“Have you talked to Pastor?”
Everytime I hear ‘Pastor” used as someone’s first name, I cringe inside. My yuck meter goes off because using titles for each other is one of the things Jesus asked us not to do. Why do we continue to violate it every day?
I got this quesiton in my inbox the other day:
Matthew 23:8-112 reads, “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.”
My Question is how does this apply to today? And does using titles so as to not offend make sense in Scripture?
How do I apply this today? I don’t use such titles for myself and I don’t use them for others either. If someone is going to be offended if I don’t call them “Pastor” or “Reverend,” I don’t spend a lot of time with such people. Their love of titles is a demonstration that they don’t have the heart of Jesus. I’m not saying they are not saved, simply that they are not living very deeply in his reality.
People say they do it only to show honor, but isn’t that exactly what Jesus is talking about? Titles separate us from each other, putting some in a special class. Jesus wanted us to understand and appreciate that God alone stands above, and all his people stand alongside each other. Pastor, elder, apostle, may describe a function God has given us in the body; it is not and never can be our identity. Once it is, everything gets twisted.