Among those who believe and teach the truth of 1 Corinthians 11 in regards to women maintaining uncut hair, there are some who believe in error about the “power” that is linked to the doctrinal practice.
There should be a baseline of understanding set when approaching this discussion. First and foremost, there is no doctrine of a woman’s hair containing, eliciting, exuding, projecting, etc. any type of miraculous power in this entire chapter.
The word translated “power” (exousia) in this chapter is more accurately translated “a symbol of authority”. It is not to be confused with indwelling, or residing “power” (dynamis) such as is given through the Holy Ghost in Acts 1:8.
In 1 Corinthians 11 the woman’s hair is to be “a symbol of authority on her head”, or a symbol that she is under authority.
Many people have a false perception of this passage of scripture simply because the word in English has been translated as “power”, and they make the error of assuming some type of miraculous power resides in the woman’s hair. This is not true, and is not being taught in this set of verses at all.
From the outset of the chapter, it is clear that Paul is laying out the case for, and the structure of, God’s divine order of authority and submission. When this order of submission is broken, there is a price to pay. Such it was with the angels of God who “left their first estate” (Jude 1:6). This clarifies the reason that a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head “because of the angels”. This phrase does not allude to angels keeping watch over those women who have long, uncut hair, and somehow releasing “power” to them for their obedience or covering which they can then use to perform miracles. Again, the word power here does not allude to miraculous or divine emanation or exertion of power. It is referring to the simple act of portraying that the woman is under her God-ordained “head”… her symbol of authority.
There are many passages of scripture that have been mistakenly translated in our modern thinking to mean something they do not. Some reasons for this are taking scripture out of context, using ideas as a pretext, not properly studying meanings of words, or even traditional teachings. In addition, there are many extrabiblical experiences that people have used over time to validate their “spiritual” ideas or doctrines… even heretical ones… where there is no clear Scriptural basis. This is extremely dangerous. Soon, people begin attributing the things God has done to material or human devices, and not to their true Source. We should be very cautious when people use human devices to bring about spiritual results. We are given several methods by God, through His word, to obtain healings, deliverance, faith, encouragement, etc., and far be it from us to interject new unscriptural methods like the laying on of hair to elicit a response from Him. I’m reminded of other non-scriptural things like snake-handling, holy laughter, “soaking”, barking int he spirit, split pulpits, blowing up noses, and such that have taken the place in many churches of the true, Biblical evidences of the genuine move of God.
So please, friends. Let’s carefully approach this thing called, “the Spiritual”, that we have become so familiar with and be sure that we neither add to nor take away from what God has given us instruction for. We are living in the age of Apostolic authority and power delegated by God. He is still the source of that power, and it is mighty enough to accomplish all His will without us using our devices in attempt to conjure it up.
God’s word is powerful in its rawest form, and its truths… even those as simple as maintaining his order of authority and submission… are strong enough to stand on their own.
“Ask, and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”(Matthew 7:7)
“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”(James 5:14-15)
“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:18)
“…to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.” (Acts 28:8)