Jeremy’s Journey: How the Head Covering Movement came to be
I’ve received some requests asking me to share my own personal journey of coming to believe in head covering and how this movement came to be. I’d love to share that story with you today.
A Change of Mind
I always thought the wearing of an actual head covering was applicable today, but clung to what I thought at the time was Paul’s great escape clause, “If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.” (1 Cor 11:16 ESV). I didn’t think the teaching was culture bound, but rather, optional. If you’re going to get all worked-up about it, just don’t practice it is how I understood Paul. 1) See reason number 4 – ‘Church practice‘ on the main page of this site for how I understand this verse now. In 2009 my family moved to Manitoba, Canada and my wife and I were befriended by a family who wore head coverings. The thing about head coverings is they’re a visual reminder that you must have a position on what 1 Corinthians 11 is about. You are forced to deal with it if it’s in front of you all the time. Amanda (my wife) started researching the topic and then asked me to join her in wrestling through the various views. That lead to many weeks of studying to arrive at our own conviction, followed by many more months of studying to be able to properly defend this doctrine. Amanda started covering very early into our study and for about a year she covered full time (not just during worship). At the time we were attending a small Egalitarian church (though we weren’t ourselves) and Amanda was the only one who covered there. To this day we’ve never been a part of a church where covering was the majority and up until last year, she’s always been the only woman in church who covered.
In my studies, I was really disappointed to find a lack of quality material available on head covering. Many of the materials had an anti-intellectual bent or would promote various other practices that I didn’t believe were Scriptural. All of the teachers I greatly respected didn’t believe in head covering and I couldn’t find anyone seriously engaging their arguments. There wasn’t any one resource that I could point to and whole-heartily recommend. I wanted to change that.
My family left Manitoba after six short months and moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland. During that time, I began writing a defense of head covering with the purpose of having a booklet I could release for free. I figured if there wasn’t a resource available, I’d just write it myself. The booklet grew into a book and by the end of 2010 it was complete totaling just over a 100 pages. During the process I had my two pastors read it over as well as a handful of other Godly men for the purpose of critiquing it to make it better. I spent a lot of time in prayer but felt no peace about releasing it. I didn’t write the book to make a name for myself or to further my own purposes, but to teach on a neglected doctrine that I saw many ridiculing and dismissing too quickly. Since I wrote the book for God’s glory, if He didn’t want me to release it, I wouldn’t. I was comfortable keeping the book to myself. My family and I were getting ready to move again, (yes, we do have itchy feet) this time to Toronto, Ontario. I started a website a few months before we left called Gospel eBooks. Gospel eBooks is a site that alerts people to free & discount Christian e-books for the Amazon Kindle. I directed my focus to that site and put head covering on the back burner.
While we were living in Toronto (2011) I read a book by Jeff Goins entitled “You Are a Writer (so start acting like one)“. In it, he talked about a different way to publish that wasn’t about writing in seclusion for a few months and then emerging with a book (as I did). Rather he spoke about building a platform, branding and blogging–then publishing. This book resonated with me and I realized I had gone about my head covering book the wrong way. If I had my time back I would have started a blog first before writing the book.
As Gospel eBooks grew in popularity I learned another valuable lesson. The larger the site got, the more requests I received from self-published authors to have their book listed on my site. My job is to provide high-quality deals every day on books that people want to read. Many of the submissions I received were from authors I never heard of, with no experience, no education and no endorsements. I leaned heavily on these because I needed some outward indicators of inward content. If I can’t read your book, how do I know it’s going to good? How do I know you’re not a false teacher? As someone who wrote a book on a topic that’s highly debated with no endorsements, no platform, no publisher and no seminary training, why should anyone trust me? I know I’m not a false teacher, but you wouldn’t know that if you stumbled across my book. I then realized that I had written a book that I wouldn’t list on my own website, nor would I buy (if I wasn’t me). I had gone about it the wrong way.
At the end of 2012 we left Toronto and moved back to St. John’s, Newfoundland (this must be comical to you by now). Providentially my life circumstances changed to where I was no longer working a standard 9-5 job and had a lot of time to read, think, write and work on my e-business. I had learned some valuable lessons over the years and now had the time to properly publish my writings on a blog, if the Lord permitted. At the beginning of 2013 I had been praying again, asking God if the time was now. I wanted to move forward and for the first time I felt a sense of peace about it. This was huge as I had been sitting on a book that I wrote about three years earlier which almost no one had seen (or even knew I wrote). I could now share my passion with the world and shine the spotlight on a passage of Scripture that I didn’t believe was getting a fair shake. So I made plans to de-construct my book and start a website.
The Head Covering Movement
As I was thinking of names for the site, I knew I wanted to have “head covering” in the name. But head covering what? I crafted a mission/purpose statement of what I wanted the site to accomplish. The last goal was this: “To spark a viral movement of Christians who embrace & practice head coverings today.” “That’s it”, I thought, a head covering movement. I thought it was perfect because I didn’t want this to be about me. I didn’t want this to be Jeremy’s site, where Jeremy writes and does everything. I wanted to involve others and and shed light on what other people are doing to promote this teaching, even outside of this site. A movement isn’t about a person, it’s about an idea. A movement has a purpose of affecting change, and that’s what we want to do. I believe we can accomplish this and do so without having an “us vs. them” mentality. Are you with us?
Thanks for taking the time to hear my story.
- Is Head Covering Related to Spiritual Gifts? A Response to Barry York - July 5, 2023
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- Statement from Jeremy Gardiner: Leadership Transition - September 26, 2022