Politically incorrect Statement #2
“But when you pray, don't use vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
Comment: Not a good idea to pray publicly so as to be seen and thought of as 'holy' (on the streets, in front of churches and at wailing walls...we're not to resort to mantras, swaying/bobbing and scripts...all those Ave Marias, rosaries (prayer beads) that call to mind memorized texts since this mimics heathen methods. According to scripture, there's nothing wrong with repeating a personal unscripted prayer since it is from the heart. After all, the Lord prayed the same request three times while in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:39, 42, 44). Yet the Lord's words make it clear that He doesn't listen more intently when someone drones on with scripts generated from a committee, 'saint' or church higher-up as though those words possess some power of their own. Am sure this understanding won't go over well in Catholic circles, but at least one **Catholic scholar has freely admitted that there are strong parallels between Catholic rituals/prayers and Buddhist practice. Certainly there's plenty of this ritualistic prayer to go around in numerous Protestant and independent churches aside from Catholic churches. This Matthew verse might even apply to e-mail “prayer chains” warning recipients to not “break the chain by forwarding it to 'x' number of people” - as though there were power to force the Lord to grant a wish according to our will. Our Creator is not a genie. Prayer is reverent conversation with the Father regarding forgiveness, advice, healing and comfort. The Lord's prayer was given by Him to us as an example of how to approach our Heavenly Father. It wasn't meant to be a public prayer mandated as part of some church routine.
Politically incorrect statement #3
“But be not called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brethren. v.9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, which is in Heaven. v.10 Neither be called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.”
Comment: Some churches address their priests “father” or “padre” i.e. a spiritual title - in defiance of the Lord's commandment. Same goes for using the titles, “rabbi or rebbe.” Mandating hierarchies creates artificial power and control over the body of Christ where it never had such authority. The hubris of those who have others address them as "Reverend" or Heaven forbid - "His Holinesss." We have one High Priest and a many membered body of talent. Leadership in the Lord's eyes demands servitude - not privilege - just as His example was one of servitude. Note: Paul was fond of referring to himself as a “father” to his “son” Timothy and toward others, but he didn't use it as his title in some official capacity as priests do. Naturally the Lord's words here don't refer to one's biological father since the context is spiritual. Again the reading of this would not be a popular interpretation in Catholic orders nor among the synagogues where the Lord's words on this are ignored.