Thursday, August 17, 2017

1 Corinthians 4:15 Does Not Justify Calling Roman Catholic Priests "Father" Or The Popes "Holy Father"

  • The Scripture Passage Being Examined:
          -"Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel." (1 Corinthians 4:15)
  • Roman Catholic Reasoning:
          -Apologists for the Church of Rome cite 1 Corinthians 4:15 as a biblical proof-text for the Papacy, namely as a defense of using religious titles of honor. It has been argued by some that since the Apostle Paul referred to himself as a "father" figure, that the priests and head of the Catholic hierarchy have been given the same right to be exalted with titles through apostolic succession.
  • Refutation Of The Roman Catholic Argument:
          -The apostles only thought of themselves as being "fathers" in a strictly spiritual sense, which is entirely different than parading around religious titles for honor. The word "fathers" in the text of 1 Corinthians 4:15 is used metaphorically to denote that the apostles "birthed" (meaning that they made new converts through the preaching of the gospel and thus led them to eternal salvation) and educated converts in the principles of the faith. In other words, they worked to establish, preserve, and build up the Christian church of the first century so that it could continue to thrive successfully by God's grace in future generations. 
  • Note What Scripture Says About Exalting Leaders Above Others And Judging By Worldly Standards:
          -"I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written, so that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over against another." (1 Corinthians 4:6)

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