by Charlie Hatchko
Hebrews 5:1 "For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifice for sins."
The reason for this article is to refute local newspaper letters by a Fundamentalist Protesant in his vehement hostility against the Catholic Church. In his Biblical ignorance, he is incongruent and inconclusive in his allegations against Biblical doctrines of the Catholic Church.
His first allegation is in reference to the celibate priesthood in the Catholic Church. We must put on the mind of Christ and eliminate all prejudices in Biblical apologetics. His second false allegation is the vehement attack against sacred Tradition, erroneously linking all tradition in sacred Scripture together.
A great Catholic Bishop and Evangelist, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, once stated that there are millions of people who hate the Catholic Church because of ill informed doctrine, because of distortion that they think the Catholic Church teaches. Only a handful who know the truth of what the Catholic Church truly teaches, hate the Catholic Church. I believe that Mr. Baalog can be classified as one of the millions.
The Bible gives affirmation and definite proof to support a celibate priesthood. Yet, the Church in different rites allows married priests, but the main efficient cause of this article is to give Biblical affirmative evidence that sacred Scripture gives evidence of celibacy. Also, that sacred Scripture castigates traditions of men, but supports Paradosis-Apostolic Tradition.
This Fundamentalist Protestant, in his Biblical ignorance, has distorted the Catholic dogmatic view regarding celibacy in the Priesthood.
He has attacked the Catholic Priesthood, making allegations that the main cause of sexual perversity in the Catholic Priesthood is caused by the celibate clergy. Also, he made irrational statements that many of the Catholic problems come from tradition, stating the Catholic Church should use the Bible alone and negate tradition. This distorted view can be found in many Fundamentalists, who erroneously view that the Catholic celibate Priesthood is dominated by homosexuality and pedophilia, which, they claim, is caused by celibacy.
Please read this article carefully and with your heart open to the power of the Holy Spirit. This article will give absolute evidence that celibacy can be found in sacred Scripture regarding the priesthood. Sacred Scripture does give evidence that the great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior was celibate.
The presentation of the Biblical truth will absolutely discredit Mr. Baalog's distorted position regarding celibacy in the Catholic priesthood.
The Headline of this particular letter written by Mr. Baalog read, "It is better to marry than to burn with passion."
Mr. Baalog gives reference from 1 Cor. 7:9 "Better to marry than burn with passion". In his letter, he deletes half of verse nine in his desperation to support his view. He gives reference to a Biblical half-truth. He violates the true meaning of the Biblical text, taking it out of context, to support his anti-Catholic view. Please read the text in its totality. The Bible I will be using is a Protestant Bible, the New International Version. Look at the Biblical text in its totality and look how he has adulterated the Biblical text to support his own theology.
1 Cor. 7:8-9 "Now to the unmarried and widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than burn with passion." Look at the perversion and distortion of Biblical truth, as he deliberately gives reference to a part of the biblical verse out of context.
Sacred Scripture cannot be mutilated and distorted as Mr. Baalog has presented it. Sacred Scripture must be studied both qualitatively and quantitatively in its fullest. We cannot isolate and take Scripture to support one's theological scheme. Look how Mr. Baalog has eliminated the words of St. Paul that, to the unmarried and widows, it is good "to stay unmarried as I am"! But then adds to support his theological scheme, "It is better to marry than to burn with passion." He has distorted the Biblical text.
Mr. Baalog, one cannot pick, and choose Biblical texts out of context. Distortion of the Biblical text, using Scripture in a half-truth is truly a demonic trait. All heretics since the formation of the Church by Jesus Christ have distorted Sacred Scripture to their own destruction.
Sacred Scripture gives evidence that the devil in his temptation of Christ distorted Scripture and used Scripture in a half-truth.
Compare Matthew 4:5-6 with Psalm 91:11-12 with the words of the devil. He said to Jesus Christ on the highest point of the temple. "'If you are the Son of God', he said, "Throw yourself down for it is written; 'He will command his angels concerning you and they will lift you up in their hand, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Although the devil in his temptation of Christ alluded to Psalm 91:11-12 let us look at the words of Jesus in the following Biblical text. In Matt. 4:7 Jesus answered; "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
Mr. Baalog states that traditional "rhetoric" by the Catholic Church regarding celibacy is what got the Church in trouble. Mr. Baalog, your vehement hostility and stereotype writings against the Catholic Priesthood regarding sexual perversity and tradition is evident in your anti-Catholic view.
The following Biblical Texts will absolutely support the Catholic and Biblical position regarding celibacy in the priesthood.
In 1 Cor. 7:32-33 St. Paul exhorts, "I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how can he please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--and his interests are divided."
In Matt. 19:1-12, there is the teaching of Jesus regarding divorce. Here the disciples ask Jesus, "Is it better not to marry?"
Mr. Baalog, please look at the words of Jesus Christ:
Matt. 19:11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of God. The one who could accept this should accept this."
Notice, the words of Jesus Christ! "Not everyone can accept this teaching."
Mr. Baalog, it is only by God's grace that this teaching and calling can be accepted. Please do not think with the carnal mind, put on the mind of Christ and be led by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the book of Revelation 14:1-5, Scripture states, "The 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth, are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure." The King James Bible called them virgins who follow the Lamb. In the Early Church Fathers' writings, they refer to these followers of Christ as those who had led a life of celibacy.
Read and contemplate on the following Biblical texts:
Matt. 19:16-30 The parable of the rich young man! Look at the words of St. Peter in regards to following Christ in verse twenty-seven! The King James Version states, "Behold we have forsaken all and followed thee". The NIV states, "We have left everything to follow you!"
Read Luke 18:29-30. Sacred Scripture gives reference that commitment must be to the Lord. Jesus exhorts, "That no one who has left home or wife or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and the age to come, eternal life." St. Peter's interests were divided, he chose Christ first!
In Jeremiah 16:1-2, Jeremiah is told by God, "you shall not take a wife"!
Isaiah 56:4 gives magnificent evidence in reference to the Lord's words regarding the eunuchs who keep the Lord's Sabbath, who chose things that please the Lord and keep his covenant.
The following people led a life of celibacy: Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, St. Paul, and Jeremiah. Were they in violation of God's law because they led a life of celibacy?
In your first letter you stated that any Minister or Priest who does not marry is in violation of God's law.
The magnificent teachings of Christ comes from Christ own purity. Only through God's special call and grace can one lead a life of celibacy.
Please remember the words of Jesus regarding this matter: "Not everyone can accept this, only to those who it has been given".
We must put on the mind of Christ, not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Holy Spirit. What makes your interpretation right, Mr. Baalog? The Church has been here for almost 2000 years.
Matrimony is Divine and by no means a human institution. In fact, Mr. Baalog, matrimony is considered a Sacrament in Catholic theology. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace. Therefore, marriage is a divine institution, it is truly the plan of God for procreation.
Mark 10:9 gives evidence that marriage is a divine institution.
The Scriptures that I presented give biblical affirmation that celibacy and virginity is a higher glory. The purpose of celibacy and virginity is to dedicate one exclusively to the Divine things, putting aside everything earthly, giving all attention and love to the Lord. The total consecration of oneself to God. Again I will repeat: Matrimony is Divine, but the life of celibacy and virginity is a higher glory of God.
Let us look at Tradition! In your letter you mentioned traditions of men Mark 7:9. You castigated the Catholic Church for its use of tradition. Let me remind you that you forgot to mention the following Biblical texts that truly castigate the traditions of men.
Matt. 15:6 and Col. 2:8 are Biblical texts that give affirmation regarding human tradition and hollow deceptive philosophy that nullifies the word of God.
In your Anti-Catholic writings, however, you castigate the Catholic Church, stating it puts human traditions above the Word of God. Mr. Baalog stated in his letter that what got the Catholic Church in trouble was getting away from the Bible and teaching tradition. Mr. Baalog, it was the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church who determined under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit what books would be in the Canon of the New Testament. Protestantism did not start until the year 1517. The 27 Books were given to the Bishops of the Catholic Church through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this makes the Church, the "Mother of the New Testament Scriptures."
God is the author of sacred Scripture which was given to man through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Mr. Baalog, the Bible nowhere teaches Sola Scriptura, which means that the Bible Alone is the sole rule of faith. Since this is not taught in Sacred Scripture or Paradosis-Divine Tradition, this makes Sola Scriptura a self refuting proposition. Scripture gives evidence in John 20:30 and John 21:25 that everything that Jesus Christ has said and written is not in the Bible.
The Bible was written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
"Paradosis," the Greek word for Divine and Apostolic tradition is what the Bible and the Church mandates one to follow!
Sacred Scripture along with Paradosis-Divine Tradition is what the Bible mandates one to follow. Look at the following Scriptures regarding Divine and Apostolic Tradition.
This is the tradition the Church put side by side with the Sacred Scriptures! Not Church tradition. Remember Paradosis Divine Tradition!
In your ignorance, you distort the truth of Catholic Church teaching regarding tradition. The Church mandates one to follow Paradosis, not human traditions. This tradition can be found in the following Scriptures.
2 Thess. 2:13-15 St. Paul exhorts, "God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you may share in the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, then brother, stand firm and hold on to the teaching we passed on to you whether by word of mouth or letter." Word of mouth is the tradition the Church follows.
2 Tim. 1:13-14 St. Paul exhorts, "What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Jesus Christ. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."
Mr. Baalog look at the duty of the Bishop in the following Biblical text.
Titus 1:9 "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
In Galatians 1:6-9 St. Paul exhorts, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other that the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned. As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned."
Notice, Mr. Baalog, the apostle St. Paul gives two magnificent warnings to stay in the true gospel message.
This is why, in the book of Hebrews, St. Paul gives a magnificent warning to stay in the truth of God's Word!
Hebrews 2:1-3 states, "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall be escape if we ignore such a great salvation."
Mr. Baalog, the witness of the early Church fathers supports the Catholic view on the Word of God and Paradosis which is Divine Tradition. It also gives us the magnificent truth of what Scripture says, and what Scripture truly means. Every heretic since Jesus Christ founded his Church has called the Catholic Church heretical.
Protestantism started in the year 1517, the Catholic Church was stated by Christ in the year 33 A.D.!
Let me inform you of the words of a great Anglican Bishop, John Henry Newman, "You cannot be historic and Protestant."
The following Scriptures give evidence of Divine and Apostolic Tradition. Luke 10:16-Acts 2:42-1 Cor. 11:23 - 1 Cor. 15:1-2-Phil. 3:12-17-2Thess. 3:6-1Tim. 6:20-2Tim. 2:1-2-Titus 2:1!
The result of Sola Scriptura or Scripture Alone, is denominational factionalism and hermenutical anarchy. Because of private interpretation of Scripture there are many who distort Scripture to their own destruction. Sadly this is why there is so much division and disunity and fragmentation; that is so tragic in Protestantism. The Bible gives affirmative evidence regarding false interpretation of Biblical Texts.
In 2 Peter 3:15-16, St. Peter exhorts, "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures to their own destruction."
Scripture Alone is not a Biblical concept or can be found in the teachings of the early Church Fathers, or the first 1500 years of Christianity.
Scripture and Tradition calls the Church to perfect unity, oneness in Christ!
The "Oxford Encyclopedia of World Christianity" gives affirmation that in 1982 there existed "20,800" different Protestant denominations and Bible Churches, all stating they are led by the Holy Spirit and all claim to have full knowledge of the truth. Which Church is yours Mr. Baalog?
The Bible and the Apostles Creed mandates unity in Christ.
John 17:20-23 Jesus prays, that "all of them be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. May they be one as we are one I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me."
In St. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter one, the Scriptures give reference regarding divisions, factions, heresy and schism.
In 1 Cor. 1:10 St. Paul exhorts, "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and taught."
In the Apostle and Nicene Creed, the marks of the true Church are professed!
One--Holy--Catholic-and Apostolic Church.
Eph. 2:19-20 St. Paul gives evidence that the Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Jesus Christ the main cornerstone! Matt. 16:13-20 and Matt. 28:16-20 Sacred Scripture gives affirmation that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, and also Christ will be with the Church till the consummation of the world.
The Church is the mother of the New Testament Scriptures. There is historical evidence that the canon, the formation of the 27 books of the New Testament Scriptures were formulated by the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit at the Catholic Councils of Hippo and Cartage in the years 394 and 397 A.D. Again, let me make you aware Mr. Baalog that Protestantism did not start till the year 1517!
How did the faith remain as Jesus taught for almost 350 years without the New Testament Scriptures canonized? The answer is Divine and Apostolic Tradition. Every doctrine of the Church can be found explicitly or implicitly in sacred Scripture.
This is the reason the Apostle, St. Paul calls the Church in 1 Tim. 3:15 The Pillar and Foundation of Truth!
Seek and you shall find! The truth will set you free!
May God richly bless you! Amen! Hallelujah!
The Catholic Legate
August 1, 2004
This article was originally published in the Area Bargain Buyer September, 2001