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Why do Apostolic Pentecostal women always wear dresses and have long hair?

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I am new to the apostolic faith. I came to the Lord in September of 07, was baptized in Jesus name and received the Holy Ghost on November 11, 2007, and am currently living a life for God! And it is absolutely fabulous! My transition from living for the world to living for God has been a slow and steady process. When I first stepped into the church I was only there to learn. I was convinced that I was NEVER going to conform to anyone’s rules or "standards" just because that is what they thought I should do. Well as things progressed God has convicted my heart of different things at different times. And I am now completely upholding apostolic standards. I can only speak for myself, so the reason I do not wear pants, or cut my hair, is because God has called us to be separate from the world. God has also called us to be witnesses. I know that I not only witness by telling people about God and the awesome things he can do, but also by the way I live my life, the way I separate myself ... more
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I love God and I have been Apostolic my whole life. I wear dresses and long hair because I want to do whatever I can to please God. Whether I have to do these things or not, I still do because God is number one. If you are putting him first, you will not question why we do these things. We shouldn't be so selfish and put ourselves first. Even if these things are not necessary (which i do believe they are) you should still do these things just to make sure that you will make it in the rapture. I would rather do extra and make it, than do the minimum and no make it. more
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We wear dresses to show respect to God in modesty and difference in gender. We wear our hair long because ICor. 11 tells us our hair is our glory and should not be cut. We do this because we love God and His Word should be followed. It is a way of life and not a religion. If your church is judging people because they wear pants and cut their hair, it is wrong, but being in a leadership position, we should follow the holiness standards of the church of God. No one has a right to judge others. As far as hanging with people of the world goes, we need to reach out to them and be there for them, but because of temptation it is better not to hang out with them on their terms. more
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The reason apostolic pentecostal women wear dresses is because the word of God talks against wearing that which pertaineth unto a man in deuteronomy 22:5, the word pertain comes from a hebrew word, keliy, which means “article, vessel, implement, or utensil, article of clothing. Which means that women shouldn't wear any item or clothing that even belongs to a man. God created a difference between a man and a woman, even in the beginning. Those differences should be held in clothing and in hair style. Women that dress like men and men that dress like women, it is an abomination unto the lord thy God. We have seen women that look just like men, manly hairstyles, men-looking breeches, you have to look twice to tell whether it's a man or a woman and recently I saw a young man who was carrying a woman's purse. Surely the world is in darkness, and it is very sad when the church is like the world. There should be a CLEAR DISTINCTION between a MALE AND FEMALE. IN OUR CULTURE, men should wear ... more
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I love the LORD Jesus. I love the Word of God. I love God's truths. I Love His Ways. I Love His Mercy. I Love His Kindness. I Love it when I'm in a service and the Holy Ghost falls. I Love His Spirit. I love Him when he leads a person struggling with addictions to an altar of repentance - yes deliverance! I love Him when His Spirit comforts. I Love Him in the tough times - struggles. I Love Him when my Faith is not greater than the sacrifice - because he always intervenes. I Love it when He teaches and instructs my path. I Love Him with all of my heart. He is the greatest, most magnificant and might God. I love to be on the winning team - JESUS - I have been to the water and been baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost. His Word is instruction that I am priveleged to follow. Yes, yes, yes, my soul says yes to the Lord. My wife wears dresses and does not cut her hair - this came out of a deep desire to serve the LORD. She did not feel pressured by other members of our assembly - this was ... more
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because they are misled and think they are better than regular people...and if you don't wear a dress & have uncut hair then they will judge you without mercy....personally I think they have to have a dress on and long hair because most of them don't act Christian enough to be thought of as "Christian" so they have to SHOW you. more
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Since I have already answered the question on skirts I will address the issue on hair. 

Apostolics/Pentecostals all tend to follow the UPCI teaching on the passage of 1 Cor. 11:3-16, who have a peculiar interpretation unlike anyone else's.  They seem to be the only people who will not acknowledge the passage involves veiling, but rather, they teach the "covering" of vv4, 5, 6 is the long, "uncut" hair of v15, but this is LINGUISTICALLY impossible, and long hair is not necessarily "uncut" hair. The Greek verb, katakalupto, which is translated, "covered", is defined in Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words, as:  "cover with a veil."  But, Daniel Segraves, the UPC author of the book, Hair Length in the Bible, totally rejects this definition.  On p23 he states: "...Katakaluapto does not mean "veil."    I do not see the author as qualified to argue with Strong's!  The word group which includes the words translated "cover" and "uncover" is not used elsewhere to refer to the hair.  In the Septuagint [Greek translation of the OT] usage of kalupto and its related words refers to an external FABRIC covering over 80 times but never once to long hair.  The word is used in the Greek OT in Gen. 38:14-15 to mean, "veil."  "And she...covered (periebale) her with a veil...When Judah saw her he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered (katekalupsato) her face."   In v4 the expression translated "having his head covered" literally means "having down on a head."  In Esther 6:12 most manuscripts of the Greek OT read that Haman went to his house "mourning down on a head"--a way of saying he put something over his head to show his mourning.  Obviously, Haman did not grow long hair.  Plutarch, in his Saying of the Romans, speaks of Scipio the Younger walking through Alexandria "having the garment down the head" (kata kephales) meaning that he concealed his head with part of his toga. In v4 Paul uses the exact same phrase:  kata kephales echon ... also meaning a garment covering the head.  Covering the HAIR and covering the HEAD are one and the same.  The Encyclopedia Judaica tells us for women "the general custom was to appear in public, and in  the presence of strange men, with covered hair."  According to the Jewish Talmud, a man could divorce his wife for "going into public with uncovered head."  Uncovering the HAIR in public amounted to proof of adultery in Jewish estimation.  This is from the Oral Law of the Jews.  In that section of the Talmud called "Sotah," which deals of unchaste women, we learn this duty rested upon a Jew whose wife was seen abroad with her HAIR not covered.  From Dr. Edersheim's Sketches of Jewish Social Life, p155:  "It was the custom in the case of a woman accused of adultery to have her hair shorn or shaven."  The words, "shorn" and "shaven" are used synonymously.

Veiling is a CULTURAL issue and has nothing to do with modern day women at all whatsoever.  We do not wear veils of any nature, not even veils made of hair.  A woman's hair is NOT a veil. The meaning is symbolical.  Paul, like Jesus and the Prophets, used symbolism.  Having a veil hanging down the sides of the head is LIKE, or COMPARED TO  long hair; being unveiled is LIKE, or COMPARED TO, having short, cut hair, or a shaven head.  The Greek word is anti, which Segraves says means "instead of," and refers his reader to Gingrich's Shorter Lexicon of the Greek NT, but this lexicon on p17 states the definition as: "for, AS, in place of."  Segraves totally leaves out AS when he quotes the definition.  Anti is used as a word of comparison in the Greek OT as, "an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth."  In Eph. 5:31 Paul says a man and woman becoming one flesh in marriage is anti to the body of Christ.

Not only does Segraves skip over the most crucial aspect of the historical/cultural backgroud of the passage (which is pagan, cult worship), but tends to be deceitful in citing word definitions imperative to understanding the text.  The English word, "shorn," is translated from the Greek verb, keiro, which means to cut the hair SHORT; to shear a sheep; to have one's hair CUT OFF, and we are referred to "shave".  The UPC author  leaves out  references to shearing sheep and does not define "shave," thereby overlooking the synonymous usage of "shorn" and "shaven."  The basic meaning of keiro, as found in the OT, is that of shearing sheep.  When applied to the human head it bears the same meaning. A shorn sheep is left with not much more than stubble and looks almost as if it has been shaved.  Segraves refers to Gingrich's Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament to define keiro, where it is defined as: "shear Acts 8:32; Mid. Have one's hair cut 18:18; 1 Cor. 11:6".  The author states, "The word does not specify how much hair is cut off or how much is left after the cutting." But, it is the practice of the UPC, when teaching on this passage, to be deceitful with word definitions.  In the preface of Gingrich's Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, it  states:  "Emphasis is placed on the bare meanings of words; for more information the user must consult BAGD or other words."  This particular dictionary does not present complete definitions.  But, Segraves refers to none other lexical works to define keiro.  How do Greek college professors define keiro?  They are unanimously agreed:  "The verb, keiro, indicates quite a thorough cropping of the hair, not just a trim.  It was frequently used of sheep or when armies chopped down crops, just to give you the idea of the strong force of it.  If used metaphorically, it suggests wild tearing (like animals greedily devouring) or of wasting." 

"Have long hair" is translated from the Greek verb, komao, which has more than one meaning, depending upon the context.  But, the UPC bases their doctrine on ONE, that of "let the hair grow".  Komao does not mean one has never cut his or her hair, although in some contexts it could.  Hair could be cut some and still remain within the bounds of the word. Totally uncut hair is akersikomes.  The first usage of komao is found in Homer in reference to the Greek soldiers that destroyed Troy. The soldiers are known by the formula komoonetes Archaioi where komoontes is just the participial form of komao.  This is translated as "the long-haired Achaeans."  Although they had "long" hair, thou would cut off some of it and leave it at tombs in honor of the dead.  It was a well-known ancient Greek practice to cut off locks of hair to honor the dead, and many references to it are found in Greek literature.  The Spartan warriors were ordered by their law-giver, Lycurgus, to have "long" hair, or komao, which they maintained at shoulder-length.  Women sometimes wore curls down on the forehead called, capronae, illustrusted in the god, Cupid, which were modern "bangs." Art work on vases of Greek women show a thick "fringe" of hair across the forehead.  Yet, their hair was still referred to as "long".  Historians inform us that ALL women of the Roman Empire had "long" hair or komao.  "Long" hair did not separate Christians from pagans. PAGANS had "long" hair.  "Long" hair, in the strict sense of the word, was hair that had not been cut, or was growing out, but it meant "not cut SHORT"--the meaning of unshorn hair.  For the most part, SHORT was the only length into which hair was cut in the Roman Empire.  It was either growing out like a tree or a bush, but when it was cut, it was cut SHORT.  They did not have modern day, cosmetology hair practices of a hair stylist trained in the art work of cutting women's hair into fashionable lengths.

The ancient Greeks and Romans did not really have the concept, "trim."  But, the playwright, Euripides, in his play, Orestes, uses the Greek word applicable for "trimming" long hair.  It was a common practice for ancient people to cut off all their hair in mourning the dead, but even in mourning it was considered disgraceful to  shear off (keiro) the hair, and lest they should lose this ornament of their heads, the women contrived to evade the custom by cutting off (epeqrisen) the ends of it only.  In line 128 Electra, speaking of Helen of Troy, who should have sheared (keiro) her hair on account of the death of her sister, Clytemnestra, says, "Did ye mark how she cut off (apeqrisen) her hair only at the ends, careful to preserve its beauty? The verb, "apeqrisen" is defined as to cut off and is also used of objects.  Keiro meant a complete cropping of the hair short, "apeqrisen" was used for  "trim." Helen sent these "tresses" to the tomb by her daughter and attendants and still had "long" hair.

There were only a few reason why a woman in the Roman Empire would have short, cut hair.  (1) Slavery.  FREE women had long hair.  The kepos was a bowl cut for slaves and young Greek boys. (2) Mourning the dead. (3) Pagan worship that involved homosexuality. (4) Judaism.

The root of the passage of 1 Cor. 11:3-16 is differeniation between the sexes in hair and clothing.  But, one must understand the role tranvestitism played in ancient religions. The church at Corinth were converts out of the Greek and Roman mystery religions.  The worship of Dionysus/Bacchus was popular in Corinth.  Dionysus was homosexual in mythology and as part of the worship rituals women would cut their hair short (shorn) or shave their heads and go unveiled.  Men would grow long hair and wear veils.  Men who took part in the Bacchic train wore the krokotos, the saffron-colored veil or golden hairnets. A veil was a distinctively feminine article of clothing symbolizing wedlock.  In the worship of Aphrodite at Corinth women sometimes shaved their heads to honor an image of her having "both male and female organs."  Lest the Church at Corinth be identified with paganism, Paul ordained that men pray and prophesy unveiled and women veiled.  Most likely, the Corinthians were attempting to revert back to worship practices they had recently left.

Hair is not a salvation issue.  The entire passage is based upon CULTURE.  The word, "shame" is not the word, "sin."  Short cut hair on a woman and long tresses on a man were viewed in the 1st cen as sexual inversions by the entire Empire--not just the church at Corinth. The word, "shame,"   bears cultural connotations.  Female slaves were recognized by their short hair.  It was FREE women who grew long hair.  Slaves were abundant in the Roman Empire, and many slaves became Christians.  If growing long hair were a requirement for salvation, how could a female slave have been saved?

Denise Snodgrass · answered over a year ago
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