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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Marriage of Priests – part 3

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Ephesians 5:31–32

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

They ask you to defend their lusts with your chaste right hand, Emperor Charles—whom even some ancient predictions call the king of modest face, as the saying appears concerning you: “One modest in face shall reign everywhere.” Contrary to divine law, the law of nations, and the canons of councils, they ask that you sunder marriages. They ask this in order to inflict terrible punishments upon innocent men, execute priests—whom even barbarians reverently spare—and drive into exile banished women and fatherless children, just because they are married.

Pulling It Together: It is an irony. One would think that priests would be the ones to marry. After all, Paul tells us that marriage is a symbol of the relationship that Christ has with his Church. The Revelator also tells us of the marriage of Christ and his Church (Rev 19:7, 8; 21:2, 9; 22:17). In fact, this metaphor is found in many places in both the Old and New Testaments. If marriage is such a powerful image of the relationship between God and his people, one would think that his priests would be the very ones to marry, so that they could demonstrate what this holy state looks like. It is ironic, therefore, that priests would live the opposite of what God knows to be such a compelling lifestyle. Furthermore, why would they chastise and even condemn those who follow the Lord’s own example?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your perfect devotion to me. Amen.

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