I've responded to this war a number of times: the word "religion" has a definition,

1: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

2 a(1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural

(2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

It's not that hard to figure out, but many Christians don't seem to like the word "religion." EWWW...that's religious. It's a relationship, not a religion and on and on. I think that Christianity is the only religion that has a problem with the word religion.

If you care to ask, and they care to tell, if you probe into what the actually mean when they hear "religious" it end up being some sort of legalism.

I read a new term today!

I'm reading "Natural Theology" by Geerhardus Vos - the book is in a question/answer format and close to the end, question #187 is "Can the will be excluded from religion? The new term is in the answer"

No, what distinguishes all pure religion from an unhealthy 'pietism' is that it works on the will and brings it into sound motion...

There is it!

Unhealthy pietism.

I think I could put it this way: Pietism is to piety as sanctimonious is to sanctification.

What is that thing on your head?

If you were reading this - something that would disgrace a man or woman - would you not want to know what that "thing" was?

Every man who etwas auf dem kopf  while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who ihren kopf unbedeckt  while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman [c]whose kopf ist rasiert.

1 Corinthians 11:4,5 - with certain words in a different language

(NOTE: this post does not intend to exegete the passage, only to present questions that I asked myself, and give food for thought)

What if I'm wrong?

What if I'm wrong about head coverings? Unless I'm trying to bind the conscience of others, the worst that could happen is that I wore a thing on my head that I didn't have to.

What if I'm right?

What if I'm right and I don't cover? The worst thing would be to disgrace my head, my husband and by extension...Christ.

What did the earliest Christian writers believe that Paul meant?

Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp (who had been taught by the Apostle John and most likely knew Paul) wrote: A woman ought to have a veil upon her head, because of the angels. Irenaeus (A.D. 180), Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1, pg.327. Obviously, Irenaeas knew that Paul was talking about a fabric, removable cover.

What about later?

What did the majority of Christian writers for the next 1850 years (AD100 - 1950 or so) - I'll give one sample.

- Spurgeon~~“Do you think you and I have sufficiently considered that we are always looked upon by angels, and that they desire to learn by us the wisdom of God? The reason why our sisters appear in the House of God with their heads covered is ‘because of the angels’. The apostle says that a woman is to have a covering upon her head, because of the angels, since the angels are present in the assembly and they mark every act of indecorum, and therefore everything is to be conducted with decency and order in the presence of the angelic spirits.”~~3 -

Why did women in American (US and Canada) stop covering their heads in worship?

One word: feminism. In 1968 in Annual Meeting of the National Organization of Women (the minutes are still online if you want the link) NOW states

WHEREAS, the wearing of a head covering by women at religious services is a custom in many churches and whereas it is a symbol of subjection within these churches, NOW recommends that all chapters undertake an effort to have all women participate in a "national unveiling" by sending their head coverings to the task force chairman immediately. At the Spring meeting of the Task force on Women in Religion, these veils will then publicly be burned to protest the second class status of women in all churches."

In 1969, NOW organized the “Easter Bonnet Rebellion” at St. John de Nepomuc Catholic Church in Milwaukee.

In 1976, “His Holiness Pope Paul VI, during the audience granted to the undersigned Prefect of the Sacred Congregation on 15 October 1976, approved this Declaration, confirmed it and ordered its publication.”

“But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on their head (1 Cor 11:2-16); such requirements no longer have a normative value”

It is clear that the driving force behind American (US and Canada) women "throwing the cover into the fire" was feminism.

What about writers today?

Michael Barrett in "The Beauty of Holiness" (appendix #3) asks: whose glory should be display in worship? (Obvious answer: God's)

Man has a duty to cover his head because he is the image and glory of God. While woman is also the image of God, she is the glory of man and therefore (since man's glory ought to be covered) the woman should be symbolically covered.

Paul C. Edgerton in “Because of the Angels” writes:
No one ought to stand in the worship of the Lord on their own terms or for their own glory. When a man stands before God he is God’s image and glory. To cover his head would be to dim and glory of Christ, who reveals the glory and fatherhood of God.
When a woman stands before God she is to, as well, bring glory to God; thus she must cover that which pertains to her own glory and the glory of man, her hair. No one is being demoted by the practice of uncovering or covering the head. Rather, all is done to honor God. No personal preference or right or glory ought to usurp the Lordship of Christ in the sacred assembly. All must be done to the glory of God alone. (Edgerton, 2107)

R.C. Sproul~~If Paul merely told women in Corinth to cover their heads and gave no rationale for such instruction, we would be strongly inclined to supply it via our cultural knowledge. In this case, however, Paul provides a rationale that is based on an appeal to creation, not to the custom of Corinthian harlots. We must be careful not to let our zeal for knowledge of the culture obscure what is actually said. To subordinate Paul’s stated reason to our speculatively conceived reason is to slander the apostle and turn exegesis into eisegesis.

Now let me ask a few questions:

Has there been a time when you have dug deep into Scripture and have had to make an “about face” – especially when you started with no intention of going that way?

what emotions do you think might pop up if you end up convinced from Scripture that the head coverings instruction is for today?

Bruce Shelly wrote, “But any introduction to Christian history tends to separate the transient from the permanent, fads from basics.” Is it possible for great men of God to have gotten this wrong for over 1,900 years?

Which of us believes our glory can compare to the glory of God?

Dare we allow our own glory to compete with the glory of God in worship?

If the symbol of veiling the glory of woman (a head cover) is based in creation and not culture, can we change the symbol without changing the meaning of the symbol?

Does learning that the feminist movement directly attacked the Christian practice of head covering affect your perspective?

In closing: R.C.Sproul:

"If Paul merely told women in Corinth to cover their heads and gave no rationale for such instruction, we would be strongly inclined to supply it via our cultural knowledge. In this case, however, Paul provides a rationale that is based on an appeal to creation, not to the custom of Corinthian harlots. We must be careful not to let our zeal for knowledge of the culture obscure what is actually said. To subordinate Paul’s stated reason to our speculatively conceived reason is to slander the apostle and turn exegesis into eisegesis."

My main sources:

"The Beauty of Holiness" by Micheal Barrett https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Holiness-Guide-Biblical-Worship/dp/1932307621/ref=sr_1_1?crid=70HJXB9GT69N&keywords=the+beauty+of+holiness+michael+barrett&qid=1705253986&sprefix=the+beauty+of+holiness+michael+barret%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-1

"Because of the Angels" by Paul C. Edgerton https://www.amazon.com/Because-Angels-Corinthians-Coverings-Worship/dp/1974315835

"Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times" by Jeremy Gardiner https://www.amazon.com/Head-Covering-Forgotten-Christian-Practice-ebook/dp/B01MTNCVYS/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ORJV268I8V75&keywords=jeremy+gardiner&qid=1705333319&s=books&sprefix=jeremy+gardiner%2Cstripbooks%2C147&sr=1-1

**Important, since most of my GoodReads friends are Christians - the book includes no sex scenes (in one place there are two people talking about having sex, but nothing graphic)

Project Hail Mary

This science fiction book was a nice, quick read.  Nothing too complicated and included plenty of humor.
Andy Weir has written several books, including "The Martian" - I haven't read any of his other books (but they're now on my list.

 The following section is the book description from Amazon:

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery—and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could deliver, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian—while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

 I really enjoyed this book, it was in a rotation between a couple of books that made me have to think, so it was a nice break.

It didn't feel like a typical "save the world" novel, and included a couple of twists that made the book more interesting.

If science fiction is a thing for you, go ahead and read this book.

 Rejoice and Tremble by Michael Reeves

In this book, (part of the "Union" series) Reeves tells us that he is going to "clear the clouds of confusion and shows that the fear of the Lord is not a negative thing at all, but an intensely delighted wondering at God, our Creator and Redeemer."

"Rejoice and Tremble" does prove that the fear of the Lord is not only a positive thing, but a mindset commanded by God.  I remember that one of Messianic prophesies says that even Jesus delighted in the fear of the Lord

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-3).

The first (maybe) one-third of the book is spent telling readers what the fear of the Lord is NOT (I'm not saying that as a bad thing, but a very necessary thing.)

In the next part of the book, the fear of God defined as a "filial fear" and not a "servile fear", and Reeves does a good job of that.

The last part of the book is the most confusing part for me...how to get "there".  Because people are different, the processes and experiences are different, so the "to do list" is different.

Why does it matter?The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  We cannot rightly know God unless we rightly fear God.

My overall all impression of the book was positive. 

I did get a bit impatient during that first third, since I'm pretty quick to get concepts and I kept thinking "okay, I got it!"

The book is saturated with Scripture and we can get "cold" in our fear of God - "Rejoice and Tremble" is a good reminder of our place in God's kingdom and a call back to the wonder and glory of God.

And the verdict is:

 Read this book if you're confused about what the fear of God is, if you feel as thought you once knew but have put filial fear on the back burner, or if you just need a reminder.

by Moira Cairns

I think I gave this two stars on Good Reads.

I am hungry for books on head coverings by women, for women and this book is one of the  very few.


In some places, she takes metaphors farther than the Bible seems to in this passage:

Every Christian woman is a symbol of the glory of the church (...)The woman is a symbol of the glory that has been given to the church from God.

A woman's uncovered head while praying for prophesying symbolized a church that goes between God and man in its own strength.

I'm just not seeing that in the passage.  Perhaps if the thought had been fleshed out a bit more.

In other places, she...well, read:

The covered head of a woman also reminds the church that every Christian has the Spirit of God within them -- giving each one glory, power over their enemies, and a Guide to follow.

Say again?

She goes on:

When a woman covers her own had, she reminds herself that she needs to function in whatever capacity God has gifted her in a manner that reflects the authority she is under and that honors the love and humility of Christ.  

The author seems to be saying that a woman can be in any office in the church (pastor, elder) as long as she's wearing a head covering.   

The last part of the paragraph I agree with, but it's not in the passage.  It may be read into the passage from other verses...those should have been cited.

When the men in the church see the covering, they are reminded to be in authority in a manner that reflects and honors the love and humility of Christ.

All in all, this book used too many words to say not very much.

Michael Barrett...Head Coverings...1 Corinthians #35 (1/20/1991) - this sermon (Sunday school class) starts the series with Barrett answering questions that the congregation has handed in. One that stuck out at me was "when do we start our children covering and uncovering). The answer was (paraphrased) - as early as we start teaching them how we should be worshiping God.

Michael Barrett...Head Coverings...1 Corinthians #36 (1/27/1991)

Barrett, Michael...Head Coverings #1 (2/5/1996) .

Barrett, Michael...Head coverings 2,3 (3/3/1996)..

Barrett, Michael...Head Coverings #4 (3/10/1996)

Michael Barrett...Head Coverings for Public Worship: Custom or Command? - (2/9/2014)

I'm noodling on this here, before I ask at the Head Covering Community Facebook group, since I'm not sure how to word the whole thing.

Phil and I had the privilege of visiting Heritage Reformed Congregation on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We had Christmas Even lunch with Dr. and Mrs. Joel Beeke and their son and his family.

HRC is a church that teaches and practices head coverings for women, and I happily wore covers to both services. I was the only woman wearing a "veil" style cover, all the women of the congregation were wearing hats. When I started covering (a year ago last August) Phil asked that I not wear a "fashion accessory". If I'm going go wear a head covering, make it obvious that's what it is. So I purchase primarily from Garlands of Grace and seldom wear hats as a cover.

Here are my questions

Why do the women in this head covering church wear hats? Is it because they don't have a point to make?

Are women in a church that does not teach or practice head coverings for women more likely to choose styles that are obviously religious symbols of submission, and not fashion accessories?

"Because of the angels" (1 Corinthians 11:10) - do angels know (or care) if the cover is a hat, a headband, a head wrap, or a Orthodox-style veil?

When I put on my head covering for each service I attend, I do it mindfully - does the type of cover have an impact on that thought process? I mean, I put on a hat to work in the yard or to go hiking.

To put on an obvious head covering is very centering...I feel "done" and complete.

I guess...I'm all in. And happy.

These are all books, sermons and shopping sites that I found helpful while figuring this all out.

The Very Best Starting Place


  • Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times
    • This is the first book you should read; it goes through the Scripture line by line, but misses an important piece (I think)
  • Because of the Angels: First Corinthians Eleven and Head Coverings in Divine Worship
    • The first book caught my brain, the second caught my heart. A note of caution, the author is Episcopal and that shows, but what he writes is good.


  • Garlands of Grace
    • Far and away the best (so far) - one caution, if you're shopping by color, the website isn't all that accurate and the colors tend to be richer than shown, so if you're looking for brighter colors, it could be an issue.
  • Headbands of Hope
    • for wide headbands, these are very wide (like 18"). I cut them in half and they still covered what I wanted covered.


  • Michael Barrett has a number of sermons that made an impact (I'm looking for a specific one and can't find it right now)

Head coverings? Really? That is so 1900's. Or 1700's, or maybe 100's. How did I get here?

My husband, Phil, and I attend a small group Bible study and we’ve been working through 1 Corinthians.  The men take turns leading and we thought head coverings would be a quick study with some invigorating conversations. Phil took that chapter to lead.

The process begins

I had read through 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, on my own as well as in a women’s group but this time it caught my attention.   There are books! The process of listening to sermons, reading websites, getting another book...or three began.  There are tangents and then the tangents found tangents.  Since I process better when I write, I began to type my notes and add the questions I asked myself.

About a week into all this I decided to wear a hat to church for the purpose of a head covering.  The next week I wore a wide headband with my hair in a bun. If it’s in the Bible, I have a duty to obey.  Phil told me that since I would be affected more than he would, he would stand back and let the study take its course and he would honor whatever conviction I came to.

Facebook started showing me memes that pointed me straight at Scripture and I was reminded of my own thoughts on Sola Scriptura.

What are we afraid of?

I shifted "if this is a command I have to do it" to "this is a symbol of my joyful submission to God's created order"

Moving from wide head bands to a more traditional cover, I discovered "Garlands of Grace"

The study of this passage took a couple of months, so I did due diligence. It's been a process for sure, and it's brought joy and frustration and tears of joy "because of the angels"