The Scandal of the Catholic Priesthood (2 of 2)

John F. MacArthur, Jr.

this is a continuation of part 1

And then came the idea that this was in imitation of the virgin Mary, with utter disregard for the fact that after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had a whole family full of children. But the lie of the system is that she was a perpetual virgin to her death. And they also elevated the celibacy because they said Christ was celibate, and this was the approximation and the imitation of Christ. And the idea began to develop that if people did this voluntarily, if lay people did this voluntarily and ascended to this high level of spiritual devotion, that wouldn’t it be imperative for their leaders to go to this high level? And again, this was the influence of some of these philosophical ideas. Shouldn’t bishops and priests be the models of asceticism? So by the third century, you started having celibate priests. And it was for the first time in the third century the Council of Elvira in Spain put down the first law that we can find in history enforcing celibacy. Bishops and priests and deacons also were to be deposed if they lived with their wives and begot children after their ordination. They would allow the ones that were married to stay married. But if you were ordained, that in itself said you will never marry. A similar decree was enacted by a Roman Council under Pope Serichias in 384 to 399.

So there were a couple of definitive statements made in that century, fourth century. By the time of Leo the Great in the fifth century, the law of celibacy had become obligatory through the western church. The eastern church never really bought into it, the orthodox church. But the western church did. The eastern churches allowed married priests to stay married. They did prohibit some single ones from marrying, but that has not been their history. So you see it in the third, fourth, fifth century. But, it still was not hard and fast law. That happened in 1079, 11th century. And I’m quoting: “This mandate for celibacy generated all kinds of immorality. The abodes of the priests were often dens of corruption. It was common to see priests frequenting taverns, gambling and having orgies, with quarrels and blasphemy. “Many priests kept mistresses, and convents became houses of ill fame. In many places the people were delighted at seeing a priest with a mistress because the married women would be safe from him.” End quote. This was done under a man named Hildebrand, who is known in Catholic history of Pope Gregory VII, who lived from 1023 to 1085. Why did he do this? Why did he decide that this was an absolute, fixed law?

Well, when he did this, immediately what happened was the priest, if he was going to continue to be a priest, was separated from his wife totally, and his children permanently and for good. More than that, all his property was confiscated. All of it. And the reasons, political and material. Priests up to that time were very influential people. They were very powerful people. People gave them things. They became wealthy. They had families. They passed the wealth on and the family wealth accumulated. And so you had powerful families that were wealthy. They owned land. They had far-reaching influence. Pope Gregory the VII determined that priests controlled too much wealth, and the church should take it. And they would pass their wealth on to their progeny, and those families would get more and more powerful. And if the church was going to take over the state, if the church was going to rule the world, it had to start by ruling the country. And if it was going to rule the country, it had to take the property and the wealth away from the people in power. Philip Schaff, the legendary historian, said: “The motive for opposing the marriage of priests was to prevent the danger of a hereditary line which might appropriate ecclesiastical property to private use and impoverish the church.”

So the priests had to give everything they had to the church. And then they could never have a family, so they couldn’t pass on anything. Another council in 1123 forbade all marriage of priests, and declared all existing marriages invalid. And the Council of Trent reiterated that in no uncertain terms. Women were cut loose with no means of support. Some really amazing stories about many of them died of hunger, the wives of priests. Some were suicides. Some turned into street walkers.

And one of the really bizarre twists is that priests are called “fathers.” Who are they kidding? In Matthew 23:7 Jesus said: “Call no man” — what? “…father. You have one Father.” And in those years when the church was taking its power — and by the way, the number one landowner on the planet is the Roman Catholic church. They have continued to accumulate massive wealth beyond description. It’s always kind of a curiosity to stand in St. Peter’s Square in Rome and look at the Banco de Spiritus Sanctus, the Bank of the Holy Spirit. It’s all couched in religious terms.

Throughout history during this time priests who didn’t obey were exposed to scorn and contempt by the people. They were even attacked by the people. So there was tremendous pressure for them to comply with the church. They then became reduced to extreme poverty. There are stories of priests being mutilated by the people if they wouldn’t give in. The people would literally attack them and mutilate them, and some were tortured, and some were run out of town and put into exile. If they wouldn’t give up their property willingly, then the church would take them, exile them and confiscate their property. Their children then were designated as illegitimate. It was a horrible tragedy. And many of the women, according to the historians, who were wives of priests, were buried in unconsecrated earth.

So it was about power, and it was about property. So you’ve got this ugly scenario. There’s the scandal of an aberrant, unbiblical, bizarre pagan theology of the priesthood and the mass; there’s the scandal of the power and the grasping materialism of a Satanic religious system that wants to engulf the earth.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, Hans Hildebrand, editor, Oxford University Press 1996: “Those priests who were not married often lived in long-term relationships of concubinage, receiving special dispensations from their clerical supervisors to have their children legitimated. This practice began to change in the 12th century when at the Lateran Councils the church declared all clerical marriages invalid and prohibited clerical concubinage.” So you could have a sex mistress for a while, and then they prohibited it. “Many lesser clergy responded by rioting and demonstrating. But gradually celibacy became the norm, especially among the higher clergy, and women from honorable families no longer entered into relationships with priests, knowing that these could never be declared valid marriages. The prohibition of concubinage and other types of non-marital sexual activity among the clergy was hard to enforce, however. And by the 14th century, church officials simply advocated discretion.” Just be discreet in your sexual misconduct.

So what happened was this mandate tempted all kinds of immorality. Now remember: These people aren’t converted, right? They can’t be, because they have an aberrant theology. So they have no power to restrain the flesh, right? The abodes of priests then at this period of time and throughout the middle ages became dens of corruption. It was common to see the worst and grossest kinds of sin carried on by priests. There were some who took a vow of chastity and made an effort to be pure. But a vow of celibacy was not a vow of chastity. And, by the way, according to canon law — this is Roman church law — a vow of celibacy is broken if the priest marries. But it’s not broken if he engages in sexual relationships. You don’t break the vow of celibacy, says canon law, by sexual relationships. You have to marry to break the law of celibacy. So a celibate priesthood has nothing to say about the conduct. And further, and I’m reading from dogma: “Pardon for sexual relations comes by confession to a fellow priest.” Hmm. That’s all you have to do. You tell me yours; I’ll tell you mine, right? That’s all you have to do to get it expunged.

You know, that’s just as an aside, but that whole confessional thing: You take men with normal sexual passions; you put them in a situation where that is restrained and they have to restrain it without any divine power, which is impossible to do, driven by lust, the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life.” That’s what makes people tick. You put them like that, put them in monasteries, put them in seminaries, put them in enclaves with other men with the same kind of pent-up sexual frustrations. And then all day, every day, stick them in a confessional booth in anonymity where they sit and listen to everybody parade all their iniquities by. And you tell me that’s a healthy environment, and that an unconverted man is going to sit in that environment and think holy thoughts? That’s a compounding of the curse. It produces a level of hypocrisy that’s staggering.

By the way, you get absolution from sexual sin by confession to a fellow priest. Absolution for any priest who marries, you only get one way, from the Pope. From the Pope. You’ve got to go all the way to the Pope to get absolution. And then it comes with severe penalty. Why? Because they care more about a priest who marries and the impact that will have on the power of the system, than they do about a priest who commits sexual sin. Marriage is far worse to them than sexual sin, because it threatens the church’s power and property. And yet, isn’t it bizarre that the Roman Catholic church holds that marriage is a sacrament, the sacrament of matrimony? And yet, it’s a sacrament of matrimony that the “most holy” quote people, priests and nuns, are denied.

And by the way, the Council of Trent pronounced anathema against all who teach that the marriage state is preferable to celibacy. So they damned anybody who thinks that marriage is preferable. You know, Jesus even said not all men can bear that. Paul said: “It is better to marry than to burn.” Let me tell you: That’s true even for non-priest single people who prolong their singleness. You know, just give you a little advice? Find somebody. Don’t wait for the Messiah; just find somebody. String yourself out, and compound your temptation. And in the eyes of the priesthood, there is an inherent uncleanness in marriage. And it’s a hang-over from that sort of Manichean-Gnostic idea of the evil of the flesh. There’s an uncleanness in romantic desire; there’s an uncleanness in normal love; there’s something shameful in that. And that the desire for procreation is somehow the enemy of spiritual devotion. You know, I really — my heart goes out to priests. They are literally — I think they are literally in many cases sexual time bombs. It’s only a question of when it’s going to go. That group of people in themselves has such a warped view of marriage, because they are so fixated on the sexual aspect of it. They think marriage is all about sex and procreating little Catholics, and that’s all it is.

I was fascinated to read in Lorraine Boettner’s book on Roman Catholicism this quote. “The largest collection of books in the world on the subject of sex is in the Vatican library.” Who checks them out? What are they, in there doing some scholastic work? These poor people. This is a horrific sentence. Better they should go to prison and have some time limit when they’re going to get out and live a normal life. In order to understand the Roman Catholic position regarding the grouping of men and women in monasteries, you need to understand the basic viewpoint that underlies that system. During the middle ages, the idea developed in Roman theology that man’s work was to be divided. And this is really important in their system. In the middle ages, man’s work was divided into the natural or the secular, and the spiritual, and those two things are totally separated. Only the spiritual was pleasing to God. And again, this is more of that same old dualistic philosophy. Consequently, while the natural man might be satisfied with the common virtues of daily life, the ideal was that of the mystic, who just disdained all the issues of daily life. And all he wanted to do was develop his spiritual side. And he wanted to go somewhere in deep contemplation and reach out for the spiritual. The natural was viewed as a hindrance to that; a job, a wife, kids, a house, et cetera.

So the life of the monk and the life of the nun withdrawing from society, withdrawing from work, withdrawing from culture, withdrawing from the world, retiring into this cloister, losing themselves in mystic contemplation, was thought to really be the higher life. And then, you know, then they started wearing all these black things; the same stuff they’ve been wearing since the middle ages. Every time you see these guys parading around in these silly things. They’re wearing middle age garb that’s supposed to impress us with the fact that they have literally risen above the hoi-polloi, who are all caught up in the natural. And they really believe that in seclusion from the world, the image of God lost in the fall could be restored. Celibacy was the holier state. Some of them even emasculated themselves, thinking that that would remove temptation ultimately.

The ascetic viewed the natural world as sinful, a sphere to be avoided as much as possible, developed a contempt for things of the world, and went into off into these places. You can read the stories about these people. They went into these kind of places and sat there, and just were tormented by the fires of temptation. Read a Heloise and Abelard story; horrific to try to live like that. And that’s where the priests and the nuns, you know, as these celibate ascetics, came from. But for Protestants, the Reformation came along and just demolished all of that, and it did it with, first of all, one very important theological fact, and that was this: That in God’s eyes, there’s no difference between the sacred and spiritual, and the secular, because in whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, you do it — what? “To the glory of God.” God can be glorified in the way you eat your dinner. The Protestant understood, the Reformation understood: You serve God not by withdrawing from the world. Jesus even prayed: Father, I’m not asking you to keep them out of the world, but to keep them while they’re in the world from the evil one. We believe the world has fallen. But it’s our Father’s world, isn’t it? And I can look at everything in this world, except the sin, and I can see a way in it to glorify God. The Reformation spread a sacredness over everything.

You could see that when they understood this, everything in the Catholic system that was related to the priesthood, the convents, asceticism, from the hermits to the monks, they saw as a wicked thing, because they had developed this idea that anything that’s material is in itself wicked and, thus, they had forfeited the reality of spiritual life. And that is that we live here in this world, and everything in this world gives us opportunity to glorify God. You know, the inmates — I call them inmates — of monasteries are unmarried men. It’s just bizarre and abnormal. They say in the United States now — I read today a statistic: Fifty percent of them are homosexual when they get there. The rest have no chance. These people are predators. Convents, too, promote an abnormal type of life; doing terrible things to these women who are there, who many are good-intentioned, as some priests are. There are orders of priests, Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, who don’t like each other; you know that.

There’s a place for voluntary celibacy. It’s a blessing if you have the “gift,” as Paul put it. But to deny someone normal family life, to deny someone normal relationships, is a cruel, cruel thing for the sake of the power of the system. You know, the thing is so sad about a priest. He’s absolutely a blip on the screen. He has no past, because when he came into the priesthood or when she came into the convent, they gave up all their possessions and all their relationships. They quote to them that: “If a man is not willing to leave father and mother, and hate father and mother for my sake, he’s not worthy to be my disciple.” And so there is a strong urge to hate everything that your parents stand for. So you cut yourself off from the past. You have no present, because you share life with nobody. And for sure, you have no future. It’s sad. And these kinds of unnecessary restrictions are no help to personal sanctity. Let me tell you: They are a hindrance, a severe hindrance to it.

Charles Hodge, the theologian has written this, and I think it’s good to remember this, in his Systematic Theology. “It is only in the marriage state that some of the purest, most disinterested and most elevated principles of our nature are called into exercise. All that concerns filial piety and parental and especially maternal affection depends on marriage for its very existence. It is in the bosom of the family that there is a constant call for acts of kindness, of self-denial, of forbearance and of love. The family, therefore, is the spirit, the best adapted for the development of all the social virtues. And it may be safely said that there is far more of moral excellence and of true religion to be found in Christian households than in the desolate homes of priests, or in the gloomy cells of monks and nuns.” End quote.

Priests are broken, shattered, tragic, sad, disconnected people; no past, no present, no future. They belittle the sanctity of the marriage relationship. They are denied normal relationships; the friendship of marriage. They are victims of a terrible system with no biblical basis whatsoever. It is a soul-destroying process that leaves them in a situation of rampant temptation, exposure to the worst. And the only way to fulfill these drives is sinfully. And they do not have the restraint of a transformed or sanctified life.

Emmet MacLaughlin writes: “The life of a priest” — he’s an ex priest, “…is an extremely lonely one. He lives in a large rectory; he is still lonely. Other priests are not interested in him or in his doubts and scruples. If he is the only priest in a solitary parish or desert mission, he is still more alone. As his years slip by and the memories of seminary and its rigidity fade away, the realization may dawn that his life is not supernatural, but a complete mental and spiritual and physical frustration.” He says: “He sees in his parish and his community the normal life from which he has been cut off. He sees the spontaneous childhood which he was denied; he sees the innocent, normal companionship of adolescents, which for him never existed. He performs the rites of matrimony as starry-eyed young men and women pledge to each other the most natural rights and pleasures. He stands alone and lonely at the altar as they turn from him and confidently, recklessly, happily step into their future home, family, work and troubles and the successes of a normal life. More than anything else, he seeks companionship, the companionship of normal people; not frustrated, disillusioned victims like himself. He wants the company of men and women, young and old, through whom he may at least vicariously take part in a relationship with others that he has been denied, and for which at least subconsciously the depth of his nature craves. No priest who has heard priests’ confessions and has any respect for the truth will deny that sexual affairs are extremely common among the clergy. The principal concern of the hierarchy is that the priest keep such cases quiet.”

That’s the sad reality. That’s the scandal. And in that environment, all kinds of sin abounds. In many countries of the world, it is predominantly heterosexual sin. Priests have relationships with women in the parish, prostitutes or even nuns. But in this modern time and certainly back 50 years, we’re finding out now, as homosexuality has always been a part of this life, we’re finding now that it’s even more and more a part of it. In fact, I read an interesting article. It was an editorial op ed piece in — I think it was the L.A. Times — in which a man was writing and saying the whole problem with this, the whole problem is the church’s problem. The church has forced this. The church has forced this to happen; this abuse of boys, this pedophilia. Because the church says homosexuality is a sin — this is the bizarre character of this op ed piece — it says homosexuality is a sin and, therefore, for homosexuals who are Roman Catholics to be accepted by the church, the only thing they could do is become priests. And so the church, by identifying homosexuality as a sin, forced homosexuals who wanted to be good Catholics into the priesthood.

I read another piece today from — I think it was the New York Times — in which they were concerned that there would now become a homosexual witch-hunt in the United States Catholic church; there were 46,000
or 45,000 priests, that there would be a witch-hunt trying to sort out the homosexuals. And all the homosexual lobby groups are concerned that that’s going to happen. They’re there. I mean that’s like — that’s like the place you’d want to be, if you were a homosexual. And that’s the sad reality of what’s happened. And just a word about that; I don’t need to say a lot about that.

Pedophilia isn’t the beginning of anything. It’s the end of a long, long pornographic conduct trail. You don’t start there. You end there. That’s how it goes. You know, you take what’s there, at first. And then the deviation demands more and more aberrant behavior, and it moves down younger and younger and younger. In fact, one of the people in law enforcement said to me pedophilia is the caboose on a long train.

So it’s easy to see why this happens in this terrible, terrible system. And yet, they can’t change it. Can’t change it, because there is an inerrancy and an infallibility in the church. And one of the elements of that is that if you’re a priest, you’re a priest. And it can’t be reverted or rescinded. And that as long as you don’t get married, all you have to do is confess to another priest. And that perpetuates the power of the system. That’s why you can see the cardinals all go over to Italy and come back. And what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened, because nothing can happen. The Pope, what did he say? Nothing. There’s nothing to say. One of the things that we, you know, just kind of a — I’ve got more than I can give to you. But one of things has to be talked about. It’s not just the immorality of the monasteries and the convents, which is legendary. It’s legendary everywhere.

I was reading an article that talked about how many kids in the small towns in Italy and so forth are the children of the priests, whom they call “uncle;” they’re calling him “father” wouldn’t reveal anything. Forced celibacy is conducive to sexual perversion. You know, John Calvin dealt with it. He said this in The Institutes: “In one instance they are too rigorous and inflexible, that is, in not permitting priests to marry. With what impurity fornication rages among them.” John Calvin. He went on to say: “Emboldened by their polluted celibacy, they have become hardened to every crime. This prohibition has not only deprived the church of upright and able pastors, but has formed a horrible gulf of enormities and precipitated many souls into the abyss of despair.” Henry the VIII of England in 1535 appointed commissioners to inspect all monasteries and nunneries. “And so terrible were the cruelties and corruptions uncovered,” writes Boettner, “…so terrible were the cruelties and corruptions uncovered that a cry went up from the nation that all such houses without exception to be destroyed.”

Henry the VIII was no paragon of virtue. He destroyed these places. “And the fall of the monasteries,” quote, “…was attributed to the monstrous lives of the monks, the friars and nuns.” Henry Banford Parks has written a history of Mexico. And in that history he writes, quote: “Clerical concubinage is the rule rather than the exception, and friars openly roamed the streets of cities with women on their arms. Many of the priests were ignorant and tyrannical, whose chief interest in their parishioners was the exaction of marriage, baptism and funeral fees, and who were apt to abuse the confessional.” I mean it’s a terrible thing.

There’s a lot of interesting things about the nuns. I used to always wonder: Why would anybody do that, right? Why would anybody do that? And in my reading, I have discovered that the confessional is the recruiting booth for the convents. When a woman goes into a convent, she renounces family. She’s basically told that she has to hate her parents and her family. It’s a hard disconnect for a woman, harder than a man. She has to slaughter all maternal instincts, which are God-given. She has to put to death the idea of being cared for by a man, which is God-given, to enter this stoic environment. She is given a wedding ring because she’s marrying whom? Jesus. She has to wear this bizarre, medieval garb consisting of a long, black dress, symbol of grief. That’s what it is, the symbol of death. And then some grotesque headpiece, which is no good in the summer or the winter or the wind. It’s so — but, you know, they recruit them in the confessional. They take advantage of particularly the women who are coming off of a shattered relationship, and they’re deeply wounded. And they get to know them because in a parish church, the same people keep coming back. And they look for a sensitive soul who comes often to confession, comes often to mass, who’s gone through some difficulty. And at that point, it’s really a matter of preying on that person in a time of weakness, a time of pain and suffering, to make this bizarre commitment.

Emmet MacLaughlin writes: “The nun is one of the most remarkable products of the Roman Catholic church. She’s an absolute slave, one whose willingness to offer her life should fill communist leaders with jealousy; one from whom the hierarchy conceals her slavery by the wedding ring on her finger; one who believes that in shining the Bishop’s shoes, waiting on his table or scrubbing the floor, she is gathering treasure in heaven. She is the one who makes possible the church’s hundreds of hospitals, the one who teaches in parochial schools and orphanages and so forth. She is also a woman with all the desires, instincts, loyalties and hatreds of which a woman is capable. Subservient to her man, through her indoctrination of her wedding to Christ, often catty and gossipy towards sister nuns and hospital nurses, maternal in her hoverings over priests and children, matriarchal in her petty policies for the control of her hospital and convent,” goes on and on. “Self-annihilating all normal desires.”

And the position of the cloistered nuns, there’s a — there’s really a strange group. Do you know there are nuns who take a vow of silence and spend their entire life, never speak? Never say a word. And they think that somehow they’re going to get salvation from that. Boettner says: “In the set-up of the Roman Catholic church, it is the confessional box that feeds the nunneries. The groundwork is done on the Catholic girl in the parochial school, where the nun is made an object of holy glamour, a replica of the virgin Mary. The institution of the confessional makes it easy for the priest to find the girls they want, and naturally try to select the choice ones. “Ordinarily, confessions begin at the age of seven. Through this means, the priest comes to know the very heart and soul of those who confess, which to them would be desirable in the service of the church, and which can be persuaded and which can not. It’s easy for a trained priest to seize a passing fancy and blow it into a full-scale vocation. “Once a victim has been chosen, pressure is applied directly and indirectly until the battle is won. Appeals are made to the girl’s Christian sense of duty. The girl’s natural reluctance to enter in such a life is pictured as the evil influence of the world and the devil.”

And then he writes: “Usually, the most important — or the most opportune time for persuading a girl to enter a convent comes just after she’s been disappointed in love. Blighted romance often afford the priest his most value opportunity.” Helen Conroy has written this. “A jilted girl in the first rush of shame and agony at the shattering of her romance is an easy victim of any priest. Knowing that such intense grief cannot last long, the girl is urged to go into a convent at once. Poor girl sees in it a chance to get away from an embarrassing situation. “This, coupled with the fact that she is assured she can leave anytime she wishes, has led thousands to rush headlong into the convent. They give up everything they possess, of course, at that particular time, which becomes immediately the church’s possession.” And it’s quite an interesting thing. They have 60-day period — I think this is still true — they have a 60-day period in which to dispense of everything. And it’s in the euphoria of that 60 days, when they’re processing into the convent, that they’re so caught up with the convent that they’re basically urged to give it all there.

And then Conroy writes: “The girl’s mind is poisoned against the mother who bore her, and the father and sisters and brother who make up her family. Of all the crimes committed in the name of religion” — this is from a book, by the way, Forgotten Women in Convents: “… in the name of religion, this forcing of hatred of parents is the blackest. It is dehumanizing. This doctrine of hatred of parents by nuns and sisters fully explains why a girl is not allowed to dispose of her property until 60 days before she is to take the veil” — that’s what it is — “…and the vows. The church fully expects by that time the girl will have learned that her convent is her real home.” And so it goes.

Well, I could say more but the time is gone. Just one thing. Estimates — I don’t know how they vary — but it has been estimated there are a hundred thousand women in cloisters. Have you ever heard of the Carmelite sisters? Some of you have. The Carmelite sisters neither teach, nor nurse, nor care for the old, the orphans or the infants. They take a vow of complete silence. At 5:30, they rise from their pallets, wooden boards across sawhorses. They’ve taken a vow of poverty. At 8:30, they eat a slice of bread, drink one cup of black coffee. The table is set with plain wooden utensils and a covered water pitcher. In the middle of the table is the mask of death, a skull, to symbolize thoughts of death that we are mortal beings soon to pass into the unknown. Their main meal of the day is fish and vegetables. Their evening meal is soup and bread. Their day ends at 11:00 P.M., when they silently return to their cells.

That’s their life. I mean that — I’m surprised Amnesty International doesn’t raid those places. How are these pitiful souls to be reached? You know, what is all this to say? Look, how do you get to somebody in a convent? You don’t. How’s that for a ploy for Satan? Lock them up in a false religion so that absolutely nobody can get near them. And then take a vow of silence. Boy, there’s a damnation sentence, right? They can’t even ask a question or have a conversation. This is wicked stuff. How do you reach these people? How do you reach priests? You know, we think somehow that, you know, you’ve all these evangelicals who think we ought to just embrace arms with this system. Is that bizarre? What we need to do is rescue these people. And the only way they’ll ever be rescued is through the gospel. But I think we have to say what has to be said.

New York Times says — this is April 19th article by Lori Goodstein — that now the count is at about a thousand priests that are being charged with abuse. And the number of women abused to one degree or another by priests is going to far exceed men. What do we do with these poor, poor people who are trapped in these terrible, sinful things? Well, there’s only one thing, and that’s to somehow, if you know somebody, you’ve got to give them the gospel.

One other little note I wrote down. A homosexual offender, according to the latest data — this is from WorldNet, April 29th — what, two days ago, three days ago: “The average male homosexual offender will abuse 150 boys. The average heterosexual violator, 20 girls.” And the pedophilia is a basic part of the homosexual movement. So, you know, this is a scandal of massive, massive proportions. But more than just a scandal, this is a horrible, horrible Satanic system that has captured the souls of these people. There’s no way we can strike any kind of alliance with this.

Richard John Neuhaus, do you know that name? Wasn’t he the author of that document, that ECT document, Phil, that Colson and all those guys signed? Richard John Neuhaus said he is not in favor of banning gay men from the priesthood. Quote: “I think we would probably discover we would be retroactively excluding a good many canonized saints over 2,000 years.” End quote. Richard John Neuhaus says that: If we banned gays from the priesthood, we’d be banning canonized saints over the last 2,000 years. Is that a long-term problem? He doesn’t have to say that. If I was him, I wouldn’t have said that. Why would he say that? Because it really doesn’t matter in the system.

You know, I just keep going back: “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free” — what? “…indeed.” These dear people need to be delivered and liberated. You say: Well, how do we do that? Well, if you meet one, you need to treat them with compassion, but you need to recognize that they’re probably in some pretty profound turmoil. And you could talk about freedom and deliverance in Christ. You know, let’s just pray that God will start giving us opportunities to witness to priests and nuns. Wouldn’t that be great? So while the whole system is crumbling, these lives can be picked up and no — no homosexual, 1st Corinthians 6: No sodomite is going to enter the kingdom of God, right? But then Paul followed up by saying: “But such were some of you.” But you have been what? Washed. Wouldn’t it be great?

Let’s just pray that God will give us opportunity to see some of these terrible imprisoned people in a Satanic system washed and sanctified. You shouldn’t even be a pastor if you’re not the husband of one wife, right? Shouldn’t be a pastor if you haven’t ruled your own household. Well, shouldn’t be a pastor if you don’t have faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. These people shouldn’t be pastors. Furthermore, they’re not Christians.

Listen to this: “If you say you have fellowship with him, but you walk in darkness, you lie and do not the truth.” They say they have this elevated fellowship with God. That’s a lie. And you want to know? I think in many cases, they know it. They know that there’s no victory over their terrible plight. Now there are probably some exceptions to that; men, women who do good, feel good about it. There might even be some people who’ve actually confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and been redeemed, and they’re still stuck somewhere in that system. God could do that. That must be another kind of torture.

We don’t need any priests. Revelation 1: You are a kingdom of priests. We only need one high priest, and it’s not the Pope. We have one mediator, the man Christ Jesus. The veil is torn. We go right into the Holy of Holies. You are a priest and I am a priest unto God.

Father, we thank you tonight for a wonderful time together, and just kind of sorting through some of these things, our hearts are indeed gripped and grieved. How terrible is this system and how, you know, in the evangelical world, Lord, how can people look at this, and think somehow that this is all fine, and they’re just, you know, another denomination; and leave these poor, darkened, benighted, beleaguered, tragically bound, fettered, eternal souls in that system? Lord, God, in the midst of all of this, draw some of these people to your Son. May they awaken to the true gospel, and may they not be so buried deep under the perversions and the lies of the Roman system that they can’t rise from the dead. Would you be gracious in that way? And if you can use us along the way to accomplish it, we would be pleased. For your eternal glory, Lord, we ask these things in Christ’s name. Amen.

Copyright 2002
by
John F. MacArthur, Jr.
All rights reserved.

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