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How Should Ministers and Pastors Be Called and Addressed

How Should Ministers and Pastors Be Called and Addressed



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How Should Ministers and Pastors be Called and Addressed?
How Should Ministers and Pastors be Called and Addressed?

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Published by: Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano on Nov 02, 2007
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How Should Ministers and Pastors be Called and Addressed?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano
PREACHER IS ALSODISCOURAGED from saving money in banks. Christ said,
“Lay not for yourselves treasures upon theearth, where moth and rust dothcorrupt and where thieves breakthrough and steal” (Mat. 6:19).
Christ prohibited it to the realministers of God because no mancould serve two masters at the sametime. He cannot serve God andriches at the same time. This is why God prohibited His ministers fromenriching themselves.
Now, we are going to continue studying this topic. We will still talk aboutthe don’ts of God to His ministers/preachers. What are they? And pleasetry to compare the preacher being mentioned in the Bible and comparehim with your respective preachers, or pastors. Actually, God has so many prohibitions, but pastors conceal these to their members. But let us try studying them now.Nowadays, preachers are being addressed in various ways. There is onereligious leader who is called servant leader; another is being called JagadGuru, which means world preacher. This is the name that the ChaitanyaMission calls their leader – Jagad Guru, or world preacher. The Chaitanyamission is one of the groups that teaches that, you will be blesses if you callon the name of God. And according to them, God has more than a hundredmillion names! How can that be? Where in the Bible can you find thosehundred million names? That is almost equivalent to the number of galaxies in our universe! How can the Bible accommodate those hundredmillion names? But that is their belief. Aside from that, they also call theirleader Jagad Guru, which means world preacher.In some organizations of faith, their leader is being called BelovedEvangelist. Another group calls their leader as Dynamic Evangelist; thereis also another whose leader is addressed as Apostle; and, still anothergroup calls their preacher as Father.Each group has its own form of address to their leader. But let us find outfrom the Bible how pastors, or preachers, should be addressed by thefaithful. Does the Bible give any specific instruction as to how a leader of religion should be called? This is what our Lord Jesus Christ said in
 Matthew 23:8, “But be not ye called Rabbi: …” 
 The negative word “not,” or “do not,” connotes a prohibition. Christ
How Should Ministers and Pastors be Called and Addressed?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano
prohibited His apostles not to let anybody call them Rabbi. You see, the word “Rabbi” is the plural form of “Rabboni”, which meansteacher/master.
“… for one is your Master, even Christ; all ye arebrethren (Mat. 23:8).” 
 In other words, the Bible introduces but one Teacher, or Master, to theChristians. And for that, Christ prohibited His apostles from lettinganybody call them Rabbi, or Rabboni, as written in the Book of Matthew.If we are all brethren, how shall we call each other? Have you heard of a brother calling his brother “teacher,” or “reverend”? Isn’t thatunbecoming? If you are all brethren in faith, why will you call your priestas “most holy father”? That is not right! That is against Christ’scommandment! Remember Christ told His apostles not to let anybody callthem Rabbi because they have only one Teacher, and all of them are brethren. And who is the sole teacher that ought to be addresses as Rabbi?He is nobody else but our Lord Jesus Christ. This is what
 Judas 1:4
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of God unto lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord JesusChrist.” 
 Jesus Christ is our only Teacher. Please do not be misled. There is but one“guru”. Then, all of a sudden, here comes a so-called Jagad Guru, claimingthat he is a jagad guru! That is an outright defiance to what Christ hadcommanded.Today, there are many preachers who let other people call them “teacher”.Perhaps, they are too thirsty of honor and power. But what is worse, they even add a modifier in the superlative degree to their names and titles, i.e.“most holy Father”. The word “holy” is already an adjective that impliesdistinction, but since they crave for a greater honor, they added “most,” which is an adverb in its superlative degree. Please, don’t get offended butthat is how Catholic priests are addressed – Most Holy Father, MostReverend Father. Protestant pastors are also called Reverend Pastor. Butdoes this practice conform to the standards of the Bible?
 Matthew 23:9
“And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven.” 
So, when it comes to matters of religion, we are notsupposed to call anyone father.“Papa” is a Latin word for “father”. In Greek, it is “patros”; in Filipino,“ama”; in English, “father”. Christ said, when it comes to religion, nobody should be called “father” because there is only Father, that who is inheaven. That means, the only one whom we are supposed to call “Father”is the Father in heaven. How should we rightfully address the Father?
 Matthew 6:9
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name …” 
How Should Ministers and Pastors be Called and Addressed?
Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano
It is very clear that the Father that we shall call on is the Father in heaven. And we shall call no man on earth “father.
“And call no man your father upon earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” 
 Let us obey Christ. Why do we call a priest “father”? It’s fine if the one youare calling “father” is your parent. There is nothing wrong with that. He isnot a minister, or preacher, any way. But when it comes to religion, Christdoes not want any man to be called “father”. The only father that weshould invoke is the One in heaven.But do you call your priests “father” or not? If you do, you are defying theteachings of the Bible. If Christ does not want any man on earth to becalled “Father”, the more He would condone it if you will attach the word“reverend” to it. Why? Do you know that the Bible used the word“reverend” only once? That is in
 Psalms 111:9
which says,
“He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever:holy and reverend is his name.” 
That is the only verse in the Bible that used the word “reverend”. It wasused only once. The apostles were not called reverend; the pastors in thefirst century church neither called themselves “reverend”. The Bible usedthe word “reverend” once to refer to the Father in heaven.
“… holy and reverend is his name.” 
But today, pastors have robbed God of that honorand distinction. They have attached the word “reverend” to their names. You know, my brethren in our congregation will get mad at me if I let themaddress me as “reverend” because they know very well for whom that wordshould be used – for God only. But for a sinful man, the word “reverend” isnot fitting. And most especially so if it had been made “Most Holy Father”.Isn’t it that no other descriptive word, be it adjective or adverb, couldsurpass it if it is already presented in the superlative degree? For a priestto be called “Most Holy Father”, that would mean that his holiness exceedsthat of the Father in heaven! The Father in heaven is simply called “ourFather,” “Nuestro Padre,” “Patros Nosotros” . . . without any modifier inthe superlative degree.That is a disrespect and defiance to Christ’s law. You were commanded notto call any man on earth “father”, but you just do the opposite. Not only that! You even describe him as “most holy” and “most reverend”.But while some preachers are being addressed as “Father,” there are alsosome who call themselves as “Apostle”. But as far as the teachings of theBible are concerned, how should the brethren in the church address oneanother? For instance, how was Paul addressed by his brothers in faith?
 II  Pet. 3:15 
says, "And account that the long-suffering of our Lord issalvation; even as our beloved brother Paul ..."

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