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Author Topic: It's different in there: McCotter & Headcoverings  (Read 35304 times)
Miss Current
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« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2007, 05:09:35 pm »

Thanks Dan and Nate. Your responses mean a lot to me. Nate, since you about have this blog memorized, can you find a comment of mine from earlier this week where I listed 5 or 6 comments of mine, their post name and category too. I felt like these were the most descriptive of where I am coming from, and shows my heart…which Dave can’t help but be drawn to if he approaches this in an attitude of prayer.

Remember guys, I don’t have anything to do with GC and never have. So hopefully any baggage of this blog site can be left out of the conversation if possible. Print all my comments off that I listed and have them ready for a discussion.

Nate, this can be your “Pre-interview” of Jim. Remember the truth…remember my heart as you enter your discussion.

I will pray much for the meeting.

Dan, we have not met. I have had extensive contact with Jim over the years.
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Miss Current
nateswinton
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« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2007, 05:09:48 pm »

Miss Current,

I’ll look around for your comment tomorrow afternoon and see what I can find.
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Gretchen
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« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2007, 05:10:58 pm »

I was in a midwestern church that was direct fruit of the Blitz, and McCotter used to come speak at our retreats. I found him personally, and his virtual presence (quotes hung on walls, etc), to be creepy, but it annoyed me that people outside the church called him a cult leader, so I tried to deal. He got scratched out of my address book, as it were, only because I found his messages at retreats to be rambling and hard to follow. I preferred teachers who began at the beginning, went on till they came to the end, and then stopped. It was also quite obvious by the time he left to do the radio stations that he was pretty much of a loose cannon, and I cannot imagine why such seemingly sane people as Clark and Martindale would continue to speak of him with unreserved admiration.
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Angry
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« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2007, 05:11:55 pm »

Dan -

It is understandable if this request is too touchy, but here goes….

Do you dare to ask your Father what ever happened to the “Book of Government” that was promised in the Weakness Paper of ‘91?

Thank you for giving us the insight you have thus far -

Angry
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nateswinton
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2007, 05:12:07 pm »

Angry,

I asked Dave that a few months ago. I must have forgotten to tell you guys (I’m sorry). They drafted it and he has most of it in his office. I think the decision in the end though was that it was going to be taken legalistically, and after several years things moved to a more careful approach to scripture and all of your favorite word - “autonomy”.

I dunno if this is off-topic, but I was talking to my mom yesterday, and she was going to IA State while McCotter was there. She remembered ISU Bible Study and McCotter’s crazy preaching on campus. She was in InterVarsity at the time, and all the normal-ish (this was the 70’s) christians were kinda freaked out by the ISU Bible Study crowd. She talked about how “women basically had to be brainless” with them and “they were pretty exclusive towards the other groups on campus”. I love my mom, but she exaggerates sometimes, and women’s right’s is a big deal to her, and always has been.

Just wanted to throw that little story out there. She realized for the first time yesterday that the group I’m working with is connected to ISU Bible study. She was kinda wierded out, but she’s always been wierded out by my life, so no biggie Smiley
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Dan
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2007, 05:12:30 pm »

Angry,



I’ll clarify on this today for you. I was just re-reading the statement of weaknesses, and I think your questions about the book of government make ALOT of sense. The ways listed for a former member to voice any sort of complaint, ect about the past are to either talk to the pastor/former church or follow the procedures fro the book of government. (kinda hard if is doesn’t exist.) I will ask not just about the book, but if even just some general procedures of any kind are drawn up.
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AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2007, 05:13:27 pm »

Nate in terms of “weird” at ISU Bible Study… didn’t the women used to wear headcoverings or scarves. What some women told me is that they kept a little basket of scarves by the door and girls would grab one and put it one when they got there.

Now… don’t know if that’s true. But it certainly wouldn’t be the only group that believes women should have their heads covered while praying. However, I could see where “ordinary” Christians might be weirded out by this.

I can definitely see where the radical preaching also would have scared people.

In addition, in a recent Faithwalkers sermon Rick Whitney and Tim Rude, Rick mentions something to the effect, “We had just asked pastor if it was okay for a group of us guys to live together.” That was the jist… not an exact quote. Anyway, this sort of permission asking probably also would have been seen by others as extremely strange…. which of course IT IS.

I just keep looking back on my own college years and how influential they were in my life and how the “becoming independent” part has influenced me forever, and it makes me so sad for the people that went from their parents authority to a pastor’s or church’s authority.

It’s UnAmerican, it’s unhealthy, and it is weird to have to ask for permssion. For people saved into GCM, I would like to reiterate… “In most churches in America, you do not need to ask permission for anything. This is not a mainstream behavior. This is very unusual and you should be on the lookout for this.”
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Glad to be free.
Kirsten
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2007, 05:13:39 pm »

Agatha — I’m not sure about all the churches in the movement, but at least in Ames up to some point in the early/mid 80s, women did wear headcoverings during prayer meetings. A few women (maybe 3 or 4 I’ve known thru the years) still do based on personal conviction.
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exshep
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2007, 05:13:53 pm »

That is interesting. I do not remember seeing the headcoverings on women in the Columbus church gatherings on campus. I have attend both home groups and on campus worship services and never saw it. Is it possible that it was not done when “newcomers” or visitors were around, so as not to freak them out?

I do see it a fellowship I visit today from time to time. A couple of women do. It does not seem to be mandated. I would have never noticed until the thread came up.

This is really the first I have heard of the headcoverings. Interesting. I would be interested if anyone else saw it outside of the Iowa church.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
mamie
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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2007, 05:14:10 pm »

I hope you’ll indulge me while I share what I think is a hilarious story (and apologies upfront if it offends you - I don’t mean it that way). I got this secondhand, but it was from a reliable source…

When some out of town GCers were visiting Ames in the olden days, Jim McCotter brought them to his mom’s house. The “sisters” didn’t have what his mom considered appropriate head coverings, so his mom tore up paper napkins for them to put on their heads…(I should re-post this in under “Legalism”). Ever time I picture these 20-something women with a hunk of a Bounty sheet perched on their heads, it cracks me up, for some reason….

It does illustrate something I’ve wondered about for a very long time….how many of the practices, beliefs and values held up in the early days of the movement (and, in some places, still strongly advocated by those who are still leaders)were not “from the Lord,” as the leaders claimed (and no doubt believed), but were the result of the influence of their upbringing, their midwestern culture, the relationship with their mother or father (can’t we blame most of our quirks on our parents after all? :-) ), their age, their [blank]…. I think most of us have no idea how much of what we think of as our own independent thoughts, beliefs and convictions have been shaped by our early environment, experiences and relationships.

That IS why I am always skeptical when someone so firmly states that they KNOW what God says or thinks or wants, either based on their interpretation of a biblical passage or, more shaky still, what God told them in their quiet time. And that firm conviction seems to have been a trait of the leaders in the early days and still carried over by some.

Wouldnt it be great to hear a GC leader say, “Hmmm…I’m not really sure about that,” or “Well, this is what I think that passage means, but there are other believers who differ,” or “This is my preference, but it has as much to do with my personality/age/temperment/experiences as anything”? Maybe some leaders do talk that way, but I know there are those that absolutely do not. They would call it conviction. I think it’s spiritual pride.
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exshep
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« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2007, 05:14:31 pm »

Now I’d sell my cat’s soul for a couple hours with him

I doubt I would go that far, but I can see where you are coming from. Anybody who knows me personally is aware I have two pure bred cats. I doubt my wife would appreciate the sacrifice.

In all seriousness, I have had some wonderful correspondence with David Bovenmyer. He readily admitted the GC past. He was supportive of my desires to see changes for the better.

I would not mind visiting Chris Martin at Linworth, Columbus. I had a good feeling about the How to Hear the Will of God presentation at Faithwalkers. I was surprised and most pleased hearing him address the abusing the Holy Spirit by manipulation of one’s personal agenda (It is God’s will that…) I did look up the pastor’s bio on the Linworth site. He started during the more virulent years of GC’s existence. His presentation was far removed from the 80s milieu. There are issues which give me pause, but, for me, fall in the parameters of evangelical orthodoxy. I can agree to disagree. I sensed a genuine air of contrition on Chris’s part. Of course if somebody has had an unfavorable experience, feel free to write in email me off blog.

I wish Linworth had internet feeds of their sermons. In all fairness, I can answer that. My wife and I visited Linworth last fall. One of the board operators confessed “we are a little bit in the dark ages” in technology. They were still recording the sermons on cassette. I ran across a pro-GC blog on an internet surf. The story has it the production board was given to them from a Columbus radio station. For one who was in radio, it is an excellent system for its vintage. Can’t beat the price.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
MidnightRider
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« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2007, 05:14:44 pm »

In the Texas branch of GCx in the early 1980s, some of the ’sisters’ wore head coverings. One showed me this very nice one that had belonged to her grandmother. Most of the ladies did not wear a head covering, I don’t remember anyone making a big deal about it.

As someone else said, GCx is not the only church to have that understanding of 1 Corinthians 11.
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Dan
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« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2007, 05:15:04 pm »

Angry and Miss Current,

I did indeed see and ask my dad your questions yesterday. He feels (and I agree) that it would be best if he addressed the questions himself in his own words instead of me conveying what he said. He is considering either posting here or drafting something more formal. I’m sorry for the delay. If you would like answers sooner you could also email him at dave@stonebrook.org

Wink
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exshep
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« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2007, 05:15:21 pm »

I am quite taken with him. I was impressed with his Faithwalkers Presentation. I was impressed with the emails received. Considering that ISU Bibilse Studies had a major bulk of the problems, this speaks well.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
Lightbulb
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« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2007, 05:15:38 pm »

Most of the sisters in the GC* churches I attended (in an area of the U.S. beyond the Midwest) in the late 1970s and into the 80s wore head coverings during prayer times and communion. It was noticeable when a sister did not wear the covering during those times, but to my knowledge, no sister was ever “called on the carpet” for failure to wear the covering. The sisters were informed about the New Testament practice in I Corinthians 11, but there was complete freedom to practice (or not practice) this as a matter of personal preference. The use of head coverings in the GC* churches slowly, quietly fell out of favor by the mid 1980s. Does anyone know if the use of head coverings is/was a common practice in Plymouth Brethren churches?
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Kirsten
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2007, 05:15:54 pm »

From what I’ve read, a lot of the Bretheren churches do practice headcoverings for women. Given the Bretheren roots of several early leaders in the movement, I guess it is not too surprising that the practice carried over for at least some time.

Personally, I think the line that most evangelicals take on this issue (not just in GC*, but in other complimentarian books/websites, etc) is a bit of a cop out to just say that the practice of headcoverings in 1 Cor. 11 is merely a cultural issue of that day. Holding this position on headcoverings makes it a lot harder (in my mind) to defend other complimentarian postions, such as women not holding the office of pastor.

I’ve also heard some people say that what that passage teaches is that women should wear some culturally appropriate or recognizeable symbol of submission during public. It just happened that the headcovering was a culturally appropriate symbol at that time. But, since there is no culturally recognized or appropriate symbol for submission in 21st century US culture, the people I’ve heard argue this then believe it is a verse that we are just unable to obey fully.

Since I am a complimentarian in my views on women’s roles, I would much rather see either headcoverings taught for public prayer or some new symbol created and taught than take the wishy washy positions most people hold now. It seems like it would miss the point for just one or two people to do it, which is why I haven’t ever worn a headcovering for prayer meetings. I once tried to convince the pastors in Ames of this view on headcoverings, but I wasn’t very persuasive I guess. Smiley

I know this is kind of a GC* tangent to a certain degree, but we’ve managed to hit upon one of my “pet topics” of interest again already. Smiley
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exshep
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« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2007, 05:16:05 pm »

Thanks for clearing that one up. That was fast.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
exshep
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« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2007, 05:29:22 pm »

Follow up ... I did get an email from a former Columbus church member. The head coverings were common throughout the churches in the early 80s. It was a matter of personal preference. There was really no edict on the matter. Once again, thanks for all the responses.
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Had friend in Columbus church 80's and 90s. Member left in 1993  Involved GC in Texas  2005-2007.  Empathy to both  with  positive and negative aspects.
theresearchpersona
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« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2008, 04:44:24 pm »

Quote from: "archive"
Kirsten wrote:

From what I’ve read, a lot of the Bretheren churches do practice headcoverings for women. Given the Bretheren roots of several early leaders in the movement, I guess it is not too surprising that the practice carried over for at least some time.

Personally, I think the line that most evangelicals take on this issue (not just in GC*, but in other complimentarian books/websites, etc) is a bit of a cop out to just say that the practice of headcoverings in 1 Cor. 11 is merely a cultural issue of that day. Holding this position on headcoverings makes it a lot harder (in my mind) to defend other complimentarian postions, such as women not holding the office of pastor.

I’ve also heard some people say that what that passage teaches is that women should wear some culturally appropriate or recognizeable symbol of submission during public. It just happened that the headcovering was a culturally appropriate symbol at that time. But, since there is no culturally recognized or appropriate symbol for submission in 21st century US culture, the people I’ve heard argue this then believe it is a verse that we are just unable to obey fully.

Since I am a complimentarian in my views on women’s roles, I would much rather see either headcoverings taught for public prayer or some new symbol created and taught than take the wishy washy positions most people hold now. It seems like it would miss the point for just one or two people to do it, which is why I haven’t ever worn a headcovering for prayer meetings. I once tried to convince the pastors in Ames of this view on headcoverings, but I wasn’t very persuasive I guess. Smiley


Just reading through old threads; it's interesting that this thread really didn't have (at least to start) much to do with McCotter and Headcoverings! But I'm glad people were mentioning it.

Kirsten is correct to call what evangelicals now do a "cop out".[1] Until this (just passed) century, everyone wore them. Evangelicals says it's cultural, but the epistle says it's something delivered by Paul; the early Church writings are all in agreement with this, and any scholar taken as a serious exegete says this; the problem with the "cultural" shtick is that...parts of the epistle must be ignored and opposed to say it. It is also inappropriate to say "some symbol will do", that's the kind of teaching that comes form the likes of Wayne Grudem and similarly ilked teachers, and other charismatic-Reformed types; Grudem, among other things, is a guy who tried to defend his own association's plethora of teachers who prophecied in God's name falsely, (it didn't come to pass), among other looniness of the Vineyard and similar movements; the line of reason goes something like this: the headcovering was a symbol of authority of a woman being a husband's, because he's her head, therefore today something like a wedding ring works.

Incidentally, one can predict the way the ESV translates certain passages before ever seeing them if one just knows about certain apologetic teachings of Grudem and Co.; it's an overall great translation, but it has needless imperfections that are indefensible from the original languages because of him, the editor; I'm all for disallowing agenda'd companies from controlling a translation along ideological grounds when those grounds oppose the original languages. That said, however, the ESV is pretty useful and a decent general translation.  

The thing about headcoverings is, and this isn't PC, nor am I even so comfortable with it myself (I am American), the passage IS subjegation, suboordination, i.e. "authority over/upon her head" (and I use those rough terms just to let the shock hit). The Greek itself also distinguishes in both context and words used between the covering, and hair; it is hard-hitting and unapologetic, and the famous "if anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no other custom" ("custom" being the literal, but the Greek uses it differently than the way we use "custom", hence why the NASB here renders "no other practice"; it was not Corinthian or Roman custom, either, for women to cover their heads: that propriety and view in society had pretty much died to such an extent that the (ahem, leacherous) Augustus had tried to revive certain mores by force of law (ahem, hypocrite). That line is one which people today use to say, as GC, that overall unity and noncontention must be what is kept at all cost (vs. Jude 3 to "contend earnestly..."), is one of the most forceful "you can't argue with me" type statements I can think of throughout Scripture, and it's applied to this question, a command an apostles says he delivered from the Lord himself (11vv.1-2).

The subject can't remind anybody here, however, of any good associations when they're only exposure to the teachings was by an abusive false teacher who couldn't handle scripture correctly; and I feel for anyone who is might become uncomfortable about the subject when that's the environment they were exposed to it in. I know I'm a man, but if I were a woman, I would obey this in simplicity; I do have a way, sort of, to obey despite the discomfort (and anger) it brings: when people ask about this passage, I don't back down from leaving it stand, no matter the cost: and for some reason I get "hard" questions regarding such issues frequently.  

In America headcoverings fell out of favor with several developments, style, and the change of attitudes towards morality, roles, etc.. What that tells me and others is that many who were wearing them were doing so for style, not obedience, so it's not too disturbing; these days those who're trying to wear them again often make explicit they aren't doing so as a symbol of having authority over their head, except God's (though the passage is about man as the head of his race, and by extension husbands in general: the hard things with anybody trying to assert that it's just for married women is that...such has never been the way it was taken from the original language until it became politically unacceptable to suggest otherwise). It isn't incorrect to bring the Lord into our view here, however, because overall it is a question of propriety regarding the worship of God, involving attitude, relations between people, etc.. To Christians, proper worsihp should be very important, in fear of God, and coming to Him submitted to His will, with the proper views, attitudes, fear, reverence, and awe.

Sadly I don't know that many people understand that at all anymore, or even want to. Perhaps it's because what's been preached to so many is "God is your buddy" before they heard that God is called "the Majesty", and that those who love Him fear Him, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


[1] Careful here, though: I'm pretty sure there are many who're just sincerely...deceived; they're in sin for copping-out, but whether they're in error in need of gracious (if persistent) correction, outright rebuke, or perhaps are babes who need washing and feeding, "cop out" may be needless offense...or a needed wake-up call. Depends.
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lone gone
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« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2008, 08:01:41 am »

How about the question of the length of a woman's hair, let alone if it is covered or not?
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