I have a Catholic question...

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Spirit Seeker, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. Spirit Seeker

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    I was raised Catholic, then baptized in my current Baptist church in '94. My mother keeps trying to prove things to me, and now she is on the topic of how it is OK to call the priests 'Father.' I personally don't agree with it, but I need some unbiased and Bible-based insight on this. Thanks. :confused:
     
  2. DHK

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    Mat.23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
     
  3. Spirit Seeker

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    Tried that one...she came back with "well, then, you can't call your biological father 'father.'" Thanks anyway...appreciate it.
     
  4. John3v36

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    than ask here how you would apply it.
    what does the passage mean. she will not beable to tell you.

    Mat.23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

    Jesus did not put it in the Bible just so we would have a passage we don't understand.
     
  5. DHK

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    Of course the verse is not talking about earthly biological fathers. It is speaking about those who claim to be spiritual fathers, just as the Phairsees did. They never claimed to be the physical fathers of their students.
    DHK
     
  6. Spirit Seeker

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    Thank you both...we'll see how it goes. I may come back on this in a couple of days...she says she has a copy of something out of a Catholic Q&A book or something. I asked her if the questions were answered by catholics or by someone unbiased. She didn't know. Imagine that. She is of the old school and will believe anything in print that has to do with proving or uplifting her doctrine. Thanks again! :D
     
  7. ISJ

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    What is wrong with a Catholic owning a book by Catholics. Are Baptists allowed to use books written by Baptists? Can someone actually be unbiased when it comes to religion? I don't think so.

    The problem here is that your looking at a verse and using it to suit your own purposes without regard to the intent of the verse.

    In biblical times "father" was used as a polite form of address for an authoritative figure (see Jdg. 17:10, 1 Sam. 24:11, 2 Kings 5:13). In Matthew, Jesus was not prohibiting us from treating people with respect, only clearly accusing the pharisees of setting up systems of authority that replaced God's authority.
     
  8. Spirit Seeker

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  9. Johnv

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    I don't have a problem with referring to people by Rev, Fr, Pastor, Dr, Honorable, etc. It's a sign of respect. They're not titles, per se, but salutations, which is perfectly appropriate biblically. People referred to the Jewish teachers as "Teacher" or "Rabbi", and this was not discouraged. I used to be a Sunday School teacher, and the protocol was that we all be called by a salutation, and then our name, ie, I was "Mr John" and aide was "Miss Ashley". It was respect, and it was non-pretentious.
     
  10. Spirit Seeker

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    I'm sorry I even brought this topic up. I have so many questions about why catholics believe certain things (even though I was brought up catholic; I wasn't taught why, just do it). After nine years my mother is still trying to re-convert me and I'm tired of it. It is very distressing, especially when she starts in on my kids (13 and younger). I just wanted some help, something to tell her that her church wasn't a perfect church (like SHE believes), none are perfect. Every time I turn around she's trying to prove something else to me. She can't just respect me and my beliefs and leave me alone on the subject (I don't say anything about her beliefs unless she starts the conversation; I try to show respect). I apparently either chose the wrong topic or the wrong place to discuss it.
     
  11. Kathryn

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    "They also honored us with many marks of respect; and when we were setting sail, they supplied us with all we needed." Acts 28:10
     
  12. Kathryn

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    "I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children." 1 Corinthians 4:14

    "My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you--"Galatians 4:19

    St. Paul considered himself their spiritual father without in anyway denying the Fatherhood of God.
     
  13. ISJ

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    Don't take things so personally. There is no reason to. But if you are not open to change, then you can never know if anything you believe is wrong or right. I respect your beliefs, but the beliefs of others might be right too. Just keep an open mind and never go out just to prove someone wrong.

    Love in Christ.
     
  14. Priscilla Ann

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    Spirit Seeker:

    I know exactly how you feel. After I left the Catholic Church, my mother tried to "re-convert" me too. This created tension between us for a long time, because we are both very passionate about our beliefs. Over time, my mother and I both learned to cherish the relationship we have with each other, and to focus on the common beliefs that we have about God. I am happy to say that our relationship is better than ever.

    Try not to be drawn into arguments with your mom. I finally had to say, "Mom, I just don't think we can discuss this right now." Each of us finally realized that the other was not going to change her mind, and we didn't want to say hurtful things to each other.

    Also, pray for your mom and enjoy your time with her.


    Priscilla Ann
     
  15. Headcoveredlady

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    Spirit Seeker,
    I understand what you are going through. I was born again over 11 years ago and my mom still tries to get me back in to Catholicism.

    I have not arrived at the perfect answer for dealing with this, but here are some things that have helped me:

    1) I began earnestly praying for her soul, that she would be saved.

    2) I try to pray, (forget sometimes,) BEFORE I call her.

    3) I try to bring up Jesus, not religion. She always wants to put me in some box with others. Like if she hears of someone who does something bad who attends a Baptist church, she automatically talks bad about Baptists. I always try to tell her I am born again.

    4) I don't know if your mom watches the news, but mine does. She will call me and tell me about the illnesses that are out and about the war. And when she does I tell her that I am not surprised, because all of this is in the Bible. I try to get her interested in the Bible.

    5) Just love her and be a testimony to her. Maybe one day she will realize that the reason you are a new person is only because of Jesus.

    I hope this gives you some help and know that you are not alone in this type of problem.

    If you want to send me a private message that is fine too.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    When the priest is called "Father" it is in the spiritual sense in which also the Pope is called "Holy Father" - this is in the most direct sense a violation of the Biblical injunction.

    So when Christ prays "Our Father" it is in fact to The Holy Father - .

    Others may "claim that title" - but only one is the Holy Father.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  17. Spirit Seeker

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    Thank you, Headcovered lady...I will be writing you soon. It's nice to finally meet someone in my situation. People who were not raised catholic have NO idea what it is like when the rest of the family comes at you like this.

    To others that have responded: I wasn't trying to 'prove' anything, per se...just wanted to show her that no religion is perfect. Like I said, I must have picked the wrong topic. The point I was trying to make is that, as I said before, my mother puts priests, the pope, etc., on a pedestel. She treats them as if they actually are 'holy,' so to speak (to the extreme that she believes the priest actually physically changes the bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ). They may be 'men of the cloth,' and yes they do deserve respect because they have chosen to live their lives serving the Lord, but 'men' is the key word here. They are simply men, and sinners just like the rest of us.
     
  18. Daniel Vollmer

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    I guess I am on the other side of the arguement as you Spirit Seeker, I have a sister who left the Catholic faith and I contribute it to her lack of knowledge of her faith. For myself I was brought up Catholic but with no negative talk or feelings by my family or church towards protestants. By coincidence about a year or two ago I got into a discussion about my religion with a Baptist who brought up the "Call no man Father issue". My first response as a Catholic who did not do too much reading of the Bible was that I was sure there was a logical explanation for why we call priests father. So I proceeded to look into the issue and read the scriptures but more importantly the context around that particular scripture. Here is the scripture you are talking about...

    Matthew 23:1-14
    Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;
    therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues,
    and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.


    As my understanding as a Catholic, Jesus was chastising the Pharisees and scribes for they abused their titles and took titles of honor while giving heavy burdens to the people below them. We don't see what Jesus said as being a universal statement without exception. How best to chastise the Pharisees then to take away their title.


    Also In John 4:12, He did not correct the Samaritan woman who said: "Art thou greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well? . . ."

    In John 8:56, He Himself used the term, for Abraham: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he was to see my day . . .

    Saint Paul, following the example of Christ, did not take these words in their literal sense.

    He calls the Corinthians his spiritual children: "For although you have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet you have not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, through the gospel, did I beget you." (1 Cor. 4:15)

    He calls Timothy his "beloved SON in the faith." (1 Tim. 1:2)

    He speaks of the Corinthians as his CHILDREN: ". . . but I admonish you as my dearest children." (1 Cor. 4:14)

    He tells the Philippians that the proof of Timothy's loyalty is to be found in the fact that he had served Paul in the Gospel as "a Son with the FATHER." (Phil. 2:22) See also: 1 Thes. 2:11.


    Also if we adhere to the literal interpretation:

    All honorary titles would be forbidden. Judges, mayors, etc., could not be called "Your Honor." Presidents, ambassadors, etc., could not be called "Your Excellency."

    Physicians could not be called 'Doctor" and ministers could not be called "Reverend."

    We could not call our own male parent "Father" for there would be no exceptions under the literal interpretation.

    Likewise we could no longer call Washington the "Father of the Country."

    We could not use the expression "Mister" for this is equivalent to "Master" and the same text says, "Neither be ye called masters. ..."

    Nor could we use the term "Sir" for this is a contraction of "Sire" which means "Lord" or "Master."

    Therefore as Catholics we feel, this text of St. Matthew is not to be taken literally or as a general law. Catholic priests do not demand this title. It is for them a source of humility rather than of pride, for it reminds the priest of his obligation as a spiritual FATHER to his flock.

    I hope this clarifies the Catholic view point. I also hope that you and your mother come to an understanding. I know my sister who left the Catholic church is a very spiritual person as yourself and we often have discussions about our beliefs. She admits that she never tried to get answers to questions posed to her by friends. I pray for her return to the Catholic faith as I feel she is missing the fullness of the faith, but if this never happens I feel she is in good hands with our protestant brothers. I don't say this to put down my fellow protestants, I just know that I never understood the richness of my faith until I was challenged and decided to find out for myself. God Bless you all.

    Yours in Christ
    Daniel
     
  19. Spirit Seeker

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    Bravo! The most detailed explanation yet, not to mention gently and kindly presented. I do understand the catholic viewpoint now. Although there are many, many catholic beliefs with which I do not agree, I do try to at least understand them. That's why I asked my initial question in the first place.

    Between the suggestions from Headcovered lady and the facts provided by you I will be more able to deal with this conversation with my mother. The main problem with her (and the rest of her family) is that they think that catholics are 'the one and only true church' and the only ones who have it right. They are fanatical about pushing every tidbit of catholocism at me that they can, they constantly try to 'prove' things to me so they will feel like they are one up on me, and they refuse to respect how I have chosen to worship, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and how I wish to raise my kids. All I can do is pray for them.

    Bless You. [​IMG]
     
  20. GraceSaves

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    The issue of "father" is a matter of "tradition," not "Tradition." It is a practice, not a doctrine.

    God bless,

    Grant
     

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