Jesus said, “Call no man on earth father, for you all have one Father who is in heaven.” Yet Paul called Timothy, Titus, and Onesimus his “sons” and sometimes used “father” language when addressing the churches. Was Paul contradicting Jesus?
Instead of cherry-picking scriptures, adapting extreme views, and reviling anyone who sees differently, we need to get to the heart of the issue. “Spiritual Fathers Or Brothers?” clears up the confusion and helps us to understand the heart of both Paul’s teaching and Jesus’ teaching. While acknowledging that Christian leaders should share in the father heart of God, it also highlights the unhealthy dynamics that result if we go beyond scripture in our emphasis on “fathering” young disciples.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-80
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I'm a charismatic Christian, and many Charismatic churches emphasize a model of "spiritual fathers and sons." It's presented as a really good idea for discipleship, and people quote the apostle Paul to back it up.
However, I've experienced some unhealthy dynamics resulting from an overemphasis on this "spiritual parenting" model. While I do believe that Christian leaders should share in God's "father heart," I've become convinced that the scriptural model for how we relate to leaders is brothers, not "spiritual parents." The church needs a better understanding of this issue.