QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 47
I am currently attending a Holiness Pentecostal Church that teaches that 1 Cor 11:1-16 says that women are not allowed to cut their hair, also we are not to wear make-up or pants. I disagree with this teaching and do not see where in Gods word that these teachings can be validated. I believe in balance in the appearance of a woman. Can you offer your view on this issue? I would greatly appreciate it!
The Holy Spirit has spoken to women in Christ concerning their appearance. He has NOT said they are not to cut their hair, and He has NOT said they are not to wear make-up or pants. Those proscriptions represent the opinions of men--what THEY THINK the Scriptures mean. They are not a statement of what God has said.
The eleventh chapter of First Corinthians is not about women's hair, but about conduct in the assembly of the saints. Everything in the assembly is to reflect the Divine order of things. The head of every man is Christ. The head of the woman is the man. The Head of Christ is God (11:3). Immediately we see that having a head, or being subordinate to someone, is not demeaning, for Christ Himself has a Head, even God the Father.
Secondly, the text does not say the head of every woman is every man. This indicates the Spirit is speaking about the woman's husband, and not the men of the congregation. This is confirmed by other teaching on the matter (Gen 3:16; Eph 5:22,24; Col 3:18). Wives are specifically told to be in subjection to their "own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord" (Eph 5:22). Nowhere are they admonished to be in subjection to the men of the church.
The matter of hair is introduced in relation to a woman praying or prophesying in the assembly (11:5). If she does not duly regard her husband, it is like speaking with her head "shaved" (not like speaking with her hair cut). Her hair is a covering, confirming she is under the care of another. Because 'the angels" are present in the assembly of the righteous, women are to have a "symbol of authority" (NKJV) on their heads when praying or prophesying (11:10). In an extensive argument, the Spirit affirms the woman's hair is such a symbol (11:15). The text does not say "uncut hair" is given the woman for a covering, but her hair itself. It is assumed it is "long," The word "long" does not mean never cut, any more than "long time" (Num 20:15) means unending.
Women in Christ are instructed to make their inner qualities their real source of beauty. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Pet 3:3-4). The word "plaiting" means braiding or arranging. The text does not forbid woman to braid their hair, but to not make that their source of beauty. We know this is the case because it also forbids 'the putting on of apparel." That does not mean it is a sin to wear clothes, but that women are not to make their clothing the source of their beauty, or their emphasis. The point here is that woman can make "long hair" a source of pride, just as they can the wearing of gold or the putting on of clothes.
The length of a woman's hair is a matter of conscience, not of Divine law. In the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians, Paul abruptly ends his teaching on the subject with these words. "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God" (11:16). The wording of this text confirms he is not speaking of a hard and fast law, but a "custom," or common practice. It was not a matter of salvation, nor would he make a further issue of it. If this were not the case, Paul would not have concluded his instruction in such a manner. He leaves the matter in the hands of his hearers, something that is never done when dealing with critical matters.
Neither Jesus nor the Apostles prohibited the wearing of make-up. Those who insist this is unlawful base their view on some texts in the Old Covenant Scriptures. It is said of Jezebel, "she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window" (2 Kings 9:30). The NIV reads, "she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and looked out of a window." If Christian women are to altogether avoid what Jezebel did, they must not arrange their hair or look out of a window either. God also rebuked Israel for her dependence upon externals, referring to their clothing, the painting of their faces, and the wearing of ornaments (Jer 4:30). Ezekiel adds that they also "washed" themselves (Ezek 23:40). It should be evident that the sin was not that of using makeup, but of attempting to make themselves attractive to their enemies. All such activities are wrong, even if they pass the scrutiny of religious leaders.
Forbidding woman to wear pants is also a tradition of men. Nowhere is such a law given in Scripture. The opinion is based upon a text of Scripture, but is a human view, not a Divine declaration. Here is what the Scriptures say. "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God" (Deut 22:5). I understand this to refer to a woman representing herself as a man, or a man representing himself as a woman. Today such an abomination is called "transsexual." This would compare to a woman prophesying in an assembly with her head shaved, as though she were a man.
God has instructed women to attire themselves "in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation" (1 Tim 2:9, NKJV). Each woman is to take the matter of her appearance seriously, seeking to please the Lord. No person is given the right to dictate the specifics of her appearance.
All of these areas are in the realm of conscience. God trusts the honest heart to do its best to please Him, and we must do the same. As we walk by faith and live in the Spirit, we will tend to do the right thing.
I believe the Lord spoke something to me over a year and a half ago. I have received many many confirmations from the Lord. Recently in speaking to my Pastor about the fact that the Lord had spoken something to me, and part of it was that the Lord is going to bring revival to our church in a mighty way. The Pastor at that point stopped me and said that the Lord would not speak to me about his (the Pastors that is) church. That the Lord would tell him about his church. So with that I left it, but continued to keep it in prayer. The Lord has continued to give me confirmations that He did in fact speak it. My question is, is it true that the Lord would not speak to me concerning the church? Thank you!
Whenever we receive what we believe to be a word from the Lord, we should carefully examine it, and pray to the Lord about the matter. It is important that we know the word is, in fact, from the Lord. This is the procedure followed by holy men of old. During the early days of the church, Paul and his company determined to go into Bithynia to preach the Gospel. The Holy Spirit, however, did not allow them to do so. Later, when coming down to Troas, Paul had a vision in which a man from Macedonia appeared, calling out "Come over into Macedonia and help us." After Paul had the vision, they immediately made plans to go into Macedonia. The way this is described is worthy of consideration. "And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them" (Acts 16:9-10). The words "assuredly gathering" mean "being convinced," or "they concluded." They did not just take for granted the thing was from the Lord, but examined it and then concluded this was God. Drawing such a conclusion does not necessarily require a lot of time. But it is always wise to first ponder the matter before the Lord. I assume you have done this. The acid test of whether or not this word was from God is if it really occurs.
First, no pastor has a church. The church belongs to Jesus. He said "I will build MY church" (Matt 16:18). It is appropriately called "the flock of God," and does not belong to any man (1 Pet 5:2).
Second, there is nothing in the Word of God to suggest that someone given a stewardship will never receive a word from God from someone else concerning his stewardship. Jesus sent words of revelation and instruction to His own Apostles concerning His resurrection by some women. When Jesus later appeared His disciples, He rebuked them for not believing the women (Mark 16:14). In fact, the first person Jesus appeared to after He was risen, was Mary Magdalene, who certainly was not one of 'the twelve" (Mk 16:9). Thus Jesus spoke to His Apostles (the highest office in the church), concerning what they were to do, by women, who were not Apostles (Mark 16:7).
As to your question, YES, God can speak to you about the church. It is His church, and H will speak to it through whomever He desires. On one occasion, Paul told the brethren in the church at Rome to give assistance to Phebe, a Christian lady from another congregation (Rom 16:1-2). Jesus has frequently spoken to churches through those who were not official leaders of them. He sent Timothy to Corinth and Thessalonica (1 Cor 4:17; 1 Thess 3:2). He also sent Titus to Corinth (2 Cor 12:18), and Tychicus to Ephesus (2 Tim 4:12). There is no reason to suppose the leaders of those churches became upset because a word came to their fellowship from someone else.
Have faith in God, and do not be discouraged. Be sensitive to his direction, and bold in your labors for Him.
I would appreciate it if you would elaborate on the fact that the idea that "God loves you no matter what you do" is incorrect.
First of all, God did not say this. It is the reflection of human understanding, not a Divine revelation. We know from the example of Israel, that God can be brought to be repulsed by His own inheritance. "Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred His own inheritance" (Psa 106:40). Again it is written, "And when the LORD saw it, He abhorred them, because of the provoking of His sons, and of His daughters" (Deut 32:19). And again, "The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath abhorred His sanctuary, He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast" (Lam 2:7).
From a New Covenant perspective, the Lord cannot be attracted to the person who withdraws from Him--especially those who once came to Him. As it is written, "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Heb 10:38-39).
This does not mean the Lord has no desires for the sinner, whether an alien sinner or one who is going back to sin. But we must state it the way God does. For example, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet 3:9). Notice, the longsuffering is toward believers: "usward."
Again, God is able to give repentance to those who have fallen into sin. His ability is carefully stated, so as NOT to encourage sin, or make the sinner think he is in any way safe. "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, IN THE HOPE ("peradventure" --KJV, "If God perhaps"--KJV, "God may"--NASB). that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will" (2 Tim, 2:24-26, NIV). That certainly does not fit into the "God loves you no matter what you do" nonsense. Along the same line, when the Spirit admonished sluggardy Christians to "go on to perfection," the solemn words were added, "And this will we do, if God permit" (Heb 6:3).
Jesus promised, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23). As you can see, the Word of God nowhere indicates that "God loves you no matter what you do." That sounds like something Satan would perpetrate.
One last word on this, God's love for fallen humanity is ALWAYS mentioned in the past tense, never in the present. (John 3:16; Eph 2:4; 2 Thess 2:16; 1 John 4:10,11). The same is true of Jesus (Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2,25; Rev 1:5).
Jesus told His disciples the Father loved them because they loved Him (John 16:27). God is also said to love a "cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7). He also is said to chasten those He loves (Heb 12:6). As is evident, the manner in which the Lord speaks of His love differs widely from the modern clichés that are thrown about in His name.
Concerning 1 John 1:9, to whom should we confess our sins? God, yes. But what about the person against whom I have done wrong? If I sin against my brother, I do sin against God, but will God receive my confession if I don't return to my brother and ask forgiveness of his as well? I am embarrassed to say it is true, that at times, I would rather not mention my sins to anyone but God and I hope that He forgives me.
I John 1:9 is speaking of confession to God, not men There is a real sense in which we sin ONLY against God. As David well said, "Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight; That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge" (Psa 51:4). The compulsion to confess our sins to God will be driven by such an awareness.
Jesus taught us to be reconciled to offended brethren BEFORE we offer our gifts to God. "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matt 5:23-24). Such an offence refers to something that has driven a wedge between brethren that requires reconciliation.
We are not to live in fear of not being forgiven by God. That is why First John 1:9 has been written. Notice the promise given in that verse. "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Part of the cleansing process is sensitizing our spirits to "sin no more," as well as giving us wisdom and boldness to correct things that can be corrected. Sometimes you may feel you have "sinned against" a brother, but that is not at all his perception. In such a case, it is not necessary to acknowledge your offence to him. Confess it to God and go on your way rejoicing. If your conscience demands that you speak to your brother, honor your conscience, and humbly approach your brother.
Those who are truly born from above, begotten of God, have God's seed remaining
in them. That seems like something that is unchangeable. Would you agree?
The First John 3:9 text means precisely what it says. That which is born of God does not sin, and cannot sin. The new nature can no more sin than Jesus can. That incorruptible seed remains in the new nature, and the wicked one cannot touch him.
But that is not all you have. There is an "old man" to be put off (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10), "the flesh" to be crucified (Gal 5:24), and members to be mortified (Col 3:5). That, of course, is the complicating factor in the whole matter. We are admonished to walk in the Spirit. if we do so, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Gal 5:16) -- but only so.
The Spirit warns us of being cut off after we have been grafted in, coming short of the inheritance, and being disqualified. Our theology must allow us to receive all of these warnings without reservation. It must also allow us to receive the statements of whatever is born of God. It should be apparent to us that spiritual life is not as simplistic as some have made it. Nor, indeed, is it as complicated as others have made it.
Esau was really the son of Isaac, and really possessed the inheritance. He forfeited it, however, because he despised it. What is more, believers are admonished to consider him, and avoid falling into that category (Heb 12:15-18). No one who takes these things seriously will be abandoned by the Lord. Equally true, no one who ignores them will be sustained. These are things to be believed, whether we can explain them or not.
There is someone in our congregation trying to say it is all right for women to preach and teach a male Sunday School class. He is saying women are equal with men. We agree with this but do not find the scriptures allow for women preachers. He is pushing this issue. As an Elder, my husband has to talk with him. He has scripture to back him up. I thought perhaps you could also be of help.
There have been some exceptional women in Scripture that taught men. Perhaps the most notable was Huldah the prophetess (2 Chron 34:22-28). Another was Debra, who was both a prophetess and a Judge of Israel (Judges 4:4).
The ordinary rule for the church is that women are not to teach or usurp authority over the men (1 Tim 2:12-14)--that is, they are not to seize the control. If a woman prays or prophesies in the assembly, it is to be as one under authority (1 Cor 11:5-10). The prohibition of women speaking at Corinth (1 Cor 14:34) had to do with disruptions, not the ordinary course of events. Those who spoke in tongues, but had no means of interpreting it to the congregation, were also told to "keep silence" (1 Cor 14:28). Both prohibitions were in the same chapter, and both had to do with speech that was not profitable or helpful to the saints.
Jesus sharply rebuked one church for having a woman that taught His servants to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gather she "made" them commit such sins through her teaching. Jesus did not rebuke the woman for teaching, but for teaching wicked things. in fact, He even gave her time to repent of her waywardness (Rev 2:20-23).
These brief observations should make it clear that the matter of women teaching men cannot be resolved with a simple law. It is not that easy. It certainly cannot be resolved by saying men and women are equal, for "the head of the woman is the man" (1 Cor 11:3), referring to her husband, not the men of the church. If there is a godly woman who has something of value to say, she can be permitted to say it. But she must speak with the proper respect for her position in the Divine economy. Men who recognize her as having valuable insights should also be humble enough to hear from her as the men of old heard from Huldah.
Having been around those who argue heavily on this matter, I have found very few instances where people were desirous of providing an opportunity for a godly and insightful to teach "a class of men." If there is no such woman present, or if there are men who have equal or more insight, there is no need for the subject to be brought up.
The assembly should be so structured that everyone with helpful insights will have opportunities to speak without having to assume the role of teachers. But to assume the role of a teacher belongs ONLY to those with understanding--and that goes for men also.
It should be remembered that the very first person Jesus appeared to after His resurrection was a woman--Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9). An angel also told the holy women who came to the tomb to instruct His disciples that He was risen from the dead, and where they were to meet with Him (Mark 16:7). Later, Jesus upbraided His disciples for not believing "the women" (Mark 16:14). Of course, those were most unusual women of faith.
What bible verses can i give to a young teenager that recently lost a friend, from a car accident?
If the friend was a believer in Christ: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8; Revelation 14:13; Isaiah 57:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16; 5:10; 2 Samuel 12:23; Romans 14:8; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23; Philippians 1:21. If the friend was NOT a believer in Christ, no consolation can be found in the recollection of their death. Neither, indeed, is it necessary for us to sit in judgment on those we feel are in that category. It should, however, provoke a note of seriousness in the life of younger people, for we all have been appointed "once to die."
On the matter of death itself, and how it is common to all: Hebrews 9:27; Luke 13:2-5; Psalms 39:4; 90:12. The death of anyone close to us should prompt us to prepare to meet the Lord ourselves. It should also provoke thanksgiving for the godly who have lived among us, and praise that they have entered into their glory.
What do you believe God feels about the death sentence? Is it right or wrong. Please give me scripture if there are any on this subject.
Capital punishment was instituted by God Himself immediately after the flood. The reason for it was also declared. He told Noah, "And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man" (Genesis 9:5-6, NIV). Under the Mosaic law, a murderer was also commanded to be put to death. "'If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death" (Numbers 35:16, NIV). In this Gospel age, the Spirit also affirmed capital punishment was to be executed by civil authority, even saying it was ordained of God, and the one who did it was God's minister. "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Rom 13:4). When Paul was brought before civil authorities, he recognized the validity of capital punishment. Although he had done nothing worthy of death, he said, "If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die" (Acts 25:11).
If you commit suicide do you go to Hell?
Suicide is self murder. There are no extended comments on suicide in the Word of God. We do have the example of Judas, which is certainly not a noble one (Matt 27:5). Other ignoble examples are Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23) and Zimri (1 Kings 16:18).
As to whether or not such souls go to hell, I do not know. They certainly have no promise of going to heaven. There are complicating factors, such as one who repented before he died, or one who did so rashly without due thought. But all of those things are in the hands of the Lord. If it is true that death is an appointment (Heb 9:27), then committing suicide is an act of unbelief as well as fear, discouragement, etc.
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