Before I get judged on this question I really want people to think about what I am asking. Many women of different religions (around the world) wear head coverings. Some of these include Muslim women, Catholics, Christians, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Etc. So why doesn’t women in America have to wear a head covering? Better yet, why don’t we still practice the covering of our heads?
My father-in-law is a Christian preacher and I sent him an email on this issue. Below is the reply that he sent me (this was copied from a study plan that he took part in on his PC)
1 Corinthians 11:1-34
Women in the Church: 1 Cor 11
The subjects taken up in this chapter of 1 Corinthians all have to do with public worship. The first subject focuses on several practices of the Christian women’s liberation party. The second topic is the practice of the Lord’s Supper. It is the first subject we want to concentrate on. Paul began by praising the believers – including the women – for holding to his previous teachings (v. 2). Paul then went on to answer some who had challenged his teaching. Again we need to understand the cultural background before looking at the passage itself. What really is at issue is the Corinthian women’s desire to dispense with the veil
(to go “uncovered”) in public worship.
The veil covering. Sir William Anderson gives us some insight into the cultural implications of the veil:
In Oriental lands the veil is the power and the honor and the dignity of the woman. With the veil on her head she can go anywhere in security and profound respect. She is not seen; it is a mark of thoroughly bad manners to observe a veiled woman on the streets. She is alone. The rest of the people around her are nonexistent to her, and she is to them. She is supreme in the crowd… But without the veil the woman is a thing of nought, whom any man may insult… A woman’s authority and dignity vanish along with the all-covering veil that she discards (cited by Robertson and Plummer in Corinthians One, International Critical Commentary, p. 311).
Anderson’s point is simple. The veil served to affirm the woman’s dignity as a woman.
Why did the Corinthian ladies want to remove their veils in church meetings? Because they felt a need to symbolize their new status as full participants in the body of Christ. If they were equals of men, they wanted to be like men and to worship unveiled!
Paul’s response is not a put-down. Instead, it is a reaffirmation of the fact that a woman can be valuable and worthwhile as a woman. No woman needs to seek liberation by struggling to become like man!
An inappropriate symbol. It is significant here that Paul does not argue, as he might have, from the cultural implications of going unveiled. In that society, the discreet matron would demonstrate her propriety in the way she dressed, while the heterai (“available for hire”) would advertise herself by her dress. Surely Paul could have taken the approach of shaming the Corinthian women for acting like harlots.
But Paul did not. Instead, he affirmed these women. He argued that there are differences between men and women, and that it is no disgrace to recognize the differences. Acting in ways appropriate for a woman to act in no way denies the Christian woman’s worth and value, and it in no way threatens her participation in the body of Christ.
An unnecessary demand. In verses 2-16 Paul explained that there are differences between men and women that are to be acknowledged. But the differences are designed to make men and women interdependent, not to make one sex of lesser importance.
Paul’s argument here is a theological one, finding its roots in the order of Creation. The man does have a certain priority; he was created first, and woman was shaped from his flesh. Eve was created to meet Adam’s need for companionship rather than vice versa. This order in Creation is reflected in the relationship between a man and his wife. He is the “head” of the woman, even as Christ is the Head of man.
(from The Teacher’s Commentary. Copyright © 1987 by Chariot Victor Publishing. All rights reserved.)
As you can see, the head covering is an unnecessary practice among Christian women because the head covering does not decide the woman’s salvation, instead our relationship with God and acceptance of his son Jesus Christ decides our salvation…not a piece of cloth.
But why do many Christians today still wear a head covering, veil, hijab, Etc.???
The answer is modesty, submission to God and their husband, and because they believe they should wear one (scripture, 1 Corinthians 11:1-34). How about-because it simply makes them happy.
Of course there is way more research and beliefs that relate to this study, but I wanted a simple, honest and truthful answer.
Now, Let’s consider a hijab.
A hijab is usually worn by women who have a Muslim (islamic) religion, but when I researched this covering, I found that many christian women wear one too. Though christian women do not share the same beliefs as a Muslim, they do believe the Hijab serves its purpose for modesty and many women like that.
What I don’t understand is that if a Christian woman wore a hijab , people would think she was an Muslim woman and they would judge her……Can a woman not wear a head covering because she wants to bring respect to herself and her husband??? Though our culture is very different now, women look at their selves as equal to men, but the Bible states that is not so. Christ is the head of man and the head of the woman is her husband.
I think Hijabs are beautiful and we Christians should not be so easy to judge. Though I do not affiliate the hijab (head covering) with only an islamic religion, but to any religion that offers the woman to wear a head covering (whether it be mandatory or not). Let me be clear–> I DO NOT believe in the islamic faith. I am 100% christian, meaning I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and he is my savior and the son of God. But I’m not going to be judgmental over a piece of clothing. In fact I have many islamic friends at my college and they are so nice and understanding to my beliefs and I to theirs; however, that does’t mean that I agree with their faith and if an opportunity arises for me to share the gospel, then I will.
Now, I am going to conduct a study within the next few weeks. I decided I am going to wear a hijab every day for two weeks. I want to see how fellow christians and people react to me wearing one, even though I am a christian. I am in no way taking part in any other religion than christianity, I simply am going to cover up and be modest with a head covering. I am referring to a prejudice experiment if you will. I want to see if my relationship with God grows because I decide to be more modest and obedient, etc.
I will document my findings here and I may write in a daily journal. I really want to see the “other side” of things.
Before I leave this post, I want to state that I respect all religions and I respect the people who practice them. I am in no way trying to be rude or disrespectful.
God Bless <3