For church information contact Marv Walker ~ 706 468-6990

Please Don't Call Me Names...

I am the person who does the lion's share of the Bible study teaching and the delivering of messages during worship services at the Monticello church of Christ in Monticello, Georgia. Many people outside of the church know me in that capacity.

People have called me "Reverend" as if I am someone who is somehow more worthy, or more Godly than they are. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Ooops! Sorry, Preacher!" Or, "You're a preacher, should you be doing/saying that?" I have even been accused of calling myself a "Man of God" which I have NEVER, EVER DONE. Others have called me one, I haven't.

I'm just a plain old fashioned New Testament Christian and not the world's best one at that. If you want to call me anything, Marv will do quite nicely. If you are just a plain old fashioned New Testament Christian, Brother works too. I am no more holier or righteous than any other New Testament Christian, nor do I have more authority than any other New Testament Christian.

I do see many others with religious titles. Reverend, Right Reverend, Most Right Reverend, Reverend Doctor, Father and so on. On a same level I see those wearing uniforms, robes and other trappings that set them aside, or above, others. They are assigned special seating and given and accepting more respect than the others are given.

8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, 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. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:8-12 NKJV)

Since the Bible makes many references to male parents and uses the term "father" as such, there must be a different use of the term he is referrring to. Here Jesus is teaching against religious titles. Do not call yourself by a religious title.

Why?

Because "you are all brethren."

We see this directive implemented in Acts 10 when Peter comes into the presence of Cornelius...

24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” (Acts 10:24-26 NKJV)

Here we have someone actually called an apostle by God Himself and he is telling Cornelius that he is a man the same as he is and deserves no adoration, special treatment or praise. Peter considered himself unworthy of any greater honor or title.

The titles, “apostle” or “prophet” are Biblical titles, by which men have been rightly called, but those titles are no longer applied today. God worked signs and miracles through the prophets and the apostles to establish that they spoke with His authority and that their words came from Him. Today their words have been accepted as inspired, and since they are now available for anyone to read, the need for signs and wonders has passed.

Titles such as “bishop,” “pastor,” “shepherd,” or “elder” are not actually titles. They are merely terms applied to the duties of Christian men who meet the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9...

3 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-7 NKJV)

5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop (overseer - MW) must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. (Titus 1:5-9 NKJV)

Many use the terms “bishop,” "pastor,” “shepherd,” “elder" and act as the top authority or main leader in a congregation. While these terms are Biblical, they describe the duties rather than the titles and those who fulfill those duties must meet the above qualifications.

Holy signifying titles such as “reverend,” “right reverend,” “your holiness,” etc., are terms that should be reserved for only God Himself. We have no authority in scripture for calling anyone other than God by holy titles. To assume, accept or use any religious title describing God is being spiritually pretentious and placing oneself above "his brethren.".

If not, why not?

Here are some of the scriptures that warn us to do what God says and nothing more or nothing less...

Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. (Deuteronomy 5:32 KJV)

According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. (Deuteronomy 17:11 KJV)

That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:20 KJV)

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. (Deuteronomy 28:14 KJV)

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:7 KJV)

Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; (Joshua 23:6 KJV)

If we can assist you in any way, please call on us any time.

Marv Walker
706 468-6990

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For Further Information Contact Marv Walker 706 468-6990