1Corinthians9,4-5: "Have we not every right to eat and drink? And every right to be accompanied by a Christian wife, like the other apostles, like the brothers of the Lord, and like Cephas?
1Timothy 4,1-3: "The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times some will desert the faith and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from devils, seduced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are branded as though with a red-hot iron: they forbid marriage and prohibit foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and know the truth."
Why Not Just Change It?
Try telling a young person bent on a military career that his or her enthusiasm for military protocols might change.
This is something akin to the gatekeeper rule of mandatory celibacy in the Vatican State church wherein one is offerred an important social and clerical rank, a seat at many tables, and a life long career, just no marriage.
There are many adminsitrative reasons why the Vatican State Church might not ever change the non scriptural rule of mandatory celibacy which it made and has enforced for about 800-1000 years. Firstly, as we have shown elsewehere (links below), mandatory celibacy historically, and up to the present day, enables the Vatican to more easily administer the church outside of Italy.
Second, and this is surprising to me, it appears that the clerics who run the church now and the seminarians who will run it in the future are not necessarily interested in any change (perhaps back in the early 1970s in the USA it was different).
Thirdly, without mandatory celibacy, local Bishops, and church lawyers from here and Rome, would be sitting down with pastors and spouses arguing about transfers, pay scales, inheritances, and survivor benefits, and, if history is any indication, other matters too.
Fourth, celibacy provides a more predictable and streamlined path of clerical leadership in the church (just think how much more efficient the U.S. military would be if it didn't have to take care for the important family lives of its personell).
Reasons To Change
The defenders of celibacy will argue that it is a free choice made before priestly ordination. No, Jesus himself prohibited this type of vow, that violates our God-given freedom as men and women made in His Spiritual image and likeness:
"But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne, 35 or by earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great king. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' be 'No': anything beyond comes from the evil one." (Matthew5,34-37)
Mandatory celibacy is a false choice, a required gateway to pastoral leadership in the Vatican State Church.
It needs to be changed not just because it violates the scriptures above, and not just because it didn't work in the early church at Ephesus, and is not working very well now. It needs to be changed because the top-down pastor-centric, hierarchical CEO efficiency model it cemented has overly influenced the whole body of Christ, whereby the other offices of apostle, prophet, and evangelist, that also share in governance, have been left undeveloped and largely vacant (Ephesians4,10-11).
In other words, hierarchical pastoral celibacy in the largest institutional church not only diminishes the pool of pastors and biblical offices in that church, it has also steered the whole Christian church world toward measuring church success by streamlined and efficient pastoral-clerical adminstration, whereby a pastoral hierarchy ministers salvation while everyone else is expected to be more or less passive in the pews.
Christ has set us all free, for freedom, and will ordain us all to serve with Holy Ghost baptism, if we have the faith, praise Jesus.
Mandatory celibacy interferes with one's essential Christian freedom and God's word. It equates our faith obedience to the risen Jesus with an institutional rule that ensures a long-lasting business model, but doesn't necessarily spread the gospel.
So why not change this rule for the good of the whole body of Christ?
Praise the Name of Jesus for His gospel, for His salvation, for His loving mercy on us all.
Video re. how doctrines such as celibacy used to dominate God's people:
The above video is part of the following larger study which has three updated video links:
PREACHING HOUR TV
TUESDAY EVENINGS - 8:30PM EST
Preaching Hour TV weekly on Cox PATV Channel 15 in Cheshire, Southington and Meriden CT and on VCAM Channel 15 10pm Fridays in Burlington VT.read more...
Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...