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1 Corinthians 7:7–9
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Marriage of Priests
What greater shamelessness has ever been read about in all of history than that of our opponents? We will review their arguments soon. First, let the wise reader consider the brazenness of these good-for-nothings who say that marriages bring dishonor and disgrace to the government—as though the public infamy of the criminal and unnatural lusts which glow among these “holy fathers,” who feign that they are Curii and live like Bacchanals, were a great ornament to the Church. Most of the things that these men do with the greatest license cannot even be mentioned without a breach of modesty.
Pulling It Together: One cannot put on an alb and cincture, yet live like an unbound infidel, and think that putting on an extra robe will cover the hypocrisy. More laws and traditions are not needed. It is the Word of God that is necessary; it addresses the problem. The question here is not the virtue of government, or the control of priests and pastors. The real issue is the piety of God’s people. Restricting marriage is hardly the solution for holiness, as the Apostle Paul attests. If one is like the apostle, able to remain unmarried, he or she may devote life to the Lord’s service (1 Cor 7:33–34). But Paul never meant this to be a control over people (1 Cor 7:35), as though this made them holy. Indeed, he teaches to the contrary (1 Cor 7:14).
Prayer: Lord, strengthen Christian marriages and use them to bring unbelievers to faith. Amen.
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