Christ over all!
Scripture reading for August 17th: 1st Corinthians 11:3-16
“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” In this chapter, Paul begins by dealing with the role of women in the church at Corinth. He starts his discussion by stating the biblical order found in Scripture. God is supreme over all. Christ is under God’s authority and man comes under Christ. The woman is to be under man’s authority. God set up this order, not man.
In the church at Corinth, there was a question about the propriety of women worshiping God through prayer and prophesying without their heads covered. (1st Corinthians 11:4-7) The predominant cultural norms for that region were that men had short hair and women had long hair. Women showed respect in worship settings by having long hair or covering their heads. This sign of respect was important not because women were inferior in any way to men, but because that was the acceptable custom of that culture. If that custom was violated, it would cause division in the church. This was an issue similar to eating meat sacrificed to idols!
“For man did not come from woman, but woman from man: neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought have a sign of authority on her head.” This is a difficult passage to explain. Paul states that woman came from man originally in that Adam’s rib was used by God to fashion the woman Eve. Eve was made for Adam to be his companion and helper. She was God’s gift to Adam. The angels are present in our worship services. Paul said that their presence should cause women to want to wear the appropriate covering to promote worship.
Men and women are equal before God. Christ is over all of them. If you go to worship with a church body, follow the ways of the culture of the area to promote unity. Women should seek to stay under the God-given authority present and by doing so will bring glory to man which in turn brings glory to God! Men should honor Christ in all they do. They all may then freely pray and prophesy without causing strife.