Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christian Headcovering, Removing Shoes and the need for a Punk Attitude

It is my belief that Christian women should wear an headscarf or veil during worship. This is not a fashionable idea amongst modern evangelicals, but I believe it is biblical.

Occasionally I hear from Christian women who feel some conviction over the issue, yet who say something like:

'I am starting to feel that the Bible does teach headcovering, but I am scared to wear one because of what other women at church might think.'

I find this attitude remarkably similar to what some people say about having a shoes-off policy:

'I would really like people to remove their shoes in my home, but I am scared to ask because of what they might think.'

Notice the similarity?

I think this fear of other peoples opinion is just so destructive. It paralyses people and traps them in a mundane world of convention. It holds back any attempt to try out alternative ideas.

You have probably gathered that I am a very conservative person in my values, but when it comes to this phobia, the part of me that loves Punk Rock really kicks in. When it comes to this fear of change because of the opinion of others, I am reminded of the need for the Punk attitude.

The virtue of Punk is a rebellion against conventions that limit us and prevent us from being true to what we really think and feel. Its about being true to yourself and what you stand for.

The Christian woman who has come to believe in the necessity of headcovering should be free to cover and stand against the shallowness of those who sneer at a covered hairstyle or the timidity of pastors who are afraid to preach on the issue. They should not fear the dirty looks or the accusation of rocking the boat.

Likewise, those of us who want shoes off in our homes should not be afraid. We must be true and honest about ourselves.

Who cares if people think we are 'clean freaks' or visitors mutter after they leave our homes? People who are really our friends like us enough to respect our preferences and will enjoy our company shoes-off or not.


Moderate Mouse said...

I remember reading about the concept of the headcovering on different sites. In the churches that I have been a member of or otherwise gone too, the headcovering thing just isn't done, and (if I remember correctly) was never up for discussion.

I'd like to make sense of the whole headcovering issue. If it was the norm (or at least okay) in the church I currently attend, I'd have no problem with following suit. (I've taken to wearing bandannas at home lately, mainly because they've somehow found their way to me at some point and I don't see the point of having them around if they aren't going to get used. I usually wear a pinkish colored one at home.) I have a, for lack of a better term, bandanna-cut scarf made out of a sheer black material (which i am wearing right now as tribute to my mom's Himalayan cat who will have been dead for two years ago either today or tomorrow...he was put to sleep due to severe complications to his liver; aside from black being the traditional color for mourning, he also liked sleeping on dark things, but I digress) that would probably work with whatever else I wear to church. (I'm one of those churchgoers who does observe the traditional concept of "Sunday Best." I normally wear a skirt/dress or at least slacks.) Problem is that I don't remember whether or not I've seen so much as a single covered head in the church. And being not only a non-member but one of the youngest adult attendees there (I'm 24 and most of the people there are closer to my parents' and grandparents' age), I'm afraid that anything on my head other than my hair would cause too much of a stir.

It's also not done at the Disciples of Christ church that I'm an official member of. (It's the one I'm unable to attend at this time as an illness in the family had prompted me to move.) There have occasionally been one or two ladies wearing hats, but that's been about it. Also, my "real" dad, (who I lived with for a short while) is a member of that church too. Needless to say, if I were to wear any kind of headcovering there, I'd risk not only shocking (and possibly offending) anyone I know there, but I'd risk doing the same to my dad. As a daughter (especially a live-at-home daughter), I fear that to by any means shock/offend either of my parents (even if it's unintentional,) such as my dress habits, the things I say, etc., would be in violation of the "Honor thy mother and father" commandment. (By the way my "real" dad was at one time a Baptist preacher. At no point did he mention anything from the Bible in regards to dress. I know some schools of Christian thought say, "No pants on women, ever." That idea never came up in my family either.)

Another interpretation of the "headcovering" issue that I've heard is that a woman's LONG HAIR is her covering (and there are women in today's congregations that don't even do that). Now, the long hair I can get away with.

Some of the churches that preach that a woman's long hair is her covering say that it must NEVER be cut by even a fraction of an inch. I've grown up on the school of thought that would suggest otherwise. (I'd keep my hair at least long enough to "do" something with it, but it was out of preference rather than conviction.) The last couple of times I have had an actual haircut, there was still enough left to pull at least the top layer back, whereas the cut off portion was sent to Locks of Love. (I once had my hair cut so short that I couldn't "do" anything with it. I didn't like that and haven't done so since.)

Lyon said...

Hello there! I just wanted to stop by and thank you for your comment on my blog the other day - on the post about paganism and head covering. Your comment was more than welcome. I find hearing thoughts from different perspectives interesting and enriching. Feel free to stop by any time! =)

Celestial Fundy said...

Lyon, thanks for dropping in.

Celestial Fundy said...

MM, wearing an headcovering is certainly not popular in many Christian circles.

Nevertheless, if it is taught in 1 Corinthians 11 (and I believe it is), a woman who is convicted over it must obey, even if that does shock some people.

I wonder if the fear of others' disapproval is althogether rational. I can see it causing disapproval, but I am not sure it would be such an offensive thing to do.

The fear of others' dissaproval is certainly a very limiting phobia.

As regards the fifth commandment, the need to obey scriptural teaching must take precedence.

You mention the view about the covering being long hair. I do not think that view can be supported, but I won't go into why unless you are especially interested.

christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
christine said...

Head covering is more of an issue of feminism nowadays...
You see head covering is/was mandatory just for women and not for men.
While shoes off policy is for both men and women it does not discriminate sex. While head covering does discriminates women! I believe that as woman we must not give into this old BS. Since it's not mandatory anymore, doing it will just say they were right in the first place.
I was roman catholic raised and it just scares me just how much women are discriminated in this religion...
I'll go to church in a mini skirt and purple hair just to piss off the old ladies in church, and if they say anything i'll just say:
" God made me in his Image"

Celestial Fundy said...

Christine, thanks for visiting and sharing your opinion.

I think it is important to test secular ideas like feminism with Scripture. I don't particularly want to debate that here.

What do you think about removing shoes in homes? Is that something you prefer in your home?

Christine said...

shoes off! I just cleaned the floor and we can eat off it! LoL
Anyways I was raised in Canada and my parents are Portuguese, I now live in Portugal.
In Canada we always had the shoes off policy, but here it's just very weird for everyone. I also have the same rule as my mother but I just keep it in the family I don't make my visitors do it, but some close friends do it too and are doing it at there places... It just might be a new trend ;)

Celestial Fundy said...

Christine, thanks for visiting.

I would imagine removing shoes in homes is not very common in Portugal.

Christine said...

You make it sound like a 3rd world country lol...
It's almost as poor as Greece at the moment, just without the islands to sell to pay off deficit.
I believe we are also catching up with Italy in the area of corruption Beautiful country though!

Tomorrow we shall win 2-1 against Spain!

Celestial Fundy said...


I implied no such things.

From what I am aware, removing shoes is not the done thing in Latin countries.