In the 60’s and 70’s the fashionuable way for men to wear their hair became really long. In the 60’s and 70’s A.D. in Corinth, men wearing their hair long could be a sign of sexual deviancy. So, I guess there were no hippies in the Corinthian church! Women wearing their hair short was also a sign of either sexual deviancy or disrespect for their spouse. To appeal to the culture and to restore proper respect in relationships in Corinth, Paul dictates how hair should be worn. This meant that worship would be able to continue in an orderly fashion. An equivalent today would be if Christian women decided that since men have the freedom not to wear shirts, they could come to church without a shirt on. Although this is common practice on French beaches, it would be a scandal in the church.
1 Corinthians 11: 11-15
11In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
- Who is not independent from woman?
- What does the ‘nature of things’ tell you about a man with long hair?
- Why is this ironic coming from Paul when he knows that the Nazarite vow includes a man growing long hair?
- What fashions have become a natural part of North American culture?
- What things might a person do to show their freedom in Christ that would bring disorder to worship services?
http://simplegathering.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=3012 is a link to a discussion in the Plymouth Brethren Church about head covering. After reading yesterday’s and today’s passages how would you respond to their perspective?