By Erasmus Makarimayi
In the perilous times we’re living in of apostasy and heresy many have been shaken and confused. This piece isn’t premised on any denominational persuasion, but a strict and simple Bible interpretation.
My purview isn’t to ruffle feathers nor to authenticate any human opinion. I am simply laying bare biblical truths. This produces freedom to us all. Jesus tells us so in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
If someone wakes up one morning with a dream or vision and starts a ministry and are called apostle, prophet or archbishop, will they be correct to call their congregants spiritual sons or daughters?
I am a pastor, if mature Christians or other pastors join our ministry can I call them sons and daughters? Can a young minister in terms of age call the elderly of their congregation spiritual sons and daughters? These questions and many others need sober and unemotional approach.
Oftentimes, someone quotes or even misquotes a Bible verse to spell out a doctrine. This is one of the reasons why there are so many schisms and error in the body of Christ. Simple Bible study teaches us that you need more than one verse to lay any doctrinal practice.
Scriptural practice is 2 or 3 witnesses. Jesus teaches in Matthew 18:16, “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
Having quoted just this verse, it’s still not enough support to lay doctrine. So let’s look for more support. In settling disputes, we’re taught in 1 Corinthians 14:27, “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.”
Further still, 1 Corinthians 14:29 advises, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.” We can strengthen this further. In judging inspirational gifts of the Holy Spirit; 2 Corinthians 13:1 establishes, “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
This also corresponds with what we laid out last week in terms of what we said constitutes doctrine of the New Testament church. For progress, please refer to last week’s instalment.
We require more than a statement. Apart from that, we must read the entire scriptures to see all the contents in a contextual application.
Remember we started by quoting Matthew 23:9 which is used to rebut acceptance of spiritual fathers and sons (and daughters).
It reads: “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”
Now let’s study deeper. If the verse was meant to mean “Don’t call anyone your father”, then we’re either being taught to live in denial or disrespect.
However, that’s not consistent with Jesus’ teaching and biblical order. This is so because Jesus referred to fathers.
Here’s the evidence. Matthew 19:19 records Jesus’ words, “Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
He was referring to Exodus 20:12, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” He must be regarding earthly fathers. Luke 11:11 also records, “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”
Don’t be quick to conclude, we have not yet tackled the crux of spiritual fatherhood and childhood.
So far, our verses support Jesus’ teaching on a relationship of dependence and supply called Father and Son.
We read in Luke 15:11-12: “And he said, A certain man had two sons:  And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.”
This parable, just like others, acknowledges fathers other than God. Elsewhere He acknowledges the fatherhood rights.
He says in John 8:44: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
We can safely say, God is Father to those who have faith in Christ. John 1:12 supports, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
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