1 Cor. 10:31-33 & 11:1

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

  • The ‘Big Picture’ attitude God is calling us to is consideration born of love
  • Sacrificing our pleasure & comfort we live for others; their good and salvation
  • Let us live out the privilege we have to honor God while we are considerate of all
  • THIS glorifies God, Paul is being used to show us how to follow Christ

This passage is about applying the principal of Honoring God’s ordained gender roles in a worship setting specifically, and in marriage relationships; demonstrating love born of surrender.

1 Cor 11:2-17

I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. But there is one thing I want you to know: The source of every man is Christ, the source of woman is man, and the source of Christ is God.

  • This 1st sentence is either sarcasm or graceful optimism (can work both ways)
  • The importance of knowing & following the original Gospel (source matters)
  • This is a crucial thing that God wants his church to focus on to create Godly order
  • Creation Order is the foundation for all human relationships

  • Based on Scripture; God is orderly, He intentionally set things up ‘His Way’

  • Most translations use the word ‘head’, denoting ‘headship’ (Body Metaphor)

  • ‘Source’ ties to creation and denotes authority in Biblical worldview

  • Based on ‘biblical theology’, under authority doesn’t always mean unequal

  • Under Christ there is total equality, but we are created to play different roles

  • Woman is the apex of all God’s creation (last thing He made)
  • Eve’s role was not to lead and call the shots. She usurped Adam’s role, HE let her
  • Women can choose to play men’s roles or they can follow Christ’s example of honoring the authority they have been placed under
  • Under authority does not mean inferior, Christ is equal to the Father; different role

A man dishonors Christ if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. But a woman dishonors her husband if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head.

  • 4 Men: idea is complete exposure / openness before God as ‘His Image Bearer’
  • 4 Women: head covering demonstrates the honoring of the authority one is under
  • Current cultural demonstrations of reflecting glory & being under authority
  • Our structuring gender roles based on creation order is sound Biblical Theology

Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair! But since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, she should wear a covering.

  • The refusal to follow God’s created order expressed in gender roles is rebellion
  • The only basis for a relationship with God is surrender, not rebellion
  • Gender roles: Foundational; how are we surrendered to Christ without obeying?
  • Christ’s submission to the Father in the Garden: “Not my will, but Yours be done!”
  • In that culture the only reason a woman would have a shaved head is disgrace

A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is made in God’s image and reflects God’s glory. And woman reflects man’s glory.

  • Adam was meant to represent mankind as Prophet, Priest and King
  • Eve was meant to empower and support that ‘headship’ role, not compete for it
  • By reflecting man’s glory, woman plays the same role as Christ to the Father

For the first man didn’t come from woman, but the first woman came from man. And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man. For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority.

  • The roles of men & women were laid out by God before the fall
  • The fall does not create these roles and the fall does not change them either
  • When the body of Christ gathers to worship God’s messengers are present
  • Key principal: Honoring God by following gender roles HE established
    • Not out of a need to control but from love for the other role in the partnership
  • Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. ~ Ephesians 5:22-25

But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.

  • Relational interdependence, within an authority structure God has created
    • Quote “Even after he has stressed the subordination of women, Paul goes on to stress even more directly the essential partnership of man and woman. Neither can live without the other. If there is subordination, it is in order that the partnership may be more fruitful and lovely for both.” (Barclay)

Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? Isn’t it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair? And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering.

  • Christ calls each of us to observe the authority we have been placed under
  • We are all to be under some authority, as Christ Himself was while incarnated
  • The cultural expressions of this role structure were: Women: vails Men: short hair
  • W: Intention of placing the veil / M: Not having a head that can be fully uncovered

But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.

  • The Apostolic church was united
  • These customs were part of the current cultural norms
  • It was a ritual that served to remind them of God’s order concerning gender roles
  • The ‘Spirit Led’ follower of Christ seeks to consider others & do what’s best for all
  • It’s not about our preferences, it’s about God’s Word and Others!

Application Questions:

How do we apply the principal of doing all things for the glory of God when it comes to observing God’s creation order?

Why do you think the understanding of how God has structured mankind is the ONE thing Paul wants us to know?

Is there a part of this passage that rubs you the wrong way? If so how might you resolve the conflict?

Why should we recognize the differences in Genders as a basis for complementary existence?

Is our unity as Christ’s body based on our preferences or on the scriptures prescription?