From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Marriage of Priests
Our opponents’ frivolous arguments say that originally, the commandment was given to replenish the earth, but now that the earth has been replenished, marriage is no longer commanded. See how wise they are! The word of God made the nature of humanity to be fruitful, not only at the beginning of the creation, but as long as our physical nature exists, just as his word makes the earth fruitful. “And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And it was so” (Gen 1:11). Because of this ordinance, the earth did not begin to bring forth plants only in the beginning. The fields are clothed every year as long as this natural order exists. Humans cannot legislate that the nature of the earth be changed, so without a special work of God, the nature of a human being cannot be changed either—by vows or by human law.
Pulling It Together: This is human reason at work again. Scripture says one thing, but we come up with our reasons for not believing what the Word says. Men and women are made for one another; it has been so from the beginning, as God saw fit. He has not changed his mind. We have. No matter how much we argue, no matter how finely we reason, no matter how outraged we become at the word of God, it is still his word. Their argument is with God—not another part of his Church. So we must confess that legislating celibacy is contrary to the word of God—in the beginning and in the present. One either believes the word of God, or not. The Lord will sort out the rest.
Prayer: Keep me steadfast in your word, Lord. Amen.
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