Catholic Verses - 95 Bibles Passages That Confound Protestants?
VOLUNTARY EUNUCHS FOR THE SAKE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Page 191: Matthew 19:12. The frequent argument of Protestants on the subject of clerical celibacy is that the Catholic Church makes a requirement out of something that Paul merely recommends. Catholics, so we are told, are guilty once again of smuggling in their "traditions of men" and an alleged animus against sexuality and marriage.
Note: The forbidding to marry by the Catholic Church for its clergy was a requirement established over 1,700 years ago.
The earliest textual evidence of the forbidding of marriage to clerics and the duty of those already married to abstain from sexual contact with their wives is in the fourth-century decrees of the Council of Elvira and the later Council of Carthage.
Council of Elvira (c. 305)
(Canon 33): It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office.
Council of Carthage (390)
(Canon 3): It is fitting that the holy bishops and priests of God as well as the Levites, i.e. those who are in the service of the divine sacraments, observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the Apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also endeavour to keep… It pleases us all that bishop, priest and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from conjugal intercourse with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity.
Among the early Church statements on the topic of sexual continence and celibacy are the Directa and Cum in unum decretals of Pope Siricius (c. 385), which asserted that clerical sexual abstinence was an apostolic practice that must be followed by ministers of the church. Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Page 193: Catholics are being very biblical in this view. Where in Protestantism is the calling of celibacy celebrated and honored, since it is strongly recommended by St. Paul and Jesus, and was the norm among the early Apostles, not to mention the early priests and bishops? We honor both celibacy and marriage. Protestants, however, seem to honor only the latter. They are just as legalistic as they claim we are by enforcing the "unwritten rule" that pastors ought always to be married.
Note: Saint Paul recommends marriage and condemns those who forbid others from getting married.
1 Timothy 4:1-5 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Page 193: In Catholic ascetic spiritually, or what are called "the evangelical counsels," a person may voluntarily (sometimes heroically) renounce something for the kingdom of God. That principle is even found in Protestantism to some extent (e.g., giving monetary donations to the point of sacrifice). It is certainly biblical (the prophets, John the Baptist, the disciples, and so forth).
Note: Saint Peter was married.
Matthew 8:14-15 Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever. So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.
Page 194: It is not by any means clear to me that a married clergy is a preferable or superior state of affairs. Most pastors end up forsaking time with their families, and are workaholics (as are many men). I even came up with a phrase of it: "Busy Pastor Syndrome." The wild, rebellious nature of "preacher's kids" is a well-known phenomenon in the Evangelical world. We used to call them "PKs." Even Billy Graham's son Franklin (who now has a wonderful and important ministry of his own) went through a very rebellious period.
Note: A requirement to be a Christian Bishop is to be married and raise children to be reverent.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Page 197: So it looks as though Protestants cannot come up with any compelling or persusasive biblical argument against clerical celibacy, or any "un-Catholic" re-interpretation of Matthew 19:12. Many of the criticisms of celibacy made by Protestant opponents of the practice today are of the same nonbiblical, and usually emotionally based, nature.
Note: Jesus Christ endorsed marriage.
John 2:6-11 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
Note: The author of Catholic Verses has deliberately ignored, twisted, and misinterpreted Scripture.
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