2 Corinthians 2:17
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Marriage of Priests
We have given the reasons why we cannot conscientiously agree with our opponents’ defense of the pontifical law concerning perpetual celibacy. It conflicts with divine and natural law, is at variance even with the canons, is superstitious and full of danger, and, lastly, because the whole affair is disingenuous. The law is enacted for the sake of domination, not religion. Religion is merely a wicked pretext. No sane person would debate these firmly established reasons. For the gospel allows marriage to those to whom it is necessary, yet does not force marriage on those who want to be celibate—provided they are truly celibate. We contend that this freedom should also be granted to the priests, nor do we wish to force anyone into celibacy or to break up marriages.
Pulling It Together
The Wittenberg Reformers knew something about peddlers of religion. The hucksters of indulgences plagued the lands, bilking folks out of scarce money. There were other charlatans too, who traded wholesale in religion, exchanging false promises for the blessings of life. But the gospel that is our commission is not religion. Instead of shackles, the good news of Christ Jesus is liberty. The way of bondage leads to sin and death, while the clear call of Christ is freedom.
Prayer: When we speak, Lord, may we proclaim you. Amen.
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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.
The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).