Michigan Conference institutes head coverings for women

The Michigan Conference staged a photo shoot to demonstrate an appropriate head covering....
The Michigan Conference staged a photo shoot to demonstrate an appropriate head covering….
LANSING, Mich. — In a move that has caused quite the stir among Midwestern Adventists, the Michigan Conference has enforced a new female dress code in churches across the state. Effective immediately, all females over the age of 16 will be required to wear head coverings.

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“We just want to be consistent with New Testament teaching,” said Conference spokesperson, Brian Montgomery. “The Apostle Paul was fairly clear on the matter.”

“Michigan Conference has a long-standing reputation of being the most conservative conference around so it is our responsibility to stay on the cutting edge of ‘appropriate,'” said Women’s Ministries Director, Beau Manster.

Due to a sluggish Michigan economy, the conference will be patient with its female members, he said. “We want to be flexible with those who have tight budgets. If you do not have a head covering, you will be handed one with your bulletin upon entering the sanctuary.”

Manster urged female Adventist Michiganders to avoid inappropriate improvisation with their head coverings. “No form of sports gear is acceptable and neither are Sabbath picnic blankets,” he said. “Pathfinders scarves work just fine if fastened securely with a modest slide.”

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In addition to the wardrobe guidance, the Conference is debating instituting a “silence in church” rule for all females over the age of 12. Study committees are still exploring the viability of trying to enforce the measure given the the challenge of large female majorities in most Michigan churches.

In the meantime, women are advised to whisper.  If they have questions of a presenter, women are encouraged to pass notes to their husbands, or, if they are single, any responsible adult male who can convey their questions and concerns.


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24 Comments

  1. Melissa

    Head Covering is done to honor God, and to follow His instructions through Paul for His church. We might not agree that they are directions applicable to the church today, but it is highly disrespectful to the women who choose to cover their heads, and also to God, to mock it.

    • Pr. Peppers, you’re normally a cool guy man. It’s a satire website. Nothing crass or vulgar is being done here. It’s poking fun at an overly stodgy and conservative conference that has a track record of employing an unbiblical hermeneutical approach to the interpretation and application of Scripture. Mandating that pastors not wear wedding rings is un-Christlike, but I don’t hear the pastors of the Michigan Conference raising a stink about that!

      Seriously man, chill :\

  2. JK

    I come to this site to laugh at the hilarious posts and the idiots who take themselves too seriously. I am truly grateful for this website. Being a resident of and having been aware of Michigan’s notorious intolerances, I applaud the author(s) restraint.

    It’s just like my parents told me so long ago (I’m 61 years old), “If you don’t like the content, change the channel.”

    Where do I purchase a scarf?

  3. Richard Sherwin

    Being from Michigan I want to share this on Facebook but for some reason it won’t let me. Some here would see the humor and some would take it seriously. Sadly some would welcome a ruling like this. Smh

  4. I’ll tell you my beef with the Michigan conference. I’m a seminary student at Andrews University SDA Seminary right now. It is an absolutely AWESOME educational experience, and the professors are all world class with almost no exceptions. It’s just not safe to name the names of the ones who are NOT world class, because that individual has a history of blackmailing students who cross him. Well, what can you do, there’s a bad apple in every bunch. Heck, Lucifer started out as a perfect angel, right!? So we can expect there to be some stinkers in Adventism. It’s just par for the course we’re playing on.

    But the thing that grinds my gears with Michigan Conference is they literally will not even INTERVIEW you if you wear a wedding ring. You know, a little piece of metal on your ring finger that says to women, “Sorry ladies, I’m devoted to my wife” and to the world, “Hey, despite marriage becoming increasingly a subject matter for derision and mockery in movies and talk shows, I stand for Biblical marriage between a man and a woman!” Of course I guess it also conveys the dreadful message of, “I’m sooooo vain and prideful that I went out and spent a whopping $100 (at $10/hour that’s 10 hours of work. That’s 1/4 of 1 week of pay. Whoopdy doo!) on a wedding band that was nice enough that it doesn’t chip, rust, crack, or turn my finger green!” So sinful!

    But I’m now in a situation where I’m done with my degree before my wife is done with hers because we started at different times because REASONS. Normally, I’d say, “Hey, I’m in the Adventist Ghetto of Berrien Springs! I’ll just get a job working with the Michigan conference for 6 or 12 months so I can start paying off some of our student debt.” Nooooope! Michigan would rather have me lie to the world about my commitment to my wife by removing my wedding ring when I’m preaching, thus sending a false message about decency and acceptability, than have me wear a symbol of my fidelity and commitment to my wonderful spouse of 6 years while in the pulpit.

    There are almost no non-student jobs on campus, and the area around Andrews is a few notches better than a war-zone when it comes to finding a job. Benton Harbor is legendary for poverty, racial tension, and abominable living conditions, and if Niles, MI were bigger, it would probably have Benton Harbor beat in a heartbeat. So I’m driving to South Bend, Indiana to even begin to have hope of finding a job “nearby” if I want to work as a pastor, which is what my degree is in (MDiv). It’s a totally ridiculous situation.

    If Michigander SDAs are seriously that in a bunch about wedding bands, my advice is let the churches who care fuss about it, but don’t MANDATE that we don’t wear our wedding bands when we’re serving communities who don’t care. Most Michigan SDAs at all of the SDA churches in and around Berrien Springs wear wedding rings, and I have attended and gotten to know people at 8 of the area churches; it’s the same at all of them. When the global church has come together, prayerfully studied the issue, and found that wedding bands are not a test of fellowship, it strikes me as more prideful for a conference to keep doggedly demanding adherence to an archaic ritual than to just wear an inexpensive ring and move on with life. What are we really doing here, Michigan!?

      • The 28 Fundamental Beliefs do not even mention jewelry. The word is not there, period. In fact, Belief # 22 only mentions “those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit.” After a careful study of the life and teachings of Jesus, I am convinced that He did not care about such externals. He was concerned about the hypocrisy of the religious people; but He did not waste one minute rebuking anyone for wearing jewelry to make themselves look pretty, nor to show that they are committed to their spouse. Wal-Mart sells expensive-looking wedding rings for $8 and that’s what my husband and I wear, so nobody can accuse us of an extravagant waste of money. Earrings are also becoming very common in SDA churches now, and I think that’s fine. It helps the women look attractive. There’s an SDA church here in Collegedale where the Church Secretary, the Treasurer, the Women’s Ministries Director, the Communications Director, and most of the female Board members and congregation members are tastefully outfitted in earrings, even on the church web site (click my name to see the church staff). I am happy to say that nobody wastes a minute worrying about that, and Jesus doesn’t either. The important principle is: God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance.

    • Tom L

      Anonymous, it is exactly because of their stubbornness about the wedding ring and their adamant opposition to W.O. that I chose to throw away my whole interview with them when I was graduating from Andrews and chose to rebuke them instead. I still don’t regret it 10 years later. That’s why this satire article really resonated with me as it riled me up from the memories. I could go on, but I won’t.

    • Many Bible verses actually teach that jewelry is a sign of God’s blessing. Read http://www.ActsEighteen.com/articles/jewelry-bible.htm . The Bible speaks very positively about jewelry. For example, here are just a few of the many:
      * “As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” Psalms 25:12.
      * “My soul shall be joyful in my God; for . . . he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, . . . as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isa 61:10.
      * God Himself says: “I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears.” Ezekiel 16:11-13.
      Costly name-brand clothes, Michael Kors handbags, Rolex watches, or expensive cars should not be the ultimate source of our feelings of beauty and self-worth. (1 Tim 2:9) But the Bible simply does not condemn jewelry. That idea is not biblical. It is a false gospel that elevates externals above the heart.
      No amount of outward plainness can save us. Jesus is our standard of truth. He said salvation comes through loving God with all our heart, and loving our neighbor as our self. (Luke 10:27) I have found peace in a love relationship with Christ. I no longer see Christianity as a set of rules and regulations. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

  5. I recently left the Holiness denomination, after being raised in it and living that way for over 25 years.

    It never bothered me that I couldn’t wear jewelry, makeup, or that I had to follow the other rules laid down by the denomination, because I simply didn’t care. I love (and loved) the LORD with all my heart, and, as I was convinced that was what HE wanted, I followed it without question.

    But in my young adult life, I went away to a Christian Missionary and Language Training school, where my belief in these “standards” was shaken to the core. Young people of various denominations were there, and a more dedicated, Godly group of young people, I have never met. My friends asked questions about my “standards,” in a lovingly curious way (not as a challenge), and I told them I would be happy to research the Scriptures and provide them with the reasons behind my appearance. They were eager for me to do so, with several stating that whatever God required, they would be happy to do, too.

    That’s where it got sticky… as I delved into the Scripture on my own, without the influence of the church back home, I was shaken to find that the wording of the Scripture did not support my belief in these standards as Heaven or Hell issues.

    Once I became thoroughly convinced in my own mind (over the course of about a year) that these were unnecessary…I STILL continued to live the Holiness lifestyle, as a matter of respect and tradition. Besides, like I said, I didn’t mind. I was far more comfortable in a long skirt, having only worn those my entire life.

    But in evangelism, I couldn’t help but notice that my friends (who were lovely, well-behaved, and modest and conservative in appearance although wearing makeup and some jewelry) were far more effective than I. People tended to regard me with suspicion, as though I were there to recruit them for some cult. I was often asked about my appearance, but almost never about the truth of Jesus Christ, as my friends were.

    Through much prayer, careful study, and great personal loss of my relationship with my family and former community, I ascribed to look “normal” (although still modest and conservative), so that my appearance would not be such a distraction to those whom I wished to win for Christ.

    I have great respect for those who follow the traditions, if it is done from the heart and with the aim to please GOD (as I believe it usually is). However, I found it to be a stumbling block to my neighbor, and, as the Scripture did not require it of me, I walked away.

    Today, I wear some jewelry and makeup, and pants which I am sure nobody will ever mistake for my husband’s clothing.

    Blessings.

    • Rana, what a beautiful story. God does not want us to look like weird cult members. That turns off the people we’re trying to witness to; it puts up stumbling blocks. God wants us to represent His beauty, and Ezekiel 16:8-14 says He gave jewelry to His people to accentuate their beauty and help to show forth His splendor. Thanks again for your testimony.

  6. I’ve been Adventist all my life. I wear what I want, eat what I want, and do what I want. I have common sense, and no religion is going to take that from me. The SDA church is too busy trying to turn out little tithe-paying robots. I love this site, it’s a hoot! :)

  7. If read alone without the benefit of the many Bible passages that speak positively about jewelry as a blessing from God, a couple of often-quoted texts (1 Peter 3:3 and 1 Tim 2:9) at first glance could appear to promote wearing jewelry (and not braiding our hair, or wearing nice clothes).
    But taking these scriptures in context with the many other Bible verses on jewelry, we see that we are not be told not to wear jewelry, or not to do our hair and wear nice clothes. What we are seeing was a church whose women let vanity get out of control; a church who became over indulgent. Remember that it was a time when it was the custom (very Roman) to show how much you had, so you over did everything because you wanted to show how much you could afford.
    What Paul and Peter are talking about here is that outward beauty is not the real beauty that a Christian should strive after. We are to be more concerned with the inward beauty, rather than the outward beauty. This is not saying we shouldn’t look nice (or shouldn’t wear any jewelry), but that we should look at our hearts and be careful not to abuse God’s blessings and show off what we have in vanity. When you think about how you dress in moderation, you will realize it goes beyond just wearing jewelry. We can make a law against wearing jewelry, but then we substitute an expensive watch or extravagant showy clothes to fill the sin of vanity in our hearts. The “thing” of blame may be different, but the sin is the same. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30. Dressing modestly (which means moderately, or inexpensively) is the antidote to vanity.

  8. Kimberley

    I appreciate the church’s desire for obedience to scripture, but according to the Strong’s concordance 1 Corinthians 11 v.1-16 plainly teaches that a woman’s LONG HAIR is her covering. You should study it again. Why isn’t anyone in the churches teaching Christian women they should have long hair like the Bible plainly says? It is a God given glory to HER. A lot of Christian women are not aligned with this plain biblical teaching. This teaching is for the church of Corinth AND 1 Cor. 1 v 1, ” to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours”. So it applies to ALL believers everywhere. The “it’s cultural” argument is dead. God’s word doesn’t change, no matter what the world is doing or thinks. The world is at enmity with God. We have to quit trying to find ways around biblical obedience and humble ourselves to see the truth of the scripture in all matters. Making a woman wear a cloth on her head will not humble her or show modesty. Humility and modesty are a choices one makes from within that radiates outward in one’s dress and action. The church needs to teach on pride, and how God resists the proud! Then you will see modesty.

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