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September 22, 2007 / vivator

Forbidding marriage is the doctrine of demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

One issue closely related to ministerial priesthood is the celibacy imposed by the Catholic Church to those who want to become priests and bishops.  Does the Bible say that bishop is a husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2) and that forbidding marriage is the doctrine of the demons (1 Timothy 4:1-3)?  First celibacy of the priests and bishops is neither doctrine nor dogma but a discipline imposed by the Western (or Latin) Catholic Church.  In the Eastern Catholic Church married men can be ordained as priests (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1580).   The Church also welcomes as married priests, former (married) clergies of Anglican or Episcopal or Lutheran church who converted to Catholicism.   The Church does not and never forbids marriage – married Catholics far outnumber non-married ones, be they bishops, priests, monks, nuns or laity.   The candidates for priesthood are fully aware of celibacy discipline before and during their seminary times – they have ample time to consider whether this vocation is for them or not.   Thus it is celibacy based on voluntary, not a forced one, as stated in1 Timothy 4:3.  Mandatory Celibacy for all members is practised by sects like Cathar in Europe (12th – 13th century) and Shaker in USA.   What happens if a priest decided to get married after being ordained?  The Catholic Church would not stop him either for doing so – he can undergo laicization process to leave priesthood.  http://www.totustuus.com/index.htm is the web site of such priest, now happily married and father of nine children and is still in good standing with the Church.

1 Timothy 3:2 say bishop is to be a husband of one wife – it excludes men who are polygamists, but it does not impose marriage as a necessary condition for a bishop.  If this verse is to be interpreted to mean a bishop must marry, then how about 1 Timothy 3:4 that mentions his children (plural)?  If being married is mandatory, then having children is also mandatory, i.e. those who are childless or have only one child cannot become bishop.  Remember that the apostle Paul himself was celibate – it will make him hypocrite if he made marriage mandatory, something that he himself would not obey.  Does celibacy have biblical support?   In Matthew 19:12 Christ mentioned those who make themselves eunuchs (not married) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, if they are able to receive it.   While Paul is not against marriage – For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion (1 Corinthians 7:9), he wished all were as he was (i.e. unmarried, 1 Corinthians 7:7) and told the unmarried and widows to remain single, provided they can exercise self-control (1 Corinthians 7:8).   The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about wordly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided (1 Corinthians 7:32-34) and he who marries his betrothed does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better (1 Corinthians 7:38).  Being celibate and being married are both gift from God given to each person according to His plan, i.e. not all of us is called for celibacy.   God is not against celibacy – He commanded prophet Jeremiah neither to take a wife nor to have children (Jeremiah 16:1-2).

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  1. Daniel / Nov 16 2007 1:19 pm

    Celebacy is not a Catholic doctrine. You seem to misunderstand Catholic theology. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerical_celibacy_(Catholic_Church)
    Please email me if you get this.
    God bless you can all you do, Daniel

    • Jason / Sep 2 2011 7:52 pm

      Actually celibacy was made Catholic doctrine by the Second Lateran Council in 1139, and upheld by the Council of Trent. It’s commonly known church history. Look for entry #9 @ http://www.biblicalworldview21.org/History/Trent_Council.asp
      –Jason

      • vivator / Sep 2 2011 10:16 pm

        Dear Jason. Thank you for your comment. I recommend you to read what Council of Trent really declares directly from the text, which you can find at: http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent.html.
        Session 23 dealt with priesthood and you won’t find such thing. This is the problem of relying from second hand source.

    • PeskyProtestant / Apr 24 2016 8:00 pm

      Straight from the vatican.com website:
      “………In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry…” .
      Source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm
      Scroll down to number 1580.

      • vivator / Apr 24 2016 9:26 pm

        What I wrote does not contradict Cl 1850 of CCC. In the East as in the west if an ordained priest decides to marry he must leave priesthood and becomes lay-man..

  2. vivator / Nov 16 2007 7:28 pm

    I checked the link and it confirms what I wrote: celibacy is not a Catholic doctrine but a discipline.

  3. Johan / Feb 17 2008 10:53 am

    Inspite of how you twist in a priest is prohibited from taking a wife if he is to remain a priest and this is obviously contrary to clear biblical teaching.

  4. vivator / Feb 17 2008 6:13 pm

    For Johan, why don’t you read carefully what Christ said in Matthew 19:12?

  5. John / Mar 15 2009 1:23 pm

    Catholicism imposes celibacy. Matthew 19:12 is of ones accord as a sacrifice onto the lord.One who teaches abstinence from marriage is considered to be embracing the doctrine of demons.

  6. Joe / May 12 2009 7:52 am

    Paul would not be a hypocrite, he was giving Godly orders to position in the church. Paul himself was not a bishop, nor ever called himself one. He was simply stating the standard of God for anyone who sought the office or position of a bishop. 1 Timothy 3 explains it pretty clearly, he MUST be married to a WOMAN, he MUST have children, because if he can’t properly run his home, how can he run the church? Secondly, how can a church leader/counselor who is NOT married counsel someone with marital problems? They can’t! How can someone who does NOT have children help a mother/father who is having issues in the raising of their children? THEY CAN’T.

    Sure, it is better if you can be celibate and serve the church as Paul, in the eyes of Paul (remember he said, I say this NOT of commandment), but DON’T try to wear the title of BISHOP if you don’t fit the qualifications.

    I’ve heard Catholics tell me that the bishop is married, to the church and his children are the members of the church, and if he were to marry a woman he would be in polygamy. They seem to forget that the Church is the bride of Christ, and if that is their logic then the Church is caught in the act of polygamy.

    Catholicism goes so far off from the bible in so many area’s. They call priests “father” when Christ said not to. They forbid bishops to marry, when scripture says they must be, they pray through the “saints” when scripture says Christ is our ONLY intercessor. They say that a “saint” is a dead follower of Christ who performed a miracle, in the bible a saint was a follower of Christ.

    Wake up to the truth Catholics! Time is short, and this false doctrine won’t save you in the day of Judgment!

    • Adrian Combe / Sep 3 2011 3:20 am

      Joe:
      >> 1 Timothy 3 explains it pretty clearly, he MUST be married to a WOMAN, he MUST have children, because if he can’t properly run his home, how can he run the church?<>Secondly, how can a church leader/counselor who is NOT married counsel someone with marital problems?<>I’ve heard Catholics tell me that the bishop is married, to the church and his children are the members of the church, and if he were to marry a woman he would be in polygamy.<>They call priests “father” when Christ said not to. <> they pray through the “saints” when scripture says Christ is our ONLY intercessor.<>They say that a “saint” is a dead follower of Christ who performed a miracle, in the bible a saint was a follower of Christ.<<

      Umm…so what?! Semantics. What we call a saint today was called a martyr in the early church. When the persecutions ended, they started calling them saints. Lots of words used by non-Catholics today are not in the Bible, and/or were used differently in the Bible. For instance, BIBLE. That is nowhere. The closest word in Scripture (biblion) means scroll. This obviously is not a proof of heresy.

      • Adrian Combe / Sep 3 2011 3:22 am

        It didn’t post everything I typed…reattempting

        Joe: 1 Timothy 3 explains it pretty clearly, he MUST be married to a WOMAN, he MUST have children, because if he can’t properly run his home, how can he run the church?<

        Even Protestant scholarship disagrees with this distortion. See 'Barnes Notes on the Bible' for this passage here: http://bible.cc/1_timothy/3-2.htm – Barnes was a presbyterian. Neither this passage nor any other requires marriage of anyone for any office.

        Joe: Secondly, how can a church leader/counselor who is NOT married counsel someone with marital problems?

        This is incredibly ignorant. Of course celibate priests counsel married couples successfully. Happens every day.

        Joe: I’ve heard Catholics tell me that the bishop is married, to the church and his children are the members of the church, and if he were to marry a woman he would be in polygamy.

        Ummm…WHAT? No! Seriously, who told you that one?

        Joe:They call priests “father” when Christ said not to.

        Really? How can you be certain you are interpreting that passage correctly?

        "Matt 23

        9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.

        10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ."

        Problems occur when you take this passage literally, because you create contradictions which cancel the inerrancy of Scripture. For instance, Paul called himself the spiritual father of the Corinthians

        1 Corinthians 4:15
        "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel."

        He also called himself a teacher of the Gentiles in 1 Tim 2:7 and 2 Tim 1:11. Therefore, it is only possible to interpret the 'call no man father' passage as a use of hyperbole.

        Joe: they pray through the “saints” when scripture says Christ is our ONLY intercessor.

        Scripture does not say Christ is our only intercessor. It calls Him 'One'. This does not necessarily mean only.

        "1 Timothy 2:5
        For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"

        More tellingly, it says this in the immediate context of OTHERS who are COMMANDED to be MEDIATORS!!!

        {1Ti 2:1 KJV} – I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;
        {1Ti 2:2 KJV} – For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
        {1Ti 2:3 KJV} – For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
        {1Ti 2:4 KJV} – Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

        In fact, not only, does the word 'only' not occur in the passage, neither do any definite articles (which we in English simplify with 'the'):

        2:5 εἷς γὰρ θεός εἷς καὶ μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων ἄνθρωπος Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς

        Compare this to the original Greek of e.g. John 17:21, which also uses the same word for 'one' – Strong's number G1520 – and it becomes obvious that the 'one' in 1 Tim 2:5 refers to the union of Christ, God and humanity, not any sort of exclusivity.

        Joe: They say that a “saint” is a dead follower of Christ who performed a miracle, in the bible a saint was a follower of Christ.

        Umm…so what?! Semantics. What we call a saint today was called a martyr in the early church. When the persecutions ended, they started calling them saints. Lots of words used by non-Catholics today are not in the Bible, and/or were used differently in the Bible. For instance, BIBLE. That is nowhere. The closest word in Scripture (biblion) means scroll. This obviously is not a proof of heresy.

  7. Jordan / Jul 30 2012 6:56 am

    Its Simple.Paul did not marry because it was his own decision not to marry. it is different from your own decision not to marry compare to the so called “Catholic descipline” that forbids catholic priest from being married.

    • Graham / Apr 1 2013 4:11 am

      Interesting, though I presume that if ‘one mediator’ does not mean ‘only’, then logically ‘one God’ cannot mean ‘only God’. The scripture plainly teaches that we are reconciled to God through our only mediator, Christ, you confuse mediation with prayer, living saints (christian believers) are called to pray for each other through our one mediator, Christ, to our loving heavenly father, both we and no other person can be mediators between man and God. Also, the passage in Matthew warns against the taking of religious titles to yourself or of giving them to others, paul speaks of being a spiritual father to people he had personally brought to faith through his preaching, ‘I have birthed you in the gospel, i have gathered you, I planted the word in / conceived you’, he did not call himself ‘Father Paul’.

      • vivator / Apr 2 2013 5:40 am

        Catholic believe that saints on earth and those in heaven can pray for us and their prayer will go through Christ, our mediator. Scripture nowhere says that only living saints can pray for other living saints. Paul did not call himself “Father Paul” but neither did he referred himself or was referred to as Rev. Paul or elder Paul.

  8. charles allan / Aug 17 2013 1:22 am

    If a man decides he would like to be a priest but does not have the gift of celibacy then he cant pursue his vocation in the CC – so this must be wrong. Plus if he decides to go ahead without a wife he may be subject to temptation. The loneliness without a wife may lead to excess drinking which gradually comes upon him justifying it by saying this is all I have got.
    Then the combination of celibacy and excess alcohol can lead to the condition of lust which is a problem with many priests as we now see. Celibacy in the priesthood should have been voluntary.

    • vivator / Nov 2 2013 2:57 pm

      Priesthood is vocation, not a career. It has nothing to do with being married or not – married men can be ordained as priests in Eastern Catholic Church. I don’t see any relation between without a wife and drunkenness. Not every priest that I know is drinker and many married men are heavily drinkers, despite having wife. Celibacy in the priesthood is always voluntary, I am surprised that you do not know this, giving the indication that you are (or were) priest. All candidates for priesthood are aware this celibacy discipline even before they join seminary and they have ample time to consider or to re-consider it. I have never been a seminary student but as far as I know candidate can withdraw any time from the program. Even if he wants to marry after being ordained, it is still possible with the condition he must leave priesthood.

  9. Ron C / Apr 9 2014 12:44 pm

    So the Catholic church does not forbid Priest and Nuns to marry?.. this is a commandant from Satan himself.

    But of course, the Church of Rome was crated by Constantine, a pagan worshiper of the sun god Mithra and and when he declared Rome a “Christian” Nation, Not a single person got on their knees and Plead their sins and asked God for Forgiveness and asked him to come into their lives..

    Constantine also denied the sabbath, Saturday, and declared anyone caught observing the sabbath and the Jewish feast would be beheaded. .

    Constantine also declared all pagan holidays would be observed and kept.. Christmas, on the 25th of December the Birthday of Mithra (Tammuz, son of Nimrod-Bel, the sun god), his sun god,
    Easter.. the rebirthing day of Ishtar (easter) (Sammarius, Wife and mother of Nimrod), the bare breasted fertility, moon goddess who decread virgins raped on the alter on Easter, and the next Easter, any children bore form that rape ceremony were sacrificed on the same alters they were conceived on, and the blood used to color eggs for the children to find..

    The candle, used as a medium to have Bel (Nimrod) at your side as you prayed to him,
    Fat Tuesday, a day of great orgy before Easter..
    Lent, 40 days of fast before Easter where in the followers of Ishtar could only eat fish, in reverence to the fish god Dagar.. Look Dagar up in the book of Jonah

    The followers of Mithra had to make the sign of the cross over their heart,when praying to him, and ate cakes with the same equidistant cross on it.. this done in reverence to the Winter solstice (Up) Summer solstice (Down) Vernal equinox (Left) Autumnal equinox (right)

    The same equidistant cross is found on roman art some 150 yrs before Christ was born, It is also found on the collar of the Pope..

    Relieves of Mithra are found on the Papal tombs..
    The cross behind the pope, is upside down, a satanic mark.
    St. Peters Cathedral, the Statue of “Peter” is in fact, stolen from Greece, and was a statue of Jupiter– and foolish people have almost worn the foot off by kissing it,… An Idol of a false God.. You pray to the statue of Mary, another Idol.. this, claimed to be Mary, is Sarariu– Ishtar, anther Idol, of a false goddess.

    Ask yourself this. why does Rome have so many teachings that come from Mithra if they are Christians. Rome has beguiled its people, gave them a lie, a false Christ,

    I know Catholics that are true believers.. but they are taught wrong, and what they are taught can keep them out of Heaven.

    Have they taught you about the 2nd coming of Christ?
    Have they taught you of the Rapture that is coming?
    Have they taught you that Christ gave his life on the cross so that he would be the only intercessory needed to be with God, and not the Priest?

    It is time to get out of the cult, and get in the true Churches of God,
    Get away from the cult that is Rome.

  10. Observer / Apr 13 2014 5:54 pm

    I have a lot of thoughts that one reason to forbid people to get married is that, because of man’s sin and his failure in the Garden of Eden, that man has permanently forfeitted many numerous privileges, and that marriage, as well as for man to have a helper, are some of the numerous rights that were permanently forfeitted when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

  11. Marty / Apr 15 2014 9:16 pm

    Ok, I want to be a priest AND afterwards get married. Will the Roman Catholic church allow that?

    That would be FORBIDDING me to marry, would it not?

    • vivator / Apr 27 2014 7:54 am

      First you mus become Catholic – are you willing to do that? Or you just want to ridicule Catholics? Being married men or priests are vocation. If God wants you to become priests He will give you grace to do that. How about if you have vocation for both? Well, you can join Eastern Rite Catholic Church where married men can be ordained as priests. They must be married before being ordained.

  12. Trevor / Oct 4 2014 6:51 pm

    Saying that it isn’t demanded because people considering the priesthood know what they are getting themselves into is disingenuous. For a man or women who feel called to serve God as ministers, but who aren’t gifted like Paul with the ability to stay single and not “burn with passion” is forbidding them to marry. By that criteria, most of the Apostles would have been disqualified from entering the ministry.

    Need I mention the countless sex scandals in the priesthood. Clearly there are many in the priesthood who burn and don’t have a God ordained outlet for their physical desires. It’s a really bad doctrine that has brought shame to Christianity.

    • vivator / Oct 4 2014 7:57 pm

      Priest celibacy is NOT a doctrine but a discipline imposed only Western rite Catholic Church – pls read my post thoroughly before commenting. Most, if not all apostles were married before being ordained as priests – and married men can be ordained as priests in Eastern Rite Catholic Church. You mentioned countless scandals, can you give me the exact number of bad priests and then we can see the percentage among all priests. Scandals can hit anybody, including married couples.

  13. Gary / Jul 7 2015 6:35 am

    Where did you get the idea that Apostles were ordained as priests? They were called by Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. No church council ordained them! Please show Scriptures and texts where this ordaining happened?

    • vivator / Jul 9 2015 6:35 pm

      From your question I may conclude that you have issue with Catholic ministerial priesthood. It is a classic issue – it has been around since Reformation.
      First according to Scripture (Exod 19:6) all Israelites (males and females) are priests and it prefigures universal priesthood of New Testament (1 Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6 and 5:10). Catholics do believe in universal priesthood of all (baptized) faithful.
      God also established another priesthood from the tribe of Levi or Levitical priesthood. Among them only Aaron (Moses’ brother) and his male descendant can be priests (Exod 28:1, Number 18:1, 1 Chronicles 24:1-9). The other males of the tribe are known as levites. Priests are the ones who can offer sacrifice in sanctuary (Numbers 3:10, Hebrews 9:6) and among them, one is selected to be High Priest. Only High Priest can enter the most sacred part of the sanctuary or the Holy of Holies, and he can do it only once a year (Exodus 30:10, Hebrews 9:7).
      All Christians agree that Christ is the High Priest of New Covenant (Heb 3:1, 4:15, 5:5). Following the Reformers you will say that Levitical priesthood were abolished with the coming of Christ. We only have universal priesthood of all believers and high-priesthood of Christ. However Scripture says Levitical priests will never cease offering sacrifice (Jer 33:18). Furthermore Scripture (Isaiah 66:21) prophesied that Levitical priesthood is extended to include non-Jews. What Jer 33:18 and Isaiah 66:21 say, being the very words of God, shall come to pass (Deut 18:22). Levitical priests of Judaism still exist today but with the destruction of Jerusalem Temple in c 70 AD, they can no longer offer sacrifice and hence cannot fulfill Jer 33:18.
      Catholics believe that Christ ordained the apostles as priests at the Last Supper. All three synoptic Gospels do not explicitly say so, but we can look at the nature of the Last Supper itself. We know the Last Supper is a Jewish Passover meal. It is not simply remembrance meal (like Thanksgiving meal) but it is a sacrificial meal where the Jews sacrifice and consume Passover Lamb (Exod 12). According to 1 Cor 5:7 Christ is the Passover Lamb of New Covenant). At this point you might argue that Christ was not yet crucified in the Last Supper of the three synoptic Gospels – His crucifixion took plane on the next day. However Scripture also says that Christ, as Lamb of God, has been slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). The Greek word translated as slain is in passive perfect tense. In Greek, perfect tense implies a completed action with continuing results. This is the reason why Catholics believe Christ offered Himself as sacrificial Passover Lamb in the Last Supper before His crucifixion and His sacrifice is also made present in every Catholic Mass. To help you to understand the implication of passive perfect tense, consider well-known Greek phrase, also in passive perfect tense, “it is written”. It appears in a number of places in New Testament, though most Bibles translated it as passive present tense. Whenever you buy a new Bible or download entire/part of the Bible in your computer or I-Pad etc., the same words of God are NOT re-written again, though they are re-printed or re-downloaded again and again. The relation between Rev 13:8 and Christ crucifixion is explained in Heb 9:26 where it says Christ sacrifice appeared once for all at the end of age. The reason for why “once for all” is explained in Heb 9:24, i.e. because He offered Himself in heavenly (not man-made) sanctuary. Otherwise He must do it every year, interestingly, not from the year He was crucified but from the foundation of the world (this also explains why in Rev 13:8 the phrase from the foundation of the world is not applied only to Book of Life).
      Any sacrifice require priest who offer it to God. Thus as priests of the New Covenant, the apostles and their successors (the bishops and later ministerial priesthood was extended to include presbyters) act in the Person of Christ to offer the same sacrifice Christ offered on the Cross. Christ is NOT sacrificed again and again in every Catholic Mass. As the Lamb of God, He has been slain from the foundation of the world.

  14. Gary / Jul 9 2015 7:00 pm

    Christ called and told the Apostles to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. They were not ordained by priests. There is a five fold ministry according to Ephesians 4. They are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These were given to equip the church to do the work of the ministry.

    • vivator / Jul 9 2015 10:07 pm

      Please read my response to your first comment. If you want to have discussion, it should be two way.

      • Gary / Jul 10 2015 6:35 am

        Seems you are saying Christ ordained them to be priests at the Last Supper. They were called to follow Him and serve Him 3 years prior to this. So they were healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons , etc.. and were not ordained at that time. He told them in Luke 10.19 , I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and all power of the enemy. They were fully invested by Christ before the Passover.

      • vivator / Jul 10 2015 5:29 pm

        The Last Supper and Catholic Mass are sacrifice where the Lamb, i.e. Christ, (has been) slain from the foundation of the world. And that is why we need priests. What you wrote in your last response and the earlier one has nothing to do with it. While being priests, the apostles and Catholic priests may and can have other ministries you mentioned – there is no conflict.

      • Gary / Jul 10 2015 6:03 pm

        If what you are saying is true….then Christ kept the Passover every year being a Jew. He kept it as a child and He kept it the first year when He stepped out and started doing ministry. So to say that at the Last supper was a carryover of Christ being slain from the foundation of the world doesn’t add up. He could have”ordained them ” at their 1st Passover together.

      • vivator / Jul 11 2015 8:53 pm

        The Passover sacrifice of lamb of the Old Covenant was replaced by that of Christ, Lamb of God of the New Covenant at the Last Supper. Christ did attend a number of Passover during His time on earth but they belong to the Old Covenant. In the Gospel of John, Christ crucifixion took place at Passover Eve, when the Jews sacrificed and consumed Passover lamb (John 19:14). On the other hand, the three synoptic Gospels place crucifixion one day after Passover eve.

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