The Application of Women Wearing Head Covering and Their Role in Ministry Based on 1 Corinthians 11:3-6 and 14:34, 35
Keywords:Headship, head covering
1 Corinthians 11:3-6 and 14:34, 35 are two of controversial passages in the New Testament. Many interpretations arose to explain these two passages. Some said that they are statements of Paul’s erroneous views about women having subordinate roles to men. In other words, these two passages instruct women on how to speak, pray and prophesy in the church or congregation. But others said that women are required to wear coverings (hats) in the church. There are some issues will be discussed in this writing: (1) What is the meaning of “Headship” in 1 Corinthians 11:3-6;? (2) What is the meaning of “head-covering as a mark of subordination” in 1 Corinthians 11:3-6;? (3) How is women’s role in the church or ministry as the application of 1 Corinthians 14:34, 35;? (4) The last, in the countries where most of the populations are Moslem or Moslem countries using head coverings is a must. Thequestion is what to do if women in these Moslem countries convert to Christianity? Do they have to wear head coverings in the church? How about for women who are not living in Moslem countries? Do women in such countries have to wear head coverings when they come and participate in church service? Then, the purposes of the study are: (1) Readers may understand the meaning of “Headship” based on 1 Corinthians 11:3-6; (2) Readers may understand the meaning of “head-covering as a mark of subordination” based on 1 Corinthians 11:3-6; (3) Readers may know the women’s role in the church or ministry as the application of 1 Corinthians 14:34,35; (4) For those who live in Moslem countries or those who convert to Christianity from Moslem background, the issue of wearing head coverings or not will not be an issue anymore in the church. As the results of the study are: (1) Headship’s concept is the concept of love not oppression as God is head of Christ; Christ is head of man; man is head of woman in love’s perspective not as slave. The word “head” in “headship” is understood metaphorically. It means source. God is source of Christ; Christ is source of man; and Man is source of woman; (2) Using veil for women is only for women in Corinth not for every woman all over the world at Paul’s time. A veil or head coverings is a custom for Corinthians’ women, and they must use it to honor their custom and to distinguish themselves from idolatrous women and prostitutes; (3) All women from Genesis until now still have their roles in ministry and on top of it, in the last days as Joel mentioned in Joel 2:28-29, women (daughters) will prophesy as man (sons). Women are a part of God’s ministry, men’s partner, so church should encourage them to be more active in church’s ministry. Women have to use their freedom in the plan of salvation; (4) For Christians today, they may follow their customs as long as the customs are not against the word of God. Or, if the custom is identical to a particular religion, then Christian must avoid it for it will cause misunderstanding and even becomes stumbling block for other Christians and non-Christians.
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