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Cai de abordare a problemei "acoperirii" capului surorilor din Biserica

In climatul general de abandonare a acestei practici in bisericile baptiste americane si de diferente de vederi in bisericile baptiste din Romania, iata citeva posibile pozitii ale Bisericii Bethel:

1. Socotim invatatura corecta si compulsorie, refuzind orice abatere care ar fi Ďn acest caz o incalcare a pozitiei apostolului Pavel din 1 Corinteni 11:1-16) ("va laud ca tineti invataturile intocmai cum vi le-am dat".).

2. Socotim invatatura corecta si compulsorie, dar n-o impunem, cautind sa ne acomodam la "impietrirea inimii voastre" (cum a facut Dumnezeu cu divortul).

3. Socotim invatatura corecta "atunci" si "acolo", dar depasita "acum" si nu o impunem, mai ales in contextul americanizarii.

4. Socotim invatatura neclara si neconclusiva si nu impunem practicarea ei.

5. Socotim invatatura lasata la latitudinea fiecarei familii ("isi necinsteste barbatul ei") si nu stabilim o regula generala pentru Biserica.

"Daca iubeste cineva cearta de vorbe, noi n-avem un astfel de obicei si nici Bisericile lui Dumnezeu" (1 Cor. 11:16).

In alegerea unei pozitii a Bisericii este bine sa luam in considerare:

a. Aceasta nu este o problema de mintuire, ci de "rinduiala" in aspectele sociale ale inchinaciunii in public.Singurele reglementari compulsorii pentru Biserica au fost reglementate in Consiliul de la Ierusalim - Fapte 15).

b. Daca raminem in USA, peste multi ani, vom fi adeptii unei practici americane (mediul modeleaza aspectul social).

c. Impunerea unui obicei exterior nu garanteaza starea reala a inimii. Supunerea despre care se vorbeste in text poate fi exprimata in alte cai in contextul contemporan.

d. In cazul unor diferente de vederi, riscam sa impingem spre alte biserici pe cei care nu vad in aceasta invatatura decit un aspect cultural depasit istoric de realitatea prezenta.

e. In contextul contemporan, permanentizarea unei practici sociale care nu se mai practica in societate poate pune o piedica artificiala in calea celor care (romani sau americani) ar dori sa se alature Bisericii Bethel prin convertire si botez.

f. In cazul neimpunerii acestei practici, unii membri ai Bisericii Bethel ar putea opta pentru mutarea la o alta biserica, unde ea este respectata.

 

Raspuns nr.1

Hello Fr.Daniel,

Sa incep de a va zice.....bine ati venit inapoi. Pentru ca imi este mai usor in Romineste, ma scuzati ca am sa sciu in Engleze.

I am pleasantly surprised at the topic. I am in no way, shape or form, in a position to voice an opinion, among all the "leaders" and "wiser" individuals mentioned, but since I have been copied in on this e-mail, I would like to put in my two cent worth!!

I fully understand and respect the issue we have of being "covered", even though at times it is a burned for us as ladies.

I would like to say that I do agree with you that this is not a matter of "being spiritual". As you well know, there are enough examples in our church where the American ladies are prime examples of living a Christian / Holy life.

At the same time, I also do try to respect our "older generations" such as Xyx, which feel that if the "rules" are not followed, we will surely perish. And I am not kidding.....she has clearly expressed her views on that, and has backed it up with scripture...there is no bending of the rules according to her...... !! But that is neither here nor there!!

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I appreciate you're opinion in this matter. We do live in a culture that is "different" than that from where we are from. I do not necessarily agree with just embrasing other customs or "lack of rules", but at the same time, it would be wrong of us to "put down, or "alienate from church" those that do not chose to follow certain traditions. It is a very touchy subject, and people on both sides will have good arguments. And there are those, of course, that will take the issue of "freedom" to an extreme, and interpret the application wrongly. All to be done in good measure, with God's wisdom and in good taste.

Fr. Daniel, I do have to confide in you, that it is a struggle for those of us trying to form our own family ideals and traditions. We see this more importantly now as being parents, and realizing that we need to make a stand on certain issues, and that we need to stick to these rules in order for our kids to know the rules and guidelines of the home.

In one sense, we do not want to let go of our Romanian traditions and ideology, and at the same time we are living in a culture which is completely different. These customs and ideals influence every aspect of our lives (from worship to what we wear).

I just pray for God's wisdom, for ourselves and our kids. I belive God designed each of us with an inner sense of moral right and wrong, and if we are honest with ourselves, the answere becomes easy, and I don't think God like pomp, but nor does he like disorder or people that are slobs.

Excuse my rabbling on.........., but I do think it is very important to talk about these "real" issues within our community, before (as you said) there will not be a community.

We must hold on to what is pure and right, and allow God to work in our own lives as He sees fit. May God give us all wisdom and understanding, and above all help us be worthy of His name in order that we may bring glory and honor to Our Father who has indeed been soooo good to us.

In Christ,

Raspunsul nr. II

Draga Daniel,

Voi incerca citeva comentarii fugare la acest text, cu mentiunea ca ar fi important ca biblistii nostri de pe lista sa intervina pentru a clarifica chestiunile exegetice dificile ale textelor implicate.
_____________
>Cai de abordare a problemei acoperirii capului surorilor din Biserica

>In climatul general de abandonare a acestei practici in bisericile baptiste americane si de diferente de vederi in bisericile baptiste din Romania, iata citeva posibile pozitii ale Bisericii Bethel:

>1. Socotim invatatura directa si compulsorie, refuzind orice abatere care ar fi in acest caz o incalcare a pozitiei apostolului Pavel din 1 Corinteni 11:1-16) ( ca tineti invataturile intocmai cum vi le-am dat.).
Nu <compulsorie>, ci OBLIGATORIE, in romaneste.

Ca sa decidem daca Pavel a intentionat sa faca din acest obicei o norma universala, nu este suficient 'sa ne dam cu presupusa', fiecare dupa cit de <conservator> sau <liberal> este. Decizia trebuie bazata pe o exegeza serioasa a textului. Nu stiu daca Alex Neagoe mai este pe lista, dar daca nu, poate ca ar trebui sa-i cerem ajutorul. Lui sau altcuiva competent in teologia biblica a Noului Testament.

>2. Socotim invatatura corecta si compulsorie, dar n-o impunem, cautlnd sa ne acomodam la...

Aceasta mi se pare in esenta o pozitie de compromis, pe care eu o socotesc inacceptabila. Daca Biblia face intr-adevar din aceasta sugestie o norma obligatorie (ceea ce ramine de stabilit) atunci ea trebuie aplicata, oricare ar fi consecintele.

>3. Socotim invatatura corecta , dar depasita si nu o impunem, mai ales in contextul americanizarii.

Aceasta mi se pare o afirmatie si mai gogonata. Cum ar putea fi <depasita> o invatatura <corecta> a Scripturii?

>4. Socotim invatatura neclara si neconclusiva si nu impunem practicarea ei.

Se pare ca aceasta chestiune a fost una disputata adesea in Biserica, ceea ce dovedeste ca cel putin intr-o oarecare masura nu este foarte clara. Aici doresc sa mai adaug ceva. In luarea unei decizii, in afara de o exegeza corecta este absolut necesar sa privim in istoria interpretarii acestui text. In afara cazului in care credem in ideea stupida si aroganta ca putem face abstractie de 2000 de teologie crestina. Din pacate aceasta prostie se practica curent in bisericile noastre.

>5. Socotim invatatura lasata la latitudinea fiecarei familii ( barbatul ei>) si nu stabilim o regula pentru Biserica.

Daca textul ne lasa aceasta latitudine (ceea ce ma indoiesc) atunci putem face asta. Daca nu, atunci ar fi din nou un compromis si un transfer nelegitim al raspunderii.

>In alegerea unei pozitii a Bisericii este bine sa luam in considerare:

>a. Aceasta nu este o problema de mintuire, ci de in aspectele sociale ale inchinaciunii in public.Singurele reglementari compulsorii pentru Biserica au fost reglementate in Consiliul de la Ierusalim - Fapte 15).

Cu prima afirmatie sint absolut de acord. A doua insa este foarte riscanta. Nici botezul nu este esential pentru mintuire (mai corect ar fi sa spun <justificare>), dar asa fiind, totusi nu-l putem trata <la diverse>. Chestiunile care tin de <ascultarea credintei> ramin norme absolute pentru crestin, nu chestiuni in care putem decide personal daca ne plac sau nu.

>b. Daca raminem in USA, peste multi ani, vom fi adeptii unei practici americane (mediul modeleaza aspectul social).

Sa ma iertati pentru ce va voi spune acum, dar va marturisesc ca poate cea mai pregnanta impresie pe care mi-au facut-o bisericile romanesti din America a fost anacronismul lor - tendinta de a pastra o mentalitate si un comportament de anii ^50, care a disparut de mult din Romania, slava Domnului!, dind-o drept credinciosie fata de Dumnezeu. Nu cred ca cineva poate fi mai favorabil ca mine ideii de adaptare culturala. Exista insa limite scripturale clare ale acesteia. Ca si in exemplul lui Christos, limita ar trebui sa fie <fara pacat> . Daca (Doamne fereste!) bisericile baptiste americane vor hotari ca norma ordinarea homosexualilor, in veti urma in aceasta? Sa speram ca nu.

>c. Impunerea unui obicei exterior nu garanteaza starea reala a inimii. Supunerea despre care se vorbeste in text poate fi exprimata in alte cai in contextul contemporan.

Prima afirmatie mi se pare absolut corecta si voi reveni asupra ei. Si totusi, DACA acoperirea capului este o norma obligatorie, semnificatia ei NU POATE FI REALIZATA pe alte cai. De exemplu, am putea inlocui botezul prin scufundare in apa in semnificatia lui (una dintre ele) ca moarte a omului vechi si inviere in Christos, cu intrarea catehumenului intr-un dulap din care sa iasa cu haine schimbate? Desi simbolistica ar fi oarecum pastrata, a face asa ceva frizeaza erezia. Sau, putem lua cina cu brinza si lapte in loc de piine si vin? Dupa cum vedeti, intram intr-o problematica sacramentala, extrem de dificil de analizat si in care deciziile au implicatii imprevizibile.

In plus, trebuie sa ne intrebam, acoperirea capului cu ce? - cu iashma\ (adica cu val care acopera fata, ca in vremea lui Isus; cu batic mare, inflorat, legat obligatoriu sub barba, ca in anumite medii penticostale sau de alta <secta>; cu palarie etc? - in baza caror criterii decidem ce merge si ce nu?

>d. In cazul unor diferente de vederi, riscam sa impingem spre alte biserici pe cei care nu vad in aceasta invatatura decit un aspect cultural depasit istoric de realitatea prezenta.

Acesta mi se pare a fi unul dintre cele mai slabe (si periculoase argumente) desi este unul dintre argumentele tipice ale pastorilor nostri. Chestiunea nu este <cum vad oamenii acest obicei>, ci ce anume spune Scriptura. Iar daca ei nu vor sa accepte ce spune Scriptura, este mai bine sa plece, cu tot riscul de a ne scadea noua bugetul, respectiv salariul.

>e. In contextul contemporan, permanentizarea unei practici sociale care nu se mai practica in societate poate pune o piedica artificiala in calea celor care (romani sau americani) ar dori sa se alature Bisericii Bethel prin convertire si botez.

Acesta nu mi se pare un argument separat, ci o extindere a celui de mai sus la noii sau potentialii convertiti. Raspunsul este oarecum acelasi. Evanghelia presupune un pret, pe care noi trebuie sa-l predicam, iar ei trebuie sa-l accepte. Marea intrebare este insa daca nu cumva noi punem pe oameni poveri pe care nu le pune Scriptura.

Inclinatia mea este de a considera ca acesta este cazul si in aceasta chestiune. Concluzia la care am ajuns in studiul pe care l-am facut acum citiva ani asupre acestui text este ca alaturi de argumente din alte spatii, Pavel foloseste aici un argument cultural. Contextul este acela al unei discutii despre restabilirea autoritatii apostolice a lui Pavel, pe care el incearca s-o incadreze in discutia mai larga despre natura ierarhica a lumii lui Dumnezeu (exemplificata aici in cadrul familiei).

Convingerea mea (ce-i drept provizorie; sint gata oricind s-o schimb daca am argumente) este ca importanta aici este asezarea femeii sub autoritate, indiferent cum este semnificata aceasta in exterior. In Corint era acoperirea capului cu un val); la noi poate fi orice altceva ce comunica aceasta realitate.

Cea mai mare aberatie ar fi sa ne multumim sa le punem femeilor noastre <pestelca> in cap, iar ele sa ramina la fel (de razvratite de exemplu) cum erau si fara asta. Ati auzit probabil vorba pocaita moldoveneasca cum ca <barbatul este capul, iar femeia este gitul care misca capul>. Din pacate, (din multe pricini, printre cele mai importante fiind faptul ca rasa barbatilor este pe care de disparitie - ma refer aici nu la diaparitia sexului barbatesc, ci la disparitia calitatii de barbat) in cele mai mule cazuri femeile sint obligate sa preia conducerea din pricina iresponsabilitatii barbatilor.

Nu stiu care este impresia voastra acolo in America, dar aici sint biserici de 2-300 de membri in care nu poti gasi 7 oameni seriosi ca sa faci un comitet. In schimb, poti gasi femei serioase cu care sa faci trei comitete.

Din pacate eu nu cred in solutiile feministe (cred ca putem avea diaconite, dar nu prezbiteri - si deci nu putem avea pastori femei) asa incit am ramas sa ne multumim a defila cu ce avem. Dumnezeu sa aiba mila de noi!

Danut Manastireanu

 

Observatie la raspunsul nr.II

Multumesc lui Danut si rog pe toti care pot sa ne ajute in aceasta dezbatere. Exista un caracter <urgent> in aceasta dezbatere.

Danut a observat ca nu toate alternativele sunt biblice sau justificabile. El insista sa raminem linga cele <biblice> si <istoric> validate de exegeza bisericii.

Cine ne poate ajuta cu:

1.<O exegeza lamuritoare> si

2. <Sa privim in istoria interpretarii acestui text> ?

Inca o data, multumesc lui Danut.

As face insa o intrebare: <vazut din Romania> comportamentul nostru din America este anacronic (<Sa ma iertati pentru ce va voi spune acum, dar va marturisesc ca poate cea mai pregnanta impresie pe care mi-au facut-o bisericile romanesti din America a fost anacronismul lor - tendinta de a pastra o mentalitate si un comportament de anii ^50, care a disparut de mult din Romania, slava Domnului!, dind-o drept credinciosie fata de Dumnezeu. >). Am remarcat si eu acest lucru.

Ne-ati putea ajuta cu citeva observatii specifice?

Daniel Branzai

 

RASPUNSUL nr.III

Dragii mei, Am urmarit discutia declansata de Daniel asupra problemei acoperirii capului si primul punct a: <socotim invatatura corecta si obligatorie> este suficient si determinant in acceptarea fara abatere a textului biblic din 1 Cor. 11:1-16. In capitolele 11 la 14 ap. Pavel discuta lucrurile privitoare la inchinarea in public.

Acoperirea capului femeilor este discutata in cap. 11 si pozitia apostolului este ca surorile trebuie sa aiba capul acoperit in timpul inchinaciunii in public. Inovatia Corintienelor de a veni la adunare cu capul gol (posibil ca printre surori sa fi vazut Pavel pe unele cu capul neacoperit) a fost considerata de el ca: <nereligioasa, mai mult decat necuviincioasa> prin aceasta aratand ca obiectiile sale nu aveau nimic in comun cu obiceiurile sociale, mentionate de Barzilai en Dan in pozitia 5.a si 5.e si de unii comentatori care au apelat la termenul <obiceiuri sociale> pentru a se indeparta de la decizia exprimata de Pavel aici, care este strict doar pentru serviciile adunarii si nu pentru <relatii sociale>.

Ap. Pavel ne pune inainte cateva motivari ale punctului sau de vedere:

1 Argumentul Teologic, vers. 2-6, aratand ca in ordinea lui Dumnezeu, femeia este dupa barbat. Bine inteles ca aceasta nu implica inegalitatea sexelor conform cu Gal 3:28 si subordonarea nu implica neaparat inegalitate. Cheia intelegerii pozitiei sexelor se gaseste in partea a doua a vers 3: Barbatul este capul femeii asa cum Tatal este capul lui Hristos. Baza teologica a acoperirii capului femeii ne duce inapoi la Gen 3:16.

Barbatul si el, are o porunca de indeplinit: capul sau nu trebuie sa fie acoperit (vers.4). Versetul 5 arata ca actiunea de a se ruga si vorbirea femeii in adunare cu capul neacoperit, este o necinstire a capului ei fizic (comparatie cu rusinea si disgratia de a fi rasa de parul capului). Ironia din cuvintele vers. 6 parca ar spune: fa-o lata pana la capat !

2 Argumentul Biblic, vers 7-12. Realitatile Creatiei (vers. 7-9, 12, 13 ) si prezenta ingerilor la inchinare (vers 10) sunt aduse in fata. Expresia:<barbatul este chipul si slava lui Dumnezeu> ne duce inapoi la Gen1:26-27. Barbatul poarta autoritatea lui Dumnezeu pe pamant iar in vers 8 si 9 cele 2 prepozitii <din> si <pentru> ne reveleaza pozitia femeii. Ea are origina si scopul vietii in om, in barbat, Gen. 2:21-25. Orice femeie care isi ia un nume nou, al barbatului, la casatorie, accepta tacit invatatura ap. Pavel.

<Semn al stapanirii ei> din vers. 10 insemana un semn al autoritatii iar <din pricina ingerilor> nu se refera la prezbiteri ca in Apoc 2:1, ci la ingeri ca in 1 Cor 14:9. Se refera la ingeri buni (nu la cei rai din Gen. 6:1-4) care sunt prezenti la inchinaciunea adunarii, din moment ce ei traiesc in prezenta lui Dumnezeu (Luca 15:10, 1 Tim 5:21).

Ne subordonarea femeilor prin refuzarea recunoasterii autoritatii sotilor lor ofenseaza pe ingeri, care sub autoritatea lui Dumnezeu, vegheaza asupra Universului creat (Col 1:16, Ef 1:21) si nu cunosc nesupunerea.

3 Argumentul Fizic, vers 13-16 Insasi buna cuviinta bazata pr bunul simt natural indeamna la acoperirea capului, cuvantul <cuviincios> se refera la o necesitate bazata pe o dorinta interioara la fel cum Domnul Isus a facut: <asa se cade sa implinim tot> Mat 3:15 sau, asa e modul cel mai potrivit. Este o sugestie de natura divina observatia ca barbatul sa poarte parul scurt iar femeia sa-l aiba lung, astfel dandu-se atentie la aspectul exterior in adunare.

Cuvintele <parul i-a fost dat ca invelitoare a capului> nu inseamna ca parul femeii este acoperitoarea (nefiind nevoie de acoperirea capului) caci astfel s-ar vicia forta demonstratoare a vers 2-14. Cuvantul <ca> invelitoare, este oferit ca raspuns la <podoaba femeii>.

Expresia <n-avem uni astfel de obicei> se refera la obiceiul unor femei de a veni la inchinaciune fara capul acoperit. Unii comentatorii spun ca acest obicei era caracterisitic femeilor din Corint dar cuvintele ap. Pavel: <nici Bisericile lui Dumnezeu> contrazic aceasta parere pentru ca si Corintul era inclus in Bisericile lui Dumnezeu. Unii comentatorii ca Barcla], Morris, sustin ca acoperirea capului sa nu se aplice astazi. Totusi, altii insista ca toate argumentele pentru acoperirea capului sunt luate din fapte permanente care dureaza atat cat exista pamantul (Godet). Cuvantul sustinut de ap. Pavel in acest subiect a fost preluat de Biserica primara si sunt dovezi ca in Roma, Antiohia si in Africa acoperirea capului era o norma respectata.

Un cuvant final. Baticul, palaria, pestelca sau ce o fi, nu sunt importante ci subordonarea pe care o reprezinta, asezarea femeii sub autoritate, asa cum bine remarca Danut in emailul din 15 mai.

Prezenta -imbinata armonios- a celor doi factori in implinirea cerintelor <acoperirii> este ideala.

Mitica Ghitea

Din Comentarii si Dictionare

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary

1 Chorintians 11

1 Corinthians 11:1-34. CENSURE ON DISORDERS IN THEIR ASSEMBLIES: THEIR WOMEN NOT BEING VEILED, AND ABUSES AT THE LOVE-FEASTS.

1. Rather belonging to the end of the tenth chapter, than to this chapter. followers--Greek, "imitators." of Christ--who did not please Himself (Romans 15:3); but gave Himself, at the cost of laying aside His divine glory, and dying as man, for us (Ephesians 5:2, Philippians 2:4,5). We are to follow Christ first, and earthly teachers only so far as they follow Christ.

2. Here the chapter ought to begin.

ye remember me in all things--in your general practice, though in the particular instances which follow ye fail.

ordinances--Greek, "traditions," that is, apostolic directions given by word of mouth or in writing (1 Corinthians 11:23, 15:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:15). The reference here is mainly to ceremonies: for in 1 Corinthians 11:23, as to the LORD'S SUPPER, which is not a mere ceremony, he says, not merely, "I delivered unto you," but also, "I received of the Lord"; here he says only, "I delivered to you." Romanists argue hence for oral traditions. But the difficulty is to know what is a genuine apostolic tradition intended for all ages. Any that can be proved to be such ought to be observed; any that cannot, ought to be rejected (Revelation 22:18). Those preserved in the written word alone can be proved to be such.

3. The Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ, claimed equality with the male sex, and, overstepping the bounds of propriety, came forward to pray and prophesy without the customary head-covering of females. The Gospel, doubtless, did raise women from the degradation in which they had been sunk, especially in the East. Yet, while on a level with males as to the offer of, and standing in grace (Galatians 3:28), their subjection in point of order, modesty, and seemliness, is to be maintained. Paul reproves here their unseemliness as to dress: in 1 Corinthians 14:34, as to the retiring modesty in public which becomes them. He grounds his reproof here on the subjection of woman to man in the order of creation.

the head--an appropriate expression, when he is about to treat of woman's appropriate headdress in public.

of every man . . . Christ--(Ephesians 5:23).

of . . . woman . . . man--(1 Corinthians 11:8, Genesis 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:11,12, 1 Peter 3:1,5,6).

head of Christ is God--(1 Corinthians 3:23, 15:27,28, Luke 3:22,38, John 14:28, 20:17, Ephesians 3:9). "Jesus, therefore, must be of the same essence as God: for, since the man is the head of the woman, and since the head is of the same essence as the body, and God is the head of the Son, it follows the Son is of the same essence as the Father" [CHRYSOSTOM]. "The woman is of the essence of the man, and not made by the man; so, too, the Son is not made by the Father, but of the essence of the Father" [THEODORET, t. 3, p. 171].

4. praying--in public (1 Corinthians 11:17).

prophesying--preaching in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10).

having--that is, if he were to have: a supposed case to illustrate the impropriety in the woman's case. It was the Greek custom (and so that at Corinth) for men in worship to be uncovered; whereas the Jews wore the Talith, or veil, to show reverence before God, and their unworthiness to look on Him (Isaiah 6:2); however, MAIMONIDES [Mishna] excepts cases where (as in Greece) the custom of the place was different.

dishonoureth his head--not as ALFORD, "Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:3); but literally, as "his head" is used in the beginning of the verse. He dishonoreth his head (the principal part of the body) by wearing a covering or veil, which is a mark of subjection, and which makes him look downwards instead of upwards to his Spiritual Head, Christ, to whom alone he owes subjection. Why, then, ought not man to wear the covering in token of his subjection to Christ, as the woman wears it in token of her subjection to man? "Because Christ is not seen: the man is seen; so the covering of him who is under Christ is not seen; of her who is under the man, is seen" [BENGEL]. (Compare 1 Corinthians 11:7).

5. woman . . . prayeth . . . prophesieth--This instance of women speaking in public worship is an extraordinary case, and justified only by the miraculous gifts which such women possessed as their credentials; for instance, Anna the prophetess and Priscilla (so Acts 2:18). The ordinary rule to them is: silence in public (1 Corinthians 14:34,35, 1 Timothy 2:11,12). Mental receptivity and activity in family life are recognized in Christianity, as most accordant with the destiny of woman. This passage does not necessarily sanction women speaking in public. even though possessing miraculous gifts; but simply records what took place at Corinth, without expressing an opinion on it, reserving the censure of it till 1 Corinthians 14:34,35. Even those women endowed with prophecy were designed to exercise their gift, rather in other times and places, than the public congregation.

dishonoureth . . . head--in that she acts against the divine ordinance and the modest propriety that becomes her: in putting away the veil, she puts away the badge of her subjection to man, which is her true "honor"; for through him it connects her with Christ, the head of the man. Moreover, as the head-covering was the emblem of maiden modesty before man (Genesis 24:65), and conjugal chastity (Genesis 20:16); so, to uncover the head indicated withdrawal from the power of the husband, whence a suspected wife had her head uncovered by the priest (Numbers 5:18). ALFORD takes "her head" to be man, her symbolical, not her literal head; but as it is literal in the former clause, it must be so in the latter one.

all one as if . . . shaven--As woman's hair is given her by nature, as her covering (1 Corinthians 11:15), to cut it off like a man, all admit, would be indecorous: therefore, to put away the head-covering, too, like a man, would be similarly indecorous. It is natural to her to have long hair for her covering: she ought, therefore, to add the other (the wearing of a head-covering) to show that she does of her own will that which nature itself teaches she ought to do, in token of her subjection to man.

6. A woman would not like to be "shorn" or (what is worse) "shaven"; but if she chooses to be uncovered (unveiled) in front, let her be so also behind, that is, "shorn."

a shame--an unbecoming thing (compare 1 Corinthians 11:13-15). Thus the shaving of nuns is "a shame."

7-9. Argument, also, from man's more immediate relation to God, and the woman's to man.

he is . . . image . . . glory of God--being created in God's "image," first and directly: the woman, subsequently, and indirectly, through the mediation of man. Man is the representative of God's "glory" this ideal of man being realized most fully in the Son of man (Psalms 8:4,5; compare 2 Corinthians 8:23). Man is declared in Scripture to be both the "image," and in the "likeness," of God (compare James 3:9). But "image" alone is applied to the Son of God (Colossians 1:15; compare Hebrews 1:3). "Express image," Greek, "the impress." The Divine Son is not merely "like" God, He is God of God, "being of one substance (essence) with the Father." [Nicene Creed].

woman . . . glory of . . . man--He does not say, also, "the image of the man." For the sexes differ: moreover, the woman is created in the image of God, as well as the man (Genesis 1:26,27). But as the moon in relation to the sun (Genesis 37:9), so woman shines not so much with light direct from God, as with light derived from man, that is, in her order in creation; not that she does not in grace come individually into direct communion with God; but even here much of her knowledge is mediately given her through man, on whom she is naturally dependent.

8. is of . . . of--takes his being from ("out of") . . . from: referring to woman's original creation, "taken out of man" (compare Genesis 2:23). The woman was made by God mediately through the man, who was, as it were, a veil or medium placed between her and God, and therefore, should wear the veil or head-covering in public worship, in acknowledgement of this subordination to man in the order of creation. The man being made immediately by God as His glory, has no veil between himself and God [FABER STAPULENSIS in BENGEL].

9. Neither--rather, "For also"; Another argument: The immediate object of woman's creation. "The man was not created for the sake of the woman; but the woman for the sake of the man" (Genesis 2:18,21,22). Just as the Church, the bride, is made for Christ; and yet in both the natural and the spiritual creations, the bride, while made for the bridegroom, in fulfilling that end, attains her own true "glory," and brings "shame" and "dishonor" on herself by any departure from it (1 Corinthians 11:4,6).

10. power on her head--the kerchief: French couvre chef, head-covering, the emblem of "power on her head"; the sign of her being under man's power, and exercising delegated authority under him. Paul had before his mind the root-connection between the Hebrew terms for "veil" (radid), and "subjection" (radad).

because of the angels--who are present at our Christian assemblies (compare Psalms 138:1, "gods," that is, angels), and delight in the orderly subordination of the several ranks of God's worshippers in their respective places, the outward demeanor and dress of the latter being indicative of that inward humility which angels know to be most pleasing to their common Lord (1 Corinthians 4:9, Ephesians 3:10, Ecclesiastes 5:6). HAMMOND quotes CHRYSOSTOM, "Thou standest with angels; thou singest with them; thou hymnest with them; and yet dost thou stand laughing?" BENGEL explains, "As the angels are in relation to God, so the woman is in relation to man. God's face is uncovered; angels in His presence are veiled (Isaiah 6:2). Man's face is uncovered; woman in His presence is to be veiled. For her not to be so, would, by its indecorousness, offend the angels (Matthew 18:10,31). She, by her weakness, especially needs their ministry; she ought, therefore, to be the more careful not to offend them."

11. Yet neither sex is insulated and independent of the other in the Christian life [ALFORD]. The one needs the other in the sexual relation; and in respect to Christ ("in the Lord"), the man and the woman together (for neither can be dispensed with) realize the ideal of redeemed humanity represented by the bride, the Church.

12. As the woman was formed out of (from) the man, even so is man born by means of woman; but all things (including both man and woman) are from God as their source (Romans 11:36, 2 Corinthians 5:18). They depend mutually each on the other, and both on him.

13. Appeal to their own sense of decorum.

a woman . . . unto God--By rejecting the emblem of subjection (the head-covering), she passes at one leap in praying publicly beyond both the man and angels [BENGEL].

14. The fact that nature has provided woman, and not man, with long hair, proves that man was designed to be uncovered, and woman covered. The Nazarite, however, wore long hair lawfully, as being part of a vow sanctioned by God (Numbers 6:5). Compare as to Absalom, 2 Samuel 14:26, and Acts 18:18.

15. her hair . . . for a covering--Not that she does not need additional covering. Nay, her long hair shows she ought to cover her head as much as possible. The will ought to accord with nature [BENGEL].

16. A summary close to the argument by appeal to the universal custom of the churches.

if any . . . seem--The Greek also means "thinks" (fit) (compare Matthew 3:9). If any man chooses (still after all my arguments) to be contentious. If any be contentious and thinks himself right in being so. A reproof of the Corinthians' self-sufficiency and disputatiousness (1 Corinthians 1:20).

we--apostles: or we of the Jewish nation, from whom ye have received the Gospel, and whose usages in all that is good ye ought to follow: Jewish women veiled themselves when in public, according to TERTULLIAN [ESTIUS]. The former explanation is best, as the Jews are not referred to in the context: but he often refers to himself and his fellow apostles, by the expression, "we--us" (1 Corinthians 4:9,10).

no such custom--as that of women praying uncovered. Not as CHRYSOSTOM, "that of being contentious." The Greek term implies a usage, rather than a mental habit (John 18:39). The usage of true "churches (plural: not, as Rome uses it, 'the Church,' as an abstract entity; but 'the churches,' as a number of independent witnesses) of God" (the churches which God Himself recognizes), is a valid argument in the case of external rites, especially, negatively, for example, Such rites were not received among them, therefore, ought not to be admitted among us: but in questions of doctrine, or the essentials of worship, the argument is not valid [SCLATER] (1 Corinthians 7:17, 14:33).

neither--nor yet. Catholic usage is not an infallible test of truth, but a general test of decency.

 

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians Chapter 11

1Co 11:2
Verse 2.
I praise you -The greater part of you.

1Co 11:3
Verse 3. I would have you know -He does not seem to have given
them any order before concerning this. The head of every man -Particularly every believer. Is Christ, and the head of Christ is God -Christ, as he is Mediator, acts in all things subordinately to his Father. But we can no more infer that they are not of the same divine nature, because God is said to be the head of Christ , than that man and woman are not of the same human nature, because the man is said to be the head of the woman .

1Co 11:4
Verse 4. Every man praying or prophesying -Speaking by the immediate power of God. With his head -And face. Covered -Either with a veil or with long hair. Dishonoureth his head -St. Paul seems to mean, As in these eastern nations veiling the head is a badge of subjection, so a man who prays or prophesies with a veil on his head, reflects a dishonour on Christ, whose representative he is.

1Co 11:5
Verse 5. But every woman -Who, under an immediate impulse of the Spirit, (for then only was a woman suffered to speak in the church ,) prays or prophesies without a veil on her face, as it were disclaims subjection, and reflects dishonour on man, her head. For it is the same , in effect, as if she cut her hair short, and wore it in the distinguishing form of the men. In those ages, men wore their hair exceeding short, as appears from the ancient statues and pictures.

1Co 11:6
Verse 6. Therefore if a woman is not covered -If she will throw off the badge of subjection, let her appear with her hair cut like a man's. But if it be shameful far a woman to appear thus in public, especially in a religious assembly, let her, for the same reason, keep on her veil.

1Co 11:7
Verse 7. A man indeed ought not to veil his head, because he is the image of God -In the dominion he bears over the creation, representing the supreme dominion of God, which is his glory. But the woman is only matter of glory to the man, who has a becoming dominion over her. Therefore she ought not to appear, but with her head veiled, as a tacit acknowledgment of it.

1Co 11:8
Verse 8. The man is not -In the first production of nature.

1Co 11:10
Verse 10. For this cause also a woman ought to be veiled in
the public assemblies, because of the angels -Who attend there, and before whom they should be careful not to do anything indecent or irregular.

1Co 11:11
Verse 11. Nevertheless in the Lord Jesus, there is neither male nor female -Neither is excluded; neither is preferred before the other in his kingdom.

1Co 11:12
Verse 12. And as the woman was at first taken out of the man, so also the man is now, in the ordinary course of nature, by the woman; but all things are of God -The man, the woman, and their dependence on each other.

1Co 11:13
Verse 13. Judge of yourselves -For what need of more arguments if so plain a case? Is it decent for a woman to pray to God -The Most High, with that bold and undaunted air which she must have, when, contrary to universal custom, she appears in public with her head uncovered?

1Co 11:14
Verse 14. For a man to have long hair , carefully adjusted, is such a mark of effeminacy as is a disgrace to him .

1Co 11:15
Verse 15. Given her -Originally, before the arts of dress were in being.

1Co 11:16
Verse 16. We have no such custom here, nor any of the other churches of God -The several churches that were in the apostles' time had different customs in things that were not essential; and that under one and the same apostle, as circumstances, in different places, made it convenient. And in all things merely indifferent the custom of each place was of sufficient weight to determine prudent and peaceable men. Yet even this cannot overrule a scrupulous conscience, which

really doubts whether the thing be indifferent or no. But those who are referred to here by the apostle were contentious, not conscientious, persons.

Matew Henry

Chapter 11

In this chapter the apostle blames, and endeavours to rectify, some great indecencies and manifest disorders in the church of Corinth; as,

I. The misconduct of their women (some of whom seem to have been inspired) in the public assembly, who laid by their veils, the common token of subjection to their husbands in that part of the world. This behaviour he reprehends, requires them to keep veiled, asserts the superiority of the husband, yet so as to remind the husband that both were made for mutual help and comfort (v. 1Ė16).

II. He blames them for their discord and neglect and contempt of the poor, at the Lordís supper (v. 17Ė22).

III. To rectify these scandalous disorders, he sets before them the nature and intentions of this holy institution, directs them how they should attend on it, and warns them of the danger of a conduct to indecent as theirs, and of all unworthy receiving (v. 23 to the end).

Verses 1-16 Paul, having answered the cases put to him, proceeds in this chapter to the redress of grievances. The first verse of the chapter is put, by those who divided the epistle into chapters, as a preface to the rest of the epistle, but seems to have been a more proper close to the last, in which he had enforced the cautions he had given against the abuse of liberty, by his own example: Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ (v. 1), fitly closes his argument; and the way of speaking in the next verse looks like a transition to another. But, whether it more properly belong to this or the last chapter, it is plain from it that Paul not only preached such doctrine as they ought to believe, but led such a life as they ought to imitate. "Be ye followers of me,íí that is, "Be imitators of me; live as you see me live.íí Note, Ministers are likely to preach most to the purpose when they can press their hearers to follow their example. Yet would not Paul be followed blindly neither. He encourages neither implicit faith nor obedience. He would be followed himself no further than he followed Christ. Christís pattern is a copy without a blot; so is no manís else. Note, We should follow no leader further than he follows Christ. Apostles should be left by us when they deviate from the example of their Master. He passes next to reprehend and reform an indecency among them, of which the women were more especially guilty, concerning which observe,

I. How he prefaces it. He begins with a commendation of what was praiseworthy in them (v. 2): I praise you, that you remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you. Many of them, it is probable, did this in the strictest sense of the expression: and he takes occasion thence to address the body of the church under this good character; and the body might, in the main, have continued to observe the ordinances and institutions of Christ, though in some things they deviated from, and corrupted, them. Note, When we reprove what is amiss in any, it is very prudent and fit to commend what is good in them; it will show that the reproof is not from ill-will, and a humour of censuring and finding fault; and it will therefore procure the more regard to it.

II. How he lays the foundation for his reprehension by asserting the superiority of the man over the woman: I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. Christ, in his mediatorial character and glorified humanity, is at the head of mankind. He is not only first of the kind, but Lord and Sovereign. He has a name above every name: though in this high office and authority he has a superior, God being his head. And as God is the head of Christ, and Christ the head of the whole human kind, so the man is the head of the tow sexes: not indeed with such dominion as Christ has over the kind or God has over the man Christ Jesus; but a superiority and headship he has, and the woman should be in subjection and not assume or usurp the manís place. This is the situation in which God has placed her; and for that reason she should have a mind suited to her rank, and not do any thing that looks like an affectation of changing places. Something like this the women of the church of Corinth seem to have been guilty of, who were under inspiration, and prayed and prophesied even in their assemblies, v. 5. It is indeed an apostolical canon, that the women should keep silence in the churches (ch. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:12), which some understand without limitation, as if a woman under inspiration also must keep silence, which seems very well to agree with the connection of the apostleís discourse, ch. 14.

Others with a limitation: though a woman might not from her own abilities pretend to teach, or so much as question and debate any thing in the church yet when under inspiration the case was altered, she had liberty to speak. Or, though she might not preach even by inspiration (because teaching is the business of a superior), yet she might pray or utter hymns by inspiration, even in the public assembly. She did not show any affectation of superiority over the man by such acts of public worship. It is plain the apostle does not in this place prohibit the thing, but reprehend the manner of doing it. And yet he might utterly disallow the thing and lay an unlimited restraint on the woman in another part of the epistle. These things are not contradictory. It is to his present purpose to reprehend the manner wherein the women prayed and prophesied in the church, without determining in this place whether they did well or ill in praying or prophesying. Note, The manner of doing a thing enters into the morality of it. We must not only be concerned to do good, but that the good we do be well done.

III. The thing he reprehends is the womanís praying or prophesying uncovered, or the manís doing either covered, v. 4, 5. To understand this, it must be observed that it was a signification either of shame or subjection for persons to be veiled, or covered, in the eastern countries, contrary to the custom of ours, where the being bare-headed betokens subjection, and being covered superiority and dominion. And this will help us the better to understand,

IV. The reasons on which he grounds his reprehension.

1. The man that prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonoureth his head, namely, Christ, the head of every man (v. 3), by appearing in a habit unsuitable to the rank in which God has placed him. Note, We should, even in our dress and habits, avoid every thing that may dishonour Christ. The woman, on the other hand, who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head, namely, the man, v. 3. She appears in the dress of her superior, and throws off the token of her subjection. She might, with equal decency, cut her hair short, or cut it close, which was the custom of the man in that age. This would be in a manner to declare that she was desirous of changing sexes, a manifest affectation of that superiority which God had conferred on the other sex. And this was probably the fault of these prophetesses in the church of Corinth. It was doing a thing which, in that age of the world, betokened superiority, and therefore a tacit claim of what did not belong to them but the other sex.

Note, The sexes should not affect to change places. The order in which divine wisdom has placed persons and things is best and fittest: to endeavour to amend it is to destroy all order, and introduce confusion. The woman should keep to the rank God has chosen for her, and not dishonour her head; for this, in the result, is to dishonour God. If she was made out of the man, and for the man, and made to be the glory of the man, she should do nothing, especially in public, that looks like a wish of having this order inverted.

2. Another reason against this conduct is that the man is the image and glory of God, the representative of that glorious dominion and headship which God has over the world. It is the man who is set at the head of this lower creation, and therein he bears the resemblance of God. The woman, on the other hand, is the glory of the man (v. 7): she is his representative. Not but she has dominion over the inferior creatures, as she is a partaker of human nature, and so far is Godís representative too, but it is at second-hand. She is the image of God, inasmuch as she is the image of the man: For the man was not made out of the woman, but the woman out of the man, v. 8. The man was first made, and made head of the creation here below, and therein the image of the divine dominion; and the woman was made out of the man, and shone with a reflection of his glory, being made superior to the other creatures here below, but in subjection to her husband, and deriving that honour from him out of whom she was made.

3. The woman was made for the man, to be his help-meet, and not the man for the woman. She was naturally, therefore, made subject to him, because made for him, for his use, and help, and comfort. And she who was intended to be always in subjection to the man should do nothing, in Christian assemblies, that looks like an affectation of equality.

4. She ought to have power on her head, because of the angels. Power, that is, a veil, the token, not of her having the power or superiority, but being under the power of her husband, subjected to him, and inferior to the other sex. Rebekah, when she met Isaac, and was delivering herself into his possession, put on her veil, in token of her subjection, Gen. 24:65. Thus would the apostle have the women appear In Christian assemblies, even though they spoke there by inspiration, because of the angels, that is, say some, because of the evil angels. The woman was first in the transgression, being deceived by the devil (1 Tim. 2:14), which increased her subjection to man, Gen. 3:16. Now, believe evil angels will be sure to mix in all Christian assemblies, therefore should women wear the token of their shamefacedness and subjection, which in that age and country, was a veil. Others say because of the good angels. Jews and Christians have had an opinion that these ministering spirits are many of them present in their assemblies. Their presence should restrain Christians from all indecencies in the worship of God. Note, We should learn from all to behave in the public assemblies of divine worship so as to express a reverence for God, and a content and satisfaction with that rank in which he has placed us.

V. He thinks fit to guard his argument with a caution lest the inference be carried too far (v. 11, 12): Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord. They were made for one another. It is not good for him to be alone (Gen. 2:18), and therefore was a woman made, and made for the man; and the man was intended to be a comfort, and help, and defence, to the woman, though not so directly and immediately made for her. They were made to be a mutual comfort and blessing, not one a slave and the other a tyrant. Both were to be one flesh (Gen. 2:24), and this for the propagation of a race of mankind. They are reciprocal instruments of each otherís production. As the woman was first formed out of the man, the man is ever since propagated by the woman (v. 12), all by the divine wisdom and power of the First Cause so ordaining it. The authority and subjection should be no greater than are suitable to two in such near relation and close union to each other.

Note, As it is the will of God that the woman know her place, so it is his will also that the man abuse not his power. VI. He enforces his argument from the natural covering provided for the woman (v. 13Ė15): "Judge in yourselves óconsult your own reason, hearken to what nature suggestsó is it comely for a woman to pray to God uncovered? Should there not be a distinction kept up between the sexes in wearing their hair, since nature has made one? Is it not a distinction which nature has kept up among all civilized nations? The womanís hair is a natural covering; to wear it long is a glory to her; but for a man to have long hair, or cherish it, is a token of softness and effeminacy.íí

Note, It should be our concern, especially in Christian and religious assemblies, to make no breach upon the rules of natural decency. VII. He sums up all by referring those who were contentious to the usages and customs of the churches, v. 16.

Custom is in a great measure the rule of decency. And the common practice of the churches is what would have them govern themselves by. He does not silence the contentious by mere authority, but lets them know that they would appear to the world as very odd and singular in their humour if they would quarrel for a custom to which all the churches of Christ were at that time utter strangers, or against a custom in which they all concurred, and that upon the ground of natural decency. It was the common usage of the churches for women to appear in public assemblies, and join in public worship, veiled; and it was manifestly decent that they should do so. Those must be very contentious indeed who would quarrel with this, or lay it aside.

DARBY'S SYNOPSIS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

1 Corinthians Chapter 11

Observe here the way in which the apostle grounded his replies with regard to details on the highest and fundamental principles. This is the manner of Christianity (compare Titus 2:10-14). He introduces God and charity, putting man in connection with God Himself. In that which follows we have also a striking example of this. The subject is a direction for women.

They were not to pray without having their heads covered. To decide this question, simply of what was decent and becoming, the apostle lays open the relationship and the order of the relationship subsisting between the depositories of God's glory and Himself, [In 1 Timothy 2: 11-15 the moral effect of the circumstances of the fall is introduced, as giving the woman her true place in the assembly with regard to man. ] and brings in the angels, to whom Christians, as a spectacle set before them, should present that of order according to the mind of God.

The head of the woman is the man; that of man is Christ; of Christ, God.

This is the order of power, ascending to Him who is supreme. And then, with respect to their relationship to each other, he adds, the man was not created for the woman, but the woman for the man. And as to their relations with other creatures, intelligent and conscious of the order of the ways of God, they were to be covered because of the angels, who are spectators of the ways of God in the dispensation of redemption, and of the effect which this marvellous intervention was to produce.

Elsewhere it is added, in reference to the history of that which took place, the man was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, transgressed first. Let us add-from the passage we are considering-that, as to creation, the man was not taken from the woman, but the woman from the man. Nevertheless the man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord; but all things are of God;-and all this to regulate a question of modesty as to women, when in praying they were before the eyes of others.[We are not as yet come to the order in the assembly. That commences with verse 17.]

The result-in that which concerns the details-is that the man was to have his head uncovered, because he represented authority, and in this respect was invested (as to his position) with the glory of God, of whom he was the image. The woman was to have her head covered, as a token that she was subject to the man (her covering being a token of the power to which she was subject). Man however could not do without woman, nor woman without man.

Finally the apostle appeals to the order of creation, according to which a woman's hair, her glory and ornament, shewed, in contrast with the hair of man, that she was not made to present herself with the boldness of man before all. Given as a veil, her hair shewed that modesty, submission-a covered head that hid itself, as it were, in that submission and in that modesty-was her true position, her distinctive glory. Moreover, if any one contested the point, it was a custom which neither the apostle nor the assemblies allowed.

The Peopleís New Testament

The Book of 1 Corinthians
Chapter 11

Dress and Conduct in the Church.

SUMMARY.--Men in Church to Pray with Uncovered Heads. Women to Be Veiled. Disorderly Assemblies. The Abuse of Love Feasts. The Lord's Supper Profaned. The Lesson from Christ's Appointment of the Ordinance. Must Be Eaten with Solemn Reverence.

1, 2. Be ye followers of me, etc. This refers to 1 Corinthians 10:33. Like him, they should not seek to "please themselves," but to so act as to save others. 2. Now I praise you. This praise is preparatory to censure for disorderly conduct among them. Keep the ordinances. Those he had taught them while in Corinth.

3-8. For I would have you to know, etc. The order of rank is that Christ is the center, with the Father above and man below him; and in the family the man is first and the woman second. That is nature's order. 4. Every man praying or prophesying. The last word means speaking by inspiration. With his head covered. He dishonors his head by covering what God would have exposed. Some hold that the head dishonored is Christ. I agree rather with Meyer and Schaff, that it is his own. Heathen priests of Rome covered their heads. So do modern Jews. 5. Every one that prayeth, etc. With the customs and ideas which existed in the East in that age it would be an unseemly act, and would bring reproach. The veil was regarded as a badge of subordination, and if not worn would imply that the woman did not yield deference to her husband. Almost all women are still veiled in the presence of men in the East. All one as if she were shaven. For a woman's head to be shaven was usually a sign of shamelessness (See Meyer). The uncovered head in an assembly was also unbecoming. 6. For if the woman be not covered. If she defies decorum by an uncovered head, let her go further, and be shaven. 7. A man ought not to cover his head, etc. In this whole passage we must keep in mind the Eastern ideas of the relations of the sexes. Paul bases these rules of propriety on the account of their creation. The veil is a sign of subordination to others present. But man, the image and glory of God, has no created superior. The woman, the glory of the man, is subordinate to him, of which the veil is the symbol. 8. For the man is not of the woman. In the creative act man was first, and woman was made from man.

9-12. Neither was the man, etc. Woman was made for man because he needed a helpmeet. 10. For this cause ought a woman to have power, etc. She ought to have on her head the veil, the badge of submission to authority. Because of the angels. This clause has puzzled the critics. The idea probably is: "There should be no violation of decorum, such as a bareheaded woman in a public assembly would be, lest it offend the ministering angels which are always present, though unseen." 11. Neither is the man without the woman, etc. Neither sex is independent of the other; each needs the other. In the Lord. The Lord recognizes their mutual dependence upon each other. 12. For as the woman is of the man, etc. As she was created for man so man is born of woman. There is an equipoise. These relations are all "of God."

13-16. Is it comely that a woman should pray, etc.? That is, in the public assembly. Private prayer, or with her own sex or household, is not meant. It was very unbecoming in view of the customs of the East, nor would it generally be esteemed decorous in our times, and with our ideas, that she should appear with no covering on her head at all. 14. Doth not even nature itself, etc.? It is nature's arrangement that men should wear short hair, and a woman long. For a man to have long hair and a woman to be shorn are violations of nature's teachings. 16. But if a man seem to be contentious. If, in spite of nature's lessons, a man contentiously opposes, let him know that no such custom exists in the churches. Many suppose that custom refers to being contentious. I think, rather, that it refers to covering the head, etc. The lesson of this whole passage is that we must not defy existing social usages in such a way as to bring reproach on the church.

 

ZONDERVAN

Cover, covering - The term is used of clothing (Prov. 31:22) and bedspreads (Prov. 7:16). The covering of the head seems to have been normal among Jews in OT times (Ezec. 24:17). Women were enjoined by the Mishnaic law to cover their heads, and bareheaded married women might be divorved. Paul insists that men should pray with their heads uncovered, but women should have their heads covered in public worship (1 Cor. 11:4-11). Prostitutes are said to have had their heads uncovered, and Paul was making it clear that Christian women must show their loyalty to their husbands. - (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, pag. 1016)).

Daca-mi este ingaduit un comentariu la comentariu, reglementarile lui Pavel sunt facute Ďntr-un context social Ďn care existau doua conventii estetice:

1. Numai femeile prostituate umblau cu capul descoperit si (sau) rase.

2. Femeile casatorite purtau tot timpul pe cap un simbol al starii lor sociale: acoperitoarea.

Nici una din aceste doua conventii sociale nu mai exista in societatea americana.

Covernng the Head - Modern arheological discovery has provided information about ancien head covering from the reliefs of wall paintings. Evidently early palestinian men were bareheaded. Later a veriety of head-coverings came into use. The simplest was the headband (1 Kings 20:38, 41). Women wore either the headresses ("legqturile de pe cap") (Is. 3:20) sau headbands ("mahrame") (Is. 3:18) both of wich were ornamental. The word "headbands" denotes various kinds of headdress, that worn by priests, made of linen (Exod 39:28; Ezec. 44:18); by ordinary men and cast aside for mourning (Is. 61:3); Ezec. 24:17), 23); by bridegroom (Is. 61:10). High piests had a special "turban" (Exod 28:4; 29:9; 39:28; Lev. 8:13). In time of mourning the head was covered by the hand or with dust (2 Sam. 13:19; Lam. 2;10). - (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, pag. 1016)

Pluralul folosit Ďn descrierea de mai sus neaga obligativitatea unor acoperitori de uniforma si nu interzice folosirea acoperitorilor pentru infrumusetare.

The Ryrie Study Bible - comenteaza pentru textul din 1 Corinteni 11:3:

who has her head uncovered. Women should be vailed or covered in the meetings of the church, and men should not. paulís reasons were based on theology (headship, v.3), the order of creation (vv.7-9), and the presence of angels in the meeting (v.10). None of these reasons was based on contemporary social custom.

The Ryrie Study Bible - comenteaza pentru textul din 1 Corinteni 11:15

her hear is given to her for a covering. This is not the same word (acoperit= "katakluptos"; invelitoare= "peribollaion" used only here and in v.15 si in Hebrew 1:12) as that used in vv.5-6. The point here is that as the hair represents the proper covering in the natural realm, so the veil is the proper covering in the natural realm, so the veil is the proper covering in the religious.

The Life aplication Bible - comenteaza textul din 1 Corinteni 11:2-15

In this section Paulís main concern is irreverence in worship. We need to read it in the context of the situation in Corinth. The matter of wearing hats or head coverings, although seemingly insignificant, had become a big problem because the two cultural backrounds were colliding. Jewish women always covered their heads in worship. For a woman to uncover her head in in public was a sign of loose morals. On the other hand, Greek women may have been used to worshiping without head coverings.

In this letter Paul had already spoken about divisions and disorder in the church. Both are invovled in this issue. Paulís solution comes from his desire for unity among church members and for appropriateness in the worship service. He accepted Godís sovereignty in creating the rules for relationships.

1 Corinthians Commentary by John MacArthur - in incheierea comentariului la textul 1 Cor. 11;1-16, John MacArthur scrie:

Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is dishonor to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is glory to her. Men and woamen have distinct physiologies in many wyas. One of htem os on the process of hair growth on the head. Hair develoops in three stages - formation and growth, rsting, and fallout. The male hormone testosterone speeds up the cycles that men reach the third stage earlier than women. The male hormone estrogen causese the cycle to remain in stage one for alonger time, causeing womenís hair to grow longer than menís. Women are rarely bald becasue few even reach stage three. This physiology is reflected in most cultures of the world in the custom of women wearing longer hair then men.

Nature (phusis) also carries the idea of instinct, an innate sense of what is normal and right This is an appeal to human conciousness. Paul is saying that as a man looks aorund himself he recognizes that,but for rare exceptions, both nature and human instinct testify that it is normal and proper for a womanís hair to be longer that a manís. Beautifully dressed hair is a glory to a woman, Godís special gift to show the softness and tenderness of a woman. The greek word (kome) for long hair can mean both long hair and a neat hairdo.

A womanís hair is itself given toher for a covering. Her hair is her natural covering or veil, and headwear is a cultural symbolic covering, both representing her subordinate role. Both nature and general custom reflect Godís universal principle of manís role of authority and womanís role of subordination. The unique beauty of a woman is gloriously manifest in the distinctive femininity portrayed by her hair and her attendance to feminine customs.

In modern cultures where the wearing of a hat or veil does not symbolize subordination, that practice should not be required of Christians. But womenís hair and womenís dress is to be distinctively feminine and demonstrate her womanly lovliness and submissiveness. There should be no confusion about male and female indenities, because God made the sexes distinct - phsiologically and in roles and realtionships. He wants men to be masculine, to be responsibly and lovingly authoritive, He wants women to be feminine, to be responsible and lovingly submissive.

As in almost every age and every chuch, some of the believers in Corinth were not satisfied with Godís way and wanted to disregard of modify it to suit themselves. Paul anticipated their objection to what he had just taught. He knew that some would be inclined to be contentious, but he could say nothing additional to them that would be more convincing that what he had already said.

In summing up this argument, we note that Paul has established that women are to be submissive to men because of the relationship in the Godhead(v.3), the divine design of male and female (v.7), the order of creation (v.8), the role of women (v.9), the interest of the angels (v.10), and the charecteristics of natural physiology (vv. 13-15).

That is why he declares that neither God, represented by His apostles, nor the faithful congregstiona of His church will recongize any pother principle or follow any other pattern of behavior. The argument is utterly convincing. "If you want to find a sympathetic ear to your dissent," he says, "you wonít find it among the apostles or in the churches." We have no other practice, nor have the chuches of God. The apostles in the other churches were firmly committed to the practice that women should wear longer hair than men and should have distinctiely female haridos. And where custom dictated it, they should wear proper head coverings to distinguish themselves as submissive.

 

 

Raspunsul nr. IV.

Este din week-end pe aici, si desi subiectul pare sa treaca incet sub tacere, eu o sa ma intorc la el.

In privinta folosirii comentariilor pentru interpretarea unui text, cred ca sunt foarte folositoare, dar cred ca sunt si o multime de probleme legate de acestea. Ma gindesc mai intii numai la faptul ca in cele mai multe privinte comentatorii insisi pot fi foarte impartiti. Deci, in ultima instanta va trebui sa iau decizii eu insumi. Pur si simplu nu pot doar sa culeg ce spun altii si apoi sa ma situez intr-o tabara sau alta. Personal, folosesc comentariile dupa ce am ajuns la o anumita intelegere a textului, sau cel putin am identificat unele intrebari majore pentru mine insumi, pe care le consider esentiale pentru a ajunge la o intelegere corecta a Scripturii. Ca sa nu mai vorbesc de faptul ca imi place sa caut sa citesc un spectru cit mai larg de interpretari, si sa inteleg nu numai ce spune cineva, ci logica din spatele opiniilor lor. Aceasta mai intotdeauna te obliga sa citesti un comentariu nu numai cu privire la un verset specific ci in intregime. De foarte multe ori introducerea unui comentariu iti spune mult mai mult decit citirea unui paragraf in sine. Deci, personal ma abtin deocamdata de la a comenta comentariile!

Similar as trata si parerea profesorului de greaca al lui Beni, sau a oricui altcuiva. Nu ma indoiesc ca acest profesor are motivele lui, sustinute de calificarea lui de profesor de greaca, sa afirme un lucru sau altul. Dar cred ca ar fi mult mai folositor pentru noi sa stim si de ce sau cum a ajuns la o concluzie sau alta. Parerea lui X sau Y este foarte folositoare, mai ales atunci cind cunosc pe X sau Y (cred ca pt. Timotei parerea lui Pavel intr-o problema sau alta era f. importanta), dar si mai folositor este daca X sau Y ma ajuta sa vad si eu ce vad ei. Poate Beni reuseste sa ne aduca aici ceva mai mult pe linga opinia profesorului de greaca.

Ma intorc atunci la text. 1 Cor trateaza consecutiv anumite subiecte oarecum independente, dar cred ca exista si o anumita legatura intre ele.

Exista numeroase subiecte care se refera la viata bisericii, iar sctiunea 11:2-14:40 trateaza in special diferite aspecte legate de inchinarea comuna in biserica.

Personal, as vrea sa identific afirmatia majora a acestui pasaj si sa inteleg dezvoltarea argumentului lui Pavel. Pina acolo, insa, mai am nevoie de raspunsuri la intrebari ajutatoare, si as vrea sa lansez una acum. Pate cineva care depune mai multa munca in greaca poate sa ne ajute cu aceasta.

In original, exista vre-o diferenta intre acoperit/descoperit si invelit/desvelit? In romana mi se pare un pic de diferenta de nuanta.

See also <>http://www.communio.org/1cor11.htm>

Trying to make one step at a time,

********************

Eugen Matei

 

Raspunsul nr.V

Subscriu si eu cu tarie la ce spune Danut tinand sa accentuez mai ales principiul pomenit deja de el si anume ca pentru un roman care pleaca in America cea mai inteleapta strategie de viata (indiferent de varsta!) este sa RENUNTE la cultura lui si sa se INTEGREZE in cultura tarii in care va trai restul vietii. Este un non-sens sa procedezi altfel. Macar asta ar trebui sa fie tendinta generala: sa intri in procesul de integrare. Insa unii romanii nu numai ca nu sunt constienti de lucrul acesta, ci chiar se impotrivesc cu tarie sa se integreze in noua societate. Si totusi au dorit sa mearga acolo. Asta ramane de neinteles.

Claudiu Capusan

Raspunsul nr. VI

Ei, chiar ca de data asta s-a ajuns cam prea departe cu un anumit gen de atotstiinta care nu pridideste cum sa mai dea sfaturi la altii. Atit expresia lui Danut (ale carui mesaje de altfel le apreciez destul de mult) : "Fratilor, poate gresesc, dar cred cu tarie ca daca cineva vrea sa ramina roman, Romania este cel mai bun loc pentru aceasta." cit si "isonul" care i l-a tinut Claudiu mi s-au parut ca baleiaza intre caraghios si penibil.

Dragii mei (Claudiu si Danut), va stiam oameni pertinenti care de obicei (oare mai pastrati acest obicei) nu va hazardati sa formulati afirmatii despre lucruri pe care nu le-ati experimentat. Va stiam ca nu cintati "dupa ureche". Spuneti-ne va rog cite luni sau citi ani ati petrecut in continuu in USA in comunitati romanesti cit si in contexte exclusiv americane ca sa ne putem da oarecum seama ce material folositi cind faceti astfel de afirmatii. Cit cunoasteti voi America de fapt (nu din carti ...sau Internet). Nu va suparati pe mine dar nu stiti despre ce vorbiti. Chiar si eu care traiesc de aproape doi ani aici va voi spune ce am sa va spun cu teama si rezerva ca e posibil ca in anumite privinte sa nu am totalmente dreptate. Si v-o spun asta fara nici un fel de patima. Un roman poate foarte bine sa ramina roman si sa-si pastreze etnicitatea si autenticitatea foarte bine si in Diaspora. Ba chiar mai mult acolo. Si sa nu-mi spuneti ca Eliade, Cioran, Brincusi, Caragiale, Tismaneanu si multi, multi altii au fost si sint doar exceptii. Eu personal sint din ce in ce mai convins ca in Diaspora iti poti pastra si intari caracterul etnic chiar mai bine decit in tara. Pentru ca in tara "romanismul" se "depune" pe multi doar ca un fel de "spuza a cotidianului". In Diaspora "romanismul" (atit cit e el) se cultiva.

Este o problema de alegere si de aceea este mult mai consitent ...atunci cind este. Pentru ca este foarte adevarat, foarte multi romani (daca nu chiar marea majoritate) se "dilueaza" (nu se integreaza) in acest talmes-balmes care este America (voi spune mai tirziu ceva despre aceasta).

Copii lor uita si ce n-au stiut din limba romana si cu asta-basta. Dar au fost acestia cu adevarat romani. Sa avem pardon! Probabil ca stiti mai bine decit mine ca majoritatea romanilor baptisti (ca despre ei vorbim) nu prea au biblioteci in casa ci mai ales cite o vitrina cu bibelouri de portelan si ceva carti de literatura confesionala.(am observat asta mai ales in Ardeal).

Nu e un pacat, vai de mine. Fiecate isi umple casa cu ce vrea. Cu bibelouri de Sighisoara insa nu iti poti umple mintea. A fi roman nu inseamna sa traiesti si sa muncesti in Romania ci inseamna sa citesti, sa cugeti si sa comunici in limba romana mai mult decit dialogurile despre nimicurile de fiecare zi. Multi dintre ei nu au facut niciodata asta. Si nu cred ca e nevoie sa spun mai multe. Pentru ei Romania si lb. romana n-au insemnat mare lucru iar daca acum au ajuns in America iar aici banii se fac "in limba engleza" atunci la ce sa le mai foloseasca copiilor limba sau cultura romana. Pot s-o uite. CA TOT NU LE MAI FOLOSESTE LA NIMIC. Sper ca observati aspectul utilitarist si pragmatic din modul in care se raporteaza multi dintre ei la realitate (nu toti). Sa fiu sincer nu-i judec absolut deloc.

Acesti oameni n-au tinut niciodata la faptul ca sint romani (si nici n-au stiut ce inseamna asta) si este o prostie sa le pretinzi acum a fi ceea ce n-au fost niciodata. Cit despre copii, ei sint "victimele" parintilor lor.

Nu cred ca este cel mai potrivit sa dau exemple din familia mea dar in timp ce alti copii despre care stim ca nu sint aici de mai mult de citiva ani abia mai vorbesc romaneste, copii nostri dupa doi ani in America, timp in care au facut scoala in limba engleza (dar si o parte in lb.romana) continua sa vorbeasca si sa scrie la fel de bine si in engleza si in romaneste dar in acelasi timp continua sa se simta romani, sa cunoasca despre Romania, sa doreasca si sa spere ca se vor intoarce intr-o zi in tara. Noi le-am cultivat cu atentie si gingasie acest lucru. Intotdeauna le-am spus ca nu stim cit vom sta aici dar indiferent cit vom sta ei vor trebui sa nu uite ca traiesc in mijlocul Americii ca romani. Este oarecum asemanator (nu identic) cu a spune ca traiesti in mijlocul lumii ca si crestin. Nimeni nu spune ca aceasta nu implica o tensiune dar tu esti administratorul sau victima acestei tensiuni. Oare cine reuseste sa fie mai bun roman: cel care nu isi da seama de asta sau cel care trebuie mereu sa o constientizeze?

Si inca ceva: despre talmes-balmes-ul care este America.

Claudiu scria: "sa RENUNTE la cultura lui si sa se INTEGREZE in cultura tarii in care va trai restul vietii. Este un non-sens sa procedezi altfel."

Probabil ca o fi valabil cu privire la cultura germana sau franceza, dar in ce priveste America este o mare eroare. Claudiu, poate n-ai stiut inca dar NU EXISTA CULTURA AMERICANA. Si asta nu o afirm doar eu (ca atunci n-ar avea mare valoare) ci insasi oamenii lor de "cultura". A te lasa sau a-ti lasa copii "integrati" in "cultura" MacDonald, Mustang, BBQ, Mall, Disney si mai ales "in God we trust" mi se pare o crima. In acelasi timp tuturor celor care invoca "cultura americana" le pun intrebarea la ce se refera cind exprima asa ceva: la ghetourile negre din centrul LA, Atlanta sau Chicago, la Chinatown din San Francisco, la Midwest, la Navajo land din Arizona si New Mexico, la comunitatile germane din nordul Georgiei sau Nebraska, la comunitatile mexicane, la inuitii din Alaska, la comunitatile evreiesti din New Jersey sau Chicago, la amishii din Ohio sau la spatiul universitar din New England. Dupa cum vedeti si stiti bine America este in marea ei majoritate un spatiu pluralist al emigratiei iar ceea ce ii da astazi farmec nu este uniformizarea de tip WalMart sau JCPenney ci pastrarea culorii etnice in pluralism. Din pacate guvernul american nu impartaseste acest punct de vedere asa cum o face cel canadian. Si asta spre paguba lui. In orice caz, niciodata nu m-am simtit mai bine ca sint roman ca acum cind sint in mijlocul americanilor. Copii mei simt exact acelas lucru intre colegii lor americani sau de alte etnii. Deunazi m-au intrebat daca isi pot scrie si ei pe ghetele de sport RP (Romanian Pride) fiindca au colegi coreeni care si-au scris KP (Korean Pride). Sa fiu sincer n-as schimba pentru nimic in lume "coloratura" mea romaneasca cu superficialitatea si infantilismul american. Asta insa nu ma impiedica sa traiesc in mijlocul americanilor, sa fiu acceptat de ei si chiar sa il marturisesc pe Hristos colegilor mei americani. Totul depinde de tine. Tu decizi daca etnicitatea ta este o bariera sau devine o cale de comunicare si de imbogatire interioara (ar fi multe de spus despre asta dar nu e locul acum).

Personal cred ca etnicitatea este un dar de la Dumnezeu pentru a ne impiedica sa ne unim intr-o razvratire universala dar si pentru a exprima intr-o varietate multicolora enorma intelepciune si creativiate a lui Dumnezeu. Abandonarea ("integrarea") in americanism mi se pare o saracire si o uniformizare a universului lui Dumnezeu. Personal nu vreau sa fiu partas la asa ceva si regret ca nu pot sa fiu de acord cu cei care gindesc altfel.

In ce priveste povestea cu baticu' si cu anacronismul bisericilor romanesti de aici, intr-o editie urmatoare dupa ce ati "obosit" bine subiectu' pe care Daniel Brinzei l-a aruncat cu dibacie si acum priveste sa vada cine-i da lovitura de gratie. -)

Virgil

Raspunsul nr. VII

Fr. Daniel,

Ultimul email m-a surprins prin problema ridicata. Aceasta problema lasata asa la voia fiecaruia si nerezolvata la timp a facut mult rau.

Inteleptul Solomon in Cint. Cint. 2:15 spune prindeti-ne vulpile cele mici care strica viile ... in floare. Te bucuri sa primesti si alte opinii eu ca cel mai neinsemnat dintre frati, vreau sa-ti fac cunoscut si opinia noastra de aici si doua, trei experiente din ultimii ani din America. Eu personal pina aici, in Houston, nu am putut crede ca aceasta problema, acoperirea capului la femeile crestine poate fi o problema asa de grea. Acest lucru se datoreaza numai si numai necunoasterii Sfintelor Scripturi. Bisericile noastre din America sint pline cu crestini firesti si cari fac mult rau.

Cind am ajuns la Houston in 1996 cu mare regret am constatat ca de aprox. 3-4 ani in biserica se framinta aceasta problema. Se formase doua grupuri. Cei doi pastori si rudele lor erau de acord ca femeia crestina sa nu se acopere. Timpul treacea si problema se agrava relatiile dintre fratii din biserica erau tot mai reci si se urau unii pe altii si in cele din urma problema a degenerat, cei doi pastori si rudele, aprox. 7 familii, au preferat sa rupa biserica formand un alt grup de cit sa renunte la aceste pretentii firesti. In tot timpul acesta biserica din locul acesta a avut si are si acum de suferit de pe urma acestei rele marturii. Nastere din nou nu a existat, dovada ca biserica era moarta. Spunea cineva ca cel mai important surub intr-un tren este surubul slabit. Si atunci se ridica intrebarea - Cui i sa dat dreptul sa voteze Biblia? Am eu dreptul sa votez Biblia? Se poate spune ca anumite versete din Biblie sint bune iar altele nu sint bune? In 2 Tim. 3:16 citim: Toata Scriptura este insuflata de Dumnezeu... Noi putem sa acceptam Biblia asa cum este ea, sau sa nu o acceptam. Da si nu, nu exista.

Sfintele Scripturi au acelasi puteri ca si la inceputul cretinismului. Ea este de aceeasi actualitate prezenta pentru toate timpurile. Dumnezeu ne-a avut si pe noi in vedere, cei din 2000. Asa zisii crestini firesti din bisericile noastre spun ca acoperirea capului la femeii in biserica este o invatatura depasita "noi venim din alta cultura" si vezi Doamne ca trebuie sa ne emancipam. In 1990, eram din biserica din San Leandro si intr-o vineri seara a venit la biserica fr. evanghelist Louis Palau. Sper ca-l cunosti.

Dupa ce s-a plimbat putin prin biserica s-a uitat la fiecare in special la surori, si a inceput sa predice; mai mult striga: frati romani, ramineti romani asa cum va stiu eu din tara. Nu va americanizati. America are nevoie de voi sa ramineti sarea americii. Ramineti credinciosi. Societatea americana este in cadere dar voi ramineti credinciosi, pocaiti. Se referea la problema acoperirii capului la femei. N-as vrea sa te plictisesc dar imi aduc aminte: Presedintele nostru de la institut venea des pe la noi la biserica si la ora de teologie sistematica pentru ca eram in clasa mai multi romani s-a discutat in mod deosebit aceasta problema, a acoperirea capului la femeile crestine. Dupa citeva ore de discutie impreuna cu presedintele si citva profesori, presedintele institutlui ne spune ca cu ani in urma si "noi eram la fel ca si voi." Se ridica intrebarea, cine s-a schimbat? Cei care vor sa minimalizeze importanta acestei practici spun: obicei local, invechit, depasit. Practica orientala veche, sintem ingusti la minte. Apost. Pavel spune in 1 Cor. 1:2 catre toti cei ce cheama in vreun loc numele Domnului Isus Hristos, Domnul lor si a-l nostru. Cum s-ar putea ca prima jumatate al cap. 11 din 1 Cor. Sa fie depasita, iar cind ajungem la a doua jumatate, adica la cina Domnului, sa aibe valoare universala in crestinism.

O analiza asupra istoriei bisericii crestine scoate in evidenta ca de indata ce aceasta practica dispare va fi doar chestiune de timp pina cind toate celelalte practici specifice nonconformismului crestin vor disparea. In 1 Cor. 11:3 ... dar vreau sa stiti ca Hristos este capul oricarui barbat, ca barbatul este capul femeii, si ca Dumnezeu este capul lui Hristos. Aici ni se prezinta ordinea instituita de Dumnezeu cu privire la relatia noastra cu Dumnezeu. Este vorba despre un principiu cu caracter permanent care este in vigoare si astazi in baza hotaririi lui Dumnezeu. Astfel daca intr-o relatie cu totul divina, structura de autoritate s-au conducere este buna si necesara, cu atit mai mult relatia barbat-femeie. Noi ne aducem contributia cea mai importanta atunci cind functionam in sfera ce ne-a fost destinata de Dumnezeu. Atit femeia crestina cit si barbatul crestin sint implicat sa depuna marturie vizibila. In versetul 4-5 ni se arata forma pe care Dumnezeu vrea s-o ia marturia noastra. Pentru barbat semnul autoritatii prestabilit de Dumnezeu consta in a avea capul descoperit si nu a purta nimic pe cap cu semnificatie religioasa. Pe cind pentru femeia crestina marturia prestabilita de Dumnezeu consta in acoperirea capului. In versetul 4-7 cuvintul acoperamint este derivat de la grecescul "Katakalupta" si inseama val. Neglijarea acestei practici se spune ca necinsteste capul celui ce o incalca. Despre care cap este vorba? Se intelege ca femeia care nu vrea sa se inveleasca se pune pe ea in locul barbatului pretinzind autoritate peste acesta si in acelasi timp respinge autoritatea divina sub care se afla barbatul. In vers. 8 ne arata clar ca ordinea stabilita de Dumnezeu a ramas aceeasi. In versetul 10 este un alt argument in favoarea acoperirii capului. Este pina si pentru ingeri un semn.

In versetul 11-12 se observa foarte clar interdependenta intre barbat si femeie si ca amindoi depind in intregime de Dumnezeu. Cind barbatul si femeia se conformeaza ordine divine, barbatul va purta parul scurt si fara invelitoare, iar femeia crestina va purta parul lung si cu acoperitoare.

Aceaste este rinduiala luii Dumnezeu prin creatie in tiparul familiei. In versetul 15 se foloseste iar katakalupto - adica invelitoare, iar anterior acestui verset se foloseste cuvintul periboloian - adica acoperitoare. Distinctia dintre aceste doua verbe apare si in versetul 6; "...daca nu se inveleste sa se si tunda." Cum se poate explica aici dubla inlaturare a parului daca parul este acoperitoare, si ea este desvelita? Daca femeia crestina refuza sa se acopere ea merita si al doilea semn al rusinii, adica capul tuns, daca singura acoperitoare ar fi parul. In versetul 16 apostolul Pavel spune: ca ar fi straniu ca cineva sa contrazica o practica atit de universala acceptata de toate bisericile. Faptul ca aceaste recomandari nu mai apar si in alte epistole este o foarte clarra dovada ca acest subiect a fost bine inteles pentru toti crestinii. Oamenii lui Dumnezeu cari au intelepciunea Lui isi vor da repede seama ca Biserica este aceea care va adopta regula pentru forma de acoperire permisa, si asftel se vor inlatura de la sine o multime de discutii si de probleme fara nici un fel de sens, cari se nasc daca fiecare ar fi liberi sa si le rezolve dupa cum ar gasi fiecare de cuviita. Acoperirea este felul in care Dumnezeu vrea sa ne aduca mereu aminte de structura cu caracter permanent divin. Accept eu sa intru in sfera de ascultare a lui Dumnezeu, sau nu? In incheiere sper ca nu te-am plictisit iar dupa experienta noastra de aici privind in urma, constatam ca hotarirea pe care am luat-o impreuna cu totii ca acoperirea capului la fameia crestina este obligatorie, a dat multa roade. Sa stopat orice discutie pe tema aceasta, sa eliminat o sursa sigura de scandal in biserica si marturia bisericii incepe sa capete un contur tot mai aproape de realitatea biblica. Ca dovada dupa aprox. 8 luni activitatea multor frati din biserica este tot mai rodnica; fratii au mai mult timp acum sa se ocupe cu lucruri mult mai importante decit cearta. In data de 30 Mai, 1999, dupa multi ani avem un botez Nou Testamental. Dumnezeu sa te binecuvinteze pe tine si pe fratii din biserica pe care o pastoresti si doresc sa aveti o pozitie si o lumina biblica si categorica in aceasta problema.

Paul Gavriliuc - Houston

Raspunsul nr. VIII

Dragii mei

Admir luarile de cuvint si pretuiesc sinceritatea discursului atit de intim incit prinde un iz de spovedanie. Multumesc pentru tot ce ne-ati scris. Desi am tacut citeva zile, nu inseamna ca nu am fost atent. Iata citeva consideratii personale:

1. In privinta culturii sau a lipsei de cultura

- Ramin la parerea ca lumea, cu intelepciunea ei, nu ne poate ajuta prea mult in inaintarea noastra personala. "Caci intrucit lumea cu intelepciunea ei n-a cunoscut pe Dumnezeu in intelepciunea lui Dumnezeu, ... este scris: "Voi prapadi intelepciunea celor intelepti si voi nimici priceperea celor priceputi"

Cind va aud vorbind despre nivelul de cultura sau incultura al Americii, respectiv Romaniei, ma furnica pe sira spinarii. Solomon n-a gasit o femeie adevarata in aproximativ 1,000. Noi nu gasim un mesaj cu valoare vesnica nici in 1,000 de anumite carti (vorbesc, ca si Solomon, ca unul care a avut pasiunea ... "cartilor"). Vorba lui: "Mi-am pus inima sa cunosc intelepciunea si sa cunosc prostia si nebunia. Dar am inteles ca si aceasta este goana dupa vint" (Ecles. 1:16).

Si inca ceva, parca mai aud inca ecoul cuvintelor: "Te laud, Doamne, Tata al cerului si al pamintului ca ai ascuns aceste lucruri de cei intelepti si priceputi si le-ai descoperit pruncilor. Da, Tata, Te laud pentru ca asa ai gasit Tu cu cale."

2. In ce priveste pozitia unui om in interiorul sau in afara unei anumite culturi nationale.

- Ramin la parerea ca orice crestin este plasat strategic in interiorul unei anumite culturi ca sa o fecundeze cu saminta dumnezeirii. Ceea ce ne defineste pe noi nu trebuie sa fie atingerea culturii periferice, ci posedarea "semintei" extratemporale, marturie a apartenentei noastre la o alta "cetate", nepieritoare.

Intreb, unde s-a simtit Avram mai acasa: in UR, Caldeea, in Egipt sau in Canaan. Raspunsul pe care ni-l da cartea Evrei este: "In credinta au murit toti acestia, fara sa fi capatat lucrurile fagaduite; ci doar le-au vazut si le-au urat de bine de departe, marturisind ca sunt straini si calatori pe pamint. Cei ce vorbesc in felul acesta, arata deslusit ca sunt in cautarea unei patrii. Daca ar fi avut in vedere pe acea DIN CARE IESISERA, negresit ca ar fi avut vreme sa se intoarca in ea. Dar doreau o patrie mai buna, adica o patrie cereasca. De aceea lui Dumnezeu nu-i este rusine sa se numeasca Dumnezeul lor, caci le-a pregatit o cetate." (Evrei 11:13-16).

Evreii au fost presarati un timp printre neamuri pentru "polenizarea" florilor din cautarile pagine. Astazi, crestinii sunt "mireasma" care vesteste apropierea unei civilizatii eterne.

Banuiesc ca prin "cultura" se defineste "ambalajul" unei realitati sociale. Va propun o meditatie pe aceasta tema:

Pot exista nivele paralele de cultura? Exista:

- cultura lui "How"

- cultura lui "Whom"

si - cultura lui "Why" ?

Dava da, atunci nu cumva cultura lui "how" va fi intotdeauna stratul de suprafata, poleiala subtire, etc ? Nu cumva doar Biblia ne poate face partasi adincimilor din stratul culturii lui "Why" ? Nu cumva cultura lui "Whom" este doar un cult steril al unor personalitati clasificate de Isus drept "cei veniti inainte de Mine" si care "au fost hoti si tilhari" ?

3. In ce priveste acoperirea capului sotiilor supuse.

Iata trei ginduri care nu-mi dau pace:

a. O acoperire "de forma" nu ar putea pacali "ingerii", deci ar trebui acoperite numai sotiile cu adevarat supuse! Fara gluma, m-am intors din Israel cu ultima "gaselnita" jidaneasca. Din cauza atmosferei impuse de "ortodoxi", exista un intreg comert cu ... "peruci". Evreicele smechere, care nu vor sa poarte batic, intra in sinagoga purtind ... peruci. Nimeni nu le poate spune ca nu sunt "acoperite" !!! Ce spuneti de asta ?!!

b. O acoperire "mecanica" ne-ar impinge spre practica catolica. Textul specifica o acoperire obligatorie doar in momentele active ale participarii la un servici divin (rugaciunea si profetia). Textul nu spune ca o femeie care intra in adunare trebuie sa se acopere pe timpul cit sta si asculta sau cinta. In bisericile catolice exista obiceiul purtarii unui fel de sal, care acopere umerii si care este pus pe cap doar in momentele rugaciunii. Ce ziceti de asta ?!!

c. O acoperire "perpetua", asa cu este ea practicata in unele locuri ne-ar face ca femeile, si chiar si fetele, sa fie (toata ziua si oriunde s-ar afla) ascunse sub val de privirile "ingerilor"(!!) In majoritatea timpurilor si locurilor, capul femeii a fost acoperit din motive care au tinut mai mult de protectie si igiena, decit de motive religioase. O femeie din Orient se acopere ca sa scape de soare, de vint si de praf (ca si barbatii de altfel). O femeie care merge in Romania la prasit dimineata, n-are nevoie de biserica sa-i spuna sa se acopere pe durata zilei. Pericolul insolatiei si atacul vintului si al prafului sunt motivatii suficiente. Singurele femei care erau silite prin specificul "meseriei" lor sa poarte parul ca o nada ademenitoare pentru atragerea barbatilor erau cele de profesie "prostituate." Astea nu mergeau nici la prasit si tolaneala lor era la umbra.

In societatea confortului modern, unde pericolul insolatiei si amenintarea prafului s-au redus considerabil, femeile au inceput, de la sine, sa mearga pe strada cu capul descoperit. Acelasi lucru este valabil si pentru servici, scoala, acasa, in masina, in parc, etc. Asta a dus la o schimbare a conventiilor sociale si a simbolismelor familiale.Ce ziceti de asta?

Si inca ceva, pasionati sa discutam "acoperirea" femeii, am uitat sa discutam "neacoperirea" barbatului. Recomandata de Pavel, ea vine in contradictie cu prevederile mozaice din Lege. In cazul in care asa stau lucrurile, mai ramin prevederile de acoperire "universal valabile" ? Se conrazice Dumnezeu?

Si inca ceva (promit sa fie ultimul), cum de a ajuns Biserica istorica sa calce prevederile Pauline si sa ceara popilor, episcopilor si mai tuturor fetelor bisericesti sa slujeasca si sa se roage cu ... "capul acoperit" ? Ma uitam la pozele cu Papa si Patriarhul si ma intrebam: Cum stati voi cu "acoperirea femeii" ?!!!

De ce poarta mereu Papa un fel de "fes" evreiesc? Stiu ca obiceiul evreiesc vine de la o talmacire Talmudica despre slava stralucitoare de pe fata lui Moise, etc. etc., dar ce facem cu aparenta contrazicere a lui Pavel cu traditia preotiei mozaice?

Daniel Branzai

 

Raspunsul nr. XIX

 

Draga Daniel,

Azi e simbata,si am mai mult timp de scris,asa ca incerc sa iti raspund la ultima ta scrisoare,cu toate ca e cam tirziu si poate ai uitat deja de problemele care te framintau atunci. Ma simt onorat cand un prieten "ma impovareaza" cu necazurile lui. 

Problema ta cu sedinta de "genul acela",care te-a impovarat pe tine,pe mine m-a "despovarat" un pic... Pt. ca vad ca nu sunt singurul care trebuie sa sufar aceste dureri,care dupa cum bine ai zis,sunt nimicuri "trecatoare" pe langa eternitatea plina de glorie care ne sta in fata. Impartasirea suferintelor cu fratele tau injumatateste apasarea acelui necaz,dupa cum impartasirea cu cineva drag,a unei bucurii ,Ói dubleaza marimea acesteia.Si eu am avut probleme cu comitetul atunci cind,intr-o tabara de tineret,am discutat cu ei problema (cu baticul) pe sleau,asa cum ai facut-o tu pe internet.

Impartasesc de altfel aceeasi viziune cu a ta in sensul ca si mie mi se pare o problema "locala",pt. ca ea apare numai la Corinteni.Numai ca la tinerii mei era vorba de a avea voie sau nu cu batic pe strada,la scoala sau chiar in baie...Despre portul in biserica nici nu s-a pus problema! In mai toate bisericile noastre nici nu poate intra in adunare o fata fara batic! 

Problema e ca fetele au mai venit uneori la REPETITIA DE COR fara batic.Adica "in biserica"...Ce sa spun? Pavel a folosit,dupa mult contestatul text expresia "daca cineva iubeste cearta de vorbe...".Eu am constatat ca problema asta nu duce decit la cearta de vorbe si in ultimul timp,m-am specializat in a "ocoli" subiectul,asa cum as dribla pe cineva la fotbal. Adica atunci cind vine vorba de asta, incerc sa minimalizez pe cit se poate subiectul,si sa dau importanta altuia ca sa distrag atentia de la acesta.Nu pot sa-ti spun ca am reusit de fiecare data ,dar incerc.

Realizez  ca oricit as vorbi si explica, nu voi rezolva mare lucru.Poate tu esti mai optimist. Am observat ca dupa reactia lor, fratii nostri se impart in doua categorii: legalistii pe care nu ii voi convinge niciodata, pt. ca sunt de felul lor "tari la cerbice" si nu accepta nimic din ceea ce nu corespunde sistemului lor personal de legi si valori "self-made",si liberalii,care se bucura intotdeauna de o noua "libertate",dar nu inteleg deloc sensul acelei libertati,si o folosesc in general in satisfacerea firii lor pamintesti.

Pentru ca eu lucrez la ora actuala cu tinerii,trebuie sa iti spun ca majoritatea fac parte din a doua categorie.Ei sunt liberali prin definitie, in opozitie permanenta cu mai virstnicii frati,95% consevatori si in mare parte  legalisti.Am vazut ca tinerii ma iubesc f. mult pt. ca eu sunt un mai virstnic liberal...si nu prea.Nu intr-atit de liberal ca sa fiu un usuratec,dar nici un legalist din acela care distruge in jurul lui precum bomba atomica."Ma,da buna imagine de sine ai!" o sa spui."Trebuie sa fii tare fericit si implinit!".Trebuie sa spun ca nu sunt chiar asa de fericit cum pare.Si asta pt. ca tinerii mei abia asteapta sa le "dau peste nas" celor batrini cu o predica "traznet" ,"bazata" ,care ii lasa pe legalisti cu un "no coment" in git. Constat insa ca demersul meu nu ii ajuta citusi de putin pe ei in cresterea lor spirituala,ci le mai intaresc doar pozitia lor in fata inamicilor legalisti. I'm sorry,dar nu ma incinta cu nimic acest rezultat,chiar daca aparent sunt simpatizat de cei care sunt viitorul intr-o biserica.De aceea eu m-am hotarit sa-i canalizez pe tineri mai degraba spre ordine si disciplina,atit doar cat sa nu dau in legalism.De aceea am renuntat de la un timp sa le mai spun ca au voie,scriptural vorbind, fara  batic.Ii las sa desopere SINGURI asta.Ma gindesc ca Dumnezeu a lasat textul din Corinteni,poate special,un pic mai "derutant",ca el sa fie pemtru disciplinarea "bebelusilor in Hristos",dar pe masura ce acestia vor creste in maturitate spirituala,sa descopere SINGURI ceea ce a spus dl.Isus: "ADEVARUL va va face SLOBOZI". Aceeasi situatie incrincenata,si de mai mare importanta decat cea a baticului,este cea a mantuirii: se pierde sau nu? Pentru mine ea nu poate fi pierduta in mod cert.Dar nu am crezut de la inceput asa.

Se pare ca multor crestini le trebuie un timp mai lung sau foarte lung,sa inteleaga sensul drgostei lui Dumnezeu.Si nici aici Biblia nu e prea clara (amintesc doar mult controversatul Evrei 6).Am constatat ca oricit de explicit as fi,nu toti sunt in stare sa creada acest adevar fundamental al crestinismului.Ca si problema baticului,din pacate se ajunge la cearta si dezbinare.Am fost pus deoparte de la vestirea cuvintului pt. ca am atacat acest subiect "tabu" care duce la dezbinare in biserici.Imi aduc aminte cum odata,dupa ce m-am straduit sa explic clar cum e cu harul lui Dumnezeu,s-a ridicat dupa mine imediat un legalist feroce care a anulat tot ce am spus eu cu "mintuirea trebuie dusa pina la capat cu frica si cu cutremur"...Intr-adevar m-am "cutremurat" la auzirea aiurelilor pe care le-a putut scoate.Nu stiu daca iti poti imagina taraboiul ce a urmat...(la Ploiesti a fost asta,acum cativa ani).Concluzie: incerc sa vestesc aceste adevaruri acolo unde e posibil, dar contez mult pe faptul ca "ADEVARUL va va face SLOBOZI".Slobozenia e "frisca" de pe tortul adevarului,si numai cei care il traiesc pot avea parte de ea... 

In speranta ca nu te-am obosit cu flecareala mea,al tau, 

Eduard Teodorescu"

P.S.

Cam asta a fost "romanul meu" din 17 iul.99 . Adevarul e ca ADEVARUL ceresc e absolut si imanent,pe cand cel care vine de la noi are totdeauna o doza de relativitate,pt. ca suntem inca aici jos pe pamant.Nu cred ca as putea concluziona subiectul de mai sus sub forma unui principiu batut in cuie ,pe care sa il prezint cuiva (in afara de mine insumi) ca pe o paradigma de nezdruncinat, ci as prefera varianta aplicarii "de la caz la caz" in functie de "mediul" de discutie. Astept sa imi mai scrii. Totdeauna ma bucur cand primesc un mesaj de la tine. Cu drag, Eduard 

 

 

In loc de concluzie

Aparuta pe fondul Reformei, miscarea baptistq a fost oferta de a integra sub acelasi acoperis un numar de miscari de "trezire" care n-au avut in nici un caz aceleasi pareri in toate privintele. Constienti ca Biserica Catolica nu detine adevarul, aceste miscari de trezire au pornit in studierea Bibliei cu o dorintq arzatoare de a o face singura autoritate in materie de crez si comportament.

Fiind constienti ca fiecare cunoastem "doar in parte" si ca ne aflam la puncte diferite de intelegere a Scripturilor, baptisii, preluind o terminologie moraviana (John Amos Comenius
who lived in the early 1600's and served as a Bishop in the Moravian Church said: "The avowed goal is unity in primary things, with liberty in secondary things, and charity in all
things.") au elaborat o intreita temelie de asociere si colaborare in lucrare:

1. In doctrinele importante - UNITATE

"Este un singur trup, un singur Duh, dupa cum si voi ati fost chemati la o singura nadejde a chemarii voastre. Este un singur Domn, o singura credinta, un singur botez. Este un singur Dumnezeu si Tata al tuturor, care este mai presus de toti, care lucreaaza prin toti si care este in toti" - Efes. 4:4-6

2. In doctrinele neesentiale - LIBERTATE

"Primiti bine pe cel slab in credinta si nu va apucati la vorba asupra parerilor indoielnice. Caci cine esti tu, care judeci pe robul altuia? Daca sta in picioare sau cade, este treaba stapinului sau; totuai va sta in picioare, caci Domnul are putere sa-l intareasca pentru ca sa stea. Asa ca fiecare dintre noi are sa dea socoteala despre sine insusi lui Dumnezeu. ... Incredintarea pe care o ai pastreaza-o pentru tine, inaintea lui Dumnezeu. ferice de cel ce nu se osindeste singur in ce gaseste bine." - Rom. 14:1,4,12,22

3. In toate doctrinele- DRAGOSTE

"Si chiar daca as avea darul proorociei si as cunoaste toate tainele si toats stiinta; chiar daca as avea toats credinta asa incit sa mut si muntii, si n-as avea dragoste, nu sunt nimic" - 1 Cor. 13:2

In categoria doctrinelor importante au fost incadrate acelea despre Dumnezeu, Biblie si cele privitoare la mintuire, restul raminind sa fie aplicate dupa cum "Dumnezeu va va lumina" (Filipeni 3:15-16).

UNITATEA IN DIVERSITATE - i-a facuit pe baptisti sa aibe un spirit tolerant si sa ajunga sa numere nu mai putin de 21 de "asociatii" distincte (Southern, North american, Independent, Conservative, etc.).

In aceasta atitudine, baptistii au fost calauziti de:

1. Principiul tacerii sau al neabordarii lucrurilor care duc la divizare pentru adevaruri neesentiale ("Primiti bine pe cel slab in credinta si nu va apucati la vorba asupra parerilor indoielnice" - Rom. 14:1)

2. Principiul libertatii de constiinta (Fiecare sa fie pe deplin incredintat in minte lui", "Incredintarea pe care o ai pastreaza-o pentru tine, inaintea lui Dumnezeu. Ferice de cel ce nu se osindeste singur in ce gaseste bine. Dar cine se indoieste si maninca este osindit, pentru ca nu vine din incredintare. Tot ce nu vine din incredimntare, e pacat" (Rom. 14:5b, 22-23) "daca nu ne osindeste cugetul nostru."

Problema "acoperirii" capului surorilor in Biserica nu se incadreaza in categoria doctrinelor esentiale.