Hey Ladies: R.C Sproul wants you to cover your head! (and he’s got a whole movement behind him)

Hey Ladies: R.C Sproul wants you to cover your head! (and he’s got a whole movement behind him) July 11, 2013

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The other night, a friend from our adoption small group posted a link on Facebook that practically gave my wife and I palpitations. The link was to the “Head Covering Movement”, which is a new Christian Fundamentalist movement attempting to stave off the movement of gender equality within Christianity.

Instead of sticking to traditional fundamentalist methods of persuasion by force and shaming within their own congregations, this movement is beginning to utilize the full-force of modern media with a relatively well-made website, Facebook account, twitter handle, and YouTube channel.

The “Head Covering Movement” (yes, it’s a real movement) is calling for all Christian women to return to the ancient practice of covering their heads during worship, calling this a “neglected doctrine”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be your ordinary rogue movement as they are able to boast of the theological support of popular teacher R.C Sproul on their front page. Sproul states:

“The wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century. What happened? Did we suddenly find some biblical truth to which the saints for thousands of years were blind? Or were our biblical views of women gradually eroded by the modern feminist movement that has infiltrated the Church…”

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Which is where we see what this is really about: a growing number of fundamentalists are concerned that perhaps, women are beginning to be accepted as somehow co-equal (some Trinitarian lingo for you) to men. Gender equality, especially gender equality in church, presents a threat to male dominated power and control… and well, we certainly can’t have that, can we?

Just think of the madness that would occur if we started letting women serve in roles commensurate with their calling, talents, and gifting. All hell would break loose. Before you know it they might even want to start having a voice in their home finances, have a career of their own, or actually teach adult Sunday School instead of being relegated to the nursery. There’s no telling what could happen.

Best way to swash the movement in some churches? Bring back archaic practices that re-enforce the notion that they are inferior to men, and remind them of their inferiority every time they step into church by forcing them to dress differently than the men.

Brilliant idea. Although, deeply, deeply broken (a subtle Steve McCoy reference).

Besides the obvious motivation to combat the impacts of gender equality, this movement is deeply flawed theologically- making some of the same critical mistakes so many people do when reading scripture. Here’s where they missed the boat:

First, the head covering movement presupposes that all of the Pauline letters were written as “open letters”, as if they were addressed:

“To All Christians: both now, and in generations to come, this letter is for you- a blanket decree for all cultures”

This, simply isn’t the case. All of the epistles in the New Testament were written by a specific author to a specific audience. The primary meaning of the text is what it meant to them. However, aspects of American culture which tell us “it’s all about me” have blended into our way of reading scripture in such a way that we approach the text as if it were written directly to us- in our time, in our culture. To read scripture in this way, misses the depth and beauty of it, and makes idolatrous use of the text by placing “me” at the center.

timthumbIf you read the text from an American mindset without doing any historical exegesis, you end up with crappy theology. Not just crappy theology, but crappy theology which subjugates women.

However, if we stop placing ourselves at the center of the text and dig a little deeper, we discover that this passage commanding head covering might have actually been practical and pro-woman in the original context.

While there are certainly scholars on opposite ends of the spectrum, I have found the most compelling historical exegesis to be the following:

The culture Paul was speaking into, hair and head coverings had massively different connotations than in our current culture almost 2,000 years later. In this culture, a woman’s hair was a sexual symbol with links to pagan beliefs on fertility. Covering one’s hair would have been seen as a sign of self-respect and modesty, as one was modestly covering a part of their body that had sexual connotations. Additionally, some scholars argue that the only women in this culture who didn’t cover their heads were prostitutes, or slaves.

 In light of historical and cultural considerations, we could conclude:

Head covering helped people focus in church on what mattered, instead of getting distracted- a theme Paul takes on several times in the NT and fits nicely within a proper understanding of Pauline theology. If hair really was a compelling sexual symbol, as some have argued it was, covering it in church would make as much sense as asking women not to show up to church today topless. In this regard, it becomes completely reasonable and practical- I would have a hard time paying attention in church if I looked across the room to see everyone topless. What appears to be a verse that subjugates women may be as simple as a rule that, 2,000 years ago, made having a corporate worship service practical without distractions.

Additionally, if not wearing a head covering was common among prostitutes, this verse becomes even more beautiful. Prostitutes, in all cultures, tend to be treated like subhuman, consumable products, instead of people. In that light, this verse becomes:

“Hey Ladies- you are wonderfully, and beautifully made. You are not a product, but a person. Please don’t even dress like a consumable product, because I don’t want anyone to treat you that way.”

This new movement, completely disregards any historical context to the Corinthians passage. As a result, this verse is being misapplied to a new cultural context in an abusive, demeaning way in an attempt to squash the modern gender-equality movement. All we need do is look to their own “testimonials” to see the type of mentality they are trying to create.

 Meet Melissa Walker, one of the movement’s happy converts.

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Unfortunately, by way of introduction, we see where the ethos of this movement is headed. Melissa’s self introduction is: “Hello, my name is Melissa. I am a help-meet to my wonderful husband Jason…”

Yes, her primary identity is “help-meet”. Other testimonials begin similar ways- their identity coming from their husbands and not their own selves.

I’m not knocking the idea of being a help-meet. My wife and I are partners in life, and I’m a help-meet to her, and she’s a help-meet to me. But I would be mortified if she were simply introduced as my “help-meet”, because she’s MORE than that. She’s a wonderful clinician, program manager, family manager, financial manager… she’s full of all kinds of wonderful qualities, abilities, and God-given gifting.

And, I’m sure Melissa is too. But we don’t see that from her introduction- because this movement is clearly aimed at beating back the tide of biblical gender-equality, and they’re willing to use whatever crappy theology will enable them to do it.

I’m sure my readers haven’t been duped by this new movement, but if you have- or know someone who has (please share this with them) as a reminder that:

You are wonderfully and beautifully made. You are nobody’s product, you are a person. You have unique talents, abilities, and God-given gifting– and I want you to go out there and use those talents and abilities to love the world.

Because that’s what Jesus would tell you.




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  • Normita

    Let me guess, that phrase that indicates that a woman should cover
    her hair was written by a man who had a hair fetish? Religion=brain wash

  • Alisha

    We cover because of the angels.It is a spiritual reason not culture.Satan hates it God loves it. As men and woman we are worth the same but we have different roles and authority given by God. Just like a parent. As a parent and child have the same worth but different authority. God gives authority for structure. Satan hates authority because he wanted to be in charge and rebelled against God. Woman and children should not desire authority that is not theirs.It leads to rebellion.

  • You say “submission is honouring your husband..” Husbands are told in the Bible to honor their wives – do you believe they should submit to wives like you do to your husband?
    You also say you follow the principles of submission. Does your husband follow the principles of submission too? According to that, all believers should submit to one another. You are a believer. Does he submit to you?

  • If women actually always covered their heads in church, why do the passage we are discussing say “we have no such custom, nor [do] the other churches”?

  • Laurie

    Actually Satan loves it when we add rules to follow and he especially loves it when we subjugate women to the level of that of a child. If you want to honor God in your marriage then you need an equal partnership where both of you respect each other. That is a Godly marriage!

  • Laurie

    Unfortunately a lot of churches interpret the covering idea to mean the husband is the “covering for the wife” which is also disrespectful to the wife. The Holy Spirit is my covering. I love my husband but he cannot do the covering job as well as the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit remains my covering.
    One other thing, when we elevate men to the status of God by giving them authority over women , calling them our covering, etc. there is one word for that IDOLATRY. Anything or anyone we put in the place of God is simply Idolatry!

  • Alisha, I’m intrigued that you used the parent-child relationship as a comparison to the relationship between men and women. And then you added that “women and children should not desire authority that is not theirs.” Are you putting yourself and other women in the same category as children?

    I am not a child. I am an intelligent, capable person. My husband is also an intelligent, capable person. Just how much structure or authority does a marriage of two capable people need?

  • Barb Orlowski

    Just saw this, Benjamin. Right on! This stuff is ridiculous! A novel way to keep the wimmin folk stifled in the 21st century. Thanks for showing what a fallacy this is!! It is far from being truly ‘Christian’ and truly ‘biblical’!

  • Kristen,

    So glad I’m not alone in placing this portion in the category of refuting error, not enforcing doctrine!

    Recently, I’d been led to reread the whole of First Corinthians and what came out clearest to me was to rightly divide this book while asking that very question. There are clues throughout, usually immediately before or after, but in the head covering case, both before AND after that help identify the correct category as error.

    Here are some excerpts from an article I wrote:

    A large part of Paul’s purpose in writing to this doctrinally divided and contentious church, was to confirm what were and what were not ‘the traditions just as I delivered them to you’ (11:2). Again 11:23 ‘I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that on the same night He was betrayed… In 14.37, ‘let him (the ‘spiritual’) acknowledge that the things I (emphasis on the ‘I’!) write to you are the commandments of the Lord’. Also 15:3 ‘For I delivered to you first of all that which I received: that Christ died for our sins… He also has the integrity to let them know when it was his own opinion (7:25) or if he thought the Spirit is saying it too (7:40)

    Are these verses to be included in ‘that which Paul received from Jesus, that he delivered to them’ – or not?

    The corollary to that question would therefore be: Are they truth or error? Are they part of the New Covenant or not? Are they to be obeyed or ignored?

    Is it possible that the verses, often dismissed as not an important part of the ‘doctrine’ that immediately precede or follow it, could actually BE precisely the key to understanding what is being said? For instance, before the discussion of head covering, is verse 2:’“Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you’. Then there comes a little, but immensely important word, ‘but’ to begin the discussion.

    Why ‘but’?

    Is it not there to CONTRAST what came before it with what came after?

    Commendation … or not?

    Remembering Paul in all things … or not?

    Keeping the traditions … or not?

    Traditions Paul gave to them … or did someone else?

    What follows can justifiably be viewed as Paul’s summary of things that had been reported to him that they were saying, (as in 1:12 and 15:12, etc), well more accurately, were arguing about – note he tells them in verse 16, not to be contentious.

    To my mind, a summary of this section (1 Cor 11:2-16) would sound something like:

    Well done for remembering the traditions I delivered to you, ‘BUT, I want you to know’ the following dispute comprising arguments that different parties have presented from whichever viewpoint, whether hierarchical, patriarchal, spiritual, natural, historical or cultural is over a custom that neither we (apostles) nor the churches of God have. So drop it! Paul, I feel, was simply giving them ‘wisdom from above..sown in peace by those who make peace.’ It is not possible to tell with which arguments, if any, did Paul sympathise!

    Therefore, I feel it is very unwise to use this single reference as something solid and reliable on which to hang major doctrines: Patriarchy and Hierarchy

    (I did go through the verses about angels, male supremacy and hair etc, but don’t feel it necessary to do so here. Also thanks. Kristen for pointing out the ‘man is the glory of God’ fallacy…. brilliantly covered….and I’d missed that one. So glad God has many voices to speak through!)

    Kristen, could you let me know the source of that – oh, so important – piece of information about translator interference? I had suspected it, but had had no proof! Just as I suspect the translators missed the question marks off the end of 14:34 and 14:35, which are so blatantly obvious as sarcastic rebuttals of the talmudic ‘law’ of synagogue practice! (I found thirteen reasons to categorize this one as error!)

    I’m not being adamant about any of this, but just offer it to all of you for your consideration. :-)

  • My point exactly, as noted in a longer post on reply to Kirsten, above.

    By the way are you the same Retha that commented on Spiritual Sounding Board to me


    FEBRUARY 16, 2014 @ 6:19 AM

    Alison: Yes, find your voice! Keep talking.

    That is why I love the Internet: In blogging, I found my voice.”

    If so, thank you so much, my sister

  • It’s a pleasure. And I am. I really appreciate your “thank you” – 48hours ago I was really discourage, and you are one of several people to encourage me since.

  • “Hello, my name is Melissa. I am a help-meet to my wonderful husband Jason…” (Quoted from the article above, derived from Gen. 2:18)

    My answer:
    Hello. My name is Retha. I am an image bearer of God, blessed and created to have dominion. (Derived from Genesis 1:26-28)

  • Henry Wall

    You said: “First, the head covering movement presupposes that all of the Pauline letters were written as “open letters”, as if they were addressed:
    “To All Christians: both now, and in generations to come, this letter is for you- a blanket decree for all cultures”
    This, simply isn’t the case. All of the epistles in the New Testament were written by a specific author to a specific audience.”

    But Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:1-3 “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
    2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, WITH ALL THAT IN EVERY PLACE CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, both theirs and ours:

    3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

  • Henry Wall

    “In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul appeals to the creation order, nature’s witness and angels, all which transcend culture. He tells us that head covering is a part of official apostolic teaching (v.2) and is the practice of all churches, everywhere (v.16). So that means a local situation in Corinth cannot explain head covering since it was the standard practice outside of Corinth as well. Earlier in Paul’s letter when he had a command that was due to the situation at the time, he mentioned it. He recommended not to marry “in view of the present distress” (1 Cor 7:26). Paul could have done the same with head coverings, but he didn’t because what was happening at the time wasn’t the reason for the command. Additionally, the fact that he commands men to remove their coverings (v.4) in the same sentence cannot be explained by a situation that deals only with women.” – Jeremy Gardiner

  • Lamont Cranston

    You are an idolator and will burn in hell.

  • MM Johann

    You say that if a woman don’t understand submitting to men in the body of Christ, they don’t submit to Jesus at all. If so, then where is the principle of women (in general) submitting to men (in general) found in scripture? It is not there. There is nothing a female church member is obliged, in the scriptures, to do in submission to other church members that men are not. If you disagree, give chapter and verse for your counterargument.

    “Men are never asked to submit in obedience to their wives” – that is like saying that a certain group in church – say wives – don’t have to show love because it is never spelled out that they should love husbands (older women are told one place to teach younger ones about loving husbands, but wives are not directly asked to love.)

    All believers are asked to submit to one another, just like all are asked to love. That goes for wives and husbands too. As for submitting “in obedience”, the KJV translate the exact same word that is “submit” in “Eph. 5:21 – all believers should mutually submit to one another” with “obey” as a non-command (older women should teach younger ones about it, wives are not told to do it) elsewhere. Other translations rightly use the same word: “submit.” Which means wives are not asked to do something other believers are not asked.

    Women are not prohibited by God from having authority over men. If you are serious about the Bible, you would be willing to learn that the text you think of, as in the original Greek, mean something like:
    “I, Paul, am not currently allowing a certain woman to teach or [word used in Greek for murder/ sexual violence/ seduction/ cutting of a man’s manhood/ usurping authority that is not yours/ teaching that a woman(female goddess) made man].”
    Not anything like:
    “I, God, will never allow any woman to teach or have authority.”

    If you care about whether what you follow is God or traditional understanding, go and look up what the “I do not allow a woman to teach …” verse mean, in context, before using it again.

  • MM Johann

    The true church will not bend teachings to ancient eroded culture like patriarchy either.

  • MM Johann

    You do know that a weaker vessel (container) means a weaker body with the same great gift inside? And that this honoring probably mean that we should respect, nurture and learn from the spiritual gifts of women? http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/how-do-you-treat-a-weaker-vessel-with-honor/

    And that an unwillingness to learn from half of humanity (the female half) can never be compatible with the humility that the Holy Spirit is working in us? And that the Bible writes that all should prophesy in the meetings of believers, and that everyone has a (speaking) gift to bring to the meeting?

  • MM Johann

    Head coverings were not “almost universal.” I can show clothing from many cultures and eras, and little of it has head coverings. And Paul himself say “we have no such custom [as head coverings], neither the [other] churches.” from which I conclude it was not universal in his time either.
    After a self-contradictory passage, (probably showing many arguments) the command in the passage is: Decide for yourself [about head coverings].

  • MM Johann

    No, I studied the Bible seriously regarding to the word “head”. (“Headship” is not in the Bible, “head” is.) Do not assume that people who disagree with you don’t care about the Bible.

    Feminist, dictionary meaning:

    1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

    God is just, and God shows no favoritism.

    Most creeds on the place of men and women in the church gives at least lip service to the feminist principle of gender equality:

    The tenets of Biblical Patriarchy: 2. Both man and woman are made in God’s image (their human characteristics enable them to reflect His character) and they are both called to exercise dominion over the earth. They share an equal worth as persons before God in creation and redemption. *
    The Danvers Statement: 1. Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons…

    If you are not a feminist, in which ways do you want the genders to be politically, economically and socially unequal? And how does your view square with justice and not showing favoritism?

  • MM Johann

    You think I am a woman?
    And you think that God ranks apostles above prophets, and prophets above other ministers?
    And no, if you don’t read it in Greek or know Greek culture, you did not read the context.

  • MM Johann

    Paul is not a madman if you or I don’t understand him. Have you ever tried to make sense of the first half of the book Romans?

  • You do realize that both God the father and Jesus use feminine imagery for themselves and that the Holy Spirit uses feminine pronouns in Greek, correct?

  • MM Johann

    Women are not created in the image of God?


    I won’t give you any more scripture to twist. Jesus did not give scripture to pharisees. He said things like:

    23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    If you are so blind as to not care about justice and mercy for half of humanity and then say it is because of how you understand the Bible, your hard heart makes even the Bible a problem in your hands.

  • MM Johann

    Normally, people won’t have to apologize for calling someone a woman online, any more than you have to apologize for assuming someone is of Irish descend while he is actually Scottish. A woman is not less than a man, or an Irishman than a Scot. In your case, your attitude towards woman makes the difference.

  • Robert Mark Wade

    Ephesians 5:21 Paul is speaking to the church families and this verse is a transitional phrase, because chapter and verse numbering were added by us later to make studying easier. The verse states, “”submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Then he goea into the family structure. The issue is the word submit and its meaning. The word is the same word Paul uses in Romans 12:1-2, and means a total commitment. When we submit to God we are to make a total commitment to Him. We are to submit to one another and make that total commitment to our partner. It has nothing to do with subjagation but a commitment to each other. If you go around making decisions without looking to your wife for her input, she won’t be there for long.

  • Kristen Dugas

    Hi Alison,
    Thank you for your response. I just now saw it. I don’t know why I didn’t give my website. I usually do. My website is http://www.womanthegloryofman.com. Alison, please go to my website as I have a more in depth explanation of this passage and also of the other passages regarding women. As for the source of the translator interference, it was mainly that when I looked at the Greek for myself, I noticed that certain words that the translators added were not there. For example, in verse 14 the word “does” is not in the original Greek. The translators are trying to make it sound as if Paul is asking a rhetorical question and is saying that men should have short hair and women long hair. However, Paul is not saying this at all. Rather, Paul is making a statement and is saying that nature does not teach us that if a man has long hair it is a dishonor to him but if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her because the long hair has been given (to us all) instead of a covering. (Note: As I have stated on my website, the dative pronoun “aute” (to her) is not in the majority of Greek manuscripts which tells me it is not original to Paul but has been added.) But the translators had to add this word since they are trying to make it sound as though it is a disgrace for a man to have long hair. After all, why would God give a man long hair if it was a disgrace to him? However, as Paul says, God has allowed men to have long hair through nature, therefore, it is not a disgrace for men to have long hair. Likewise, nature does not teach us that if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her (as many women have frizzy, limp, unmanageable hair), therefore, women are allowed to cut off their hair if they wish. So it is clear to me that Paul is refuting their words.
    So Alison, I am so glad that you responded. I would love it if you would contact me on my website and we could talk further. As you will see on my website, I also believe that verses 34-35 of 1 Corinthians 14 are a quote of a faction of men who wrote Paul as you do. And I am so thrilled to see that you agree that Jesus Christ is the image and glory of God. Take care and God bless.

  • Kristen Dugas

    Sorry Leo, the word “does” in verse 14 is not in the original Greek and has been added by the translators. If you read the original Greek Paul says 14″Not even nature itself teaches you that if a man has long hair it is a dishonor to him…” Paul is saying that it is okay for men to grow long hair (e.g. – Samson & Samuel) because God, who created and controls nature, has allowed men to grow long hair. Likewise, in verse 15 Paul is saying that not even nature itself teaches you that if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her. In other words, Paul is saying that many women have unmanageable hair, frizzy, etc. (hair that is not their glory) and that it is okay for them to cut it off. Also, the reason why Paul makes this argument is because he is refuting the words of a faction of men who wrote him. You will find their words in verses 4-6. (Notice they have made a “literal” head argument.) So this passage consists of three parts. Verse 3 is Paul’s model, verses 4-6 Paul is quoting a faction of men who wrote him and verses 7-16 is Paul’s rebuttal where he refers back to his model. You should also know that Jesus Christ (not man) is the image and glory of God. (See 2 Cor. 4: 3-4, Col. 1: 15, Heb. 1: 3, Rev. 21: 23.) In verse 7, Paul is referring to a man’s figurative head, Jesus Christ, and is using Jesus Christ as a correlation as to why women should not be veiled. If you would like to see a more in depth explanation of this passage you can visit my website at http://www.womanthegloryofman.com

  • The Textus Receptus is probably the worst place to check the original Greek.

  • Kristen Dugas

    What is the Greek word that is listed in the Textus Receptus Leo? I am looking at the Greek now and I do not see the word “does”. The first word of verse 14 is “oude” (not, not even). It says, “Not even the nature itself teaches you…”

  • Kristen Dugas

    My copy of the Greek does not show the word “eta” before the word “oude”. But the fact of the matter is that the Bible very clearly tells us that Jesus Christ is the image and glory of God. Therefore, I believe that Paul is referring to a man’s figurative head, Christ, in verse 7 and is using Jesus Christ as a correlation as to why women should not be veiled. I’m sorry if don’t like that I acknowledge Jesus Christ as the image and glory of God as the Bible says, Leo, but that is something you, and any man who thinks he is the image and glory of God, will have to deal with.

  • Kristen Dugas

    Leo – I just wanted to let you know that I did look at the link you gave which showed all 357 uses of the particle eta. I even took the time to scroll down and look at how this letter was translated in all 357 of its uses and found that it is overwhelmingly translated as “or”. In fact, the ONLY time I saw that it was translated as “does” is in 1 Corinthians 11:14 which completely shows translator bias. The translation of eta as “does” completely changes what Paul is saying. However, if eta is translated with its most common meaning in verse 14, Paul would be saying “Or not even nature itself teaches you…” which would mean that Paul is saying that nature does not teach us that if a man has long hair it is a dishonor to him but if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her…” Again, this would make sense since God has created nature. Anyway Leo, I can see that your mind is made up. It is clear that we disagree on the context and translation of the text. Thank you also for engaging in this conversation. I wish you well. God bless.

  • Henry Wall


  • Andrew Duncanson

    I would consider your view more valid if Paul had not given a clear reasons (that’s plural) in 1 Corinthians 11. I can see that you have also disregarded the reasons Paul gave when instructing women not to teach or exercise authority over men in 1 Timothy 2.

    If anyone reading this thinks that my hermeunutics are completely askew, please take a moment or two to ruminate on this verse:

    ‘But this is the one on whom I will look:
    he who is humble and contrite in spirit
    and trembles at my word.’ (Isaiah 66:2, ESV)

  • yael58

    Where does it say in Scripture that women are lower in men? And where in nature are they weaker? And what is meant by weaker? Do you think women are more prone to deception than men are? When and where does Jesus Himself ever say women are lower than men?

  • A disgusting abuse of scripture.

  • Noah

    Weird position to take, considering most artistic versions of Christ have him with long hair.

  • Noah

    Jesus’s interactions with women, even prostitutes, seem to make women pretty equal.

    I’m not naive enough to think this post will change your mind, but give it a peak if you consider yourself open minded:


  • Noah

    God chose to reveal that Christ was risen – to women. That’s how the church started.

    Man appoints men (and women) to lead the church. I lean towards complementarianism, but I’m open to the woman doing the leading (in both public and private).

    The sheer number of female leaders in the world points against you’re thinking. I hope you don’t support any businesses that have women leading men. No?

  • Noah

    The reasoning behind your statement that we don’t do what the world does, is basically the same reasoning that Christians used to promote slavery.

    You’re ignoring the culture and context of the NT setting. Generally speaking, women didn’t have leadership roles. It isn’t 70 AD anymore.

    The lack of female leadership is what existed then. Scripture does not forbid female leadership. A letter to the specific Corinthian church in the first century won’t be the same to us as it was for them.

    There seems to be nothing in Jesus’s -teachings- that goes against female leadership. I’d argue he’s way more in favor of equality. Considering how many women he interacted with and had them elevated over or on the same level as men.

    More to the point, upwards of 10 women were prophets. In both the OT and NT. Many of them married.

  • Noah

    It wasn’t to all Christians. It was to the Corinthians. It’s why Paul didn’t send it to other churches. Context and history. You’re ignoring them.

    Female prophets – who were married. God chose them above their male partner.

    This is from Ephesians and was meant for them. However, the context has changed:

    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.”

  • Noah

    Yes. Deborah. She was a prophet, judge and military leader. Her husband is not recorded as being a prophet, judge or military leader. In fact, nothing is recorded about him, as far as I can see.

    “At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel”

    Israel – all of it. I don’t see how this scripture can be twisted to show she isn’t leading men.

    “6 She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. 7 I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.’” 8 Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 And she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lordwill sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.””

  • Noah

    You asked for one, and you got it. God put her in charge of men, even as a married woman. There’s other examples I imagine.

    I’m done though, because you’re still ignoring the context of the letters and scripture. Imo.

  • If Paul actually gave out a whole teaching on the matter, it may be crazy to then say, “nevermind.”


    (a)I don’t believe it was a teaching. It is too self-contradictory (E.g. Is long hair a covering for women as in vs. 15-16, or does she need more of a covering than that, according to vs. 5-6? Or can she decide for herself? – vs. 13), contradicting the rest of the Bible (E.g. Gen. 1:26-27 says that women are made in the image of God and Ps. 8:5 and 2 Cor. 3:18 says that all believers have God’s glory, but 1 Cor 11:7 says that she is the glory of man), and contradicting common sense (nature does not teach us that long hair on a man is bad, and many Bible men had long hair – vs. 14).

    I believe he quoted the contention by stating all sides that were argued by the contentious.

    (b) Saying who should make the decision is not the same as saying “nevermind.” He said women have authority over their own heads, and should decide for themselves.

    After stating all sides in a matter of contention, he solve it by giving women personal autonomy in this matter.: “Decide for yourself” and “power over her (own) head” (It is horrible translation how some translations mangle the Greek for “power over her head” into “a sign of the husband’s power over her head”)

  • erin

    Hi, I would recommend reading the scripture and what it says on the head covering issue. This is not Sprouls idea, it comes from the scripture. I’ve always wondered about it myself. There is no problem being a help mate to a man that is to be like Christ. That man is called to lay down his life for his wife. The problem is our society, and that men and women are not following Gods word.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s pretty clear from Benjamin’s writing, here and elsewhere in this blog, that he has read the scripture. In the above passage, he refers to the assumption made that the Pauline letters (the source of the directive to cover hair) were “open” and intended for all Christians in all cultures.

    Then he goes on to say “All of the epistles in the New Testament were written by a specific author to a specific audience. The primary meaning of the text is what it meant to them.”

    Additionally, he doesn’t say it was Sproul’s idea, just that he is pushing this ancient cultural practice to return to common usage.

  • DrewTwoFish

    I would recommend looking at the bible critically.

    When the bible is asking us to be misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, and cool with slavery, well then maybe it’s time to rethink a slavish adherence to every syllable. I’d suggest taking a further step back and asking why one believes that the bible, in its entirety, is the word of god other than just “because” or “tradition.” After all, this isn’t just an academic exercise. People’s well being and lives are at stake.

  • BrinKennedy

    You did belittle women when you said we are weaker, physically and mentally, than men. I would like to see your science and/or Biblical reasoning for such a rude comment.

    Also, you take Paul’s words as gospel, when he is a mere man, not God Himself. Just because Paul doesn’t permit women to do certain things, doesn’t mean God is of the same mind.

  • BrinKennedy

    I would condemn a church that holds the writings of Paul over the teachings of Christ.

  • BrinKennedy

    Common sense? You really think that you can claim common sense? And I don’t see your scientific citation.

    You are twisting the Bible to fit your misogynistic views and it’s disgusting.

    Also, to say that “God is of the same mind as Paul…” is literally putting Paul above God (shouldn’t Paul be of the same mind as God? Not that any mere man could ever truly know the mind of God). Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue (keyboard?), but I think it reflects your true view of the two.

    I am encouraged – that I don’t know you in real life and have the freedom to live my life and experience a relationship with God on my terms, not yours.

    Good riddance – I won’t be replying to anything more.

  • Herm

    I truly hurt for according to your fruits you clearly do not know the inerrant Word through the Holy Spirit in your heart and mind. The Bible is of this Earth pointing to the eternal Truth and love in Heaven. The true Gospel is that God is immediately available so that the teachers of the Hebrew Bible law no longer have an ignorant excuse of misinterpretation for crucifying the Son of Man/Son of God in the name of God. I am sorry you don’t understand. I love your sacrificial passion in the name of the god of your human traditions but not your hateful ignorance of the true Spirit of God.

  • Dave Gilmour

    Jeez…2-time this…doctor of that… Man, I’m impressed. You must be right!

    Reading the article as well as these comments was as frustrating as many of the years I spent in church…everyone disagreeing and picking their favorite verses (and version of course!) to prove that they and their group (until they change groups!) are right! What a joke. The dogmatism is just laughable…

  • jjw

    Aw, come on, no unsubstantiated poke at RC Sproul, like you took at John MacArthur? You’re slipping, Benny.

  • MJ

    Oh, suddenly I’m not feminist enough if I choose to cover my hair. Please.

  • Rhiannon Mueller

    Head covering movement first makes it sound like it is something new in Christiantity. Of 2 billion Christians, 1 billion are Catholic, 3 hundred million are Orthodox, and 7 hundred million are… well, many. All three of the above groups have and continue to practice head covering long before the the Head Covering Movement came around and we and they will continue it long after it is gone. Funny, I covered as an Anglican and now as a Catholic woman and this Head Covering Movement ignores both groups as well as Orthodox.

    But equality schmequality. We cover because we are told to by Scripture, because we are led to by the Spirit, because we are at our Church for God’s glory and not our own, and because Angels are watching, because of our reverence for Christ and our respect for his mother, out of respect for tradition – any number of personal reasons. All of the personal and all of the valid to us who cover.

  • This post saddens me so much. You talk of women having careers, etc. and it’s already happening. Don’t get me wrong–I’m so glad for the strides our society has made toward equality. But it feels like women haven’t gained freedom–just a different box to fit into. There is no more respect or value–we are still being told what we are allowed to do in order to be a “good” woman, it’s just a different set of rules now. And they aren’t always Biblical.

    I know you were being sarcastic in mentioning “what would happen if…”, but the truth is this is our reality and we know exactly what could, would, and DID happen. The family unit has fallen apart without women willing to use their talents to bring up the next generation instead of seeking personal fame, financial gain, and glory. Families have suffered. And it’s heartbreaking. Look back and our country’s moral decline and so many other problems took a sharp downward spiral when women left the home and started having careers instead. Why? Because we have lots of careers, but no mothers. Being a mother is a high calling.

    We have too many women fighting to prove they can do what men do, that we have too few willing to live out their calling as mothers! Biblically, women hold an esteemed role in the home and family. It’s not that they are lesser–They are irreplaceable! If you truly value women, then allow them to live out their femininity and separate calling rather than encouraging them to forsake their feminine identities for something more masculine. That is how women feel not good enough–because men and society belittle their calling in the family and tell them they should do other things instead.

    We cannot simply dismiss anything in the Bible that we don’t understand or don’t like and say “it’s a different culture now.” There is absolutely nothing BIblical about our current culture. We cannot allow ourselves to be compromised by the wicked culture that surrounds us. That is exactly what happened to the Isrealites when they reached the promised land and intermingled with the Canaanites. They adopted their culture and forgot their God, and it seems modern day Christians are doing that same thing. We can’t let ourselves be driven by culture instead of the Word.

    About Melissa, she wrote so much more about herself–you are the one who chose to ridicule her and put her into a tiny box based on the first thing she said. Are you saying that when your wife introduces herself she wouldn’t mention that she has a husband? If so, I think that’s a bit odd. And “Help-meet” is a Biblical term. There is no need to have a problem with that.

    Finally, I’m shocked that you would presume to speak for Jesus, especially when you are encouraging women to deny their God-given calling and chase careers instead.

    You end with the note that these women need to be enlightened, “You are wonderfully and beautifully made. You are nobody’s product, you are a person. You have unique talents, abilities, and God-given gifting– and I want you to go out there and use those talents and abilities to love the world.”

    Some women feel that what the Lord desires is that they use their talents, abilities and gifting to serve not only the world, but first their homes–husbands, children. Raising up a new generation of children to serve the Lord is not something to be taken lightly. You claim to value women, but what you really mean is the right kind of women–career driven, feminist, etc. It is not your choice what women are called to do.

    So I would challenge you to value and respect ALL women. Even those who choose to follow what they see as a Biblical model and calling of serving their families first and foremost.

  • That is a rhetorical question, which Paul often makes use of.

  • Victoria Miller

    Great post Crystal!

  • Bones

    My wife stays at home not because she HAS to but because she WANTS to.

    You’ve totally missed the point.

    And the biggest threat to the family unit – low income…..

    But you won’t hear conservatives go on about that.

    If the US is so wicked you can always move…..to Canada or Australia or if they’re too liberal (I doubt you’d like it here) maybe somewhere in Africa or the Middle East where women are treated like property.

    “So I would challenge you to value and respect ALL women.”

    As far as I know Ben does.

    What’s clear from your post is you don’t and continue to heap guilt on women who work.or don’t satisfy YOUR ideal.

    Ultimately that type of thinking is dangerous as women live in abusive relationships they can’t get out of because the Bible says.

  • Bones

    There is so much wrong here.

    Not only is Paul writing to a particular church, he is writing at a particular time and giving his opinion about a particular local topic.

    Or are you saying that Paul’s advice for runaway slaves to go back to their masters eg Philemon should be followed universally.

    Oh and indigenous cultures didn’t have head coverings for women.

    The aboriginal peoples have been around since waaaaaaaaay before Abraham (50 000+years ago) and not a single head covering.

    Honestly the whole idea is pretty stupid when you stop and think about it and leads to appalling theology.

    But we can see Paul equates guys praying while wearing hats and having long hair, women praying while not wearing a hat and homosexuals all in the same boat.

    That tells me more about Paul than anything……

    That’s why I follow Jesus……..and not Paul.

  • Bones

    “Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”

    Answer – Yes, of course i is.

    “14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her?””

    Answer: No it doesn’t.

    See, it’s easy.

    Paul is not Jesus.

  • Bones

    You can keep repeating it but that doesn’t make it correct.

    The simple fact is Paul was writing about a specific issue in the Corinthian church which has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else.

    As for head coverings, so what if the Jews wore them. So did Muslims. And as I pointed out your comment about other cultures is complete nonsense.

    It’d be handy if you people actually think about the Bible instead of parroting nonsense.

    As I said, it leads to appalling theology.

    I feel sorry for the females in your family.

  • Bones

    It’s as cultural as wearing a hijab in Iran. All Paul has done is give some sort of ludicrous theological meaning to a practice already in existence. The same way that Muslims give theological significance to wearing a hijab.

    We’ve seen the destruction this headship nonsense has caused.

    Paul writes
    “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. ”

    That’s complete and utter nonsense. Women are the image and glory of God as well.

    So is his comment about men with long hair, which by the way is natural…..like hello……if you don’t cut your hair guys, it grows naturally……

    All of it is totally cultural and has nothing whatsoever to do with Christians today…..

    Unless you want to wear a hat……or not…..or grow your hair long…….

  • You clearly didn’t even read my response as I addressed many of your concerns very clearly in my comment. This isn’t a productive discussion.

    Ben had no respect at all for Melissa, who he referenced in a very mocking and disparaging way in this post. And not just her, but all the other women like her. We are deserving of respect as we are, and not just when we decide to have a career outside the home. My intent is NOT to heap guilt on women who work outside the home. i said in my original response that I’m glad they have that option–whether from necessity or desire. My point is that we shouldn’t judge the other side either. If you truly respect and value women, allow them to choose and respect that choice either way. That is what is missing here.

    PS–I know all about low income, having grown up in extreme poverty. That is not the biggest threat to the family unit. Parents being parents can overcome the effects of poverty.

    I have also been in an abusive relationship and I highly resent that your false accusations against me on that subject. I never said or implied that a woman should remain in an abusive relationship. This is NOT about abuse. It’s about valuing women even if they don’t live up to your liberal standard.

  • Thank you. I knew it probably wouldn’t be very popular or well received, but felt I needed to say it anyway.

  • Bones

    My mother worked to supplement my father’s very low wage. Otherwise we wouldn’t eat.

    Providing nourishment, shelter and security is the responsibility of a parent.

    You most certainly do heap guilt on working women by claiming that they are responsible for the family unit ‘falling away’ and that their motives are selfish.

    That is quite despicable for women who work to provide for their family or who seek a career in their own right.

    And comparing them with the Canaanites. Like wtf? Because women work?

    Complete and abject nonsense.

    Like that’s not judging!!!!!

    So get off your high horse and stop speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

    And yes your type of theology is quite detrimental to women and leads them to accepting years of abuse, no matter how you try to butter it up.

    (Including some interesting allegations of abuse by none other than RC Sproul Jr)

  • I did NOT say that women who work are like the Canaanites! I said our American society is like that, and if you read the story (or reread it), you can see the correlations so clearly. Our American society is not a Christian one. And so many churches are adapting to the society that is not a Godly one, which is what happened with the Israelites and the Canaanites.

    I said women who seek personal fortune, fame, and glory through careers rather than serving their family…which is a different situation than you describe. This is not a gender thing. I could say the same thing for MEN who do this. My whole point is that we should not downplay the role of raising up a family. It’s important. And a woman who chooses to make her family her focus is JUST as valuable as a women who chooses to make a career outside the home.

    Please stop being rude. I have been respectful toward you, but you have been very rude and attacking toward me and there is no call for that. No, I do not promote abuse, and women caring for their families does not, in and of itself, lead to abuse. Also–there are plenty of career women, and non-Christian women who find themselves in abusive situations. It is not just a “certain kind of woman” who gets abused. That is a common misconception that causes a lot of problems.

  • Bones

    If the US is Canaan then Australia is the Land of Milk and Honey.

    Honestly where do you people get off.

    I take it the US was a much better country when it was killing Injuns, segregating blacks and killing each other over slavery and torturing homosexuals……….in Jesus’s Mighty Name of course…..

    You attributed the moral decline of the US with working women……!!!!!!! These are your words.

    “Look back and our country’s moral decline and so many other problems took a sharp downward spiral when women left the home and started having careers instead.”

    Is it working women? or the gays? or the blacks?

    It’s gotta be someoné’s fault because the US used to be so pure.

  • Bones


  • You win. It’s pointless to try and have a conversation with a bully. I have been trying patiently to explain what I was trying to say, but you insist upon falsely accusing me with your responses growing increasingly rude and attacking toward me (and increasingly off topic as you accuse me of saying things I did not say.) It’s a common logical fallacy to accuse people of saying something different and bring in other unrelated topics when you can’t respond to what they are actually say.

    So, I’m finished here. You’ve officially bullied me into silence. Congratulations. I’m not sure where the love of Christ fits into the way you’re treating me, but I guess that since I’m more conservative I don’t really count anyway, right?

  • Thank you Eva.

  • Thank you.

  • By all means continue

  • Excellent

  • Don’t say that dear Eva

  • Yes Eva

  • :-))

  • Bones

    Look the Renta crowd is here.

    Her argument is completely fallacious and demeaning to women.

  • Bones

    A bully hey.

    You’re the one blaming the so-called moral decline on women.

    I understand that this is some sort of meme amongst US conservatives but no the world wasn’t much better in the 1800s.

  • Bones

    Not if you’re a working woman apparently.

    The source of moral decline.

  • Victoria Miller

    I agree with you.

  • Victoria Miller

    Benita, what’s it like to wear a kapp? I’m curious.

  • F. Bulli

    my goodness- he is NOT threatening women who choose to serve their families — and is certainly speaking for jesus in the quote he puts at the end! it is NOT an either-or proposition, yes the movement toward recognizing (it is just that– it is truth) the full humanity and rights of women has gone too far at times toward being suspicious and even at times denying the mothering and nurturing power of women, and that is yet another form of sexism and it is wonderful that you see and speak against that! but i wonder if you speaking about “dismissing’ things in the bible means you don’t understand that it is also a historical document in the sense that we don’t follow what paul told slaves to do– submit to their masters– we odn’t encourage and even oblige african american desendents of slaves to GO BACK to pre-civil rights– why not? read all of paul– and read how he tells man and woman to submit to each other in christ– and see that none of this is coming out of the mouth of jesus who brings us the new covenant- and see how paul says things like women are not made in god’s image (yet, in genesis, they clearly are, male and female) but in man’s (based on the adam’s rib creation story) and THIS is his reasoning for telling women to cover their heads.. does that not give you pause to think? and reconsider that these in fact were letters which in some ways imrpoved and corrected injsutices to women (raising them from their slave status in roman culture to at least have marriages where the man was instructed to sacrifice, give, and love her AS HIMSELF as christ does the church)? that would have been radical for the time, when women were property with no human or political rights. and a great stride toward the recognition of the equal humanity of women. going back with literal, fundamentalist, a-historical readings of scriptures like these, and also pretending to adopt them at face-value while ignoring huge other chunks of them, and applying principles only to women and leaving men untouched: i don’t think that serves men and only partially serves women.. but it still fails to adopt, emphasize, and see the mutual submission and the mutual godliness of man and women.

  • F. Bulli

    i just want to say thank you so much. this post unburdens my heart, gives me fuel for burning the injustice out of literal, fundamentalist application of scripture, and understanding context, context, context. and hating paul a little less for ever having given fuel for massive sexism and fear of women’s liberation up into the 21st century for so many.

  • F. Bulli

    you trust that is a reasonable statement?” physically and mentally weaker” ? physically designed to do things a male body cannot do- therefore sometimes (depending on the man or woman) weaker at some muscular tasks– and mentallyu? do not even go there. not to mention emotionally- the over-use of subjstances, addictions, depression, violence, anger, all expressed by men who follow the ego and not the heart, all the while thinking that is ‘strong’ when women’s empathy, emotional expressiveness, strength in vulnerability- are more honest and also more godly.
    so i’m wondering…what planet do you live on– have you had no relationship with a woman– a sister? mother? partner? so you do not recognize her spiritual emotional gifts and example? what about jesus’? because his behaviors looked most like theirs, and least like that of a wordly man.

    and you are being honest with yourself looking at the world and even yourself in a mirror and saying that men, males, are not the most prone to violence, abuse of those who are weaker (physically), ego-driven, dominating, and power-thirsty? more than women across all centuries, all cultures, and here in your statement. a bold-faced lie you make with no apparent awareness– and all of this i can say without any need to add what is even more obvious– the example, the “femininity” of jesus himself– the most powerful example of humble, submissive, kind, empathic (he cried even though he was going to resurrect lazarus), non-esclusionary of women, example of maleness…

  • F. Bulli

    you belie your own misogyny, arrogance, and ungodly approach when you use ‘feminized’ as a dirty word! we are NOT opposites, and you have a LOT to learn from the ‘feminized’ jesus in his lived, loved example. paul was not jesus. and paul said some incredibly un-orthodox things (slaves submit to masters, women to men, women not made in image of god, women redeemed in childbirth) that i think are quite easily proven to be unchristian.

  • F. Bulli

    look at the science of empathy, communication skills, verbal reasoning, and see what the science has to say about the mental superiority of women. there is not one type of intelligence, nor one type of strength. and there are not two “opposite” humans- one is not above the other, even paul said this.

  • yael58

    Leo should just convert to Mormonism or Islam and be done with it. His “theology” is far more in keeping with those cultish ideologies than it is with the gospel.

  • yael58

    The land of Israel knew peace for 40 years under Deborah’s leadership.
    Really, your entire “theology” smacks of male privilege and male entitlement.

  • yael58

    You betray your own arrogance, sense of entitlement and condescension to women by comparing men to adults and women to children. You make both Jesus and the gospel quaint and irrelevant at best, and disgustingly misogynistic and patronizing at worst.
    Then again, nothing expresses the love Jesus has for women like men as yourself who run the church and the world and defend a hermeneutic which says it is men who ought to be running the church and the world.
    I could so easily prove what unbiblical drivel your beliefs are about men and women, but it would be a complete waste of my time. After all, I’m not the jackass whisperer.

  • Bones

    “Women are physically and mentally weaker than men. I trust that is a reasonable statement.”

    Yes, this post is demeaning women.

    No way you’d be able to pass a coconut through your arse.

  • Bones


    Your post is complete nonsense.

  • Bones

    Which RC Sproul are we talking about?

    The old misogynist or the one who likes to smack his wife around?

  • Bones

    Lol….someone’s on a power trip.

    Must terrify you when women are in government.

  • Bones

    Women can’t teach because they are weaker than men????

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard from fundies. ….and there’s plenty of competition for that.

  • yael58

    “I’m not the jackass whisperer. I’m not the jackass whisperer.”

  • Matthew

    I think that´s the point. There just is simply no common ground here. The fundamentalists say it´s for all cultures and times, the progressives say it´s not.

    Why do we even try???

    Hey look … personally I agree with Benjamin here, but if a woman makes a free choice to live her life in accordance with what she thinks the Bible says about women … so be it … no?


  • Jeff Preuss

    So be it? Sure! If a woman makes the choice to follow that guideline in her expression of what she thinks is required of her as a Christian, all the more power to her. I guess I just take issue when others (usually, but not always, fundamentalists) attempt to dictate their interpretation of which personal rules are important in the Bible to other people, and insist they follow them.

    I think it’s important and crucial as believers to discuss and debate how to apply Biblical guidelines to our interactions with each other and with people outside the faith, but when it comes down to things that are about how one lives one’s own life…well, I think that is better left up to the individual believer.

    [EDIT to correct some horrendous spelling.]

  • Matthew

    So … does this mean all commands, moral codes, etc. that we find in the Epistles don’t apply to the believing community today?

  • Matthew

    Why are MM Johann’s interpretations wrong and yours are “what the Bible says”? This is a major problem I have with fundamentalists.

  • Bones

    I’ve already pulled apart your posts and your dishonest use of scripture to push a teaching which is ultimately dangerous.

    We have seen the consequences of your male headship nonsense.

    Typical conservative. Always having to find a group that they think they are better than.

  • Bones

    Lol…your posts are complete rubbish.

    A woman can’t teach you because she is too weak.

    Pull your head out your arse.

  • Bones

    It’s your type of rubbish theology which has caused untold harm to women and kept them in abusive relationships -apart from the abject nonsense of treating others as less than human.

  • Laurie

    Head in the Bible does not mean what we think of as head. Head in Greek most likely was referring to source or origin. It was not meant to promote hierarchy in marriage.

  • Laurie

    Yes. That is Christian marriage. Husband and wife submitting to each other as equal partners. Preach it sister!

  • Selah!

    There are at least 10 – TEN – theological reasons given by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 11 [look them up!] as the basis for his calling for men NOT to wear a head covering and women to do so when “praying or prophesying”. Not once is a cultural reason alluded to.The issue has to do with the significance of the sexes in representing God in ministr in the local church. You gave no historical validation for the cl re head covering and prostitutes being factual – there is NO such validation!! [See Stephen B. Clark, “Man and Woman in Christ,” p. 169 Besides, even if there were, would that invalidate the 10 theological reasons given by Paul for his teaching!!!!??

  • Cathy

    I cover my head. I chose to do this full time, about 4 yrs ago. It is not an easy thing to do, as most women I know do not cover. Why would I choose to do something so obviously counter cultural if I didn’t believe it to be in the Bible? I also think headcovering is beautiful and very feminine! Look at the headcovers on the Garlands of Grace website! They are so beautiful!
    By the way, I do not introduce myself as my husband’s helpmeet, though that it was I was created for. I am a married, conservative, Christian, headcovering, homeschooling mama of many.

  • jekylldoc

    “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of
    mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” Colossians 3:12. I have decided to take this seriously, and ask Christians to “put on” kindness, humility, meekness and patience (especially when they consider telling women how to behave). So even if they don’t feel humble, they can pretend. I’m calling it the Bowels Movement.

  • jekylldoc

    As a man who raised my two children, I am a little put off by the assumption that women working means families suffering. Our warm, supportive family produced two wonderful children, now grown. I am happy about the femininity of my wife, and glad she is serving in a high position. And you may rest assured that she is supportive of my role as nurturant dad.

    Nobody needs to belittle anyone. Yes, I agree it is a problem if they feel that staying home to care for others is somehow less than a high calling. But it isn’t reserved for women.

  • Jesse Hake

    “You are wonderfully and beautifully made. You are nobody’s product, you are a person. You have unique talents, abilities, and God-given gifting– and I want you to go out there and use those talents and abilities to love the world.

    Because that’s what Jesus would tell you.”

    Whenever a person claims to “know” what “Jesus would tell you” that is not already in alignment with the standard, the measuring stick by which ALL Christian conversation concerning teaching and preaching is to be measured against, that throws up a rather LARGE red flag, no less. Now, what you just quoted in declaring that these would be the words of Christ, is more comparable to the words of New Age occultism like ‘The Secret’, etc. One can attend any self-guru session like Tony Robbins, for example, and get their itching ears tickled all they want to. Everything you said in the sentence saying that ‘You are wonderfully and beautifully made…’ is of the world and is not of Christ. Oh, you can throw in ‘God-given gifting’ all you all you want to attract your vulnerable audience but in doing so I’d step lightly because you’ve already claimed what “Jesus would tell” us but you’re very, very close to carrying the Lord’s name in vain by sneaking in that ‘God-given’ part to bait the hook of your readers even further, friend. After all, Taking the Lord’s name in vain is not about ‘Goddamn’. Rather, taking God’s name in vain is using the name of God to underwrite judgments that you would have whether God existed or not. (Credit: Stanley Hauerwas). Again, let’s not even get discussed on the whole head-covering thing until you first repent of your rather arrogant and self-focused attitude of claiming to know what Jesus would tell us because there is no single line of scripture that sounds anything remotely like what you just quoted above, friend.

    … No, not one. And if you want to know what Christ ACTUALLY says, then may I suggest you repent and stick to the word of God, all the more:

    ‘Rather, true beauty is the secret beauty of the heart, of a sincere, gentle and quiet spirit. That is very precious to God.’
    – 1 Peter 3:4

  • Bones

    Do you have long hair Matthew?

  • Bones


  • Matthew

    I used to have long hair back in the 80´s (though not as long as, say, Bob Seger back in the day :-)!)


  • Bones

    Paul: Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, (1 Corinthians 11:14)

  • Matthew

    Well … if it´s culture specific, then long hair is O.K. in today´s world.

    If it´s not, then I guess long hair isn´t O.K.

    “In those Hollywood nights … in those Hollywood hills … above all the lights …”

  • Bones

    So Matthew, do you think long hair is unnatural as Paul wrote and a dishonour to men?

    How does this fit in with your

    “So … does this mean all commands, moral codes, etc. that we find in the Epistles don’t apply to the believing community today?”?????

    I’m pretty sure there are quotes about people having to work things out for themselves. Which would make sense in a new movement which has no scripture other than the Old Testament which many didn’t read ie Gentiles. Can you work things out for yourself or do you have to be told what is right and wrong?

    Who says that Paul was writing for Christians in any other era or situation other then the ones he was addressing?

  • Matthew

    Honestly Bones … I am drawn (just a wee bit) to a central authority in terms of Christian theology. All these darn sects and denominations …….

    You do make a very good point. Actually … two very good points :-).

  • Mark Tyrrell

    Do baseball caps count as head coverings?