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Headcovering Drama at Bayly Blog


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When Tim posts that he and his wife, Mary Lee, were inspired to "cover" by R.C. Sproul Sr.'s wife, Vesta, a reader gets a little bitchy in the comments:

"Yes, when we were in Orlando and at RC's church, Vesta Sproul wore headcoverings in church...some of the cutest, most elegant and attractive hats one would ever want to see on a godly woman. So much so, in fact, that one sometimes has to actually think about 'what is going on here.'

This is a matter not to be taken up unadvisedly, but in discussion with the elders. More than one church has been forced into turmoil by those whose newfound wearing of headcoverings is a matter of assertiveness, as opposed to submission...at that juncture it becomes an 'immodesty,' as opposed to an expression of modesty, a functional equivalent of the 'homeopathy is next to godliness' mindset."

I wait with bated breath for Tim's response, but perhaps he's too busy not shedding tears or wearing jewelry.

baylyblog.com/blog/2013/07/good-resource-christian-headcovering-worship

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Oh, UGH. Why don't they just pass around burkas and have done with it??

I do not understand the point of headcoverings. What does it accomplish to pin a lacy handkerchief to the crown of your head? What does that cover? Muslim women cover their hair and reveal it only to their husbands or to other women in private. I understand that culturally and it makes sense. But these fundie "headcoverings" only conceal a small portion of the hair, so if someone is tempted by hair, they're still seeing the hair.

I know there's a Bible verse about covering the head in shamefacedness and sobriety to go into the church, but I always interpreted that as full covering, and maybe even a hygiene issue when it was written. Now it looks like a holier-than-thou form of one-upwomanship. What do you think?

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The verses regarding head covering are ambiguous, no matter how deeply those convicted are about whether or not wearing them is biblical (Zsu and PP - definite NO; 7 Sisters - yes, though I haven't seen the "why"). Just get fundies into a chat room about which is biblical and ... voila! instant debate, criticism, hurt feelings, accusations, and so forth.

In the day when Paul advocated headcovering (or did he?) women wore the longer, veil-like headscarves that sort of wrapped around the head and shoulders loosely. I don't know about the married Jewish women and tichels; I only know (a little) about the Christian traditions.

I think it was customary for women to wear a mantilla, which covered head and shoulders. When I think of a mantilla, I think of a lacy shawl-like garment Through the years, it got shortened and headcoverings became more symbolic - Paul says it's a symbol of submission.

For many women, they wear a covering only when going to worship or praying (Paul said it's shameful for womento pray or prophesy with an uncovered head).

All those elaborate Easter bonnets??? A way for a woman to be both fashionable and to have their heads covered in church.

So.. whereas the Jewish and Muslim headcoverings are about modesty, the Christian version is about submission.

eta: and that person who wrote to the Sprouls may well be partially right - but I sure hope his/her life has more interesting things going on in it than worrying about what kind of hat Mrs Srpoul wears in church.

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I'm assuming the head covering thing comes from 1 Corinthians 11:6. This is cherry picking at it's finest. They obviously don't read what comes after. In particular this from 1 Corinthians 11:13-16:

Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

So essentially what is being said is that there is no such practice in the church for women wearing head coverings, and if you read it all the way through, it comes across as sarcastic way of saying "why is this even an issue". At least that's my interpretation.

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Most Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair in public/while worshiping. Some really have a cool way of doing this--the sheitel. It's a kind of wig of human hair that fully covers the wearer's own hair. I've seen sheitels that cost several thousand dollars, made of gorgeous shiny sleek hair. The wearer gets to follow strict Orthodox religious rules and look fabulous while doing so!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheitel

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We began to consider the matter seriously when we were reading R. C. Sproul Sr.'s great book, Now, That's a Good Question!, as part of our family devotions and learned there that Mrs. Sproul confesses her Christian sexuality by wearing a headcovering in worship.

Mary Lee and I began this practice

So he covers his head too? :cracking-up:

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Perhaps Vesta Sproul can afford her fetching head gear because of the income she derives from Ligonier Ministries.

The senior Sprouls' profitable sinecures at Ligonier Ministries were one of the foci of the now-defunct Ministry Watchman website (web.archive.org/web/20071101050820/http://ministrywatchman.com/).

If you're interested in the shenanigans of a "non-profit" ministry and you want to know where RC Sproul, Jr. & his other "godly" buddies learned how to fleece the sheep, check out that webarchive.

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We began to consider the matter seriously when we were reading R. C. Sproul Sr.'s great book, Now, That's a Good Question!, as part of our family devotions and learned there that Mrs. Sproul confesses her Christian sexuality by wearing a headcovering in worship.

Whats a Christian sexuality?

Does she only sleep with Christians or something?

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Whats a Christian sexuality?

Does she only sleep with Christians or something?

hot for Jesus?

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I like how he says that working out is "masculine" behavior that women should not do. I think he is afraid that some really buff woman is going to beat at arm wrestling.

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If a woman writes a comment that disagrees with what he wrote, Tim will likely ask her for the name and phone # of her pastor so that he can call him and ask the pastor to "gently admonish" her. What if she doesn't have a pastor?

Tim is an asshat of the first order... :music-tool:

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If a woman writes a comment that disagrees with what he wrote, Tim will likely ask her for the name and phone # of her pastor so that he can call him and ask the pastor to "gently admonish" her. What if she doesn't have a pastor?

Tim is an asshat of the first order... :music-tool:

Or what if her pastor is a female Episcopalian priest? :shock:

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Oh, UGH. Why don't they just pass around burkas and have done with it??

I do not understand the point of headcoverings. What does it accomplish to pin a lacy handkerchief to the crown of your head? What does that cover? Muslim women cover their hair and reveal it only to their husbands or to other women in private. I understand that culturally and it makes sense. But these fundie "headcoverings" only conceal a small portion of the hair, so if someone is tempted by hair, they're still seeing the hair.

I know there's a Bible verse about covering the head in shamefacedness and sobriety to go into the church, but I always interpreted that as full covering, and maybe even a hygiene issue when it was written. Now it looks like a holier-than-thou form of one-upwomanship. What do you think?

I think (no, I know) that when I cover my head it's between me and God, not you or anyone else who thinks it's "holier-than-thou."

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I think (no, I know) that when I cover my head it's between me and God, not you or anyone else who thinks it's "holier-than-thou."

Sorry-- I'm not trying to openly insult anyone who covers-- I am just trying to understand. I grew up in a church that went from Easter hats to full coverings during my childhood, and for that group, it was definitely holier-than-thou; that was my experience and I guess I'm still trying to figure it out. I think if more women referenced their personal relationship with God rather than what their minister or RC Sproul thinks, this wouldn't even be a point of discussion. If I offended you, I apologize.

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I cover my hair everytime it's dirty, uncombed, I just put it in a bun and put a cap over top of it. Some men will get tempted at the thought of a woman and will get tempted even if they are covered from head to toe. I call bullshit...

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Sorry-- I'm not trying to openly insult anyone who covers-- I am just trying to understand. I grew up in a church that went from Easter hats to full coverings during my childhood, and for that group, it was definitely holier-than-thou; that was my experience and I guess I'm still trying to figure it out. I think if more women referenced their personal relationship with God rather than what their minister or RC Sproul thinks, this wouldn't even be a point of discussion. If I offended you, I apologize.

You didn't offend me, but thank you for the apology. :) What denomination were you in that made that change?

I studied the headcovering issue in depth on my own about 17 years ago, and made the choice to do it. Then we became Orthodox and it was the practice at our parish, so I just kind of seamlessly slid right in. I have waxed and waned with it, some years wearing it all the time, some only in church and when I pray at home. Overall it's been a real blessing in my life and it helps keep my head in the right space, so I keep doing it.

I think as fundie practices go (and honestly, most of the fundies we talk about here don't cover), it's pretty harmless.

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Greeks being the wild child of the Orthodox world, Greek parishes in both Greece and the Anglo world stopped head coverings sometime in the last 50 years. The women just stopped, with the exception of some older grannies or women who were going deeper into their prayer lives for a time. There was no letter from on high, there was no debate, times changed in the modern world (women stopped wearing hats as a matter of being "properly dressed"), and it translated to how they dressed in church. Which tells me that head covering for women in ancient Christian churches had as much to do with the fashion tradition of the times as it did with anything in the Bible. This thing some fundie churches want to get out of it, whether its "submission" or "modesty" or what have you is just so much smoke and mirrors for some wanting to have outward symbols of status.

BTW, I always keep a head covering in my glove compartment during Lent for when I visit non Greek Orthodox Parishes. When in Moscow..... ;)

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Headcovering issues can be harmful though, for the same reason that emphasis on modesty/purity are problematic in general. It's also another way to enforce strict gender roles. I'm sure that someone who already headcovers will not be convinced of my view, but I certainly don't agree that it's harmless.

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I just thought of something that happened more than25 years ago. One of Katherine's primary nurses in the NICU had gotten her BSN at Bob Jones. The school required that women cover their heads during Sunday morning chapel. Colleen didn't like it one bit. The first thing she did after graduating was to get rid of all her hats! Goid for her!

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You didn't offend me, but thank you for the apology. :) What denomination were you in that made that change?

I studied the headcovering issue in depth on my own about 17 years ago, and made the choice to do it. Then we became Orthodox and it was the practice at our parish, so I just kind of seamlessly slid right in. I have waxed and waned with it, some years wearing it all the time, some only in church and when I pray at home. Overall it's been a real blessing in my life and it helps keep my head in the right space, so I keep doing it.

I think as fundie practices go (and honestly, most of the fundies we talk about here don't cover), it's pretty harmless.

That's the oddest thing about my experience-- this was in a Missouri Synod Lutheran church in an urban-suburban area, so in retrospect, it was just very strange. We had a founding pastor retire and a very charismatic replacement who seemed more fundie than some of the folks we discuss on here. He only lasted five years, but by the time he was moved on by the synod, he'd alienated a lot of reasonable people. He sort of took the hat-wearing tradition of a very formal congregation and got into full headcoverings based on his interpretation of the Bible. Religion can be very strange stuff indeed.

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I just thought of something that happened more than25 years ago. One of Katherine's primary nurses in the NICU had gotten her BSN at Bob Jones. The school required that women cover their heads during Sunday morning chapel. Colleen didn't like it one bit. The first thing she did after graduating was to get rid of all her hats! Goid for her!

(I attended Bob Jones U for one year).

Hats on women WERE required for Sunday morning church. It was never presented as a "headcovering" requirement. It was more a style thing. At that time, Sunday morning church there was extremely formal, liturgical, much more formal than anything that I had grown up with. Kind of "delusions of grandeur" "high church" "impress the world". It was definitely a "what others must think about us" thing.

(Now that this subject has been brought up...) I had arrived there with 2 hats (they told you ahead of time that hats were needed for Sunday AM church), one white and one navy. But both were made out of a synthetic woven "straw" material. I was quickly informed that straw hats were not allowed after September or before Easter. Never having worn a hat, neither I nor my mother had known that "straw" hats were some terrible faux pas out of season. So I had to take my very tiny stash of cash and buy an "acceptable" hat for most of the year. The hats always gave me a headache, and of course, hat hair. So after Sunday lunch, I usually went back to the dorm and re-washed, rolled (yes, I'm that old), dried, and fixed my hair - all over again - all because of that very stupid hat rule.

FTR After that one year, I transferred to a state university where I obtained the rest of my education.

ETA It is my understanding that the hat requirement for Sunday morning was dropped years ago. (And hats were never required for Sunday evening, or for during the week services. So it wasn't a humble-yourselves-before God thing, ever).

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I just thought of something that happened more than25 years ago. One of Katherine's primary nurses in the NICU had gotten her BSN at Bob Jones. The school required that women cover their heads during Sunday morning chapel. Colleen didn't like it one bit. The first thing she did after graduating was to get rid of all her hats! Goid for her!

Really?

My cousins went to BJU and they never mentioned a thing about this. They went in the 80's, so maybe the policy had been changed by that time.

edited because I didn't read the thread through and thus missed the last post. :embarrassed:

It doesn't surprise me that it was more of a style thing than a specifically religious one. BJU is still concerned about how they present themselves to the outside world. I know that my cousins, while attending, were not allowed to eat at restaurants that served alcohol. The reasoning behind this is that they are ambassadors for BJU (and, implicitly, Christ) and anyone observing them going to, say, an Olive Garden restaurant would not know whether or not they drank a glass of chianti with their meal. It's couched in religious language, not causing a stumbling block and such, but it all seems a bit - um ... - paranoid (?) to think that anyone is so interested in you that they will watch you get in your car at BJU campus, drive to Olive Garden and wait to see you come back out again.

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Or what if her pastor is a female Episcopalian priest? :shock:

Yeah, what then?? :think: :shock:

He's such an idiot. :angry-banghead:

His #1 groupie, Kamilla, gets on my nerves. Love how she, single and childless, jumps on every other female commenters that don't approve of Bayly's extreme Calvinism! She always ramble on and on about how the only "God-approved" way for a woman to live is by following the Titus 2 movement So, Miss Kamilla: if living like a perfect Titus 2 (Sweet Lucifer how I hate that word, "Titus 2". Yuck. ) is pretty much the only way for a woman to guarantee that Jesus (thus God) is pleased with her, then, please, tell us why you are not married at your age. Since people of your ilk hate the "evil government" that gives handouts to single mothers and other (according to you) unsaved derelicts then how can you afford to live? You don't seem to be 25 anymore (sorry) so I doubt that you still live with Mom and Dad, your religious beliefs re: social mores seem to be on the ultra-conservative side so it's unlikely that you live in sin with a boyfriend...So I guess that you work and live alone. Which is great, but since you admonish that way of life in other women aren't you guilty of HYPOCRISY?? :whistle:

I don't care about the little details, I just wanna know why you don't live the way of life that you'd like to see women in this country to live under whether they'd like to or not...

If she lurks here it would be an honour :popcorn2: to have her reply...

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Most Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair in public/while worshiping. Some really have a cool way of doing this--the sheitel. It's a kind of wig of human hair that fully covers the wearer's own hair. I've seen sheitels that cost several thousand dollars, made of gorgeous shiny sleek hair. The wearer gets to follow strict Orthodox religious rules and look fabulous while doing so!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheitel

To me this is the oddest head covering practice. So it's immodest to show your hair, but showing someone else's hair in a way meant to look like you're showing your own hair is okay? I mean, I get that it's still not your own hair and people within your culture will know that, but it still seems kind of silly to me.

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I'm assuming the head covering thing comes from 1 Corinthians 11:6. This is cherry picking at it's finest. They obviously don't read what comes after. In particular this from 1 Corinthians 11:13-16:

So essentially what is being said is that there is no such practice in the church for women wearing head coverings, and if you read it all the way through, it comes across as sarcastic way of saying "why is this even an issue". At least that's my interpretation.

But, that would require READING AND COMPREHENSION of the Bible !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :penguin-no: and we CANNOT have that; sounds like reasoning and thought oh my!!!!!! :angry-banghead:

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