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Responsibilities of the Church 15: Demonstrate Headship

Responsibilities of the Church Day 15 – Demonstrate Headship

“But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. … For the first man didn’t come from woman, but the first woman came from man. And man was not made for woman, but woman was made for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:3, 8-9, NLT)

I like to listen to either music or podcasts while I cut the grass. It helps break up the monotony and distracts me from the sweat that somehow always finds its way directly into my eyes. I might as well attach a funnel! I was enjoying a podcast last weekend, and really connected with one of the things this particular speaker had to say. He was talking about how often his opinion seems to clash with the truth of Scripture. When this happens, what do you do? Way too often in modern society we try to figure out how and why the Bible got it wrong. We try to explain it away through the lens of science. We try to apologize for it through the lens of culture. Are we sure we aren’t looking at things backwards? If I believe the Bible is the Word of God, why would I try to explain why it’s wrong? The podcast speaker said that now, if he finds his opinion clashing with the Bible, he just assumes he’s wrong. I think that’s a good approach to take!

This brings us to the topic at hand. The much-maligned truth of headship is as clear in Scripture as any other truth. The “problem” is that it’s fallen out of favor in modern society. For that reason, many (maybe the majority of) Christians try to explain it away. They’ll say, “Well, Paul was a male chauvinist. He wasn’t married, so how could he know how to deal with women? This was cultural and has no bearing on church truth today.” I don’t believe any of that is true—not a hint of scriptural reasoning. What I do believe is that when it comes to church truth that goes against society, it’s far easier to let go than to stand firm in the truth of His established Word.

Headship is not related to culture—it is related to creation. As Paul notes, the order of creation established the order of society. The woman was created for the man, not the other way around. Likely the main issue is the misunderstanding of what headship is. People will tell you it means Paul is teaching the inferiority of women. How can any sane person get that from reading 1 Corinthians? He says that God is the head of Christ. Is Jesus inferior to His Father? Absolutely not! So then, why would the teaching of man being the head of woman have anything to do with superiority? It simply teaches the order of God’s perfect creation. Therefore, in the establishment of church leadership, the doctrine of headship teaches that it is a male position. On the topic of head coverings, the covered head of women in church meetings displays devotion to God’s order of headship. As angels look on, they see men and women who are determined to honor God’s order and not their own. This was all established truth until about 75 years ago. For the first 1,950 years of the NT church, these truths were commonly carried out, even if not everyone understood the reason behind them. Yet the modern culture believes these pages of the Bible need to be torn out. Talk about a dangerous precedent! If this isn’t true, what else isn’t true? Where do you draw the line? As mentioned earlier, if I find myself disagreeing with Scripture, then I should just assume that I’m wrong.  

This is not a simple topic, and a short article on it isn’t going to move the needle much for anyone unless they are honestly searching for scriptural truth. If you’re wondering why church practice has gone away from the clear teaching of Scripture, I encourage you to read the epistles with a mind open to what the Bible actually teaches.

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