Saturday, April 22, 2006

Head Covering Links

Here are the rest of the links on head coverings. I didn't expect to be writing about this. I don't think women should wear head coverings unless it is part of the cultural tradition to which they belong. I strongly oppose the idea that Jesus taught that women should be either 'in subjection', or 'subjected' as some of these links suggest.

However, it seems that I am drawn to continue a dialogue in my own mind with Brethren ecclesiology. And like it or not, head coverings are part of the Brethren tradition.

My parents were a faithful Brethren couple who did not teach subjection, they never mentioned it. Now I am evangelical Anglican and they do not teach it either. Each denomination choses things not to teach, like giving away all your goods, and living in a community, foot washing, supporting widows, the office of elders, allowing instrumental music, etc.

For Head Covering

Man and Woman: The Divine Order Brethren authors
Head Coverings in Scripture quotes from church history

Against Head Covering

You were what you wore in Roman Law Bruce Winter
What is the Head Covering Dan Wallace
Rethinking the Veil William Welty

Call to Charity

Head Coverings and Charity Douglas Wilson

As I type I am listening to a forum published online on women in ministry. At this point Eugene Peterson is talking about his mother who was a preacher. It is quite a story and one that I had not heard before. It is a blessing to hear of this woman preaching in timber camps and mining camps. Thank God for faithful women.

Note: I have posted a draft and taken it down - sorry.


Matthew Celestine said...

It is a tradition that the Open Brethren have largely abandoned. An Open Brethren preacher I know says that none of the women at his assembly wear any kind of headcovering.

God Bless


Suzanne McCarthy said...


When I was 35 we attended an Open Brethren assembly in a smaller town. There the brothers were concerned about women and decided to make scarves available at the door. They were influenced by the Biblical manhood and Womanhood teaching.

However, this was the place where a woman who had been badly abused by her husband was told to stay with him and be submissive. The worst thing is that the elder who said this, also the elder handing out hats, was a provincial judge. So he went against our national law because of his views on women. This is the main reason that that we left the Open Brethren permanently.

I know that people will say this was unfortunate and I have an emotional reaction, but what should one do when you see grave justice done. I wrote a letter and went to see other brothers who I thought might have some influence. The women's medical doctor stepped on her behalf. We then moved.

I don't know what that assembly is like now. In conjunction with this the overall preaching was very bad, and reduced to the men making analogies from their own personal life with Bible topics. No one can tell me that women are more emotional than men. They were for the most part untrained in theology although professional people.

Naturally I cannot simply act as if I have not seen all this. However, I firmly believe that no church is perfect and other churches have their own weaknesses also. But the Brethren who understand that the Spririt gives spiritual gifts should be as open to women teaching as any other.