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Thursday, September 05, 2002

Edifier du jour-1 Corinthians 11:4-13(NASB)
4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
The answer is "Yes." In that era, it was shameful for a woman to have a shaved head. It isn't quite that bad today. While a literal shaved head on a woman would be very avant-garde and unwelcome in many churches, many people going through chemotherapy lose their hair. A woman without a hat would be in the same position as the woman without hair. Today, that stigma isn't as strong, thus the need to enforce that is much less. This is a tricky passage to cover. Our culture doesn't have quite the stigma of a hairless women. I'm left with two options; accept the status quo and carefully read scripture to see if I'm off base or take a reactionary stance, finding a church that demands women wear hats at church. The modern church, if a tight reading of this passage is used, is guilty of shaming women's heads, giving them shame before God like that of some punk teenager with a nose-ring and a shaven head. That might be true, but I don't think I'm ready to demand that Eileen wear a hat to church or recommend it to the women of New Hope Assembly or Warner Southern College. God still loves the punk girl and he'll still love the Women Without Hats. God may well correct me on this one, but our current non-enforcement of this rule seems healthier than dancing the safety dance of legalism.

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