Part Two: Practice

Chapter Sixteen: Title of Ministers (pg 24 of 29)



  The title of "reverend" or "father" is frequently used in religions to refer to religious leaders or preachers. The true church that follows Biblical instruction uses the names "preacher," "pastor," "bishop" or "elder" to refer to her ministers simply because such use is in accordance with the instruction of the scriptures.

i.             The word "reverend" is used only once in the Bible, and it is used to refer to God and not to a minister:

Psalms 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

There is no authority in the Bible for applying this word (which means "sacred or holy") to any man, but rather it is only used to refer to God.

ii.            Christ gave the following instruction about the use of "father" as a title in spiritual matters:

Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Christ says that in spiritual matters we should call no man "father" on earth, for we have only one spiritual father and that is the God of heaven. It is obvious from this instruction why ministers are not called "father."

iii.           The ministers of the New Testament church are referred to in the Bible as "elders," "ministers," "preachers," "teachers," "bishops" or "pastors" as shown by the following verses:

Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

1 Peter 5:1-2 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, ... : Feed the flock of God, which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly;...

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Ephesians 4:8-12 ... and gave gifts unto men. ... and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: