Hair today, shorn tomorrow...

Under the headline, "Mark of a Woman," BBC NEWS comments on Britney Spears' shaved head, asking:

So why is hair - particularly long hair - viewed as such a defining part of a woman and inextricably linked to femininity?

Followers of Jesus have been presented with a wonderfully evangelistic opportunity, here. Speak up, brothers and sisters! His Word is truth:

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. 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? 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? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:1-16).

Comments

I think it's interesting that you bring this up, but I have to ask...

What about women going through chemo? are they obligated then, to wear a wig, so that she doesn't offend people as a disgraced, out from under authority, out from under her covering woman?

And what about women who do cut their hair but not shaved?

What about women in the military (now, THERE's a can of worms, ain't it?)

Oh well. Poor Britney. At some point, every woman who has used her God-given sexuality to sell herself will grow to despise it. I pray someone close to her will share the hope of the Lord with her.

Military women are actually more or less required to have hair between a few inches and shoulder length, if I remember correctly, Jessica. (I'll abstain from the rest of that can of worms)

I personally wonder if Britney is implicitly reminded of this passage and has shaved her head in some very real shame. Thanks, Tim--I'll remember what the cult of popularity can do and pray for that poor woman and her kids.

In the US Army, the standard for female hair is that it may not touch the collar. A female soldier may have her hair as long as she wishes (I know quite a few with very long hair) with the only requirement being that it not touch her collar. As a result, most women in the Army wear their hair in a bun or one of those banana-wrap thingies. When you see a female soldier whose hair is cut short, other soldiers assume that she is trying to be a man.

- Jim

Interesting comments, Jessica. How do you understand the Scripture? We are dealing with words that God felt strongly enough about to have them recorded in His Word.

What is He trying to communicate to us? Surely you are not bringing in these exceptions in order to undermine the rule itself, are you?

Now, what is the rule?

God bless, and please take care,
Donna L. Carlaw

Dear Jessica,

God's revelation is always the pattern--not man's brokenness. So having heard and embraced God's revelation in real particularities such as hair, we apply God's revelation in such a way as to call men back to God and His original intent. As Jesus did when asked about divorce: "From the beginning, it was not this way."

What would be unfaithful to Scripture would be to deny that a part of the suffering of the cancer patient is that chemotherapy destroys their hair; and more specifically, that this is a particularly humiliating aspect of chemotherapy for a woman.

And yes, may God send a messenger to preach the Gospel to all those who have fallen victims of our culture's sexual idolatry, both women and men. What a terribly sad bondage it is for all those enmeshed in this sin. May God have mercy on them--through US!

Warmly in Christ,

Tim Bayly

Can anyone explain to me what verse 10 means? I find this entire passage confusing (the wording is clear, the rationale not quite so clear), however, verse 10 seems to pop up out of no where.

Any thoughts?

Kevin and others,

Verse 10 doesn't make much sense, nor any other isolated verse in this passage, unless it's taken all together. The overall context for these verses is the same as for the entire section of the first Corinthian epistle beginning at chapter 11 and running through chapter 14 - viz. the parish assembled for worship. Previously, it is been various problems/issues/questions dealing with life among the body generally. Chapter 11 begins a section of the epistle dealing with disorders during the assembly for worship. Chapter 11 itself treats two disorders of deportment: the absence of the veil and disorder at the Eucharist.

Within vv. 2-16, the themes Paul treats are "glory" and "shame" as they apply the "traditions" Paul has delivered to the Corinthians concerning their worship, particularly the veil. It's not just that the women were ignoring to veil during worship, their doing so was particularly shameful in that context.

Why? Two reasons.

First there is the purpose of the assembly, namely to give glory to God. In that context, the humans participating (I'll say something about the angels in a sec), bear in their very essence the glory of another. Man is God's glory, woman is man's glory, and (this is key to avoid confusion), the woman's long hair is her glory.

In a nutshell - in the assembly whose purpose is to glorify God, God's glory should be unveiled, and others' glory should be veiled. The veil on the woman's head covers *two* glories - herself as man's glory, and her long hair, which is her own glory.

But, humans aren't the only ones present when the assembly is gathered for worship, and that brings us to reason No. Two: also present are angels, probably great numbers of them, who while unseen by the human worshipers, are nevertheless a part of the assembly and participate in its purpose.

"Because of the angels" points back, at a minimum, to what Isaiah saw in the Temple and described in Isaiah 6. The idea is that his vision, like Elishah's servant on the mountain, was so altered that he saw what was objectively there, but ordinarily obscured from human sight. Similarly, when we worship in our assemblies, angels assemble along with us, though our eyes do not perceive them.

This understanding of the attendants at Christian worship is preserved in the Proper Preface to the Prayer of Consecration in the Anglican Eucharist, in which the priest sings "Thus with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious name, evermore praising Thee and singing ..." at which point the congregation joins him to sing the Sanctus et Benedictus:

Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts
Heaven and earth are fully of Thy glory
Glory be to Thee O Lord Most High
Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord
Hosanna in the highest!

And, so, the saints sing the song of the Seraphim, and the Song that greeted the Lord as He entered Jerusalem as the Son of David.

And for all that, it is "meet and right," as the old Anglicans would put it, for the women to have a mark of authority on her head, because of the angels, creatures who are present and singing along with us, and whose angelic sensibilities of propriety and rank are scandalized at a worship service where any glory but God's is improperly on display.

Father Bill

Thank you for your thougthful response. I'm still not comfortable that I understand the reference to the angels, but I will take a look at Isaiah and see it it becomes more clear.

Clearly, my comments were not taken tongue in cheek as they were (almost entirely) intended.

I did, however, recently cut my hair. Still feminine, still pleasing to my husband, but I cut off nearly a foot of it. I am just curious if we ought not plait our hair either, since the Word spells that out as well?

I think her hair is shameful- more than anything because it merely highlights the shame of her behavior over recent years. But I find it interesting (as did the arcticle you referenced) that this is the point on which commentators have chosen to rest. I mean, she's gone pantiless for photos... she's looked nude on stage... she's gone fat, thin, blonde, brunetter, gone to strip clubs, on and on... and this is such a sticking point. Very interesting.

Anyway, sorry I didn't make it abundantly clear that I was being silly about the whole first comment.

Jessica, That's a really good point. I hope I won't be misunderstood in my commentary about it.

It seems to me that in all those obscene displays and highly public changes, what she's been showing off is a caricature of femininity. The natural female desire to be visually attractive is often perverted into exhibitionism, but it's still perverted femininity, not lack of it. (If that makes sense.) Her pantiless photos and strutting around have all been exaggerated attempts to show off her womanliness.

Shaving her head, on the other hand, is a total departure from that. Even among unbelievers, there's an understanding that attractive hair is a feminine characteristic. I think on some level the media jackals (of whom I'm one, alas) understand that shaving her head is very different from flashing the cameras.

Jessica:
Anyway, sorry I didn't make it abundantly clear that I was being silly about the whole first comment.>>>>

Actually, that was clear. What wasn't clear is where you were wanting to go with your comments.

What you say makes sense as far as being feminine and pleasing to your husband. At least to me it makes sense.

It's just that sometimes exceptions to rules are used as excuses to not even try to understand what the rule is - or principle if you prefer that word to rule, which sounds kind of hard and harsh...or tradition, which is what Paul is talking about if I understand right. He is talking about traditions in gathered worship, right?

I like that glory idea, and have been thinking about it. The high church ideas are quite foreign to my thinking, but well worth the effort to try to understand.

Thanks,
Donna L. Carlaw

if long hair on a man is a dishonor to him, why did Jesus and all his disciples have long hair?

Nate:
if long hair on a man is a dishonor to him, why did Jesus and all his disciples have long hair?>>>>

Hmmm. Are you sure that Jesus had long hair? He does in the paintings, but it makes Him look like a girl.

:-)

>if long hair on a man is a dishonor to him, why did Jesus and all his disciples have long hair?

Pulling out the New Testament photo album are we?

Kevin, re your question about verse 10. There's an interesting discussion of it from Feb 17 over on the Better Bibles Blog.

The URL is englishbibles dot blogspot dot com, it's the Feb 17 entry.

"I'm still not comfortable that I understand the reference to the angels, but I will take a look at Isaiah and see it it becomes more clear."

Perhaps the precise point you're inquring after got lost in the forest.

A couple of things in this passage are clearly matters about which Paul was not addressing himself directly. In other words, he did not write this passage to explain what bearing the angels have on the matter of veiling women in worship. For that matter, he did not write the passage in order to expound the meaning of "man, the glory of God," or "woman, the glory of man." Angels, man as God's glory, woman as man's glory, long hair as the woman's glory -- none of these are the subject of Paul's exposition. Instead, he brings these concepts into the discussion, which is -- to put it as simply as possible -- to urge the Corinthian women to veil during worship.

I (and most other teachers in the Church for the past 2000 years) pointed back to Isaiah 6 primarily to validate the idea that the angels are present with men during God's worship.

There is, many commentators think, an additional idea in Paul's thoughts -- namely, that the angels are beings who are marked by an almost militaristic ordering by rank and hierarchy. This was certainly a familiar idea in the popular angelology of that period of the Jews, and Paul himself seems to endorse this idea in principle by his mentioning of "principalities and powers" six different places in his epistles, including the mention of "thrones or dominions or principalities or powers" in Col. 1:16. "Thrones or dominions or principalities or powers" are categories of angelic ranks and hierarchies.

The point: the honoring of rank is a Big Deal Indeed among angels. If, therefore, they are present in our worship, it scandalizes them when man's glory is displayed unveiled in an assembly where it is the assembly's purpose to give glory to God.

Hope this helps,

Fr. B

Actually, I've read that Roman pictures of Jewish prisoners after the destruction of Jerusalem show them with uniformly short hair. Perhaps not the high & tight flat top I used to wear, but they definitely wouldn't have fit in in a 1970s era picture of Microsoft engineers.

Light, doing some fishing for souls, are we?

Bill, if we start with God, we come to different conclusions about almost everything theological, it seems to me. It is not easy to buck the crowd. It involves a lot of suffering for a woman. Whoever said that the Christian life would be easy, though? Jesus called it taking up His yoke and following Him and death to self and all that.

What you have on your head seems like such a small thing. Hah! Just try to wear one to church if you are a woman in our day, and see how small a thing it is. If we are so tolerant and free in our day as we think we are, why does anyone even care what is on another woman's head?

I'm afraid that my courage and determination start to fail me.

The problem is that the feminists among us have convinced us that the head covering is a symbol of patriarchal male oppression. they have managed to connect the head covering with the Talaban, instead of with the glory of God and angels and all kinds of other beautiful and uplifting symbols.

The solution? If we can just get better Bibles, then we can set women free!

OK, so my code word to enter was "clean". Do you think "someone" is trying to tell me I should be doing something about the dust bunnies breeding under my bed?

Funny thing about hair. Since I've grown mine out a bit, I've started getting a lot of compliments from women!

What I find most curious, though, is what some folks who are utterly adamant about headcoverings consider a headcovering. I saw a picture of one that was nothing but one of those crocheted "bun-covers" we used to wear in the 70's. Never considered something like that a proper head covering.

Why do I cover without a second thought in a culture that expects it and yet balk at covering here where no one in my religious circle does? And what would be the reasoning behind young, unmarried women not covering but married women covering?

Just some random thoughts and questions,

Kamilla

Kamilla:
OK, so my code word to enter was "clean". Do you think "someone" is trying to tell me I should be doing something about the dust bunnies breeding under my bed?>>>

Kamilla! What a breath of fresh air! Too bad those dust bunnies don't melt like winter's snows.

Kamilla:
Funny thing about hair. Since I've grown mine out a bit, I've started getting a lot of compliments from women! >>>

DL:
I have seen you in person. Yes, you have nice hair. :-) It's a nice color, too. It lays nice on your head, even in the rain.

DL:
My dream has always been to have long hair, and sometimes I have managed to do that. However, I have huge hair problem - my hair is huge! My daughter tells me that I give a new definition to the phrase, "growing your hair out."

DL:
Even so, I keep trying...it's really every woman's dream and envy - well almost every woman's...

Kamilla:
What I find most curious, though, is what some folks who are utterly adamant about headcoverings consider a headcovering. I saw a picture of one that was nothing but one of those crocheted "bun-covers" we used to wear in the 70's. Never considered something like that a proper head covering. >>>

DL:
I wear funny things in Mexico, and then feel silly up here. Yes, it's culture and context, isn't it? What is the Christian cultural "thing"? We are counter-culture, after all.

Kamilla:
Why do I cover without a second thought in a culture that expects it and yet balk at covering here where no one in my religious circle does? And what would be the reasoning behind young, unmarried women not covering but married women covering?>>>>

DL:
I dont' know.

DL:
Just some random thoughts and questions,...>>>

DL:
I think taht I have it settled in my mind, but then I run into others! I think that meditating on glory, angels, and crowns will be a big help. It is my crown of glory that the angels love to look at - with some envy, no doubt. :-) Well, they may be relieved that I cover my mop up...

God bless, and please take care,
Donna L. Carlaw

> Followers of Jesus have been presented with a wonderfully evangelistic opportunity, here. Speak up, brothers and sisters!

Thank you, brother Tim, for bringing this up! May some godly thinking result from all the foolish Britney-hype. This shows us even pagans realize it is shameful for women to have shorn hair, but the short-hair defenders of our day will claim that our culture has no concept of what Paul is talking about (so we can ignore him).

> [Jessica:] I did, however, recently cut my hair. Still feminine, still pleasing to my husband, but I cut off nearly a foot of it.

Uh, this could be an important distinction, Jessica -- did your husband suggest you cut a foot off of it, or was it your idea? Did you ask him first if he would like it *better*, with a foot chopped off, or did he say it was still fairly pleasing to him after the fact? (Most wifely haircuts seem to come as surprises with no prior notice, and I think the reason for this is obvious -- it wouldn't be approved in most cases.) Maybe he's rather pleasantly *relieved* it wasn't made shorter...? In other words, did you give him a choice? Or did you put him on the spot and he was just being nice?

Since people like bringing up exceptions, the second issue regarding your husband would be, what if he wanted you to get a crewcut or shave your head? What if he said he preferred that? The Bible would contradict such a preference. I find women mainly do what they want with their hair and expect their husbands to just deal with it. What choice do they really have in the matter? Here's a verse I particularly like:

Song of Solomon 7:5-- "Your head crowns you like Carmel, And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses."

"Flowing locks and tresses" are captivating, according to the Bible -- "glorious," as Paul says. This remains in effect, despite current unisex styles. Are we expected to be captivated by today's unnatural, short clips? What amazes me is that women do this contrary to not just the Bible but also common sense -- nature? They are glad to get rid of their glory. And in an age of incredible conveniences, they cut it short because it is more comfortable or easier to take care of, yet their own ancestors didn't think that way with no air-conditiong, electricity or indoor plumbing.

> ...but I cut off nearly a foot of it.

But WHY, though? Is it still long enough to be a natural covering--since that is Paul's point when advocating for the artificial veil? [To me, hair isn't long unless it is below the shoulders. Shoulder length is only medium, less than that is short. My personally-established guideline, of course, but based upon the Biblical idea of the Bible saying *long* hair is a woman's glory and natural *covering,* like a veil.] Hair can be considered "feminine," but be neither long nor a covering. Some seem to have the odd thinking that if it is fiddled with in some feminine fashion it nullifies the whole Pauline discussion about it being long. The point is NOT "hey, it's still feminine." Is it *long*? Is it a natural covering (for more than the ears?) If a short-haired woman puts a barrette in it, is she being Biblical because she has done something feminine with her hair? Does it become her glory if she gets her short hair curled or frosted? Of course not! That misses the point entirely.

Women will even say that their hair is the only covering being talked about in the passage, and then defend short hair on women as well. Which means that the passage is reduced to an absurdity where (any) hair on a female head is a covering and (any) hair on a male head is not a covering, which conveniently means they don't have to actually comply with anything. So, a man can have hair longer than any woman in the church and it is perfectly fine. Or --much more common-- a husband and wife can have hair the same length and that is just peachy, too.

> [Jessica:] Anyway, sorry I didn't make it abundantly clear that I was being silly about the whole first comment.
> ...
> I am just curious if we ought not plait our hair either, since the Word spells that out as well?

Jessica, is this being silly, too? (I ask because it comes up a lot as an excuse to dismiss things.) The truth is that women used to have much longer hair than women today and there is absolutely nothing wrong with braiding such very long hair. What else are they supposed to do with it? Open cooking fires, dirt floors in the houses...? I doubt it was left flowing wild in the breeze in biblical times. Peter's point is about neglecting internal beauty, not banning certain externals. Since women are naturally focused on their looks, it is easy to get carried away with that, and neglect inner beauty, which is what Peter is wanting to say, not tell us it is a sin to wear wedding rings.

My NASB Bible says: "And let not your adornment be external *only*--braiding the hair, and wearing gold, jewelry, and putting on dresses..." ["only" may not be in the original, but carries the meaning across, I think]

Is this why so many women wear pants today, because they think the Bible forbids "putting on dresses"?

Is the Bible advocating we all wear burlap flour sacks? Is it advocating women look as frumpy as possible? Of course not! To interpret the passage to mean women can't braid their long hair is absolutely silly, and just a knee-jerk excuse to ignore other things they think are unappealing,like headcoverings or even plain-old long hair.

The point of the passage is to not be flaunting one's self on the outside while being totally unattractive on the inside, and Britney Spears is a perfect example of what this passage is talking about. It is about cultivating a beautiful inner self. It is NOT about unbraided hair being more godly. (Frankly, face-painting is more to the point of the verse than braided hair, if you ask me.) But braided hair can be taken to an extreme, too, for the purpose of getting attention, and such excess is what is being spoken against, not all hair-braiding.

--Michael

> [Kamilla:] Funny thing about hair. Since I've grown mine out a bit, I've started getting a lot of compliments from women!

And women will be freer to do that than men. I'm sure the men notice and like it, but would be reluctant to say something that might be taken to be too personal a comment.

> What I find most curious, though, is what some folks who are utterly adamant about headcoverings consider a headcovering. I saw a picture of one that was nothing but one of those crocheted "bun-covers" we used to wear in the 70's. Never considered something like that a proper head covering.

I'd be adamant that that didn't pass as a proper "cover" or "veil," either!

It is unfortunate that modern women cannot get past the idea that there is something oppressive or unattractive about this. Women in many Christian cultures for centuries have looked beautiful in headcoverings.

Odd -- they don't seem to mind them on their wedding day, and think they are romantic and beautiful then. But then, they probably don't stop to think that biblical teaching is the source of this tradition, and so are permanently done with headcoverings by the end of the reception. "Been there, done that."

Did any of you see ABC News' Diane Sawyer in Iran? She was required to wear a headscarf. She even asked the president about it. I'm sure it irked her terribly. But the most interesting thing about her report was the matter-of-fact statement, right there on the video: "The Bible says women should cover their heads." Even the likes of her knows that's what the Bible says, yet Christian women will deny it is saying they are to do that!

[Diane Sawyer speaking on the video clip:]
"And every single women said it is a tradition they really don't mind. Do you like wearing it? [she askes someone. The answer:] "Yes." "The young woman tells me it makes her feel safe, confident, modest. And of course it stretches back through Muslim centuries, and Judeo-Christian ones, too. The Bible says women should cover their heads. Can you distinguish between Catholic nuns and Muslim wives and mothers?"

--Michael Mc

Hi Donna,

You are too kind - thank you! Unfortunately, about the only thing I'm talented enough to do with my hair is tie it up in one of those butterfly clips. Aren't we funny about our hair? Women with straight hair wish they had naturally curly hair and women with naturally curly hair. . . . .

Hi Mike (who has only seen me back in my short "butch" hair days),

I think part of the problem women have with the head covering concept is that it's all you patriarchal men telling them to do it. If women heard from each other a bit more about modesty, etc. it might come more naturally. Now, I know, I don't mean to get you started on that, but I think it is partly a problem with modesty in general.

Kamilla

Hey, Kamilla, and Mike, and everyone,
Maybe I'll give longer hair a go again. It was getting kind of long, and then the rest of the family voted for a cut.

I think that if I got it thinned, then it would work better. I have a friend my age who has the same problem, but has a good hairdresser who keeps it looking good and about shoulder length.

She told me that the hairdresser told her to never get her hair cut short, since it would just stick straight out like crazy straw. Well, I added the "crazy straw" part, since I was looking into the women's bathroom mirror at myself as my friend was sharing this. I was living proof of "crazy straw" hair.

So, there are solutions... :-)

My husband does NOT like it short, short, but he likes it the length I have it now - which is collar length. He would be happy with longer, too, but not with clown hair, like I tend to have. :-)

Hey, guys, it's good to see you, you radicals you, ;-)
Donna L. Carlaw

>>>

A question for Light, or other women who think that hyper-patriarchy is being promoted by some Christian men. What does the above phrase mean?

Then, I was wondering if some of you ladies believed that having a certain part gives you the right to demand that all men - and women - defer to you?

How does this relate to the hair topic being discussed? I know that some are offended that a man would dare to instruct women on hair and head coverings. Fine.

Why aren't you offended when women who have no authority over you tell you that it's just fine to break free of legalistic restrictions on women's freedom? ...especially when the apostle Paul, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy spirit, gives instructions about both hair and coverings?

Women feel free to pressure one another to submit to the will of other women - or there will be hell to pay. Isn't that hypocrisy?

We shouldn't listen to the man's "part", but we should listen to the vagina?

If you could just get those better Bibles, ....

Those bad, male-dominated translations contradict way, too many feminist teachings. What a shame. Keep working on it girls. If you could just get the apostle Paul to talk like a feminist, life would be good, right?

> [Kamilla:] Hi Mike (who has only seen me back in my short "butch" hair days)...

That's okay, Kamilla. Personally sorting this stuff out in our mixed-up culture isn't easy. I used to shave until I was 40, but decided that was as unnatural as butch haircuts on women.

> I think part of the problem women have with the head covering concept is that it's all you patriarchal men telling them to do it. If women heard from each other a bit more about modesty, etc. it might come more naturally.

Yes, which is why Paul tells the older women to teach the younger women, I suspect. It would be more appropriate for women to do the instructing on such female matters. But that isn't happening. In fact, the youth culture sets the standards today, not their elders. (I find it amazing that women would have to be instructed that long hair was more feminine. It should be a no-brainer, which is why Paul used it as a defense of veiling.) But comfort/convenience is more the issue today. I'm sure everyone has seen mothers at church in short hair and pants with very feminine daughters with long hair and pretty dresses. Why don't they dress their little girls like themselves, and give them real short haircuts? It shows they understand these things, they are just not interested in applying them personally. By their own example, the mothers teach daughters that looking like a woman is for girlhood, and looking like a boy is for adulthood.

> Now, I know, I don't mean to get you started on that, but I think it is partly a problem with modesty in general.

Ha -- yes, you've heard plenty of my repetitive rants on that, haven't you? I'll just say in this regard that headcoverings are really a moot point anymore, since our society is so clueless about modesty, so anti-modesty? I'm trying to imagine one of those females in the pew in front of me with the tight, low-rider pants all of a sudden wearing a worshipful headcovering. It'd be the height of hypocrisy. The veil would be much more appropriate somewhere else, under such circumstances (especially if they have short hair -- no "glory" to cover).

> [Donna L. carlaw:] He would be happy with longer, too, but not with clown hair, like I tend to have. :-)

Okay, DL, you don't laugh at my clown beard and I won't laugh at your clown hair, how's that for a deal? I don't think men should harp on women's hair, unless they are are also willing to accept the way they are made, too.

~~~

I'd like to add a P.S. to my comment earlier about 1 Peter: "And let not your adornment be external only--braiding the hair..."

If you stop and think about it, the mere mention of "braiding the hair" *assumes* it is long, especially if Peter's point is to not got to excess with it. You can't braid butch hair and you certainly can't do extravagant braiding with short hair. So, Peter's comment implies quite long hair, otherwise, it makes no sense. (Just like the comment "putting on dresses" -- that's what the women obviously did, but he is not wanting that to become a vain preoccupation.)

In our manhood/womanhood-challenged era, we have actually gradually come to think of short hair as being "long," or at least quite feminine. Hair shorter than lewd, rebellious flappers with their boyish bobs of the 1920s or the manly Joan of Arc in a suit of armor is considered just fine for Christians today. (Even worse, did you read the comments under the BBC article "Mark of a Woman"? Most posters defended female skinheads!) Would the legendary Lady Godiva have considered shoulder-length hair *long*, a natural "covering"? It is interesting that today we practically link her hair with her protest, as if both were equally bizzare. It is as if she had long hair *because* she rode through town wearing nothing else. No, only the protest was unusual, the hair was normal. I realize that the ancient story cannot be verified, but even if a total myth, my point is the people of Coventry (or anywhere else in Christendom then and for many centuries before and after) would not consider long/feminine what we let pass as such today. With sex in the forefront everywhere, it is amazing how bleak the landscape actually is, where femininity is concerned. Femininity is stripped away as being a bother, and we're left with just the sex. It is instructive what we become accustomed to as normal. Then, we use that new "normal" to trump Scripture.

--Michael Mc

What it boils down to for me is that short hair on women is immodest. Since modesty is so poorly understood or ignored, I expect that may not make sense to many. But it is the woman's natural covering, more a part of them than clothes. And not having long hair is like not being sufficiently clothed. It is a form of nakedness. Ever seen a shaved cat? Or just look at Britney.

Are we going to let the radical secularists tell us this is all just harmless fashion and personal taste? Our warped society is always looking to push the envelope to new levels of "normality." Its constant innovation and attempts to get attention or to shock is in direct opposition to what Peter was talking about regarding a "gentle and quiet spirit."

Why did our ancestors think it shocking when young women started bobbing their hair in the early 20th century? They thought it immodest, brazen. (Same with wearing trousers, I might add.) Does a butch cut look chaste, wholesome? Little did they know then what all we would be in store for down the road!

To be manly often makes a woman immodest. The Olympics come to mind. But closer to home, how Christian women think their highly revealing, form-fitting pants are modest, I haven't a clue. Which is why I don't expect my short-hair-is-immodest view to count for much.

--Michael Mc

Michael Mc:
Yes, which is why Paul tells the older women to teach the younger women, I suspect. It would be more appropriate for women to do the instructing on such female matters. But that isn't happening.>>>>

DL:
Michael, I hate to disagree with you, but older women are teaching younger women. The only thing is that feminism is being pushed big time by the Christian feminists. Younger Christian women are being introduced to the feminist ways.

DL:
There are a few bright spots in the benighted teaching landscape. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is one great example. Mary Kassian is another. There are some fine women at the CBMW. Alas, though, they all cut their hair!

DL:
[Donna L. carlaw:] He would be happy with longer, too, but not with clown hair, like I tend to have. :-)>>>>

Michael Mc:
Okay, DL, you don't laugh at my clown beard and I won't laugh at your clown hair, how's that for a deal?>>>

DL:
I can't promise. :-) ...I mean I can't promise not to laugh...

Michael Mc:
I don't think men should harp on women's hair, unless they are are also willing to accept the way they are made, too.>>>>

DL:
Consistency is a good thing.

Hey, good to visit with you,
Donna L. Carlaw

PS
My code word was "wind." You can imagine what it does to hair.

Well, I don't think Donna has clown hair!

Ya gotta wonder when otherwise kosher, doctrinally straight, orthodox women all seem to cut their hair. Are we really that far off culturally or are we missing something in Paul?

Kamilla

Kamilla:
Well, I don't think Donna has clown hair!>>>

DL:
Thanks, Kamilla. I do on some days. Yes, I am exaggerating a bit to get a laugh. This can be kind of a heavy subject, for some reason.

DL:
I should be doing a presentation this evening about our trips to Cuba, but our daughter has to sub for me. I've got the flu.

DL:
Anyway, as I was looking through photos for the presentation, I found some of my dh and I when we first got married. My hair was long, then.

Kamilla:
Ya gotta wonder when otherwise kosher, doctrinally straight, orthodox women all seem to cut their hair. Are we really that far off culturally or are we missing something in Paul?>>>

DL:
Yes. Ya' gotta' wonder why things changed. Maybe we're missing the real meaning. Somehow hair length became identified with male oppression and female freedom, or something.

DL:
I don't think that Paul had any of that in mind, do you? Why would he talk about angels and glory if the main point of it all was male domination?

DL:
I think that Michael knows. :-)

good to visit with you, Kamilla.

God bless, and please take care,
Donna L. Carlaw

PS
"male" was my word...

"Listen to the man's "part". Listen to the vagina"? What? Is anyone reading what I am reading? Can't say the correct name for the male part but we can talk about the woman's part? Comments on the vagina comment, anyone? Silence?

My spam code is "soap" and I think it is very appropriate. I am disgusted. I have no idea what that has to do with anything. It is jibberish.

Rose:
"Listen to the man's "part". Listen to the vagina"? What? Is anyone reading what I am reading? Can't say the correct name for the male part but we can talk about the woman's part? Comments on the vagina comment, anyone? Silence?

My spam code is "soap" and I think it is very appropriate. I am disgusted. I have no idea what that has to do with anything. It is jibberish.>>>>

DL:
Yes, Rose, it is jibberish, but it is how Christian feminists talk. Haven't you ever read their blogs? They constantly make disgusting comments about body parts.

DL:
Haven't you ever been on discussion groups with them? They make constant references to "plumbing" and "parts".

DL:
They brag about women's "authority" and put down male authority, which they say men gain from their "part".

DL:
I am glad that you find it disgusting. I used those words to point out their hypocrisy and the disgusting nature of their speech, even ones who claim to be mature Christian women. It made me as disgusting as they are, for which I feel a need to take a bath myself. I do apologize to the blog owner and to all who are reading this for my indiscretion. However, it really disgusts me that these women go on freely slandering others and then pretend to be innocent victims of patriarchal excesses.

DL:
I have been with peole who really are living in desperate situations, even situations of oppression and persecution. Nothing gets my dandur up like those who make up, exaggerate, or take advantage of stories of abuse in order to advance an idealogy.

DL:
The owner of this blog has been accused of abusing his authority, and those were the kinds of jibberish, disgusting words that the women accusing him were using. I just discovered it the other day when I was googling this blog. In addition to the Bayly Blog, I found another blog where this supposed misuse of power was being discussed in the most graphic of terms.

DL:
Light is one of the women involved in that discussion, as were others who post here from time to time. I thought that Light might know what those women were talking about.

DL:
It is evident that this kind of talk is jibberish and disgusting, but it is what anyone who spends time around them is entertained with - lots of talk about "plumbing" and the source of authority.

DL:
It is degrading. It is anti-Christian, even. I'm glad you noticed and picked up on it. Ask Light for more enlightenment if you like.

Donna L. Carlaw

PS
I hope that a certain women gets "un-apologized" to, since the apology was entirely wasted on her.

I may not find myself welcome here for long, either, but what these women do is just beyond the pale. Someone has to speak up.

Why should we be disgusted by the use of the terms that define sex markings (hair included) that God has so graciously given us - after all, was it not His design? One of the results of feminism is the destruction of the created order - to minimize that word picture by taking the debate away from body parts and into the theoretical realm of ideology.

It may be a strange way to say it, but the authority of a man is the result of him having a certain "part" (so as to not disgust anyone). What I mean is that that "part" is a mark of a man's sex. God instructs man to have authority over his house - this includes his wife - simply because he was created a male. Our culture finds this offensive, but consider the alternatives.

1) To have the strong lead simply because they are more vocal. This almost assures a tyranny. Besides, look were it is getting the USA in the eyes of most of the world. This option evades the clear teaching of scripture.

Gen. 3:16 - "To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."

Ephesians 5:22 - "Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord."

2) Take turns - men have led for generations, now it is time to let women have a go at it. Again, this is against the clear teaching of scripture.

3) Leadership by Divine default. God command a certain sex to lead and a certain sex to submit to that headship.

It may be worth mentioning at this point that the debate of headship is always degraded to something that looks like two children fighting over who is going to be the "good guy" this time or who is going to "go first". As a man, my temptation was not to be the head over my house. In fact, that was exactly what I didn't want to do! Being the head means being the disciplinarian, being the one who takes full responsibility for the homes provision, spiritual vibrancy, and discipline/teaching. I tremble at the thought of standing before God and answering for my family. But I will stand with His grace. I am also greatly relieved that burden is not one my wife has to carry through this life. I am also very encouraged that God has given me a helper in my wife who continually exhorts and encourages me in this work - it makes for a lighter load.

Summary -
1) It is a debate about body parts (sex markings) and the commands of God.
2) My wife's tempation is to rule over my home.
3) My own temptation is to let her rule over the home so I don't have to.

"PS
I hope that a certain women gets "un-apologized" to, since the apology was entirely wasted on her."

Okay. Not sure what this has to do with hair or the conversation at hand or even sure how this sort of attitude lines up with being a Christian but you must mean something by it.

Why don't you just write the woman privately and tell her how the apology was wasted on her? Somehow this must be tied to your references to talking private parts?

I am sure there is a verse in the Bible that talks about unapologizing to people and wasting our apologies on others. I will have to look for it. Either way, I think I am going to skip your posts. I am having a hard time deciphering your cryptic messages. Life is hard enough without having to wade through this gibberish.

Thanks for your comments, Bob. ..and Rose...

Don't mind me.

:-)

I need to ignore the "Christian vagina monologistas". They irritate me, as you can tell. ...so much fine female intelligence wasted on the idiocy of whiney, Christian, egalitarian feminism.

Yes, I'm a bit dramatic...

How does it relate to hair?

Women are very confused about the meaning of hair and head coverings because now days, the words of Paul are being connected to a woman's freedom from male oppression rather than on what the text is really talking about.

Paul made the connection between a woman's hair and her glory. Also, the glory of man is the woman, and man is the glory of God. The subject at hand is God's glory, not woman's liberty in Christ. How is God's glory manifested in gathered worship? What is proper?

It's not just that women should cover their own, personal glory. A man should not cover his own head. In our day, in worship services, we see men with those stupid baseball caps on and women with no coverings at all, and we think that we are honoring God by our freedom.

I wonder.

It has been so twisted in our minds, and so misrepresented for so long that we can't even see what the words are really saying. An enemy has come in and sown the tares of false teachings to such an extent that we can't even read and understand this passage anymore.

Who is at fault, and who wishes to keep the error going?

...and Rose, feel free to ignore anything and everything that I say... I will not be offended.

I am still wondering what some of the ladies think the passage is talking about. Rose, what do your words have to do with hair and head coverings? What do you think? Are you able to think about it, or do the words dance on the page in front of your eyes such that you can't even understand it? Understanding Scripture is a spiritual activity, and the enemy of our souls is very actively out seeking whom he may devour.

This also relates to the fact that older women are teaching younger women, but not necessarily things in line with the Bible. Bitter old feminist teachings seem to be gaining a lot of influence even in our most conservative of Evangelical churches.

Call it what you will, but the results will be the same as they have been in our liberal counsins' congregations. Some think it's a slippery slope.

No, not all good comps and conservatives believe that a woman needs to cover her head in order to glorify God at church. Not all are being sucked down that feminist vortex just because the women do not cover. The question is, though, what in the world WAS Paul talking about if he didn't mean it just as it reads?

CONSTANT ACCOMMODATION

Another reason headcoverings are not going to be making a comeback any time soon is that the church has become so "seeker-friendly," not to mention budget-conscious. Requiring headcoverings could greatly reduce attendance, and more likely cause a split! There is more of a desire to customize everything to cover all variety of modern sensibilities, comforts and conveniences. God's preferences get left out in favor of man-centered programs, and the desire to "reach people," which today necessarily involves bringing the world's thinking into the churches, being "tolerant," so the lost (and the saints?) do not feel out of place. Paul, who believed in being all things to all people, was quite a stickler for headcoverings, and wanted to squelch all contention over the practice. When I see the rejection of this today, and the claims it was just an ancient cultural norm that he was catering to (despite references to creation, angels and nature), I have to wonder why Paul argued so strongly for this, if it was something so well understood in the culture of his day. Why wasn't he tolerant? If we defend what the Bible says about headcovering like he did, it is all gaffed off as irrelevant. (So, can I wear my hat in church now?)

REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE

I learned in the PCA about the Regulative Principle: what is done in worship should consist of only what God has prescribed in His Word. Reformed-folk can get quite smug about this, and they like to point out that other denominations are disconnected from their forefathers and are basically adrift, reinventing the wheel as they make all sorts of unwaranted modifications to worship. But if one dares say that men being uncovered and women being covered is also what God has ordained for coming before Him properly -- it's even right there next to how to conduct Communion-- most likely that person will be considered a divisive, trouble-making nut, or perhaps even a misogynist. Don't modern believers in male-headship realize their own ancestors in the reformed faith --and others-- believed and practiced this? Interesting that we are so particular about getting worship right, but won't touch this subject with a 10-foot pole, and use the same weak excuses as the feminists use!

CALVIN

Even John Calvin upheld it, and covered all the basic objections.
"To see a woman shaven is a spectacle that is disgusting and monstrous. Hence we infer that the woman has her hair given her for a covering. Should any one now object, that her hair is enough, as being a natural covering, Paul says that it is not, for it is such a covering as requires another thing to be made use of for covering it."

http://truthinheart.com/EarlyOberlinCD/CD/Doctrine/Veilings.htm

It is ironic that one of the common sense defenses from nature Paul uses for veiling --long hair on women, short on men-- isn't even accepted anymore, and is considered totally a matter of personal taste and not related to one's sex at all. Paul is saying: 'The grass is green,' and we say in reply: 'Not necessarily,' or: 'Oh? We didn't really notice,' or: 'That's just what you think.' The Bible must have been wrong about a woman's glory, that it is shameful for a man to have long hair, or a woman to have short, etc.

AUGUSTINE

"Let me say, however, in regard to ornaments of gold and costly dress, that I would not have you come to a precipitate decision in the way of forbidding their use, except in the case of those who, neither being married nor intending to marry, are bound to consider only how they may please God. But those who belong to the world have also to consider how they may in these things please their wives if they be husbands, their husbands if they be wives; with this limitation, that it is not becoming even in married women to uncover their hair, since the apostle commands women to keep their heads covered. As to the use of pigments by women in colouring the face, in order to have a ruddier or a fairer complexion, this is a dishonest artifice, by which I am sure that even their own husbands do not wish to be deceived; and it is only for their own husbands that women ought to be permitted to adorn themselves, according to the toleration, not the injunction, of Scripture. For the true adorning, especially of Christian men and women, consists not only in the absence of all deceitful painting of the complexion, but in the possession not of magnificent golden ornaments or rich apparel, but of a blameless life."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102245.htm

John Chrysostom, Homily XXVI, "On the Veiling of Women."
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-12/npnf1-12-31.htm

Tertullian: "The Veiling of Virgins":
http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf04/anf04-09.htm
(People were saying that only married women had to cover, so he was making a case for all women to cover.)

Catholic site defending headcoverings, with writings of early fathers:
http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/d005rpVeil_1_Goodman.htm

I have seen Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Charles Hodge, Matthew Henry, John Wesley, John Murray and others having defended veiling. It even seems that R. C. Sproul does away with the cultural excuse to ignore it, in the back of his book "Knowing Scripture." I know that Tabletalk did a study on 1 Cor 11 in 1996, where headcoverings were clearly defended.

Well, if they don't believe Paul, they aren't going to believe anyone living or dead from any other century, either, I don't think.

--Michael Mc

ACCOMMODATION

Another reason headcoverings are not going to be making a comeback any time soon is that the church has become so "seeker-friendly," not to mention budget-conscious. Requiring headcoverings could greatly reduce attendance, and more likely cause a split! There is more of a desire to customize everything to cover all variety of modern sensibilities, comforts and conveniences. God's preferences get left out in favor of man-centered programs, and the desire to "reach people," which today necessarily involves bringing the world's thinking into the churches, being "tolerant," so the lost (and the saints?) do not feel out of place. Paul, who believed in being all things to all people, was quite a stickler for headcoverings, and wanted to squelch all contention over the practice. When I see the rejection of this today, and the claims it was just an ancient cultural norm that he was catering to (despite references to creation, angels and nature), I have to wonder why Paul argued so strongly for this, if it was something so well understood in the culture of his day. Why wasn't he tolerant? If we defend what the Bible says about headcovering like he did, it is all gaffed off as irrelevant. (So, can I wear my hat in church now?)

REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE

I learned in the PCA about the Regulative Principle: what is done in worship should consist of only what God has prescribed in His Word. Reformed-folk can get quite smug about this, and they like to point out that other denominations are disconnected from their forefathers and are basically adrift, reinventing the wheel as they make all sorts of unwaranted modifications to worship. But if one dares say that men being uncovered and women being covered is also what God has ordained for coming before Him properly -- it's even right there next to how to conduct Communion-- most likely that person will be considered a divisive, trouble-making nut, or perhaps even a misogynist. Don't modern believers in male-headship realize their own ancestors in the reformed faith --and others-- believed and practiced this? Interesting that we are so particular about getting worship right, but won't touch this subject with a 10-foot pole, and use the same weak excuses as the feminists use!

CALVIN

"To see a woman shaven is a spectacle that is disgusting and monstrous. Hence we infer that the woman has her hair given her for a covering. Should any one now object, that her hair is enough, as being a natural covering, Paul says that it is not, for it is such a covering as requires another thing to be made use of for covering it."

http://truthinheart.com/EarlyOberlinCD/CD/Doctrine/Veilings.htm

It is ironic that one of the common sense defenses from nature Paul uses for veiling --long hair on women, short on men-- isn't even accepted anymore, and is considered totally a matter of personal taste and not related to one's sex at all. Paul is saying: 'The grass is green,' and we say in reply: 'Not necessarily,' or: 'Oh? We didn't really notice,' or: 'That's just what you think.' The Bible must have been wrong about a woman's glory, that it is shameful for a man to have long hair, or a woman to have short, etc.

AUGUSTINE

"Let me say, however, in regard to ornaments of gold and costly dress, that I would not have you come to a precipitate decision in the way of forbidding their use, except in the case of those who, neither being married nor intending to marry, are bound to consider only how they may please God. But those who belong to the world have also to consider how they may in these things please their wives if they be husbands, their husbands if they be wives; with this limitation, that it is not becoming even in married women to uncover their hair, since the apostle commands women to keep their heads covered. As to the use of pigments by women in colouring the face, in order to have a ruddier or a fairer complexion, this is a dishonest artifice, by which I am sure that even their own husbands do not wish to be deceived; and it is only for their own husbands that women ought to be permitted to adorn themselves, according to the toleration, not the injunction, of Scripture. For the true adorning, especially of Christian men and women, consists not only in the absence of all deceitful painting of the complexion, but in the possession not of magnificent golden ornaments or rich apparel, but of a blameless life."

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102245.htm

John Chrysostom, Homily XXVI, "On the Veiling of Women."
http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-12/npnf1-12-31.htm

Tertullian: "The Veiling of Virgins":
http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf04/anf04-09.htm

I have seen Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Jerome, Charles Hodge, Matthew Henry, John Wesley, John Murray and others having defended veiling. It even seems that R. C. Sproul does away with the cultural excuse to ignore it, in the back of his book "Knowing Scripture." I know that Tabletalk did a study on 1 Cor 11 in 1996, where headcoverings were clearly defended.

--Michael Mc

So, then, Michael, teachers throughout church history both Catholic and Protestant, Calvinistic and Arminian, have pretty much all come down on the side of a woman covering her head in gathered worship and a man removing his covering in gathered worship? A plain reading of Scripture would tend towards such an interpretation.

Good info., as always. Michael Marlowe has done extensive and I believe irrefutable work in this area, too.

I'm going to resist my family this time and just let my hair grow longer - at least to the bottom of my neck, if not shoulders. We shall see. In my family, it's a group decision. Hey, I had it that way much of the time for many years when I was younger - until about 10 years ago or so.

Now don't laugh - well, I know that's impossible, since I would laugh too. However, I have opted for head bands. I also have hats and wear them at times. I always wear a head band. People are getting used to me, now. I just can't do the doily thing. They are very sweet and feminine, though.

I recently found a website with all kinds of hair coverings for sale. I think it's Jewish. Anyway, they have nice things for hair, including doilies and veils.

I never though I'd be talking this way...Of course I get accused of all kinds of cruel things, and I deserve it all - and more I suppose. No matter. Women get mocked for covering, Michael. Hey, I used to be one of the mockers!

There are Christian women who are unhappy knowing that there are other Christian women who submit themselves to such, in their minds, potential for abuse. They say it's all about abuse. Hmmm. Freud would call that projection, I believe.

No, this custom is not a matter of salvation, but it is a matter of propriety. Besides, if we deliberately twist or misinterpret the meaning of this passage, how will we resist on other, more important passages of Scripture?

No, not all good christians agree...but it's certainly an issue that needs to be revisited, it seems to me. It is especially important in our day when very few have a clue about what is proper and what is not.

Most of us don't even take the time to look into it. If I remember right, even Grudem was beginning to see that this passage is talking about covering the covering, no? I'll have to go back and look...

Thanks, Michael, and God bless,
Donna L. Carlaw

I have questions as to the logic and reasoning used by people who interpret the bible, as well as some who wrote it. First of all it seems most of you people are assuming that by men going bald more often than women it is a "sign" from nature that men should have short hair. However, as a proud young Native American man I have always worn my hair just past my shoulders, which is actually shorter than my male ancestors did. We Native American men rarely experience baldness. In fact many of us experience less balding than white WOMEN in many instances. What then is Nature teaching us? Of course I understand that the apostle Paul wasn't a biologist or geneticist, nor did he even know that we Natives existed, for he probably still assumed the Earth was flat and at the center of the universe and that people on his side of the ocean were all that existed. Secondly, even if Nature was teaching a man to wear his hair short by making him go bald, then by that same logic men should never shave their face. Nature is clearly trying to teach men that they should have facial hair by making it so that it grows much more so than a womans. Of course this is absurd and not treated the same as I don't see pastors everywhere with long beards (not to mention this is another difference between races as we Native Americans do not grow facial hair in near the same capacity as others). Please respond in an intelligent way if possible.

John,

"Please respond in an intelligent way if possible."

Would you be satisfied if someone replied with as much intelligence as you displayed in the question?

I guess I must be one of those who lacks sufficient intelligence to perceive the premise to your comment/question. No where in 1 Corinthians 11 is there anything about men going bald. Can you illumine me, please? Also, I do not recall this being a feature of any comment in this discussion. But, perhaps I have unintelligently overlooked the comment. Please point out to me who this commenter was who said this.

As for men shaving their beards off, this is, indeed, prohibited in the Mosaic law. And, while there is no Apostolic comment on this (as, for example, Paul's on hair length), many groups within Christendom have followed the prescription. Orthodox priests and bishiops to this day wear beards. I'm not up on the history of the custom throughout Christian history, but I note that painting and sculpture in the Western Church typically portray men with beards.

open your eyes man...if you dont know what im talking about with men going bald then maybe you arent intelligent enough to keep up. I keep seeing people talk about a scripture where Paul says something about "Nature teaching us" that if a man has long hair it is shameful...people keep interpreting this as meaning since men go bald more than women they should not grow their hair out. As for the facial hair I am speaking of the here and now, the present...i dont know what clergy or bishops did hundreds or even thousands of years ago..i know what i see now and the majority of preachers i see in this country do not have facial hair...some do but they are the minority from what i can tell. My point is that same logic i just described with Nature teaching men about the hair on top of their skull isn't applied to the hair on their face...it would go something like this "Doth not even Nature teach us that if a man shave the hair from his face that God gave him it is a shame unto him?"...surely this would be so since women cant grow as much facial hair as men...same logic.

honestly bill thats about the best answer I've ever heard and is about all I've come to expect.

John,

There are a fair number of kind and knowledgeable readers of this blog who routinely provide thoughtful and considerate answers to questions not unlike yours. But in the context of this discussion, nobody can make sense of your reasoning. Do you realize that you are the very first person to connect "Does not nature teach us" with baldness in men? In fact you're the first commenter to mention the words "bald," "balding," or "baldness." Yet you seem convinced that everyone here interprets Paul's appeal to nature in this way, and are either too snotty to interact with you about it, or too stupid to understand the obvious meaning of scripture. I assure you that Fr. Bill is none of these and if you interact with him humbly, you're bound to get a thorough answer from him yet.

You may feel that you've made your point John, but some very clever men are unable to decipher it, so that should tell you something. Furthermore, I suggest extending to other commenters the same courtesies you seek from them. Most of the readers here labor intensely with the work God has called them to. Nobody has time or inclination to respond generously to an obnoxious or obstinate man.

John:
I have questions as to the logic and reasoning used by people who interpret the bible, as well as some who wrote it. >>>>

Hi, John,
How are you doing?

I think that this sentence is the key to understanding what you are saying. It's not just guys like Fr. Bill or Michael you are questioning.

You wonder at the apostle Paul's logic and reasoning, too. Right?

I think that if you consider the idea of "nature" as having to do with there being natural differences between men and women, you will be able to get a better understanding of Paul's reasoning. These differences are part of our Designer's programming in us as human beings made in the image of God. (Read Genesis 1)

We are one race, the human race. There are obvious, gender-specific differences observed in all ethnic groups. This is universal. These differences are shown in things like hair, head coverings, and clothing.

Men and women do not dress alike, they do not keep their hair alike, they do not do the same things with their hair. Cross-dressing is an abomination in God's eyes. It is also an abomination in most cultures. It is a matter of nature. Right?

Paul is telling what is proper in gathered worship based on our differences in gender and how each one of us respects the glory of God.

Men take their coverings off. Women either leave theirs on or put one on. It's pretty simple. It has to do with God's glory and the angels - as Fr. Bill tried to explain.

If you are in church, do you take your hat off? If you don't, you should.

It's pretty simple. It's not rocket science.

This is a matter of Christian "culture" and tradition, which may or may not run contrary to any given ethnic group's traditions. Through the centuries, this tradition has been observed - whether men have long hair or short, beards of clean-shaven, etc. Men take their hats off and women leave theirs on or put a covering on during gathered worship.

What's the big deal?

BTW, do native American Christian men take off their hats in church? If they do, have you ever asked them why they do it? It might surprise you.

Hair length and beards are related. Women dont' grow beards. Men do. It's a manly thing.

Even if men grow long hair, there are generally differences made between a woman's long hair and a man's; what a women puts in or on her hair is different from what a man puts in or on his hair - except during the Hippie era when drugs seemed to dictate style, and it was not a good mix, but I never saw any guys with long hair and flowers.

Besides, the general rule across all cultures is that men keep their hair short or shortish and women keep their hair long. There are exceptions. Even then, differences are made between the genders in what they to to their hair.

Our own, American culture has been corrupted by many - women especially - who wish to cast off all proper restraint in an effort to become "free." Since this discussion began with Britney Spears and her recent melt-down and hairacide, the important questions have to do with what in the world women are thinking.

Christian men and women should reflect different, more noble, more consistent with who we are as "male and female made in God's image" kinds of values.

I believe in freedom. I love being free. However, I do not wish to be free of my own, feminine nature. That would be an abomination and a denial of my Creator - and a denial of who I am. My rejection of my gendered nature would show a disrespect for the glory of God.

I am sure that you do not wish to reject your masculinity, either, John. After all, it's part of who you are, part of your nature as a human being.

My respect for who God made me to be is reflected, somehow, in how I dress, how I keep my hair, and even what I do in gathered worship as a woman, not a man.

What is illogical about that?

God bless, and please take care,
Mrs. Rex Lee Carlaw
a.k.a., Donna L. Carlaw

Ladies, don't forget your Easter bonnets -- only 3 shopping days left! (It used to be an American tradition to get a new bonnet at Easter -- before feminism.)

It is interesting that influential non-Catholic women will apparently reverently veil themselves before the Pope, but not in the presence of God in his church. Here are short-haired Princess Diana and First Lady Laura Bush wearing veils during separate audiences with the Pope:

http://www.geocities.com/yello_armadillo/CCC/Diana-Laura-Pope.jpg

Why do they respect this man's wishes more than God's? I also note Prince Charles and President Bush are uncovered. Nobody has on blue jeans, either.

But, even complementarians today will insist that the meaning is lost and no one understands headcovering. We are told it's from a different culture, not ours, so therefore there is no need to do what God specifies...

Well, here's a picture of these clueless comps' own American ancestors coming out of a worship service 50-60 years ago:

http://www.geocities.com/yello_armadillo/CCC/CHURCH.jpg

I see the men have their hats off indoors and put them back on as they emerge from the Sanctuary (one man holding his and two men are shown in the act of putting theirs back on). But the women and girls all have theirs on inside and out. Plus -- even more amazing -- they all have on modest female clothes!

I know headcoverings are supposed to oppressive and all that, but Irving Berlin didn't seem to think so:

In your Easter bonnet

with all the frills upon it,

you'll be the grandest lady

in the Easter Parade!

I'll be all in clover,

and when they look you over

I'll be the proudest fella

in the Easter Parade!

On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue,

the photographers will snap us

and you'll find that you're

in the rotogravure.

Oh, I could write a sonnet

about your Easter bonnet

and of the girl I'm taking

to the Easter Parade!

--from "Easter Parade" staring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire

[Before someone says anything -- yes, I know that headcoverings have been used as showy, attention-getting devices, which goes a bit against the whole original idea, and is one of the reasons they disappeared -- it became mere fashion.]

--Michael McMillan

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