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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Smalcald Articles – part 128

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1 Timothy 4:1–5

From the Confessions: The Smalcald Articles 

Part III, Article XI. Concerning the Marriage of Priests.

They had neither the authority nor the right to prohibit marriage, to burden the divine order of priests with perpetual celibacy. They have acted like antichristian, tyrannical, desperate scoundrels, and have thereby caused innumerable, horrible, abominable sins of unchastity in which they still wallow. Now, as little as we or they have been given the power to make a woman out of a man or a man out of a woman, or to nullify either sex, they have just as little power to separate these creatures of God, or to forbid them from living honestly with one another in marriage. We are unwilling, therefore, to assent to their abominable celibacy, nor will we tolerate it. We will have marriage free as God established it, not wishing to either revoke or hinder his work, as Paul says that this is a doctrine of devils (1 Tim 4:1ff).

Pulling It Together: I vaguely recall a Christmas when I was 16 or 17 years old and refused to open presents. Realizing how foolish and hurtful I was acting, I conceded by joining in the festivities. I had been feeling myself to be a pathetic son, unworthy to receive gifts from his parents, and imagining that not happily receiving their gifts would somehow make me a better son. Of course, quite the opposite was true. 

Prayer: Make me truly thankful, Lord, for all your good gifts. Amen.

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