Summary: Part of a series covering 1 Corinthians Why on earth is the Apostle Paul concerned about the length of hair and whether it is covered or not? What has this got to do with men and women in the church? We are going to look at three specific things from 1
What is it about Haircuts and Hats?
The Beatles and the 60’s; Long hair and rebellious attitudes. These are normal expressions of Young people. Today, you find the same rebellious attitudes in shaved heads; spiked hair, rooster hair, and green hair. And hats! There are lots of hats in our world – for men and women. There are derby’s, helmets, baseball caps, wide brimmed hats and hats without brims at all. Hats with feathers and hats with bandanas. Dirty beat-up hats and top hats that go with canes. Hats made from the fur of animals and hats made of straw. Some are functional – some are not.
Why on earth is the Apostle Paul concerned about the length of hair and whether it is covered or not? What has this got to do with men and women in the church? We are going to look at three specific things from 1 Corinthians 11 this morning.
“Praying” is man talking to God about man
“Prophesying” is man talking to man about God
Praying and prophesying are two primary activities in our worship assembly. Paul talks about "praying" which is in essence man talking to God about man. "Prophesying" is in essence man talking to man about God. Paul is talking about the ministry that believers have and are to be involved in.
We gather to pray on Sunday mornings. Some of our prayer time is corporate - usually with one person speaking on our behalf the prayers of all the people. Some of our prayer time is personal and individual - with each of us taking the time to speak to God about our own needs. Some of our prayer time is in the community as we gather at the front or at a prayer time with the body at the end of the message.
We also gather hear the prophesy of God’s word. The word “prophesy” means simply “to forth tell” or “to speak forth in a powerful way the truths of God”. When I speak here today I prophesy about God. It can be future truth or it can be past or present truth. Prophesy is preaching about the truth of God.
Let’s talk about the idea of headship in your life. Headship is about leadership. It’s about going first; stepping out; and leading the way.
Whenever we get people together we almost immediately start getting hung up on issues of control; authority; submission and who is in charge. Certainly it is true in the marriage relationship. But we see it everywhere else too! In churches, business partnerships, corporation politics and civil politics.
Headship is about leading – not authority. Listen, All authority comes from God. There is no authority without that recognition and everyone is under his ultimate authority. We are to submit to one another and recognize the leadership of others in our lives.
Paul put it this way in verse 3… 3 But I want you to understand this: The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.
What we do with our heads reflects on the head of our life.
Now lets get to the issue of… Cultural Disrespect
4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame to his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered brings shame to her head…
Either of these things can be done in a way that is shameful to your head! There is a little play on words going on here about your head. It’s kinda neat actually. It makes me feel a lot better about some of the things we preachers say to get your attention like sermon points all starting with the same letter. Paul refers to the head on your body and the head in your life.
Everyone has two heads!
When he spoke of a man not having his head covered while praying and prophesying he is referring to a Corinthian custom. The phrase, "head covered" means, "having down from head." It speaks of a veil and not necessarily a hat, as we would think of in our day. The word “shame" speaks of bringing dishonor. Paul’s implication is that it would not be proper for a man to wear a veil or to have a covering. In fact, it would be embarrassing to him and to his Lord. Now why would it bring shame, disgrace and dishonor?
Because to a man his head coverings are the symbol of his authority. We wear our out authority on our heads. Whether a Roman Helmet or a modern helmet with a lieutenant’s bars, a Navy captains hat with gold braids, a baseball teams caps, or a MacDonald’s worker’s cap. They all signify man’s position among men. To wear these things when praying or prophesying bring shame on a man’s head – Jesus. We take off our hats and coverings to show our being in submission to his headship in our lives.