The Use of Titles

This may be a rather controversial page since it condemns most denominations in one fell swoop. Not concerning faith or spirituality, but religious practices in general. Here's what I'm driving at: both Orthodox and Catholic Churches refer to priests as Father. But in the Bible Jesus strictly prohibits the use of titles in Matthew 23—especially "father," but not just “Father.” Indeed, it seems to be an indictment against all titles, including rabbi, instructor, father, etc., and by implication all titles that appear to elevate a person's status, such as "Reverend." (See what I mean? In on fell swoop I've managed to attack Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants...and I'm not even trying and don't even want to.)

The word “reverend” means “Worthy of reverence.” There’s no one in the world that is worthy of reverence…although many (Donald Trump, for example) may believe they are. 

When we examine this closely, it easy to see that any title creates divisions—not just in religious circles, but also in the non-religious arena, such as the work place. Titles create hierarchies which create divisions. For example, the simple title, “Warehouse Manager” says, “He (she) is the boss.” If you work in the warehouse then they are over you, thus creating division—they are over you.  Whereas a term such as “Person Responsible,” says that he/she is the one who gets in trouble if all doesn’t run smoothly. And yet it’s the same thing. (I admit this is a slippery slope...someone does need to be designated as being in charge.)

When we get into matters of faith, terms such as Father or Reverend imply holiness—an elevated status that would be totally absent if they actually think they deserve those titles. In matters of faith or religion the plain truth is that no one walks any closer to God than you do, though they may have a better connection because they’ve prayed more and been at it longer, but God is in you just as much as in them. (See footnote[1])


[1] 1. Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2. "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; 3. therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7. and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father--the one in heaven. 10. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. {Or [the Christ]} 11. The greatest among you will be your servant. 12. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.