Celibate Clergy

Several years ago I discovered a radio program based in the Midwest called "Issues, Etc." The host, Todd, is a Lutheran pastor, and the show is a mix of theology, culture, politics, history and pastoral theology, livened by Todd’s and Jeff’s dry humor. As someone who grew up in contemporary, evangelical, credobaptistic churches but has come to Reformed theology as an adult, I appreciate the perspective of my new-found Reformational "cousins" in the Lutheran tradition.

Here’s Pastor Todd in a round-table discussion with some other LCMS pastors on the history and theology of the debate on priestly celibacy. All of Todd’s shows are available in MP3 format on the website.

Priestly celibacy finds its roots in fourth-century monastic asceticism–abandoning the world in the pursuit of higher spirituality. When governmental persecution ended in 313, the church lost its "refiner’s fire," so Christians had to come up with some other way of getting close to God–or, more skeptically, of proving how truly spiritual they were. Thus, some chose to afflict themselves.

Yet in the contemporary American church, the pendulum has swung the other way as a result of the Christian response to the 1960s revolution. This results in "how-to" books from the Song of Songs, and a general "Why-should-the-devil-have-all-the-good-sex?" mentality. Are we telling our teens and young singles that marriage will be a sexual bonanza?

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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