Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
An Appropriate Reformation Day Post
10/31/2009 - James White
There are some topics that really do not require much effort in the way of argumentation. Frank Beckwith’s recent “pet peeve” article about the use of such terms as “Roman church” and “Roman Catholic church” is so easily refuted from Rome’s own official documents that it is amazing the discussion is still going around the net. I was directed to an article by Scott Windsor commenting on the topic, and ironically, Beckwith commented as well. But let’s start with a simple experiment. Open up www.papalencyclicals.net and use the search function. Let’s just search for “Roman,” shall we? And lets just look at, say, Vatican I, given that this was the Council that proclaimed Papal Infallibility (over against the witness of history itself). Did the Council share Dr. Beckwith’s “pet peeve”? Do we find them sticking solely with the term “Catholic”? Let’s see:
I, Pius, bishop of the catholic church, with firm faith believe and profess each and every article contained in the profession of faith which the holy Roman church uses, namely:
I acknowledge the
* apostolic and
church, the mother and mistress of all the churches.
The holy, catholic, apostolic and Roman church believes and acknowledges that there is one true and living God,
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Papal Primacy versus Scripture
10/31/2009 - Tur8infanPope Boniface VIII, in Unam Sanctam, stated: “Now, therefore, we declare, say, define, and pronounce that for every human creature it is altogether necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff.”
Scripture, in contrast, gives universal jurisdiction to Christ alone: “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15) and the Psalmist declares: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:6) which the Apostle tells us plainly refers to Christ: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22).
Timothy George Gets the Gospel Wrong---Again
10/29/2009 - James White
From Christianity Today:
"The gaping divide between evangelicals and Catholics is ecclesiology and authority, not justification and salvation, as important as that debate remains," George said. "There is enough commonality that evangelicals and Catholics with a living faith can recognize one another as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ with a common Lord and common grace that brought them together. The hard issues are questions related to the church, such as the Petrine office [the papacy] and the Eucharist. Those discussions will occupy us for the next 100 years."
Bulletin flash: "the Eucharist" is about as central as you can get to salvation on either side of the divide. Even a good Catholic should shake their head in disbelief at such a statement. The siren call of compromise seems to be sounding ever louder in this day of apostasy.
Truth Rot Example #Bazillion and Two
10/29/2009 - James White
See? The Gospel doesn't need to divide anymore. Whether you think Jesus died once for all or the Mass is a propitiatory sacrifice that perfects no one, and whether you have priests and purgatory and all the rest...it matters not! Read for yourself.
On Playing Nice with the Vatican
10/28/2009 - James White
Steve Hays had a great insight in responding to Frank Beckwith's offense at the term "Roman Catholic" (which, ironically, seems odd being posted on a blog with the title "Return to Rome"):
I can’t help noticing that the church of Rome only discovered the virtues of courtesy and charity rather late in the day. If, for example, you read the text of Exsurge Domine (available online), the language and countermeasures proposed by Pope Leo X to describe and suppress the nascent Protestant movement doesn’t strike me as overly charitable or courteous.
I also can’t help but notice that this discovery seems to time with the church of Rome’s loss of temporal power. And therein lies a moral: the true test of charity is not to be charitable when you have to be, but to be charitable when you don’t have to be.
Once his denomination no longer had state sponsorship to back its brass knuckle policies, then it suddenly discovered the virtues of tolerance. Funny how those in power are quick to advocate tolerance the moment they fall from power. But I’m sure that’s purely coincidental.
Catholic or Roman?
10/27/2009 - Tur8infanDr. White has already blogged Francis Beckwith's comments on the term "Roman Catholic" (link to Dr. White's comments). Dr. White's comments were great, succinct, and to the point. I figured there was nothing left for me to blog about on this subject. However, subsequently I came across a very different response to Beckwith's comments and consequently I drafted the following response to a blogger who goes by the nick, "John Z." ...
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Why "Roman Catholic" is Accurate, and Merely "Catholic" is Not
10/25/2009 - James White
Frank Beckwith recently wrote:
One of my pet peeves is the intentional overuse of "Rome," "Roman," "Romanist," etc. by Protestant critics of Catholic theology. Here's why: the Catholic Church is a collection of many churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome. It's catechism--The Catechism of the Catholic Church--is that of all these churches that are in communion with one another and with the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. The theology found in that text, therefore, is not Roman Catholic theology. It is Catholic theology. That's the way the Church understands itself. Common courtesy suggests that those who are critical of that theology summon the respect to refer to it as such.
Please note what was said: all these churches "in communion with" whom? "The Bishop of Rome." Not the bishop of Constantinople, Naples, London, or Milwaukee. Rome. A local church that did not even have a monarchical episcopate until the middle of the second century. A single local church that has been, through a long process of political development elevated to the point of claiming infallibility for her teachings. A church that claims for herself any number of grossly unbiblical titles, privileges and powers. It is the Roman Church that makes these claims.
What happens when you drop the delimiter "Roman"? You are left with exactly what Rome claims for herself: universal sovereignty. The "catholic" church is not centered in Rome. Its theology and beliefs are not defined by Rome. And in fact, she can never defect from the gospel truth, no matter how hard Rome may press her to do so (and she has surely done so in the past). This is the very goal Rome has, the acknowledgement of her as universal sovereign, the Mother of all Churches, the Catholic Church. But the fact is, Rome is none of these things, and she is surely not truly "catholic."
So may I suggest that "common courtesy" would restrain the Roman Pontiffs from making the wild, extravagant claims they have made for themselves and their man-made office? May I suggest it is the follower of Rome who should summon the respect to refrain from arrogantly claiming sovereignty for his church over those who refuse to bow the knee to the Roman see?
Frank Beckwith Slams Frank Turk as a "Rabid Anti-Catholic Blogger"
10/19/2009 - James White
Note this section:
I had no idea that Mr. Turk was so gifted in the clairvoyant arts, able to not only jump the space-time continuum to observe my teenage years but to pierce the veil of cognitive and spiritual privacy in order to extract from my soul the reflections, contemplations, and judgments that were instrumental in my journey back to Catholicism. Given his unusual interest in comic book aesthetics, perhaps he possesses powers not unlike the mutants that populate the imaginary world to which he seems so drawn (pardon the pun). Or perhaps he is just ill-mannered and presumptuous.Evidently, this is what anyone can expect as a response if you dare question Beckwith's "spiritual journey." It seems Beckwith does not believe he has provided sufficient information from his own writings and lectures to allow any meaningful observations regarding either his commitments when a non-Catholic or his return to obedience to Rome. So even if you listen carefully to his interviews since his return to Rome, or read his book, and carefully consider what he says, and just as importantly, what he does not, you will still be identified as "ill-mannered and presumptuous." I have a feeling I know what we will hear once we publish our response to Beckwith's biographical story of his return to Rome.
An Argument Against An Infallible Papacy, Luther Style
10/13/2009 - James SwanRecently Concordia Publishing House released Luther's Works Volume 69. It's a new English translation of Luther's writing not previously available in English. While the volume is primarily a verse by verse commentary of John 17-20, interspersed are some interesting apologetic arguments against Romanism. (A word of caution: if you follow the above link to Concordia Publishing and fill out the form to receive the new volume of Luther's Works, it may arrive at your door in a few days, without paying for it first. The invoice arrived a day before the book showed up at my front door. Only fill out the form if you plan on buying the book).
One such argument concerns the papacy and infallibility. Without anything explicit establishing either Biblically, Roman Catholics read much into such texts like Matthew 16. Without anything explicit, the argument is typically one of inference. For instance, Catholic Answers states, "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Here Peter was singled out for the authority that provides for the forgiveness of sins and the making of disciplinary rules." " It was Simon, weak as he was, who was chosen to become the rock and thus the first link in the chain of the papacy." Of course, Luther dealt with similar arguments. The following is his response from Luther's Works, Volume 69, pp. 178- 181. Luther is commenting on John 18:13, concerning Annas and Caiaphas, the Jewish high priests.
But I want to come now to theology and doctrine. We should learn here that no one should place his trust in men, even if he is in an estate ordained by God. But if we are not to believe nor to put our trust in Annas and Caiaphas, how are we to believe or trust the devil, the pope in Rome, the monks in monasteries, or the godless bishops? God so thoroughly forbids putting trust in any man that one should not even trust in those who are in the highest, best, and most secure estates. For no estate on earth has been so gloriously confirmed as was the estate of Annas and Caiaphas. If Annas and Caiaphas became scoundrels in their order and estate, even though it was the most exalted on earth, then you should learn from this not to esteem any man on the basis of his estate or see. The papal jurists exalted their pope and said, "Non est praesumendum, quod tantae altitudinis apex possit errare"- "It is not to be presumed that the pope in such a lofty station can err." Against this claim I set the following: Annas and Caiaphas occupy a loftier position and sit on a greater throne than do the pope and the emperor. Yet they not only err but also are scoundrels and knaves-the worst scoundrels and knaves ever to have lived on earth, for they crucified the Son of God. We know this from the wicked things they did to Christ, so that we hold them in scorn whenever we speak their names. But we should recognize that they were the most exalted people according to Gods ordinance, and their estate was the holiest and highest that ever was. Therefore, I should not hesitate to pull off [anyone else's] mask and say, "I must not put my trust here, even if it is what the pope or a cardinal or the emperor says,for even the most exalted of men can err and go astray."
But if you now say, "Whom, then, are we to trust and believe?" read the First Commandment: "I the Lord your God am a jealous God"[Exod. 20:5]. There it is clearly written whom you are to trust: namely, the Lord God alone. So now if the pope says something, I am not obligated to hold to it unless,to be sure, he brings God's Word. For God says that we are to fear and trust Him only, even if He speaks to us through a donkey [cf. Num. 22:28-30]. For this reason you should say: "Dear pope, you are high, holy, learned. But that you cannot err on that account-that I don't believe." If, indeed, they say, "Do you think the councils can err?" answer them this: "Haven't you read about two men, Annas and Caiaphas by name, who were scoundrels? Now if such eminent people, in such a high, holy estate, ordained and instituted by God, have fallen away even to the point of crucifying God's Son, it follows that other men can also fall and err." Annas and Caiaphas were much more learned and wise, and the obedience due them was much greater than that due the pope. This is evident in that though everyone else among the Jews heard Christ's preaching and saw His miracles, no one dared acknowledge or follow Him publicly [John 12:42]; and when Christ was taken captive, no one dared to make himself known, so great were the respect and obedience accorded the high priest by the whole people.
So note well John's words: "Caiaphas was high priest for the year." And yet that same high priest may be such a scoundrel and knave that he crucifies the Son of God. The office of high priest was, indeed, the highest office and the most glorious title, and yet the worst scoundrels held this office and title. Now, since the high priests have done such things, we should not henceforth believe any man unless he brings with him God's clear, pure Word. St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4[:2], "Nothing is more requisite of stewards than that they be found faithful." You should pay close attention to whether such a one is faithful, for all kinds of shortcomings in a preacher or bishop can be tolerated, but unfaithfulness cannot and should not be tolerated in them.... Is it possible for the pope not to err when these two, Annas and Caiaphas, who were instituted in office by God much more gloriously than any pope, not only erred but lapsed so shamefully that they condemned the Son of God to death?
This was the glory of the high priests: that the people had been commanded to accept everything they said [Deut. 17:12].133 The pope does not possess such a glory. Now, if you conclude from this as follows: "The high priest's judgment must be accepted; Annas and Caiaphas are the high priests of the people, and they judge and decide that Christ must be slain; therefore, one must accept this judgment of the high priests"-then you have been deceived already! Therefore, the Holy Spirit put this here to teach the contrary-that Annas and Caiaphas were high priests at the time, and yet Christ was condemned to death by their judgment?so that no one would put his confidence in any human being, no matter how high and holy he may be.
Bishops, cardinals, and the entire papal clergy rest on this foundation: "The Christian Church cannot err; therefore, the pope likewise cannot err since he is the head of the Church." But you, forearm yourself against this and say: "Pope this, pope that! If Caiaphas could err, so also can the pope." And he proves this with his deeds as well. For the pope denies Christ and kills Him, just as those high priests denied Christ and sentenced Him to death. We would not have expected to read that the high priests Annas and Caiaphas crucified Christ. Rather, it should say, "Barabbas crucified Christ." But the evangelist says 'that Christ was led bound, first to Annas, and then to Caiaphas, who was the high priest for the year, in order to indicate this extraordinary and astonishing fact: that the highest and holiest of people on earth are often God's worst enemies. For this reason we should not put our trust in any human being, even if he occupies a high office and a position of great glory.
How To Prove The Immaculate Conception Without Biblical Proof #2
10/11/2009 - James SwanRecently I examined how Catholic apologist John Martignoni attempted to prove the immaculate conception without biblical proof while using a Bible. In this mp3 clip Martignoni explains Roman Catholics can defend their beliefs and refute Protestants using just the Bible. He calls this scriptural apologetics, claiming particular Roman Catholic beliefs have both direct or indirect Biblical proof. Last time we saw just how this argumentation works. It amounts to using a Bible without Biblical proof: using meandering logic and inferences foisted upon the sacred text. Mr. Martignoni continued to present more of his scriptural apologetics to prove the immaculate conception. I have again outlined Martignoni's arguments in the order he presented them. My counter responses are in red.
Argument 1: "Many passages of Scripture can have different levels of meaning." Revelation 12 is one such passage. The woman described can either mean the church or Israel, but "at the most basic level of meaning, the woman is also a real person ? Mary, the mother of Jesus." The passage describes Jesus without metaphor: "the male child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron." Likewise, the ancient serpent, Satan, is not a metaphor. Protestants though insist that the woman is a metaphor because "because they do not want her to be Mary."
Swan's Counter: Note first that one of Martignoni's main proof texts for the immaculate conception comes from apocalyptic literature. That is, it's easier to take highly symbolic passages of scripture and read in what one wants to. Even if Mary is the intended meaning of Revelation 12, the text states "she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth." This would clearly contradict the immaculate conception.
Argument 2: In Revelation 12:14 Mary is given a special grace from God so Satan cannot catch her. This shows once again the enmity between Mary and Satan as earlier shown in Genesis 3:15.
Swan's Counter: We looked at the enmity argument previously. Revelation 12:14 states, "The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpents reach." Is Martignoni suggesting this special grace is the immaculate conception? If so, on what basis does one extrapolate that from the text, even indirectly? Even if what is given to the woman is a "special grace" she's only given that alleged special grace "for a time, times and half a time," that three and a half years, not an entire lifetime.
Argument 3: Neither Genesis 3:15 nor Revelation 12 is direct proof for the immaculate conception. Martignoni states, "I never say this or that passage of Scripture absolutely proves anything." Since Protestants believe they have the right to interpret scripture for themselves, they can't logically say Martignoni is wrong to claim these passages are indirect proofs. They can't claim Martignoni's wrong, they can only disagree with his interpretation.
Swan's Counter: Here we find a telling admission: for Roman Catholics like Martignoni, Scripture is not the ultimate authority. It doesn't absolutely prove anything. The very book that men and women risked their lives for doesn't absolutely prove anything. Protestants do more than simply disagreeing with Martignoni's interpretation. They present reasons why they do. They can show Martignoni's interpretive reasoning is spurious. When the Lord chastised the Sadducees in Matthew 22, he stated they were in error because they did not know the Scriptures. He further states, "have you not read what God said to you?" (Mt. 22:31). The Lord Jesus clearly held these men responsible for knowing and understanding the Scriptures. Were the Sadducees supposed to respond, "That's just your opinion"?
In our next Installment, we'll take a look at more of Mr. Martignoni's scriptural apologetics.
How To Prove The Immaculate Conception Without Biblical Proof
10/04/2009 - James SwanThe constant dilemma of the Roman Catholic apologist is to insert doctrines into the Bible that aren't there to begin with. Their argumentation of meandering logic seeks to demonstrate: a) The Bible doesn't contradict the doctrine being inserted; b)There are indirect Bible passages that if interpreted by first granting the validity of the extra-biblical doctrine, actually support the extra biblical doctrine. Catholic apologist John Martignoni's most recent newsletter is a perfect example. He presents "Challenge/Response/Strategy" in defending Mary's immaculate conception. This argumentation is for his upcoming book on basic Roman Catholic apologetics.
In Martignoni's argumentation, the immaculate conception must first be brought to the biblical text. That is, by a plain reading of the Bible, one would not read from Genesis to Revelation and conclude Mary was born sinless and remained free of sin her entire life. Martignoni's apologetic then is to prove the immaculate conception is not disproved by anything the Bible states, and that certain texts can be utilized as indirect proofs. I outlined Martignoni's hypothetical challenges and his responses in the order he presented them. My counter responses are in red.
Argument 1: The Bible doesn't use the words immaculate conception. Therefore it is an unbiblical concept.
Martignoni's Response: The words Trinity and Incarnation are not found in the Bible either.
Swan's Counter: I know of no serious Protestant apologist that actually uses such an argument. The question is not whether the phrase is found in the Bible, but are there specific direct passages that substantiate such a concept? To substantiate such a concept as a clear teaching of scripture one needs direct passages, not a few vague inference passages.
Argument 2: Trinity and Incarnation are concepts supported by the Bible, the immaculate conception has no such support.
Martignoni's response: There is no passage in Scripture which directly states that Mary was not conceived without original sin, or that she was not immaculately conceived.
Swan's counter: Aside from the fact this response doesn't follow from the argument, this type of argument can applied to many individuals within the Bible. The Bible doesn't say Priscilla was conceived without original sin, or that she was not immaculately conceived, yet we don't assume she was. A lack of evidence does not bolster or further an argument.
Argument 3: Romans 3:9-12 and 3:22-23 says all are under the power of sin and that all have sinned, therefore Mary sinned.
Martignoni's response (four points):
A. Such an argument does not address Mary being immaculately conceived, it addresses whether or not she was sinless her entire life, which is a different question.
Swan's Counter: Under the heading of "The Immaculate Conception," the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long" (CCC 493), so it is not a different question.
B. There is no passage in Scripture which directly states that Mary was not conceived without original sin, or that she was not immaculately conceived.
Swan's Counter: Luke 1:35 positively says Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. There is no such verse about Mary's conception. There is no verse that states Mary must be sinless in order to bear the Son of God. Martignoni offers no similar positive evidence that would separate her from the rest of humanity described in Romans 3.
C. Some Protestants believe things not found in the Bible. Catholics likewise should be allowed to believe things not directly stated in the Bible. Example: The Bible nowhere says contraception is okay, yet most protestants believe it is.
Swan's Counter: Martignoni's argument would not work against Protestants who deny both the immaculate conception and contraception. To prove some Protestants may believe something not found in the Bible does nothing more than prove an inconsistency. To prove such offers no positive support for an extra-biblical belief in the immaculate conception.
D. Some Scripture passages indirectly support the Immaculate Conception, like Genesis 3:14-15. Mary is the woman described. Enmity exists between Satan and the woman. Martignoni says, "If you have sin in you, can you say that there is enmity between you and Satan?" Only a sinless being can be at enmity with Satan. Therefore Mary was not conceived in sin, and did not commit personal sin.
Swan's counter: This is Martignoni's only attempt to present positive argumentation. He candidly admits his Biblical proof is indirect. The argument has an unproven assumption: only a sinless person can be an enemy of Satan, at war with Satan. But, there has always been enmity between believers and Satan. One does not have to be sinless to be at war with Satan. Why would Paul exhort the Ephesians to put on the full armor of God "so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes"? Wouldn't he first clarify that in order to put on the armor, one must be entirely sinless? Similarly, why would Peter exhort Christians to resist the Devil (1 Peter 5:8), or James to resist the devil (James 4:7)? Here we have direct proof that all Christians are enemies of Satan, at war with Satan. John warns us that "if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves." Christians are sinners, and they are at war with Satan. Nothing could be clearer.
Martignoni states that he was limited with the amount of time he had to put into this argumentation. Then again, he states this argumentation is for a book (as if the world needs yet another book repeating arguments already put forth by other writers). If he's going to continue with a similar line of reasoning, perhaps he should back up a bit and explain his proofs are not proofs, but inferences. He claims to be presenting "biblical, historical, and logical perspectives" as to the immaculate conception. His reasoning though amounts to inferences and leaps of logic read into the text.
10/02/2009 - Tur8infanThere is a very old error that derogates marriage and attempts to forbid marriage. In its extreme form, it forbids marriage of all Christians. In a less extreme form, it forbids marriage of office holders. It is that form that we see in the Roman Catholic church today.
1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Nuns, Monks, Priests, and Bishops are forbidden in Roman Catholicism (for the most part, though there are a few married priests in some of the other rites besides the Latin rite) from being married. This is an error and a point at which, while it has a lengthy tradition, the Roman Catholic Church stands against Scripture.
I know the usual objections, and they each have been answered.
Objection: No one is forced to be a priest.
Answer: Agreed. And yet, if one wants to be a priest, one is forced to sacrifice marriage. Furthermore, if God is calling a person to the ministry, one is not free to disregard that call.
Objection: It's not a requirement.
Answer: Yes, it is a requirement. It's a condition precedent to obtaining office.
Objection: No one has a right to be a priest.
Answer: If God has called a man to the ministry, then the man does not simply have a right but the duty to answer God's call.
Objection: It's not against Scripture for the church to ordain only those men who are celibate.
Answer: Yes, it is against Scripture. It's clear from the Scriptural requirements given for the offices of deacon and elder/presbyter/bishop that such men are anticipated ordinarily to be married men who have children (1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; | Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. ). To eliminate all married men from consideration is to render Scripture void through one's tradition.
Objection: So, you're saying that celibacy is evil.
Answer: No. Not at all. In fact, celibacy (if a gift given by God) can be a great help to ministers and especially to missionaries.
Objection: So, you're saying that renouncing marriage is wrong.
Answer: Not exactly. It is, of course, wrong to make an unconditional oath of celibacy, because God does not promise the gift of celibacy to every man who asks it. Furthermore, Scripture plainly teaches that it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.) Therefore, an unconditional renunciation of marriage is a sinful oath, and one that ought to be violated (through marriage, not fornication) to honor God, if one later discerns the absence of the gift of celibacy.
Objection: Celibacy of bishops/priests/monks/nuns is just a discipline, not a dogma.
Answer: There is errant doctrine that informs the errant discipline of celibacy. If the Roman Catholic Church followed the doctrine of Scripture, especially as taught in 1 Timothy 4:1-3, then it would not have this particular discipline.
Objection: The Early Church Fathers did it!
Answer: Agreed. The practice seems to have crept in rather early. It was wrong of them to do it, and it is wrong for folks now to follow them in doing it. Our moral authority is not ancient practice but Holy Scripture. Yet, if it were ancient practice, we'd be guided not by the Early Church Fathers, but by the Apostles who (for the most part) married:
1 Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
That was the apostolic practice and Paul affirms that it is an elder's right to marry. It is his "power."
The practice of requiring those who wish to have office in the church to be celibate is wrong. It is contrary 1 Timothy 4:1-3, it is contrary 1 Timothy 3:2, it is contrary to Titus 1:6, it is contrary to 1 Corinthians 7:9, and it is contrary to 1 Corinthians 9:5. It was wrong when Rome used to require deacons to be celibate (an error that has been corrected, without - of course - admission that is was an error) and it will be good when Rome ceases to make that same requirement of priests (though we cannot say how soon that will happen, there are significant pressures pushing Rome in that direction). Rome is wrong to require such celibacy, Rome is wrong to forbid men and women from marrying, and Rome is wrong to teach that unconditional vows of celibacy are good. On this matter, Rome stands against Scripture. Perhaps this area is an area where Rome can heed the correction of Scripture without admitting its mistake (as it has with respect to deacons). Nevertheless, it should serve to demonstrate to the reader that Rome is not an infallible interpreter of Scripture.