A City Set On a Hill
Surviving the Seventieth Week by Reforming Fundamentalism and Establishing Cities of Refuge
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Holy Spirit Filling Through Submission to One Another
Copyright 2010 by Raul E. Lopez, MD, MDiv

Finally, the third way to be filled with the Spirit addresses the will. We are to submit ourselves to one another. Paul in this section describes the three most intimate and direct relationships. The husband and wife relationship, the parent and child relationship, and the employer and employee relationship. These three relationships are characterized by a differentiation of the roles. One party is entrusted with the task which involves caring for the other party and the other party is given the responsibility of submitting, obeying, or following. There exist other human relationships where the roles are undifferentiated. Each party holds the same position. Examples include the relationship between friends, siblings, and coworkers. Undifferentiated relationships are not as important as the differentiated relationships. We can best transmit and receive the power of the Holy Spirit by means of differentiated relationships.

In this passage, as one progresses from the marriage relationship to the master/servant relationship there is a decrease in quality but an increase in quantity of possible relationships. In a Biblical monogamous marriage there are only two persons involved in one relationship. In a family, two parents may have several children. This relationship extends in a secondary form to grandparents and grandchildren, and even to uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews. The master servant relationship is representative of all other relationships where a chain of command exists. It can involve thousands to millions of people in large corporations, the military, or even civil government since citizens are required to pay taxes and obey laws. In that sense the ruler is the master of the country, and the citizens are to at least a limited extent, servants. In a democratic government the authority of the president is reduced to a minimum, but, whatever authority he does have, still makes him the equivalent of the master of the country, if only weakly. In the church there also exists an authority structure. The author of Hebrews states "remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" and "obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you" (Hebrews 13:7,17 nkjv). In the next section we will discuss how a presbyterian, interdependent form of government is more conducive to Holy Spirit filling than independent Congregationalism because it encourages accountability based on mutual submission. Later we will discuss how the involvement of Christians in government can also lead to a greater influence of the power of the Holy Spirit upon Christians and the unsaved through His convicting work.

The church can help families as the members of these families endeavor to carry out their responsibilities of love and submission. One instrument which the fundamentalists churches have used to great benefit of their families is Christian education. Fundamentalists and other conservative Evangelicals have built many Christian schools, colleges, and universities. The main responsibility of parents towards their children is to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). The Christian school provides a sheltered environment where this task can be accomplished. Some Christians think that our children should be at the forefront of the battle to convert the lost through their missionary effort among their peers in the public schools. However, great nations do not send their children to battle, only brutal guerrillas do so. Once our children are mature, well trained, young adults they will then be ready to participate in the great commission. If we want to reach the public schools and secular universities we need to send adults in the form of teachers trained at Christian colleges.

One way for the church to remind husbands and wives of their respective responsibilities to love and submit is by the use of a symbol which has been called by some the only Biblical custom. Paul commands that women wear their hair long, and that they use head covering during worship. He commands men to wear their hair short and to remove any head covering during worship. He says "Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven." (I Corinthians 11:4-5), and "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering." (vv 14-15). This is a very clear command which most churches in the United States have quit practicing. This custom was dropped from public worship in American Protestant churches because it became popular to interpret long hair to be the head covering which Paul required of women. The confusion is caused by the last word in verse 15. In English the same word is used here as that which is used for ritual covering in verses 4-5. However, in the Greek, the word used for ritual covering in verses 4-5 is ‘kataiscunei' and refers to a general covering such as a hat or doilly. However, the word used in verse 15 is "peribolaiou," and better translated as veil. Literally it means something "thrown around." It refers to the head covering used at that time by nomadic Arab tribes and today by Moslem women and Catholic nuns. This type of covering is actually hair covering. Moslem women are not allowed to show their hair in public. However, Paul teaches that long hair is honorable and the use of long hair makes the use of hair covering (not head covering) unnecessary.

It is clear that Paul is giving an emphatic command for women to use head covering in public worship and for men to desist from using such covering. This is in contrast to many religions, including Judaism and Islam, which prescribe a specific form of head covering for men during worship. Paul uses three lines of reasoning to sustain his argument. First of all, he appeals to the order which God has created in society. The man has authority over the woman just like Christ has authority over the man. Secondly he appeals to nature my means of an analogy. He argues that in almost all cultures the woman grows her hear long, and this is something which in a way serves as a covering. If a woman has no objection to growing her hair long, then she should have no objections to using a similar head covering made out of cloth. Finally, he appeals to the traditions and customs of the churches. It is significant that these traditions and customs have been recorded in written form by the apostolic fathers (the leaders which pastored the churches after the death of the apostles). When one studies these writings one finds that the apostolic fathers interpreted this command literally. It seems that it was customary for women to cover their head during worship but did not cover their face or their hair like the Arabs.

The purpose of head covering is to serve as a symbol of both submission and delegated authority. Paul says "Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels" (v. 10). This is probably a reference to the temptation of Eve. It implies that this symbol of submission will help deliver Christian women from temptation from Satan. Under the Old Covenant only males were circumcised and only males entered the inner court of the temple where sacrifices could be observed. Jewish women were restricted to the court of women in front of the inner court. Under the New Covenant women participate in worship, but they must wear a symbol of delegated authority.

The form which head covering should take is not specified in the Bible. However, it is not hair covering, as used by the Moslems and by catholic nuns. Paul says that "if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her" (v. 15) so hair is not to be covered up. Christian women in this country have often used hats as the most common form of head covering. However, some groups, such are the Mennonites, have used small doilies for this purpose. Since it is a symbol, any object worn in or over the hair which is plainly visible would fulfill Paul's requirement. A bow worn in the hair might be the form of head covering most compatible with modern custom, but some might consider it to make too subtle of a statement.

The definition of long and short hair is also unspecified. Long hair might be defined as that which is clearly longer than that used by most men in the society at large. Short hair for men is described more clearly in an Old Testament passage. Ezekiel, speaking about priests in the millennial temple said, "nor shall they shave their heads, nor let their hair grow long; but they shall keep their hair well trimmed" (Ezekiel 44:20).

This symbol of head covering does not exist in a vacuum; it is the finishing touch of a Godly appearance which is appropriate for worship. Paul says "I desire that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing" (I Timothy 2:8-9 nkjv). Clothing is a testimony to our salvation. It represents the covering of our sins by the blood of Jesus Christ. After our first parents sinned "for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them" (Genesis 2:21). This is the first reported sacrifice in the Bible. The Lord used clothing as a symbol of salvation in the parable of the wedding feast (Matt 22:12). The guest who was not wearing the wedding garment was cast into outer darkness, a reference to hell (v.13). The clothing used by Christians during worship should distinguish itself from the clothing used by the world in that it should raise no question as to its modesty and propriety.

Both Paul and Peter warned against the use of ostentatious clothing and jewelry during worship. "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." (I Peter 3:3-4). However, ugly or casual clothing can show a lack of respect for God. The Levitical priests were given specially designed garments "for glory and for beauty" (Exodus 28:2). Both men and women should dress in a manner consistent with a meeting with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

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