By Joel A. Hess –
In the sixteenth century, the time of the Reformation, the Church held celibacy as of greater value than marriage in terms of holiness before God. They required their priests to take vows of celibacy. Men and women were considered holy as they left the domestic life and pursued all church all the time. That was the religious life. On paper, I suppose it makes sense. Who wouldn’t admire someone if all they did was churchy stuff? Also, Paul encourages people not to get married if they are blessed with the ability not to want sex or the desire to cuddle while watching Downton Abbey (1 Corinthians 7).
But as Melanchthon writes plainly in his defense of the Augsburg Confession, “Therefore celibacy does not equal purity” (Article 23. 35.). As Paul makes clear in every letter he wrote, purity is gained only by faith in the One who is truly pure inside and out, Jesus Christ! So, married or not, both are approved occupations and made holy because the one participating in them is already holy by faith.
Melanchthon even goes so far as to say,
Therefore this law concerning perpetual celibacy is peculiar to this new pontifical despotism. Nor is it without a reason. For Daniel 11:37, ascribes to the kingdom of Antichrist this mark, namely, the contempt of women.”
“Contempt of women” is drawn from the fact that women were the ones mostly doing the domestic stuff.
Ironically, today the liberated progressives join the Medieval church in their disdain and contempt of women and all things womanly! Of course, these priests of progressive culture would never literally call “getting a job” outside of the home a holy way of life, but they sure make it seem something to “aspire” to. Therefore, many (not all) of those purporting to be feminists actually hate things women are involved in or only women can do, such as having kids, being a mother, etc. But you already know that, and you can find comfort in plenty of conservative rags to make you feel good about your point of view.
You see, the dirty little secret is that it is not just the left that hates marriage, the right, conservative, Christian families seem to despise it as well in their actions. Today, all of America, right and left, actively promote a new celibacy! Of course, it isn’t really a celibacy, but it’s a new disdain for marriage. Yes, we know how those evil Commies hate marriage and call it perpetual rape and patriarchy propaganda. But what about the conservative Christians?
How often do I hear parents encourage their kids not to marry until they are out of college, have a job, enjoy a little fun as a single person, own a dog, travel to Europe, sowed some wild oats, etc.?
Not long ago, I married a couple who were still in college. You would think I was marrying two different races in the 1950s! People actually told me they were a little young! Of course, nowadays due to the artificially prolonged immaturity of our kids, sometimes that’s true.
Conservative Christian parents push their kids to date in their teens. They even get scared or insecure if their kid isn’t dating at 16. Is she gay? But then they tell them not to get married until they are 28! Yes, we make them take a vow of celibacy until they can financially afford to have sex. So, more and more people are dating for more than five years before marriage.
But they don’t have sex!
Yeah, that ain’t happening. I question the person who can date someone for more than a couple of years and not have sex. Sorry, parents. Put your heads back in the sand; complain about the culture, TV, and liberal professors; and keep putting a coin in the system.
So, as most of America discourages marriage, we are surprised by the rampant addiction to porn, the increase of sexual assaults, the unwanted pregnancies, etc. Certainly, there are many devilish ingredients that make up this s*&$t soup, but putting off and putting down committed relationships seems a strange strategy for any civilization (That’s what marriage is, by the way. Anything less is uncommitted. If you can’t tell a bunch of people and the State that you will never leave your lover, yet you want to hang around indefinitely, then you ain’t committed; you’re a leach.)
So dude, if you’ve got a lady and you love her, don’t put it off for five years down the road. Marry her with your middle finger raised to the secular pope and priesthood preparing your inquisition.