SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Authentic Biblical Christianity.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video

Discussion Forum : General Topics : titles

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
PosterThread
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 titles

i was reading: Matthew 23:8-10New King James Version (NKJV)

8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[a] and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.


Jesus Himself taught that we are not to use titles and yet today the church uses them all the time? Why? Why are some called "pastor" when Jesus said to use no titles? In reading the New Testament I find descriptions used to describe relationships but I can not find any examples where titles are used in addressing people in daily life? are there any?


rdg

 2015/5/15 16:59Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36676
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re: titles


One short perspective on this, I wrote this devotional thought on the verse:


And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. - Matthew 23:9

Leaving a Presbyterian Church today at the end of the service we sang 3 amens, which is typical in many reformed churches dating back to the times of Luther, Calvin and others. This practice was an earlier practice in Church history going back even past the time of the reformation to more eastern Church practice. Sometimes we are quick to think that is useless or why follow that practice anymore, by doing so we can uproot and nullify hundreds of years of Church history and practice. It is hard to believe it is true but during the times of the Apostles on the earth there were creeds and very basic simple liturgy in early Church meetings. It is clear through the Epistles that there were common sayings that at times were repeated by the entire Church body. Evangelicals in America come from a rich lineage of denominations that stem mostly from the reformation period all of these carry with them traditions and practices that date back to the early first 200 years of the Church.

In modern days the word Pastor is acknowledged at the leader of a Church, it is interesting to know that that word is only found once in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:11). What this term has been associated with is rather to speak of the Overseer, Elder, or Bishop, depending on which translation you use (1 Timothy 3:1). That word in in greek is "episkopē" which can be translated oversight, overseer, literally once who has oversight over others. Even the word Pastor which means Shepherd conveys the idea of one having responsibility over others. Other words used to convey Church leaders in history were also Presbyter, Priest and Father. In the term Father we see this carried in the New Testament writings in many places where Paul himself speaks in this way (1 Corinthians 4:15, 1 Thessalonians 2:11). John Calvin says, "While Paul claims for himself the appellation of father, he does it in such a manner as not to take away or diminish the smallest portion of the honor which is due to God. But they whom he is graciously pleased to employ as his ministers for that purpose, are likewise allowed to share with him in his honor." When we read Matthew 23 in context we see our Lord was speaking of "hypocrisy" and those taking any credit from God to themselves in an wrong way. Multitudes of modern evangelical pastors call themselves "teachers" so it is not the title itself that is wrong but the heart disposition behind it. One could not have any title but be filled with pride and seeking honour and recognition. As our Lord concludes with saying, "The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (Matthew 23:11-12).


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2015/5/15 17:47Profile
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

thank you for the response but still i wonder why we do something that Jesus commands us not to do? why call so so by a title when Jesus commanded against this practice? As I said I can find no where in the New Testament where people are addressing one another with titles as we do today. I just learned today that the word "Deacon" actually meant "servant" in the greek. that is interesting when you think about how most organized religions today hold to titles and roles.

Even Paul never instructed anyone that I can find to address him with a title. he spoke about his relationship with Timothy being like that of a father to a son but i can't find any place where he was addressed in such a manner??


its interesting that while Paul led many as an apostle he always came across as a servant. learning that true Church is about being servants to one another as a family with Jesus as the HEAD.

rdg

edit for spelling error

 2015/5/15 18:13Profile
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36676
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Sister,

Here is a verse for example: Philippians 1:1

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons.



You are very much right that all true leaders should consider themselves "servants" as Paul and Timothy do so here.

They mention 2 offices: Overseers and Deacons.

Overseers - The word "overseer" (Gk. episkopos [ejpivskopo"]) properly, an overseer; a man called by God to literally "keep an eye on" His flock (the Church, the body of Christ), i.e. to provide personalized (first hand) care and protection (note the epi, "on").

Deacons - Greek word diákonos (διάκονος) standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man", "minister", or "messenger". A biblical description of the qualities required of a deacon, and of his household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1–13

Elders - Another word for leaders in the Church are: Elder (greek: presbyteros) is the most commonly used term for elder in the New Testament, stemming from presbus, elderly. While no specific age is given, the connotation of seniority and experience in this term emphasizes the nature of the position and the character of the person, implying maturity, dignity, experience and honor. The modern English words "priest" or "presbyter" are derived etymologically from presbyteros. qualifications for presbyters are given in 1 Timothy 5.



When Paul says together with the "the overseers and deacons." he is giving them titles by stating that is their role (title).

Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle.

Clearly many phrases like this in the New Testament are speaking of the office or title, it could be correct to say the Apostle Paul, yet the wording given is Paul, called to be an Apostle, or "an apostle." etc.

Though the emphasis of the early Church was on a familial aspect, there was a clear sense of the authority of leaders in the New Testament. I personally see the Shepherd and Father terminology much more embeded in the mindset of early Christians then governmental ruler etc. The eastern culture is different then the western culture and is much more relational and family based.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2015/5/15 18:58Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1992
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

I think both Greg and rdg raise good points. I used to see this as a serious issue when I was very fond of a certain type of house church movement which is very much against organized churches. Personally I would still prefer to do without the titles but see this as an "in-house" debate among Christians and not as a serious issue which should divide us. Some pastors from organized churches do not seem to like using titles for themselves (a few examples that come to mind are Zac Poonen and John MacArthur). Nowadays, if I discern that it’s that important to a pastor to be addressed by the title, I tend to choose to call him by the title out of respect even though I would not prefer it. I do not believe I’m disobeying the Matt. 23 passage in doing that. I believe that what matters is where one’s heart is when addressing someone by a title. In other words, do we call them by titles because we place them on a forbidden pedestal or simply out of respect? I’ve always found it interesting to note that we do not see titles used for evangelists that much other than in certain charismatic circles.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/5/15 19:05Profile









 Re:

Quote:
rdg said: but still i wonder why we do something that Jesus commands us not to do? why call so so by a title when Jesus commanded against this practice?



I think it boils down to ego. People want a title.

1 Cor. 4:6-21 speaks nicely about this topic. Also, 2 Cor. 11 (entire chapter).

I've been to numerous Protestant churches and some get offended when you don't refer to someone with their 'title'. I laugh because their title gives them no real authority.

Paul would refer to himself as an apostle but...he'd state how many beatings he got. Note the two citations in 1st and 2nd Cor. I mentioned.

Also, note how many '1st baptist church of...' and '1st assembly of god church of ....' and '1st Presbyterian church of...' there are. Much of the Western church has a lot of ego, pure and simple.

Quote:
rdg said: its interesting that while Paul led many as an apostle he always came across as a servant.


I think this was true for much of the early church. Peter, John, Andrew, etc. They were all servants with different tasks. One steered the ship, another cleaned the deck. I believe it was this equality that helped foster the Kingdom of God during the early church. They took Jesus' teachings serious.

 2015/5/15 19:05
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1992
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Just to clarify, I do not doubt for one moment that the "offices" or "roles" or "functions" of pastors/elders/bishops and deacons and deaconesses are biblical and in operation today. I think that the main thing rdg is stating here is that in the Word we do not see ministers placing a "title" in front of their names, such as "Apostle Paul" or "Evangelist Philip" or "Deacon Stephen". Instead we see them addressed by their regular names and their roles are mentioned afterward but not in the sense of a title. Again, I think there's a good case for that and I think it shows humility on the part of God's servants. The title "Reverend" also comes to mind. I do not understand how it is that that title came into being among protestants considering what it seems to imply.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/5/15 20:25Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1992
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Thought I'd try to reason briefly concerning the distinction between an "office/role" and a "title". Some people who hold certain positions do have titles before their names (such as doctors and government officials). But there are also many other types of offices or lines of work which do not come with "titles" as we are referring to here. For example, you won't usually hear someone being called "Nurse So and So" or "Office Administrator So and So". Instead those types of workers are addressed by their regular names first and then their role usually comes after their names. I think it's because society has not deemed those types of workers to be worthy of such honor as other types of workers. And I think that's probably why we do not see God's ministers addressed with titles in front of their names in the Word, because the Lord wants all his people to be humble, including those in authority such as pastors. That's not to say that the pastoral and deacons' offices aren't worthy of honor and respect, but simply to say that they must not be esteemed more highly than they ought. I think it's a good testimony when we see a leader refusing to place a "title" in front of their name as opposed to demanding one as we seem to see much of today.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/5/15 21:07Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 1992
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

One more thing for clarification :). I also do not doubt for one moment that the Word of God clearly teaches that pastors have a real authority delegated to them in the local church. I know that some who are part of the house church movement deny that authority and endeavor to place pastors on the same level of authority as everyone else. I think that that view weakens the actual role of the pastor as taught in Scripture. That said, I also do not see that as an "essential" issue.


_________________
Oracio

 2015/5/15 21:52Profile
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

i do think it has to do with ego. men/women want titles, that want power and authority. those who have been given true responsibility become servants and do so because of the desire and love for Christ and His Church.

rdg

 2015/5/16 10:47Profile





©2002-2019 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy