Does “call no man father” Contradict the Church?


Steve: I will address this really fast.

(Mat 23:9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

I believe the proper title used in the catholic church for the priest/preacher is “father” and the title you have given your pope is “holy father”

These are the ministers you send into the world, and immediately a Scripture is contradicted and a command from Jesus is broken.

It doesn’t matter how a catholic and a protestant interprets Scripture, it matters how God does. If we as men don’t interpret His way, what does it matter?

BFHU: The call no man father verse does seem to contradict Catholic practice; so, Protestants use this verse very effectively to seemingly “prove” that the Catholic Church advocates something clearly prohibited by scripture. But the reality is that, once again this is just another case of the Catholic Church contradicting Protestant interpretation of scripture and not actually contradicting scripture at all.

Because, as any Protestant worth his salt will tell you scripture cannot be taken out of context. But, that is exactly what Protestants do with this verse in order to denigrate Catholic practice. The author of “call no man father” is Jesus. Now, if what he meant, was that the faithful should NEVER call their priests “father” then one would have to conclude that St. Paul was a heretic. How else can a Protestant explain:

St. Paul addresses the Jewish religious leaders as fathers. Did St. Paul also ignore Jesus’ rule?

Acts 22:1“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”

1 Corinthians 4:14-15
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15 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.

St. Paul continues this father/child relationship in the following epistles. He identifies himself as a spiritual father either directly as in I Thess. or indirectly by calling Timothy and Titus his “true son in faith”.

1 Thessalonians 2:11

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children,

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith(that makes Paul a father in the faith): Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

St.Paul fathered those he brought to life through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And he had no problem with appropriating this title to himself.

And there is more. Even Jesus Himself called a religious leader Father.This would make Jesus a hypocrite according to Protestant interpretation of the call no man father verse

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

Luke 16:24 & 30 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire….’No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

Once again we see that the Catholic Church merely imitates our Lord and St. Paul in calling our priests, father. We uphold ALL of Scripture. And the Church founded by Jesus is able to interpret scripture His way. Do you claim the ability to infallibly interpret scripture?

Please see my post Scripture vs the Catholic Church

3 Responses

  1. First, I would like to sincerely thank you for using Scripture for your evidence about this topic. I really appreciate a person that is not afraid to show what they believe from the Bible.

    Concerning Abraham:
    (Act 7:8) And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

    (Gen 17:4) As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
    (Gen 17:5) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

    Now, Abraham was their father. The error of using him as the example is this: Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, and Jacob was the father of the patriarchs; father of the Jewish nation. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. So in using Abraham, you are showing a natural father, not a spiritual father. I call my natural dad, father, and his dad, grandfather, and his dad, great-grandfather, so on and so forth. Jesus was not calling him a father spiritually either, “I and my Father are one…”, Jesus was a Jew and had every right to call Abraham, father. Every Jew has that same right to call Abraham their father, in a completely natural way without any implication of spirituality involved. Yes, Jesus called a “religious leader” father, because Abraham was naturally, in a human parental sense, the father of all Israel, being himself the grand-father to Jacob(Israel).

    I will refer you to the book of Genesis for more reading and Biblical evidence about the nations Abraham fathered.

    Concerning Paul:
    (Act 22:1) Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

    In speaking to the Jewish “brethren and fathers” you are showing the same thing as was covered in the above. He was not talking to a spiritual leader over him, he was at this point a Christian, and actually at a trial defending himself against religious leaders of Judaism. In that sense they were in no way his “religious” leaders. If that were so, then you would have to show same respect given to your priests to every other religious leader, regardless of religious institute, in the world today. We can not apply rules to the first Christians, and then exclude ourselves from them for personal gain.

    BFHU “Because, as any Protestant worth his salt will tell you scripture cannot be taken out of context.”
    I am not a protestant, yet I agree with you on that. We should never take Scripture out of context, once Scripture is taken out of context and added to, or taken from, it becomes man’s word and is no longer God’s Word. Paul did not refer to them spiritually as “father” they were natural leaders of the people, as the father of a household is the natural leader of it. In the proper light, those Scriptures about Abraham, Jesus, & Paul are being taken out of context to prove your point.

    (1Ti 1:2) Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

    (Tit 1:4) To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

    After reading “my own son” & “mine own son” you will notice he calls God “our Father” & “the Father”, so how can he be the father, yet God is the Father?

    Let’s take a look at how Paul views himself toward those he lead to Christ.

    (Gal 4:19) My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

    In a parental relationship with children the “father” does not travail in birth. The mother does the travailing during the actual birthing experience. So in this passage he refers to himself maternally.

    (1Th 2:11) As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
    (1Th 2:12) That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

    They “dealt” with them “as a father” according to your translation. Growing up years ago, when children actually received correction, I had several men “deal” with me “as a father” when I got out of line. I also had several men “deal” with me “as a father” in teaching me, leading me, and guiding me while growing up. Yet, I did not call them father, because I only have one natural father. My mother, on occasion, had to deal with me as my father would have if he were at home instead of working.

    I’m not sure what Bible translation you are using but 1Co 4:14 reads like this in KJV:
    (1Co 4:14) I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
    (1Co 4:15) For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

    “for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel”

    What is the gospel? The gospel was and is the “good news.” What good news did the apostles bring and teach? Jesus.

    Paul did not beget them in himself or through himself. He was a partaker of their births “in Christ Jesus…through the gospel.” In other words, he helped lead them to Christ through Christ. He did not father them spiritually, God did. The same as you and I, we do not father people into Christ, the Church is supposed to be the bride of Christ. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a bride that could naturally father her own children.

    BFHU: And the Church founded by Jesus is able to interpret scripture His way. Do you claim the ability to infallibly interpret scripture?

    Sirs, the only thing infallible in our conversations is the Word. Are you implying that because I do not follow with everything you claim to be a Biblical truth, yet not founded on Scripture, that my interpretation or understanding is worthless or even wrong? Through our several conversations you have given hardly any Scripture and relied on the doctrines & philosophies of men that came around after all the apostles were dead and could not dispute it. Paul warned against “other gospels” because they had already started to arise. For a man to claim he is infallible is folly, (1Co 2:5) That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.,(1Co 1:24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God., the Word of God is Power! You question why can’t religious truth come from outside the Bible. Our hearts are deceitful and wicked, our wisdom is as foolishness, why should I trust in it? Sola Scriptura is where we find the words God spoke to us through his prophets and his apostles.
    If I don’t study to show myself approved (2Tim 2:15), which many times leads to questions on our walk and life with God, how will I rightly divide the word of truth? Furthermore, how will I stand unashamed when judgement comes? In the world ignorance of the law is no excuse, it is our job to learn the law. Is it so hard to think that the same is true with the Word? Nothing I could ever do on this earth could justify the grace I have received from my God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yet, when the books are opened and we are judged accordingly, where will we stand if we didn’t learn for ourselves what the Books say? No man can claim to be infallible, save Jesus Christ. Our corruptible flesh has not yet put on incorruption. Through the Holy Ghost I seek perfection in my understanding of His Word, so when I find something in the Bible that contradicts what men preach I will question it. If we don’t question what we don’t understand, how will we ever attain understanding?
    If your interpretation of Scripture does not match what the Bible clearly states, does that make the Bible wrong? When someone questions your understanding of Scripture, it’s not the Bible being held in question. As I posted in a previous comment: What does it matter how you & I interpret Scripture if we don’t interpret it the way God does? If I can show you what I believe in Scripture, does that make me wrong? If I can show you what I believe by what a man that claimed to live for God believed, but not in Scripture, does that make me right? Sola Scriptura as flaunted so frequently sounds and feels more like an attempt to discredit the Bible as our only source of salvation. If that theology is put forth as a Biblical fact, soon we’ll have to incorporate the Qu’ran/Koran into our system of beliefs because some guy who claimed to live for God wrote it. If the interpretation does not match the Scripture on that issue, when kept in context, then it seems to me the interpreter is mistaken.

    (2Ti 3:1) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. 10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    I see a LOT of this in the world today, and I refuse to not read His Word, and learn for myself what It says.

    I feel that regardless of what Scripture says you will only believe what catholicism teaches. So, I will not continue to intrude on your message board unless otherwise invited.

    May God open our understanding to His Word, through His Word and in His Spirit. Amen.

    Steve of SC

  2. My mother, on occasion, had to deal with me as my father would have if he were at home instead of working.

    should have ended, if he were out working instead of at home. 😉

  3. Thank you for the your personal interpretation of scripture. We will let our readers decide for themselves where Truth lies.

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