Protestant Bishops: Avoid Or Encourage?


Bishop Brian Tamaki, is the founder of Destiny Church. He has a vision, where men can save their families from their own dysfunctions. He has taken basic principles from the Bible and compiled a 15 week course designed to turn dysfunctional men into pillars of the community. His action is saving young men and their families, young men like myself. This course is alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, anger management, depression and anxiety support and a brotherhood all rolled into one. Each week is focused on one of the 15 topics ranging from Commitment, Identity and Unforgiveness, to Demons in the House (addictions) and You are a Son of God. Many of us members have tried the Government equivalents but with no result. (Myself I have done anger management and relationship building but didn’t benefit)

The coarse material is designed to take broken/ dysfunctional men, and turn them into the best Fathers and Husbands that they can be. It’s a movement that is blowing up world wide, started in New Zealand, now Australia and in the Islands. I’m glad to be a part of it.

I asked my priest if it was Ok to attend and he gave me the a thumbs up as long as I am an instrument of Christ and also inject a little of the Catholic faith. At opening and closing prayer I am the only my one to do the sign of the cross. I also talk about the Rosary and other aspects of Catholic life, but I don’t want to be pushy and get in the way of the healing and mending families direction that this program is built on. I keep the heavy Catholic stuff to myself. (For now)

I helped them run an event on Saturday. I helped set up the traffic management then ran the BBQ for the remainder of the event. But when Brian Tamaki arrived, they kept saying “Brian Tamaki our Bishop and apostle”. I felt a little cringe every time they said it, but I felt like I was doing the Lord’s work so just ignored it.

The following Monday, fellow men talked about their Bishop. I’ve accepted a facilitator role in the Mens group and am looking at setting up my own class in town. But I need to attend their teaching on Sundays so I’m on the same wavelength as all the other facilitators. This means attending their service after Church on Sundays of which I have no problem.

My dilemma is cringing when hearing this man being called a Bishop and apostle. While I firmly believe he is doing our Lord’s work, I’m not so sure I can come to grips with his title. I know it will annoy me enough that I’m going to say something about it soon so I want to know how the Catholic community would handle this situation. Thanks in advance

I like to think i can help this movement accomplish its goal. Do I just accept his title, or do I challenge it.


As you know, the Catholic Church does not recognize Protestant bishops or clergy as possessing valid apostolic succession or ordination. Having said that, there is no good reason to challenge the titles Protestants use for their clergy. It should not upset you. They frequently believe in the ‘priesthood of all believers,’ a lay clergy. That is why Protestants have only two valid sacraments, from the Catholic point of view, baptism and matrimony; as these are the only two which do not require valid clergy.

The larger question is whether Catholics should participate in Protestant ministries, which may teach things contrary to Catholic teaching. It is a matter of prudential judgment.


If that’s his title, in his church, I don’t see why there would be a problem. He’s not claiming to be a Catholic bishop. Other churches have titles they use for different positions, and sometimes they’re the same as ours.
I don’t see any basis for you to challenge it.


As @PaulfromIowa and @angel12 have already noted, we can have no objection to other churches using the term “bishop” to designate their senior clergy. “Apostle” may be more controversial, but there is Biblical precedent for that – Paul uses the term “apostle” quite loosely, not only for the Twelve but for Silas, Timothy, Epaphroditus, Andronicus, and other named “apostles” who served under him in Ephesus, Corinth, and other places. In the Pentecostal churches, in particular, it is not unusual for the founder of a new church to proclaim himself an “apostle.”


If it helps any, I cringe at them using those titles too. Couldn’t you just refer to them as “Sir” or “Mister (last name)”? That way, you show respect but don’t have to use titles you are uncomfortable with.


He’s no Bishop. He can’t trace his line of succession back to the Apostles.


When certain Protestants refer to the Pope as “Mister Bergoglio,” are they showing respect?


That is an excellent point. Do as you would be done by, after all. We can’t expect non-Catholics to use Catholic titles but then refuse them the same courtesy.


I’ve never heard Protestants refer to any Pope by their given surname after the person became Pope.


No, but check out “Catholic” websites on the Far Right


Here is someone else, who did:
“Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was in good standing with Rome at that time, paid us a visit in 1971 for about five days altogether with another priest from his newly founded seminary in Econe, Switzerland. My husband served his Mass in the morning at Holy Family Church in New Rochelle and was deeply impressed by his piety and reverence saying Mass, so much so that he told me he almost felt like asking the Archbishop to be his spiritual director. However, I think it was that same evening Archbishop Lefebvre in our living room spoke to us and a couple of friends, telling us stories he knew concerning Pope John XXIII going back on his word and other scandals in the Vatican, really just gossip. I have to confess that I listened to him open-mouthed, rather gullibly, as did our friends. Later when we retired for the night, I said to Lyman, “Wasn’t that amazing?” Lyman said, “I didn’t like it at all. He had no business spreading such gossip. I didn’t like the spirit out of which it came at all. I will have nothing more to do with him.” I recall that Lefebvre continually referred to Pope Paul VI as Montini, something Lyman thought as telltale of his attitude. Later, Lyman felt that there was a schismatic spirit in him which was potentially dangerous.”
(from a talk by Madeleine Stebbins, co founder of Catholics United for the Faith)


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