Paul’s Footsteps #128

Footsteps #128

Paul commends the Corinthians for following “the traditions” he has shared with them (1Cor.11:3-16). Now Paul wishes to address one instance where some clarification was needed.  Some Christian women in Corinth seem to have felt that they no longer needed to follow time-honoured customs.  They were participating in public worship unveiled.  Paul’s central concern is for the good name of Christianity.  He does not wish for the fledgling movement to be “disgraced” by adopting a dress code that others would judge immodest or immoral. (vs5-6). Such an action would exclude men from the community, who would deem the action immoral and counterculture. He will address this issue again in chapter 14. In most parts of the world, the wearing of veils is no longer practiced, and this passage may seem irrelevant.  However, there are thoughts here that should not escape our notice.  Among these is a principle applicable to any society and time.  Christians are to display a modesty and decorum that will allow the good news about Jesus unimpeded access to those who observe their behaviour. Also, note that women are praying and prophesying in worship (vs5,13).  Paul does not disagree with their participation, but only the fact that some are doing so unveiled. We must apply the principle implied here not the cultural context statement.

1Cor12-14 discusses 2 of the fundamental teachings of the Bible and in these passages Paul is seeking to correct an over emphasis. In answer to their question he begins by stating that he does not want his brethren to be uninformed (NKJV: ignorant) on these matters. (1Cor12:1) In all of nature there is unity in diversity. E.g. in a tree scarcely two leaves are alike, but this adds to the perfection of the tree as a whole. In the human body, from the eyes to the feet there is variety, yet all these members are dependent upon one another to make a perfect whole. In all the variety composing the human body, there is a harmonious action with each part working in harmony with every other part.

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