Friday, December 21, 2012

Accepting Titles

Hello Sister Pearl,
 I know that JW's don't use the title of Rev. (Reverend) when addressing each other while other church's do. What are your thoughts on this? Are there scriptural reasons for one not to be addressed as Rev.?
 Thank you.


I think it likely that you would agree, that the definition of being a "Christian", is to be a person who follows the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said:
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. You love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call you ‘Rabbi.’  (Matt.23:8-13,7)

Can you discern the principle here? What does Jesus teach us about titles?

Who should determine if we deserve to be "revered"?
This is what the title "Reverend" means. It means that we believe that person to be worthy of being revered.
Here is the definition of revered...

 hallowed, revered, reverend, sacred, venerated

Related Words:
 honorable, reputable, respectable; considered, esteemed, honored, respected, reverenced; admirable, distinguished, estimable, redoubtable, worthy; good, moral, noble, righteous

Is it really up to us to take or bestow such a title?
John7:18 reads:
"He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."

Matt.23:12 reads:
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke14:7-11 reads:
"When Jesus noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

God and Christ are the only ones who deserves our "veneration".
Even Jesus said:
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone." Mark10:18

He also said:
"So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty." Luke17:10

Because of Matt.22:36-38, which reads:
"“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.".....

....It would seem that after we give all that we are, and all that we have, to God;
there is nothing left to give to men.
Is that not righteous and true...that we give all honor, glory, admiration, AND veneration,
to God, and not to men? (Even less so, to ourselves)

Genuine Christians look to Christ and his teachings to guide them in their practices.
1Peter2:21 reads:
"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps closely."
How can we follow in Jesus' steps when it comes to the bestowing of Titles?
The Bible tells us:
 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the torture stake, scornful shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Heb.12:2,3) (see also John13:14-17 and Gal.3:13)

Did Jesus seek honor for himself?
Or did he rather bear the shame of sin, though a sinless man?
We are told to bear the same injustice, rather than to seek glory in this world.
Matt.5:10,11 reads:
"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

We see clearly here, that it is not those who receive honor from men that will be rewarded....
but those who unjustly suffer the same indignities that Christ did.
Even while Christ was with his own disciples,
he humbled himself. Mark10:45


1Pet.5:6 reads:
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."

Yes....IN DUE TIME....not now.
For now, we are to "humble ourselves" under the only hand that deserves all subjection, honor and glory.

When Jesus describes which of his slaves are rewarded in the life to come, he portrays them...
NOT as men who have already honored themselves or one another....
but as men that wait for Jesus himself to judge and honor them...when he returns.
(see Matt.25:19,20,21)

Now I must tell you, that although Jesus taught us to lower ourselves and not to accept glorifying titles.....
"Jehovah's Witnesses" ARE GUILTY OF THIS.
They may not use the title "Reverend", but they do use the titles of "elder", "overseer", Pioneer", etc.
all of which bestow undeserved honor. To learn FROM THE BIBLE who deserves to be called an "older man" and "overseer", is to realize that those who carry these titles, do so without scriptural backing. They may believe that they fulfill the scriptural qualifications (1Tim.3:1-9) for these titles, but they believe so in their ignorance. They do not dig deep enough into the Bible, to see who these "overseers" really are (1Pet.5:2; Deut.15:10; Isa.65:22). The word "pioneer" or "governing body" is not in the Bible (Gal.1:15,16,17,11,12; Mark10:42,43), nor their designations, nor their positions (Matt.6:1,2,3,4).

I hope I have clearly and fully answered your question, addressing it solidly, through the scriptures.
Thank you for it, because the scriptures cited are good for us all to remember.
I wish you the best in your search for truth,
and an accurate knowledge, leading to life (John17:3,17)



  1. Hello Pearl. Just read your comments on titles. But sure the Bible is full of scriptures refer titles. But can l ask but a few! In Matt 23v9 we are told by Jesus not to call anyone on earth father for One is your Father, He who is in heaven! Yet Pearl we do call our earthly fathers, fathers! Then we are told not to call anyone teacher, but then again l also know men that are called Bible teachers by men! Yet again the scriptures say not to do this. And theres in 1Timothy it also
    brings in titles of deacons and elders.
    I myself loved what you wrote. And would look forward to you maybe explaining theses few things to me.
    Sometimes when l see how things work in the church.And l have to ask myself. Is man stealing Gods Glory!

  2. Jesus was not speaking to his anointed ones about the normal context of family or school.


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