Should Christians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
- [5:23] – How did the pagans celebrate Lupercalia?
- [09:00] – Why was this pagan festival called ‘Lupercalia?’
- [12:01] – How does the Lord God feel about pagan practices in connection with the worship of pagan gods?
- [14:03] – So how did these pagan practices become acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church?
- [14:56] – Who was St. Valentine, actually?
- [17:49] – Is Valentine’s Day still being practiced in the Roman Catholic Church?
- [20:21] – Why can’t something that is pagan be Christianized?
- [25:09] – Why are priests and nuns not allowed to be married?
- [28:35] – Why can’t the Catholic Church claim that their discipline of prohibiting priests and nuns to marry is biblical?
- [30:05] – Why did God create the opposite sex in the first place?
- [34:24] – How important is love, according to the Bible?
- [35:35] – How do we prove our love for God? How do we show our love for him?
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INC International Edition
Brother Johnny Martin: Hi, I’m Johnny Martin, and this is the Iglesia Ni Cristo, International Edition.
Today’s topic: Should Christians celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Dear friends, on Valentine’s Day, you can see all kinds of chocolates and candy shaped like hearts. Love songs fill the air as lovers of every kind express their feelings of love. (continued in graphics)
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Host continues: Today, over 1 billion Valentine cards are sent in the United States each year. Second in number only to Christmas cards; according to the Greeting Card Association. Valentine’s Day is also celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia and the Philippines. And yet very few wonder and ask questions about the origin of this holiday.
Brother Johnny Martin: And then even fewer ask whether the celebration of Valentine’s Day is according to the Bible. So that’s what we’ll be talking about today on the Iglesia Ni Cristo, International Edition.
Joining us today are Brother Rommel San Pedro in San Francisco, California, brother Ruben Bustos in Southern, California and brother
Glenn David in Australia.
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INC International Edition
Brother Johnny Martin: Hello brothers.
Brother Rommel San Pedro: Hello brother Johnny.
Brother Glenn David: Hello brother Johnny.
Brother Ruben Bustos: Hello brother Johnny.
Brother Johnny Martin: Well, brothers, today we’re talking about Valentine’s Day and what it’s all about. Now before we go into our discussion, let’s watch this video.
Host: For all its popularity, history doesn’t give us any guarantees as to the origins of Valentine’s Day. But we do know it contains vestiges of the early Christian church in ancient Rome. The association between mid-February and romance goes back to a pagan festival known as ‘Lupercalia’, likely honoring either ‘Lupa’, the she-wolf of Rome who suckled Romulus and Remus, or Faunus, their god of fertility.
The festivities began with an animal sacrifice. Then the ritualistic slapping of young women with strips of the animal’s skin and blood to bestow fertility for the coming year.
In the fifth century, perhaps in an effort to Christianize the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day. As for the real Saint Valentine there were, reportedly, seven canonized by the [Roman Catholic] church. Legend has it that 1 Saint Valentine, a defiant Roman priest, lived during the third century a.d., under Emperor Claudius II.
Claudius was an ambitious ruler. His battles required vast armies of men to abandon their young families for long periods of time, resulting in a military that was half-hearted and homesick. So determined was Claudius to stop love from sapping the will of his armies, he banned marriages all together.
Father Valentine thought the ban unjust, and defied the emperor, continuing to marry young lovers in secret. The emperor eventually caught on to the priest’s actions, arrested him and sentenced him to death.
It is believed that young couples he had secretly wed would visit his cell, passing him flowers and notes through the bars as symbols of gratitude. The story continues that the condemned Father Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter on February 14th, the day he was executed, it is said that he passed the young girl a note. It was signed “from your Valentine”, a tradition was born.
Cupid, the winged matchmaker, started out as the Roman god of love, inspired the image of cherubs for Christians, and is now a favorite of card makers and mass marketers.
Our modern Valentine’s Day, removed from its religious and pagan past, has evolved into one of the most celebrated holidays on the calendar. On average, Americans shower their loved ones with 180 million roses, red ones, naturally. And almost 36 million heart shaped boxes of candy, not to mention all those cards, dinners, and diamonds. All told, the holiday brings in almost 14 billion dollars annually, giving retailers plenty to love, as well.
But if you’re worried that you can’t afford to treat your loved one properly next Valentine’s Day, take heart, the poets were right, love is really all you need.
Brother Johnny Martin: Dear brothers, we just watched a very interesting video clip on the history of the holiday known as Valentine’s Day. Now brother Glenn, the video mentioned that Valentine’s Day has a pagan origin. Now I heard that you also did some research in preparation for this episode–could you please share with us what that research showed to you?
Brother Glenn David: Well sure, brother Johnny, and this is what we could read in the modern Catholic Dictionary on page 556, it says:
[On screen graphic]
“Valentine’s Day, ST. Traditional lover’s day, going back to the pagan Lupercalia in mid February…
[Source: Modern Catholic Dictionary p.556]
Brother Glenn David: So according to many historical scholars
and sources, Valentine’s Day originated from the pagan
Lupercalia in mid-February.
Brother Johnny Martin: Now, brother Rommel, this mentioned of Lupercalia, How did the pagans celebrate Lupercalia?
Brother Rommel San Pedro: I have a book called The Dictionary
of Festivals by a scholar named J.C. Cooper. On Page 215, this is what he wrote.
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“St Valentine’s Day, 14 February, is a Christianizing of the Roman Lupercalia when names are drawn from a box or bag in the mid-February festivities. Presents were purchased and exchanged after the drawing of lots; the couples then remained together for the duration of the festival. Today, anonymous cards are sent to chosen people. Christianity attached the festival to a saint of that date. St. Valentine’s Day is traditionally the time when birds mate.”
[Source: “The Dictionary of Festivals,” J.C. Cooper p.215]
Brother Rommel San Pedro: This another reference proving the pagan origin of Valentine’s Day, according to the scholar. It’s a Christianization of the Roman or the pagan, Lupercalia and it involved couples [coming] together [in exchange] of gifts, as we saw from the video. It’s a 14 billion dollar industry today. And also involves the time when birds are traditionally known to meet together; so it’s a time of couples getting together. But you could see the pagan origin; not only from the Catholic source, but [what] we read earlier, but also from other sources, secular sources about the pagan origin, or the Christianizing, of Valentine’s Day.
Brother Johnny Martin: Now brother Ruben, it has been said that Valentine’s Day would not be complete without Cupid. And that Cupid is the most recognized symbol of love. It has also been said that if Cupid shoots his arrow of love and hits you, that you would fall helplessly and madly in love with the next person that you meet. Now what is it that we should share with our viewers regarding Cupid?
Brother Ruben Bustos: Well, Brother Johnny, I was able to verify that information from the Encyclopedia Britannica and this is what we could read, please listen.
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“Cupid, ancient Roman God of love in all its varieties, the counterpart of the Greek god Eros and the equivalent of Amor in Latin poetry. According to myth, Cupid was the son of Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, and Venus, the goddess of love. He often appeared as a winged infant carrying a bow in the quiver of arrows whose wounds inspired love or passion in his every victim. He was sometimes portrayed wearing armor like that of Mars, the god of war, perhaps to suggest ironic parallels between warfare and romance or to symbolize the invincibility of love. Although some literature portrayed Cupid as callous and careless, he was generally viewed as beneficent, on account of the happiness he imparted to couples both mortal and immortal. At the worst, he was considered mischievous in his match – making, this mischief often directed by his mother, Venus.
Brother Ruben Bustos: So Cupid is not some innocent, cute, angelic being as what others think he is. In fact, based on what we had read, he is a god of the Romans and the Greeks. In fact, he’s also known as Eros and Amor, the god of Love.
Brother Johnny Martin: Well, brother Glenn, Valentine’s Day involved Cupid, the god of love; the pagan god of love, well, then why was it called ‘Lupercalia?’ Why was this pagan festival called ‘Lupercalia?’
Brother Glenn David: Well, according to William Smith in his dictionary of Greek and Roman antiquities in 1875, this is what we could read.
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“LUPERCA’LIA, one of the most ancient Roman festivals, which was celebrated every year in honor of Lupercus, the God of fertility… Greek writers and their followers among the Romans represent it as a festival of Pan, and ascribe its introduction to the Arcadian Evander. This misrepresentation arose partly from the desire of these writers to identify the Roman divinities with those of Greece, and partly from its rude and almost savage ceremonies, which certainly are a proof that the festival must have originated in the remotest of antiquity. The festival was held every year, on the 15th of February, in the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were said to have been nurtured by the she-wolf; the place contained at altar and a grove sacred to the god Lupercus. Here the Lupearci assembled on the day of the Lupercalia, and sacrifice to the god goats and young dogs, which animals are remarkable for their strong sexual instinct, and thus, where appropriate, sacrifices to the god of fertility.”
Brother Glenn David: So ‘Lupercalia’ is from Lupercus, the Roman god of fertility. It was also known as Pan. The Lupercalia involves the sacrifice of goats and young dogs. Animals known for their strong sexual instinct to the so-called god of fertility.
Brother Johnny Martin: Well brother Glenn, with all this mention
of Roman gods such as Lupercus or Pan and Cupid or Eros, what does the Bible say about this?
Brother Glenn David: Well, the Bible is very clear, involving anything pagan
of false gods, as we could read here in the Book of Exodus. The chapter is 20:3-5, this is what we could read:
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself
a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.
[Exodus 20:5 New King James Version]
Brother Glenn David: So the true God strictly forbids the making or worship of graven images or other gods. No matter what likeness, whether it be that the likeness of anything in heaven, the Earth or the water; man must not bow down to them nor serve them. In fact, God abhors those who do so; some of so, that they will be punished by God, not only in this life, but above all in the life to come–in a day; on the day of judgment.
Brother Johnny Martin: Now, Brother Rommel, how does the Lord God feel about pagan practices in connection with the worship of pagan gods?
Brother Rommel San Pedro: You can read the answer Brother Johnny,
here in Deuteronomy Chapter 12:31:
You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
[Deuteronomy 12:31 New King James Version]
Brother Rommel San Pedro: According to the Holy Bible, the acts which pagans do for their gods is an abomination. It’s an abominable act in the sight of God. In other words, our Lord God hates [those] acts. As Christians, we don’t want to do anything which Lord our God hates. We want to please alert God mighty. But the practices that stem from paganism, including Valentine’s Day; we mentioned earlier the gods, including a Pan; which is Lupercus, and Eros or Cupid; which is another name for Amor. Those are different names of false gods and the acts that they did. Those are abominable before all our God, and so we don’t do those types of practices as Christians.
Brother Johnny Martin: And that’s why, dear viewers, it is important for us to understand the history behind the holiday, now known as Valentine’s Day. Now when we come back, we will discover that Lupercalia became Valentine’s Day. Please stay with us here on the Iglesia Ni Cristo, International Edition.
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INC International Edition
Brother Johnny Martin: Welcome back, everyone, to the Iglesia Ni Cristo, International Edition. We studied in our first segment, the pagan origins of Valentine’s Day, known as ‘Lupercalia.’ And we also learn how our Lord God is against pagan practices. Well, there are those who might be confused with the connection between Valentine’s Day and the Lupercalia.
So how did these pagan practices become acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church? Brother Ruben, if we could begin with you now.
Brother Ruben Bustos: Brother, if we read a book entitled Customs and Holidays Around the World, written by Lavinia Dobler, we could read the following:
[On screen graphic]
“As far back as 496 A.D., (Catholic) Pope Gelasius changed
Lupercalia on February 15th to St. Valentine’s Day on February 14th.”
[Source: Customs and Holidays Around the World by Lavinia Dobler)
Brother Rueben Bustos: So based on the research of scholars, the Catholic Church did not do away with Lupercalia. In fact, what they did, Brother Johnny, was Christianized. In a sense that they created a Christian feast; which was, they changed Lupercalia from February 15th to February 14th, and they called it St Valentine’s Day.
Brother Johnny Martin: Well, Brother Glenn, who was actually St. Valentine?
Brother Glenn David: Well, Brother, Johnny, that’s what probably everyone wants to know now at this point of our lesson; who was Valentine or St Valentine as they called him? Because scholars today are quite confused or puzzled as we could read in the Encyclopedia Britannica. This is what we could read here.
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“Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day probably took its name from a priest who was martyred about ad 270 by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and with whom he had fallen in love, “from your Valentine.”
[Source: Encyclopedia Britannica]
Brother Glenn David: So even scholars, therefore, are not certain about which Christian Mata named Valentine that day was named after. However, there was a priest muttered about 270 A.D., which, according to Legend, fell in love
and signed a letter from your Valentine.
Brother Johnny Martin: Now, Brother Rommel, is it true that the Roman Catholic Church Christianized these pagan practices because they could not stop those converted pagans from practicing their pagan traditions for the journey?
Brother Rommel San Pedro: That’s exactly what they admit. I could read that from their book The Externals of the Catholic Church by a priest named John F. Sullivan, this is what he wrote on Page 156.
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“It is interesting to note how often our church has availed herself of practices which are in common use among pagans, which owed their origin to their appropriateness for expressing something spiritual by mature means. The Church and her clergy are ‘all things to all men, that they may gain all for Christ,’ and she has often found that it was well to take what was praiseworthy and other forms of worship and adapted to her own purposes, for the certification of her children. Thus it is true, in a certain sense, that some Catholic rites and ceremonies are a reproduction of those pagan creeds; but they are the taking of what was best from paganism, the keeping of symbolic practices which express the religious instinct that is common to all races and times.”
[Source: The Externals of the Catholic Church, John F. Sullivan p.156]
Brother Rommel San Pedro: Now, Brother Johnny, based on the admission of these Catholic authorities, they took many of their practices and hence teachings from paganism. So the Catholic teachings are a mixture of tradition and pagan practices. As we read earlier; our Lord God is against pagan practices, you can’t christianize pagan practices. And their end result is that Lupercalia became Valentine’s Day.
Brother Johnny: Now Brother Ruben, is Valentine’s Day still being practiced in the Roman Catholic Church?
Brother Ruben Bustos: Well, Brother Johnny, this is what I found researching on the internet from how Valentine’s Day works, dated April 1st, 2000. This is what we could read,
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“Early Christians were happier with the idea of a holiday honoring the saint of romantic causes than with one recognizing a pagan festival. in 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius, named February 14th in honor of St. Valentine as the patron saint of lovers. In 1969, Paul Paul VI dropped it from the calendar. However, the blend of Roman Festival and Christian martyrdom had caught on, and Valentine’s Day was here to stay.”
Brother Ruben Bustos: Hence, in 1969, the Catholic Church official or some other stopped officially recognizing Valentine’s Day. In fact, according to what we have read, they dropped it from their calendar. Now what is it that we should also notice from what we had read? Well, according to what we read, it said that it is a blend of Roman Festival and Christian martyrdom.
Brother Johnny Martin: Now, Brother Rommel, someone might be saying something along these lines – you are taking this way too seriously, Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday. People really enjoy themselves. It’s now secular, no longer considered pagan by modern society. So they would see no problem with people really celebrating the holiday known as Valentine’s Day.
Brother Rommel San Pedro: Well, Brother Johnny, as Christians, we don’t follow what the majority opinion is or what modern society teaches. As Christians, we follow what the Bible says. And this is what the Bible says and Ephesians 4: 17-18, and 20:
I declare and solemnly attest in the Lord that you must live longer as the pagans do – their minds empty, their understanding darkened. They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance… That is not what you learned when you learned Christ!”
[Ephesians 4:17-18 & 20 New American Bible]
Brother Rommel San Pedro: The Christians were warned not to live as pagans do. In other words, not to follow pagan practices. And the consensus of so many scholars that you’ve studied, is that Valentine’s Day came from the pagan, Lupercalias. So you can’t christianize, according to the Bible–what is pagan.
Brother Johnny Martin: Now Brother Glenn, Brother Rommel just made mention of how something that is pagan cannot be Christianized. Now, why is that Brother Glen? Why can’t something that is pagan be Christianized?
Brother Glenn David: Well, the Apostle Paul gives us the answer here in I Corinthians chapter 10:6-7:
These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. For the scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulge themselves in pagan revelry.”
[I Corinthians 10:7 New Living Translation]
Brother Glenn David: Well, God’s first Nation Israel, they sinned against God by following pagan traditions and all through the worship of idols as well. And this also happened to the first century Church Of Christ because she was led away from the true faith or was apostatized. Now the evidence or proof that there was an apostasy is just like what we discussed earlier–they practiced idol worship, many pagan traditions. Now, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, this involves false gods such as Lupercus, also known as Pan and Cupid, also known as Eros, or Amor. Now, when it comes to love, well, we have nothing against love because God is love as well–the Bible teaches us love. However, we are against paganism because the Bible is against paganism.
Brother Johnny Martin: So, dear viewers, when we come back, we’re going to find out
what the Bible says about true love. More on the Iglesia Ni Cristo, International Edition when we return. Stay with us.
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INC International Edition
Brother Johnny Martin: Hello, everyone, welcome back to the Iglesia Ni Cristo, International Edition. Today we have been talking about Valentine’s Day. But first, let’s watch another video clip on the history of Valentine’s Day.
Host: Saint Valentine was a bishop who lived in the third century in Rome. During his lifetime the Roman Empire was crumbling down from the attacks of surrounding tribes. Emperor Claudius II who ruled during the chaos, believed that marriage made soldiers weak. He issued an edict that forbade marriage to ensure the quality of his soldiers. The ban on marriage was a great shock. The kind bishop noticed the injustice of the decree. He held the law of the church and helped lovers who came to him, uniting them in a holy matrimony. But it was only a matter of time before the emperor heard about this of lovers, and had him arrested.
Valentine was imprisoned. While waiting for his sentence, his jailer, Asterius, approached him to use his saintly power and heal his blind daughter. Valentine succeeded and her sight was restored. They became close and fell in love.
After a while the emperor issued a verdict. Valentine was asked to agree with the emperor about the ban on marriage, thus giving up his religion. Valentine refused. Just before his execution Valentine asked for a pen and paper and signed a farewell message to his lover, “from Your Valentine.” The phrase that lived ever after.
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Valentine is believed to have been executed February 14th, 270 AD.
Brother Johnny Martin: Brothers, these video clips that we’ve been showing in this particular episode regarding the history of Valentine’s Day, they are quite informative and helpful to our viewers to have a better understanding on the history of this particular holiday.
Brother Rommel San Pedro: Brother Johnny, I noticed something from the video. The bishop in this version of history, fell in love with the tailor’s daughter; who would be very young. And then he was thrown in jail for that. Then he expressed his love, so that was a romantic kind of love for the Jailor’s daughter, according to that version of the story. Well, today, if a bishop were to fall in love, that Bishop would not be allowed to get married because bishops today in the Catholic Church are forbidden to get married.
And that’s different from what the Bible says I have here, ITimothy 3:2, I would like to read it to you right now:
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife,…
[I Timothy 3:2 King James Version]
Brother Rommel San Pedro: According to the Holy Bible, during the time of the Apostles, during the time of the first century Church, bishops were allowed to be married. But today, if you look at the Catholic Church, it’s not only bishops, their pope, the nuns, the priests, all kinds of religious clergy are not allowed to be married–they are forbidden to get married.
Brother Johnny Martin: Well, Brothers, let’s stay with this point. Brother Ruben, Let’s go on with that. Because, according to the video, the emperor was against marriage. But if St. Valentine is really the patron saint of lovers, then why are priests and nuns not allowed to be married? What do Catholic Church authorities say regarding their priest and even their nuns not being allowed to marry?
Brother Ruben: Well, Brother, if you look at that point, we can see that there is a contradiction because the Catholic Church has established a day for lovers or a day for love. At the same token, they forbid their priests and their nuns to be married or there to be celibate. In fact, if we could read a book entitled The Faith of Our Fathers, written by a Catholic cardinal by the name of James Gibbons, we could read the following:
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“Although celibacy is not expressly enforced by our Savior. It is, however, commended so strongly by Himself and His apostles, both by word and example, that the Church felt it her duty to lay it down as a law. “The discipline of the Church has been exerted from the beginning in prohibiting Priests to marry after their ordination.”
[Source: The Faith of Our Fathers, By James Gibbons]
Brother Ruben: Now, the church being mentioned here is none other than the Catholic Church. In fact, one of the disciplines or one of the strict instructions enforced inside the Catholic Church is celibacy for the priests, as well as the nuns. In fact, they say that it was taught by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles–they say that they were examples of this. But the truth of the matter is our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles did not teach it as a doctrine. In fact, it contradicts the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
Brother Johnny: Well Brother Glenn, what Catholics would say, well, it’s not a command, it’s a discipline. A discipline of the Catholic Church to prohibit marriage; what about that?
Brother Glenn: Well, Brother Johnny, what we must understand is that the discipline should not be against the clear commands of God. Now the question is, did God prohibit marriage? The answer is no. Well, if he did not, then who did? Well, the answer is given to us by the Apostle Paul in I Timothy chapter 4:1 and 3, this is what the Bible says:
Now, the spirit expressly says that in letter time, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God created to be received with Thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
[I Timothy 4:3 New King James Version]
Brother Glenn: So from what we read, the Bible says in the latter times, some will depart from the faith; or in other words, there would be what is called an apostasy.
And the way to recognize the apostasy are through the doctrines of the demons
or the devil, one of which is to forbid marriage. The Catholic Church–they do this by forbidding their priests and nuns from getting married. So even if they say it is
just a discipline, it still does not hide the fact that this discipline is against the teachings of the Lord God.
Brother Johnny: Now, Brother Rommel, why can’t the Catholic Church claim that their discipline of prohibiting priests and nuns to marry is biblical?
Brother Rommel: Because the Apostles were allowed to be married, as we could read here in I Corinthians 9:5:
Don’t we have the right to take our wives along with us, like the other apostles,
the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas do? [footnote] Cephas is the Aramaic for the Apostle Peter.
[I Corinthians 9:5 & footnote God’s Word Translation]
Brother Rommel: Based on this verse, the apostles, plural–had wives.
The Lord’s brothers, our Lord Jesus Christ and brothers were also married. Apostle Peter is one of the apostles. That was that, according to Matthew, had a mother-in-law, so he was married. Notice, he continued to remain married. And that’s what’s different about the doctrine of celibacy. The religious clergy; as we mentioned, popes, bishops, nuns, priests, they’re not allowed to get married. Well, according to the Bible, the apostles were allowed to be married as well as all kinds of other officers, so the bishops are allowed to get married. So something changed. Something changed. And so people can’t claim that just because we’re against Valentine’s Day, because of its pagan origins, that we’re against love. No, we’re not against love. And we are actually for love.
Brother Johnny: Now, Brother Glenn, why did God create the opposite sex
in the first place? Why did God create, for example, Eve the first woman?
Brother Glenn: Well, if anyone could answer that question, whether it’s God himself. And He does that here in Genesis 2:18:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.”
[Genesis 2:18 God’s Word Translation]
Brother Glenn: So for Catholic priests, they might argue and claim that they can serve God more effectively and better if they are alone. However, it was God who made a companion for man to be a helper of man. For what reason? Well, God said it is not good for the man to be alone. On the other hand, the Catholic Church says it is good for the priests to be alone, which runs contrary to the teachings of God.
Brother Ruben: In fact, Brother Johnny, if we read from the Bible In Proverbs 19:14 this is how the Bible describes a good spouse, please listen:
You may inherit all your own from your parents, But a sensible wife is a gift
from the Lord.
[Proverbs 19:14 Contemporary English Version]
Brother Ruben: Hence, the teachings of the Bible is very clear that a good wife or a good spouse is from our Father in heaven. In fact, it is a gift of our Lord God. The truth is Brothers, I can attest that my wife, as well as all of our wives, for that matter, are very helpful to us in the performance of our divine mission. We can say that they are truly a gift that comes from our Father in heaven.
Brother Rommel: Well Brother Ruben, there’s also another reason why our Lord God made the husband and wife one; not only referring to ministers who are married, but to one of the reasons why our Lord God instituted marriage in the first place. In Malachi 2:14-15, this is what our Lord God says:
Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant, But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
[Malachi 2:14-15 New King James Version]
Brother Rommel: According to the Bible, Lord God seeks godly offspring.
That’s why a wife is a gift from our Lord God. A good spouse is a gift from our Lord God.
Children are a gift from the Lord God. Why would our Lord God withhold it from the Holy Ministry, when, in fact, if you study the Holy Bible, all the spokespeople of God, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King, David, they all had wives. Noah had a wife. They were not forbidden to be married. They had godly offspring, which they rear to fear and love God. And what we have here in the Church Of Christ. We have a loving family
that supports us that continues to give us that comfort during times of great pain.
And that’s why the Church Of Christ, we value marriage. You could see in the Catholic Church, however, it’s not the same. They’re not allowed to be married, though
they may fall in love. Priests are not allowed to get married, Nuns are not allowed to get married. They’re forbidden to get married. And you could see that’s against what God wants, which is why God instituted marriage in the first place.
Brother Johnny: So, dear viewers, we want to emphasize it just because we inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. Well, that doesn’t mean that we are against love. Now we’re going to talk a little bit more about this. As far as the Bible is concerned about love when the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition returns from this break. Stay with us.
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INC International Edition
Brother Johnny: Welcome back everyone, to the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. Today we have been talking about Valentine’s Day. And the viewers have learned that true Christians really should not take part in Valentine’s Day activities because of their pagan origins. Now, Brothers, let’s talk about the importance of love. Brother Rommel, how important is love, according to the Bible?
Brother Rommel: Brother, Johnny, first of all, we have to find out who should be our greatest love. And it was taught by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 22:36-39.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your god with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
[Matthew 22:39 New King James Version]
Brother Rommel: Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught who should be our number one or our greatest love. And that is also the first and great commandment. And that’s to love the Lord, our God, our Creator with all of our heart, with all of our soul,
and with all of our mind. Then He also mentioned the second greatest command. It’s to love our neighbor or those around us; as we love ourselves. And this is what we strive
to do in the Church Of Christ.
Brother Johnny: Well, dear Brothers and dear viewers, there are many verses of the Bible that talk about our love for God, but we have to ask this question, how do we prove our love for God?How do we show our love for him? Well, we can read the answer to that here in I John 5:3:
For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments and His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
[I John 5:3 New King James Version]
Brother Johnny: How are we able to show our God in heaven that we really love him? It is by following the commandments of God. Now, God commanded that we should not have any other gods or be involved with pagan activities as we studied earlier. So God is against the celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Now, when it comes to loving God or obeying the commandments of God, that’s not limited to just one day out of the year. Rather true servants of God try to show God their love for Him every day in their lives. So they’re always mindful of the commandments and teachings of God that are to be followed, which are recorded in the Holy Bible.
Now, the Bible does talk about how, children and parents; there really should be love–
there within that family relationship. Spouses are also to love one another. And we are also supposed to love our neighbor or our fellow man. And together, all of us should never forget that we must love our God who created each and every one of us. So that’s what the Church Of Christ or the Iglesia Ni Cristo strives to do. Show our love for our God by always obeying His commandments.
So we’d like to thank my Brother Rommel San Pedro in San Francisco. Brother Ruben Bustos in Southern California. And Brother Glenn David in Australia, for giving us Bible based answers, so that; as the Apostle Peter said to the members of the Church, ‘you will be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are,’
Which we could read in first Peter 3:15.
Well, dear friends, that does it for us here on the Iglesia Ni Cristo International Edition. We hope you’ll join us again next time. I’m Johnny Martin and thank you for watching. But before we go, we’d like to invite you to join us for a short prayer.