Tuesday, 7 September 2010


I am not a fan of the title 'Reverend'.  If seems to go against the attitude encouraged by Jesus in Matthew 23:8-10.  There he teaches:
"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."
The problem of using titles is not just seen in the mainstream denominations.  I have noticed that churches can use the term 'pastor' as a title rather than simply a job description or function.  This too creates a clergy/laity divide.

Peter Brain very helpfully comments upon the whole nature of 'clergy' and 'laity':
The New Testament speaks of all Christian people as saints.  The word 'saints' speaks of our new status in Christ, and as such is closely linked with justification by faith.  Ordinary people (the Greek word is the one from which 'laity' is derived) are called by God (the Greek word is the one from which 'clergy' comes) to become saints.  All are laity, and all are clergy, for there is no other basis for standing with God than that of faith in Jesus Christ (In Going the Distance, page 190).

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