Friday, June 17, 2011

Of hats and hair.

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, 3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. ESV

The other day I heard a preacher say that he is going to start church discipline against women who do not wear head coverings or men with long hair. It was his opinion since it was an apostolic command it should be adhered to and to not do it would damage the person.

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 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. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. ESV

The above passage is used to insist that women cover the head while in church. This was customary in all churches years ago. Since it is not customary in some churches it would be incorrect to discipline women who do not cover the head. This is inventing a weight or a law for her to bear which is outside of scripture. In this way one resembles the Pharisees of Jesus’ day which is something he does not tolerate. A better use of a pastor’s time is to do what Jesus says and tell people their sins are forgiven. John 20:23

1 Corinthians 11:16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. ESV

This verse seems to toss it all out the window about long hair on men and head coverings for women to place him or her under bondage. A pastor’s time would be better spent working to increase in his flock more trust in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. In that way he would encourage to keep eyes on Jesus and to live in the peace that gives.

In the name of Jesus. Amen †