Letters to the Editor
Just some short comments about your paper, the Omega Times. I'm
sure all of the contributors are valued by various readers. Barry Smith is
obviously the main force behind the magazine. He is inspired by God, and so are
the others. I have been ministered to by others. One article "Treasures In
Heaven" was amazing timing when I read it because I had to make a decision to
give away a large amount of money for God. The article helped confirm my
decision. Also I have been touched on several occasions by Rebecca Capell's
articles. She is a young woman who communicates "tough love". Also thanks to
Andrew; the letters to the editor often reveal an interesting side to the human
psyche. Ian Laurie-Rhodes, Melbourne
Thanks for your comments -– you've certainly got me
thinking about the 'revelations of an interesting side to the human psyche'...
Yes, up until one month ago, Barry Smith was central to this
newspaper. He was also a mainstay in my life as a father and special
friend. It's interesting isn't it, that someone so 'central' can be
removed from the picture -– and life continues on. We'll never be the same,
he was such a special character. The important part now is 'what we do with
what has happened'. Grieving is very healthy, and when I feel the emotions I
let them go. Interestingly, my joy for dad is far greater than my sorrow.
Watching my family deal with the sorrow is probably the most difficult part.
Obviously at a time like this there are many issues to
address, and decisions to make. We would value your prayers (indeed the prayers
of all of our readers) 'for wisdom from above' as to the ongoing work of
this ministry. As always, there are is no shortage of suggestions as to what can
be done -– we just need to hear from God, and all will be well. A passage from
Ephesians 2:10 has illuminated my thinking "For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that
we should walk in them." Trying to fill my fathers shoe's 'because
there is now a perceived gap' would be a noble gesture -– but futile! God has
given each one of us gifts -– and we can choose to walk in them, or
struggle. As one man said at dad's funeral, "Barry is gone now, but the
miracle continues through the lives of the many who continue the work".
Oh yes, he had big shoes!
We have decided that the work of the Omega Times is very
important and should continue. It is now in the Lord's hands -– we seek His
favour and blessing over our work.
Thanks for your comments re/. Keneti Apa's article "Treasures
in Heaven" (December 2001 Omega Times) and Rebecca Capell's writings. I will
pass your comments on to them.
Thrilled in Jesus - Ed
"....Not long ago, a Christian brother had an argument with
some brothers and sisters... on if a women has to wear a veil on the head during
Sunday service, praying and prophesying according to 1 Corinthians 11:5-6.
Presently where I fellowship women do not wear a veil, they quote to me 1
Corinthians 11:15-16 and they told me that God requires of us heart attitude and
not legalism. The pastor gave me a Bible lesson concerning this issue, even
quoting man's commentaries but the Greek text is very clear that women should
wear a veil. In the early church woman did wear a veil as a sign of submission
to men and God in humility... is this that women do not wear veils due to
Western ignorance that women don't want under man and a Jezebel rebellious
spirit. I'm rather confused over this matter so I felt the desire to contact
you regarding this. The pastor told me in conclusion that if any woman is
convicted that she has to wear a veil then she is free to do so during service
but not to impose it on the Church. I quite agree with him, sounds fair.
I myself am quite convinced that women should wear a veil...
Keep it up -– the Omega Times is an eye-opener in these end times -– even the
microchip the local papers printed about it in the science and technology issue..."
Mario Fenech, Malta
The veil issue is an interesting topic of discussion. I've
seen some rather heated arguments about it over the years, where in the end
neither party appeared to be particularly righteous -– and I wondered whether
winning the debate would help anyone anyway...
The fact is that whilst 'head coverings' are seen as a
small issue to some groups (most churches in fact), churches like the Brethren
assemblies and a few other fundamentally focussed denominations see this
topic as a very important standard.
My father was raised Brethren, and we would often visit
assemblies where scarves and head coverings were worn for the reasons outlined
in your letter. Many Pacific Island churches continue the practise of head
coverings - respect, ritual and reverence are cultural values. We have friends
who at devotions time or when giving thanks for meals, simply place a 'serviette'
or dinner napkin on their heads, in order to fulfil what they believe the
Scriptures teach about head coverings. I personally appreciate the 'deliberate
action' or ritual, which denotes reverence and respect.
What do I believe? As is often the case, a part of the answer
is an understanding of the cultural context. In the Middle East, a woman's
hair is her glory -– it is also known to 'attract' the attention of men (a
global phenomena). Hence Assyrian women of the night (harlots) would often have
their hair hanging down -– unkempt if you like, a feature. Married women would
keep their hair covered. (The Muslim practise of 'veiling a woman's whole
person' was not customary prior to Mohammed). Jewish men would cover their
hair while praying, normally by pulling up the shawl-type-garment over their
heads. Passages like 1 Corinthians 11:4 can be misleading "every man praying
or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his own head". Paul like
other Jewish men who visited the Synogogue regularly would have definitely
covered his head - it's what they did. Therefore, the passage of Scripture can
not mean what it sounds like it is saying. Wycliffe bible encyclopaedia puts it
this way "...Gr kata kephales echon that every man who 'has
(hair) hanging down from his head' (in a womanly fashion) while praying or
prophesying, disgraces Christ his Head." Verse 14 would support this teaching
"...If a man have long hair it is a shame unto him".
Now, Paul's teaching with regard to women. 1 Corinthians
11:5 refers to a woman's hair which should not be 'dishevelled' or 'hanging
loose' during worship or prayer. A woman should keep her hair in a manner
appropriate to the activity of spending time in the presence of God. Perhaps
in this modern age where television has educated young minds to 'draw
attention to themselves', some of our younger Church-going women could take
this passage a little more to heart. Part of the purpose of the practise of 'head-covering'
was to ensure that the focus in the meeting was 'to glorify God' -– and not
to draw attention to the woman's beauty. Verse 15 says that a woman's hair
is a glory unto her -– and that it is her covering (or veil)!
I trust this assists you in some way Mario... ironically, I'm
off for a haircut. Ed