We're making big changes. Please try out the beta site at beta.ccel.org and send us feedback. Thank you!

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

JeffLogan's picture

Fair questions,

Fair questions, Jstaller.

(BTW, I am so glad your back with us from time to time sharing your great wisdom and enlightening our pathway with sage words that only you seem able to deliver. What a great blessing you are to this group and to each of us. What would we do without your participation. No one speaks as you do. Is your head swelling up yet? I do appreciate your words but what I have done here is highlighted the plight of those who receive praise of men.)

Jstaller writes - Do you have any Biblical evidence to substantiate this claim?

There are Biblical principles, many of them, but that would take some time to find them since I don't know their exact locations. I can use a search engine but often the exact words or phrases escape me. So that too takes time. But I had thought this statement an axiom.

    A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. Prov 26:28 (KJV)

    The king by justice establisheth the land; But he that exacteth gifts overthroweth it. Prov 29:4 (ASV)

    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away. Job 32:21-22 (KJV)

Jstaller continues - I think your speaking in generalities that have many, many, many exceptions--a few bad apples don't actually mean all apples are bad; a few Fathers that do a bad job, or are corrupted, don't mean all Fathers are bad.

All flattery is self-serving and is potentially harmful to any man. Yes, some may escape its harmful effects by recalling to mind their humble roots through willing submission to their Creator.

Jstaller summarizes - Again, Paul doesn't hesitate to call himself a spiritual father of other people.

True, but isn't Paul simply referring to the fact that God used him to birth children of God? Could it be said that Paul is speaking metaphorically? Paul referred to both Isaac and Abraham as "our father." Are we to assume Paul didn't understand what Jesus meant when he said not to call any man "your Father?" No, I think the application is that we are not to consider any man our spiritual leader, a vicar of God. God alone is to be our spiritual Father in that we are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. To say any more would involve lengthy discussion to explain every subtle nuance of what was meant.

Here are some instances where Paul used lowercase "father" to refer to an earthly position, like a paternal relationship between father and son. And, perhaps, in some instances in a spiritual sense, like that of Abraham who is the father of all who believe. And, perhaps in another case, as with Isaac, it refers to lineage.

    Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
    1 Tim 5:1 (KJV)

    As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 1 Thess 2:11 (KJV)

    But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Phil 2:22 (KJV)

    And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; Romans 9:10 (KJV)

    What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? Romans 4:1 (KJV)

Anyway, this was written rather hastily so I hope I haven't made any serious errors which alter what I meant to relate. I reserve the right to edit later. I'd loved to hear your thoughts on Paul's usage of the word.

Gotta go!

“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constitution.

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV