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Porn for priests

ByPimpHesus

Jan 27, 2023

No sooner had I filed my Tuesday column, “Pope Benedict and his recently released Antichrist letter,” contending in part that “Pope” Francis had been installed by Obama to push the LGBT agenda, when news broke that Benedict had authorized the posthumous publication of a book highly critical of Francis for his obvious pro-homosexual sympathies and creeping advocacy of the agenda. Benedict specifically condemned the spread of open homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, especially in America, where it is not merely tolerated but approved.

This is no secret to conservative Catholics, many of whom call Francis an “Anti-Pope” and believe that Benedict was “the restrainer” of 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Bolstering their theory, Francis followed that breaking news with a bombshell of his own, calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality around the world – the very same thing President Trump shamefully allowed Ric Grinell to do as ambassador to Germany (the perversion capital of Europe). This suggests a globalist game-plan is in play for flipping conservatives using the same incrementalism that snared the liberals in decades past. (Beware this snare, you MAGA patriots, and encourage Trump to repent of that compromise!)

Benedict’s book also exposed something I was not aware of: that seminarians were being encouraged by their bishops to use pornography as a means of coping with sexual temptation. That is the issue I would like to address in this article, because the implication in the article I read was that Benedict did not distinguish between those two categories of permissiveness in terms of their moral severity. Perhaps he did, but let’s assume for the sake of argument that he intended to equate porn use with homosexual conduct and consider whether that is truly biblical.

First, let me say that it clearly IS biblical in relationship to the purity of God. No sin can enter His presence without being burned up (Genesis 33), which is the reason He created the tabernacle and priesthood as a sort-of intermediary safe-zone where He could interact with humanity. He gave them a system of rigid rituals designed to ensure the highest human approximation of purity in one select representative of humankind – the high priest – who was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies only one day per year (Yom Kippur). All the required preparation was just to get into the room where the Ark of the Covenant was stored – not into the actual presence of God.

It was, ultimately, an unworkable system and a flawed placeholder because human beings – even high priests – cannot achieve purity on their own. When Jesus the Christ later said in Matthew 5:20 “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” He wasn’t calling us to self-perfectionism even beyond their hyper-legalism. He was instead highlighting just how impossible that goal of perfection was to achieve. When at the end of that chapter he concludes his list of behavioral ideals (including never even looking on a woman lustfully or making a scornful remark against a brother), saying, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” He was really saying, “No one can come to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

When the rule is “Whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10) and the court has already ruled in advance, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:18), the only sound conclusion is that we need substitutionary atonement by the one true and final High Priest, Jesus Christ, who Himself was sinless and whose victory over sin on the cross of Calvary tore the veil of the Holy of Holies from top to bottom.

But sin is measured differently outside the immediate presence of God by the degree of harm it causes to individuals and society as a whole. Gossiping one time will get an unsaved man killed just as quickly in God’s presence as a lifetime of mass murder, but it doesn’t work that way on this mortal plane. Here we have a broad scale of consequences for sins, best showcased in the Mosaic Law, which Jesus affirmed as constant and binding in its spirit if not the letter. And in that context porn use and homosexual conduct are not equivalent or even close. Homosexuality is not only a capital crime under biblical law, it is, along with bestiality, the most heinous of the sexual crimes listed in Leviticus 18 – those two forms of perversion being defined as “sodomy” in the common law. In contrast, porn use, while clearly falling under the general category of sexual immorality, is at the opposite end of the spectrum of moral severity, past such things as polygamy and concubinage, which are actually accommodated and regulated in the Mosaic code even though they, like divorce, violate the spirit of the law.

Pope Benedict was right to condemn the advocacy of porn use to Catholic seminarians, and frankly, the fact it is even an issue is a very strong argument for ending celibacy in the priesthood. As Paul taught, true celibacy is a holy calling but very rare. Porn use makes a mockery of it. Anyone failing that test by continually surrendering to temptation should heed his advice in 1 Corinthians 7:9: “If they cannot control themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

The greater issue, however, is the diminution of the relative threat of homosexuality by the false equation to porn use. Francis can and may use that false equivalency as part of his pitch for decriminalization, removing from the still morally conservative countries of the world the last best social tool for discouraging the normalization of the key sin that triggers the outpouring of God’s wrath. If the morally contagious crime against nature that got all but four people in Sodom incinerated is no worse than looking at dirty pictures, why keep it on the books?

I have long supported the re-criminalization of homosexuality (and adultery) here in America, along with a policy of very light enforcement like the 1950s – primarily to prevent the public advocacy of it or endorsement by government. Don’t ask, don’t tell should be culture-wide. An interim step solving many of our social crises today would be to adopt the Russian law banning LGBT propaganda to children.

There is no legitimate basis in the church or the larger society for whitewashing God’s warning in Leviticus 18 (reaffirmed in Romans 1) that social acceptance of sexual perversion, especially homosexuality, will cause the land to “vomit out” its inhabitants. Any church or pastor – or pope – who does this is biblically untrustworthy at best.

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