Our Readers' Opinions
February 22, 2013
Is the use of religious titles proper?

Fri Feb 22, 2013

Editor: Really, is it proper to bear a religious title as one taking the lead in a church? Is it proper to be addressed as Reverend … Father … Pastor … etc? {{more}}

I wish to ask church leaders to openmindedly consider those two questions. Why do I ask these questions? Well, Jesus Christ himself told his followers at Matthew 23:8: “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.” (A Rabbi was “a person trained in Jewish law, ritual, and tradition and ordained for leadership of a Jewish congregation.”) Matthew 23:9, 10 show that those leading the true church were not to be called “Father” or “Master” either. So, Jesus is clearly saying that those leading the true church were not to possess titles that separate them from the rest of the flock. Rather, they are all BRETHREN (or BROTHERS) according to Matt. 23:8.
Christ is the Master/Leader/Rabbi. God in heaven is the Father. Matthew 23:9. Therefore, should any human bear titles like Reverend, Father, Pastor etc, or be adressed as such? One may properly be called, Brother Roach etc in line with Matthew 23:8. While it is true that some of God’s servants were called “apostles”, describing the role they played in the true Christian Church, that term was NOT used as a TITLE, separating them from the rest of the church. It is no surprise that Christ’s follower, Peter, referred to Paul as “our beloved BROTHER” at 2 Peter 3:15, even though Paul was an apostle. This fits in well with Jesus’ statement at Matthew 23:8; they were all brothers. So again I say to all church leaders: Should you be addressed by religious titles?

With Love,

Simeon James