Article: The Fatherhood of God
By Walter J. Chantry

Perhaps no religious cliché is so embedded in the popular thinking of our nation as “The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.”  Politicians, Sunday-school teachers, labor leaders, and ordinary citizens avow their devotion to this principle.  The great United Nations and small social service clubs are frequently challenged with this very ideal.

The hackneyed expression suggests that since all members of the human race stand before God as beloved sons, they are spiritual brothers to one another.  Hence all men are to labor together as one great family with common parentage and common interests.  At first glance it is a beautiful thought, a stirring idea; but far from the truth.  Such thoughts are contrary to the teachings of Christ and foreign to the words of His apostles.

Specially obnoxious is the suggestion by this phrase that all men are part of God’s spiritual family and objects of His gracious favor.  To the contrary, all men are born into this world estranged from God, or as Paul Says, “without God in the world.”  Every child enters this sad life with a soul bent to doing evil.  Within humanity is not the submission of a son, but the open rebellion of an enemy, displayed in denial of His truth and disregard for His 10 commandments.  All are brothers by birth then, but not as sons of God.  As Jesus said to a crowd, “you are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.” (John 8:44)  As such you are “children of wrath,” objects of God’s anger and judgment.

Yet out of this universal family of Satan, God graciously makes up a new family.  To some men of every nation the Lord sends His Spirit to adopt them into His household.  Not all men become the sons of God, but “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”  When that Spirit brings a man into the family of God, a radical change occurs.  Sons of God turn from past evil deeds, no longer coveting, gossiping, committing adultery or breaking the Sabbath.  They believe the Bible, the Word of Christ the Prophet, rely on the merits and work of Christ the Priest for forgiveness and strength, and submit to the will of Christ the King.  Henceforth they lead holy lives according to God’s law.  Men become Christians not by joining church or being baptized, but by a radical, supernatural change of their basic nature.  “You must be born anew.”

A profound cleavage exists then between men.  Some serve God; some serve Satan and self.  That rift shall exist forever:  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.”  All men . . . do not have God for a Father.  Jesus said, “If God were your father, you would love me.”  Again He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  Are you a child of God?  Child of Hell?  Have you the marks of being God’s son – namely obedience to His law?  Or do you live by self-designed standards?  Pray to God for His Spirit that you might have a new heart and entrance into His family.  Ask for the cleansing from sin which Christ has secured for His people by His death on a cross.  Abandon the foolish superstition which dreams that God smiles with favor on all men.  Continue to pray until God is pleased to make you a new man in Christ.

Published in the
Carlisle Sentinel News Paper, October 29, 1966