Before we continue with our verse by verse discussion through 1 Corinthians 11, I wanted to add a note about what some consider to be the universal role of male headship. In universal male headship the male is the head over every woman. Recently I got an email from a male apologist named Sandy Simpson who believes this way. He directed me to his online article that in part reads:
THE HEAD OF EVERY WOMAN IS THE MAN, THE HEAD OF EVERY WIFE IS THE HUSBAND
This verse is talking specifically about the husband and wife. But in a larger sense the head of the man is Christ, the head of the woman is man. The Bible teaches that Christ is the first head over man, the Christian husband the second head under Christ, with the elders of the church the third authority in the life of every Christian woman.
1 Corinthians 11:3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Now I do respect Sandy a lot as he has worked hard to expose the aberrant teaching and false teachers that have crept into the church. Anytime someone has a heart for the body of Christ and wants to protect the sheep from being led astray by the wolves in our midst I can applaud them in their ministry. It is a thankless job and I appreciate Sandy for the hard work that he is doing. I have especially appreciated the DVDs that he has produced through his ministry one in particular called The New Apostolic Reformation which is a multi DVD set documenting the teachings and influence of the International Coalition of Apostles (New Apostolic Reformation) which came out of the Latter Rain movement and has infiltrated into our churches. The clips in the DVDs showing the teaching of the new “Apostles” and “Prophets” of this movement are eye-opening. My only criticism of the series as a DVD editor myself, is that some parts of the commentary are in need of good graphics, a change of scenery would also be helpful to keep it flowing and it needs a more eye-pleasing way to present some of the quotes. The words of the commentary are often scrolled in a single line across the bottom of the picture at a fast pace and it is impossible to read without getting sea-sick.
However, while I appreciate Sandy as a brother in Christ, I strongly disagree with him when he writes on his web site that 1 Corinthians 11:3 teaches that a man is the “head” of every woman. Sandy makes it specific by applying this to the church where the elders of the church are each to be the head of every Christian woman. Here is how that would come across as a picture:
But scripture doesn’t say that a woman has more than two heads. Jesus is her head as Jesus is the head of every member of the body of Christ and her husband is her head. Does scripture say that an unmarried woman has as her head every male? No it doesn’t. Does scripture say that an elder or leader in the church is the head over every woman? No, not all. To say “yes” would be reading into scripture. The “head” is a very special relationship and to put every male or every Christian male into the special “head” position with a female actually takes away that very special and unique relationship that the husband has with his wife.
One Pastor told me that he is the “covenantal head of the (local) church”. I was floored when I heard that! I asked him to show me from scripture where a Pastor was ever called the “head” of the church let alone the “covenantal head”. The “head” is indeed a covenant relationship but the covenant is with the bridegroom and his bride. Our bridegroom, Jesus Christ is in relationship with his bride as head and no human should ever claim that relationship even in a local church.
I asked this Pastor to show me from scripture where any man other than a husband or Jesus Christ, the husband of the church, is ever called “head”. I am still waiting. I don’t think he will find a scripture because I have never seen it.
Last post we talked about the meaning of “head” from 1 Corinthians 11 and how important it is to understand the meaning from the context. I would like to add that the importance of “head” in association to the “body” is always one of relationship. I sincerely believe that when men try to insert themselves by calling themselves “head” of all women when they are not in relationship as the woman’s husband, they have stepped outside the boundary of scripture.
If scripture wanted to tell us that a man is the head of all women, then Paul certainly would have said that. Instead Paul said “the man” is the head of a singular “woman“. Universal male headship may be a tradition, but we must test all of these traditions by scripture and this tradition is found without scriptural support.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;