Is the catholic doctrine of celibacy Scriptural? I have read verses that encourage one to be married but am hard pressed to find verses that encourage a person to be celibate. If celibacy is necessary for church leaders, it would certainly have been laid out in the Scriptures in the requirements for leadership. However, there is not one instruction to church leaders on celibacy found in God’s Holy Word.

So what is found in Scriptures?

~1 Timothy 4:1-3 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry”

~1 Timothy 3:1-4 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

~Matthew 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.

Peter was a married man because verse 14 speaks of his mother-in-law. Many of the Apostles and first leaders of the early Church were married. God outlined the qualifications of the Bishop in His Word in 1 Timothy. A bishop must be the husband of one wife, must rule his own house well and must have his children in subjection.

How can a doctrine as important as marriage be removed from a bishop’s qualifications and given a 180 degree turn? The Word of God is final. God’s Word is forever settled in Heaven and, therefore, cannot be reversed by mere man here on earth!

~Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

God said the leaders of the Church should be a husband – one that rules his house well and has his children in subjection. Can a celibate priest do this? How can a priest effectively counsel a couple who is having marital problems? Think about it. This is just another unscriptural teaching for the catholic church. Sadly it is one that places undue hardships and burdens on a man’s shoulders.

© Kate Plourde 2009

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