This morning I came across the following thoughts, posted to my blog almost two years ago. It’s possibly the kind of article that is liable to provoke knee-jerk responses if not read carefully. There’s a reason for the title
Not Really About Hats or Hair Length…
[A] cessationist friend said something that has made me think.
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it clear that Spiritual gifts were given to the church, but nowhere does it make it clear that those gifts would be withdrawn within less than a century (or even in subsequent centuries).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”.
Two years ago I wrote those few paragraphs to encourage thought on the extent that our ideas about acceptability and normality can often be formed more by the secular culture around us than by Godly standards.
My thoughts were brought back to the idea behind this article last weekend when I saw a Moslem woman wearing the full covering that left only her eyes exposed.
In the west many (even Christians) find that kind of clothing more confronting and less acceptable than some of the often revealing apparel commonly seen in Western society.
As the Moslem woman walked by, I was hit by the question of which dress style more closely conformed to the standards of modesty addressed in scripture.
Now again I’m NOT advocating compulsory head wear or hair length, or suggesting that Christian women turn to Moslem dress styles. I AM suggesting that its maybe time to consider the extent to which our understanding and attitudes have been shaped more by the secular culture around us than by God’s standards revealed through scripture.
And could I once again make it absolutely clear that what I’ve written here is Not Really About Hats or Hair Length…(or Burquas).