Oct 3, 2005

Is My Brothers Ponytail Too Long

Dear Apostle Paul,

Would you elaborate on your "long hair" thoughts, and specify exactly how long a mans hair is when it disgraces him? We have a brother with a ponytail, is this acceptable, or do we wrestle him down and cut off the excess hair, or just disfellowship him?
"Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him," (1 Cor. 11:14 ESV)
I realize this verse, by itself, is somewhat out of context, but it never ceases to amaze me how we can take this verse and condemn a man for wearing his hair too long when we don't even know what "too long" means. There may be a simple answer for this, if so, it escapes me!

Since the Bible doesn't specify the length of the hair when it becomes disgraceful for him, how do we determine whether a mans hair is appropriate, or too long? Some questions needing answers before we judge John Doe with his ponytail as being disgraceful:

1. Just how long does the hair have to be before its disgraceful not to get a haircut?

2. Since the Bible doesn't mention a specific length as being "long hair," who is the Hair Judge who knows exactly what is too long, and what is acceptable?

3. We may all agree that a mans hair is too long, but how much too long? If he clips a foot off his floor-sweeping hair is he now acceptable, if not, where should the barber stop so that he is no longer disgraceful?

4. Our opinions differ as to what is "long hair," and what is acceptable to one person is completely out of whack with anothers view. Since we can't agree, who determines how to treat this long-haired disgraceful person?

Just some hairy thoughts!


Thurman8er said...

It's interesting, isn't it?

At College, we have an elder who has fairly long hair. So, obviously, we have no problem putting Paul's words in their cultural context.

And yet this same elder, and members of his Shepherding Group, are completely unable to put the words that appear a few verses later into ANY kind of context, those words of course being the ones about women.

I wanted to have a female friend help me with a class some time ago. They refused to let a woman teach them. It's amazing how we pick and choose our interpretations, isn't it?

Larry said...

More than once I have stood dumbfounded at the speed church leaders take action when they perceive a woman has violated one of their church laws. Nothing seems to get their attention any faster than the possibility of a woman usurping a mans authority.

Every church should sit down (both men and women) and study in depth the role of women in the church. The bible classes I have attended always glossed over the role of women, and if any questions were asked, the same old cut and dried traditional arguments were presented to show that women are to be silent; then a fast retreat to the next subject.

Alas, we all pick and choose our pet interpretations.

iggy said...

If one really gets into the original language one finds that it is not the length of hair, but the adornment of it that was the issue. To wear it like a woman would.

Corith was a a city with Jews, gentiles, and prostitutes both male and female. the women shaved their heads while the men feminized themselves with long adorned hair, making them more like women.

With that in mind the text reads more plainly and the real issue appears, should a man look like a woman? And should a woman look like a man? In a way Paul is saying should a man approach God looking like a woman? or and woman looking like a man? both are disgraceful.

Hair is not the issue here... it is ones choice of the gender they identify with.


Hoots Musings said...

Iggy, society today is not much different from years past.

LEM'S Politics said...

Jusr realized you were back, you do have a way of stating your mind that I find interesting, and I enjoy your blogs, I too started blogging in Feb/05 It is a fast and ecomomical way of serving the Lord use it to God's Glory.
Laymond Meredith



LEM'S Politics said...

Brother Larry I intended to ask your permission to put your link on my blog, I would like to do so if you have no objection.
Brother Laymond



Larry said...

Appreciate your comments.

It would be an honor to be added to your blog list. Thank you....