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1 Timothy 4:3 – Compulsory asceticism

08-02-2024 - Posted by Hans

… Preventing to marry, abstaining from foods, which God creates to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who believe and realize the truth.

“In subsequent eras” Christianity would move in the direction of asceticism. In itself there is nothing wrong with people deciding not to marry or to abstain from certain foods. After all, wasn’t Paul himself unmarried? In fact, in 1Corinthians 7 he makes a stand for staying single. However, what Paul sees as dark clouds hanging over Christendom is that it will no longer be voluntary. In church history, compulsory celibacy for clergy developed. Priests were forbidden to marry.

Hand in hand with the aversion to sexuality, the pleasure of food also came to be seen in a bad light. This is how mandatory fasting days came into being, such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. And during Lent, meat may not be eaten on Friday. Purely human inventions imposed on the church people.

However, here too the hypocrisy is typical. Because prior to Lent, carnival (= lit. farewell to the flesh) is celebrated exuberantly, which has a universal reputation as a festival of debauchery. Eating, getting drunk and cheating. How accurately everything has been foretold…!