Since social custom in respect to a woman's position has changed so much since the times of the Apostle Paul, must a covering be insisted upon today?
- The reasons why sisters are required to wear head coverings have nothing to do with social custom in ancient Greece. The reasons relate to differences between man and woman with respect to authority (11:3), glory ( 11:7), order of creation ( 11:8), purpose of creation ( 11:9 ), and the angels ( 11:10). None of these reasons is culturally relative; they are not dependent upon the kind of society in which one lives.
- The teaching of Scripture as to why a sister ought to cover her head is supported by two further appeals:
- --- to propriety- ''Judge for yourselves is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?" (11:13, R.S.V)
- --- to nature - "Doth not even nature itself teach you... ?"(11:14).
There may be differences in the standard of "propriety” and what can be learned from "nature" with the passing of time, but these do not affect the reasons why the head covering should be worn. The reasons why relate to God's creative design and angels.
- It is sometimes suggested that the requirement of the head covering was intended to distinguish believers from temple prostitutes. The implication being, that the head covering served a useful purpose for the Corinthians, but is now merely a matter of social custom (for 20th century Christadelphians). There is no Biblical evidence for this view. There are a number of reasons provided in 1 Cor. 11 as to why a sister should cover her head, but to distinguish believers from heathen prostitutes is not one of them.
- The reasons for the head covering are rooted in Scripture. They are not dependent upon social customs of the day, personal likes or dislikes, or whether one lives in ancient Corinth or modern America. The head covering is a divine requirement based upon divine revelation.