Spiritual Fatherhood of mere men over other men is a heresy, It is a common feature of The New Apostolic Reformation, Word of Faith/ Prosperity Theology and Catholicism, but before we dismantle this lie into pieces we shall quickly make a summary of Matthew 23:7-10
Jesus certainly does not mean that we should not call our natural male parent father, Since God is Spirit its apparent that what Jesus means here is that we cannot call any man “Father” in reference to spiritual things, for the title father denotes authority and power, and in the spiritual sense none has authority and power except God.
Matthew 23:9 certainly is not an isolated verse for in the veres after, Christ prohibits the desiples from accepting any title that defines them as Master for He alone is Master, thus Jesus actually warns the desciples from usurping His role. In the preceeding verses to Matthew 23:9, Jesus does expose Pharisees and Scribes as the ones who love to be called by titles that inflate their worth in spiritual matters.
The words of Jesus in Matthew 23:7-10 applied to the Apostles while castigating the Pharisees and Scribes for their own obsession over titles that inflated their worthless state to the level of God.
We must never deceive ourselves to think that any body can NOW claim to be another man’s spiritual father or spiritual child, We are NOT to think of ourselves so highly that we think Matthew 23:7-10 applied only to them and not to us.
Ascribing the role of spiritual Father to a mere human is an an invention of the Pharisee who seeks to unashamadely inflate self worth. Guess who loves to inflate self worth? Its the Word of Faith Pastor, Prosperity theology proponent and The New Ager.
In fact its idolatry to think of a fellow man as a Spiritual Father, first of all its as good as thinking that a man can lead another into spiritual rebirth, yet this is false for Only the Holy Spirit can regenerate a human unto Spiritual Birth.
Not only are “believers” manipulated by this obviously unbiblical doctrine, but Persons of the Holy Trinity are made mockery of.
Since spiritual growth and birth is attributed to a mere man, the work of the Holy Spirit in Regeneration is ignored, Since the human “spiritual father” is believed to have direct contact with God the Father, the mediatorship of Jesus Christ is ignored.
Since the “spiritual father” either claims or is said, by followers to have power to bless or curse, the Fatherhood and Sovereignity of God is ignored.
Thus the human “spiritual father” doctrine is an idolatrous doctrine that places man in the place of the Holy Trinity.
However despite the fact that scripture is clearly against this spiritual fatherhoood craze, the spiritual fatherhood nonesense is to be found as doctrine in many churches. The Spiritual Father aspect is so essential to the sustainace of many churches.
For instance Shepherd Bushiri makes a claim that a fellow false prophet Ubert Angel is his Spiritual father to whom he owes obidience, Ubert Angel & Emmanuel Makandiwa claim Victor Boateng as their spiritual father to whom they submit to, now the reason for this public display of respect and allegiance is the false prophet knows that once it appears that He is submissive to somebody prominent, his followers will not only submit to him but will unquestionably obey what he commands even if it does not measure up with scripture.
– SPIRITUAL FATHERHOOD DOCTRINE, A CONTROL TECHNIQUE
The Spiritual Father aspect enables the leader of a denomination to easily control, manipulate and control followers. Followers can easily be threatened with curses if they ever disobey the “spiritual father” who apparently is thought to be connected directly to God.
Obviously they will cite a lot of scripture, for instance they will cite the example of Elijah and Elisha, Some will attempt to use the example of Paul and Timothy, In the Old testament all the Prophets such as Elijah and Elisha are not a source of instruction in themselves rather they are pointers to the person and work of Jesus Christ in the Grand Plan of Redemption, thus Elisha and Elijah are shadows of He who is Greater than all of them.
The story of Elijah and Elisha is no basis for the spiritual father craze. Even Paul could not have ever caused the Spiritual Rebirth of Timothy; rather Paul was gifted in instructing Timothy in the gospel of Jesus Christ. No man can give another spiritual birth!
A believer is born again of the Spirit. Thus no man can lay claim of the title Spiritual Father because no “prophet” “apostle” pastor or evangelist can cause spiritual birth of another man. Man may only be endowed with gifts of preaching and teaching not of causing spiritual rebirth.
Many who support this false doctrine of Spiritual fatherhood claim that God speaks directly to the spiritual father who happens to be the founder of the denomination on behalf of a whole denomination. This is utter nonsense, a doctrine that usurps Hebrews 1:1-2 which explains the fact that: In the days past at many times and many ways God spoke to our fathers in many ways but in our time He has spoken unto us in these lasts days by way of His son. So there is just no room for the man made spiritual father to again act as a prophet revealing unto us what God intends.
To claim that a church founder can hear from God directly on behalf of the congregation is as good as bringing back the Levitical priesthood yet fact is Christ fulfilled all the requirements of Law and is our High Priest. To claim that a church founder can hear from God directly on behalf of the congregation usurp the role of Jesus Christ as mediator between God and men because they is only one mediator between God and men and that is Jesus Christ.
The Prophets of the old and their prophecies specifically where as pointers to the ministry and work of Jesus Christ, Even the last of these prophets John the Baptist on being told that Jesus was amassing many followers He said “ I must decrease and He must increase” because He knew that His mission had been to point people to Christ, yet this is the very person that Jesus spoke of and said “ among all men born of women is none greater than John” The Apostles too where foundations of the church in that they explained further the doctrine [ teaching] that the church ought to follow in relation to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God being Sprit is the only one who can lay claim to this title of Spiritual Father. To claim Spiritual Fatherhood is blasphemy and lack of reverence for that which only God can do. Yet even after this explanation, someone will still argue and say interpretations differ.
Yet let me state it here in no uncertain terms that scripture interprets scripture and to bring an idea into scripture from outside scripture is plain horrendous because all scripture is to be interpreted in light of Christ!
– HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
it’s very unfortunate that History is repeating itself, About 500 years the Christendom ascended into Reformation, God gave boldness to Reformers who rebelled against the overtly pagan and unbiblical practices of the Catholic Church.
One of the most unbiblical practices of the Catholic Church, then and now is the fact that the papacy claims fatherhood of all Christendom on basis of obvious misinterpretation of Matthew 16:15-18. Matthew 16:15-18 says “He [Jesus] said to them, but who do you say that I am? Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, The son of the Living God. And Jesus answered him blessed are you; Simon Bar- Jonah for Flesh and Blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you are Peter, on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Now Catholics have always believed that Peter was the first pope, therefore every other pope is thought of and referred to as a successor of Peter thus they obviously take Matthew 16:18 where Jesus said “ on this rock I will build my church” to mean that Jesus was referring to Peter as the Rock and church as The Roman Catholic.
The truth of the matter is that the rock that Jesus was referring to in Matthew 16:18 is the revelation that was given to Peter by God the Father as the basis on which He would build the church. The “church” in that verse is not referring to the Catholic Church or a particular denomination but the wholesome body of elect across the ages since the Apostolic age.
Attached to this false sense of fatherhood the papacy claims infallibility, Infallibility of the pope is the false and devilish doctrine of the Catholic Church which asserts that the Pope is not capable of error pertaining doctrine when He speaks in the capacity of his office as pope. This falsehood effectively contradicts the biblical notion that only scripture is sufficient & inerrant in all matters of Christian Faith and life.
Part of the heritage of all Protestants is to revere God and never usurp any of His roles like what the papacy and catholiscm do, yet many protestants are adamantly stuck to the falsehoods of “spiritual fatherhood”
Many Protestants today in an obviously state of zeal with little knowledge are ignorant of the History of the church since at least AD 70. Many in charismatic circles are only concerned with the history of their own denomination, many of these denominations are less than a 100 years old yet the history of new testament Christianity is over 1900 years old. Thus they so fall into heresy that Christians in the past stood against while missing out on a rich heritage of shared beliefs based on scripture that Christians in the past adhered to.