Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Headcovering- Same God, Different Cultures

What do you see in the first photo? I see a woman with a mission to give women a purpose...
 Her name is Juanita Wesley and she is preserving her Mother's memory by wearing hats not only as a biblical headcovering, but she collects hats because her mother (and her culture) teach her that this is part of the different roles we play each day. She's created a ministry called "Women of Many Hats"and this ministry is designed to serve others. They serve the needy, and serve each other as women. I've included a link to the story. The video is great. But- would you agree or disagree that this honors God? Why?

Secondly, we have a woman in a third world country. The women all wear very colorful towels as headcoverings. The idea of vividness makes some people cringe. But to the people who's culture have taught them to serve, they are loving signs of obediance to a very vibrant God. Are they wrong? Are they too loud? Too proud?

Lastly, I've included what anyone outside an Anabaptist culture would consider a very modest prayer cap (or kapp).  It's created by *Sowers Of Hope* who offer a very wide variety of head coverings. They are beautiful, delicate and feminine, but they would not fly in a plain church. Why do you think that is? I can tell you why: Because it is embellished by an artisian who see's creativity as a way to honor God. But many in a plain culture would consider this *proud*.

Nothing is mentioned biblically about Christians dressing uniformly. Plain dress is subjective to the culture and times. Amish dress alone is radically different from one century to the next. Just look how many inches the skirt alone has risen since the 1900's? What is considered modest by one culture may border on obscene by another. Let's compare The Victorians who could not even show the the turn of an ankle to just 20 years later when hemlines started rising. Big shift in a few years! Now, modern day Anabaptists accept *tea-length* (as it is known in the south, or mid-to-low calf) as proper and modest. I'm not knocking plain dress- I'm supporting it if that's where The Holy Spirit has placed you. I'm always in favor of modest dress and the headcovering.What I'm suggesting is that we all support each other regardless and stop thinking our way is the only way to do the right thing. After all, God created diversity when He made the individual tribes? He intended for us all to be unique.

Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

From my perspective: As I look among the **family of God**, which WILL include other denominations, I see that one sister may wear a beret, a wide brimmed hat with feathers, or a simple newsboy cap, while another may wear a simple veil made from a scrap of fabric. It's all the same to God.

Covering for prayer was the first step in leading an actively obediant life for me as a Christian. It humbles me, it reminds me of spiritual order, and it blesses me to be able to do just one right thing for the right reason that pleases God. There is so much that I do not do right... I am thrilled that I am simply *able*. But I feel like ANY covering worn in obediance should be *enough*. Their reasons are thier own and not subject to my condemnation.

Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time. I'm just looking at the world from the outside-in. I see a lot of comments and discussion on facebook, and so-called Christian discussion lists that are not edifying. People making judgement calls on other Christians who serve the same God, but from a different angle. Why would we condemn anyone of a different culture? Why not appreciate them? Probably because we have been raised, or trained to believe that our way is somehow the best way. Common sense should tell you to look at creation, look at the animals such as zebra's and giraffes....birds such as a cardinal, or a Macaw, and realize we serve the original artist! 

Going forward; when you see another woman from another culture, or simply another denomination who is doing what she's called to do, why not take a moment to thank God for His very colorful array? God made us all to be unique and individual. Why would we think we need to be identical and uniform? Let not the enemy divide us, allow the spirit to bind us.

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

That's the bible saying what I always tell my children: Don't point a finger, lest you have 3 more pointing back at you. Let's be careful that in Christ, we are not dissaproving of those who are not identical to us, but are faithfully serving as they know how. Let's instead say: "YOU GO SISTER!" for she is surely serving a living God from the unique place that He has placed her.

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