We all do it.
Use the word ‘father’ when referring to the man who inseminated our mothers. We hear it all over Wellington, Kansas and elsewhere.
But Scripture is clear that we are “…not [to] call anyone on earth [our] father; for One is [our] Father, He who is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9 NASB)
What exactly does this mean?
This misinterpreted verse is often used to justify using the term ‘father’. So, should we use it? Is calling a Catholic priest ‘Father’ acceptable in God’s eyes? And is it okay for us to call our biological male parent ‘father’ as well?
As a former Catholic, this writer well understands all things Catholic. Funny though, never once did this writer call her own parent, father; only dad, or daddy. As do most of us.
Many believe the Bible is contradictory. Perhaps so, considering it was written by imperfect men with divine guidance. Sometimes this is what others use to convince people they are right about things. In this way, their own misguidance and wrongful decisions can be justified in their own eyes. The enemy likes to keep us confused because he hates us and wants us to turn away from God. He will do anything to bring this about.
However, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize the real meaning behind Matthew 23:9.
God is our Father, our Creator. He wants all the Glory. And why not? He is God and deserving of it.
A book about Padre Pio tells how one priest was idolized by millions. After becoming familiar with this man, one can easily discern what is wrong with any man being called ‘father’…or ‘padre’.
The people prayed to Pio, sought his counsel, worshipped, and thanked him. Always, the people glorified him and not God.
God does not want to share His Glory with anyone. By worshipping anyone other than God, those people committed a grave sin.
We can use the word ‘father’ when talking about our human father. Just don’t worship or exalt him.
But we are NOT to call any man ‘Father’ otherwise. Only God can be given that distinction.
Priests were wrongfully given that designation because the title belongs to God and God alone. It was the enemy that brought it forth, so that we would forever sin against God in this manner.
Matt 23:9 (KJV) – “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”’
1 Cor. 10:31 (KJV) – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Carty, Fr. Charles Mortimer. Padre Pio, The Stigmatist. Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1973.