As it pertains to the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11, John Piper was asked on his podcast if it was wrong for men to have long hair. Piper said, “Didn’t nature teach the Corinthians that if a man wears long hair, it is a disgrace for him? Yes, it did.” Piper then explained that “nature did because the God-designed, healthy male soul revolts against clothing himself in symbols of femininity, just like the God-designed, healthy female soul revolts against presenting herself as a man. That revolt from nature is a God-given teacher.”
Looking into John MacArthur’s archives, the pastor was also once asked during a Q&A session about how to interpret this passage of Scripture. At the time, MacArthur said that his message on this passage is one he has recommended more than any other, because everyone asks about it.
“Paul wants the Corinthians to learn that Christ is the head of the church and the man is the head of the woman, so there is a chain of command there,” MacArthur explained. He then said that a head covering is a sign of humility and meekness. Paul argues from a standpoint of culture and nature when he addresses men who have long hair, MacArthur continued.
“Now don’t get all upset,” MacArthur told his audience. “People say, ‘Oh, you see, that proves it, that men should never have long hair.’ That’s relative. If a woman has her hair to the back of her knees, like some did in those days, and a man had his to his shoulders, that’s not long hair.”
The pastor then shared his thoughts on whether Jesus had long hair, saying, “Jesus may have had it to his shoulders. In fact, the only description we have of him indicates he had it to his shoulders.”
“But the point is this, and I’ve checked this out several times, that a woman’s hair tends to grow faster than a man’s hair,” MacArthur concluded. “So that God has designed that a woman’s hair would be longer than a man’s by the very nature of that growth pattern. So you have both the culture and the creation to demonstrate that a woman is to manifest the role of meekness or humility, which is the role of submission. That’s essentially what the passage is saying.”