Testimony of your church speakers
Ladies, before you delete this post, from all the commentaries that I have read, the heart of
the issue of this passage is; how do your preachers/ teachers honor God in your culture by their dress or demeanor? How do you represent God to others through the church pulpit or public prayer? What is your heart in your representing Him? Are you trying to draw attention to yourself or to God by what you do in any giving culture? Head coverings or veils portray the idea that it is the message, not the messenger who has the authority and deserves the focus, saying – don’t try to look at me under this veil, it is not about me, pay attention to what is being said (“Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger”). Look at the example in heaven. The angels fly around the throne with their faces and feet covered calling out Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD God Almighty… They are drawing no attention to themselves as they declare his glory. As teachers, we are to be “spot light operators” as we direct people’s attention to God, not “performers in the spotlight”. When our dress and or demeanor redirect the people’s focus on to us as speakers, we are stealing the spotlight from God. Coverings portray God’s authority over us. What does that look like culturally today in the west as compared to the Middle East?
Propriety in Worship
1Cor 11:2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you. 3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6 If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. 7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head. 11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the Almighty God of Heaven and I deserve your respect. I have made a way for all men and women to approach my throne boldly as my children through Christ. How you approach me will reveal what you think of me, and how you pray in public will show that to the world. All too often you pray mindlessly, without considering whom you are speaking to. Are your prayers about showing people what you know rather than actually entreating something from me? When you treat me as a peer, you will come before me irreverently. When you treat me as the Great I AM of the burning bush you should respect me. I AM your Father, whom you should respect and humble yourself with gladness and confidence.
I AM God for ALL cultures. In Christ there are no Jew and Gentile, slave or free, male or female, as all are one; but what good does it do you or what glory does it reflect on me when the communities in your culture have problems with your Christian liberties. Yes all things are allowed, but why flaunt them to the detriment of your testimony within your culture? If you repel the listeners by the way you pray, what good are they for my glory? None. My Gospel and my church are to thrive in every culture. Consider your audience both within your own culture as well as cross culturally and bring them along in your Christian liberties carefully so as not to offend. Do not live for your liberty’s sake but for my glory’s sake.
Women in the limelight
It is a natural tendency for women to want spotlights shown on them. When God separated Eve from Adam, he divided many of his transferable attributes between them. God put the desire to be noticed by others predominantly in women to reflect God’s desire for humanity to notice him. Women want the attention of their significant other, other women, and thanks to our western ways; even women leaders in our congregations desire celebrity attention. (Don’t believe me? Just look at how your little girls twirl their new dresses for you, or how women desire that you notice anything new.) This passage deals with this desire in the service of the church and it will look different in each culture. Whether you are a man or a woman teacher, what is your focus in ministry – personal popularity, to impress, to increase in numbers? If so, you are stepping out from under your God given authority. This is why in Biblical times; coverings were given to women as a reminder. What reminder can you practice today in your culture?
The way it is and how it got there
Ever since from the curse after the fall in the Garden, women have longed to usurp man’s authority, and conversely ever since then, man tends to relegate his authority to her as he did in the confrontation with Satan. Balance is needed. Men need to step up and take their God given roles in the home and church seriously and should give women in Christ the proper liberty to exercise their gifts as co-heirs in Christ. But also, women need to willingly support and yield to the man’s position over them under Christ and his God given authority in the church and home as this passage points out. How you act at home is reflected in the church regardless of whether you can see it or not. Others can.
In the church – Just because women feel like they can run the home better than men, does not give them permission to take over the running of the church. However, because women are good at running the home, they are natural candidates for taking positions in the church provided they have a right attitude about it. How is your head covering fitting? Are you humbly lending your talents and spiritual gifting to the Lord in his church? Or are you trying to get ahead and make a name for yourself stealing the limelight? Godly humility recognizes gifting in self and others and exercises them for the Lord’s glory and not our own. It allows others to take the stage to exercise their gifts. Man’s tendency is to be a slacker and let others do the work, but this is not an excuse for women to jump up to run the show. Bottom line, the best way to represent God to others is to show the world humility so that the message you are trying to convey is not confused with showboating.
More to come,