The Bride Won’t Have Bobbed Hair
By: Murray E. Burr
A number of years ago, we printed this article entitled–“THE HAIR QUESTION”: Thousands of copies have been sold and it has been translated in a number of languages. Due to a constant stream of request, we are re. printing it in the Standard as, “THE BRIDE WON’T HAVE BOBBED HAIR”. Any individual or organization may reprint as many copies as they like. There is only one restriction – it must not be copyrighted.
In recent years there has been quite a bit of controversy over the question of whether a woman should or should not cut her hair. The general consensus in the ranks of secular or modern religion and even in some Pentecostal circles is that it is of little importance and should be left to the discretion of the individual. Those who hold such opinions are either ignorant of what the Bible actually teaches or else because of the pressure of worldliness, deliberately and willfully reject scriptural teachings. Nowhere has God ever left clear and express commands to private judgement. The scriptures emphatically teach that a woman should have long hair. It further teaches THAT IT IS A SHAME FOR A WOMAN TO CUT HER HAIR.
Before we launch into the study of this question, it would be well that we fix our minds the actual meaning of the word SHAME. One of the alarming trends readily seen even in our own ranks, ii that to many SIN HAS CEASED TO BE SINFUL AND SHAME IS NO LONGER A REPROACH. In this age of spiritual peril and moral degeneracy we are living so near the world that we have learned to slumber peacefully as she soothes us with her siren song; assimilating her color, assuming her characteristics, and conforming to her image.
Winston’s Dictionary defines the word SHAME as follows: A painful feeling of humiliation caused by the consciousness of guilt or any other evil, immodesty or dishonor, ignominy, mortification, humiliation, reproach, disgraee, abomination.
From the very beginning God has stressed the fundamental difference between man and woman. He has always demanded that a man be manly and the woman should be womanly. It is an abomination in the eyes of God for a man to be effeminate or for a woman to appear masculine. This is the reason why God has condemned women wearing men’s apparel, or of men wearing that which pertains to a woman.
But it can be seen that in the last thirty or forty years, or since he so-called flapper era, the human race has strayed far from God’s original standards of decency and purity, and is doing its best to corrupt itself. For today, the image or ideal of womanhood enshrined on the pedestals of fashion and society is not the modest, Godly, woman of a meek and quiet spirit that has created reverence and respect in the hearts of men of all ages. But rather the opposite, “A cigarette sucking, beerguzzling, cock-tail sipping, slacks and shorts wearing siren, with painted face and frizzled hair, whose every motion and mannerism emphasizes “SEX” with a capital “S.” Impudently and brazenly she pushes herself into a masculine world, then wonders why men do not respect her as they did her grandmother. THANK GOD THAT OUR TRUE PENTECOSTAL WOMEN ARE NOT OF THIS TYPE. It should fill us with a sense of satisfaction as we stop and consider that practically the only place a religious body where women still hold to the biblical standards of godliness and modesty is in the Jesus Name ranks of the Pentecostal church. I need not remind you that the greatest problem confronting the church and the ministry is how to hold the line against the steady encroachment of worldliness.
In the great economy of God or order of the universe, God has established a place for every living creature and every created thing, even a place for the sea, with its bounds set. He created the planets, some of them larger in diameter than our entire solar system, placed them in their orbit never to vary a millionth of a second. He fixed the bounds of the animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, and the angelic host of heaven. Also he has established a place for man and a place for woman. The first sin ever to stain the purity of the universe, was the sin of rebellion. Lucifer through the pride of his heart, rebelled against the authority of God and refused to occupy the position that God had assigned him. He did not want God’s hand over him. Hence the pivot-point around which the whole HAIR QUESTION revolves is the question of HEADSHIP or AUTHORITY. To set forth as clearly as possible just what we mean, let us examine I Cor. 11:3-5, Paul speaking and I quote; “But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ. And the head of the woman is the man. And the head of Christ is God.” “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 shorn.”
In a brief analysis of the above passages of scriptures, let us establish the following..
(l)–That the head of every man (and I am speaking of Christians) is Christ. And man displays his submission to Christ, by his uncovered head, or as we shall see in verses 13, 14, and 15 by wearing his hair short. IT IS A DISHONOR TO CHRIST FOR A MAN TO WEAR HIS HAIR LONG.
(2)–That the head of every woman is man. And a woman displays her submission to man (her head) by her covering or covered head, which aswe see in verse 15 is her long hair. THEREFORE IT IS A DISHONOR TO HER HUSBAND AND HENCE TO HER GOD FOR A WOMAN TO WEAR HER HAIR SHORT.
“THE WEARING OF A VEIL OR HAT”
Let us further note that Paul is not necessarily dealing just with husband and wife; But he speaks in a broader sense of man and woman. Not only are wives to be under subjection to their husbands, but daughters to fathers. God wants a woman to fill a woman’s place and for a man to fill a man’s place.
LONG HAIR IS A SIGN OR SYMBOL OF SUBJECTION ON THE WOMAN’S PART. BOBBED HAIR, IS A SYMBOL OF REBELLION.
In studying the eleventh chapter of I Corinthians, the question is often asked, “WHAT ABOUT WEARING A VEIL OR HAT?” May we answer and say that it was the custom of Eastern women, both then as well as today to wear a veil in public. Only lewd women, harlots, etc., were seen outside their homes without a veil. This was the stablished custom of these countries, and as we have said before, such customs continue in many places even today. BUT THE COVERING OR VEIL HAT GOD INTENDED WOMEN TO WEAR REGARDLESS OF COUNTRY OR CUSTOM, HAS BEEN HER LONG HAIR.
For proof of this statement let us note I Corinthians 11:15-“But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering.
The center reference rendering in the Scofield Bible of the word “COVERING” is “VEIL.” The same is true in Strong’s Concordance, Greek Dictionary, word No. 4018. The word “COVERING” the original Greek was
“PERIBOLAION,” which means “SOMETHING THROWN AROUND ONE, THAT IS MANTLE, VEIL, COVERING, VESTURE.” Therefore, in the light of this, I Corinthians 11:15 could just as easily read, “FOR HER HAIR IS GIVEN HER FOR A VEIL.”
HOW LONG IS LONG HAIR?
Another question that we hear quite often is, HOW LONG MUST HAIR BE TO BE CONSIDERED LONG? We have found that in all too many instances this question is not asked in sincerity; but it is asked by those who are seeking an excuse or loophole to evade the responsibility of bible teaching.
We shall answer as briefly and to the point possible. In
Paul’s teachings on this subject as found in the eleventh chapter of I
Corinthians, only three lengths of hair are mentioned.
(2)–Hair that has been shorn.
(3)–Hair that has been completely shaven.
To clarify any doubt, let us turn to the dictionary and define these various lengths of hair given here. FIRST . . . let us look at the word SHORN. Which is (according to Winston) the past particle of the verb SHEAR. It means to CUT OR CLIP SOMETHING FROM. TO USE CUTTING SCISSORS, SHEARS OR THE LIKE.
The definition of the word SHAVEN means TO CUT CLOSELY, TO SKIM ALONG NEAR THE SURFACE.
Therefore long hair, as God intends the word to mean, IS HAIR THAT HAS NEVER BEEN, CUT, CLIPPED, BURNED, BROKEN, OR TOUCHED BY SCISSORS, SHEARS OR THE LIKE. COMPLETELY NATURAL, UNTOUCHED BY ANY INSTRUMENT. For in the light of this what is the difference whether a person cuts an inch or a foot from their hair. They are still shearing or cutting their hair.
One young lady on reading the above paragraph before the tract was revised wrote me and said, “According to your statement, then I could never have long hair.” “Because I have cut my hair.” Permit me to say that she is trying to read something in the above paragraph that is not there at all. We have always recognized that in such matters judgment begins at the House of the Lord. Or at the time one repents and fully surrenders to God. The thing that counts is not what you have done in the past before coming to God, .. BUT WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW SINCE YOU HAVE COME INTO THE LIGHT? If you are a member of the church and you have been cutting your hair, the thing for you to do is repent. Ask God to forgive you. Lay your scissors aside and make a full consecration. I am sure that you will find the blessings of God much richer. WE CANNOT HOLD TO THE GOD OF FASHION AND SOCIETY AND TO THE GOD OF HEAVEN
AT THE SAME TIME. I know that it is possible for one to thin out part of their hair: to cut it off when it gets long and still have enough to do up and fool most everybody. But God is not fooled.
A touching illustration in connection with this thought can be found in Luke 7:37-38 about the woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried his feet with the hair of her head. She could never have rendered such a beautiful act of utter surrender and of love and devotion had she been a modern woman with short hair.
Furthermore, if the paintings we see today of Christ and his disciples accurately portray the fashions and customs of the early church, then the male disciples of the Lord wore their hair a lot longer than some Pentecostal women do today. As men they were required to wear their hair short; But even so, it usually fell to the shoulders. The same could be said of Paul. His hair would be much longer than the majority of women’s hair today. Yet it was Paul who declared that it is a dishonor to God for a man to wear long hair. Therefore if in New Testament times men wore shoulder-length hair and it was considered short, then long hair for the women must have been hair that had not been cut. A study of contemporary history readily shows us that the artists who painted these pictures were acquainted with the fashions and customs of those times.
BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS:
Let us study further another facet of this question. Note 1 Corinthians 11:10 – (Quote) “FOR THIS CAUSE OUGHT THEWOMAN TO HAVE POWER ON HER HEAD BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS.”
Let us note the center reference for the word “POWER.” The Scofield Bible renders the word, “AUTHORITY.” Or the sign of the husband’s authority.
To further clarify this passage let us quote from the Weymouth Translation. (Quote) “THAT IS WHY A WOMAN OUGHT TO HAVE ON HER HEAD A SYMBOL OF SUBJECTION.”
Moffatt’s Translation of the Bible render it somewhat the same, “THEREFORE IN VIEW OF THE ANGELS, WOMAN HAS TO WEAR A SYMBOL OF SUBJECTION.”
The Amplified Version of the New Testament gives this very interesting rendering. (Quote) “THEREFORE SHE SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO HIS AUTHORITY AND SHOULD HAVE A COVERING ON HER HEAD AS A TOKEN, A SYMBOL OF HER SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY, THAT SHE MAY SHOW REVERENCE AS DO THE ANGELS AND NOT DISPLEASE THEM.”
In the light of this it is needless for us to add that a woman’s long hair is a sign or symbol of not only her subjection to her husband but also to her God.
But what of the Angels, and why does Paul say, “BECAUSE OF THE ANGELS?” let us remember that many of the Angels fell. Satan or Lucifer was one of the brightest Angels in heaven, yet he fell. They did not commit adultery. In view of the glory and riches of heaven they did not steal. The two sins that caused the Angels to fall were PRIDE and REBELLION. Read lsaiah 14:12-17. Stubborn self-will is the cause of rebellion. Seemingly of all the sins that men commit, God deals more harshly with the sin of rebellion than all the other combined. Samuel in reprimanding Saul, reminded him THAT REBELLION WAS AS THE SIN OF WlTCHCRAFT. We know that God in dealing with Witches refused to let them live in the land. May we remind our readers that after a woman has come into the knowledge of the above truth, and then out of stubborn self-will refuses to comply, SHE IS GUILTY OF THE SAME TWO SINS THAT CAUSED THE ANGELS TO FALL: PRIDE…AND…REBELLION.
PRIDE…lest she arouse the world’s ridicule. REBELLION…not only against man (her head), but against Almighty God. If God spared not the Angels, take heed lest he spare not thee.
Returning to the thought of the Angels, surely they are constant spectators of our lives. Some Bible authorities hold that when a woman with bobbed hair kneels to pray in open defiance and rebellion against
the authority of God, thus refusing to occupy the place God has assigned her, that the Angels are tempted to rebel against authority also.
“PAUL’S APPEAL TO LOGIC”
In his discussion of this question, one will note that first Paul spoke of the subjection of a wife to her husband. In being subject to her Husband she was therefore being subject to God. But he goes further. He appeals not only to the fact of God’s attitude, but he appeals to one’s common sense and better judgement, and also to nature itself. He says in Verses 13, 14 and 15, “JUDGE IN YOURSELVES, IS IT COMELY THAT A WOMAN PRAY UNTO GOD UNCOVERED?”
“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.”
Let us apply a little common sense here. If a man, regardless of what he is, whether minister, laymember or deacon would come into the church with his hat on, and during service refuse to take it off, we would raise our hands in holy horror. Our conscience, our sense of decency and propriety, our reverence and respect to God and his house teaches us that for a man to preach or pray or even come into the house of God with unbared head, would be the height of disrespect toward God. We are all convinced that such a deed would dishonor God.
Can we not see that in the light of scriptural teachings it is just as disrespectful, disgraceful and dishonoring to God and man for a woman to pray or prophecy or even sing in the church with short hair. She has
Note again carefully the basis of Paul’s reasonings. (l)–God tells us that it is not proper. (2)–Our better judgement tells us. (3)–And finally nature itself teaches us. A threefold voice; God, conscience and nature, teaching us the shame of the matter.
But the question is asked, “WHAT DOES NATURE TEACH?” The answer should be obvious to all. Man’s hair by nature is short and coarse; whereas, a woman’s hair is thick and fine and extremely abundant. Bald or partially bald men is a common sight, as many men lose their hair, some of them in their youth. But BALD HEADED WOMEN are very rare. May I ask the reader, “How many bald or partially bald women have you seen your life-time?” Few I dare say. Is this not proof that nature has made a difference between man and woman?
IF ANY MAN SEEM TO BE CONTENTIOUS:
Coming to Paul’s final statement on this question, I quote verse 16–“BUT IF ANY MAN SEEM TO BE CONTENTIOUS, WE HAVE NO SUCH CUSTOM, NEITHER THE CHURCHES OF GOD.”
To the carnally minded seeking a loophole, this verse of scripture has become a snare. Many wrest or twist it to their own destruction. Their argument runs somewhat as follows: “Oh well even Paul said, we have no custom to compel a woman to wear her hair long. It’s merely a matter of individual interpretation or taste.”
How absurd. Paul said nothing of the kind. Again we say that if we seek hard enough it is not too difficult to find a loophole whereby we might escape the responsibility of Bible teachings.
What did Paul actually say? What did he mean when he said, “We have no such custom?” No custom of what? What was the custom for women’s hair in the early New Testament Church? The answer can be plainly seen. THE ONLY ACCEPTED CUSTOM FOR WOMEN’S HAIR IN THE EARLY NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH WAS FOR THEM TO WEAR IT LONG, AND NOT TO CUT THEIR HAIR. Bobbed hair as far as the world and fashion is concerned is very new, having become universally accepted only in the last thirty or forty years. In New Testament days only harlots were seen with shorn hair. I do not hesitate in saying that bobbed hair is unscriptural and an utter reproach to New Testament Christianity.
But to refute any ground for argument, let us examine the 16th verse of I Corinthians as given by other translations. First let us note the Moffatt Translation and I quote, “IF ANYONE PRESUMES TO RAISE OBJECTION ON THIS POINT . . . WELL, I ACKNOWLEDGE NO OTHER MODE OF WORSHIP, AND NEITHER DO THE CHURCHES OF GOD.”
The Amplified Version renders it thus, “NOW IF ANYONE IS DISPOSED TO BE ARGUMENTATIVE AND CONTENTIOUS ABOUT THIS, WE HOLD TO AND RECOGNIZE NO OTHER CUSTOM THAN THIS, NOR DO THE CHURCHES OF GOD GENERALLY.”
And last of all, do you think for a moment that Paul would write fifteen verses of scripture, condemning the cutting of women’s hair, telling the shame and reproach of such a condition, and then end his discussion by denying the whole matter. Such an interpretation is not only foolish, but it does violence to the word of God.
THE REASONS WHY GODLY
WOMEN SHOULD HAVE LONG HAIR:
(l)–The first reason is that long hair is a woman’s glory. Note I Cor. 11:15–The word GLORY . . . as given in the original Greek means DIGNITY, HONOR, PRAISE, WORSHIP.
(2)–It marks her as a woman of a meek and quiet spirit. It shows her subjection to recognized authority, that she knows her place as a Godly woman.
(3)–Because it is a dishonor to her husband, her father and to her God
to pray with uncovered head. (Note her hair is her covering).
(4)–Because it was the recognized custom of the New Testament Church in Paul’s day, and of our Pentecostal Church today. Surely any thoughtful Christian wants to walk in harmony with the Church.
(5)–Because it is a shame for a woman to have short hair.
(6).-Because of the Angels. Some of them fell through the sins of pride and rebellion. They refused to occupy the place God ordained for them. Think of the Holy Angels of God who are constant spectators of our lives.
(7)–Because God tells a woman it is wrong for her to cut her hair.
(8)–Because a woman’s conscience and better judgement tell her it is wrong for her to cut her hair.
(9)–Because even nature teaches that it is a shame for a woman to have short hair.
(10)–Because the Bible teaches us not to conform to the image of this world, but to be transformed. Surely every Godly woman knows what the world considers the image or ideal of womanhood today. Their ideal has frizzled hair and painted face. They have traded virtue for sophistication; honor and self-respect for popularity. Jesus said, “IF YOU ARE ASHAMED OF ME AND MY WORDS, IN THIS SINFUL AND ADULTEROUS GENERATION, I’LL BE ASHAMED OF YOU BEFORE MY FATHER AND HIS HOLY ANGELS.”
Ladies, are you ashamed of your mark of virtue, your dignity, your praise, your honor, your long natural hair?
(11)–Because it is a stumbling block to others for a woman to cut her hair. The world knows our Pentecostal standards, and when sinners come into our services and see those taking part who are not measuring to these standards, it causes them to lose confidence in the church.
For example, a worldly boy commented to one of our Christian girls, relative to women cutting their hair yet refusing to wear make-up, he said, “SHORT HAIR AND PALE FACES JUST DO NOT GO TOGETHER.”
(12)–Because of one’s spirituality, Is is a shame for a woman to pray with short hair. Today you may not need God. But one day you will need Him more than anything else in the world. In death, in distress or sickness “HOW WILL YOU BE ABLE TO KNEEL BEFORE HIM IN SINCERITY WITH YOUR SHORT HAIR A VERY BANNER OF REBELLION, MOCKING HIM AND DEFYING HIM EVEN AS YOU SEEK TO LAY HOLD OF HIM IN PRAYER?
You have defied the teachings of your Pastor, your church, the Bible, your own conscience, of nature itself, the angelic host of heaven, and finally God himself, to maintain your way.
(13)–Because of the Sacrament: Approaching the cup of communion in such a condition. Anything that would make us unworthy to take the cup of communion, would likewise separate us from God.
(14)–How can you afford to take chances? Especially in these uncertain days when Atomic Destruction may be the earth’s sad lot, or else the Lord may come any day?
God’s humble people do not have to be hounded to be make to live Holy.
They are glad to be obedient to his word.
QUESTION OFTEN ASKED:
1.–What about my little girl? Should I cut her hair.
ANSWER: Little girls soon grow up to be young women. The training and discipline that you give you child now will determine what kind of woman she will be whether she will grow up to be a Christian, or a modern twentieth century creature doomed to despair. You are the mother; that character will be molded by you. Your example and teaching will determine in a great measure the outcome of your child’s life. Mother, you will be responsible before God. For the Child’s sake, her future and eternal welfare, don’t cut her hair.
2.–Does God have a double standard? One for the young and one for the Old?
ANSWER:–Surely no one should have to ask such a question. Common sense teaches us, along with the Holy Scriptures, that God’s standard is the same to all, young and old, rich and poor. Don’t let the Devil deceive you into believing that just because you are young that God has or will judge you by a different standard. Only a slight knowledge of the word of God teaches us the foolishness of such a contention.
3.–How shall I fix my hair?
ANSWER: The Bible does not give specific instructions on how to fix or do up your hair. It does tell you not to cut your hair. My answer would be that a woman’s hair looks a lot better done up. And if allowed to grow to its full length, it will have to be done up. Let your hair-do be decent, sensible, modest and in keeping with a sincere Christian professing Holiness.
4–Is it wrong to thin my hair?
ANSWER: Long hair is hair that has never been touched by any cutting instrument, at least it should not have been touched by any instrument since the day that you surrendered to God. What is the difference
between cutting or thinning or shaving or shearing or burning or breaking or whatever methods one may use to keep their hair short? You are cutting your hair, are you not? Why seek a loophole in God’s word?
Why seek to evade the responsibility of the scriptures? Why invite trouble? Why live so near the edge? Make a full consecration and God will Bless you for it.