Monday, September 29, 2008

Call no man 'father' - hmmmm....

I remember once being in a Bible study, with a Seventh Day Adventist and being told that how Catholics refer to priests as Father goes against scripture. If only Catholics read their Bible, they would be all to familiar with the following passage:

And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.(Matt. 23:9).

I walked away from that Bible Study with proof that Catholicism goes against scripture. There was no way in the world that I was going to refer to another priest as Father ever again for as long as I lived...

But then, I started to look at the whole scripture passage:

"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.(Matt 23:8-10).

Okay, so Jesus not only commanded us not to call anyone with the title of Father, but he also said never to call anyone 'Rabbi' or 'father' or 'teacher'....right? Of course not. We even see evidence that Paul referred to himself as 'teacher', and more than that, he said that God appointed him as teacher(1 Tim 2:1-7).

So since we know that Scripture is divinely inspired, and therefore without error, what are we to make of Paul saying that he was appointed to the office of a teacher, when Jesus says that we should not call anyone 'teacher'? You may be thinking, that I am being a little ridiculous, but the more I think about it, I think that the interpretation of that scripture against calling anyone on earth 'father' is pretty silly as well.

You also may be thinking that calling a man of God a teacher is not as bad as calling a man of God 'father'. That is a fair position to take, and many Protestants have over the years. So what are we to make of this:

Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel(1 Corinthians 4:15)

Is Paul committing a sin by going against God? He just called himself father...and more than that he called himself your father and did it in Christ Jesus' name. If you hold the position that Catholics are going against scripture by calling their priests father, I think that I have shown you the reason and justification why they do so. Not only is it correct, but it is Scriptural.

The inspiration for this post came from reading one paragraph of a book that is condemning Catholics and Catholicism in general. Instead of putting this book on the shelf, I have used it as inspiration to learn more about the faith into which I am being called into.

Peace be with you all...

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