Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Question & Answer on Headcovering
Lori asks: Have you ever been confronted with the "two or three witnesses" argument against the headcovering? A friend of ours was at one time convinced that unless a commandment appears two or three times in the Scripture (thereby constituting the "two or three witnesses"), the matter hasn't been fully "established" as a truth... (see Deut 19:15)
I have heard that there are Christian denominations that set policy that way.
Some groups decide that if a teaching appears both in the Old Testament and again in the New Testament then they will obey it.
Some groups agreed amongst themselves that if a teaching is written a total of 2 times in the New Testament, then they will obey it. Some groups have even said three times in the NT and then they will obey it.
To me these are man-made policies. I once attended a church that followed one of the above methods. It was the elders who decided to do things that way.
I personally feel that I will personally stand before God---in fact I already do---and that my obedience will be laid bare before HIM. Even now He sees all. My heart, my motives, my actions. He sees what I decide to obey and what I cast aside as un-needed or not pertaining to me.
I personally don't think that I can "fool" the Lord God for one second and He will know if I try to "hide behind" my elders at my local assembly and try to claim that I was following what they had set as policy.
Make an extreme example and it gets easier to understand. If the elders at my local assembly set a policy that is sinful, clearly sinful (insert your own sin) and I do that under their authority then I still am sinning.
The other place in Scripture where the words "2 or 3 witnesses" are used is here:
Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. ~~ I Tim 5
That teaching safeguards an elder from one liar (with a false accusation) who could ruin their reputation and has nothing to do with whether we will obey a clear teaching from I Cor 11.
The headcovering teaching was obeyed for 2000 years. Christian believers followed the teaching until the 1960's when all manner of sin emerged in Western Society. Bra burning was in style as women marched in the streets. There was that misunderstanding about what the Catholics did and did not change about headcovering at the same time.
To not obey I Cor 11 is a new teaching. The funny part is that a lot of churches do obey the second half of I Cor 11 and they even read it every Sunday as they take the Lord's Supper.
So many New Testament passages could be set aside and not obeyed if mankind follows the 2 or 3 "mentions" and decided that was some kind of oracle.
Every Christian following Christ needs to do just that. Follow Him. Seek Him.
Pray and read the Bible and you'll find that many times you have to ignore human teaching when it conflicts with Biblical teaching.