Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just a few thoughts with 1 Corinthians 11

Command?

In a discussion of law and faith, THE GOSPEL HALLER BLOG expounds on the thoughts of 1 Corinthians 11. "The White Shirt Burden Pt. 2 of 2" includes the full text from the New Testament, and also some comparison with the problem with the Pharisees of Matthew 15. The question that often arises for Christians in the subject of headcovering is "What is essential? Are we teaching as doctrine the commandments of men?" (Mt. 15:9) The point of this article, as I understand it, is to explain the difference between command or "good idea" in use of color in clothing (in this case, a white shirt). Is it that important after all? But the point made for our blog is this, from verse 16 of the letter to the Corinthians - the apostles have no other practice than the headcovering for women which they pass on in their authority as teachers of the law of Christ, therefore, no other law than woman's headcovering and man's uncovering in worship should be taught, bound or followed.

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Custom?

Alithos Anesti! writes in "Thoughts off the top of my head about Orthodox Unity" of a desire to see all followers of Orthodox faith unite under the sole authority of One Truth. In that plea, we read: "Who knows, maybe women would start covering their heads in Church again, simply out of a humble heartfelt desire to obey the Scriptures."

I had contacted the Orthodox church office in my area when I first began looking for headcoverings - did any of the women there wear a covering to worship, and if so what? The dear man responded much the same way as this Orthodox author:

Here at [name removed] we have been able to implement many of our traditional practices - unfortunately, the women with their heads covered is not one of them. I have a wife and 4 daughters, and, although I have encouraged the custom, - it has never caught on.

Occasionally, someone will visit that has arrived recently from Ukraine, have their head covered, and invariably conform to what the other women are doing. Too bad....

If you come to pray with us, I would encourage you not to give in.

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Nature?

I often wonder about the many women and men who lose their hair due to cancer treatments. Headcovers.com is a wonderful example of the many ways that women, especially, attempt to keep their heads covered - not from religious law, or tradition, but just human nature. In an article I came across online, one young girl is quoted: “I was really sad when it happened to me . . . When my hair started falling out, I didn’t want to go out anywhere or do anything.”

There is a verse in the 1 Corinthians 11 which states that even nature shows us that hair is the glory of a woman. I just see these things as confirmation of that nature.

Please read the article, "Giving in Style", for a neat idea of helping those who are so affected.

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Obedience?

In the article "Legalism and Living a Pure Life", Mrs. Gunning writes:

When I read something in Scripture, I do not excuse myself from doing it because it's not "culturally relevant" for today, and to that end, I am sure some people would call me legalistsic.

However, that, even in the secular sense, is not what legalism is. Legalism is not listening to "the Spirit." Which I certainly try my hardest to do.

Nor do I believe that salvation comes through works (i.e. the wearing of a covering, being a keeper at home, homeschooling my child rather than sending them to a pagan public school, etc.), but rather, that works are evidence of salvation. When we love the Lord, we obey His commands out of love. But by no means do I believe I am going to heaven because I wear a head covering or keep my home. My trust (and everyone's) and hope for Paradise is evidenced by obedience.
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