – This person will be tasked with preparing and publishing posts in WordPress. They may also schedule and publish social media content (if the Social Media Manager position is not filled). Additional tasks may include responding to reader e-mails, communicating with staff, and basic tasks such adding subtitles to videos.
    Qualifications: Must have previously managed a blog/website or worked in administration before. WordPress experience is required.
  • Book Translators (Male or Female): We are seeking someone to finish the Spanish and Portuguese translations of our Head Covering book. We would also love to see it translated into additional languages.
    Qualifications: Must have excellent written English as well as fluency in the desired translation language.

These jobs should not be seen as exhaustive. If you have a great idea for how you can help in a way that we haven’t thought of, let us know. We’re open to promoting head covering in any way as long as it is done with excellence.

  • Explain why you believe you'd be a good fit for this role. Include links to your work if applicable.
  • Give us a sense of what you believe. Tell us where you go to church and the convictions you hold. Feel free to associate yourself with denominations, movements, seminaries, or authors/pastors. Anything that helps us understand what you believe would be appreciated.

A New Season for HCM

[UPDATE: Dec 6/18: This post has been superseded by this post. We are no longer looking for someone to take over HCM.]

A New Season for HCM

Hello everyone,

I wanted to provide a short update on why the Head Covering Movement has been quiet lately. I (Jeremy) started the four-year Biblical Studies program at Moody Bible Institute in March. I am doing this because I desire to enter pastoral ministry. Taking a full course load along with my business, family, and church responsibilities have left little time for HCM and other projects. On top of that, in two weeks I’ll begin the eldership training and testing process at my church.

Since I won’t have the same time I had in earlier days for HCM, it will need to enter a new season. It will either be periodically updated by me with a handful of articles and videos a year (as I still have more to say on this topic) or it may be the time to pass the torch and let someone else who is ambitious take over. This movement was never about me so I’d be glad to pass the leadership responsibility on. I’ll be praying for the latter (and I’d encourage you to as well) but if that person does not come then I’ll continue updating it here and there.

As far as my future plans with HCM, I have another full book I want to write. It’s dealing in-depth with the cultural view of head covering. I have already outlined it and started the first chapter. Another reason why I believe someone else would be better served running HCM is so I can devote my time to the book. There’s also a few in-depth articles I’d like to write that haven’t been dealt with yet on this site including the “testicle” view, the “covering” is your husband view, and I’d like to dive deeper into first-century Corinthian prostitution. I also have a handful of videos I’d like to make in addition to answering your questions.

So that’s where we’re at right now. If you believe you’re the right person to take over HCM feel free to send me a message. We’ll be looking for someone who has been convictional about head covering for some time (not a recent belief), has similar theology (Complementarian, Evangelical), excellent computer/internet skills, a good writer, along with the time to devote to HCM and passion for the topic. Men and women will both be considered.

Well, that’s it for now. Keep us in your prayers! I have a month off in July so hopefully, I’ll be able to get a new article or video up at that time.

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