Call No Man “Father” – A Surrejoinder to Rome’s Apologists

imposterNo, Seriously.

Christians universally recognize that there is only One Holy Father, viz. God the Father. This is why we refuse to call the pope, or any other sinner, “Holy Father.” This is also why, following our Lord Jesus’ command in Matt 23:9, we refuse to use the title “Father” as an official title for any man in ministerial service. Christians have pointed out that the Roman Catholic religion is staunchly contradicting the Lord Jesus Christ by claiming that the title “Father” may be used as a proper title for a teacher in the church.  Yet, rather than repenting of what is clearly a violation of the Lord Jesus’ command, Romanist apologists attempt to muddy the waters by citing passages of Scripture in which the word “father” is applied to men.

Ironically, one of passages cited by the Romanist apologists at Catholic Answers is 1st Cor 4:14-15. In this passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul states:

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.[1]

I say the use of it is ironic because it flatly contradicts the notion that the priest over one parish can legitimately be called a person from a different parish’s spiritual father. Paul states that Christians may have countless guides in Christ but they have only one spiritual father. Paul, moreover, explains why this is so when he declares: “…I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” The Corinthians were “birthed” to Paul through the preaching and reception of the Gospel.

Paul explicitly contradicts the idea that Christians can have multiple spiritual fathers, men under whose preaching they have never sat and listened and been converted. Christians have only one true Father, God; we also have only one figurative spiritual father, i.e. the preacher through whom we have heard and received and believed the Gospel.

Thus, the Roman Catholic religion’s priests are doubly wrong in accepting the title “father.” Firstly, as noted already, the title only applies in instances where the addressee is the minister through whom one has received the Gospel one later believes unto salvation. Secondly, the title can only be applied to one who actually preaches the Gospel – and the Roman Catholic religion does not preach the Gospel. Neither the priests in general (i.e. as ministers) nor individual Roman Catholic priests, therefore, are to be called by the title “father.” 

How then can these spiritually infertile men be fathers of any of God’s people (in the sense used by Paul)?

They cannot.

We have but one Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have but one spiritual father or father in the faith/mentor, and that is the minister of the Word through whose preaching we have come to know and, subsequently, believe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria.


[1] See Call No Man “Father”?, <>, Accessed on June 3, 2016.


9 thoughts on “Call No Man “Father” – A Surrejoinder to Rome’s Apologists

  1. Patrick says:

    So, two thousand years of witness, study, and practice vs. your newer theory of what Christianity is.

    So, two thousand years of tradition — Apostolic tradition — established by Christ and given the H.S to guide the Church vs. your modern theory.

    So, tow thousand years of men calling their bishops “father” — people who lived even during the time of the Apostles — vs. your religion which I doubt is no older than plastic.

    Surely, if your theory were correct, you could point to some ancient commentary or teaching that supports it. But of course, you can’t. Instead, all you would find is that the entirety of Christian history testifies to a Church that calls her priests father. Even the good folks who determined what the Bible is were called fathers. In other words, what you’re teaching ain’t Christian, it’s some religion the Apostles wouldn’t recognize.

    But hey, good attempt to re-write one of modern Protestantism’s most misunderstood protests!


    • Hiram says:

      There is a logical contradiction that obtains when Rome says “father” is a legit title for any priest to be called (I.e. when Rome says “You have many fathers…”) and the Scriptures declare unambiguously that Christians do not have many fathers.

      All the posturing and historical revisionism from Rome cannot erase that one glaring contradiction.


      • Patrick says:

        No revisionism (on “Rome’s) part, just your own inability to recognize how the Church understands her own book.

        You telling “Rome” how to interpret her own book is like me telling a Muslim how to interpret the Quaran, or a Mormon how to interpret the BofM.

        I suggest you actually learn how the Church understands Mt. 23:9. Then, if you’re *really* interested in the truth business, address “Rome’s” best arguments and then attack those. But, of course, you’re Protestant; so you’ll use one verse instead of the 20ish or so that form the foundation of the Church’s stance.

        I look forward to your argument…


          • Patrick says:

            So, in other words, you have no argument. All you have is some modern angst against the Church and how she interprets her own Book. Wow, Protestantism is hared WORK(s)!


          • Patrick says:

            Seriously, though.
            Please explain how the RC position is “illogical” and “revisionist”. Explain how a 2,000 year practice can be replaced by your practice, and then called “biblical”. Not fighting, just wanting a Protestant to write something that makes sense regarding this.

            As you hopefully do that, please use ONLY THE BIBLE! (Example: the Bible nowhere teaches that people shouldn’t call religious figures “father”; it says “call no man father.” So, please use only the Bible and not your modern tradition…)

            Again, looking forward to your argument (but not holding my breath).


            • Hiram says:

              I used the Bible alone, Patrick.

              Paul explicitly says: “Though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.”

              What does this mean?

              He tells us: Those who can be called “father” in this spiritual sense are those through whom one has received the Gospel message and been converted.

              This excludes any other from using the title.

              Paul says Christians do not have many fathers in Christ.
              Your religion says Christians do have many fathers in Christ.

              Paul is speaking the Word of God.
              Your religion is contradicting him.

              This is a contradiction, one of many, that renders your religion irrational and not of Divine origin.

              You can search my blog for more articles on the internal contradictions your religion is riddled with.

              I even wrote a small book demonstrating the contradictions contained in your religion’s own official catechism.

              The thing is, however, I don’t need to give you an extensive list of arguments to demonstrate that your religion is irrational and not of Divine origin. All I need is one instance of your religion holding to a belief that contradicts the Scriptures or an instance of your religion adhering to a set of beliefs (supposedly garnered from “Sacred Tradition”) that are mutually exclusive/contradictory.

              I’ve done the former in this blog post. In other posts, and in my short book “Refuting Romanism Vol. 1: A Logical Treatise” I have done the latter.

              Soli Deo Gloria


  2. Hiram says:

    Patrick, deal with the contradiction. Do Christians have more than one spiritual father in the faith, as your religion claims, or do they not, as the Scriptures explicitly state?


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