Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats

Abstention is not holy
Asceticism is not holiness

I Tim 4:1-5 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

One of the most common methods of false holiness is asceticism, the attempt to look more holy than others by denying normal and Godly desire.

The medieval Catholics practiced this by forbidding their priests to marry and stopped them from eating meat on Friday and during Lent.   This allowed them to feel holy even while their were slaughtering babies, stealing from their neighbors, keeping mistresses, etc.

So also, today, our modern church movement has decided that it has to make up some new rules to make them feel holy.  Now, note, one of the most common sins in the pew today is probably fornication.  Unmarried couples are openly shacked up together.  Dating couples are assumed to be sleeping together.  Yet, the church ignores these sins and instead preaches against the boyfriend’s “addiction” to porn.

Turning to fake science, they believe that the man’s sleeping with his girlfriend doesn’t harm his brain, but somehow looking at erotica will.  Even though, the Bible clearly forbids the first and promotes the second.

This is not a new phenomenon.  Paul said that in the latter times people would depart from the faith and instead preach other doctrines – doctrines of devils.    Just because it is “forbidding” does not make it holy.  God is not a God of forbidding, but a God of pleasure.  When we take pleasure in the proper place (in our marriages, and in imaginations about marriages) then life is holy and pure.   When we add in our own commands – morphing the gospel into legalism and pharisaism – then we live lives of bondage and guilt.

So rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let your fountain be blessed as your watch erotica.  Enjoy the pleasures that God gave you and tell the legalists to go read their bible more and preach a false chastity less.

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