IV. THE OUTSIDE: MALE HAIRSTYLE
Enough on attire, my next point is hairstyle. I did mention earlier the typical hairstyles when I asked you to produce a mental image of a traditional male or female. Judy should have the long flowing hair, not Johnny. Johnny in a ponytail will send Johnny Jr. the wrong message. God's order is a distinct difference between male and female especially concerning hairstyles. We go back to First Corinthians, chapter 11, the section most dreaded by females and much abused by Holiness preachers. [I discuss
I Corinthians 11:1-5 concerning God's order of authority manifested outwardly through submission to your head by outward appearance in a later section. It is there that I will discuss the male and female simultaneously in dishonoring of one's head by rebellious hairstyles.]
When your mental image produced a male with a typical haircut instead of one with long hair, it was "nature itself" being manifested. You see, in First Corinthians 11:14, Paul states, "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” It was nature that caused us to think it appropriate for a male to have a haircut generally along the tops of the ears. The Greek word for nature is phusis (Strong's 5449), defined as the nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature as opposed to that which is monstrous, abnormal and perverse. Therefore, it is perverse or abnormal for male children or adult males to grow hair long so as to present themselves in a traditionally defined female role. It is confusion and God is not the author of confusion. Nature has order which is given by God, and long hair on males in not natural.
According to Adam Clarke in his commentary, “Nature certainly teaches us, by bestowing it, that it is proper for women to have long hair; and it is not so with men. The hair of the male rarely grows like that of a female, unless art is used, and even then it bears but a scanty proportion to the former. Hence it is truly womanish to have long hair, and it is a shame to the man who affects it” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary).
What is long? We turn again to the Greek terminology for "have long hair." The Greek term, komao (Strong's 2863), means to let the hair grow, to have long hair. To let the hair grow is the opposite of cutting the hair. Males need a haircut. Before the hippie era and modernism occurred, a haircut meant the same thing to everyone. A male who asked for a haircut in a barbershop got one near the ear tops and basically evenly trimmed across the entire head. But, in these “modern” times, there is much confusion. Haircuts for males offer more varieties than I could take time to mention. Hair stylists will leave strips of long hair hanging from the back or sides. They will shave stripes and even cut messages in the hair by shaving areas to the scalp.
Bill Burkett offers this advice in defining short hair on males: "I would make three observations that would surely be acceptable to any reasonable person as to what would be considered short:
1. Hair that does not exceed or go beyond the natural hairline. 2. Hair that does not hang. 3. Hair that is cropped or cut and can be distinguished as short because it does not exceed the natural hairlines because it has been cut” (Because of the Angels, pg 27).
What about the shame mentioned in I Corinthians 11:14? Oh, some would say, "It's a shame and not a sin." Well it is a disgrace that someone would want to be in such a shameful condition and argue a shame is not a sin. Perhaps being a shame is not synonymous with being a sin. But, what Christian wanting to please God will continue in a shameful position?
The Greek word for shame is atimia (Strong's 819) which means dishonor, ignominy, and disgrace. Well, now it's just a dishonor. Do you want the title of being dishonorable in God's sight? What about ignominy? A few of synonyms for ignominy are scandal, contempt and humiliation. This is not getting any better.
Let’s hear from Adam Clarke again: “After all it is possible that St. Paul may refer to dressed, frizzled and curled hair, which shallow and effeminate men might have affected in that time, as they do in this. Perhaps there is not a sight more ridiculous in the eye of common sense than a high-dressed, curled, cued, and powdered head, with which the operator must have taken considerable pains, and the silly patient lost much time and comfort in submitting to what all but senseless custom must call an indignity and degradation. Hear nature, common sense, and reason, and they will inform you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary).
It appears clear to me that no male who is determined to follow God and the nature, which God has instituted, would want to argue in favor of long hair. It is scriptural and natural for a man to have a hairstyle which clearly identifies him as being male and that from a distance. A man should never be mistaken for a woman. In I Corinthians 11, Paul was reproving “the Corinthians for falling in with a style of manners which so far confounded the distinction of the sexes and was hurtful to good morals” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). Brother, poll your locks and get in order with God. I am telling you the outside is the easy part. Just keep it cut above the ears.
I can't argue on behalf of the ultra-conservative male who keeps his cut in what is known among Pentecostal Holiness individuals as "whitewalls." The sides are so high or so thin, that the scalp is exposed or nearly exposed. Again, is this a necessity or a personal preference to cut the hair so close is looks nearly shaved? Such close cutting is fine if the individual desires it, but to preach that others must emulate your extreme position is not scriptural and therefore no grounds exist to propagate your extreme standard. We lose justification for the message when it goes beyond that which is supported Biblically. For an ultra-conservative brother to go about his daily routine "inspecting" other brothers and condemning those who don't follow their "whitewall" standard is putting oneself along with the Pharisees who prayed, fasted, tithed, and trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others (Luke 18:9). I am still attempting to give a balanced approach that is safely supported by Scripture. I don't think going beyond the standards of God makes me more "holy."
What about Jesus Christ? Didn't He have long hair? Personally, I don't think so. According to an article in The Holiness Messenger, (a monthly paper by Independent Holiness Pentecostals) "There is not one single proof in the Bible that Jesus wore long hair. The unscriptural idea of Christ's long hair came from a school of artists who never saw Him and were mostly devoid of Bible knowledge. This is the same group that put wings and long hair on feminine looking angels, although the Bible always refers to them in the masculine gender" (April 1982).
The article continues (See appendix for complete article.) with several supports among which the paintings of the catacombs are mentioned. Catacombs in the beginning were only burial places. Here Christians gathered to celebrate their funeral rites, the anniversaries of martyrs and of the dead. During the persecutions, in exceptional cases, the catacombs were used as places of momentary refuge for celebration of Eucharist (www.catacombe.roma.it/intro_gb.html). Among the catacombs, it is reported that the Christ portrayed in their art work is one of short hair.
I hold the view of a shorthaired Jesus because there would not be an agreement between the teaching of Paul under the inspiration of the Spirit and a Christ with long hair. There also would not be an agreement between the order that God has established from creation of a clear distinction between the sexes especially manifested in the wearing of hair.
There still remains a standard with God that distinguishes male from female and does not follow after the fashions of this world. I will leave this section with a quote from Bill Burkett, “Any hairstyle of the world that originates in the world of fashion should be avoided by those who believe that Christians should not conform to the world” (Because of the Angels pg 28).