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1Corinthians  ◦   Chapter 11

1Follow my example in reaching others in love, just as I follow the example of Christ.

2I'm so pleased with you for remembering all I have taught you and for holding firmly to the truth I shared with you.

3Now, I want you to realize that every man is to follow the loving leadership of Christ; and within a marriage–the wife is to follow the loving leadership of her husband, just as Christ follows the loving leadership of his Father.4In our culture, any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered, symbolically hides himself from God, which makes it appear that he is going his own way and is no longer following the loving leadership of Christ. Such behavior is dishonorable and destructive.5And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, symbolically breaks the circle of God’s love, which makes it appear that she is selfishly seeking to sever herself from her husband and wants to take his place in God’s plan. This is dishonorable and destructive, and is as repulsive as the shaving of the heads by the cult prostitutes who do it to let everyone know how lewd they are.

6If a woman insists on presenting herself in ways that break God's circle of love, she should at least advertise the fact that she is selfish and not on God's team, and shave her head just like the cult prostitutes do.7In our culture, a man should not cover his head, because he was created first and is to lead in revealing God's character of self-sacrificing love by humble service to his wife, who is to glory in her husband's love and return that love freely to him.8For man did not originate from a woman, but woman was created from man;9and woman was created to help man enter into the fullness of Godlike love by being the selfless recipient of man's humble, loving service.10It was for this purpose–so that man could experience greater depths of God's love through the giving of himself to uplift his wife, which reveals the truth about God's nature of love to angels–that woman is to be led by the loving leadership of her husband.

11In God's design, and in unity with him, husband and wife are not independent of each other but are united in an intimate bond of love and trust.12God reveals this intimate connection by creating woman from man, and then designing it so that all future men are born from women; with everything, of course, coming from God. We are all connected, united, bonded together, and have our own place in God's design!13Consider the evidence for yourselves: Is it healthy for a woman to try to deny her own identity and instead live like a man?14Doesn't nature itself teach that each individual has their own place, role and responsibilities, and if a man denies his identity and tries to live like a woman, it is unnatural and unhealthy;15but it is beautiful and healthy for a woman to embrace her femininity and let her hair grow long.16Please don't waste time arguing about this; this is the only healthy way to live, and that's how all the churches of God understand it,

17because your meetings create a toxic environment, which causes damage and does not heal injuries. I am not going to sugarcoat the following prescription.18I have heard that when you assemble to worship, you divide into factions, gossiping and working against each other — and I suspect this is true.19There is no doubt that there are differences in spiritual maturity among you, as some of you are cooperating more fully with the Holy Spirit than others.20But remember that when you come together, it is from the Lord's table that you are eating–so emulate him!21He served his disciples; yet when you eat, it's everyone for themself, one rushing ahead of another, no one serves another–it's all about gratifying self. Some remain hungry, while others get drunk.22Church is an opportunity to love and serve each other; if you are only interested in gorging yourselves, don't you have a home where you can do that? Or are you intentionally trying to make God's church appear heartless and cruel by mistreating those less fortunate? What do you expect me to say of such behavior? Should I commend you? Absolutely not!

23Everything the Lord taught me I am teaching you. The Lord Jesus — while at dinner on the night he was betrayed — took the bread,24and after thanking his Father, broke it and said, "This bread symbolizes my body, which is broken for your healing. When you eat together, break the bread and remember me and the Remedy to sin I have procured."25Then, after they had eaten the bread, he took the cup and said, "This cup symbolizes the true Remedy of internalizing my character into your hearts. The wine symbolizes my blood, which in turn symbolizes my perfect life. As you drink, you symbolically ingest into your hearts my perfect character of love. Whenever you drink it, remember me and what I have done for you."26So whenever you eat this broken bread and drink of this symbolic cup, you proclaim the Remedy to sin the Lord's death procured–until he comes again.

27Therefore whoever eats or drinks of the symbolic bread or cup of our Lord in a manner that misrepresents the Remedy our Lord achieved, fails to partake of the cure Christ has provided, and instead is guilty of promoting a false remedy.28Each person should take a moment and reflect upon the motives of their heart before eating the bread or drinking from the cup.29For any who partake of the Lord's table without a heart open to internalize Christ — which we symbolize by eating and drinking the bread and wine — diagnose themselves as terminal.30That is why so many of you remain weak in character and sick of heart, worn down by worry and fear, some even falling asleep in death.31If we would admit the reality of our own terminal condition and accept God's Remedy, we would not be subjected to diagnostic scrutiny.32But when our condition is diagnosed by the Lord, it is so we may be treated and cured and not be condemned with the rest of the unremedied world.

33So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat of the Lord's table, serve each other in love.34Those simply looking for a meal and not the internalization of Christ into the heart should eat at home, so when you gather together in Christ's love it will not result in misunderstanding and misdiagnosis. When I come, I will give further insights and instructions.