The churches of God…

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 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. 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. 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. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you 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? For her hair is given to her for a covering. But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (NASB)

The churches of God have no other practice.

What then, shall I conclude about the many–and varied–churches I have visited in which my wife was the only woman covered?

12 thoughts on “The churches of God…

  1. But if one is inclined to be contentious we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

    I think Paul’s saying that it’s better to respect the modesty codes of the church, but in order to preserve peace and unity rather than religious practice. If this was a strictly orthodox church, I’d conclude that it would be better for men to remove their hats and women to wear a shawl at church. In other churches where it might be contentious to do so, in the absence of another accepted practice, it would be better to show grace than insist on it.

    God may compel some churches to follow this practice, but He may not. Peace amongst the brethren is more important than attire.

  2. @Jacob:

    If one is inclined to be contentiousness, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.

    In other words, even if one is inclined to be contentious on the Biblical imperative that women cover and men uncover, he has no room to do so, as the churches of God accommodate no other practice, but only the observance of this command.

    God may compel some churches to follow this practice, but He may not.

    God’s Word is clear, and is to all believers.

  3. I think you’re misunderstanding Paul’s lesson to the Corinthians here. If we consider the broader context in this part if 1 Cor, we see that it is a lesson about Christian liberty.

    At the end of 1 Cor 10, Paul’s response to the Corinthian church – who were struggling with divisiveness, factionalism and disunity – was that they should be unified in order that the church of God would be a place of freedom from ritualized worship, but in ways that would not cause others dismay. He taught that traditions were to be used for God’s glory, not to create contention.

    I think the reason head coverings are used as an example are twofold: firstly, in Corinth at that time it was the practice of prostitutes to walk around in public with their heads uncovered, so to do so in church would have exacerbated the disunity that was already there. Secondly, for women to be as men in church would be to dishonor God’s appointed roles for men and women. Removing a hat for men and donning a shawl for women were simple ways men and women of the church could symbolically honor the authority relationships God has instituted at the same time as showing others that they were doing so. It was a lesson in honoring God in a unified fashiom, but for the sake of others that services could proceed without contention.

    1 Cor 10:23-33 provides the necessary context.

    Historical perspective is important. There are many ways modern churches can show unity, respect and honor without insisting men remove their hats and women cover their heads with a shawl. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be good to do what Paul instructs the Corinthians to do, especially if the modern church is having similar struggles.

  4. There are many ways modern churches can show unity, respect and honor without insisting men remove their hats and women cover their heads with a shawl.

    Why do you insist that we can come up with some other way of accomplishing God’s purpose than the way that He has enshrined in the Holy Scriptures?

    God’s way works.

  5. The lesson in the Scripture you’ve quoted and seem to want to believe is about head coverings is not about attire at all. It’s about attitude. Jesus came to teach this very lesson. No sense in crucifying Him again.

  6. Well, if you read it like that, you should also answer the question, who are “we” that Paul speaks as, because they were definitely not a church (or part of it) of God (we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God).
    Of course, easy explanation is that there was word “others” implied, but that would make your whole post kind of invalid, right?

  7. @ Jacob,

    The lesson in the Scripture you’ve quoted and seem to want to believe is about head coverings is not about attire at all. It’s about attitude.

    The passage says, clearly and unambiguously, that the practice is to be held to (“we have no other practice”) even if it causes disunity (“if anyone is inclined to be contentious”). Yet here you are, arguing that what the Bible “really means” is the exact opposite of what it says.

    Sort of like those who argue that the prohibition of women speaking in church means we should have women pastors/priests.

    I’m going to guess you didn’t read the article I linked you to in the comment above.

  8. @ PotE

    Well, if you read it like that, you should also answer the question, who are “we” that Paul speaks as, because they were definitely not a church (or part of it) of God (we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God).

    Why not part of one?

  9. @Moose Norseman:
    if I said “we don’t do this and neither do football fans” – would you assume that I am a football fan?

  10. @ PotE

    If the head coach of a NFL team said “we don’t do this and neither do football fans,” I would not take it as a declaration that he does not like or care about football.

  11. Remembered about this thanks to your last post… You admit that there at least must be some qualitative difference between the speaker and the group he’s talking about. Is there any possibility for christian to not be part of the God’s church?
    So far you weren’t able to really make good point for the word “other” not being implied, which kind of destroys your argument of “without head covering == not real God’s church”

    (i remembered about this post/thread thanks to your last post, which I consider similar to judging bad because they don’t give tenth of spices / say it’s not needed when asked )

  12. @PotE

    Paul and Sosthenes say that they have no other practice (we), nor have the churches of God. I really do not understand what point you are trying to make.

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