UPC Experience Concerning Hair

Hi Lois!

I read your testimony (or article) about 'women's hair'. As a former UPC member for 14 years I thought the hair issue was rather irrelevant in relation to women's relationship with God. But, the moral issue is rather the case, by obviously women cutting their hair shorter above the ear like men's haircut or military style. (Men should not look like women, and women likewise.)

Nevertheless, women's hair length was mentioned in the Scriptures but (this is important) never was it mentioned as uncut. It's fine if women's hair should be long but it was not mentioned that the hair should be uncut! Or not allowed to trim it or make it straight!

The other Scriptures that the UPC used to defend this, illustrated in the O.T., is an issue that is different from the issue of  uncut hair.

If the UPC women want to show how long their hair is, then they should not fold it (like afro) but they should let it hang on their shoulders as Paul was saying in the Corinthian church. Why? Because if they are proud of their long hair and they believe it as obedience to God, then they should not fold it, but rather 'expose' it to the public or the congregation as a witness to their ministry.

I know there are problems having women's long hair. I have a wife and a daughter, three sister-in-laws, four nieces, and one mother-in-law, that are active members of the UPC. All of them are cutting their hair below the shoulders to trim it and just 'cheating' by folding it like a ball or putting hair clips (you know what I'm saying). I asked them why they can't keep it long? Their reason is, it's a nuisance! Why? Because their hairs get caught in car doors, house doors, they sit on it and it hurts when pulled, it gets accidentally caught onto some people's shoulders, it gets blown away by wind in different directions, split ends, very hard to comb, etc. These women close to me are just in their mid-30's and my nieces are just in their early teens. They they do not want their hairs folded like the 'old' ladies in the church! Most of the young women are protesting about this long hair issue because it affects their daily living in the secular world, when they catch a train, bus, go shopping, go to work. I can see them get upset with their long hair and it becomes a stumbling block to them rather than an encouragement in their daily walk with God.

The Lord clearly states that if a part of your body is a stumbling block to you- cut it off!- Matthew 18:8-9....vs.8 "Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt (lame) or maimed (crippled), rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Vs. 9 "And if thine eye offend thee (causeth thee to stumble), pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire."

Now, I am asking all honest UPC women who get offended and feel that uncut hair is a stumbling block to them (but feel strongly that women should not cut their hair above the ear or military cut but 'can' trim it or make it straight below the shoulders as long as it is distinguishable to be recognized as women's long hair), please consider what the Lord Jesus your Saviour has said in Matthew 18:8-9, which is an even worse example than women's hair but still applicable as an example, because verse 7 says... "Woe unto the world because of offences! (harmful events) for it must needs be that offenses come; (is unavoidable) but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"

This doctrine of 'uncut' hair was instituted by men and ministers of the UPC who do not understand the consequence and outcome of wearing long uncut hair and what the obstacles in womens daily lives will be. Because they don't wear them, their women wear it. And because of another teaching that women should be obedient to their husbands, then this is the result of the doctrine of 'uncut' hair.

Lastly, even if the UPC women cut their hair (but not too short like men) then the members should still accept them and should understand that it is impossible sometimes to live with uncut hair!

"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations." - Rom.14:1 This Scripture can also be applied with women who feel uncut hair is a stumbling block but strongly feel that even with hair cut below the shoulders will help her be a Christian. Then men in the church should understand this and accept her without disputing her faith in God.

Thanks and God bless you sister!


Posted February 1, 1998

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