Friday, April 21, 2006

Head Coverings and Married Status

Why do I favor women in ministry?Ken Schenck is a professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.

    Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 predicted that Christian daughters would prophesy. Indeed, we see the 7 virgin daughters of Philip the evangelist prophesying in Acts 21:9. 1 Cor. 11:5 refers to married women prophesying as well. We know they are married because their lack of covering dishonors their head—which 11:3 defines as their husbands. There is nothing in these contexts that indicates that these women only prophesied to women. Indeed, since the spirits of women and men are undifferentiated "in Christ," we would be surprised if such a distinction were made. Christ has conquered the limitations of the earth and the sin of Eve! Any lingering traces of the limitations of earth will fully disappear in the kingdom of God.
Interesting to me, since I am convinced that the head covering applied specifically to married women. Notice that this author says that the lack of a head covering for the women in Corinthians dishonours their head (husband). It is not lack of submission, but lack of a more public honour, dressing in a way that could be construed as a symbol of the adulteress, that dishonours a husband.

Really, would a man make a public issue out of lack of submission. No, the lack of honour, then as today, is lack of fidelity. In this, Christians stand together, there is not one understanding for complementarians, and another for egalitarians.

Here is Tertullian on the veiling of virgins.

    "But that point which is promiscuously observed throughout the churches, whether virgins ought to be veiled or no, must be treated of. For they who allow to virgins immunity from headcovering, appear to rest on this; that the apostle has not defined 'virgins' by name, but 'women,' as 'to be veiled;' nor the sex generally, so as to say 'females,' but a class of the sex, by saying 'women:' for if he had named the sex by saying 'females,' he would have made his limit absolute for every woman; but while he names one class of the sex, he separates another class by being silent. For, they say, he might either have named 'virgins' specially; or generally, by a compendious term, 'females.'" Tertullian, On Prayer, cited in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, A. Cleveland Cox, ed,. (U.S. A.: The Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), III:687.Emphasis his. Head Coverings in Scripture

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