Peace all, and happy Rocktober! Although it is a bit sad for some to welcome even more seasonal changes, there are also some reasons to rejoice in addition to Sukkot. One would have to be that we’ll no longer be subjected to Lazy Rhonda living in her backyard most days, letting her apparently disturbed doggies out to yell at everything and nothing at all as she subjects us to the equally disturbing view of her in Daisy Dukes or too short summer dresses; ugh. And shortly, it will be winter. This got me thinking about how soon I’ll have to whip out my winter hat, which got me thinking on hats in general. Headgear can be a source of division, particularly with us Messianics. But seeing as truth will always divide and we shouldn’t live in fear of that, let’s study it:
The passage of Scripture most commonly cited in regards to this topic would probably have to be the words of Shaul in 1st Corinthians 11:3-15. Before I dig into it though, I’d like to bring up a few simple points in order to lay a solid foundation. Firstly, the terms “long” and “short” are relative; what one may consider long may be considered short to another and vice versa. Nowhere has Yahuah told us what is acceptable and what’s not down to the exact inch. Secondly, if you think that these words were written just for Jewish believers then please go read my blog on dispensationalism while I go suck on some yummy pasta for a brief moment. Oh that’s good, if only Chef Boyardee could be ministered unto. And thirdly and most importantly in my view is the context of the passage, one that’s apparently easy to miss. Before I continue, let me just preface it by repeating that I am NOT in any way a Shaul hater; I believe the Renewed Testament writings are quite clear about his love and obedience to all the Torah. I also believe that his personal opinions to an assembly in Corinth are not on the same context as Torah commands from Yah to all Israelites everywhere for all time, and so did he. He was like you and I or anyone else for that matter, he had opinions on things and was allowed to. Back in 1st Corinthians 7:6 he says that even though he doesn’t think marriage should be sought out amongst most single believers, he also doesn’t think his opinion to be on the same level as a command: “But I say this as though to the weak, not as a commandment”. I admire him a great deal, I just don’t adhere to trying to label someone as a sinner for wearing or not wearing head wear when Elohim Himself doesn’t. To replace the rules of Him with the opinions of anybody is a most serious offense, one not to be taken lightly. This is why Yahushua took issue with the Pharisees and Saducees, they had either added on to or outright replaced His Father’s laws with those of Rabinnical opinion; those of Talmud.
Brother Shaul’s personal take was that men shouldn’t cover their heads during prayer or prophesying, as we read in the 4th verse: “Every man who prays or prophesies while his head is covered dishonors his head”. He repeats this theme in the 7th verse: “For a man ought not to cover his head, because he is the likeness and glory of Elohim; but the woman is the glory of the man”. He also doesn’t seem to dig the hippy look, as we read in the 14th verse: “Does not even nature teach you that it is a shame for a man when his hair grows long?” Some think that Shaul used covering and hair synonymously; I personally don’t for reasoning I’ll get into later. Now I don’t have any trouble with someone saying they respect Shaul so much that they want to follow his words of Scripture not supported by Torah, but if you’re going to do so then don’t it with hypocrisy. I am taking aim at those Messianic congregations that won’t admit men unless they are wearing a head covering, to their own shame. By making it into a mandatory rule, it not only goes directly against brother Shaul’s words but it also seeks to add to Yah’s laws. Could it be the leadership fears offending their more Orthodox members? Maybe they place the Talmud on the same level as the Torah or higher? Perhaps they are greedy for power? I don’t know, but I’m not even going to get into how the kipa hat (not Kepha, Peter’s real name) is a sign of bondage that was forced upon all the Israelites during Greek captivity.
We see that he holds the opposite perspective in regards to women by reading the 5th verse: “And every woman who prays or prophesies while her head is unveiled dishonors her head, for she is on a level with her whose head is shaven”. What I find particularly intriguing is the verse that follows it: “For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or to be shaven then let her be veiled”. The reason I don’t believe hair is being referred to here is because if it was then the verse would make no sense at all: “For if a woman is not veiled with HAIR, let her also be shorn; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or to be shaven then let her be veiled”. So in other words, if a woman is shaved then take her and shave her?! It’s also been said from the pulpit that the reason it was shameful for a woman to have short hair/no hair was because that’s the look the prostitutes had who hung around the temple. That may or may not be so, but since it’s not in the text I’m not going to go there. What is in Scripture is that this is a shameful/humbling thing done to foreign women taken as captives during battle as seen in Deuteronomy 21:10-14. I personally wouldn’t have a problem if I had a Nazarene queen that covered her head during prayer, as long as she understood she was following an opinion of Shaul and not a law of Yah. Would you? Shalom.