Don’t Call Him Father

Well guys, our favorite mysterious guest blogger is back! He’ll now be going by the pen name of Elliott Villanueva. Let’s give a round of applause, shall we? I, for one, always enjoy his well thought-out (possibly unorthodox) views. If you do as well, why not leave a comment and let him know?

 

If you are expecting this post to be a feminist attack on the identity of God, you will be disappointed. Rather, this is call for change in how we refer to, and think of God. The change that I believe we need is, for us as Christians, to cut back on referring to God as our father as much as we currently do. This belief stems from the culture we live in; I feel that referring to God as a father sells Him short and downplays even what we as humans can comprehend of His love.

Now, is He our Father? Yes He is. So then, what is the problem with referring to Him as our Father? The problem does lie with Him; but rather with fathers here on earth.

I am assuming that you are aware of the staggering and saddening statistics regarding fathers in America today. For the purposes of this post, just look around you; there is no need for statistics for you to see the huge problems that exist; and unfortunately, Christian fathers are not exempt.

Now, earthy fathers are human; and therefore fallen, but don’t you think fathers in our society could still be doing a better job than they currently are? I do not have the space nor the wisdom and knowledge to write about what a father should be doing; but if you would like to purse this topic further, there is a great book by Stephen and Alex Kendrick that dives right into what fathers should be doing titled, “The Resolution for Men.”

 Due to the reality of fathers today, when we talk about fathers both inside and outside the church, there is a lot of hollowness in the word father; there can be painful baggage attached as well. Many Americans today do not really know what a father is supposed to do for them; so they can’t relate when we call God our father.

Furthermore, we often project the image of our earthly fathers onto God. The church has recognized this problem, but their response still falls short in my opinion. We attempt to compensate by talking about God as our perfect father, which He is; however there is a major flaw in using this phrase to describe God. Here is the flaw I see; if the only point of reference you had for a father was a highly imperfect dad, your view of what a perfect father does will be obstructed by your limited viewpoint. When you are told of a perfect father, your understanding of that perfect father is limited to only the things your imperfect father did right, and the opposite of what your imperfect father did wrong. This is essentially all you can comprehend of the love of a father; but God is so much more than what an imperfect father did right or wrong.

So even calling God a perfect father is not a worthy compromise because of the limited view of fathers we have in our society today. I am not stating that we should never refer to God as our father; there are instances where I believe it is entirely appropriate to do so. What I am arguing for is simply this; let’s make sure we do our best to communicate who God is and what His characteristics really are before we associate Him with our earthly father.

Advertisements

One thought on “Don’t Call Him Father

  1. I think the only danger with this is you’re saying that the title of father is one that should be denied to God because of how bad earthly fathers can be. Yes, there are some absolutely dreadful examples of fathers on our planet today, but that doesn’t devalue the title – which is a sacred one. God *Himself* calls Himself a father (psalm 68:5), and Jesus refers to him multiple times as Father (John 17 being the most intimate examples). Who are we to say, “my dad here was a moron, so there’s no way you can be any better, let alone the fact that you are the Creator of the universe and the reason I’m breathing right now?”

    What we should do is see the title of father through the eyes of God. He created us. He sustains us. He lavishes His affection on us. He is the giver of perfect gifts. He’s creating a home for us. *That* is a father. We’re the ones who should be avoiding the title when it comes to our imperfect actions. It’s something I’ve been convicted of when I’ve argued with my dad, who is imperfect, but still tries to be a dad. You see what you’re looking for, and if you’re looking for examples of dad’s who were absent, abusive, and dishonoring to the title, you’ll see it. If you look for examples of people trying their damnedest, you will find them. Because we’re the children of God, we have every duty to reclaim the title of Father

    Too long; didn’t read: stop thinking that your human projections can affect the nature of God and how people see Him. He is our Father, and no crappy paternal experience can change that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s