[quote=CollegeKid]I saw on Wikipedia that protestants sometimes cite the following verse to condemn the Church as having fallen into apostasy.
First Timothy 4:1-3 states:
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. (KJV)
Apparently, protestants claim that the parts about forbidding to marry and abstaining from meat refer to priestly celibacy and the Lenten requirement to fast from meat on Fridays. What do y’all think?
What do I think? I think it is selective ignorance of Scripture and the adherence to the preformed conclusion that the Catholic Church invented doctrine.
Firstly, the Catholic Church considers marriage a Sacrament, thereby elevating it to the highest order. Secondly, Christ himself was celibate and this example should not be conveniently overlooked especially in light of Luke 9:23 “…If anyone wishes to come after me he must deny himself…” In addition, to claim that Paul’s comment on marriage in 1st Timothy is his only contribution to the topic is truly “selective ignorance”. Read 1Cor 7:7 “Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am…to the unmarried and to the widows I say: IT IS A GOOD THING FOR THEM TO REMAIN AS THEY ARE AS I DO, but IF they cannot exercise self control they should marry…” Not exactly a glowing endorcement for marriage! Read the whole chapter - he continues to recommend celibacy and to describe it as a holier path, though not all are called to it. Anyhow, he clearly believes at least SOME of us should be celibate - are there any Protestants holding to that as a discipline? On this topic I will stop here before I become uncharitable, which I have no right to be. I love our Protestant brothers and sisters and have learned much from them for which I am grateful - I just carry the sting of disunity in my heart and I need to be careful not to allow it to grow.
With respect to not eating meat on Fridays there is even less ground for criticism of the Church. Firstly, I am unaware of any food being prohibited by the Church. Fasting is not the prohibition of a food, which is what the cited verse refers to. Fasting is the prohibition of EATING for a time. And again, guess who we can go to as our example? That’s right, our Lord and Saviour fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. The OT is filled with fasting - distinct from the food prohibitions - as a holy exercise to draw one closer to God.
In conclusion, there is no prohibition to FOOD by the Church, nor is there a prohibition to FASTING in the bible. Those who attempt to equate the two and thereby discredit the Church do so out of pure ignorance, selective ignorance and/or willful slander based on presupposition. But hey, Ive done worse and God has graciously forgiven me - who am I to judge?