What is your opinion of 1 Corinthians 11 and head coverings?

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16
What is your opinion of 1 Corinthians 11 and head coverings? Whenever we build a doctrine, we need to be careful not to look only at one passage. This speaks of public prayer. Is this a cultural tradition? It is good to follow customs of respect. This apparently showed modesty at that time.
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      Q. What is your opinion of 1 Corinthians 11:5?

      Paul writes, "And every woman who prays or prophecies with her head uncovered dishonors herself. ... And if a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off. And it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off. She should cover her head."

      The Bible also says that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, let something be established. We should be careful not to build a doctrine on one Scripture that may in fact stand by itself. This is the only place in the Bible where it talks about this particular issue. Paul is insisting women, who pray or prophecy in the church in public prayer and corporate worshipnot in privatedo so with their heads covered.

      The argument is whether or not this is a tradition or something women must do today. In the Middle East now especially, some Islamic women dress like Bible women used to dress they were extremely modest, maybe to a fault. In the days of the Roman Empire, a woman would cover her head because it was one way to avoid being thought a prostitute, who would go around with their heads uncovered as part of their attire. Remember, they covered only their hair and did not veil their faces. And Paul here is just speaking of covering the hair.

      Some wonder if this was a tradition, and Paul was asking women to honor that tradition out of respect. You can compare this to a President who gives a national address and doesn't wear a tie. Many believe that isn't appropriate. But nothing in the Constitution, and much less the Bible, says you have to wear a tie. There's not even a good practical reason; I don't like them one bit! But it's a custom of respect of which the President should be mindful.

      Likewise, in the ancient churches, evidently they thought it was disrespectful for some of the Christian women to pray in public with their husbands there with their heads uncovered. It was considered immodest, and they didn't show modesty and respect for their husbands. It might have just been a tradition.

      However, if the Holy Spirit is convicting a woman to cover her head as a sign of respect and modesty before the Lord, then by all means you should do so. Yet be careful not to judge in your heart or with words those who do not, as they might not be under the same conviction.

      Of course, there is Scripture here. And on its surface, it may sound like God is asking women to do this. I would not say don't do that, because certainly there's no harm in covering your head during prayer. But if you're in doubt, remember that Paul said if you can't do something by faith, don't do it.

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