Summary: I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. – 1 Corinthians 11:2
I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. – 1 Corinthians 11:2
Of some of the most questioned practices in the New Testament in the modern day Western Church is the practice of Head Coverings for women. Yet to get perspective we need to look over the panoply of God’s Church for 2000 years and see that this is not something new but old and has been practiced diligently over the ages. It is hard to image but since the 1960’s the Church almost entirely practiced this tradition. Secular reasoning, feminism and liberal theology has led to the questioning and ultimately revoking of this practice in the Church at large in the evangelical world. What happened? Did early believers misunderstand this passage in 1 Corinthians 11? How did all subsequent believers also fall into this error? Though these questions are valid the answer comes to our belief in the very words of God. When this passage is looked at honestly one can see this is not a cultural practice nor something just unique to the Corinthian Church (1 Corinthians 1:1), rather it was a practice of the entire Church (1 Corinthians 11:16) in Paul’s day. Modern liberal scholars and theologians have sowed the seeds of doubt and questioning of God’s word and practices in it. We can see in our day acceptance of unbiblical practices in the Church in our generation that have never happened before. What is at stake is our trust and belief on the very words of God and every small command as important before God.
Many look at traditions as not useful or even against what God wants, yet the New Testament commands certain teachings and practices to be conveyed and passed on. Such things as Baptism, Communion, Head Coverings, the Holy Kiss and even Foot Washing, are valid symbols that speak of spiritual truths to others and the unseen realm. We are not to pick and choose which practices we feel are more important but are to simply belief and obey the word of God. The Bible clearly shows requirements and the importance of spiritual leaders (1 Timothy 3, 1 Peter 5:1-3) but some in our day are questioning what the Church has always obeyed and accepted. We need to ask ourselves am I following the Lord and His Word or the crowd of popular opinion today? God does not force us to do things but out of our walk with Him and reading of His Word he encourages us to follow. Most leaders in evangelical Churches today are not even teaching or sharing this passage as relevant or God’s Word for us today. An early Church Christian Tertullian wrote of the Corinthians in A.D. 200 who were still wearing Head Coverings, “What the apostles taught, the disciples of the apostles confirmed.” May we as disciples of Jesus Christ 2000 years later still seek the Lord honestly and be a confirmation of this wonderful practice that has continued on from generation to generation.