can I call my earthly dad, "Father"?

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can I call my earthly dad, "Father"?

Post by email » Tue May 31, 2011 10:07 pm

]I found your article on becoming a preacher and found it pretty interesting. The reason I found it was because I was wondering if I was being called to spread the word of God. I've just been having strong feelings about it lately, though personally, I'm too afraid to preach at a church, too many fears of messing up. But my question actually is about something else relating to that. You mention the names that Jesus says we should not call a preacher such as Rabbi and Father. I was wondering though if it's ok to call our earthly dads, father though or if that's wrong too. I never did believe in calling preachers Father, because I always felt the only people who should be called that would be our earthly dad, our spouses dad (because we become a part of their family and united with them), and God because he created us and is our Father. I'm not trying to be smart with this question, it's a legitimate question and I'm just curious.
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RE: Father

Post by larry » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:28 pm

Thanks for visiting and for your question. I will try to answer your question in a serious manner.

We need to consider the context of Matt. 23. Jesus was addressing problems that existed among the scribes and Pharisees, the spiritual leaders of the Jews at that time. Therefore, when Jesus says to call no man your father on earth in verse 9, He is saying in a spiritual sense. Only God is our spiritual Father. So, we should not address men on this earth in that manner.

However, our earthly fathers are different. The Bible addresses earthly parents as father and mother. Going all the way back to Gen 2:24 we read, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother" -- Then in EX. 20:12, the 5th of the 10 commandments says, "Honor your father and your mother." Paul quotes that verse in Eph. 6:1 and says in verse 4, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children". In all these verses the word "father" is used to refer to earthly fathers.

Therefore, we conclude that we can address our earthly parents as father and mother, but only address God, our heavenly Father, as our spiritual Father. We address our spiritual leaders here on earth in accordance with their work such as preacher, evangelist, elder, overseer, deacon, etc.

I hope this is helpful. If you ever decide to be a preacher, I would encourage you to do a lot of studying of the Scriptures and base all your preaching on what the Bible teaches. If I can be of further help, please let me know.



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