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Call no man father.

De Maria's picture

Hello all,

On another topic, the Esteemed Julabee Jones is castigating Catholics roundly for calling priests, father.

She bases that opinion on Jesus' injunction, "call no man father". Now I don't see any qualifications there. Jesus didn't say, don't call priests father. He said
And call no man your father upon the earth.... Matthew 23:9

Yet, I've met no one, Protestant or Catholic, who doesn't call their dad, father. Except a few disrespectful children.

So I was wondering, what do you call your father? A question, by the way, which the sweet Julabee, has yet to answer.


De Maria

Noshic's picture

spirit behind the words

First, I do agree with you that we have to look for the meaning behind the words.
Words are used to convey an idea, right? The word 'father' conveys the idea of one who begets a child, and the word 'teacher' conveys the idea of one who teaches. Infact the common usages of these terms, and the ideas conveyed by them are the reference points by which humanity can understand what God means when He calls Himself our Father, and Christ our Teacher. So why would God want to eliminate the normal usages of these terms?
But let's reflect on Jesus's meaning here - Just as only one biological father begets us physically, same way, only one Spiritual Father, ie, God begets us spiritually. No one else should take that honour upon himself, casting aside God and the work of the Holy spirit, by whose grace alone each one of us is able to recieve the word of God.
Do you agree with me there?
And yes I have noticed too the use of the word teachers by Paul. Obviously those who teach others even the Word of God can accurately be classified as teachers in a technical sense (as one who teaches). Just as long as they teach what they're taught by the ONE SUPREME TEACHER - and not their own doctrines for their own glory.
So it's back to the context, the meaning behind the words -and that is not to fall in the error of seeking glory and honour for ourselves, nor of following men for our ultimate guidance, thus honouring them above God or placing them at the same level as Him.
And that includes not issuing decrees that people in certain positions 'must be' addressed as Father or Holy Father. BTW, does the RCC issue such decrees, or is it just the usual practice, and people within the church are free to address the priests or the pope by their names as well?
I would seriously like to know