call no man “Father”

Sound exegesis distinguishes among literal teachings, parables, and allegorical teaching. What do you call the man who impregnated your mother? Do you call him “father”?  Remember, Protestants,  the Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and mother.

 

“And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, Christ.” Matthew 23:9-10

 

Understand that this is a case of allegory. The non-literal nature of this allegorical verse is underscored by the use of the father-son language elsewhere in the New Testament. The Protestant habit of taking Matthew 23 literally is one more instance showing that they need a Pope—and should avoid private interpretation.

 

From the Douay Rheims, Challoner notes on Matthew 23:9-10: “The meaning is that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded, than any father upon earth: and no master to be followed, who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers, (1 Cor. 4:15) and for our masters and teachers.”

 

“For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the gospel, I have begotten you.” 1 Corinthians 4:15

 

St. Paul here indicates that, having “begotten” them, he is truly a spiritual father to the Corinthians “in Christ Jesus, by the gospel.” Hence, the Corinthians allegorically had more than one father, but “not many fathers.” Each one had at least a biological father and St. Paul, a spiritual father.

 

“To Titus my beloved son, according to the common faith, grace and peace from God the Father, and from Christ Jesus our Saviour.” Titus 1:4

 

St. Paul’s father-son metaphor is another instance of St. Paul’s spiritual fatherhood, in this instance Titus’ spiritual father in Christ

 

“The church that is in Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you: and so doth my son Mark.”

1 Peter 5:13

 

St. Peter, the “Rock” himself, the Pope, uses St. Paul’s same father-son metaphor in telling us that he, St. Peter, was Mark’s spiritual father in Christ—and, of course—Mark also had a biological father. What do you think Mark, Titus, and the Corinthians called their biological fathers? “Father.”

 

So… how are your mother and…um…er…uh…whatever you call him?