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November 19, 2002

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Q/A Topics:
Long Male Hair and Ministry? (1Tim3:1-7)

READER QUESTION:
please address the topic of men with long hair. i have shoulder length hair and have been a christian for almost 30 years. my pastor will not let me be placed in leadership unless i cut my hair. please advise. thanks

VW ANSWER:
Typically, such attitudes seem to come from two sources. Many of these types of pastors also tend to have a "military" background, where the close-cut haircut is the -only- 'decent' appearance to their minds. And they also glean from 1Cor11:14 speaking of "nature", long hair and "dishonor". Now, I will readily confess that I do not yet fully understand that chapter by Paul. There are several things he says in that passage that don't 'seem' to conform to things we might read elsewhere in Scripture.

The notable thing about Absalom was that his "long hair" is what finally caused him to get caught in the tree branches, and captured/killed, when he was fleeing from David's forces. (2Sam14:26 & ch18) And God's command regarding Samson was that he was not to cut his hair. (Jug13:5) Now, especially, since God 'commanded' that Samson's hair not be cut, it should be obvious that a man having long hair is not the problem. And Absalom was not condemned for his long hair.

If I were to suggest anything on this topic it would be God's exhortation "A woman shall not wear anything that is fitting to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garments, for all who do so are an abomination unto Jehovah your God." (De22:5) The matter of cross-gender confusion.

I remember back in the late 60s, early 70s, sometimes walking behind people, seeing somebody ahead of me with the most 'gorgeous' long flowing hair, thinking in my mind, 'what a beautiful -girl-'...only to pass them (as I was walking faster), and get around to their front to find a full-faced BEARD! The whole "unisex" -thing- that was being pushed back then. Men should be men, and women women...and there should be no questioning or mistaking 'what' a person is seeing.

I have a relative whom I have seen once in awhile, rarely. Every time I've seen him, I've noticed he has long hair, tied back in a pony tail...but whatever angle one would see him from, there is no mistaking that he is a 'man'. One of my customers runs a nutrition store (for you in the Spokane area: I was noticing yesterday that he is appearing in his own recent local TV ads), and is a body-builder (his arms likely larger/stronger than my legs!), and has long hair, tied back in a pony tail. Many of the macho body-builder and wrestler types have long hair. But there is never any mistaking them for 'women'...they are -obviously- 'men'.

Other than what Paul says in 1Cor ch11 (which I don't rightly fully understand), I don't see any Scriptural basis to condemn a man for having long hair. But Scripture is quite clear in many passages about keeping the genders distinct. A man being a man, and a woman being a woman. About men not being like women, such that two men are together, etc. But, just as men's and women's clothing are different, their hair is also going to be different.

And, since we're on this subject (I hope you don't mind, I'm going to use this for a Q/A item), there is the subject of women's hair, which I think we've addressed in the past. The same pastors that say men's haircuts should be, essentially, 'military' style, also say women's hair should be "long"...and they define "long" as being at least 'shoulder-length', if not longer.

There, too, I don't see anything in Scripture that exhorts the getting out of a tape measure to determine if it is long 'enough' or not. Again, a woman should appear like a woman. There are many women's hair styles that work better for some women that are only a few inches long...not even reaching the shoulder...-but- there is no mistaking that they are "women's" hair styles. And, if a person were to 'judge' a woman by her hair length, what of the poor woman who had cancer, and lost -all- her hair from the chemo-therapy? Is she suddenly less-pleasing to God?

However, it should be clear that those of the lesbian -alternative- "lifestyle", who crop their hair, and wear 'male' clothing, are an abomination to God, along with men who get themselves up in "drag".

Let men be men, and women be women. That's the way God created them, "male and female He created them". (Gen1:27)

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What part of 1Cor11:14 don't you understand?

READER COMMENTS:
I believe you are in error in your answer to "What about long hair on men?" Don't forget that God "winked" at some sin in times past, (Acts 17:30)

VW ANSWER:
Oh really!?! You apparently missed where -God- 'told' Samson's parents not to cut Samson's hair. (Jug13:5) And did you not realize that Samuel also had long hair? (1Sam1:11)

So...apparently God 'winked' (lit: overlooked) at Himself??? If this is an "ignorance" that God "overlooked"...then, are you saying that God was "ignorant" in the O.T.???

'Careful what you are saying, there....!

[VW: The above person also went into what he considers to be an -old- vs -new- "covenant" list of Jesus' comments about "you heard it said in old time...but I say to you" from Matthew ch5; from his context I think suggesting that long hair was part of the O.T. covenant, but that short hair is "new" covenant. But even in those things, even if Jesus was changing the 'covenant', which is not entirely correct (too long a topic to address here/now), Jesus never once addresses the length of hair. A prescribed length of hair was not even one of the commandments of the Old Covenant...-for- it to be 'changed'. How does one 'change' something which didn't exist?]

FURTHER COMMENTS:

However... having said all this, let's look at it from another standpoint. In the O.T. God gave a command, and I think the above person will also agree that Jesus did not rescind it, nor did Paul address or change it. God told Israel that they were not to make "cuttings" in their flesh. Well, here it is... "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor put any etched marks on you: I am Jehovah." (Lev19:28) "They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the corners of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh." (Lev21:5) These, being pagan practices of their idolatry.

We see this today...we have addressed the matter of tattoos in the past. A Christian should not go out and get a tattoo. In addition to defacing the skin, tattoos often are marks of allegiance. Many do it simply for the "artistic" value. But there are many that, by their appearance, 'associate' the wearer with whatever it is they are promoting, whether their loving devotion to someone, or allegiance to rock bands, or the satan/dragon they represent, etc.

In the same way, there are certain types of beards and goatees today that are characteristic to certain allegiances. Back in the 60s, certain types of beards were considered to be in allegiance with Castro-communism. Today the goatees are trimmed out into certain shapes that symbolize demon-worship. And a Christian would not want to trim his beard in such a fashion...because it is an understood 'symbol' of satanism. Somebody seeing him with such a trimmed beard could easily assume he was a satan-worshiper. (Speaking of which...have you noticed how many so-called "christians" are sporting these goatees recently??) (And further, while I was out shopping last night, I was reminded that there are 'several' of these facial hair 'forms' that indicate satanism. I was reminded of them when I saw a person sporting one of the longer warlock-like beards clear down to his stomach. There are the more trim-looking goatees, and the longer beards; each representing different emphases in allegiance to some aspect of satanism)

In the same way, the length and style of hair also has certain 'tendencies'. If a man has short[ER] hair, but goops it up with gunk, and splays it all over, every-which-direction, to -purposely- look 'messy'...even though it may technically be "short", the presentation associates the wearer with certain "punk" elements. Other sorts of long male hair, like Ossi Ozborn or Gene Simmons (?), has the associative connotation of the satanism to which they are associated. But also, with many of these, not only is their hair long with its distinctive ratty, full appearance...these people also usually wear "black"...and have demonic tattoos. But then on the other hand, i've seen some who were equally 'satanist' whose heads were shaved 'bald'.

The question isn't so much the "length" (in inches/centimeters) of hair, but what is one's 'associative' appearance? Is a person who calls himself a "Christian" getting himself up to look like a Punk-rocker? (with -short- hair) Or does he look like Ossi Ozborn? (with -long- hair) Or is he doing the scalp-cut, leaving facial stubble in the manner of many sodomites? (again, -short- hair)

The Believer is not to be like the world. We certainly cannot leave the world, and there are some things we cannot avoid. If it was reported that Gene Simmons was driving a Camaro (I don't know 'what' he drives)... another person driving a Camaro would not suddenly be considered a satanist. A Camaro is a "car". (Kinda like the person a few years ago who angrily unsubscribed because I ride a motorcycle! For you newer ones, it's a Q/A item at the website entitled, "Biker Paul"...if you've seen that one picture at the website, I'm sure you'd be hard-pressed to attach the label "biker" to me) But there -are- certain things by which satanists, rockers, and others characterize their appearance, IN ORDER TO BE KNOWN AS what they are. (Militaries wear distinctive uniforms, sports teams wear distinctive uniforms...to 'unify' their 'appearance' so that it is easily recognized 'whom' they represent) And their followers dress and make themselves appear like their idols, in order to associate themselves with the ones they worship. -Those- characteristics a Believer in Jesus Christ is to -NOT- participate in. Yes, the 'cover' -does- indicate what's 'inside' the book. It is what is in the heart that comes out in desire, to make oneself look a certain way...emulating their idols.

But the 'length' of hair is not the only parameter. These worldly associations can be entered into equally with short, medium and long hair. It is not the length of hair...but the -HEART-. The heart, in turn, will be responsible for a person's OVER-ALL appearance. Is the Believer making himself appear like the world's favorite rock/satan prophet, or something that is "clean" and "pure"?

But again...if the mere 'length' of male hair was the problem, then we must blame God for a double-standard, because He 'commanded' certain ones to not cut their hair (in other words...let it grow long). A Nazirite was a special person who vowed a vow before God...was, by definition, "holy". Part of the vow was to not cut the hair during the time of separation. So, how can the associated 'long' hair, also be a "sin"? Ridiculous! We must use a bit of 'reasoning' as we "rightly divide" God's Word.

So...back to the very original question as posed by the subscriber, for whom I have no idea what 'his' appearance is; so these comments are not to 'him', but generically to everybody, here. If I was a pastor of a congregation, and somebody was of the membership, who had long full hair, and was always wearing black and could never appear anywhere without their 'shades' over their eyes...I would also not allow such a person to hold any kind of 'position' in the assmbly. In such a situation, I would agree with his pastor. Now, if this congregation was in a more 'red-neck' area, where the predominance was loggers, construction workers and whatnot, where everybody's hair tended to be on the longer side...well, in such communities likely nobody would be wearing suits to 'church' either, and I would likely wear (clean) jeans and a shirt, too, along with them. (Although, my hair would remain short. But that's always merely been a personal preference on my part.)

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Jesus had Long Hair?

READER COMMENT:
Let's not forget that long hair for men was generally accepted until the Romans conquered Europe. The short man's haircut was, if I remember correctly, a 'Roman' style haircut.

VW COMMENT:
And Paul's writing in 1Cor11:14 was to predominantly gentiles under the Roman empire.

READER COMMENT:
This next comment does not hold much water, but, if long hair on men is unacceptable, then why do we Christians continue to buy paintings of Christ that show him to have long hair?

VW:
EXACTLY!

However also, "we Christians" should -NOT- be 'buying' such paintings. One of the Commandments was to not have any "likeness" (Ex20:4) and God reminds Israel "..for you saw no form on the day Jehovah spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire.." (De4:15) Now, while people did 'see' Jesus, we do not have any authentic preservations of what He might have looked like. We don't know what Jesus looked like (He certainly did NOT look like an effeminate 'hippy', as usually depicted!)...and so, we should not be making up something based on our own imaginations, to suit our own whims. We are not to worship images, but God, Himself. Having those pictures, displaying Jesus as a "hippy" is not only a form of idolatry; the act of -portraying- Him -as- a "hippy", and everything the hippy movement stood/stands for, is actually 'blasphemous'!

Did Jesus have long hair? We don't know. Since He did drink wine, He obviously was not carrying on as though with a Nazirite vow. Those who preach the short-hair theology say His hair was short. But often the short (Roman) hair is also associated with clean-shaven face; and we know from prophecy that Jesus had a beard...for it to be "plucked". (Is50:6) So, was the rest of His hair also longer...since He was a "Jew", not Roman? We are not told. To say one way or another is to put words into the Scriptures that are, simply, not there. And since Israel was under Roman occupation, it really could have been either way.

So anyway, yes...how many of those who preach the "short hair" doctrine, also have these pictures? If you do, and have (whoever you may be)...you are a hypocrite. Jesus was -not- a "hippy" as those pictures typically portray Him. Pretty much everything that hippy-dom stood for, and their successors stand for today, is anti what Jesus taught. Jesus did not teach "free love", rebellion and occult meditative shamanistic mantra-style self-awareness and spirit (demon)-filled so-called "worship". He taught, "Go and SIN NO MORE" (Jn8:11), and that the Godly life does not consist of 'appearances', but of "righteous judgment". (Jn7:24) coming out of the "heart". (Mt15:19,12:35)

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Summary and Practical Application

I've gotten several e-mails from those giving "reasonings" as to why long hair on men is wrong (even "sin"), quoting some commentary, or some views held by tradition, etc. But nobody has given any support FROM SCRIPTURE on the matter...because it's not there. (except for whatever the context of 1Cor11:14 may be; and Ezek44:20 speaking of the future Millennial kingdom priests in Israel that are neither to "shave their heads nor let their hair grow long; but they shall keep their hair clipped and trimmed")

Now having said that...taking everything that's been addressed recently, there are many 'ways' to have long hair. 'Not going to rehash what's been said. But let's make practical application here...

If your long 'male' hair makes you look like a warlock, it is 'sin'; CUT IT. If your long hair makes you look "effeminate" (1Cor6:9), it is 'sin'; CUT IT. If your long hair makes you look like a hippy (understanding what hippies are all about), it is 'sin'; CUT IT. If your long hair associates you with the so-called "martial arts" of the eastern religions, it is 'sin'; CUT IT OFF. If your long hair 'associates' you with any sort of evil aspect of the world's system, and you don't want (or don't know how) to have it kept in a non-sinfully suggestive way, then CUT IT OFF. If you name the name of Christ, do not have your appearance make others assume that you 'might' have associations with the world's sinful/pagan elements. Cut it short. Short is pretty much always "safe".

I expect some thought I was 'promoting' long hair, by my initial answers. Not by a long shot! But it is interesting to see certain reactions, given non-Scripturally, based on 'traditions' and suppositions, instead of Truth.

Satan has taken pretty much everything God established as being 'good', and perverted it. Perhaps that's why the future priests of Israel will have "trimmed" hair? Both shaven and long (along with the rest of the person's appearance), anymore, have satanic associations of this manner or that. Thus, a 'trimmed' head would be in contrast to that which satan has perverted.

'Nuff said...

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