In the religious world people use a variety of titles to designate themselves. Titles such as reverend, pastor, elder, apostle, etc. From time to time we get these types of discussions. The world doesn’t understand the use of these designations. The use of the title reverend is only used in the Bible one time.
- Psalm 111:9
The name of God, is Holy, and Reverend. The word refers in scripture only to God.
Other passages use the term awesome, or fearsome. The word, reverend carries these meanings.
The Hebrew word, Yarweh, is to FEAR.
- Leviticus 19:3
- Joshua 4:14
God magnified Moses, and He magnified Joshua. He set them apart for a special purpose.
- 1 Samuel 18:29
Saul, a king feared David.
Every member of the Lord’s church is only ever given the deserving title of Christian. The church is a family, thus it is appropriate to refer to each other as brother or sister. But, a preacher in a local congregation, is not given any special designation. Preachers are members of the church, thus the title Christian should be the only title used for those who evangelize the word of God.
Learn more about why the Church of Christ is Unique.
The Use of Religious Titles
- Matthew 23:6-12
Jesus forbids his disciples from having these titles. Neither the use of Father or Master is to be used in reference to men. He condemns the use of titles that exalt one man above another. This exultation is contrary to the attitude that disciples of Christ should have. WE are to view ourselves equally as brethren. Men are not to think of themselves more than they ought.
The Use of Religious Descriptions
Peter and Paul frequently used terms to describe roles in the church.
- Ephesians 4:11
These are not titles but rather descriptions of what one does in the church.
- 1 Peter 5:1,2
- 1 Timothy 3 --- deacon, elder, bishop, not used as title but rather description
- Philippians 1:1
Paul used the term “father” in reference to himself, but only as a description of the role he served in the lives of his converts.
- 1 Corinthians 4:15
While he used the term father it was not in an exalted way, but rather that through his work he helped to bring them into the church.
- 1 Corinthians 4:17
Again he used the term as a description in regards to his work with Timothy. Such terms are used to describe what individuals do, their function in the body of Christ.
- Romans 12:3-5
Paul and Peter were never called the Apostle Paul or the Apostle Peter, but rather those were descriptive words to show what the word was that they do. Paul referred to himself as a servant.
- 1 Corinthians 1:1
The word is used to describe what He did, not a title of his name. It is a description.
- Acts 23
Philip the evangelist, describing the work that Philip undertook in the work of the church.
The idea of taking a self-exalting title, is something that exalts yourself to a position that is not yours.
Using the term "Reverend” to exalt oneself is to exalt oneself to the position of God.
- Matthew 23:12
- Ephesians 4:11
Those who humble themselves will not have a problem with the Lord. If it was good enough for the apostles to call themselves servants how much better to call ourselves servants of Christ?
- 1 Peter 5:5
Let us clothe ourselves with humility. Jesus Christ who left heaven above to live on this earth not a s a rich man but as a poor man, humbled himslef on this earth. He lived without sin. Because he was sinless He was able to atone for you and me.
To wear any other name or title other than Christian is to exalt ourselves above Jesus the Christ.
He died for you and me. He wants us to become a Christian, to believe that He is the Son of God who died for our sins. We must repent of our sins, and confess that He the Lord, and submit to Him by being buried in water, baptism, for forgiveness of our sins. Then, we rise to walk a new life with Him, being faithful unto death.