In some circles it seems in vogue when talking to someone else to refer to God as “Father” – not “the Father”, “my Father”, “your Father” or anything else: just “Father”.
“Father has been so good to me.”
“Then I prayed to Father and he answered me.”
“I have been thinking about Father a lot recently.”
“I’m going to ask Father what to do.”
I’m not going to guess at the motives for using “Father” this way, but I have to say it makes me a little uncomfortable. Why? Because it just sounds weird. No one else talks about God like that, and the very structure of the English language as it’s spoken today makes it very rare when referring to any father.
But even more, Jesus never referred to God in that way. Click on the link and run down all the verses there (most of the instances where “Father” has a capital ‘F’ are about God), and this is what you’ll find:
1. Jesus used “Father” when directly addressing God, with the one exception of “Our Father” when teaching his disciples a communal prayer (Matthew 6:9).
2. Jesus used “my Father”, “your Father”, “our Father”, “their Father” and “the Father” when talking about God to other people.
This is consistent with how the English language (and I would suggest most other language) -speaking church has referred to God down the centuries.
So, what’s with the change? Why do people feel the need to suddenly make a jump to the left and adopt a totally out-of-sync way of referring to God?