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God is not Mocked

(Galatians 6:7)

            We may be believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, but this does not mean that we can sow to the flesh with impunity as the above quotation shows. Further, we need to take account of the teaching of Scripture else we will certainly find ourselves in trouble sooner or later. The Romanist Church has found itself in trouble recently because of the behaviour of some of its priests and others in its hierarchy. Centuries have gone by since the Church insisted on a celibate priesthood, but it is only recently that sexual misdemeanours of some of its priests have come to light. Where did the Church go wrong on this matter?

            The Church claims that Peter was its first Pope. This I do not believe is true. For one thing Peter went to the circumcision (Jews) rather than to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:6-10).  Further, Peter’s first letter was addressed to the Jews who lived abroad; not to Gentiles. Again, there is nothing in Scripture about having a Pope on earth anyway. Christ is the Church’s (Assembly’s) head and He is in heaven (Ephesians 4:15/16 and Colossians 3:1-4 & 2:19). However, for our present purpose we will assume that the Romish Church’s first Pope was Peter.

            Now it is absolutely certain if we follow Scripture that Peter had a wife. The first three Gospel writers speak of Peter’s Mother-in-law. To have a Mother-in-law one must have a wife. At least one translation speaks, instead of Mother-in-law, of Peter’s wife’s Mother which means the same thing. Further, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:5 “Have we not a right to take round a sister [as] wife, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?” (Cephas is another name for Peter – see JND note to John 1:40-42). Peter himself speaks of “Marcus my son” (1 Peter 5:13). He speaks of his son without any qualification such as Paul uses when speaking of Timotheus as his “child in [the] Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:17). This shows beyond reasonable doubt that Marcus was Peter’s natural son.

            Apart from this information it is clear that Paul sometimes advised marriage to avoid the danger of fornication (1 Corinthians 7:1-2) and also younger widows for reasons given in 1 Timothy 5:14. However, Paul himself did not marry, although some say that he probably had a wife in his unconverted days.  He no doubt had good reasons for not marrying. In any case it would have been difficult for him to have taken a wife on his missionary journeys. Paul has a good deal to say about marriage in 1 Corinthians 7 which should be taken account of.

            Lastly one would say that forbidding to marry is a teaching of demons (1 Timothy 4:3) and something the Roman Catholic Church came under the influence of. Further one does not become holier by not marrying because the writer to the Hebrews says:”[Let] marriage [be held] every way in honour” (Hebrews 13:4). Again, would Christ have gone to a marriage feast if there was anything wrong with marriage? (John 2:1-10) Marriage was a divine institution as we learn from Genesis 2:21-25, and finding a wife is finding a good thing (Proverbs 18:22); it is a favour from Jehovah. However let us be warned there is a movement today which would do away with the marriage tie. Mr F. E. Raven (the Grandfather of the late Anthony Crosland the Labour minister) warned of this in saying: “When man becomes lawless in regard to God, there can be no doubt the marriage tie will go” (New Series Vol. 3 page 96) The reading at which the remark was made is undated, but is certainly over 100 years ago as Mr. Raven died in 1903.

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May 2013