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“Is the length of one’s hair important to God?”

“Is the length of one’s hair important to God?”

DECEMBER 30, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / “Is the length of one’s hair important to God?”

Steve Brown:
Is the length of one’s hair important to God? We’ll talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Key Life exists to communicate that the deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. Life’s hard for everyone, so grace is for all of us, but there is a lot of confusion about how grace applies to real life. So, here’s seminary professor and author, Steve Brown and Pete Alwinson to answer your questions.

Steve Brown:
Hi Pete.

Pete Alwinson:
Hey Steve.

Steve Brown:
I don’t like that kind of question because

Pete Alwinson:
Why not? Why?

Steve Brown:
Because I don’t have any hair.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, you do.

Steve Brown:
I have a crew cut. And the crew has escaped ship .

Pete Alwinson:
You have hair, you’ve got on the sides and around the back. And you could have a ponytail down the middle of your back if you grew it down.

Steve Brown:
That’s true. But you know, it would look funny, frankly.

Pete Alwinson:
It would, but I know people that do it.

Steve Brown:
I know too. I could shave it too. If I didn’t have such big years. I would just take all my hair off, but people would kid me about flying if I can flap my ears. So, I’m just going to stick with it the way it is.

Pete Alwinson:
Well, I’ve got one suggestion I’ll bring up later, if you want to. I mean, it’s, you know, there it is.

Steve Brown:
Tony. Never, nevermind. I’m not going to say that. That’s Pete Alwinson and he comes in on Fridays and we answer your questions. And we love doing this and we love your questions. You can ask a question by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. You can do that anytime. Just record your question and sometimes we put your voice on the air, or you can write to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected] And we’ll take you and your question seriously. And while you’re doing that, if you can help us financially, I promise that we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. You can put it on your credit card, include it in your envelope.. And we’ll use it for those who will rise up and call you blessed for giving it. If you can’t, we understand, say a prayer for this ministry. Enough. Pete, why don’t you lead us in prayer and then we’ll get to these questions.

Pete Alwinson:
Great. Great. Well, we come into your presence Father. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And we thank you that we can pause momentarily to come to you. We honor you. And praise you for your sovereignty, for your love, for your mercy. We thank you that you carry us every day. We thank you that you’re large and in charge and have been all week, and we come to you and we ask for your perspective. We ask for your filling Holy Spirit. We ask that your grace would continue to shape us and yes, to make us like Jesus. And so, we honor you, we praise you, we thank you that we get to be your children. And now we ask Lord, that even as we think about gathering with the rest of your family this week-end we ask that you would, in a powerful way, draw us together. Lord, we’re so easily distracted by what the world has to offer. So, we look forward to being in church and we ask that you would use our worship directors, priests, pastors, teachers, leaders, all those who are working and getting ready right now, to bring us into your throne room. And so, we come, look forward to bowing our knees before you. And now, we commit this time of Q&A to you and ask, Lord Jesus, you would use it to take us one step closer to you. We commit our time to you now, in your holy name. Amen.

Steve Brown:
Amen. Pete, this first question is an e-mail. Does I Corinthians 11 say that a guy having long hair is a dishonor to God or is it saying something else? Does how one wears his or her hair important to God?

Pete Alwinson:
Well, that’s controversial with all kinds of historical, cultural stuff attached to it. How do you approach that?

Steve Brown:
Well, you have to, if you’re liberal theologically and the authority of Scripture isn’t important to you, you just can find out whatever you don’t like and say that’s cultural and it doesn’t apply. But if you are a Bible believer and you believe that the Bible is revealed truth, you can’t do that. You’ve got to find a hermaneutic. And that’s a principle of interpretation that allows you to deal with texts like this in a Biblical and adequate way. And so, and if you find a contradiction any place in Scripture, then you can start moving into the idea that it’s culturally oriented. Now, Paul was teaching a number of things about God, about respect, about what goes on in the church, and they were culturally oriented, like we know that Samson had long hair and when he got it short he got killed. And you know, when you think of the people in the Testament, in the first century, they had long hair. Probably Paul had long hair too when he was writing that. So, you’re free at that point to say, wait, something else is going on here. And then to look at the text in a different way.

Pete Alwinson:
I like that. That’s really, really important what you said. And there’s a relativity to long hair. What is the long hair, how long is long? Is it shoulder length or is it middle of the back or what? You know, so that’s relative, you know, an initial thrust also culturally that I think is a Biblical theme is that gender matters. This is a particularly relevant issue today, that it may well have some gender application. We know the Old Testament was concerned with that whole idea too, that a man was not to wear women’s clothes. And this is controversial, obviously today in America.

Steve Brown:
But needs to be said.

Pete Alwinson:
Needs to be said.

Steve Brown:
Because we’re doing some crazy things. Now, that isn’t to say that gender confusion or dysphoria or gender problems are not real. I think they can be.

Pete Alwinson:
They’re real. Yeah.

Steve Brown:
And they have always been, you and I as pastors for a lot of years have dealt with that on occasion, and when you do, you deal with it biologically and Biblically. But that’s not what’s going on in our culture.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
In our culture, they’re saying you can choose. If you’re a man, you can choose to have a baby. If you’re a woman, you can choose to be a man. If you’re a man, you can choose to be a woman. No, you can’t. You don’t get that wiggle room in Scripture. So, I think you’re wise to point out that this has gender implications to it. It really does. And we’ll get letters for what we just said. But I don’t care. You can’t stop speaking truth cause you’re going to get negative letters.

Pete Alwinson:
And you’re right. And the problem is the advocacy for, particularly with our most vulnerable population, our young girls particularly, interestingly, white young girls. If you read Abigail Schrier’s book, she’s not a Christian. But she’s a very deep, thoughtful journalist on that whole thing. And we need to be aware because too many of our young kids are at risk now.

Steve Brown:
That’s so true. And what’s being done to them is unconscionable.

Pete Alwinson:
Unconscionable evil, absolutely evil.

Steve Brown:
Yeah. It really. What do we, this is an e-mail. What do we know for sure about the end times?

Pete Alwinson:
Jesus is coming back.

Steve Brown:
That’s it. That’s it. That’s all we know for sure.

Pete Alwinson:
You and I agree on eschatology.

Steve Brown:
He’s going to win in the end.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh boy.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, and it’s fun to study eschatology, and to look at the different views. There isn’t any view so weird that it hasn’t been advocated by some Christian, somewhere. And you know the charts disagree with each other. Nobody knows for sure. You know that guy that wrote, 88 Reasons the Rapture’s Going to Occur in 1988? And when it didn’t occur, he wrote a book the next year. This is true.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah, it’s true.

Steve Brown:
89 Reasons

Pete Alwinson:
I remember that.

Steve Brown:
89 Reasons the Rapture’s Going to, I’ll bet you that second copy didn’t sell very much. Look, we’re not making fun. We’re laughing at ourselves. We all like to talk about end times, just be careful of too many details and absolute sureness about those things.

Pete Alwinson:
That’s right.

Steve Brown:
Jesus’ attitude was totally different, wasn’t it?

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. In fact, Jesus sums up Matthew 24. Matthew 24 is called the what, the small apocalypse. Read that. Read I Thessalonians 4 and 5. And you get some really good clarity on what we can expect.

Steve Brown:
Which is absolute in which all Christians can agree on. And Jesus said about the time that he didn’t even know. In his Incarnational state. So, that’s a good attitude to have for all of us. We break fellowship with other Christians over these issues.

Pete Alwinson:
Yeah. Like baptism and some of those things we don’t need to break issue or fellowship over, but we can allow the end times to hold lightly onto our things, our possessions. And be focused on kingdom work.

Steve Brown:
You know, when I was a teenager, I was a part of a Bible study with a lady in my home town, which is Asheville, North Carolina. And she had a house up on the side of a mountain and we met there every Monday night and she was Aunt Gordy and every morning of her life she would go to her kitchen window, she would throw open the windows, and look out over the city of Asheville. And say, Lord, maybe today, maybe today. And that comment in the morning informed the rest of her day.

Pete Alwinson:
You know, that is really, really a good thing to do. More people ought to do that.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, I agree. And the Scripture is clear that we should, just be careful about being too sure that you’ve got it down. Addison Leach told me before he died, he was the Dean at Gordon Conwell. He said he believed that sometimes somebody was going to come up with an answer. And it’s probably going to be a layman, not a scholar. And everybody will say, oh, that’s what he meant. We didn’t know that.

Pete Alwinson:
It’s going to be a well-read electrician.

Steve Brown:
Yeah, that’s right. Who’s going to come up with the answer that we’ll all give. Let me see. Okay. A short one. Will our pets be in heaven? But of course.

Pete Alwinson:
Sure.

Steve Brown:
Except I’ve had five German shepherds and one’s not going to make it. It was the dumbest dog I ever had. He wasn’t smart enough to understand the gospel.

Pete Alwinson:
Oh my goodness. Which one was that?

Steve Brown:
Calvin.

Pete Alwinson:
Calvin.

Steve Brown:
Well, he was misnamed.

Pete Alwinson:
Poorly named.

Steve Brown:
It was a misnomer. I shouldn’t have called him Calvin, but he really was a dumb dog. I’ve got to say that right up front. Listen, nobody knows for sure, but there are enough Scriptures to give us hope. And if you love your dog, as much as I love my dog, and her name is Annie, and she’s a black, big German shepherd. And she’s going to heaven, and we’re getting out of here. First, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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