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Book Review – Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times

You can find almost anything on the internet, and if you are looking for answers to biblical questions or desire to view various interpretations of Scripture, you can find that which suits your position. Thankfully, there are some young, zealous writers from various Reformed denominations who are endeavoring to obey the commands given in Jeremiah 6:16: “Ask for the old paths and…walk therein.” Although you will not agree with everything, at least they are trying to conform to some of the neglected truths of Holy Scripture. Some interesting expositions of 1 Corinthians 11 and the head covering issue have appeared in recent years. One of them proves to be very informative to those who are willing to sincerely consider Scripture and logical reasoning.

Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times was written by Jeremy Gardiner in 2016. Gardiner’s work of 136 pages covers the subject quite thoroughly. Not only does he explain the pertinent Scripture using good commentary references, he reveals some historical facts that are both informative and shocking to a tender Christian conscience. For example, he quotes a secular work written in 1903 by Alice Morse Earle: Two Centuries of Costume in America. She said, “One singular thing may be noted in this history, that with all the vagaries of fashion, woman has never violated the biblical law that bade her cover her head. She has never gone to church services bareheaded” (pp 9-10). To change professing Christendom from this biblical practice took something extremely drastic and even revolutionary. “Head covering was not innocently lost in North America, but it is tied to the rejection of biblical roles for men and women” (p 17).

The National Organization of Women (NOW) was founded and presided over by Betty Friedan. Sadly, she despised the very name of the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a trained Marxist, who supported lesbianism as part of NOW’s platform; she gave an interview to Playboy magazine; she advocated abortion, and national daycare for little “un-aborted” children. In 1968, as an agnostic activist, Friedan led her organization in a nationwide hat burning event. They touted the event’s purpose, “To protest the second-class status of women in all churches. Because the wearing of a head covering by women at religious services is a symbol of submission” (p 16). Dr. R.C. Sproul noted this disturbing connection with women ceasing to wear hats in church. He said, “The wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century. What happened? Did we suddenly find some biblical truth to which the saints for thousands of years were blind? Or were our biblical views of women gradually eroded by the modern feminist movement that has infiltrated the Church of Jesus Christ?” (p 51)

Even one of the modern “Reformed” enemies of the head covering eloquently states online: “From colonial times even up to our father’s generation, our culture which was undeniably influenced by biblical Christianity, saw women regularly don caps, bonnets, hats, and veils in the church.” Was that a bad influence? Is it wrong for biblical Christianity to so influence American society today? Absolutely not! Oh, that the twenty-first century church would again ask for the old paths and walk therein with the godly of the past and be a part of restoring biblical Christianity to the nation rather than following a multitude to do evil.

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Myron Mooney

By Myron Mooney

Rev. Myron Mooney is minister of Trinity FPC, Trinity AL.