Not Really About Hats or Hair Length…

One of my new cessationist friends said something that has made me think (very cruel of her to do that!)

I had made the point that scripture makes it clear that Spiritual gifts were given to the church, but nowhere does it make it clear that those gifts would be withdrawn within less than a century (or even in subsequent centuries).

She made the comparison with what scripture says about womens’ head coverings and hair length. Should we consider THEY are still necessary because scripture doesn’t mention a withdrawal of that requirement?

While that may initially seem to be a valid point, it made me think a little about the reason women no longer wear head coverings in church and how long they haven’t been doing it.
Is it a changed requirement from God’s point of view or is it more a matter of quite recent changes in western fashion?

Until maybe the mid-20th century (or a little earlier) it wouldn’t have been an issue at all because it was common for women to wear hats; and in non-western cultures head coverings of various types are still normal attire for women.

I’m not intending this as a campaign to return hats to the heads of church attending women, it’s not really an issue that I’ve thought to be important and I’ve not looked at what scripture DOES say about it, but it made me think of how easily our understanding of spiritual issues can be changed by the world’s trends or our observations of the world, and then become accepted as spiritual “normality”.


10 thoughts on “Not Really About Hats or Hair Length…

  1. Maybe the above addresses a similar issue to something mentioned by Steve in the comments of my previous post: the kind of attitude that seems to say, “we don’t do it that way so the bible can’t mean that!”

  2. Then there is the matter of slaves obeying masters. I DO think there is a place for us not doing everything we see in the Bible. Otherwise, as I’ve bee thinking prior to your topic here for a few postings, we would need to campaign to turn our governments into something resembling the Roman Empire. I have to have the Roman Empire in order to be able to carry out my “faith” if I think this through. You know, how “conservative” do we have to be — or how should we define conservative? Yeah, if we don’t consider the details and context of now and then, we have to aim fir hegemony and pray that some group will go for conquest (which the Church itself provided for a while inappropriately as church people now crusade for leaving the weak and poor to the devices of the strong and rich). Now, I don’t say all that to argue against women in hats. Hats could be fun.

  3. Greetings, recently I met a young girl who was working at a Culvers here in Milwaukee. She had her long hair tied up and was wearing a long skirt where as all of her co-workers wore black pants. So of course as she neared our table I enquired of her faith, also mentioning or admonishing her glorifying God by wearing what she did. She received what I said and answered my questions, stating her and her parents activity at a Baptist church in the area. We had a good conversation and I left wishing her well and she invited me to her church. As I have gotten older in my walk I have learned to be quiet first and let the Spirit guide. She seemed to be wearing her hair and long skirt to actually glorify God, and not bound to a legalistic interpretation of scripture. But of course I would not doubt that some others in her church are in this type of bondage, given the stance of other Baptist and Apostolic churches I have been to in the area. With other churches here I would agree that women move with trends. Men also. I believe their testimony would be they desire any visitor, unsaved or not, to “blend” well amongst them. Along with these clothing trends has come a watered down Gospel to accommodate new possible congregants. This why the Holy Spirit and and learning to listen to Him is so critical, as to make sure our Faith and works ride “the straight and narrow” in His site.

  4. Forgive me, In my other “comment box” I meant “admiring” NOT “admonishing”. That I admired her for her glorifying God in the workplace… She had that spirit about her. Thank you. —

  5. Well I’m glad for, and will always accept, the designation of “friend”..but, truth be told, I have always been a bit reluctant to claim “theological labels”

  6. “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit” (as Jesus told Nicodemus). To compare a temporary cultural requirement with supernatural gifts given by the Holy Spirit is to mix flesh and spirit and is biblically unsound. Just my two cents worth 🙂

  7. I’m not too keen on theological labels myself, especially those that refer to a man’s name (Calvinist, Arminian, Lutheran etc…) but so many are proud to adopt such labels. As for referring to you as a “cessationist” it was an attempt to put the situation I was addressing into a context but I acknowledge it was probably unfair of me to use that term as if it related to you rather than the beliefs you have expressed on that other blog.

  8. Hi Chris,
    Sadly so many people have made the Holy Spirit into a redundant member of the Godhead.

    On the other hand, others have rightly recognised the ministry of the Holy Spirit but have failed to apply due discernment and have therefore wrongly attributed things to Him that are contrary to His character and purposes. It seems to be those errors that are being used as “evidence” to fuel a lot of cessationist arguments. The other major “evidence” of course is their own lack of experience of the Spirit’s ministry, which is ironic considering their accusation that charismatics are so reliant on experience over scripture.

  9. Yes, temporary cultural requirements or best-practices (in most cases most likely at least most of the time) and passing circumstances and happenstances. Tell me if this doesn’t make any sense as a sort of comparison — while I know it won’t “work” at all levels: we are to love others as ourselves or do unto others as we’d have them do unto us. That doesn’t mean if my favorite main dish is chicken marsala then I should serve that as someone else’s most desired meal (in whatever scenario might lead to this happening). [I don’t have a favorite main dish, incidentally.]

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