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Jamie Carter
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Pointing to creation order just confuses me even more. There really isn’t an exact Biblical description as to what Adam and his woman / wife looked like or whether or not they had hair at the time of creation (she had no name until after she had been deceived.) We can conclude that the lack of head coverings being mentioned in the creation story means that they likely were not yet invented or a custom at that time. Only three times was the practice of covering oneself mentioned in the book of Genesis – once with Rebecca when she met her soon-to-be husband for the first time. Twice with Tamar who tricked Judah into thinking she was a prostitute because of how she was covered. All three times they were referring specifically to veils covering their face. Moses also wore a veil in Exodus 34 – this was mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3. Head covering, has no origin in the book of Genesis – so pointing to creation order (1. Heavens/Earth, 2. Light/Dark, 3. Sky, 4. Land/Sea, 5. Vegetation, 6. Sun/Moon/Stars, 7. Fish/Birds, 8. Land-Dwelling Living Creatures, 9. Mankind – Male & Female) doesn’t explain how head covering is commanded. Just where, by the way – do the Angels / heavenly realm, etc. come into the picture anyway? Either you have God as un-created pre-existing entity (Father / Son / Holy Spirit) or God having created himself in this order: God (Father) creates God (Son) creates Man (Male) creates Man (Female) and Holy Spirit indwells Man (Male & Female.) That points to one basic argument which this whole thing seems to rely on: The Bible says that men are equal in substance and superior in position to women and that is why men are not required to wear head coverings and can fulfill any role within the church, but the Bible says that women are equal in substance to men and inferior in position so all women must wear head coverings in corporate worship and cannot be elders and deacons. Therefore our society which sees women and men on completely equal terms, neither superior nor inferior is in essence sinning against God’s created order.

Jeremy Gardiner
Reply

Hi Jamie, when we say “creation order” we don’t mean you can look in Genesis and see the symbol. Rather, this symbol’s MEANING is based and rooted in the creation order. Meaning, a head covering in the context of praying & prophesying is a symbol of a woman’s submission to the proper male authority in her life (v.3, 10). She is to wear it because she’s the glory of man, was made out of man and made for the man (v.7-9). All these reasons do come from Genesis (pre-fall).

Paul does the same thing in 1 Tim 2:12-14 where he appeals to the creation order (Adam made first) and the fact that the woman was deceived, not the man (both which are taught in Genesis). He then takes what creation teaches us and applies to something specific that you won’t find in Genesis (that being the office of Elder and preaching).

We believe that if something is specifically rooted/grounded in the creation order then that is assuredly not cultural. If we can’t even bank on that, then really ANYTHING in the Bible is subject to re-interpretation as cultural.

Jamie Carter
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Since some Bible versions have a footnote that more specifically states “the head of the woman is man” can mean “the head of the wife is her husband” I’m a little confused as to which women are supposed to submit to which men and if it is most appropriately applied in a marriage context.

Jamie Carter

I read over it and it sounds like it’s saying this: While all women are not to submit to all men, particular women are to submit to particular men and all women ought to wear a symbol of authority, the head covering. But where do you get the father / daughter verse from?

Jeremy Gardiner

Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

In 1 Cor 11:3 it’s female in the generic so the question would be, who is the single woman’s head? By “head” we’re speaking of the person who’s an authority over her. Eph 6:1 teaches us it’s her parents. And then if we circle back to 1 Cor 11:3 we can say within the parents there’s hierarchy as well with the Husband being the head over the wife (even though the child is submissive to both parents).

Mary Kassian says it differently which is also a plausible interpretation. We made an image out of the quote here: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Mary-Kassian-4.jpg

So in that case it’s not symbolizing her specific relationship to her Father. But rather, a recognition of the order that she may one day be joined to.

Jamie Carter

And she might not ever marry … not everybody chooses to do so. (ancient custom was that daughters were married off around the age of 12 or 13, bar and bat mitzvah were coming of age celebrations that recognized children were adults, the concept of teenager and young adult didn’t exist back then. I’m not sure what the Roman or Greek custom was. Today marriage isn’t usually considered into adulthood, 18+ or after college.) I can respect all sorts of customs without personally carrying them out or enforcing them upon all others. I understand and respect that the Amish have their way of life and while I don’t agree that I should throw away technology, I’m not going to force them to buy electricity and the internet so that we have the appearance of agreement because we’re both Christians somehow. Likewise, I understand that you really like this verse a lot, but I cannot tell all women to wear head coverings over their long hair any more than I can tell all men to shave their heads and throw away their hats. What works for one couple might not work for all couples and should not be made into a standard of being.

Cocoa Boayue
Reply

Hello! So I just was wondering something. Since some believe that in 1 Corinthians 11 it doesn’t mean a cloth covering, what do you think about women who do cover?

Jeremy Gardiner
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I think women who do cover are being faithful to obey God even in the small things and are making a statement to men and angels that she submits the proper male authority in her life.

I think women who don’t cover shouldn’t be broadbrushed. For example, there’s going to be some women who hate the symbol and what the symbol points to. There’s going to be others who want to do so but are gripped by fear. Others who want to, but their husbands have said no. Others who would wear a covering if persuaded by Scripture but they are convinced by another interpretation. While there are others who aren’t even aware this is in their Bibles. So I try to not make judgments about women who don’t cover as I likely don’t know what the reason is.

Jamie Carter
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As for me, I don’t think of the women who do cover as any better or worse than those who do not cover, the easiest way to explain my position is, whatever makes you happy – go with it & you cannot un-ring a bell, for better or worse, the world has some some progress that reverberates through the centuries and decades. Society is a medium that will continue to change and try to improve itself, while Christianity limits itself to going only so far as the Bible permits. That’s like trying to play American football using rules from the 1880s – some of the game will remain unchanged, but other changes are for the benefit of the players. Or like continuing the tradition of afternoon tea at tea time because that’s the only instructions people followed for centuries.

While I believe that the Bible points me in the right direction, I’m not bound to only travel in that one direction but have considerable freedom to go any which way that helps me reach my final destination. Sometimes I wish I could take the Bible literally, it would make things so very simple – but I know too much about how much cultural context has disappeared, translator bias, how language itself changes quickly, etc. Ultimately, I can only hope that relying on the Holy Spirit to help me discern the difference between what is right and what is best will be a sufficient display of faith – basing it on anything less than Jesus alone, even Jesus + Obey Bible can be shaky grounds given how easily the Bible can be manipulated in ways that Jesus cannot (case & point: Junia, a female, was changed to Junias, a male in some Bible versions because there is disagreement about what role she played in being outstanding among the apostles or if she was a leader in the church in her own right – Romans 16).

Sara June Thompson
Reply

What things are cultural and therefore only the meaning applies to today. And which things are for all time and should be literally obeyed also. Most Christians today view head covering as the former. I have become persuaded that in fact the latter is true. That we should wear head coverings for worship services and even possibly other times of prayer. Whereas the command to “greet one another with a holy kiss” I see as cultural. In our churches we greet each other and shake hands, and I view that as a culturally acceptable way to obey that verse. The fact that Paul draws his reasoning from the creation of men and women shows me that the head covering is for all time, not just a cultural norm that can be “substituted”. And really, what would we “substitute” anyway, there is no other thing in our culture that shows such submission. I like to ask myself “what’s the worst case scenario?”. If head covering really were just cultural, and I covered anyway, worst case is perhaps I felt a little uncomfortable in church when I first started. Despite the witness in my spirit that I am pleasing God. If head covering is required (as I believe it is) and I don’t do it, I get to find out on judgment day that I willfully disobeyed God. That’s not a hard call to make.

Jamie Carter
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That’s an interesting perspective. For me, I keep on thinking about the implication of head covering and not the act itself. There are many Christians who would say that the prohibition against women in leadership is very much tied to this verse, they are not to have authority over men and by teaching them, they would damage the witness of Christianity or in some way dishonor God. In many churches, women are not permitted to speak at the pastor’s pulpit because that would be against God’s order (some churches would not permit them to speak or read the Bible aloud at all). I can see that being true in the ancient world where the second-class status of women was an unquestionable fact of life – but I ask myself, does that remain true today? Considering that the majority of churches are attended by a majority of women, some churches could not function at all if they were to take the Bible literally.

Sara June Thompson
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Actually I am very much in favor of taking the Bible literally. One rule of interpretation I was taught is “If the plain sense of Scripture makes sense, seek no other sense.”.

Christian Filbrun
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Sara~ interesting thoughts on the cultural difference between the veiling and the salutation, and I’m not necessarily in disagreement, but considering that the kiss was already a middle eastern form of greeting, and yet was delineated as a specific “holy” kiss when commanded in the Scriptures, do you think there was anything particular different about the salutation in their day that made it obvious as a holy kiss rather than just the greeting of the day? If you want to get right down to it, there were already veilings in the first century and there were already kisses of greeting; the veiling was commanded to the Church based especially on eternal principles such as headship, creation order, angels, etc, and the literal salutation was based upon love and holiness, also eternal principles. Would it not make sense to practice both of them under such logic, assuming you have other Christians willing to engage in the holy kiss as well? Just a thought, would love to hear yours in return.

Sara June Thompson
Reply

The passage on greeting with a holy kiss is in the context of greeting various people/churches. It does not say that we should do this because of anything related to creations, as the head covering passage does (and some other passages about the role of women).

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