6.22.2009

Headcovering

So there are people who have some theories on why I have begun to wear head coverings in church.
1- I believe that everything in the Bible is to be taken literally and the culture of the writing is irrelevant.
2- I am trying to be more "Catholic".
3- I have a some kind of drive to rebel.
4- I have been brainwashed by my ultra-conservative upbringing into not thinking for myself and allowing myself and other women to be subjugated.

One through three have some amount of truth. The fourth is just ridiculous and obviously spoken by someone who has never met my mother.
I do believe that everything in the bible is true and that it was written when and how it was for a reason and that there is something to be gleaned from almost every verse in the Bible. There is the one exception of that greeting Paul has about his coat, but when I get to heaven I am asking what that was about! But my choice to cover my head comes from an understanding of the cultural context, not an ignorance of it.
A woman with her head uncovered speaking in an educated way in Corinth was a courtesan. So women were to cover their heads and not speak in public gatherings so that the upstanding citizens of Corinth did not assume that Christian women were women of ill repute. The respect for women comes in here, Paul never said stop educating Christian women.
So what does that have to do with me then? Nobody assumes I'm a call girl because I don't where a head covering. Well when you see me in a head covering you make some other assumptions. You assume my belief in traditional gender roles and I am set apart from other women. In a society that is working very hard to destroy the delineations between the genders this is my way of saying "Not me! I am a woman and I strive to play a woman's role."
I am trying to be more catholic. I am not trying to be more Catholic. I am trying to be in line with the church universal. Not just the modern church but the church that has existed for 2000 years. It isn't until the mid 19th Century that ANY creedal denomination condones a woman entering the sanctuary uncovered.
That leads to number three. I do have a need to rebel. I have a need to rebel against the modern church claiming an exclusive right to define a faith that is two millenia in the making. If this were truth, and God was in control, why would he allow his church to continue in darkness for 1875 years and then imbue American theologians with knowledge and understanding which he denied his children, and his bride, for that long? I rebel against the arrogance of modernity (and post-modernity) that says that somehow we are better equipped now than ever before to understand the nature of truth. Was God simply waiting for Americans to evolve from the lesser Christians in order that his will would truly be known?
I am not asking anyone to join me. I'm just asking you to consider what banners you chose to stand under.

4 comments:

LisaM said...

Oh, I like that last challenge to the assumption of the modern era in the US regarding who knows the Truth. Good short answers, I think.

Dawn said...

Hello there!

New reader and fellow headcovering Sister in Christ. :)

Excellent article!

Ugh..the 'culture' argument against headcovering drives me up the wall. If headcovering is cultural than so is taking Communion since it's mentioned in the same chapter. The cultural idea holds no weight.

Oh Sister, I have been asked everything from 'what kind of costume are you wearing to being asked if I were Muslim, Mormon, doing charity work, Pentecostal, Jewish, etc, etc.'. I don't mind though, it's a good witnessing opportunity to explain to them that headcovering is indeed Biblical. :)

It's fun to be rebellious for Christ.
More and more Christian ladies are being led to 'rebel' by Him as well. It's great! :)

Blessings to you ~

Dawn

Erin Leigh said...

I should say, as you can tell from the picture on the blog, I only cover my head in church. But as an Anglican Christian my witness for biblical gender roles IN the church is even more important right now. After study my husband and I came to the decision that head covering was called for in services. But I am in the process of growing out my hair which I have always worn VERY short.
There is some difference between the sacrament and head covering. I can't tell a sister that her obedience to head covering is a sign of her salvation. But refusing to partake of the Lord's Supper or be baptized leads me to question the persons very salvation. Christ directly commands only 2 things of us. That we Believe & be Baptized and that we "Do this in remembrance" Head covering is not in the Creeds, I can't judge, just suggest.

Dave and Jacque Fessenden said...

Hey Erin, I really like your post on head coverings even though I don't think it's for me. I came to Christ during the 70's Jesus movement and both my husband and I came from liberal high church backgrounds. As my son says- becoming a Christian was my rebellion. To me wearing a head covering when I have hair seems like going backwards. I can tell though that it makes your prayer experience more meaningful for you so go for it. Your children will probably rebel against that and so life goes on generation to generation. I am getting interested in the concept of personal prayer retreats. Have you done any reading on this?