"But it doesn't apply today, it's only cultural" I am so tired of hearing that pathetic excuse. Let's just start by looking at the verses again. If women covering their heads in prayer is "only cultural" then doesn't that mean that verse 4 is "only cultural" too? Why is it that men are expected to take their hats off when they pray? If these verses are "only cultural" then men should be allowed to wear their ball caps in church. I don't know of any church today, Protestant or otherwise that would tolerate men wearing hats in church. For goodness sake, even in NASCAR they tell everyone to remove their hats before the opening prayer!
If women wearing prayer coverings were only cultural, why did women cover for the last 1,960 years? Women stopped wearing coverings, be it veils, hats, etc, to church only in the 60's and 70's when Women's Lib really started taking over society. That's what makes me laugh when I hear churches say they have "no tradition" of women covering. Feminism has told so many lies and brainwashed society into believe what they want it to believe, people have stopped using their own brains. I love history and have done a number of project on churches and such. And I have yet to find an old picture of a church gathering (pre-1970's) that doesn't show nearly every woman wearing a hat! How's that for tradition! Even when my parents were married in 1970, it was expected that hats or veils would be worn for church.
If you want to talk of church tradition, the Blessed Virgin covered her head. I'm happy to follow her tradition.
One argument I've heard lately (in Internet-land) is the cry of Legalism. Pastors in particular seem to like to throw that one around. What is Legalism really? It's following every order in the Bible down to the letter in the mistaken belief that this behaviour will gain you a place/better place in Heaven. This is not why most women wear a head covering. True there may be some, but there are always exception. And yes, it's true that we are following a Biblical directive to cover and/or dress modestly. But, do we do this so we can get to Heaven, NO. We cover because it is what God wants us to do and since we love Him we do it to please Him.
It's like watching NASCAR or making fruitcake. I don't really care for NASCAR but I watch NASCAR with Colin -every Sunday and you couldn't pay me enough money to eat fruitcake but I make my famous fruitcake every Christmas because my Mom and family love it. I don't do these things for reward I do it out of love. Therefore, it's the same with covering. I cover out of love for God and to please Him, not just to try and get a reward, i.e., Heaven. I've been saved by God's Grace, I don't need to do good works. I want to do them!!
I truly feel the cry of Legalism comes from a guilty conscience. Pastors know they should be preaching the desires of God more thoroughly, but are afraid of ruffling the Feminist feathers of their congregations. And when other women say it, it is because they know in their hearts that they are not doing what pleases God.
I've been shocked to hear some pastors have actually told covering women that they are no longer welcome in that church. How's that for Christian behaviour? Those pastors need to be reminded that they serve God and the church is not theirs to run as they choose. Besides, how is a little piece of cloth/hat going to hurt the worship of the Lord? Maybe it will bring other women to read their bibles more closely and listen to what the Lord wants? Pastors also seem to forget that a woman only has to explain herself to God and her husband/father. All that aside, maybe the pastor's attention would be better spent addressing the women of the congregation that seem to forget to get dressed before going to church! The outfits that are allowed to be worn to church are downright shameful. I'm not suggesting full burkas for women, but surely, Colin should be able to attend church with me without having to see all manner of bra straps, pantie lines, and other things I won't mention. Pastors should really worry about more things than what's on a woman's head.
I think those are all the reasons against head covering. As you can see from my other post, I wear head coverings that don't really stand out. They do in a way, because so few women wear anything on their head. But I don't wear, for example, Mennonite style prayer caps or long Charity-style veils. I don't feel the Lord has called me to stand out any more than I already do because I wear modest dresses. I cover for/because of my love for the Lord. I don't need to put myself on display. That's one of the benefits of dressing modest and wearing head coverings, I no longer have to "fit" the current definition of fashionable and I'm not on display for every passing man to ogle. I have noticed one thing since changing to dresses and coverings. I get much more respect and gentlemanly behaviour from men when I'm out in public. They even seem to mind their language more, which is good since I always have Ella with me. This also, isn't the reason I cover, just a nice added bonus. Then of course, there is the pleasure it brings my husband. Colin loves to see me dressed as a lady and he finds my coverings very "suiting". These aren't the real reasons I cover but they sure are nice added bonuses -see what happens when we please God?
I forgot to mention, this is the best response I've ever heard to "why do you cover", especially when asked with malice by another Christian woman... the response is "why aren't you?"