In 1 Corinthians 11: 2-16, we are introduced to the subject of head covering.
2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I handed them down to you. 3 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 it is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, have her also cut her hair off; however, if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, have her cover her head. 7 For a man should not 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 should 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 originated 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 even nature itself not 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 as a covering. 16 But if anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor have the churches of God.
God devoted 15 verses to the subject of head covers. Within these verses, two different forms of covering are discussed: a woman’s long hair and a cloth covering. By covering when she is in corporate worship, a woman covers her glory (her hair), her husband’s glory (the woman), and thus only God’s glory remains. There is no mention of head covering being cultural, temporary, or of no importance (a strange argument but one that is made at times).
For nearly 20 centuries, the church universal was faithful to practice head covering. It was taught by church fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, and many godly men even unto today. Head covering is still practiced in much of Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. It was in practice in the US until mid-to-late 20th century.
Why did the practice cease in the United States? In a word: feminism.
R.C. Sproul, “The wearing of fabric headcoverings 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 of Jesus Christ which is “the pillar and ground of the truth.“
Head covering is a symbol of male headship; feminists hate that. They saw head covers as “oppression” of women by men and the church. Thus feminists fought to get women to forsake the covering and were overall successful in doing so.
Some argue that because this is the only time head covers are discussed, God didn’t take it seriously. this is an erroneous argument that only someone who doesn’t reverence Scripture would ever consider. Does God really have to say something twice view it as biblical?
Others believe head covering to be an archaic symbol that has no place in our more enlightened time. Some argue that the symbol itself was cultural. Still others say the symbolism of it can easily be replaced by some other symbol such as a wedding ring.
It is argued by some that the husband is the woman’s covering and by others that a woman’s hair is her covering. I’ve even heard the argument that dressing in a feminine fashion is our covering today. These are just some of the arguments that are made by the modern church.
We don’t know it but we’re playing the game that feminism started. It’s time for this to stop and for God’s Word to be honored once again.
The truth is, no matter what God commands, we ought to take seriously, but with this subject, we don’t.
Are head coverings biblical? God hath said and it behooves us to obey otherwise we’re guilty of the same sin Eve was when Satan asked her, “Did God really say?” and she failed to acknowledge that He had.
Soli Deo Gloria!