對於「屬靈父親」和「教父母(代父母)」兩個詞彙的誤解

對於「屬靈父親」和「教父母(代父母)」兩個詞彙的誤解

     在正教會,屬靈父親和教父母(代父母)的區別是非常明確的。但令人難過的是,某些正教徒,非華人,為了控制和利用人們,將這兩個詞混用,他們目的在於使教會變為國族主義,或佔人們的便宜。

為了華人朋友,我們來釐清「屬靈父親」和「教父母(代父母)」的差別。

屬靈父親是一位引導基督徒屬靈生命的人,這是非常神聖的使命。

並非任何人都可以成為屬靈父親。屬靈父親是神聖的職責,是由正教會賦予、指派給非常屬靈的人來擔任,好讓他可以聆聽、了解並引導基督徒活出教會的教導。

屬靈父親,是教會的制度(institution),多數是司祭,好讓他也能賜允基督徒教會的寬恕。他是男修院院長或女修院院長(但因為女修院院長不是司祭,因此她會建議屬靈子女請司祭行懺悔聖事)。

屬靈子女必須向他的屬靈父親(或指導者)敞開生命一切所有,不只是罪,也包括生活態度,所有事情,好讓屬靈指導者給予建議。就像現代人向醫生或心理學家敞開心靈和秘密,也必須同樣地對屬靈父親這麼做。

如果有人想有一個屬靈父親,他必須跟從屬靈父親的建議,並且必須信任屬靈父親。這是導向謙卑之路,並且開始敞開自己,再也不自我導向(自我中心)。

請司祭行懺悔聖事,和擁有一個屬靈父親是不同的。屬靈指引是聖靈的恩賜,是在教會內,也並非任何人都可成為屬靈父親,或屬靈子女。許多人因為有行懺悔聖事,就認為自己有屬靈父親,但並非如此,因為他們並不想聽取建議和指引。

當然,如果有人想成為修士,他首先必須找到一位屬靈父親並順服他。屬靈父親對屬靈子女負有極為重大的責任。我用「子女」一詞,而非士兵或僕人。因為屬靈父親才是真正的僕人,他「服事」並指引他人-雖然在內心他是屬靈父親。

屬靈父親尊重屬靈子女的人格,即使子女並不成熟,並不總是能了解這一點。屬靈父親試著找到方法,來幫助子女培養和增進馬太福音25:15所說的恩賜(才幹),這恩賜是神賜予這子女的。而最終子女會長大成人,如同以弗所書4:13所寫。

教父母(代父母)是教會的成員,他們實際上協助某人透過聖洗聖事進入教會,或透過婚姻聖事活出基督徒的生命。

教父母最好是夫妻,但如果情況不允許,單單一位男士或女士也是足夠的。教父母:
幫助人進入基督正教會。
—正式地引介人們到教會(引介給司祭),並見證此人確實想領受聖洗或婚姻聖事。
—請求教會允許他們教導慕道者。地方教會的司祭指派CATHEHIST(較低階的司祭職份)來正確地教導

慕道者,最終由司祭來檢核將要領受聖洗者的信仰是否正確。

教父母在聖洗和婚姻聖事中代表基督徒社群。這是為何他們協助司祭並模仿司祭某些行動,例如為將領洗者塗抹聖油,配戴十架項鍊,交換王冠。但教父母是在靜默中做這些動作,而且是由司祭將聖油、十架項鍊、王冠等物品交給他們。

教父母成為教子的家人(因此教父母不能與教子結婚,教父母的親生子女也不能和教子結婚)。教父母在經濟上幫助教子,或以任何方式協助他們面對生活中的難題。

混淆教父母的職份和屬靈父親的職份是非常危險的。教父母不能成為教子的屬靈父親(除非他是司祭),不能向他人說明如何祈禱或什麼時候、多麼頻繁地領受聖體聖血…等等。

如果教父母這麼做,他是在創造假教會,假靈性。如果他不是引領他的教子到教會,他就是在分裂教會。我已經看見這種情況,人們因為國族主義,利用了不知情的、懷有良善態度的華人,並試圖在靈性上引導這些華人。對華人來說,要辨別揭露這樣的事是容易的,如果人們是在背地裡秘密地指導靈性生活,沒有經過地方教會司祭的允許。這些人就是耶穌在馬太福音書23:15所說的「你們這假冒為善的文士和法利賽人有禍了!因為你們走遍洋海陸地,勾引一個人入教,既入了教,卻使他作地獄之子,比你們還加倍」。

In the orthodox church, it is very clear the difference between the spiritual father   and the god-parents. but sadly , some orthodox , (not from Chinese origin), they use the above words with a confusing way , in order to CONTROL people and to USE them , for their own purposes, which can be, to make the church nationalistic or to take advantage of them.

So we make clear for our Chinese people the words “spiritual father” and “god father  mother” or “god parents”

-“spiritual father” is the person who has the very holy mission to provide guidance to a christian to the spiritual life.

it cannot be everybody. it is a  HOLY JOB THAT THE CHURCH GIVES, appoints , to a very spiritual person so that he can listen, understand and guide the christian to live as the church teaches.

the spiritual father , is an institution ( 機構 ) of the church, and mostly a priest so that he can also grand the forgiveness of the church to the christian.  He is the abbot or the abbess of a monastery (but the abbess , because she is not priest, she will advice her spiritual child to confess to a priest)

The spiritual child  must open ALL his/her life to the spiritual father (or director) . not only the sins , but the attitudes for the life , everything , so that the spiritual director will give him/her a good advice. as today the people open their hearts and secrets to the doctor or the psychologist , by the same way must do to the spiritual father.

if somebody wants to have a spiritual father , he must follow his advice, and he must trust him. this is the way to be humble and to start opening himself , not be self oriented any more.

it is different to confess, and different to have a spiritual father.

the spiritual guidance is a gift of the holy spirit , INSIDE THE CHURCH, and it is not for anybody to become spiritual father , or spiritual child. many people because they confess they think that they have spiritual father , but not really. because they do not want to take advice and guidance.

of course, if somebody wants to become a monk, he must first find a spiritual father and obey to him.

The spiritual father has very great responsibility for his child. i write “child” and not solder or servant. because the real servant -but inside his heart is the spiritual father, who “serves” and guides the other.

the spiritual father respects , -even the child is not mature always to understand this- the personality , of his spiritual child. he tries to find ways to help him how to cultivate and increase the TALENTS Matt. 25:15   that god gave to this child.

-and finally the child will grow up Eph. 4:13 and he can help others, as the church will appoint him.

—————–

-god parents are the members of the church who help practically somebody to ENTER to the church, by the baptism or to live the christian life by the Marriage.

it is better to be a couple , but if this is not easy, one man or woman is enough . the God parents:

-HELP the person to enter to the christian church

-Introduce him/her to the church officially (to the priest) and they give witness that he/she really wants to be baptized or married.

-ask of the church to TEACH them. the church , the local priest appoints the CATHEHIST  , (which a lower degree of priesthood) to teach correctly, and finally the priest teaches and examines the correct faith of the person to be baptized .

-the godparents represent the christian community during the service of baptism and marriage. this is why they help the priest and imitate some movements of the priest, like to put oil on the person to be baptized, give him cross , exchange the crowns, BUT THEY DO IT SILENTLY and the priest gives them the things, (crowns oil, cross)

- the godparents become family with the god-children  (so they cannot marry their god children, neither their kids can be married each other). they help them economically or by any other way to face the difficulties of life.

it is very dangerous to CONFUSE THE GOD-PARENTSHIP with the spiritual fatherhood.

the god parent CAN NOT BE SPIRITUAL FATHER (exceptt he is priest)  CAN NOT SAY TO OTHER HOW TO PRAY OR WHEN AND HOW OFTEN TO RECEIVE THE HOLY COMMUNION etc…. 

if he does this,  he creates a false church, a fake spirituality. if he does not leads his child to the church, he splits the church.

i have seen this, people who for nationalistic reasons take advantage of the good attitude of the Chinese (who, of course, do not know those things) and try to guide them spiritually. it is easy for Chinese to reveal them,  to understand their game, if they see that they do that secretly of the local church and the appointed priest. for those is what Jesus said.

Matt. 23:15   「你們這假冒為善的文士和法利賽人有禍了!因為你們走遍海洋陸地, 說服一個人入教, 既入了教, 卻使他成為比你們加倍壞的地獄之子。