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Calling a preacher, Father.

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Rex, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. Rex

    Rex Founder

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    Why is it done? Is there any historical issues that brought this up. And why do you do it if you do?
     
  2. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    I am not sure if you are insinuating why they call priests, Father or if you are wondering why Reverends get mistaken for Fathers (priests). I have had many people come up and address me as Father because of my minister’s collar. As flattering as it is, I do not correct them but I do know of some Reverends who do. If you are addressing why priests are called Fathers I would be interested in the historical origin as well, the only thing I can think of is that a priest is somewhat a Father to the congregation.
     
  3. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    My ex-gf's parents called their rabbi all the time. He was their spirtual guide. Her parents were very religious Jews and felt that G-d was in every part of their lives. As such, when they felt that when they couldn't understand the direction that G-d wanted them to go in they went to someone with more experience in understanding G-d, ie their rabbi. To them it was a matter of wanting to do G-d's will daily and if they hit a gray area or an area they didn't have experience in the Rabbi got a call. Also during times of family emotional stress the Rabbi got a call for emotional guidance. He was kinda their shrink in that fashion too.

    My father is a Jehovah's witness. They are a very communty oriented kind of church. Meaning that J witness are in each other's lives pretty much daily. As such they visit each other daily and because the common bond is God they talk about God's wants and needs of them, true followers of the faith on a daily basis. At times when they get confused on a course of action or direction their is a definite hierarchy and the minsters get called. The ministers in a J witness church have much power and I know friend of my fathers who was banned from the church and that minister had enough power to command that God did not want any of his congregation to have contact with this man again.

    I the current three monotheistic religions of Judiasm, Christianity and Islam all believe that God micromanages earth and people's lives and has want and needs from his followers. As such, the priests create a heirarchy in many of them as a connection to God(s). Kinda like a v.p. of spirtuality. I think that is why people get clergy when they are on a death bed. In their mind the clergy are closer to God by training and as such the message or plea of salvation is clearer and more official when conducted by the church.
     
  4. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I defer to this scripture:

    Matthew 23:8 "But you are not to be called `Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called `teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
     
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  5. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    I have often wondered this myself, Rex. There is a passage in 1 Corinthians that mentions something about this.

    1 Corinthians 4 - 15For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. 17For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church

    Does this give us the right to call every priest, or even the Pope, "father"? I do not believe it does, but there might be more to it than just that passage. I believe that he was their spritual father, but not in any binding way. I believe that since Paul helped found the church at Corinth, he probably preached to many people there and introduced them to the LORD. I think he is using the word very loosely.
     
  6. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    The Priesthood has a special role in the Church. The Sacrament of Holy Orders (Catholics believe) was instituted by Christ in the Apostles who continue on today as our spiritual fathers. Spiritual fatherhood of priests is seen in Paul’s statement, "I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:14–15).

    Peter followed the same custom, referring to Mark as his son: "She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark" (1 Pet. 5:13). The apostles sometimes referred to entire churches under their care as their children. Paul writes, "Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children" (2 Cor. 12:14); and, "My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!" (Gal. 4:19).

    John said, "My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1); "No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth" (3 John 4). In fact, John also addresses men in his congregations as "fathers" (1 John 2:13–14).

    By referring to these people as their spiritual sons and spiritual children, Peter, Paul, and John imply their own roles as spiritual fathers. Since the Bible frequently speaks of this spiritual fatherhood, we Catholics acknowledge it and follow the custom of the apostles by calling priests "father." Failure to acknowledge this is a failure to recognize and honor a great gift God has bestowed on the Church: the spiritual fatherhood of the priesthood.

    Catholics know that as members of a parish, they have been committed to a priest’s spiritual care, thus they have great filial affection for priests and call them "father." Priests, in turn, follow the apostles’ biblical example by referring to members of their flock as "my son" or "my child" (cf. Gal. 4:19; 1 Tim. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:1; Philem. 10; 1 Pet. 5:13; 1 John 2:1; 3 John 4).

    Scott
    www.catholic.com
     
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  7. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Scott beat me to a good response. I would like to add a little bit to his response on the "Call no man father" passage. Paul calls himself a teacher and asserts there are teachers. That's what rabbi means IIRC. Like Scott pointed out, there are spiritual children as well, strongly implying the title, and there is the passage Linus cited.

    We also know that little children call their parents "daddy" then "dad" then "father." It isn't a sin for them there, and I don't see why it's a sin in reference to priests. If it is an absolute "nobody," then we must forbid children from using the term. I haven't heard anyone go that far.

    Instead of looking just at the letters, we should discern why it was said. In the context, we find that Jesus is referring to arrogance, not simply the title itself, specifically an arrogant interpretation of the Law to bind people with burdens and exalt the leadership who are not subject to those burdens. Christ admonishes the people to obey them, but do not do as they do. Do not bind others down with legalism and miss the spirit of the Law.

    In the context, Christ is making no demands that we can't call a man "father." He's condemning a certain type of interpretation and use of authority: namely the creation of oppressive and legalistic interpretations to exalt oneself and condemn others. The passage simply cannot be used to lay down a legalistic rule without doing damage to its message.
     
  8. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

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    If you are to call no man father, what do you call your father? And it also says to call no man teacher, so what do you call your teacher when you forget their name, like I always do. C'mere what'syourname?

    The Bible also says to call no man "master", but we do just that when we say "mister" at is just the common usage of the same word. And "doctor" is a form of the latin word for "teacher" as well. When I worked at a pre-school all the kids had to call me "teacher Karen", and I got in trouble for telling them not to.

    If you mean that no one should be called your spiritual father or teacher, then why does Paul claim to be both of these things to his disciples such as Timothy?
     
  9. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I think the intent is the key. In the Scripture, Christians are regarded as priests... all of them. All of them are Saints. There is no need for an additional mediator now that we have the Christ. A title is not needed here... we are all equal in God's eyes.
     
  10. croak

    croak Trickster

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    So, I can't call my teacher in school "teacher"? This is going to be difficult.........

     
  11. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    We are equally loved... but do not have equality in gifts of the spirit.... some are graced by God with certain gifts, some are not.
     
  12. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Nobody has claimed priests are mediators...
     
  13. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Yes we all have different gifts but none of them are of any higher standing which would require a title to be attached to that person. It would be considered ridiculous to give a hand a title because it is apparently more useful than a foot. See 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. Besides why should we ignore a direct command from Jesus (matthew 23:9-12) that in principle tells us not to set people above another in a religious sense? There is a different between being a teacher or a writer and using that ability to elevate that person. That is what the idea of titles is: elevation of someone above another person. Such as The President of the United States, or The Buddha, vs being a president or being a buddha.
     
  14. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    But titles are given in Scripture to people: prophets, apostles, teachers, presbyters (priests), bishops, and so on. These are titles for offices and/or functions. It does not, though, make one person better than another. It simply gives them a different role in the Church.
     
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