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Ask A Pastor: Head Coverings

The Question:

“What about the topic of women wearing hats in church?”


The short answer is that in the FRC there is no agreement among us on women wearing hats in church (official or otherwise). Some see the command in 1 Corinthians 11 as cultural and no longer applicable, and others see it as a command given to all generations. If you visit a few different FRC churches this difference will be quite apparent.

A longer answer can be found if you read through  some articles on our FRC denominational website,, and messages that have been broadcast on our denominational radio program, the Banner of Truth.

In one article (a ‘Banner of Truth’ radio message) the question of whether or not head covering is required is described as “a debatable question,” and 1 Corinthians 11 described as, “a difficult passage…” to interpret. And, “the main issue here is not head coverings, but the divinely ordained principle of headship.”

Elsewhere in that same article it says this: “We see that the issue of head covering is not quite so simple as some people think. It is mentioned only once in the New Testament, which makes it very dubious as a foundation on which to build a doctrine.”

Read more here:

Another article (a speech given for the FRC Student Society) comes at it from a different angle and asks us why we still require males to remove their hats in prayer, but do not require females to wear them. And calls us to return to something that we have “forgotten.”

Read more here:

Another article (an editorial in ‘The Messenger’) simply points out our disagreement, and calls for us to allow each other to apply the creation principle of male headship differently: “We may also disagree on whether or not a veil or some other head-covering is required today as a symbol of a woman’s submission. These are specific applications of Biblical principles which do no violence to those principles themselves.”

Read more here:

If you are unsure what your local church holds to (or most likely why it holds to what it does—because you can probably tell what it holds to), I would encourage you to go to your pastor or an elder and ask them. In the end, as the articles quoted above all say: It’s never good to do something just for tradition’s sake. Go study it for yourself and be convinced from God’s Word of what you believe.


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