Biblical Womanhood . . . in the Church (part II)
Passage: 1 Corinthians 11:2–11:16
“Biblical Womanhood . . . in the Church (part II)”
1 Cor. 11:2-16
Big Picture: Creation affirms gender roles and gender distinctions between men and women.
“Paul’s argument from creation in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 is not directly given to mandate women must wear head coverings. Rather, his argument from creation explains how man is the image and glory of God, and how the woman is the glory of man. Christian women are not required to wear head coverings today when praying and prophesying, since the symbol of a woman’s head being covered is different today than it was during the time of Paul (at least in many cultures). Consequently, Paul’s argument from creation is only indirectly linked to the need for head coverings. However, the transcultural truth that undergirded Paul’s admonition still applies for us today. Women are different from men, and this distinction must be maintained in the church and in the family.” Benjamin L. Merkle
Point # 1: Ladies, honour your head for the sake of biblical teaching (2-6) • Women can pray and prophesy and participate during the corporate worship of the church, but they must do so with a humble demeanor and with an attitude that supports and is submissive to male headship/leadership – be it her husband or church elders. During the time of Paul wearing a head covering communicated a submissive demeanor and feminine adornment.
Point # 2: Ladies, honour your head for the sake of creation and the pattern of nature (7-15)
- A man should not wear a head covering because he is the image of the glory of God
- Woman is man’s glory, i.e., she was created to honor him.
- Woman was created to bring honor to man because (1) the source of woman is man and such an origin indicates a different role in the created order, and (2) woman was created because of man, i.e., in order help him in his tasks.
Point # 3: Ladies, honour your head for the sake of apostolic authority (16)
* This sermon owes a tremendous debt to “Head Coverings, Prophecies and the Trinity” (Thomas Schreiner); “Paul’s Argument From Creation in 1 Cor. 11:8-9 and 1 Tim. 2:13-14: An Apparent Inconsistency Answered” (Benjamin L. Merkle); and an anonymous blog-post by a pastor who struggles with cross-dressing.
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