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Stats: 1076823 members, 1265233 topics. Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2013 at 05:36 PM
|How Scriptural Is The Phenomenon Of Spiritual Fathers And Sons? by Mr_Anony(m): 8:33am On May 13, 2012|
Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
Mathew 23:9-10 (NKJV)
From this passage, how do we justify the way we refer to our pastors and "men of God" as "father/mother in the Lord"?
Are there Christians who are more righteous than other Christians?
Is it scriptural to have ranks in the church a.k.a. member, worker, prayer warrior, deacon, junior pastor, senior pastor, bishop e.t.c?
|Re: How Scriptural Is The Phenomenon Of Spiritual Fathers And Sons? by nedostic: 10:18am On May 13, 2012|
@Anony, It is very scriptural to have deacon,prayer warrior,elders,et al. The church is an organisation,thus,responsibilities and authorities must be evenly spread otherwise the church becomes a dysfunctional entity.
As regards the issue of father or mother in the Lord or a man of God attaching PhD title to his office, it is not a biblical doctrine.
What is much more paramount for Christians most especially men of God is to live a life of asceticism and not a life of flamboyancy.
I have come to the understanding that since culture has intertwined a lot with Christianity most christian followers in Nigeria make the mistake of using some of these titles in addressing their pastors.
|Re: How Scriptural Is The Phenomenon Of Spiritual Fathers And Sons? by Mr_Anony(m): 3:02pm On May 13, 2012|
Reply, I agree with you only partially. I have issues with churches being institutionalized i.e. having some "christians" superior to other "christians". Where one has to go through a series of lessons to get baptized or work in the church. There are no christians blessed specially with the ability to pray hence are so called "prayer warriors" biblical? The church should be more about fellowship with all reverence to God and God alone. Since no Christian is more righteous than another. Why do we still revere pastors so much? By calling them "men of God" does that make other christians "men of the devil"?
I agree with the function of pastors and deacons etc but not with the authority we have conferred upon them.
|Re: How Scriptural Is The Phenomenon Of Spiritual Fathers And Sons? by Ihedinobi(m): 9:43pm On Jul 12, 2012|
There is this sense in which spiritual-father-and-son relationships are possible, in fact, indispensable, but it is not the pastor/man of God-and-congregation relationship.
It is of very great necessity that experienced and mature believers take the new ones under their wings. This is borne out in the Priscilla/Aquila-Apollos relationship and the Paul-Timothy relationship and perhaps the Barnabas-Paul relationship. This relationship is not meant to make the younger believer a blind accepter of all things said by the mature believer. The young believer is not to be molded into the image of the mature one. In fact, to be truly mature, the mature one would have learned that.
The young believer is a trust to the mature one. He is given to the mature one to be taught to know and discern the Lord for himself. The mature one does not need a title or pulpit, he only needs a life that has been forged and is yet being forged in the fires of the Lord's discipline or training. He is a father only in the sense that God mentors His new-born through him. Any true father does not try to mold his child into just any shape that pleases him, he rather endeavors to teach the child to harness his own abilities and take responsibility for himself. This is what I believe the spiritual father is tasked with, to encourage the younger in the ways of the Lord, to hold him up when he's weak, to comfort him when he fails, to strengthen him and teach him all that the spiritual father himself has been taught without reserve.
I think the Church (which is not an organisation, nesdotic, but a living breathing organism) is today in trouble for lack of true spiritual fathers, the shepherds that do not try to pull the flock to follow them, the ones that do not plunder and destroy the sheep. The true shepherds are abominably few and extremely rare to find because everyone seeks his own and none the Lord's. If the Lord in mercy raises more you would see many roused from their despondency to become the bold-as-a-lion believers Christians were reputed to be. And He is doing just that.
In Paul's words, the task of the spiritual father is to "travail" for the young believer "until Christ be formed (take definite shape, assume distinct form) in him". How many believers do you know in whom Christ is a very definite character? Isn't there so much indefiniteness? Isn't there this "not-sureness", this tendency to assume since we do not really know, abounding? Those who do know, who have been taught of the Lord and really do know their Lord and therefore can teach others to learn to discern the Lord, are really very few, my brother. The reason is that the lessons are fraught with pain and failure, but they work out in an overwhelming weight of knowledge in the Lord. Those made in the fires know and know that they know but the fires scare a great many so we have a great many half-formed, non-distinct believers and they tend to be the ones who run out to find people to disciple, thereby magnifying the damage.
As for what the Church is, it is not some organisation that needs this and that office to run smoothly. Even though we read of deacons and bishops in the New Testament, we are not allowed by the Holy Spirit to define the Church along the lines of offices. The deacons of the apostles' time represented something beyond that official duty: equity and provision in the house of the Lord, namely believers (not some building where believers gather). The bishops represented something in the Body of Christ as well: government. Do you find these things when you look at those established offices in those "churches" you perhaps have in mind, nesdotic? Bear in mind that government as defined by the Lord is the opposite of that defined by the world. While the world thinks it's the thing that gives orders to maintain order, Lord Jesus says it is the quality of taking orders to maintain order. It means that the true bishops (and they're among believers even though they're always invisible to the majority) actually are those who go looking for feet to wash among their brethren. They're the burden-bearers, the brothers and sisters you find it so easy to share your pain and sorrow in following the Lord with and who relieve you of those pains and sorrows.
The Church is more than a building, more than a ceremony, definitely above a business, the Church is the people of God, believers, every single one of them. And there isn't a true bishop who is in doubt of that.
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