I was recently asked by a brother to become the "godfather" for his son. I was very honored, as he explained the heart of the request was to look after the spiritual training of his child should something happen to the parents. But I'm not sure what to make of the term godfather. Is this the sort of title Jesus warned us about in Matthew 23:9? Or just a spiritual mentoring role that the religious world (and Hollywood) has watered down? Any thoughts? -- Dave

I agree that we should not quibble about terms. If someone is really asking you to help to bring up his child in the faith in the event of his death, I would consider that an honor, and certainly not something to be taken lightly. I do not think "godfather" qualifies as an honorific title à la Matthew 23:9.

But then I am not completely comfortable with the notion, as it feels to me that the one who asked you may himself be confused regarding the denominational teaching on this subject. Without knowing the parties involved, I am at a loss as to how to advise you.

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