Thursday, August 16, 2012

Headship, Hair, and Head Covering

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Fri., Aug. 17)
I Corinthians 11:1-16

1 Now I praise you, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 2 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. I Corinthians 11:1-2 (NKJV)

The first part of I Corinthians chapter 11 is one of the most misunderstood passages of the New Testament. It talks about HEADSHIP and HEAD COVERINGS. The first is not politically correct. The second is obscure and old-fashioned.

When I was growing up, I remember that women often wore hats to church. But, I never thought it would be a DOCTRINE. Today, there are entire denominations that take the head covering thing so literally that their women always either have a hat or doily on their head.  Some denominations forbid their women from ever cutting their hair at all.
The lesson of these verses is not to teach people HAIR STYLES. It is to teach important principles of the Kingdom of God. There are three levels at which we encounter TRUTH. They are:

1. BASIC BELIEFS.        

Another way of saying this is:
1.  BELIEFS.            2.  VALUES.            3.  TRADITIONS

Our traditions (see I Co. 11:1) are nothing more than the practical way we express or walk out what we believe and value.

In this passage, the BASIC BELIEF is that God made men and women different from each other and they COMPLEMENT each other. He has established the husband as the "head of the house." This is a beautiful reflection of the relationships in the Godhead!  Headship is not domination. It is Godly care and leadership.

Paul uses hair as nothing more than an illustration of a deeper truth. The problem comes when we detach the tradition from the basic belief, and it then becomes a RELIGIOUS SYMBOL.

So the issue is not hair. Paul says that if you get confused and contentious about this, you've missed the point. The issue is the beauty of DIVINE ORDER - the beauty of godly HEADSHIP. God has covering for each of us. It is an outflow of His Fatherhood. Ask God today to show you more of how His headship works in your life. It is liberating and it is powerful.

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