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1 Timothy 4:2 – Cauterized conscience (2)

08-02-2024 - Posted by Hans

… in the hypocrisy of false expressions, their own conscience having been cauterized, forbidden to marry…

In the previous meditation we discussed the endless punishment of hell as a hypocritical and unconscionable teaching. Paul himself gives here another striking example of “hypocrisy of false words” and a “seared conscience”. He foretells a doctrine that would prevent people from marrying. Many translations say forbid to marry, but the verb used actually means to prevent or hinder.

Compulsory celibacy prohibits clergy from marrying. But this ban could only arise in a climate in which people are prevented from experiencing marriage and sexuality in a healthy way. For example, the church taught that man’s nature is sinful and that the believer is called to fight against it. While nothing is as natural as attraction between the two sexes, the Church has traditionally viewed this as suspect. From the pulpit war was declared against lust and “the flesh” (cf. Eph.5:29!). This church teaching always proves to be a breeding ground for hypocrisy and everyone outside the church knows this. It is known that what clergymen and pastors piously present to others is not lived by themselves. It’s unnatural.

In Scripture it is not nature that is sinful (Rom.2:14), but that which is unnatural (Rom.1:26,27).