Should a Christian Woman wear a Veil or cover her head in Church?


Should a Christian Woman wear a Veil or cover her head in Church?

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Over the course of my Christian life this subject has came up time and time again and much contention can arise from discussing this subject. Most of the time the argument continues simply because care hasn’t been taken to follow some of the simplest rules of interpreting scriptures such as, taking the plain meaning of the texts, studying it in the context of the Book and Chapter of the scriptures, translating in the original texts and, maintaining a good overview of the scriptures through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. This is the way I, and most other Christian Teachers, interpret God’s Word so that we can share a message or teaching in 2014, which will be exactly the same in 30 years time. If God’s Word is unchanging, then so is the revelation. 

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The reason I’ve went into a little depth about scripture interpretation is to firstly give the answers in a few short paragraphs instead of long screeds about one subject which might be good for some but often, it’s far more over complicated than it needs to be. The second is to give my readers here the confidence, that this has been a well balanced, well prayed through and experienced answer so that women readers in particular can be assured, that God holds you in no less regard to men as this particular subject can appear to be.

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One of the bullet points Paul makes in this passage is the below verse…..

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“…1Co 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? – 1Co 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her for her hair is given her for a covering…”

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Years ago, I met a Christian National Overseer who told me that one of his foreign Pastors would have his wife walk behind him in public wherever they went and I questioned him on why this was the case and his answer was – “well it’s the custom of where he comes from”.  At the time I didn’t really feel the need to challenge him on this subject however I knew that these type of customs had no place in the Kingdom and in truth, it was quite a shocking belief to hold, far less practice. As Christians, we come out of the world we live in and ditch the customs of wherever we are in the world and enter into the world-wide Body of Christ in that, Christ has no such custom for a woman to be in that position. A Christian should be seeking to grow in the ways of God, not adopting the ways of the world but sadly, this custom of keeping his wife behind him was very much a practice in their lives.

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One of the reasons I shared this story is because this is one of the main reasons Paul was taking on this subject in his letter, to show us that we are the Body of Christ and not of the world, that the ways of this world and the customs of this world are not things we need to follow, especially if they are injurious. At the time in Corinth, many of the temple prostitutes would shave their head to make it known to their customers, that they were indeed available and as a Church, the Corinthians were to ensure women in their church, would not appear in the assembly with short or shaven hair. If they did, they could be identified as prostitutes and Paul wanted the church to have no connections with customs of the world.

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This was a custom of the time and one which Paul felt he need to explain in-depth to avoid error, as a Pastor this teaches us to be aware of practices which would be injurious to individuals and the church, so how about a modern day example? If prostitutes in our city wore Pink Scarves to show that they were indeed available then I can assure you, I would ask that women refrain from wearing Pink Scarves in the assembly – hope you can see exactly what is meant here, we are to abstain from even the appearance of evil and that our dear, diamonds of women, are not associated with these women in the way they could have been back in Corinth.

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Now, I’m not picking on these kinds of women, we are to reach out to everyone, come along side everyone because Jesus showed us the example. What Paul was talking about was, proper ways in assembling ourselves as a Church.

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It’s important we see these verses for what they are because an incomplete study of this subject can hurt our precious women and again I can assure you, that would never be the mind. Paul did touch on one aspect though which was very clear and it’s one that should bring this little article to a conclusion. Paul said that a man having long hair was a shame to him and woman having long hair, would be a glory unto her and this is what Paul meant about covering. In the KJV the word “covering” is used and in the original Greek Texts the same again, covering. In no way was it veiled or wearing a hat, it was about the natural ways the world over about the difference between men and women. Men wear different clothes to women, men think slightly differently, we (most of us) wear our hair short and women generally have long hair and it was so since creation.

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Again we come back to the question of creation, God created a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman and after the fall many things changed and still have changed however, when a person comes to Jesus Christ, we return to the ways of his majesty the Lord God on High and follow his ways and one major aspect for a Christian, is for a man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman. Men and women are fully equal in the eyes of God through salvation, there is no difference, God ranks none higher than the other, we are all entitled to the riches in Christ Jesus. However, my wife Sharon is a woman, I am a man, Sharon is the Mum of the family, I am the Dad – God created us as two people, a man and a woman and he has a glorious path for both. 

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God would want me to show the people in our lives what it means to be the head of the house, to be a Christian Husband, a Christian Father and on the same token, he desires Sharon to show what a Christian Woman is, what a Christian Wife and Mother truly is according to God’s ways as a proper testimony of the mind of God. I am a man and Sharon is a Woman. This is what Paul was driving at, he didn’t want (by the inspiration of God) men and women to look the same and act the same, God wanted and wants, men to men and women to be women for his glory and a testimony of the people he created, “men and women he created”. Paul said “doesn’t nature even teach us that if a man have long hair it’s shame but if a women have long hair, it’s a glory to her”.

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This is an extremely important subject to fully understand especially in our day and age but more than that, that women in our assemblies wouldn’t feel undervalued because there is no difference in the eyes of God. Wearing a veil is not scriptural, wearing a hat isn’t scriptural, it’s a hair covering for men and for women. If you are a woman reading this today then I really do hope this has spoken to you especially if you are in doubt about this subject, if you turn to God in prayer he will confirm these words and hopefully you will always have a clear and concise teaching to carry in the future. God bless you in the Lord….

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God bless
Pastor Steven and Sharon Birnie
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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.