Daily Devotional for Wednesday August 29, 2018
The Real Truth of the Sex Problem in the Catholic Church
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER: Dear Lord, God, thank you for Your love, Your grace, and Your mercy that You have showed in my life. I thank you for allowing me to serve you over these past 25 years. I thank you for giving me the vision of Liveprayer 19 yrs ago, and allowing this unique instrument YOU created to impact tens of millions of lives worldwide, respond to over 120 million emails for prayer, the 12 million praise reports testifying to Your faithfulness, and the 1.3 million souls we know of who are or will be in Heaven for all eternity. YOU OH GOD ARE MOST WORTHY TO BE PRAISED!!! In Jesus name I pray...AMEN!
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24
The great error of the Roman Catholic church and one that EVERY church must avoid!!! This is NOT a “Catholic bashing” message, but enlightenment so people can understand WHY the Roman Catholic church is having these massive problems with sexual abuse of all kinds. It is also a word of warning for ALL churches of every denomination since they are not immune from the consequences that comes from violating God’s Truth.
Let me say up front, the Roman Catholic church is a Christian denomination. Please, save your arguments on BOTH sides. Pro-Catholics take the unBiblical position it is the ONLY church and if you are not part of that church you are not a Christian. Anti-Catholics (especially those who have left that church) take the unBiblical position that if you are part of the Catholic church you are a heretic, part of a cult, and not a Christian. I am well aware of both arguments and both are WRONG.
Here is a link to a previous Daily Devotional I have written on this very issue: http://www.liveprayer.com/ddarchive3.cfm?id=5658
The fact is the Roman Catholic church did not even come into existence as we know it today until apx. 300 a.d. It was NOT the first church, that was in Jerusalem and you can read about it in the Book of Acts. Today, it is simply another Christian denomination just like the Baptists, the Methodists, the Lutherans, and any other group of churches who band together under one banner.
Likewise, the foundation of the Roman Catholic church was and is today the Bible, sola scriptura, and faith in Christ for salvation, sola fides. The accusations of being a cult stem primarily from periods in church history when it was virtually only a political organization rather than an ecclesiastical one. The other large issue that has led people to make this charge is due to the man-made traditions the church follows that have no basis in Scripture. For the record, MOST denominations and churches have certain unBiblical man-made traditions they adhere to.
Herein lies the massive problem the Roman Catholic church has faced regarding all types of sexual abuse by clergy for the past 1,000 years!!! THAT IS RIGHT, I SAID THE PAST 1,000 YEARS!!! Even though the public has been exposed to the inordinate amount of sexual abuse by priests in the past 20 years, that is primarily due to the information technology we have available to us today. Trust me, that is only the tip of the iceberg of this problem within the Catholic church.
The cause of this 1,000 year problem that still sadly exists as I write these words is following a man-made tradition over the Truth of the Bible!!! It is replacing the Truth of God’s Word with a man-made tradition. The Catholic church is ripe with these man-made traditions and I lay out the major ones in that previous Daily Devotional I linked to. The man-made tradition that is the root of this 1,000 year problem within the Catholic church is forbidding priests and nuns to marry!!!
Historically, this was not always so. The first 800 years of what we know of today as the Roman Catholic church there was no such admonition of celibacy. Priests married, had families, as did nuns. It was apx. 1,000 years ago that this vow of celibacy was instituted and became part of the church “tradition.” Marriage is an institution created by God for men and women during this journey through life. God’s Holy Institution of Marriage was designed as a bond between one man, one woman, for one lifetime. ANYTHING OTHER is a perversion of that Holy Institution. Divorce is a perversion. Same-sex unions are a perversion. Marriage with multiple spouses at the same time is a perversion. ANYTHING OTHER THAN ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN, FOR ONE LIFETIME IS A PERVERSION OF GOD’S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE!!!
Sadly, man in his sin designed what we know of as divorce. That subsequently required man to deal with the issue of re-marriage. For those like myself who has had that sin in my life, we know why God’s plan and His plan alone is the best way to live our life with a spouse. Thankfully, God is a God of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and while the scars of a previous marriage will always exist, there is still great joy and fulfillment daily in living according to God’s plan for marriage.
In the Bible, there are a few isolated examples where God has called someone to live a celibate life. It is like many instances we find in God’s Word, a very specific and personal call from God upon a person’s life. There is absolutely NO..ZERO...Biblical support for a class of people en masse to live a celibate life. 1,000 years ago when the Roman Catholic church ordained this man-made tradition of celibacy upon their priests and nuns, it was in violation of God’s intended plan for how virtually all men and woman are to live in this world.
The headlines that came out of Boston 20 yrs ago was the first widespread exposure of priests molesting children, primarily boys. Sadly, we now have a similar story that has come to light out of Pennsylvania that goes back 4-5 decades of abuse by priests. Of course, the reason these stories were never known on a widespread basis is because these abuses were covered up by supervisors and offending priests were transferred from where they committed these crimes. It goes without saying, every priest who committed these acts, every superior who covered it up, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!!!
Now in the headlines is the accusation that the current Pope, Pope Francis knew of at least one offending priest and covered it up. Time will tell how that turns out. Let me simply share for you that I find all of these sordid cases that have been exposed, the ensuing cover-ups, even possibly by the Pope himself, to not even take on the real issue at hand...the unhealthy, unnatural, and unBiblical practice of forcing priests and nuns in the Catholic church to take a vow of celibacy!!!
After 25 yrs of ministry, dealing with literally thousands of cases of sexual abuse of all kinds, I can most assuredly state today that this problem we are being exposed to in the Catholic church doesn’t go back 4-5 decades, but 1,000 years!!! It goes back to pretty much the day they instituted this man-made rule of celibacy for priests and nuns. I can also most assuredly state today that it not only started 1,000 years ago, it has occurred ever since and still is today!!!
You don’t need a Doctorate in Human Sexuality to realize that certainly not all, but I am certain 50% on the low side, of priests and nuns were never able to keep their vow of celibacy. I am NOT saying every priest and nun is a child molester! I am saying that in some form easily 50%+ have engaged in some form of sexual contact since taking their vow of celibacy.
Much of it comes during seminary when young men studying for the priesthood engage in homosexual behavior. Likewise, many young women studying to become nuns become involved in lesbian sex. As life goes on, now adults, they continue to engage in same-sex relations and quite often in sex with those of the opposite sex.
Of course the worst cases that get the headlines are when priests engage in predatory behavior with vulnerable boys and sometimes girls. Think about it, if you have unleashed your suppressed sexuality, you can’t marry, you will engage with those who are the most vulnerable who you think you can control in order to continue the charade you are celibate. What doesn’t get as many headlines that is just as pervasive, are nuns who become sexual predators as they seek out young girls to have sex with.
I can promise you that not only has this behavior gone on for the past 1,000 years, but it has occurred in every facet of the Roman Catholic church! Probably most every parish, most every seminary, every Catholic institution of higher learning, every convent, THE VATICAN, every place where Catholics priests and nuns live and work, have been scenes of some sort of sexual relations in violation of their vow of celibacy.
Please hear me clearly. Even though many may take it this way, I am NOT sliming the Catholic church or the untold numbers Godly and wonderful men and women over the ages who have served the Lord in that church! I have had the honor in my early days of ministry to preach, yes preach and give an invitation, at over 2 dozen Catholic churches.
The beginnings of the Charismatic renewal came out of the Catholic church. Full Gospel Businessmen International and their companion woman’s group popular worldwide from the 60’s to 80’s were highly populated by Catholics. The great Promise Keepers men’s movement of the 90’s had great participation by Catholic’s. I am personally aware of some awesome Catholic parishes around the country that are more evangelical than many churches who identify as evangelical!!!
However, it does nobody any good to minimize or cover-up the truth. The truth is the problem the Catholic church has with sexual misconduct and abuse is not a new problem, but one they have dealt with for the past 1,000 years. It isn’t going to go away as long as they continue to embrace this unBiblical man-made vow of celibacy they force their priests and nuns to commit to. It is NOT NATURAL, and once again, it is NOT BIBLICAL!!!
I love and care about you so much. My heart breaks every time I hear the victim of these acts of sexual abuse within the Catholic church and how their life was destroyed. My personal opinion is that probably 3% or less of priests and nuns actually molest children at any time. A far less percentage are serial molesters.
I can assure you however that is a FAR greater percentage than similar acts of child molestation in churches of other denominations. Actually, the majority of sexual abuse of children in other churches is at the hands of workers within the church. Sexual indiscretion by pastors of non-Catholic churches is primarily that of adultery. It was recently confirmed that Bill Hybels, founder of Willow Creek in suburban Chicago and father of the seeker church movement, was involved in multiple cases of sexual misconduct over many years.
So NO church or clergy of a church is immune from sexual sin. However, due to the nonBiblical mandate of the Catholic church for priests and nuns to take a vow of celibacy, it naturally causes the rampant sexual sin of all kind that exists within the Catholic church even today. I can only pray that men of God within that church will be honest, accept that this man-made policy is NOT Biblical, it is NOT possible as a vow for ALL priests and nuns to ever hope to keep, and should be abolished immediately!!!
Honor God’s plan for men and women to live with the bonds of His Holy Institution of Marriage and sexual sin will not be totally eliminated, just as it will never be eliminated from any church, but it will end the vast majority off the sexual abuse of children and the other sexual sins that adult priests and nuns engage in. God created sex as a gift to men and women to enjoy within the bonds of marriage. It is a natural and healthy part of life. Perverting it in the way the Catholic church has over the past millennium is the exact reason we are now seeing a glimpse of the nightmare that has destroyed so many lives.
Note: This is a warning for ALL churches! When you decide to enact man-made traditions that are outside the Truth of the Bible, such as churches who allow women to be pastors, deacons, and elders which the Bible forbids, or you allow a divorced man to be a pastor, decon, or elder as the Bible forbids, or you take on any other tradition that is NOT in accordance with God’s word, there will always be consequences. As I share often, obedience to God’s Word brings blessings, disobedience brings consequences. I can personally attest blessings are much better than consequences!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller