“Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven.”
— Matthew 23:9, World English Bible
Jesus’ meaning was obviously that believers are to allow no human being to take God’s place in their lives.
Every true Christian is a child of God. See John 3:1-8, for example.
Every true Christian is in a child-father relationship with God, that is. And the implication of Jesus’ words above is that no earth-dweller of any description has the right to usurp God’s place in that relationship.
But now do note an important detail here — it may change your life.
Yes, Jesus gets to addressing the Pharisees not many verses later: they were shutting up the kingdom of heaven, devouring widows’ houses, etc. For now, however, He is talking to His followers. They were to call no man on the earth father.
Jesus’ words in this verse then are addressed not to those who try to play god in the lives of others, but to those in whose lives others try to play god.
Dear Kwa Sizabantu faithful, this concerns YOU.
A “man of God”?
How could a man of God expect you to violate what God says? Expect you to “call him your father”, that is — to obey him, a “man on the earth”, as if he were God?
A “god of Kwa Sizabantu”?
I understand that meanwhile some call Thofozi the “god of Kwa Sizabantu”. Well, here are two examples for your prayerful consideration in this connection.
1/ When Alpheus Mdlalose was dying and nobody could tell me why, I was immediately reminded of Thofozi’s 2015 comeback job. I had listened to the recording from start to finish. I knew Mdlalose — I knew he was lying.
For those who don’t know, Alpheus Mdlalose was your serious, faithful kind of guy. He was more capable of listening than most. I can still see him with that question mark on his face, as if I had seen him only this morning.
Now force a man like that to go against his own conscience, and what do you get?
Recently my suspicions were unexpectedly confirmed: Mdlalose was indeed coerced to lie so Thofozi could appear to be innocent.
One thing Matthew 23:9 is telling you today is that, whatever pressure anybody on earth puts on you, you are not to become part of a lie.
Read John 8:44, read Titus 1:2, and make up your mind who you want to call your father.
2/ Erwin Redinger wrote about a lovely, devoted girl by the name of Constance who led the singing in all the meetings when he was a coworker at Maphumulo. Next thing Thofozi “had a dream / vision” in which she saw a man she did not know, and was told that Constance had to marry this man. Then one day Thofozi saw a man she recognised as the man of her dream / vision. He was approached and told that he was to marry Constance.
“Constance of course was alarmed. Firstly, she had no intentions of getting married and secondly she wanted to serve the Lord unhinderedly. Because they insisted and told her that if she didn’t, she would be opposing the Lord, she consented, because she did not want to go against the Lord.”
Erwin Redinger had reasons for believing this stranger was not a Christian, and talked about it to Erlo Stegen. Stegen, typically, dodged the issue and sided with Thofozi anyway.
“The marriage was soon on the rocks with Constance dissillusioned and ostracised by the leadership.”
That is Stegen and Dube for you: Thofozi cannot be wrong, whatever the Bible says, and whatever the repercussions for others.
A second thing Matthew 23:9 is teaching you today is that you are not to allow anyone on earth to decide for you how God is leading you.
Consider also the KSB counselling practice in the light of Matthew 23:9.
I heard Erlo Stegen once say that the Protestants “cut themselves off from life” when they did away with the Roman Catholic confession practice.
So the Roman Catholics still have life then, right? Well, at least they are honest enough to literally call their counsellors “Father”.
No. Whatever your church affiliation, you cut yourself off from life when you cut yourself off from Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. John 14:6.
The KSB counselling practice is nothing but institutionalised violation of the principle of Matthew 23:9. It drives a wedge in between Christians and their heavenly Father.
You do not need a counsellor between you and God all the time. You are His child, not His grandchild. You have been made in His image — you can choose for yourself. Pour out your heart to Him. Psalm 62. Then take things from there.
Read about the lives of genuine men of God in Scripture. How many of them should have given up at some point, humanly speaking! The common denominator: a relationship with God.
Things may become difficult for you if you take me seriously, I know. But I also know that if there is one thing that will see you through the trials and tribulations of this life, it is your relationship with God.
Kobus du Preez
20 May 2019
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.”
— Jeremiah 17:7, NASV
Further reading: Testimony of Zarri Pauler