Gender in the Church (1 Corinthians 11:1-16)

June 18 2023

Series: 1 Corinthians

Happy Father’s Day. I did want to let you know what you’re walking into. We are glad you’re here, but as a church, we’ve been studying Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth section by section, all right? And so we’re just going to continue with that today. It’s not necessarily a Father’s Day sermon, but it is the word of God.

So I hope you’ll get something out of it today. Last week, to catch you up, in case you missed it, we wrapped up a three-chapter section, chapters eight, nine, and ten from First Corinthians on the topic of Christian liberty. All right? And Paul’s primary focus in those chapters, and this is important because it will carry through to what we study today. Paul’s primary focus is that as followers of Jesus, we are free to make many choices.

All right? But we must consider how our choices affect our outreach to the community and how our choices affect the church, all right? So in no way, shape, or form must we hinder the gospel or bring shame upon the gospel. You can take a quick screenshot of this after service last week, had some terrific discussions with some of the family group leaders in the church, and some of the single leaders as well. This week I’ll send out some questions for you to follow up on what we’ve been learning about Christian liberty and what I’ve thrown up.

There are some bullet points. I’m not saying what’s right, what’s wrong, it’s more a discussion with grace and humility. And listening to one another on the topic of what is permissible for me may in fact not be beneficial to someone else. Next, in chapter eleven, we’re going to move on quickly past that. Paul now addresses yet another threat to the gospel and to the unity of the church in Corinth.

And it’s all about what happens in our public worship services. That’s what Paul turns his attention to now in chapter eleven, public worship services and specifically on the polarizing issue of gender. So everyone takes a deep breath.

Here we go. All right, so I have some good news and I also have some bad news. Which one do you want first?

The bad? Do I even want to want the good news first? All right, hey, it doesn’t really matter because I’m just going to follow my notes anyway, but I wanted you to feel like you had some power there. The good news is this the debate on gender is nothing new, all right? This all started in the Garden of Eden, but if we’re humble students of God’s word, and if we trust God, over time, he will reveal and provide answers for each one of us on this topic.

Now, the bad news is this the debate on gender is nothing new, all right? And actually, from my perspective as a parent, I feel like it’s intensified to a category-five hurricane since 2020. I mean, it’s crazy if you’re a parent with kids at home, you know this to be true. So here’s what we face in our American culture in 2023.

There is this intense pressure that we must choose a side on this right now. It just doesn’t seem like there’s any middle ground. Moderation is not acceptable on this issue for our culture today, on the issue of gender, our society, whatever you choose, they’re going to shame you, and you’re going to get pushed to the extreme. You must choose a side. And if you choose wrong or if you even indicate you’re going in a certain direction, buckle your seatbelt, all right?

Because your character as a human being is going to be judged. Man. I mean, it’s hard. You feel it, right? That’s the world we live in.

We feel it at work. Our kids experience it at school. Or if you work in the school system, it’s all over social media. This pressure, gender or non-gender, it’s thrown in our faces when we’re shopping. It’s even at our theme parks.

This is so hard. It’s hard for me. I mean, it’s just hard for us as Christians, this pressure. Are you going to be a progressive, relatable Christian, or are you going to be a fundamentalist Christian? And I’m thinking, could I simply just be a disciple of Jesus?

Because one side will tell us, hey, you can be whatever you want to be. Forget about binary, male, or female. That’s outdated, I mean, come on. Male, female?

That’s just a social construct that was forced on us, and it’s stopping us from becoming our true selves. Forget about he or she, I mean, if you like that, that’s fine. That’s your choice. That’s your truth.

But you become a “they” if you want to. After all, I mean, come on. God is a loving God, right? He wouldn’t want to hold you back. And this is sad. This extreme is sad. I believe many are deceived. But I want to tell you this. I sympathize because I think all of us, in some way, shape, or form, we’re searching for identity. We just may be looking in the wrong place. But I sympathize with anyone searching for security and identity, and I do want to be incredibly generous in my spirit and understanding where anyone that’s thinking that way, I want to know where they’re coming from. Amen. But the truth is this anything-goes philosophy on gender is destined to crash and burn. It’s coming. I can’t tell you when, but it’s coming.

But then the other side tells us this, well, let’s get back to the good old days when we had it right? We need to get back to the patriarchal society. You know what? And I think we should just get with like-minded people and isolate them if we need to, to build this. Women need to know their place in the home, and women need to know their place in this world again. And there are too many questions being asked, no questions asked. And I tell you what, I got three scriptures on this out of context to prove my point.

Let’s reestablish that biblical male leadership. And I think this is also sad. We now have documentaries exposing the dangers of this extreme and it brings shame to Christianity and it hurts and damages the true gospel of Jesus. So what we have is, and this is our culture today, this is the reality, we have these dangerous factions that try to pull us into these extremes and divide the church. And it begins to decay our trust in God and his plan. So what is the Christian response to these messages on gender? As we watch our culture get increasingly polarized on gender, how do we avoid getting sucked in? What’s the Christian response to these extremes on gender? And as I said, the good news, I guess bad news as well. This is nothing new and thanks to our friends at Corinth, once again, Paul can help us out on this. So let’s look at 1 Corinthians, chapter eleven, beginning in verse one.

1 Corinthians 11, beginning in verse one. Paul writes, be imitators of me as I am of Christ and we could stop right there and that would be our answer. I think we need more explanation into this, but that’s going to be the heart of everything. This undergirds all of Paul’s teaching on Christian liberty. Imitate me as I imitate Christ. Look to Jesus. Verse two. Now I commend you because you remember me and everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ. The head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head since it is the shame as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. Stay with me.

Verse seven. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God. But the woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord, the woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman, and all things are from God. Verse 13. So judge for yourselves. Is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not Nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it’s a disgrace for him? But if a woman has long hair, it is to her glory, for her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the Churches of God. Okay, we understand it all now, got it. Thank you, Paul.

Marcus, I thought you said Paul was going to help us out on gender. I’m more confused than ever, and this passage seems to muddy the waters even more. And I get that. I will tell you, I’ve read at least seven commentaries on these 16 verses. Probably could have and should have read more and studied it over the years as well. I’ve studied research on this chapter by well-respected men and women, biblical scholars on all sides, all in the spectrum of worldviews on this. So I’ve studied this out. But most important of all, my study is I discussed this passage with my wife and my two daughters. That’s probably my best research, and they really did help me out. I really think what helps make sense of all this and can get us to the heart of the Christian response to this age-old debate on gender, specifically in the Church, is what we find in verses eleven and twelve.

We’re going to start there. It’s right in the middle of the passage, and I don’t want us to miss that. Verse eleven. It says in the Lord, a woman is not independent of man, nor man independent of woman. For as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman, and all things are from God. So one of my daughters told me Friday night after dinner, Dad, you need to focus on this part. We need to hear this. And I agree, if we get this right, everything else could start to make sense. So now, as far as Paul’s instructions on headgear in this Scripture, we’ll begin to cover that in a moment. What’s the meter? Is that one, two, or dad joke number one? All right, yes. But in all seriousness, in a few moments, we’ll uncover what all this means.

There you go. All right. I’m trying to distract you. But first, I do think verses eleven and twelve. This is the foundation I want to read again. And the Lord woman is not independent of man, but it doesn’t stop there. Nor is man independent of woman. For as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman, and all things are from God. This is straightforward, is it not? Men and women are dependent on one another. Yes. In the beginning, woman was made from man, but now man is born from woman. So there you go. Let him who boasts boast in the Lord no boasting here. And both man and woman bring glory to God in their own unique ways. Right and catch this. And this is God’s plan for the relationship. All right? We see it with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, bringing glory to their Father, bringing glory to God, and all of their divine roles working together.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not inferior to God, yet both submit to the Father. And I think they really like doing it. They do it perfectly. It works really well. And all three, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, all have a different function, a different role. And even today, here, Sunday, every Sunday when we meet and we see it here, we see it in action right here. We praise God in song, we speak and we worship in the Spirit. Then we pray to God in the Spirit, but we can only pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. And then we have communion every week, and that’s a special time to celebrate, only Jesus. Are God and the Holy Spirit jealous of Jesus for this? Get struck down for even saying this, but I’m trying to make a point here. Like, of course, they are not jealous of this. They all plan this together. In fact, the three of them, god, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, the three of them spend most of their time elevating one another and glorifying one another.

I’d say, in the same way, men and women must imitate this. That’s God’s plan. Men and women have unique, God-given roles. God created us to work together, not independently or in jealous competition. So I would encourage us, I would appeal to you, stay in your lane, just like Jesus did, and work harder on elevating the other person rather than yourself.No gender is superior. No gender is inferior, yet each gender is distinct. We are not the same. All of this is God’s beautiful design. All of it is God’s order of the universe. You and I were fearfully and wonderfully made for the glory of God and for the glory of one another. So for those tempted by the extreme of, I got to grab my women’s freedom or I’m not going to get it, remember God’s design for those tempted by the extreme to erase gender and just say, you know what? None of this has been fair anyway. Let’s just erase gender. It’s been messed up anyway. Remember, that’s not God’s design for us either.

And for those tempted by extreme male dominance and superiority, we got to take this back. Humble yourself, and don’t force your leadership on women. In my experience, that does not work. Just a heads up, in case you didn’t know that. Inspire them, serve them, elevate them, and they will follow you. They want to follow a spiritual man. And remember men where you came from. Literally, you exist because of a woman. All right? This works both ways. So I just wanted to lay the groundwork. Help us remember that. Because the rest of the scripture is just bonkers, right? Verses eleven and twelve, that’s the groundwork. If you get in the weeds, go back to those verses. Remember the principle of those verses. As we now dive into verse three, Paul does, I want to note in verse two, praise the Church in Corinth. He’ll do that every once in a while. They had some good things going on. I did want to say, man. And as we finished eight, nine, and ten, I was thinking, how do these people know so much about each other? I will compliment Corinth, and they must have had a lot of meals together to kind of figure out who’s eating food. Sacrifice the idols, who believes what and what’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with her?

They must have been in each other’s homes all the time, even though they were so different. So I give them credit for that. But we found out a lot about them from this. So Paul does compliment them by telling them, hey, yeah, you’re remembering what I taught you on public worship. But then he launches into the order of relationships. In verse three, Paul writes in verse three, I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ. Okay, we got that. The head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. And for centuries, the Greek word here for the head has been dissected. It’s been debated. There are nuances to this Greek word for head. But no matter what the scholars do, there’s really no getting around it. The word head always has some connotation of authority. It is what it is. So it has to do with authority. Christ has authority over man. The husband has authority over his wife, and God has authority over Christ. First, I’ll say this again, this does not mean anyone is inferior to anyone else. Case in point, the Father has authority over the Son, but the Son is not lesser than we’ve already covered.

You could also make the point about church leaders. Church leaders have God-given authority, but we’re all equal members of this community, and we all have different roles, different functions. In the same way, in God’s design of marriage, the head of the wife is her husband. The second thing I want to note on this is this list does not reveal a descending or ascending hierarchy. You’ll notice the list begins and ends with Christ, right? Christ has authority, and yet Christ also submits to authority. And that’s why Paul appeals to us. Back in verse one. We’re disciples of Jesus. Imitate me as I imitate Christ, all right? Now let’s cover the cultural issues in Corinth number four. Okay, we go to verse four. Come on. All right. We’re going to do our best to build a bridge for us today. In verses four through six, we’ll read again verse four. And this is where we get to the practical instruction. All of this is because reports had come to Paul in some way, shape, or form that the worship services were getting to be a mess. And we’ll learn more about some of that next week as well, of what was happening with the Lord’s Supper.

But he really needed to give some practical instruction. And you get the sense that he says this. He’s like, okay, we dealt with this. Now we’re going to move on to the Lord’s Supper. Okay? But he wants them to understand the heart. But now he gets to the practical instruction for the church. In Corinth, in verse four, he says, every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. All right, so I do want to point out that many times when we read this scripture, we tend to go, whoa, what is Paul’s deal with women? But if you count in here how many times he mentions men and how many times he mentions women, their roles, what they should be doing, and practical instructions, it’s pretty much even. All right, so what Paul does here in verse four, Paul starts with the men, and he says, hey, when you pray or when you speak in the assembly of the church, do not cover your head.

As all the brothers in the church take their hats off, they’re like, oh, is he talking to me? All right, we’ll get to that. Well, yeah, if you’re from the South like me, this is not a scripture about wearing a hat in church, all right? That’s not what this is. Those are other cultural things that may or may not need to be respected, but that’s not what this is, okay? In pagan temples, the men would often wear togas over their heads to worship their gods. That was very common with all the deities in Rome. See, maybe you’re making some connections here about why this wasn’t a good idea in this church. Same way with the meat sacrifice, the idols became a problem. It was like, hey, I could wear whatever I want. I know this is not real, but it was affecting people. So again, keep in mind we just studied chapters eight, nine, and ten. Paul did not want some of the Gentile brothers and sisters to stumble, because some of this they grew up with and they were trying to escape from. So he instructs the men to stop covering their heads in the public assembly of worship, and he’s reminding them, or he’s letting them know, this reminds your brothers and sisters they’re struggling with this. It reminds them of worshipping these gods they used to worship. This is distracting.

It may mean nothing to you, but it’s distracting other people. And then we have verse five. It’s confusing, but it’s actually the opposite instruction for women. Every woman must cover her head. Every married woman must cover her head when she speaks in the church. And that culture, again, in the Roman culture, the head covering was a visible sign that you’re married. The head covering or the veil in that time and in that culture was like today’s wedding ring. Now, it was much, much more visible. But you could understand if we had women coming into the church, sisters say, oh, it’s just a symbol. I’m not wearing my wedding ring anymore, and then just waving their hands, their left hands around, okay, it may be funny and we may get it or whatever, but it could affect some people, right? And so in that society, if you wore the veil, it means you were spoken for. It means you’re protected. It means you’re off limits. No one would dare proposition you because they knew that this woman wearing the veil had some backup. She was guarded.

The veil was this sign. It wasn’t something bad. It was a sign of dignity. It was a sign on your head, as the scripture would say later. It’s literally something you were wearing on your head when you would speak in church. But at the same time, you were saying, I submit and respect my husband. There’s something bigger than me happening here. Right? So that’s what it was. Now, if a married woman did not wear the veil, that would send a very strong message in that culture, all right? If you didn’t wear the head covering, this meant a woman is rejecting her husband, especially if people knew, isn’t she married? Why is she not wearing the veil? And people start talking about it, and it’s a distraction, right? I want to say it, but in that culture, if you don’t wear the veil, you’re saying, I’m available. Rejecting Roman law, it would be a statement of sexual freedom, and it also was a statement of, no one’s telling me what to do. This veil doesn’t mean anything anyway. So you were making a statement. And so apparently this kind of a new wave of women began to do this in Corinth, and they were starting to bring this social agenda into the church.

And I could see it, and I have some compassion on that, because you read in the scriptures, hey, we’re a new creation in Christ. All these cultural things don’t matter anymore. You can make a good argument for it. But Paul’s saying, no, wear the head covering, it’s hurting the church. It’s affecting the spread of the gospel you’re bringing attention to yourself rather than God. And Paul, as he often does, he uses hyperbole here. He’s like, hey, if you’re going to go that far, just shave your head. He’s trying to make a point, you know, Paul, that’s what he does. And the background of that is, and it’s pretty intense. In Roman culture, a woman caught in adultery would have her head shaved in shame. In other words, they would shave her head if she was caught in adultery and shame her in order to make her look like a man in that culture. So, Paul, it wouldn’t mean as much to us reading this shaved her head, whatever. It’s just a matter of style. But for him, he’s exaggerating here to make some points. He’s saying, in light of our current culture, wear your veil and worship. Because, number one, there is a God given distinction between male and female, and we honor that in the church. Number two, when you don’t wear your veil, it brings attention to yourself. It’s a distraction for everyone else who’s trying to worship God and connect with God. And number three, when you don’t wear your head covering, you could give the appearance to outsiders that our church is full of loose women.

It is what it is, and that would bring shame to the Gospel. That would bring shame to the church. So what we choose to do in our freedom makes a difference. And to emphasize the point Paul has made since chapter eight in the church community, what you and I choose to do as individuals affect everyone. There’s a responsibility that comes with wearing the name Christian. We must consider how our choices impact our brothers and sisters. We have to consider whether our choices will affect our ability to shine the bright light of Christ in this dark world. Everything is permissible, of course, but not everything is beneficial. And here’s another very important takeaway from this section. You can file this one away because we’re going to go back to it in a future chapter. It’s not a matter of if women should pray and prophesy in public worship. It’s a matter of how, you catch that from the Scripture, right? Paul’s not really addressing this at this point.

Hey, stop these men from talking. Stop these women. No, he’s like the way they’re doing it. In the early church, women prayed and spoke publicly. I’m sure there were different formats. I’m not going to get into all of that today. But it was basically assumed that women would be audible participants in the worship service in Corinth. Can I get an audible amen, sisters? All right. Yeah. Participate. So make sure you file that away for chapter 14. Same letter, but both men and women prayed and spoke in the early church. We don’t know the exact format, but what was so important about this, and this is the heart of all of this, is if people spoke in church, they had to do it in a way that gave glory to God and serve the church, not themselves. Paul’s like, stop it. When people are speaking and they’re distracting others, they’re bringing attention to themselves and pushing their own social agenda or trying to prove, yeah, I should be speaking. That’s not why you speak. Are you with me? Let’s keep reading.

In verse seven, as Paul continues to make his point, he says in verse seven, for a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but a woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman for man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. Again, I don’t know how that hits you. I say go back to verses eleven and twelve as your foundation. Maybe Paul would say it differently to our generation, same heart, but I think it’s very important we don’t react emotionally to this or go to extremes. That’s what the world does, what’s happening here and it’s happening today, it happened in Corinth. The culture was starting to distort gender, and Paul felt the need to protect the Church, to guard the Gospel. So he reminds the Church of God’s plan of creation, specifically his creation of men and women for specific purposes. He affirms the differences in gender and how we absolutely complement one another and need one another as men and women. Again, I go back to the ultimate example. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. They are not working independently of one another. They are working together. It’s the same for men and women.

This is both for God’s glory and the glory of one another. And then comes verse ten. We may have understood this so far. And then there’s the mystery of verse ten. This is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head. I kind of talked about that, but I’ll review that again. But then this part is because of angels. Paul, why are you throwing angels in there? You haven’t even been talking about angels. Talking about men and women and speaking in the church and head coverings, where the angels come from. Come on, Paul. In other words, we’ll get to angels in a minute, but in other words, Paul implores the wives to pray and prophesy with their heads covered. And part of that is to symbolize their respect for their husband’s authority. They may be sharing something incredibly profound that edifies the whole church, but it needs to be done in the same spirit of I’ve got a husband with me and we’re together on this. All right, so we get that, I think. But what do the angels have to do with this? Why bring up angels here?

And there have been many interpretations of this, and I’ll share with you what makes the most sense to me. The good news is this won’t determine anything about you on Judgment Day, so give me an amen for that. But I think it’s interesting to see what happens here and what these angels are all about. The Greek word angelos has two meanings. It could mean an angel, and that’s the one we know the best. Right? That’s the word we know. These supernatural beings surround God and have wings that protect us and around us. But Angelos could also simply mean messenger. It really depends on the context. And because of the context here in verse ten, I believe what Paul is doing, he’s adding more motivation for the men and the women to do what they need to do when they’re speaking in church. For women to wear head coverings and men do not wear head coverings because of Messengers. Here’s what I mean. As crazy as it sounds, this would never happen today. But the Roman society had a culture police, the government had people that were going around entering into different groups to see what they were up to.

And there were Messengers working for the government. And these messengers would report anything that could be seen as a threat to the way of life in the empire. It’s smart if you’re a government official. I mean, it’s a pretty normal thing, you want to keep the peace. And so they would report on anything that was countercultural behavior by the men or women. And it included dress code violations that went against the grain. Do you see where I’m going with this? And so if you read verse ten in that context, that’s why the wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the Messengers. So just like today, like we have people that come regularly on a Sunday or if you’re visiting with us today, we don’t really study this every week. So if you come back next week, it’ll be a different topic. Just want to give you a breath of fresh air, but I hope you’re enjoying this. But anyway, people come, outsiders were coming, visitors were coming. People coming in, in and out of town. It could be someone that was a follower of Jesus from another church. It could be someone like one of these Messengers.

I talked about working for the government. And of course, as people come in, they were trying to make disciples of Jesus. What Paul is saying here is because of the Messengers, there’s a bigger picture here, guys. We’re trying to be a light to the world. You have freedom but consider the whole. Don’t just think about yourself, think about your mission to win as many as possible. Think about protecting the church. Don’t bring shame on the church. People are watching us. And as I said, there could be Christian messengers. People travel from town to town, church to church. Word travels fast. Some of it is righteous, some of it unrighteous. But Christians talk. So the kingdom of God is much bigger than this church in Corinth. I don’t think they always realize that, right? So what happens in the local church affects people in other places. So if someone comes in from Berea and they’re like, oh my goodness, the men in that church in Corinth, they’re all wearing Jedi hoods. I think they’ve gone off the rails, man. I don’t know what they’re worshipping there anymore. I know there are a lot of gentiles there, or they could hear that. The women, they’re not covering their heads and what’s this all about? And have they lost their mind?

So think about how your decisions affect your brothers and sisters in Ephesus, Jerusalem, Philippi, and Berea that’s the thought there, and I think it’s the same for us today. And as we get to the stretch, run here and finish this out, verses 13 through 16, I really don’t have a lot of time to dive too deep into the hair issue that Paul speaks about here. Hairstyles change and culture reacts accordingly. All right? That’s a moving target. Some of us have no control over our hairstyle. We just lose it. Or it just gets gray and white. All right, so for time’s sake, long story short, hairstyles come and go, but Paul’s point remains the same. There are two genders created by God, man, and woman. And I’ll say that multiple times. Our culture changes so fast. 20 years ago, I never thought that would be a controversial point in a lesson. But it needs to be said. There are two genders, men and women. And as follower followers of Jesus, I appeal to you not to tamper or mess with God’s design. Do not blur the lines. Why? Because we trust and submit to God’s plan. Because we imitate Christ. Because we look out not only for our own interests but the interests of others. Because we want to win as many as possible.

So Paul concludes with this. He basically says at the end, all right, based on what I told you, judge for yourselves, because I want to talk about the Lord’s Supper. Now, that’s the next thing he’ll get to. And he says, hey, if anyone’s inclined to be contentious about this, or in other words, even here today, if some of this teaching doesn’t sit well with you, just remember, Paul says we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. In other words, brothers and sisters, it’s not our place to reinvent God’s church based on personal preferences and culture. We don’t have to be mean about it, be loving and kind and full of the fruit of the spirit. But we must take a stand. Brothers, sisters, family, friends, and guests, Happy Father’s Day by any stretch. As I said, this is not our typical lesson, but I do think it’s very important. This is one of those passages I realize every answer brings up three more questions, and you do need to dig deep. Three takeaways for us. I’ll say it again. Number one, there are two genders, man and woman. We are incomplete without one another. Men and women are dependent on one another. God expects us to work in harmony and deeply appreciate one another, avoiding the extremes of culture. Number two, just like hairstyles, cultural ways of expressing respect and honor in a public setting.

Those come and go, all right? So don’t hold on like man head coverings from now on, baby. No, I mean, it’s going to vary from generation to generation. So this is going to take mercy and grace and conversation and family and working together and loving one another. I mean, the time for instructions specifically on head coverings, is long gone. But the principle here is timeless. It transcends time. So the question I asked is just one you could ask. But what does this scripture teach us today about public modesty? Not just for the women. Amen. Okay. It’s for the men as well. I’ll give you a big hint. Modesty is not only about sexual purity. Study this out. Right. What does this scripture teach us about the choices we make and how we appear to others affect others? Number three, god expects orderly public worship. He wants worship that glorifies him and wins as many as possible. We cannot let anything else stand in the way of that. And that’s the purpose of why Paul would spend time talking about what you wear on your head. It seems ridiculous, but it was hurting the church. We need to have worship that considers others more than our own agenda.

The problem in Corinth was never about women speaking in the church. It was all about their attitude and their heart. And for us to have these discussions and to work through this on many different levels, it’s going to take grace, mercy, and patience with one another. But most of all, love. Love. To quote Paul in chapter 13 of this same letter, if I speak in the language of men and of angels, but have not love, I’m a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. We must have love. Thank you so much for listening today and for soaking on a very challenging topic. And I will say if you desire to study this out in greater depth, I have plenty of research that I can share with you and send to you. So we’ll continue to talk about this. Let’s pray together, and then we’ll stand and sing our final song.


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