Are we sometimes too familiar with God?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Robert Snow, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
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    I know God is our Father and that He cares about us. However, do we allow this to make us too familiar with Him considering He is the God of the universe?

    I cringe when I hear someone pray, Daddy God. It just rubs me the wrong way.

    I believe in the modern society we live in we have lost the reverence required to please our great God.
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    I've thought about that alot recently and agree. In Paul's prayers, he always mentioned the Fatherhood of God but it was also coupled with "our God and Father" (1 Th. 3:11) or Paul's prayers in Ephesians.

    I think we mistake the respect due our heavenly Father because we don't really pay the respect to our earthly fathers.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    I do think that people become too chummy with God. Many times these are people who are spiritually immature or who aren't saved in the first place.

    I can't stand to hear - "Me and the Man Upstairs - we've got an agreement." And things like, "Jesus was real cool dude!" rub me the wrong way.

    But, as for as crying out to God as "Daddy". Well, Jesus did when He cried out "Abba, Father". That's what Abba means is "Daddy or Papa". Note that He did this in the privacy of the Garden.

    The Apostle Paul claimed that God is our "Abba". In fact, he said that the Spirit of Jesus cries from our own hearts with this word because we are adopted.

    I personally think the term "Abba" or "Daddy" is very intimate and is not the best of words to use in a more formal corporate prayer. To me it's very private. But that's just the tradition in which I was raised.

    But, others may disagree and that's fine.

    But I do think that we are too chummy with God. Many times we treat him like a nanny or a babysitter or older brother and not the LORD God Almighty.
     
  4. Robert Snow

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    Great thought! Thanks. :applause:
     
  5. Robert Snow

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    I know there is nothing wrong with, "Daddy God," but it still rubs me the wrong way. Maybe the problem is with me, I don't know.
     
  6. GBC Pastor

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    I see that in some of our contemporary praise and worship music today. Lyrics that tend to suggest intimate or romanticized relationships with God. To me it takes away from the reverence we are to have towards God.
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    No, there's nothing wrong with you. I don't like hearing it myself in public corporate prayers. It gives me the heebie-jeebies. I get almost embarrassed. It's a weird feeling.

    But, I was not raised to use that term of endearment for God. I didn't learn about the beauty of the relationship of God as our Abba until much later in life.

    I, personally, don't refer to God as Daddy even in my private prayers. I don't feel worthy enough too.
     
  8. Rippon

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    It's a perpetual myth that Abba means Daddy. I've heard it for ages,and on it goes unabated. But it's just not true. It's not an informal term. It's not babytalk. It's an intimate term, but one denoting absolute respect at the same time.

    Even the NCV and other very functional Bible versions use the word Father, not Daddy. Only the Message has :papa.
     
  9. Robert Snow

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    Thanks for the information! :thumbs:
     
  10. Scarlett O.

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    I never mentioned anything about babytalk. I can't stand babytalk. Not sure why "Daddy" or "Papa" is babytalk. And I never mentioned anything about disrespect.

    I've been looking on the net on aramaic lexicons and such for definitive information about the meaning of the word. All I've ever been taught from the pulpit and the Sunday School room is that it was more in line with Papa.

    All I can find on the net is conflicting information. Some say it means Father. Some say otherwise. And some say we have no idea what it means.

    I'll defer to you here until I can found out otherwise.



     
  11. Amy.G

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    Scarlett,
    Here is Albert Barnes' commentary on it. Maybe it will help.

    Abba. This word is Chaldee--(CHALDEE)--and means father. Why the apostle repeats the word in a different language is not known. The Syriac reads it, "By which we call the Father our Father." It is probable that the repetition here denotes merely intensity, and is designed to denote the interest with which a Christian dwells on the name, in the spirit of an affectionate, tender child. It is not unusual to repeat such terms of affection. Comp. Mt 7:22; Ps 8:1. This is an evidence of piety that is easily applied. He that can in sincerity and with ardent affection apply this term to God, addressing him with a filial spirit as his Father, has the spirit of a Christian. Every child of God has this spirit; and he that has it not is a stranger to piety.
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    Thanks, Amy. :flower:
     
  13. Tom Butler

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    We had a student team from the BSU at a nearby state university come to our church for Saturday night-Sunday morning services.

    One of the kids referred to God as "my shrink." He thought it was cool.

    You can guess what I thought.

    Robert, I agree with you and the others.
     
  14. Allan

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    It is a myth that it doesn't refer to our cultural saying of - Daddy.
    The translations is without question an accurate one, with respect to the word but the word is conveyed culturally in different ways. Yet, the term father corrisponds more aptly across the board.

    When Abba is spoken of regarding its meaning as 'Daddy' it is speaking more to the cultural usage of the familar and common word relating to affection, endearment, and respect of the male parent. In America we do not typically use the formal 'Father' toward our male gender parent but Daddy. Father is a term that is more a title in our culture and though it does denotes respect but not necessarily include endearment toward or affection for person. However the term, Daddy encapsulates all these qualities and thus it reflects the same 'meaning' as 'Abba' does. Thus what I meant by the word Father corrsponding more aptly across the board, is that in a 'general' sense this word should convey all such things but in reality it does not in each culture.



    A.T. Robertson states this in Gal 4:6 about it's usage:
    Or in Mark 14:36:
    Now that we have that cleared up, you all may continue.
     
    #14 Allan, Feb 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2010
  15. OldRegular

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    Snow

    You and I finally agree on something. The lack of reverence and, yes even fear, shown for GOD, the CREATOR of all that exists, from both the pulpit and the congregation is disgusting.

    Scripture tells us:

    Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

    Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;


    Now people will argue that the word fear does not really mean fear but Brown, Driver, Briggs defines the Hebrew as follows:

    03374 yir'ah yir-aw'

    KJV - fear 41, exceedingly + 01419 2, dreadful 1, fearfulness 1; 45

    1) fear, terror, fearing
    1a) fear, terror
    1b) awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear)
    1c) fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety
    1d) revered

    I would also mention two passages of Scripture that have left an indelible impression on me.

    The first relates to the apostasy of the Northern Kingdom: Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

    The second is from the Book of Hebrews and I lift it out of context to limit discussion: Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    I believe that on this Forum many, though they may show reverence for GOD, make light of HIS GRACE and forget that we are dealing with the ONE who is CREATOR of all that exists. That HE would condescend to take upon HIMSELF the form of man and die for our sins should bring us to our knees each time we consider that truth.

    Some in the so-called Christian community think of GOD as their "fetch it boy". This attitude toward GOD is one reason that I believe the WORD of Faith movement is one of the most, if not the most, destructive heresy that the Church has ever faced. If you don't believe it just look at the crowd Joel Osteen draws.

    I disagree with much in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions, I disagree with much that dispensationalism teaches, I disagree with the Arminian doctrine of salvation, I don't even agree with all of what folks here like to call Calvinism. But I believe that the theology of each of these groups has the correct view of the Holiness of GOD, even if some adherents lapse from time to time. However, the theology of the Word of Faith movement, if one can call it that, is basically that GOD is at their beck and call!
     
  16. Robert Snow

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    I agree.

    We, even in the church, often live in such a close relationship with the world, that we adopt their nonchalance concerning our great God. Truly prosperity has damaged the church more than any persecution ever could.
     
  17. The Archangel

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    Robert,

    Excellent point. I think C.S. Lewis' comments about Aslan in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are very appropriate here: He's not a tame God. He is not safe.

    For those that know Him through Christ there is acceptance because of Jesus' righteousness and His sacrifice. However, for those who do not know Him, He is certainly not safe nor tame. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:31).

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  18. Skandelon

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    The problem is that most believers (and when I say "most believers" I really mean "me" but it makes feel better to think I'm not alone) simply learn about God through someone else and never learn to go directly to the source themselves. Some may even become theologians with a great grasp of the biblical texts, but still their knowledge of God is based upon second or third hand accounts. They fool themselves into thinking they know God because they have read stories about Him and have adopted a theological construct which helps them define God in human terms. Yet, still the intimacy between them and God is no more real than the intimacy between them and their favorite dead theologian.

    Many learn how to say “prayers,” but they are typically reduced to one-way conversations where they petition God for things they want Him to do for them. Few ever really learn to look and listen for His replies. (It seems that I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of this in my own life.)

    Many live their lives doing much in the name of God but rarely take the time to get to know the One they claim to serve. At least that has been the bulk of my Christian experience. But recently things have changed for the better, but I still feel that I have soooo far to grow. I will say that it has been so refereshing living life in Christ rather than striving to live life for Christ. To move from a place where I saw myself as a servant of God to a place where I now understand I am actually a friend of God. As Jesus said, "I no longer call you slaves but friends." Yet, how many of us still view ourselves as His servant? How many of us still serve Him out of a sense of duty and obligation...striving in some way to earn his favor and his affection. We teach we are saved and loved by grace yet we still live with the yoke of slavery and the feeling of condemnation because we can never seem to live up to what we think He must expect of us.

    For too many years I lived in that slave mentality all the while preaching "grace." I'm beginning to understand what scripture meant when it said that love drives out fear. I feel like I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of what true grace actually means. I feel like I'm learning to live in relationship with God rather than relying upon the ritual of religion to appease my guilt and shame. I cannot fully describe it...but only those who have experienced it for themselves know of what I speak.

    A friend recently taught me that ritual is a poor substitute for relationship and boy was he ever right!
     
  19. Rippon

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    Common Misconceptions About Aramaic

    Aramaic is not one monolithic language.
    More linguists today see it as a family of closely-related languages, and many of these languages are not mutually intelligible.
    Generally, however, the individual languages are known as "dialects."
    Hebrew, Amharic, and Arabic are all separate languages from Aramaic
    They are also mutually unintelligible. However, one can think of them all as sister languages, as they grew up alongside each other with common roots in Protosemitic.
    "Abba" in Aramaic does not mean "Daddy"
    This stemmed from an idea that was originally proposed by a scholar named Joachim Jeremias (b1900-d1979); mainly, that the form "abba" originated from "child-babble."
    The connection between "abba" and "daddy" was then popularized by his following.
    However, this idea was immediately challenged by a number of other scholars, such as James Barr who published an article entitled "Abba Isn't 'Daddy'" (published in Journal of Theological Studies)
    which outlined the numerous problems with such an assertion and addressed them in detail.
    "Jeremias began almost at once to retreat from the claim that "abba" had the same connotations as "daddy." In a sense, Barr's title (but only his title) misrepresents Jeremias.
    Even as Jeremias acknowledged that the word was in common use by adults and was used as a mark of repect for old men and for teachers, he continued to stress the origins in babytalk and the consequent intimacy as a special component of Jesus' use of the word.
    This meaning seems to have been the basis on which he regarded Jesus' use as absolutely distinct from the Judaism of his time. [21]
    The NT itself gives quite a different reading of ????. Each of the three occurrences of ???? in the NT is followed by the Greek translation ? ?????, "the father."
    This translation makes clear its meaning to the writers; the form is a literal translation -- "father" plus a definite article -- and like abba can also be a vocative. But it is not a diminutive of "babytalk" form. There are Greek diminutives of father (e.g., ?????? [pappas]), and the community chose not to use them.
    --Mary Rose D'Angelo. Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 111, No. 4 (Winter, 1992), pp. 615-616

    There. That should settle things.
     
  20. Allan

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    Hmmm....Your source is not only wrong in her theory, but factaully incorrect concerning it.
    Why do you try SO hard to be right even when proven to be wrong?

    First, my point is still uncontested even with respect to your quote above. No one disagrees that the word is translated as 'father' but culturally that word does not always carry the exact same meaning. This is only one your authors flaws in the above.

    Second, she is incorrect not only about where the view orginates but also who is the supposed person responsible for it's inception. A.T. Robertson precedes her assumption that Jeremias began the whole view since Jeremias was age was (1900-1979) and Robertson's was (1863 – 1934) and Robertsons works began with "Syllabus for New Testament Greek Syntax (1900)" and ended with the "Passing on the torch: and other sermons (1934)". Robertsons work, not to mention many others, predates her Jeremias theory.

    Third, Abba is not, and to my knowledge, has never been said to be 'baby-talk' or 'child-babble' with the exception of Jeremias. While he 'was incorrect' in his statement about this, he was not incorrect in it's correlation to children and both their usage and understanding of the term.

    With that in mind another note that needs to be addressed is that inherent to the meaning and who is speaking it, is the reference to us being 'children' and that 'of God'. The words usage, while true it was used by adults as well, corrisponds back to when it began being used the reasons for it's use. Thus you would also see it used of their teachers refering to their respect and affection for them being somewhat equal to that of their own fathers.

    Again, the reference to 'daddy' is not a translation issue but a cultural understanding of what the word 'father' entails and other possible words that equate to it in different cultures.

    But I do agree, it is settled.
     
    #20 Allan, Feb 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2010

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