Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Superstitious little fellows

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 4 of 4 - External Means by which God Invites Us into the Society of Christ and Holds Us Therein

Chapter 12 - Church Discipline in censures and excommunication
22-28 - Requiring celibacy of clergy a harmful innovation
22. Clerical discipline was tight, early on, rightfully; they should "be far less indulgent toward themselves than toward others." Today Rome cloaks clerical immorality in legalistic rules that look pious. Only 1 meal a day (it lasts 8 hours). No wine at the dinner table (they get drunk in the back room later). Etc.
23. The most rigid of these is forbidding marriage, while they wink at clerical fornication. 1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:6; 1 Tim 4:1, 3 condemns them.
24. Rome calls marriage and the marriage act "uncleanness and pollution of the flesh," while Paul compares the union to Christ's with the church (Eph 5:23-24, 32)!
25. Rome says Levites being forbidden marital rites while they are serving in the temple (1 Sam 21:5) proves their point. But clergy today are not in the same position as Levitical priests, given Heb 13:4; 1 Cor 9:5.
26. The Nicene council approved marriage among clergy, calling faithfulness in marriage chastity.
27. Later on virginity was given undue praise, and thus over time only the super-spiritual were preferred for the clergy.
28. Rome tries to claim the ancient practice of the church, but then they better get rid of all the fornicating clergy first. Then they still can't rule out marriage to clergy, when God hasn't.

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