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Should women cover their head during prayer?

Discussion in 'Baptists' started by Beckyy25, Dec 21, 2008.

Do women have to cover their head during prayer?

  1. Yes (fully).

  2. Yes (partially).

  3. No.

  4. Don't know.

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  1. Beckyy25

    Beckyy25 Contributor

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    I don't know if this issue has been discussed already in this forum because I'm quite new here and I did not read many of the older threads. So I thought I will ask about that here, as this is an issue I am really interested in. I have heard sermons about that, but not one of them had a specific answer to that question.

    Let me quote the verses which talk about this issue:

    - Should women cover their head during prayer?
    - What is the appropriate cover (headscarf, hat, etc.)?
    - Should their head be covered fully or only partially?
    - Should women cover their head only during prayer at church or also when praying at home?

    As for me, I do cover my head at church, but only partially. I do not cover it at home while praying. But according to the above verses, I think I should cover my head always while praying.

    Also I have seen many people arguing whether women should wear a headscarf or a hat or something else as a cover. Some even say long hair is already the cover, so there is no need of an additional cover for the head.

    This issue always caused confusion to me, and so I decided to post it here where I can hopefully see many of your answers and thoughts about this issue.
     
  2. PrincetonGuy

    PrincetonGuy Veteran

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    Whether or not it is important for Christians to obey the instructions given to men and women in 1 Cor. 11:1-16 can easily be determined by considering whether Paul mentions them only is passing or presents an exceptionally strong case for the need to obey the instructions. And in 1 Cor. 11:1-16 we read,

    1. Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
    2. Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them 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 she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.
    6. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.
    7. For a man ought not to 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 ought to 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 originates 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 not even nature itself 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 for a covering.
    16. But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God. (NASB, 1995)

    Paul very carefully presents an exceptionally strong case against the practice of some men having their head covered when they pray and women not covering their head when they pray. Indeed, Paul presents a stronger case against these practices than he does against any other practices in the church other than the misuse of the spiritual gifts. And in the case before us Paul explicitly tells us why the issue is so extremely important—“Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

    According to Paul’s very carefully structured argument, the practice of some men having their head covered when they pray and women not covering their head when they pray makes a mockery of this foundational New Testament truth. In the course of his argument, he twice uses the Greek word καταισχυνει meaning disgraces, brings shame to, or dishonors (see the many uses of this word in the Greek New Testament) telling us that it is wrong, a sin, for a Christian to do such a thing. As his argument progresses, he writes in verse 12 that such a practice violates a basic principle taught in the Old Testament and writes in verse 14 that such a practice violates a truth taught by nature. In closing his argument, he writes in verse 16 of those contentious persons who choose to ignore both a basic principle taught in the Old Testament and a truth taught by nature and writes that “we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God,” but to yield to both a basic principle taught in the Old Testament and a truth taught by nature.

    The structure, force, and documentation that Paul uses in his argument in 1 Cor. 1. 1-16 absolutely rules out any possibility whatsoever that this was a just a local, cultural issue. Indeed the structure, force, and documentation that Paul uses in his argument in 1 Cor. 1. 1-16 make it expressly clear that this is a universal issue of substantial importance, an issue of substantial importance that only in the last several decades has been very widely ignored by the Church. Indeed, I very clearly remember watching newsreel footage filmed during World War II in the United States of prayer meetings held during the lunch hour in defense plants, and in this footage it shows the women, as they enter the room for prayer, picking up a prayer bonnet from a box by the door and putting it on their heads before beginning to pray.

    Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head, but every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head.
     
    MrJim likes this.
  3. Canuckmom

    Canuckmom Regular Member

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    I voted yes, and I always wear a head scarf to church. I have wondered about the wearing of a cover for prayer at home and I respect those that do, but think that Paul is addressing the issue of public worship.
     
    Beckyy25 likes this.
  4. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    I don't know. I just take off any hat out of custom. I think princetonguy's argument is strong. Paul makes it very obvious that this is something that should be done due to nature not custom. However, that very fact raises more questions for me.

    Paul treats this as something so obviously disgraceful that he himself really need not teach it. He asks "does not even nature teach?" However, when I look at nature, I don't see how cloth on the head has anything to do with anything as far as men and women are supposed to behave, and I am not alone in this confusion. Usually, whether or not I can understand why the Bible says to do something doesn't matter when I'm determining what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to do what it says, regardless. However, if Paul says "Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her" then nature itself had better teach me this. The fact that we don't automatically think of hats as a woman's glory makes me very concerned that we're totally missing the point of this verse.

    But, as I said, I don't know how to take this passage.
     
  5. mlqurgw

    mlqurgw New Member

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    I take it the same as the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols: it is a matter of conscience. If your conscience demands that you cover your head with a cloth or hat then you ought to do it. If you can worship without it then that is OK as well. The covering of the head is symbolic. It represents something that stands between us and Christ. A man must uncover his head so that Christ can be worshipped. A woman must cover her head, the man, so that Christ can be worshipped. The worship of God isn't in physical acts but in spiritual reality.
     
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  6. Beckyy25

    Beckyy25 Contributor

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    Thank you for taking time to reply to my post. God bless you all!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you! :wave:
     
  7. Ave Maria

    Ave Maria Ave Maria Gratia Plena

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  8. StreetPreacher82

    StreetPreacher82 Walking from the valley to the mountain...</br><b> Supporter

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    Good article! And it makes a strong point using the scripture...

    I Corinthians 11:14-16 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
     
  9. Beckyy25

    Beckyy25 Contributor

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    So you think that women with long hair should not cover their head while praying, because the long hair is already the haircover, and women with short hair have to cover their head during prayer, is that right?
     
  10. StreetPreacher82

    StreetPreacher82 Walking from the valley to the mountain...</br><b> Supporter

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    I would not go that far. I just see that scripture as compelling evidence against head coverings. Honestly, how would we know if it was long enough. To slippery of a slope for me. :D
     
  11. trinityisunity

    trinityisunity Has lost 14 kilos (31 pounds) in 14 weeks!!!

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    I voted no. I do not believe women have to wear a head covering when praying. In fact in all the Baptist churches and other denominations I have visited I have never seen any women cover their head for praying. I believe it is a personal choice for the woman concerned, ie, if you want to, that's fine and if you do not wish to, that's also ok. Now to throw in my view on men with their heads covered while praying. I do not wear a hat/cap very often and if I do happen to have one on and have gone to music practice or a homegroup with a cap on I will remove it while someone is praying or if I pray myself. I do this as respect for God.
     
  12. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    But those two practices are supposedly derived from the same passage. If the hats come off the men, they need to go on the women.
     
  13. Beckyy25

    Beckyy25 Contributor

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    I agree with that. If you remove your cap out of respect for God while praying, then it's only logical that also women should cover their head while praying out of respect for God. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  14. DarkNLovely

    DarkNLovely Dark am I, yet lovely.....Song of Songs 1:5

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    Wow! That's so strange to hear that you have never been in a Baptist church that practices head covering. In the US, it is somewhat a symbol for black Baptists women. I am decended of many Baptists and my grandmother would NEVER leave the house without her head covered and she would probably rather have died than to to go to church without doing so. Lol!

    Hey! Are these guys the same as ya'll or are they some other type of Baptists. http://coveredbaptists.proboards31.com/index.cgi?board=reflections :hug:


     
  15. DarkNLovely

    DarkNLovely Dark am I, yet lovely.....Song of Songs 1:5

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    May I also respectfully add that Paul makes a similar case when talking about women preaching and having authority over men. He didn't teach with cultural examples only as those of the opposition would like to belive. He also used spiritual principles, which makes these laws timeless and universal.
     
  16. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    However on top of spiritual principles, he also used natural principles. If even nature tells us that it is shameful, before I believe that we have arrived at the right interpretation, the proponents of that understanding must explain why nature isn't telling any of us the same thing.
     
  17. Cody2

    Cody2 Guest

    I believe women should have long hair. I believe their covering is their hair. So yes, every woman should have a covering when they pray, their hair. Obviously, God understands if the woman has lost her hair or another situation like that.

    1 Corinthians 11:15 "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." KJB
     
  18. Epiphoskei

    Epiphoskei Senior Veteran

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    Which brings up the problem of what is meant by "long."
     
  19. Beckyy25

    Beckyy25 Contributor

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    And what should a woman who does not have long hair do ? Cover hear head with something else? Or wait until her hair gets long enough? ;)
     
  20. Cody2

    Cody2 Guest

    Read the verses concerning the subject and PRAY about it.
     
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