Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Kathleen Ferrell…a Labor of Harmonious Love

Okay! Just let me take a minute today to tell you about my amazing sister-friend out in Stockton, California who can carry not just a tune in her bucket, but lyrics that are scripturally beautiful and harmonies that will make you want to pick your part and go! Kathleen Ferrell wrote a song for a little gift of encouragement for Glenn and me; and there, in my mailbox was the sheet music, with original scoring and access to the youtube spot to hear it. I want you to be able to hear it, too, along with all of her beautiful contributions to our worship praise in the church. 

The best part about her work is that it is truly a labor of love. She offers all of her songs to the church for our free use and reproduction for books or powerpoint hymnals. 

Kathleen’s done a lot of musical work, as I understand it, since the Covid-19 virus has plagued our country. Thus, she cannot assemble the required parts to record the songs, so that we can hear what they sound like with all four parts. However, she sings them for us on youtube and then she synthesizes voices (without words) so we can hear the harmonies that will be added, when we sing them congregationally, to the lead to which she has introduced us. (Hope that makes sense. You’ll see. We all understand the humming and ooh-ing and ahh-ing is not what we will do in worship, but the synthesized harmony does allow us to see the beauty of the piece and how it will sound when all the voices are blending.)

You can find her music (and subscribe) here: The channel is Pure Joyful Music by Kathleen Russell Ferrell. I’m so thankful for her work and fully expect it to bless the kingdom for years to come. Here’s the sheet music for “our song,” too. I love this song. Only God can put this kind of talent in His creatures. Only God can give us something so magnificent to sing about!

Crimson_Robe_Made_of_Innocent_Blood copy

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep Israel: Next Stop–Jeroboam’s Altar at Dan

Viewing the actual site of the unearthed and reconstructed high place of Jeroboam was one of the ironically low and high points of the trip.  I was amazed that I was viewing here the ruins/reconstruction of the physical result of this amazing declaration by Jeroboam:

It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. (1 Kings 12:28)

Rebellious Jeroboam, first king of Israel following the division of 1 Kings, the one who led the rebellion against Rehoboam was clearly paving, for the 10 tribes of Israel, the path to laziness, ease, idolatry and ultimate ruin. He built two gold calves and set up an altar on this hill in Dan and called the people whom God had rescued over and over again, to worship the images in this very place. I wonder how/if Jeroboam would have altered the course if he could have peered through the lens of time and seen this mound of ruin where God’s followers still today lament over the bold departure from the Will of the Sovereign One. I wonder if he would have changed his mind about moving the “mound” of worship to Dan, if he could have known that people 3000 years hence would be reading over 20 passages in the Old Testament in which Jeroboam was described as the sinful one who led Israel into idolatry. I wonder if he would have placed the altar for idol worship in Dan if he had known that the tribe of Dan would be omitted from the genealogies of 1 Chronicles or from the listing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7.

To us today, the altar at Dan shouts an ultimatum: Reverence or ruin.

For those in our religious world today who think it unimportant to work (yes, work) to make our worship pleasing to its Sovereign audience, the altar of Jeroboam stands as a sentinel warning. Worship which disintegrates to an arena of human fulfillment, rather than obeisance (literally, worship means crouching before the high one) to the Infinite One, the path is destruction and omission from eternal blessings.

In practical terms, may we be  diligent to put the “work” aspect of our worship in the hearts of our children and at the center of our homes. We do this by preparing for it, praying about it in terms our kids can understand, laying aside our generous contributions ahead of time (and our children’s), making all efforts to be there on time and to be fully engaged, and making sure there is no laughter and visiting with friends during worship. It’s figuratively keeping our worship in Jerusalem and always refraining from “high places” of our own devising.


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

And Prior to the Lesson this Morning…

I was up at 6 a.m. this morning—a  Sunday morning—and I asked my husband if he’d be okay studying for his lesson upstairs while I watched an episode of something (volume up) and ran on the treadmill in the basement. He said “Oh yeah…It won’t bother me. I’m just going to be preaching up here. Go ahead.”  That’s his usual mode on Sunday mornings. He likes to pace and whisper-preach his well-prepared lesson one last time. He never uses notes in the pulpit and that last run-though is vital to his memory. 

But despite the loud volume on my television and the humming treadmill motor, I could hear bumping and knocking, stamping footsteps and things falling in the upstairs part of the house. It did not sound at all like study or the kind of whisper-preaching that my husband does on early Sunday mornings.  If he was preaching up there, it must have  been some more  powerful sermon. Just as I was working up a sweat, Glenn came down the stairs, rounded the corner and with a look of utter agitation on his face, he shouted “Can you  power that down and come help me?…Can you come right now?”

“What’s wrong?…”What’s the matter?” I said as I started shutting off the treadmill and the TV.

“Well, we have a small squirrel in the house and I can’t catch him. I’ve tried and tried, but he’s very fast and He keeps going under things and behind things and I need you to help me corner him. I’m in a pickle. I have got to get back to this lesson.” 

“Oh no…Oh dear…okay,” I stammered. “…but I am really not your girl for this job.” See, Glenn wanted me to stand at the end of tables and sofas and beds to try and corner the squirrel when he emerged from hiding places. What I wanted to do was stand on top of those tables and beds and sofas and stay as far from that squirrel as I possibly could get. I soon saw, though, that our squirrel had no qualms whatsoever about running on top of tables, himself, and jumping from stairwells to tabletops to floors and behind armoires and under closed doors. He was the next thing to a flying squirrel and he was all over my house. And he loved stairwells.

The next few minutes proved to be a worthless workout. Out of breath, Glenn kept saying “I’m going to have to let you take care of this because I have to preach in a few minutes.”

“I’m not the right person for this job. I just can’t do this, “ I kept responding.

“Be brave. I need you. The church needs you. Just watch for him to come out and call me.”

About that time, we both thought we heard the little fugitive in a closet—a closet jam packed with 150 glass-bottle Coca-Colas, and a dozen packages of paper-ware for a big Christmas party we’re planning for the congregation at the end of the week. In addition there are a bajillion gift bags in there along with piles of random packing and wrapping materials and bows. There’s a shelf of 32 volumes of the “Great Books” and there’s a library that I use for Digging Deep. There are clothes I’ve hoarded for grandchildren and all of my winter coats. There are extra bed pillows and there’s an electric train. In short there are a million places for a squirrel to hide in that closet and there’s great potential for squirrel havoc in there and I am NOT the girl to go rummaging through that looking for a jumpy squirrel! I would jump out of my skin if I ever actually found him in there! My imagination went quickly to him jumping from the top shelf onto my back as  I’m jostling those boxes and bags on the floor. Or what if I came eyeball to eyeball with him when I looked behind that basket of toys?!  Intellectually, I know he’s small and he wants out of my house as badly as I want him out; but this is no academic exercise. This is Cindy Colley in a closet with a squirrel who’s already proven his gymnastic prowess. I’m not your girl.  

So I shut that closet door. I pushed a very heavy chest against that closet door. I went to another closet and got a big black board that I use to cover the kitchen sink when I need more counter space for serving company and I wedged it up against the door, between the chest and the crack at the bottom of the door. I was thinking about all the donations I was making to this project (after all, who wants to set the dishes for guests on a “squirrel trap”?) But I was not thinking too long and hard  about that. I was thinking “I am NOT your girl, whether you have to preach or not.”

I went to the door of the room and shut it, stuffing a quilt under the crack at the bottom. The door kept popping open under pressure, so I rigged a bungee cord up to another doorknob in the adjoining hall. My house was starting to look like a scene in “Home Alone” and I knew that home…alone was exactly what that squirrel was going to be while we went to worship. Home (my home)…Alone (with my Christmas gifts and party supplies and my precious little library)! I could not bear that thought. I am not your girl. 

“What if he escaped from the closet while I was gone to get the board? What if he is not incarcerated, but instead he’s ‘at large’ again in my house? What if he’s in there parading around my Christmas tree where he was when Glenn first spotted him while pacing and preaching  in the living room? What if he is IN my 13-foot Christmas tree? Will I find a mess of broken ornaments on the floor when I get home from worship? Will I pull back the covers on our bed and find pieces of that tree…or worse? What if we don’t find him today? How far back does the front seat recline in my car and is it going to be a warm night?” I went back and rigged another door with a quilt and bungee cord. Some things are just more important than…say, washing your hair or even showering before leaving for worship. 

As we traveled to worship, Ezra and Colleyanna, (ages five and three, respectively) called for FaceTime. Hearing about that squirrel was the best thing about their morning. “INSIDE your house?!!” they yelled with glee. “Under your Christmas tree?!”…”I wish dat squuyell was at my house! Dat would be esciting!”

I tried hard to worship. I really did…and that lesson about Mary and Martha zoomed right over to my pew and zeroed right into my “careful and troubled about many things” heart and I repented for the squirrel-induced hindrances over and over.   

Pulling out of the parking lot, Glenn said “Where do you want to go for lunch?” 

“I just want to go home and find that squirrel.” I replied….”In fact, I’d really love to cook lunch for you while you do the dispatch work.” 

“Seriously?…Well, alright then. We’ll go home.” 

And my good husband drove home, got his little 22 pistol, loaded it with rat shot, and made a regular invasion of that closet. In fact, that entire room looks like it was in the direct path of a level five tropical cyclone.  

A few minutes later, Glenn came through the kitchen with a John Wayne kind of swagger and said “Well, we got him.” 

“Great!… Where was he? I didn’t hear the gun.”

“It was pretty easy, actually,” Glenn replied. “I was just about to give up finding him in that closet. I walked through the bathroom with my gun to look for him in the sewing room…” (That was another room I’d bungee-corded off).  

“…And out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him…floating around in the toilet.” 

Ten take-aways from the thirsty squirrel saga:

  1. Biblical, marital submission trumps fear and is a strong catalyst for creativity.  
  2. When you say “I do…for better or worse” at the altar, you never know what you’re really signing up for.    
  3. Some mornings, just living life burns more calories than running on a treadmill  (or even doing a high intensity training workout).
  4. Always keep a few spare bungee cords around the house. They’re good for lots of things.
  5. Worship is hard work. Some days it’s very hard work.
  6. That Mary and Martha lesson is very practical and unrelenting in its varied applications (  
  7. Lots of sacrifices will be made when the thirsty have hope of a drink.  
  8. Make your husband a hero even if he never pulls the trigger. It’s all in the chase; the effort and the end result. 
  9. Sometimes you plunge in too deeply for something you want and you find there’s no way back out.
  10. Not every Sunday baptism ends with walking in newness of life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Worship: It’s How they Play…

Last week, my daughter overheard my grandchildren playing. It seems they were playing “house”, only they were on a family car trip. It became obvious to Hannah that they were “driving” around the house in search of a good church with which to “worship.” They entered one and found that it was just not sound. So they got back in their “car” and kept searching till they found a “good one.” Then she could hear the sweet sounds of hymns emerging from that room.

Last weekend, I was at a gathering in the home of some sweet folks. There were about a half-dozen families there. Those families included about fifteen children. Hearing them play “worship” in the other room was music (literally) to my ears. They had a song leader and they were singing  the real lyrics, on pitch, to hymns we sing in worship. One little girl told her mom prior to arriving “I don’t know if I’m going to get to be a mommy or a daddy, but I hope I am not a baby.” 

Where do they get both the will and the know-how to have structured play about worship? I’ll tell you where that comes from. It comes from parents who are real about worship. It comes from the moms like Lindsay who, several years ago, reached out to older sisters for ideas about helping children listen and learn in worship. It comes from dads like Nathan, who decided before he was ever even married, that he would have his kids engage in family Bible time every night, teaching them the accounts, principles, songs and memorization of the Word of God. It comes from moms like Alison who play CDs of memorization songs at night when her children are falling asleep. It comes from moms like Holly, who place the scriptures and Bible bowl and Sunday School homework as a priority above all the other subjects in her home school. It comes from dads like Andrew, whose children see him preparing and prayerful, prior to leading the church in worship. It comes from moms like Heather, who are constantly complimentary of their children’s  singing in worship, even if accompanied by some pretty big hand-motions imitating the song-leader. It comes from dads like Ben who make plans about worship, when out of town, before the plan to even BE out of town. 

Kids play what they see. Imitative play is healthy. It’s a very natural part of imaginative interaction. I’m glad for children who have an even greater propensity to “play” worship than they do to play tag or hide-and-seek (though those are good, too.)  I hope you are diligent about worship…not just about its form, but about its regularity, its meaning and the price paid for the privilege. I hope you are prayerful and intentional about your children’s preparation, presence and passion for praise. I hope you make them know that it’s the primary way we get to verbalize our gratitude for all that He has done for us. I hope you are constantly feeding them evidences about His existence, excellence and exaltation. I hope you remind them, as you make decisions throughout your day, that He is the axis on which your lives turn. I hope His word is posted throughout your home and, even more importantly, throughout every recess of your heart.

I hope you read Psalm 127 often!

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Q&A–Is it wrong to have a dramatization of a Bible story in children’s Bible classes?

In light of our authority study, particularly the lengthy discussions and assignments the diggers have had about what is appropriate in worship to our God, some have asked about the appropriateness of dressing up and re-enacting a Bible account for our children in a class setting. Here are some points to consider while coming to the conclusion that it is not wrong to show children a Bible story in a class setting by acting it out.

  1. A children’s Bible class is not worship. There are many things we do in a class for our sweet children that would not be appropriate for our worship assemblies. We let children lead prayers. We show them flannel-graph stories. We pat the Bible. We glue popsicle sticks together. We color. We compete in answering Bible questions.
  2. Whatever is appropriate for our family Bible times at home is appropriate for our children’s classes. Have you thought about the fact that they are essentially the same thing? They are groups of childrenAuthoritygathered with guiding adults to talk about the Bible and engage in activities to help them put it in their hearts.
  3. Bible classes are not mentioned in your New Testament. Of course, they are authorized by passages that give elders the authority to feed the flock (Acts 20:28) and passages that give parents the responsibility of bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). But, for informal settings (not corporate worship), we cannot stretch the commands of worship to apply. If we were to apply the authority commands and restrictions of worship to our children’s Bible classes, we would essentially do away with them, because they would BE worship, not differing from it in any significant way.
  4. While the boundaries for what’s appropriate for classes would not be the same as those for worship, there would be some boundaries as there are for all activities in which Christians are involved. Does this class glorify God? Does this class achieve its purpose of putting knowledge of the Word inside the minds of children? Is the Bible reverently esteemed in the class activities? Is the information presented accurate?…Is truth presented on the age level of the children?

I hope this is helpful.


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Cover Story Conclusion–A Dozen Things I’d Do If I Wore the Covering Today

I’ve spent more time than perhaps I should’ve this week contemplating the issue of the head covering from 1 Corinthians 11. I think it’s hard for any of us, in 2019, who are sisters in the kingdom of God to approach the study without any preconceived ideas. I tried to be open and honest as I looked at the teaching, but I confess that I do not want to wear the head covering. The chief reason I do not want to wear it is that my husband—my head—-does not want me to wear it. He’s convicted that it is not commanded for women in America, in 2019, and he believes that my wearing it would be a contentious and impeding action. However, he is, as always kind and protective of my conscience. Both of us understand that, if it is commanded by God for me to do so, then our fears and concerns about anything else, are irrelevant. But if it is not a requirement for women in the 21st century, it’s our judgment that it is best for me not to wear the head-covering, particularly after examining what it actually was and when it was worn. 

So for today, after much consideration and my best attempt at an open heart and mind…

If I were to wear a head covering when I pray or prophesy:

  1. I know I would be doing what the women in Corinth (at LEAST the women in Corinth) were commanded to do. In all of my reading, I did not find one scholar who argued that the women in Corinth were not commanded to cover their heads in I Corinthians 11 when they were praying and prophesying. 
  2. I would wear it both inside and outside of the worship assembly. As I posited in the last installment of this study, I cannot see any way that the head covering in 1 Corinthians 11 was limited to the worship assembly for the women in Corinth. They were not to be praying or prophesying without covered heads. They also were not to be speaking in worship (I Cor. 14:34-35; I Tim. 2: 11ff), so I could be sure the praying and prophesying they were doing was not in the assembly—thus, the command for the head covering was surely not limited to the assembly. Some have asserted that the prophesying was merely a “listening to prophecy.” I see no indication of this since we know that New Testament women did prophesy, having the gift of miraculous knowledge (Acts 2:16-18; Acts 21:8,9). For them merely to be in the audience of prophecy seems to me to stretch the text. 
  3. I would need to wear it because it is at least in some way related to nature, itself. This word nature is often used in the assertion that this teaching in 1 Corinthians 11 was not cultural; that it is inherent in the natural order; thus, is for all eras. I wanted to know if this is so, since the activity, for which the covering is specifically prescribed, seems to be, at least in part, one that women in the body no longer perform. Is it even possible that the nature word has any other connotation than meaning that the entire teaching of 1 Corinthians 11 (particularly here it would be the part about a woman having long hair) is inherent in the universal natural scheme of the earth and its elements?  When I looked at this, I noticed that Strong’s gave a secondary use of the Greek word for nature in I Corinthians 11:14. It is this: as opposed to what is monstrous, abnormal, perverse. Could it be that the women of Corinth were commanded to wear this covering when praying and prophesying because it would oppose what was abnormal or perverse in their environment of Corinth? That is, could it have been that their social climate (at least a segment of it) considered the unveiling of a woman to be that which was not normal?…maybe even perverse? Could that be the nature to which the covering of long hair, in this instance, was tied? (More on this in number 8.)
  4. I would need to be able to wear it “to give no offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God” (10:32). I believe that’s an important premise to whatever Paul is teaching. It seems that Paul is not specifically addressing the worship assembly until he actually says he is addressing it in verse 17… “when you come together…” It seems to me that the teaching about the head covering is in a section (looking back at chapter 10) that’s about the interaction of Christians in a community of unbelievers. It’s about what you do when invited to a pagan feast or when you see meat that perhaps was offered to idols in the marketplace. It’s about giving God glory in whatever common activity or event you participate (10:31). An examination of where the head-covering verses lie places them pretty clearly in a section about community involvement and glorifying God in the culture. It is clearly previous to the introduction, at least, by Paul of what we do when we “come together” (2:17).
  5. I would, then, need to wear this covering whenever I was in public, as was the Jewish and Roman custom at the time, not just in the worship assembly. 
  6. I’d need to be sure that the nature of my community was also of the mindset that the head-covering for worship was in opposition to the perverse. I was surprised to see, upon studying this topic, that in Genesis 38:14-16, in the culture of Judah and Tamar, it was the covered woman who was dressed as a prostitute (the opposite in that day and culture, from what it was, by nature, in the day of the first-century Corinthian church.) I believe, in the day and culture of Tamar, it would have been wrong for me to veil myself as did Tamar, but I do not believe it would be sinful today, because it does not signify prostitution in America today. (It might be a serious mistake, because it might make those in my community believe I was converting to the Muslim faith, however.)
  7. I’d have to do so knowing full well that the message I conveyed to my community by doing so was very different from the message the Corinthian Christian women conveyed in their wearing of the veil. As Guy Woods asserts “Corinth was made up of Greeks, Romans, and Jews, and all of these three elements of her population were found in the church to which Paul wrote. The Jew and the Roman worshipped with covered and the Greek with uncovered head. Naturally, a dispute would arise as to which custom was right…Now, in the East, in Paul’s day, all women went into public assemblies with their heads veiled, and this peplum, or veil, was regarded as a badge of subordination, a sign that the woman was under the power of the man. Thus, Chardin, the traveler, says that the women of Persia wear a veil in sign that they are under subjection., a fact which Paul also asserts in this chapter.” It seems that the symbolic significance of the head-dress became very much the crux of the discussion of Paul in the first half of 1 Corinthians 11. He asserts that, if a man prayed or prophesied with a covered head, he would have appeared to be effeminate, and, if a woman did so uncovered, she would have appeared to be insubordinate, casting off her modesty and boldly asserting her independence. In my community today, were I to begin to wear a head covering in all public places, as was the custom of the Jews and Romans of the environment to which the letter was written, my message to my neighbors would be far different from what theirs would have been. It seems clear to me that Paul was encouraging the Corinthian women to refrain from needlessly crossing the culture, from introducing unnecessary innovations and distinctions which would have added to their persecutions and perhaps impeded their evangelism. If they (Corinthian women) went unveiled, their message was that they did not recognize the headship of their husbands, the authority of the God of creation, the respect due to angels (in what sense I am unsure), the standards of the society in which they lived, and the instruction of Paul. None of those messages are conveyed today, to any of my neighbors when I bow my head at our community picnics, ballgames or in the restaurant as I pray while my husband is leading the prayer.
  8. I would certainly wear more than a small lace cloth. In examining the societal context of what Paul is telling the Corinthian women, I can see no evidence that their covering was anything less than a full, head covering and, very likely, it was in contradistinction to the prostitutes of the temple of Aphrodite, who dared to walk around the city in that day having removed their veils. We can be fairly certain that a lot of sexual activity was related to the worship at this temple bearing the name with the same root as our word aphrodisiac. This quote from Strabo in 20 A.D. is indicative of that: “The temple of Aphrodite was once so rich that it had acquired more than a thousand prostitutes, donated by both men and women to the service of the goddess. And because of them, the city used to be jam-packed and became wealthy. The ship-captains would spend fortunes there, and so the proverb says: ‘The voyage to Corinth isn’t for just any man.’”  To be fair, there are many who believe Strabo exaggerated the rampancy of prostitution, but few who believe the sexuality associated with the temple was not rampant. My belief that the covering was really a covering, however, is just because the word cover is used rather than ornamentation or cloth or lace. Here is Strong’s on that word. I just do not believe this could have/would have been done with a small lace covering.

               2619. κατακαλύπτω katakalyptō; from 2596 and 2572; to cover wholly, i.e. veil: — cover, hide. to cover up, to veil or cover one’s self   

  9. I would wear it when I led prayer in front of an exclusively female group (that’s the only place I  would ever lead a prayer as per I Timothy 2 and I Corinthians 14), but I would not ever need one for prophesying. The three instances, as we have mentioned, in the New Testament that refer to women prophesying are all in a context, I believe, of miraculous spiritual gifts. Acts 2:16-18 is very clear about what kind of prophesying the daughters and handmaidens would be doing. Acts 21 draws special attention to the daughters of Philip in a way that I believe lends itself to the miraculous. (It seems to me there would be many women who regularly and routinely taught in the non-miraculous Titus 2 sense.) It seems to me that the praying and prophesying of the early part of 1 Corinthians 11 may very well have both been related to the miraculous, since it is followed closely by a fairly large portion of scripture devoted to the miraculous. (It is interesting that the scripture in Jude 20 does refer to praying in the Spirit. This very well could be referring to miraculous knowledge directing the prayers of Christians in the first century. The recorded prayers of the New Testament writers were certainly miraculously God-breathed.) This large section of scripture in chapters 12-14, interestingly is very clear about the close of the miraculous age and the end of prophecies (I Corinthians 13:8-9). I would not be dogmatic about the praying of I Corinthians 11:5, but I, personally believe that both the praying and the prophesying of that passage were activities women did in the context of the miraculous (outside of the assembly)…things we do not even do today. As Robert Taylor put it “ It is quite likely that the apostle is discussing those with miraculous powers for both praying and prophesying.” 
  10. I’d be aware that the wearing of such a covering was likely not worn in every New Testament church. First Timothy was a letter full of instructions for Timothy to pass along to the Ephesian church. Sandwiched right between men lifting holy hands in chapter 2, verse 8 and women being silent in the assembly in verse 11, Paul describes the kind of hairstyle that women needed to avoid (or at least the hairstyle that was not to be the emphasis when they were assembled). But why would this matter all if women’s heads were covered? It simply would not. But Ephesus was a different culture than was Corinth, so it seems the admonition for the woman’s head in worship was not exactly the same. In fact, it seems it was pretty different for these two churches separated by a land distance of just under 900 miles or a trip across the Aegean Sea. It seems to me that maybe Paul could have referred to this very thing when he said in verse 16 of 1 Corinthians 11, “If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”  Maybe it was that the city from which he was writing the letter to Corinth (Ephesus) did not have such a custom; thus, “…we have no such custom (or practice).”
  11. I’d wonder if I should be at the door of the building each Sunday to greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss. I say this, not with any sarcasm at all, but truly trying to distinguish between the cultural practice being regulated by Romans 16:16 of kissing one another and the regulation of the 1 Timothy 2 cultural practice. As Brother Woods put it in the same article cited earlier “…the mere omission of it [the covering] is no more an act of disobedience than is the failure to stand at the door and greet each member with a holy kiss.”
  12. I would be very careful not to bind the wearing on others. There is nothing wrong with wearing a veil, although I believe it would be inhibitive of unity and evangelism, in my case. If a woman’s conscience is violated by the omission of a veil, then certainly she should wear one. (I would beg, though, that consistency should induce her to wear a full head covering and to wear it in all public places.) But to bind this practice, intended to encourage conformity to a culture in which the covering represented submission to God and husband, I believe, is a wrong and contentious thing to do. I understand that there will be those who disagree with what I’ve written. But I am praying that this writing will not be divisive in any way. May we all strive to please Him in both our study and application and may we be gracious to each other as we strive as sisters to live under His authority in 2019 and beyond.

Sources quoted or consulted:

Faraone, Christopher A. and McClure, Laura K., Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient Word, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI. 2006, p.90.

Giselbach, Ben; Questions and Answers;

Taylor, Robert; Studies in 1 Corinthians 11,Words of Truth, Volume 14, Number 37, 1978

Woods, Guy N., The Christian life of faithful subordination to God replaces a 1st century custom of veiling, Christian Times, 1993.