From The Baptist Standard
From "The Baptist Standard" of April 9, 1955, we find the following on the editorial section, page 2, headed with the caption, "Baptist Nomenclature":
"Some of the words used by the Baptists of today in their preaching, writing, and conversation are altogether alien to the verbiage of the early Christians. Who could imagine Onesimus going to Philemon and talking to him about 'The Reverend Paul'? Who could imagine Gaius writing to the 'Reverend John' to give him a good report about the 'Reverend Demetrius'? Yet modern Baptists use the term 'Reverend' every day in speaking of preachers or writing of them. Most of us use the term in 'addressing a letter to a minister. Some pastors have been heard to introduce themselves as 'Reverend So and So.' If the Baptists of the medieval age could hear it today they would cry out against the use of this title which has been borrowed from an ecclesiastical hierarchy that would draw a line between the laity and the ministry. When the word 'Reverend' is used in the Bible, it refers to God, for He alone is to be revered."
With the exception of his use of the word, verbiage, and speaking of "Baptists of the medieval age" (there were none in that age) truth could not have been better written or spoken than these words by the editor of "The Standard." We are sure that his use of the word, verbiage, was not intended to cast aspersion on the words of the Holy Spirit. We hope that the words of the editor will carry great weight with Baptist preachers all over the land, because if they will heed those words, it will be a step in the right direction. Let us notice his first sentence in which he says, "Some of the words used by the Baptists of today in their preaching, writing and conversation are altogether alien to the verbiage of the early Christians." These are strong words to come from a Baptist editor, but just as true as true can be, and are an admission by him that Baptist preachers do not speak the words of the Holy Spirit that are set forth in the New Testament. It is an admission that the use of the term, "Reverend" as applied to Baptist preachers among themselves is unscriptural. Will they quit it? We shall see. Not only does the editor admit its unscripturalness but names the source of its origin.
Hear him: "This title (Reverend) which has been borrowed from an ecclesiastical hierarchy that would draw a line between the laity and the ministry." We suggest that they return that which he admits was "borrowed" from Roman Catholicism along with a number of other things they have also borrowed from the hierarchy. Instrumental music is a relic that has been borrowed from the Roman hierarchy by the Baptists and all others who use it in worship of God. As proof we quote from the American Encyclopedia, Volume 12, page 688:
"Pope Vitalian is related to have first introduced organs into some of the churches of western Europe about 670; but the earliest trustworthy account is that of the one sent as a present by the Greek emperor, Constantine Copronymus, to Pepin, king of the Franks, in 775."
The title, "Reverend" was borrowed from the Roman hierarchy as already admitted by the editor of "The Standard," and now if he will admit that the Baptists borrowed the use of instrumental music from the same source, he will be taking another step in the right direction. It would no doubt be quite a bombshell among Baptists for him to do so, but for the sake of truth, he ought to do it.
John Calvin says of instrumental music, "The Papists, therefore have foolishly borrowed this as well as many other things from the Jews." (Corn. on Psalms 33.) The Papists (Catholics) borrowed instrumental music from the Jews, and the Baptists have borrowed both it, and the title, "Reverend" from the same source.
If the editor of "The Standard" can find the authority in the New Testament for the use of instruments of music in worship of God, then we promise to give him a passage where Paul called Peter "Reverend."
Charles H. Spurgeon, the greatest Baptist preacher that has ever been produced, was asked why he did not use the organ in worship; he gave 1 Corinthians 14:15 as his answer, and remarked, "I would as soon pray to God with machinery as to sing to God with machinery."
The observance of Easter is another relic our Baptist friends have borrowed from the ecclesiastical hierarchy, because there is no such observance taught in the New Testament. Surely, if the Holy Spirit had wanted such a day observed, he would have given the necessary instructions. Does the editor of "The Standard" believe that the scriptures "thoroughly furnish the man of God unto every good work"?
The teaching of "salvation by faith only" was borrowed from the teaching of Martin Luther. If the editor can find a passage in the New Testament that says "Salvation is by faith only," we again promise to give a scripture where Paul called Peter "Reverend."