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
“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?
“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?
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name …”