Preface: As with many posts, the claims made in this post are far from being definitive to the whole apostolic movement. In fact I has been very surprised and pleased with the openness of many apostolic officials and higher ups to denounce the doctrine of "magic hair" as a heresy in recent months. It must also be noted that whatever controversy may be derived from this post, the thoughts are not really my own. Many men more articulate and intelligent than I have already tried to openly combat this theory and have done so in a far more effective fashion than I could. For the most comprehensive understanding of Holy magic hair, please visit http://holymagichair.com/wordpress/. Also note that this is not a criticism anyway in uncut hair, nor is it advocating hair cutting. I'm critiquing a doctrine that has developed around long hair.
Okay, when I originally started SAL, I had a post about HMH (holy magic hair) in mind. However, after a beloved teacher of mine spoke out against it in an issue of the pentecostal herald, I thought the issue was a dead one (if the UPC is officially taking a stance against it, then it should be a moot point right?). So I moved on thinking people came to their senses about the concept that there is some mystical/magical/protective power in uncut hair on females.
But the other day I received an e-mail from past contributer Ryan Evans about the following story that really embodies the idea surrounding holy magic hair:
(there was) "A
Somewhere along the line people decided that the above line meant that there was magical powers in uncut hair. Also note that anyone who claims that they assuredly know what this verse actually means is a man who wants his own opinions to play god over the Word simply because no one can say with certainty what this verse means. Really, almost every scholar will admit that there is so much ambiguity and confusion about the verse that all one can do is speculate about it.
But what do some misinformed ideologues of our movement do with this verse? Why they did what anyone else would do if you wanted to help polarize an entire movement without actually understanding how to properly interpret the significance of the cross and resurrection of Christ...they made a fascinating doctrine out of the verse!
That's right folks, it is not uncommon to go to camp and revival services in some sectors and find women being lauded to unravel their hair and pray over prayer requests, offering, or people with a terrible and seemingly uncontrollable case of "the swears."
But that's church stuff....Anyone who is apostolic knows that part of the joy of being apostolic is that some really cool stuff can happen in church but as a slight (but still manageable) cost, weird stuff happens in church as well...
But it appears this whole "power" in the hair thing is going mainstream and out of our church walls (hence the story of the mother praying for her son in a car accident)...
And somehow deep inside the whims of my soul, I'm doing this kind of thing in response:
Bottom line, people think there is safety and protection and healing powers in the hair of apostolic female's hair.
And you may wonder why it even matters...
And I posit that this more than many controversies surrounding our movement right now needs to be stopped...because it is the utmost detriment to an understanding of the saving power of Jesus....
Let me tell you a conversation I had with a female very close to my heart not too long ago that I think embodies what's wrong with a belief in Holy Magic hair. The kindhearted lady was retelling a story of how her friend's kid was confident in his journies as a youth that he would be safe because of his mother's uncut hair covering him on his travels.
This is where the conversation kicks off...
Me: Do you think your uncut hair protects your household in some sense?
Lady: Yes, I think angels are watching over my family because of my glory (hair).
Me: So do you think that protection would be lost should you cut your hair?
Me: Do you think God loves you and your family whether you cut your hair or not?
Lady: I have no doubts that he will always love me and my family.
Me: But you are telling me that God's love and his ability to protect you has it's limits?
Lady: What do you mean?
Me: You just told me that God's protection is dependent on you not cutting your hair. Meaning that there are limits to God's love and further his love is limited to you not cutting your hair.
Lady: What does protection have to do with love?
Me: Think about a father who is standing outside his burning house and his two twin boys are standing in their upper story bedroom window as a fire is consuming the boys' bedroom. The boys have but no choice than to jump into the father's arm for safety. Now one of the boys, Marty, is a fantastic young lad. He is always well behaved and very obedient. He jumps and his dad catches him, happy to have his boy alive.
Now consider the other boy, Jacob. He is less well behaved. In fact he's a brat. He is always wreaking havoc, making kids cry via wet willies, and flat out disobedient, He also has a fondness to poop his pants just to tick his parents off that much more.
Now, do you think the dad is going to think twice about not catching this boy because his son is so evil?
Of course not. The father's love is not dependent on how misbehaved his child is.
The point is, that somewhere along the way, the HMH advocates have decided God's love wasn't enough. They have said the cross is nice and it gets a saved and everything, but the blood of Christ and it's protection and mercy and grace have it's limits. Therefore, they argue that We NEED to do more to ensure God's love. We need to have our ladies not cut our hair, and only then can we enjoy the full benefits of God's love.
Note this has nothing to do with obedience/disobedience. Of course we are supposed to respond to obedience to God's Word on the understanding of God's love for us nailed to that cross and the transformation process that His Holy Spirit will enact in us. But all of this is fully reliant and dependent on the cross and the blood that Jesus shed for us.
What HMH advocates are saying is that we need the cross AND something else for God's mystical powers and His angels to have full power in this world. In such an instance, the cross is not enough. We need more than what Christ offered for us!
As Kurtz would say as he was dying in Apocalypse Now:
"The Horror...The Horror!"
In Galatians, Paul got mad at the Judaizers for saying the cross was not enough for salvation. They said it helped, but to become a fully restored Christian, one must get circumcision.
In other words: Circumcision + Jesus=Salvation
Now according to HMH, God' love and protection is dependent on hair length as well as Jesus....
Not much has changed....
Also if you want a kind of manifesto of holy magic hair check out this video (I have not watched it in over a year because of how mad it makes me...the idea that the speaker uses witchcraft practices as an indicator of truth in power of hair is very sad. I guess that means we should all wear the color red as much as possible too because that is a doctrine of traditional witchcraft as well...)
(source of video: http://holymagichair.com/wordpress/?p=44)
Update: After listening to a part of the message below, he mentions the story of the woman whose son lived from a car accident because of her hair.
Holy Magic Hair- Taught by Lee Stoneking
Holy Magic Hair | MySpace Video