Originally posted by tcalbrecht
The premise that one "custom" has replaced another "custom" -- whether in the case of foot washing or holy kiss -- is not established.
You have to work that issue before we can talk about an appropriate "custom" to replace the "custom" of a head covering.
BTW, I'm not at all convinced that 1 Cor. 11:1-16 is directed mainly or solely at the conduct of women in the public assembly of God's people. The end of chapter 10 is discussing sexual immorality, temptation, idolatry and the obtaining things sacrificed to idols in the public square, "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;"
In chapter 11 around verse 18 there seems to be a shift to the assembly. "For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe..."
Note the phrase "First of all." That seems a bit misplaced if the previous discussion about head covering was for the assembly as well.
I find nothing compelling in that section to limit its requirements (whatever they may be) to public corporate worship.
Then there is the matter of "praying or prophesying". If this is the public assembly, and we also have instruction from Paul, "Let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak", I have a difficult time seeing this passage as regulating what Paul is specifically forbidding in chapter 14. It seems like the IRS coming after someone for not paying taxes on the proceeds from a drug deal.
Did you read the RPNA position paper? This is NOT my position.
My original post, and the title of this thread, is Headcoverings and the RPNA's position paper. It is their [RPNA] "cultural" claim that states they disagree with headcoverings because it only concerns the culture at the time of the Corinthian church. They referenced footwashing, and holy kissing as examples. I took their conclusions to its natural end.
My point is, for all who say it is cultural (assuming their argument matches the RPNA's) what has *replaced* the symbol of authority on her [womans] head?
ORIGINAL post (pay close attention to the bolded lines):
Originally posted by mangum
1 Corinthians 11:2-16
This topic has been coming up often in my circles of interest. I see the strength of the arguments on both sides of the debate (viewed as cultural practice to the Corinthians OR to be practiced by all churches for all times as part of proper worship).
The RPNA has an "Official Presbyterial Paper" found here.
Has anyone read a rebuttal to it? For those here that cover or have a wife that covers, what do you think of this 22 page paper?
Many that take the "cultural" position refer to the washing of the feet and holy kiss practices for support of their view that head coverings are cultural. Even this position paper mentions them here
Words in italics are from the paper regarding foot washing and a holy kiss:
"¦Although the Lord authorized his disciples to wash the feet of others, as an appropriate act in their cultural context, we do not believe that in our society we are presently under an obligation to practice that specific cultural custom. We recognize there is a moral principle (of selfless service) that stands behind that cultural practice which we must continue to exemplify in our lives as Christ´s ministers and disciples. The Lord here illustrates the moral duty incumbent upon all who rule in His Church to be the greatest servants of all in caring for others. The actual practice of foot washing had cultural significance to those living in the ancient world, but it has no real significance to those living in the Western world of the twenty-first century. Perhaps our closest cultural equivalent to foot washing presently is offering refreshments and hospitality to guests who visit in our homes.
But we also acknowledge that we are not universally bound to the alterable, cultural custom of foot washing, but rather to the unalterable, moral principle of service. So likewise, we acknowledge that men and women are not universally bound to the alterable, cultural custom of uncovering and covering their heads, but rather to the unalterable, moral principle of lawful male headship under Christ and respectful female submission in the Lord within the assemblies of the Church.
But there is something that continually comes to my mind when hearing this particular line of argumentation. In the 2 cases of foot washing and holy kissing, the paper acknowledges a cultural "œreplacement" (so to speak) sign or practice that signifies the moral principal being taught. "œ"¦our closest cultural equivalent to foot washing presently is offering refreshments and hospitality to guests who visit in our homes." Agreed. This is a cultural custom, in modern times, which is the same in principle to foot washing during Apostolic times.
Likewise, a holy kiss today "œ"¦would likely be a holy handshake or perhaps a holy embrace"¦Again, we do not understand that we are bound by this specific cultural custom, although we would understand that the moral principle (of Christian love) that lies behind that practice does in fact continue as an obligation. So likewise, we acknowledge that men and women are not universally bound to the alterable, cultural custom of uncovering and covering their heads, but rather to the unalterable, moral principle of lawful authority and submission within the Church. Like the foot washing example, I agree.
But here is my question: What visible, tangible practice or custom is done today to signify the moral principle of lawful male headship under Christ and respectful female submission in the Lord within the assemblies of the Church? What has "œreplaced" the head covering?
We know what has "œreplaced" the foot washing and holy kiss custom as mentioned above. (note: I don´t mean "œreplaced" to be taken negatively). But what has replaced the head covering custom?
How would one, Christian or otherwise, observe the biblical practice of a visible sign of authority over the woman? If it is not a covering (because of our culture) then what is it? Or, what should it be? It seems to me that when the Apostle calls for a visible sign of authority or power upon the (woman´s) head, he is mandating that it ought to be immediately apparent to the observer of the rightful order of things.
My questions can be compacted into one: What modern day, culturally specific custom is expressing this absolute moral principle of submission and authority in the Church?
[Edited on 6-7-2006 by mangum]