From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Marriage of Priests
Fourthly, pontifical law also disagrees with the canons of the councils. The ancient canons do not prohibit marriage, nor do they dissolve marriages that have been contracted—though they remove from public office those who have contracted marriage while in office. In those times, these dismissals were an act of kindness. The new canons have been made according to the private judgment of popes instead of being framed in the synods. They prohibit contracting marriages, and dissolve them when contracted. This is brazenly done, contrary to the command of Christ: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:6).
Pulling It Together: Contrast the hardness of humans with the mercy of God. Humans invent divorce and laws like celibacy—even forcing divorces upon those already married so that human regulation will be kept, even when it is in open defiance of God’s command. But God is merciful, allowing us in our weakness, a helpmate so that we may not sin against him. Human council, however, permits and even demands divorce—though Christ himself commands otherwise. Hardhearted humanity knows no bounds, even in the church.
Prayer: Strengthen Christian marriages, Lord, so that your will is honored. Amen.
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