Eternal Truth Ministry

"For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."


Should Christian Women Cover Their Heads in Church?

I feel that Christian women should. Paul goes into great detail in 1 Corinthians 11 about why women should cover their heads in church. Just because a woman chooses not to cover her head, doesn’t mean she is not in God’s favor, but i don’t feel that any rule in the bible should be ignored just because the culture at the time says what women should or should not do. For example, did you know women generally covered their heads in church all up until the Feminist Movement? Then, women claimed they did not want to wear a symbol of a man’s authority over her head so they threw their hats and scarves off. However, should we really say that women should not cover their heads in church, or that God doesn’t care anymore about that just because some cultural movement tells us we shouldn’t? And what is man to say what should or should not be considered valid anymore in regards to the New Testament. The only reason why people say it’s not necessary anymore or that it was just a local, cultural issue in the New Testament times is because the culture we live in (American culture) tells us women don’t need to cover their heads. I guarantee that if it were culturally acceptable in the US for Christian women to cover their heads in church, then Bible commentators would not be ignoring God’s commands through Paul on the issue. Paul makes it clear also that what’s being discussed is a covering above and beyond a woman’s hair…otherwise he wouldn’t say if a woman does not cover her head that her hair should be shaved because a shaved head is a disgrace to a woman. And he’s not just talking about mere “modest dress” according to the culture at the time because in the end of chapter, he specifically says, “For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head”. He’s talking about a specific body part, not just a symbolic statement for modest dress. Also he’s talking about a specific, physical sign a woman should wear on her head in recognition of her acceptance of God’s decrees. I’m sorry, but in light of this, saying that a woman just dressing modestly should fulfill this decree just doesn’t cut it. There’s no weird vagueness or symbolism to look into in this chapter…Paul makes it pretty clear and well spelled out. I think it’s sad that churches today feel they can just ignore whatever in the bible they choose to ignore according to what’s “popular” or “unpopular” in the society at the moment. Believe it or not, this isn’t the command some churches have stopped at in determining “necessity” or not…today the issue is about homosexuality. Do you know that some churches are now saying that’s it’s okay now to recognize people living a homosexual lifestyle as being Christians and that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality? That’s another example of churches ignoring God’s laws and decrees according to whatever’s “popular” in the culture at the time. People, this is dangerous thinking! We must stop this type of thinking and take everything spoken to the churches in the NT as valid and literal. If we continue with this type of thinking, what else will suddenly be seen as obsolete; or what other sinful practice will suddenly become acceptable? We as Christians are in NO place to determine what should or should not be accepted or believed if it’s very clear in the Bible. We need to trust that God knows what He’s talking about if he makes a specific decree or commandment. He did NOT leave it up to us to decide according to what’s popular at whatever point in time.
Now, I have gone to church before with my head covered in a scarf and have actually been persecuted for doing so… for following what the bible is saying! However, strangely, if I go to church with my hair in a bandana, no one gives me weird looks or questions me because it’s more common to see people wearing bandanas on their heads than scarves that they wrap on their heads and toss over their shoulders. This comes to show that people aren’t judging according to what they feel the Bible really means in 1 Corinthians 11, they’re judging according to what they’re used to seeing in public or not. That’s wrong. This shows that people aren’t really examining these verses, they’re just assuming the meaning of verses according to what they commonly see around them pr in mainstream culture.

I’m not the only one who feels this way either…i have found countless churches and groups who post their beliefs on their websites who say they too feel that this passage should be taken literally since it is a specific decree to churches…not just to the Corinthian church at that time, but to all churches everywhere, regardless of time period.

Here’s a statement i found on a website which puts what i believe so eloquently:

“Head covering for Women

Paul devotes half a chapter to the subject of head covering (I Cor. 11:1-16). He gives no indication that he is establishing a rule merely for the local situation in Corinth. He introduces such words as shame and dishonoring the head (ultimately Christ, v. 3). These ideas denote a moral issue of abiding significance, not some merely local question. Paul also makes a telling reference to the angels of God (v. 10) as a reason for a woman to cover her head in public worship. He says that nature teaches the same thing (v. 14). All of this strongly implies that Paul is laying down a general rule for all Christian churches, regardless of location or local culture. That conclusion is strengthened by what is said in verse 4. There the apostle forbids the use of a head covering for men in worship. Both the Jews and the Romans had the custom of requiring men to cover their heads in religious worship. Clearly Paul was not addressing mere cultural questions. He was settling what is right and proper for Christians in whatever culture they live. We therefore take what I Corinthians 11 teaches as binding on us today.

In effect that settles the matter of whether or not women should wear head covering in church services. No reputable exegete or commentator has the slightest doubt that Paul was insisting on the Corinthian women having a covering on their heads in public worship. We do not know of any Bible-believing church that would permit its men to wear hats or caps in public worship. Their reason is that I Corinthians 11:4 prohibit it. No one doubts that that prohibition is still in force. By what stretch of exegesis or of logic can the parallel prohibition of women worshipping bareheaded be counted a merely temporary matter relating to the Corinthians but not to us? In the light of Paul’s clear intention to establish a universal principle of conduct, how can we ignore the plain teaching that Christian women should wear a head covering in public worship? In the Free Presbyterian Church, we do not. We joyfully accept it.

Judging by God’s Standards

One of the reasons for women’s head covering is the respective roles of men and women in creation and in the church (vv. 7-8). We must be careful not to define a person’s worth or dignity by the godless standards of modern radical feminism or humanism. A woman’s true dignity is in knowing and accepting the place her Creator and Redeemer has accorded to her. The same is true of a man. Woman’s head covering is an eloquent testimony to acceptance of God’s standards, not man’s. The basic principle is laid down in verse 3: “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Clearly the apostle is not discussing the issue of what the world calls “equality” or “dignity.” He is discussing the issue of government and authority in the Christian home and the church. Furthermore, the three clauses in verse 3 must always be taken together. In other words, Paul is not arguing for male authority over the woman without regard to man’s submission to the authority of Christ. He rather is bringing men and women to the place of submission at the feet of the Lord. Our homes and churches would be much happier and healthier places if we all, men and women, fully acknowledged the Lordship of Christ and obediently served Him in the role and capacity He has given to us. ”

Amen to that! There just isn’t any argument you can make against that is there?

5 thoughts on “Should Christian Women Cover Their Heads in Church?

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  • Lorraine Rose Decker

    I always cover my head in church, even though there is probably only one or two others that do. (They probably do it for a fashion statement.)

    I cover my head, because the Bible tells me to do so.

  • This is still something I am 50/50 on because the end of the chapter it says thats the hair is given as a covering…so that to me is the covering.

    • Yes I agree. Hair is our head covering. I believe the Bible is referring to a particular church in that day. Today church is different. We are not under law but grace.


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