Saturday, July 14, 2012

What does the Bible say about men with long hair? / Does God have a standard for His men?

1 Corinthians 11:14-15

14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?

In this passage of scripture, Paul does not mean “nature” in the sense of “the natural world” or “Mother Nature.”  Obviously, Paul cannot mean that since in the world of animals all males do not have short hair and all females do not have long hair.  All we need to do is to look at the male lion, a common biblical animal, with a bushy mane and female lion with no mane at all.  Moreover, there is evidence that for first-century men to have long hair was considered a sign of effeminacy [characteristics of being a woman] and perhaps even homosexuality—something that Paul in Romans 1 considers contrary to nature.  When Paul says by “nature” he means how naturally it was for folks of his culture to associate long hair with femininity and short hair with masculinity.  Cross-gender behavior was not uncommon in the first century.

Paul claims that the long hair of a woman “is her glory.”  The way Paul is using the word “glory” in this text refers to the beauty of women’s long hair.  Paul understood, as most of us do, that Long hair can make a woman look attractive and beautiful and is identified as one of her important feminine qualities.  This fact is even true today.  All we need do is look at the attention and the money that women invest in their hair.

However, men who want to take on the feminine qualities of a woman, whether by wearing long hair, long braids or ornamented hair decorations are to be naturally considered effeminate, thus discredited as a man [shameful].

When it is so important for a male to have long dreadlocks or stylishly long hair hanging on his shoulder or down his back as if he where a female, he is taking on the characteristic of a female and thus has dishonored himself as a male.

Regardless of the cultural, social or personal reasons for a man wearing long hair, it is not a trait that the apostles approve of for born-again men.

As for whether this practice will condemn you to hell, I cannot say.  But is it that important to you that you would risk your eternal soul on a hair style?

The question that we should all ask ourselves is, “Do I want to meet the standards of God’s holiness or the stylish trends of the world?”

Do you have a heart for God or a heart for the things of the World?


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