Even casual discussions with friends and loved ones who are outside of the churches of Christ can reveal a very strange mythology that has developed around them.
They are sometimes mischaracterized, maligned, and ostracized on the basis of misunderstood or poorly explained practices. Not all the criticisms, of course, are unfair or false, even if the scriptural basis for the differences among us goes unexplored. It is the mythology about churches of Christ that concerns us now, the kind of thing one hears about them from those operating according to ignorance or malice. Continue reading » Legends of the Churches of Christ
From the biblical standpoint it seems very obvious that it has always been God’s aim to have His children be humble and unadorned by the typical failings of status conscious man. We are reminded of Job 32:21-22, where we read, “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. (22) For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.”
Even the dire warning found in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, has the strong teaching that this prophecy will come to be because of the vanity and ego of man; “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Such a desire to be exalted by other men is wicked and the Lord has been clear in His commands concerning this very thing (Matthew 23:8-11, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”).
Continue reading » The Titles of Clergy: Are Gospel Preachers Pastors?
I attended the preacher training program up in Ellettsville, IN in the summer of 2008. Upon hearing of my recent educational experience someone asked me if it would be appropriate to start calling me “Reverend”. I responded saying to not call me “Reverend” because that was a title reserved for God.
In Matthew 23:2, Jesus spoke to his disciples about how the scribes and the Pharisees had positioned themselves greater among the Jews; “…The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses”. Exodus 18:13 says that Moses “sat to judge the people”. He judged the people according to the law that God had revealed to him. During the time of Christ, the scribes and Pharisees had become the keepers and teachers of the Law, but there was a problem with them because they wanted “their deeds to be noticed by men” (Matthew 23:5). They did this by enhancing the appearance of their garments (Matt. 23:5), taking the best seats at banquets and in the synagogues (Matthew 23:6), and being greeted and called special names such as “Rabbi” by men (Matt 23:7). Jesus said “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ” (Matthew 23:8-10).
Continue reading » Why I Am Not Called "Reverend" or "Pastor"