( foror )
|"Call no man Father"|
These are the instructions which Jesus handed down to those who would take over his work after his death :
'The scribes and the Pharisees speak with the authority of Moses, so you must do what they tell you and follow their instructions. But don't make the mistake of imitating their lives! For, they preach but do not practice. They pile up back-breaking burdens and lay them on other men's shoulders – yet they themselves will not so much as raise a finger to move them. Their whole lives are planned with an eye to effect. They increase the size of their prayer books and lengthen the tassels of their robes; they love seats of honor at public functions and front places and to have men call them 'rabbi' or 'teacher'. As for yourselves, don't you ever be called 'rabbi' – you only have one teacher, and all of you are brother of one another. And don't call any human being 'father' – for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. And you must not let people call you 'leaders' – for you have only one leader, the Anointed One (Christ). The only 'superior' among you is the one who serves the others. For, every man who promotes himself will be humbled, and every man who learns to be humble will find promotion.
But alas for you, you scribes and Pharisees, play actors (hypocrites) that you are! You lock the doors of the kingdom of Heaven in men's faces. You will not go inside yourselves, and neither will you allow others to enter."
This is what those who care more about the teaching of their church than the teaching of Jesus Christ have to say :
Defending "the Faith" (i.e. Roman Catholicism), by David Grimes,SFO
A church site of Diocese of Toledo:
"Michael" asks David about Matthew 23:9
There is one scripture I believe that I have read which is objectionable to fundamentalists. (actually most Protestants) It refers to not calling anyone father, but the father in heaven. Currently, I can't find it. Since there are over 350 scripture references in the New Testament with the word father in them I am having difficulty finding it. Could you please tell me the scripture that implies this? Also, as a Catholic, how do we defend the practice of calling our Church leader "Pope" which I was told means father and calling our priests father. To fundamentalists (Protestants) this would be wrong in God's eyes because it is scriptural and therefore, leads to the objection of the Pope's authority. Thank You Michael.
Here is my reply: Michael: Thanks for visiting my site!
The scripture you refer to is found in Matthew 23:9, "And do not call anyone on earth "father," for you have one Father, and he is in heaven."
Calling our priests "father" is not unique to Catholics. The Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Church (Protestant) do as well. I find it strange that non-Catholics tend to ignore this verse: "Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ (Matt. 23:10). Then we read this from scripture: "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)." Point this out to your friends! Or what about this advice to the Philippians: "But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel." (Phil 2:22). What about this from Romans 4:11, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them." Paul is referring to Abraham as the "father of all who believe."
My good friend Gary Hoge wrote the best answer in understanding Matthew 23:9. "This verse has nothing whatsoever to do with the proper use of the word "father," it has to do with the proper attitude of Christians toward their brothers, and toward God. Therefore, it is perfectly appropriate for Catholics, and others, to give the title "father" to their ministers. In doing so they are not being disobedient to Jesus, rather they are following the apostolic example established by Paul and John." Now, let me address the last part of your question. The word Pope is not in the bible but the concept of the office of pope is.
Point out to your non-Catholic friends that the words "Trinity," "Incarnation," or "Ascension" aren't found in scripture either. Are these doctrines to be ignored? Was Peter the Chief Apostle? According to scripture, Catholics answer with a resounding YES! You might want to read this website on that very topic. You can find it here: http://ic.net/ ~erasmus/ RAZ112.HTM. I hope this helps and please don't be afraid to call on me anytime. This is what I love doing! God Bless
written on 2/6/2002
by David Grimes, SFO,
(a layman affiliated with the order of Saint Francis )
Here's another such site : The "Shameless Popery" blog.
This is what those who care more about the teaching of Jesus Christ than the teaching of any church have to say :
Believing that Jesus said to his "apostles",
they strive to be humble servants, rather than imperious bosses When are those who claim to be the successors of those apostles going to remember those words and prove that they understand and believe them by getting off of their high horses, out of their luxurious vestments and automobiles, out of their palatial homes, and away from their rich and powerful friends and neighbors and become the servants of those most in need of service? Instead of constantly condemning the faithful for new-found sins, supposedly missed by the authors of the Bible, such as the practice of birth control, masturbation and yes even abortion, when are today's high priests going to pay attention to what the Bible says repeatedly and unequivocally about the sins that they themselves should avoid? "Anyone who wishes to be first in the kingdom of God should make himself the last and the servant of the rest,"
"Anyone who wishes to be first in the kingdom of God should make himself the last and the servant of the rest,"
The way so-called "Christian Conservatives" use little known scripture to quietly offset some of the things that Jesus taught has convinced me that this is one of the reasons that they argue so vociferously for the uniform inspiration of everything in the Bible. And that is one reason that I argue against that belief. I believe that the whole idea of "scriptural inerrancy" requires a great deal of ignorance of the scriptures and leads intelligent people to reject the whole bible and any religion that espouses that belief.
Atlanta, April 6 (AP) — Women will not be allowed to participate in Maundy Thursday foot-washing rituals at Roman Catholic churches here. In a March 19 letter to the archdiocese's priests, Archbishop John Donoghue said each parish should choose just 12 men for the ritual, which represents Jesus washing his disciples' feet at the Last Supper.
After recovering from the shock brought on by the sight of a Catholic bishop being that insensitive to at least half of the members of his church in this millennium, I asked myself an even larger question, namely: "And the message to the world that bishops wash the feet of 12 laymen one time each year, while thousands if not millions of laymen continue to kiss the hands of bishops every other moment of every other day of the year is ?!?"
When Jesus instructed the leaders that he was putting in charge of his movement in John 13:3-17: "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." can anyone imagine that he was talking about the ritual tokenism performed by the Catholic Church on one holy weekday each year?
And then it came to me! For years I have been wondering it is so difficult for Roman Catholics to see the extremely grave sins committed by the representatives of their church over the centuries, and now it is clear that Catholics will never be able to admit the big sins, because they are not even able to admit their clergy are unfaithful to Christ's teaching in what appears to many to be a little matter, i.e. the use of titles and the washing of feet, but which are extremely telling symbols of much more important matters.