Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pentecostal declaration: Come to church ‘All Ye’ in Jeans and dreadlocks,

You are no more going to be banished from the church for leaving your hair uncovered, so please come to church, senior officials of the Church of Pentecost have said, as the church seeks to increase its membership drive.

In a surprise communiqué issued by the church on Tuesday and signed by the Chairman of the church Apostle said women wearing dreadlocks are also allowed to come and fellowship with the church.

The communiqué which was issued after the end of the church’s annual prayer meeting in Accra, admitted the compulsory wearing of headscarves has no foundation in the bible and, it was time women break free from the tradition.

The church has been very vocal about members wearing scarves before entering the church to worship, and most members who had objected to the practice have been openly sacked from the church, labelling them ‘unholy’ elements who are not pure to come to the thrown of God.

The church has also frowned on members especially the women marrying from outside. However, the latest twist has come at a time when most churches in the country have become very lenient with their members about their mode of dressing, though they stress that decency should not be lost on any of them.

Among other things, the communiqué said; “ the issue of head covering, which has been the source of embarrassment to female visitors to the Church over the years, has no categorical biblical foundation as a requirement for salvation and should, as such, not be imposed on church members or visitors to the Church’s worship services.”

The church said having examined the book of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which spoke extensively on hte issue, it has become clear that the import of the message has been lost on the church.

“That, a critical examination of the historical records, such as circulars of successive Chairmen of the Church from 1953 to 2007 revealed that the forefathers of the Church, particularly the Founder,
Rev. James McKeown did not discourage or encourage the covering of the head by women; but that he had rather admonished the Church through a circular letter of August 7, 1967, that the leaders should not meddle in the private affairs of church members by prescribing dress codes for them. He had taught that church members dress decently and modestly.”

The communiqué also said the practice of women covering their heads before entering the church was something that emanated from the kingship settings in Africa.

“The practice of head covering might have crept into the Church’s practices from the fact that it was traditionally required of women in Ghana to cover their head before speaking to their kings and this might have led foundational women of the Church to insist on appearing before the Lord, the King of kings, with their head covered;

the communiqué said the

The church said studies conducted over the socio-cultural situation in the country, indicate that though Ghanaian women were traditionally expected to cover their hair at a certain age, the practice has long been done away with.

The church also said some churches in the country equally have similar challenges and the best way of addressing the issue is to allow people to dress the way they want, but should be decent.

“The entire membership of the Church consider the issue of the covering of head by women in the spirit of Christian maturity so as not to offend anybody with regard to this controversial matter, which appears to have defied theological and hermeneutical agreement.”

“ Female visitors who attend church services without a head covering should be accepted as they are, without being either turned back or offered a head covering, since head covering does not subtract from a person’s salvation,” the communiqué read.

Again, the church also reminded strong adherents of the church who might find it difficult to come to terms with the new directive not to condemn those who come to worship at the church as lacking spirituality. However, it advised such women to respect the ethics of decency and be modest in their dressing so as to please God.

“That, church members appreciate the progressive changes in the socio-cultural environment in which the gospel is preached in order to make the gospel relevant to its hearers.”

The church, through the communiqué, also cautioned against the wearing of “seductive or sexually-provocative dress” to the church.

The communiqué concluded by calling on all members of the church to “accommodate one another in love, unity and for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:23-33), and joins Apostle Paul in stating: “Give no offence, either to the Jews, or to the Greeks or to the church of God (1 Cor. 10:32).”

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