Question:

Hello brother Hamilton.

Hope you're doing well. I have a question that pertains to "titles" given to those in position in the church and mainly I'm speaking on preachers and the title that some give themselves such as reverend, pastor, evangelist, etc. Now, I read some of your articles which has helped me, but I think I need a more direct answer like a "yes" or "no" if possible.

I don't understand why some ministers give themselves these titles. Reverend only refers to God Himself. 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

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.

On one web site, the author talks about people who think reverend is wrong are silly minded. I read what he said and it doesn't make sense.

I don't see where in the Bible it gives you the title pastor or for man to have any title as that. Pastor means Shephard which is our Lord. I understand the concept of leading the flock. But again that title doesn't seem like it should be given and me personally growing up in the Church of Christ, minister has been the only title but even we still say brother other than address them as a "minister" even though that's what the preacher is doing, ministering.

Why do the ministers who have this title do this? Do they feel their position gives them this right to have a title? It seems they are going against what the Bible says. What is your intake on it?


Answer:

You didn't ask a "yes / no" question, so it is hard to reply in such a form.

Why do people want titles? Most likely because of pride. At least that is what Jesus ascribed it to. But "why" doesn't matter. The point is that Jesus clearly taught against the use of titles in Matthew 23:5-12. We don't use titles to elevate one Christian above another.

Jobs have titles, thus a man who is spreading the gospel is a preacher, evangelist, or a minister. A man watching over the church is an elder, an overseer, or a pastor. A person teaching the Bible is a teacher. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12). However, these are the names of the duty being done, not titles for a person.