Should a Minister of God Be Addressed as 'Reverend' (Matthew 23:8-11)?
When we look into the Bible, we find the word "reverend" refers only to God Himself, and not once is it applied to a man. The lone instance of the word, found in Psalm 111:9 in the King James version, says: "He [God] sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name." God alone has a name worthy of reverence. No man, including any minister, has a name worthy of such respect or worship.
The use of religious titles, such as "Reverend," began when the great apostasy set in at the close of the first century. Ministers put themselves "in the place of" Christ (the meaning of vicar), taking upon themselves the attributes and titles of divinity. God's true ministers have never done so.
Notice the instruction of Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:8-11: "But you [Christ's disciples], do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant." Our Savior commands that those He calls to serve the brethren of the church should not take upon themselves titles that arrogate God and Christ's own titles and positions, such as "Teacher" and "Father." Instead, as servants and brothers, ministers should live and work in humility as servants of God.
The ministry of Church of the Great God asks individuals to address them by their first names—no "Mister" necessary.
Since other ministers might take offense if they are not addressed by some title, perhaps "Pastor," "Elder," or "Evangelist"—all biblical titles of ministerial office—would suffice instead.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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