Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Do Catholics Call Their Priests "Father"? Jesus Said "Call No Man Father!"

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Why Do Catholics Call Their Priests "Father"?
Jesus Said "Call No Man Father!"

Another Q & A with John of AllFaith -- 5.13.10

Questioner: Betty
Category: Misc Religions
Private: No
Subject: Catholics
Question: Why do they get you to call their priests Father. When our God said,"Call no man your father for you have one who art in heaven." To me 'no man' means everyone. He never once uses the word Except. So aren't they committing a sin getting people to do it. Therefor people doing it are committing a sin. Am I right or wrong?

My Reply:

Hi Betty,

The reply I feel to led to offer you is a bit long and includes several biblical passages. Simply stated:

As a believer you are called to serve God fully according to the Light He has given you.

If one does not agree with Catholic doctrine and traditions one should not belong to that denomination.

My longer answer;

Paul wrote:

I Corinthians 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.
4:16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

Paul referred to himself as the "father" of those he taught and said he was one of a few such "fathers." The term "father" in this context merely refers to an elder under whose authority one is. The term is far older than Catholicism.

Your referenced verse says:

Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

In context Jesus is saying that we are to stand as individuals before God and not rely on others for our connections with God. The word "master" ("kathegetes" in the original) means "rabbi" or teacher and yet we read:

I Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers...
Paul says God calls some to be teachers. Jesus is not saying not to call our teachers "teachers" nor our spiritual fathers "fathers." He is saying to properly view them as teachers and elders while remembering that our primary loyalty is to God alone. Our only mediator is Y'shua (I Timothy 2:5). Context is essential as we "rightly divide the Word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15).

Another example: Catholics "forbid" their priests, nuns and brothers from marrying even though Paul says specifically that is forbidden:

I Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
But then again, he also says:
I Corinthians 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I [i.e. single and celibate].
7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
Catholic priests, brothers and others choose to embrace the vow of celibacy as Paul recommends and yet they are "forbidden to marry."

We must "rightly divide the word of truth." Celibacy in the service of Christ is admirable and the Catholic Church requires it of their most trusted ministers.

Now consider this question, I assume you worship on Sunday and do not honor the Sabbath (which is sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) and yet we read:

Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
GOD then reiterated the importance of the Sabbath as one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11) which along with over a hundred other Bible verses tells us how we are supposed to honor the day He sanctified at Genesis 2:3.

According to the New Testament Y'shua honored the Sabbath as did his Apostles and their spiritual children and yet today only a tiny percentage of Christians obey this clear biblical command. Why? There is no biblical command to stop honoring the Sabbath nor are there any instructions to worship on Sunday nor even a single example of anyone ever doing so.

So why do most Christians say we are only supposed to obey nine of the Ten Commandments? Why not all ten? This is one that puzzles me. It seems clear enough in the Bible but most Christians never even question this.

I think we do well to understand and apply the following wisdom:

Romans 14:4 Who are you that judges another man's servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.
14:5 One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
14:6 He that regards the day, regards it unto the Lord; and he that regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He that eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he that eats not, to the Lord he eats not, and gives God thanks.
14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself.
14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
14:10 But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at nought your brother? for we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

... 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

... 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
14:18 For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (My paraphrase for clarity of the Authorized King James Version).

So my sister,

Accurate doctrine and being biblically correct in what we do and believe is vitally important. Keep prayerfully studying and seeking ever greater Light as the Holy Spirit leads you... We are told to search the scriptures and confirm that our beliefs are harmonious with the Word by the Spirit of God (Acts 17:11 etc)...


Serve God fully according to the Light He has given you without judging others. They too will give an account to God one day.

Doing this is not always easy!

Hope this helps,

    ~ John of AllFaith
Of Noah
The Noahide Nazarene Way
Nicene Christianity
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