We live in interesting times. New fangled inventions emerge daily. And that in itself is not a bad thing. I am writing this on my phone as we head back home. We have come a long way from the days of the word processor. Indeed a long way from the bush telegraph and carrier pigeons. Some changes are good. Certain other things that have evolved though, that are not necessarily so. I don’t know how or when, but they are now as firmly entrenched as though they have always been.
Before I continue, I must remind you that this is all about life as I see it. So relax, and come with me if you please.
He said what he meant. He meant what he said. He was quite an orator. He spoke at length because he knew his time was limited. He is still with us, only not in the form he once was. He spoke about many things, and importantly, taught us how to pray. The first line of the prayer is ‘Our Father, who art in heaven’
In some parts of Christiandom today, there is this term known as ‘spiritual father’. It is usually used to refer to a pastor whose teachings are so inspirational that the ‘spiritual child’ has decided to closely follow said pastor’s ministry. And so you hear people saying ‘So and so is my spiritual father, I have all his books etc’. This might be a very simplistic way of putting my point across, but I hope you catch my drift.
So where did it all start from? And how did it become such an integral part of the Christianese vocabulary?
I do not profess to be a Bible scholar. Far from it. I read it though, as regularly as I am able to, but am yet to come across any part that says we are to appoint our fellow human beings as our spiritual fathers. If perchance, it is written in there, I would appreciate it if you my reader can point it out, so I can go back, read it, and update this post with my findings accordingly.
I know that in these interesting times that we live in, it is now a fairly straightforward process to divorce one’s parents. The process of doing this is called emancipation. Children do it for various reasons, some justifiable, others not so much. But how do you divorce a spiritual father? If somewhere along your journey you discover that the humble, tongue speaking charismatic preacher that you have admired for so many years has fallen headlong into sin, what would you do? Disown him? Declare that he is no longer your father? In which court?
I believe the reason why he started the prayer the way he did was because he knew the hearts of men. And he understood that no matter how anointed we are, we are still human. Subject to the same temptations and failings that the rest of the human race face daily. So he directed us to the only one who could nurture us perfectly.
Our Father, in heaven.