1 Timothy 4:1-5


I was reading through my Bible and found this last night:

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Doesn’t it seem to be referring to the Catholic Church?





No one in the Catholic Church is forbidden to marry.

Catholics are not ordered to abstain from any foods.

God love you,




I’m not sure if the simple “no” answers are helpful here, as the OP perceives a similarity with the discipline of celebacy among our priests and religious and the discipline of abstaining from meat on Fridays, particularly during Lent.

In this verse Paul is making reference to the gnostics, who would soon gain some momentum. Because they believed that the physical body was evil, they forbid marriage for everyone. In the Catholic Church, as earlier posters mentioned, marriage is not forbidden to anyone. However, there are several places in Scripture where celibacy for the kingdom is upheld and praised, even as being superior to marriage. These verses also come from Paul’s writings, so we know that he doesn’t condemn celibacy. In the Catholic Church, while nobody is forbidden to marry, many chose to do so in anticipation of the eternal marriage with our bridegroom Christ. The Church choses her priests from among such men, rather than chosing priests first and then forbidding them to marry.

With regard to the reference to abstain from certain foods, this again refers to early heretical groups that taught that some foods were outright, unconditionally bad, and forbidden. The Catholic Church, on the other hands, realizes that all that God has given us is good, including meat. So, in asking us to abstain from meat on Fridays (only during Lent in the U.S. and Ash Wednesdays), the Church is not proclaiming a certain food bad, as are the groups to which Paul is referring, but is rather saying that we must take breaks from things we truly enjoy and desire in order to develop temperence and to unite our sufferings with Christ.

The verse only seems to indicate the Catholic Church when read out of the historical context.


The only people that I ever see making this claim are anti-Catholics. Is that who you’ve been listening to?

The fact is that the errors of the Protestant Reformation (and all their modern step children) better fit that passage than our most holy faith.


  1. Sola Scriptura
  2. Sola Fide
  3. Once saved Always Saved”.
  4. The “Rapture”
  5. Baptism not necessary for salvation.
  6. No Eucharistic Real Presence.
    So, based on all that…who do you think that passage better applies to? :slight_smile:


This passage is clearly a reference to the Gnostic heresy that arose early in the Church’s history. I suggest you read up on the Gnostics.

We know that this passage does not condemn the Catholic practice of priestly celibacy because Jesus himself recommended the practice

Matthew 19:9-12
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery." [His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Jesus also commanded his disciples to “abstain from certain foods”, as is the practice within the Catholic Church.

Matthew 6:16-18
"When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.


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