Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 2, 1969
NUMBER 22, PAGE 8b-9a

Religious Titles

James Sanders

Pride is subtle but it is sure. Few victims are seldom aware of their enslavement by her tentacles of vainglory. Few men have lived that have said, "Pride is my downfall. It is my worst sin."

Yet the influence of Pride spans time, bridges the differences of men and subdues even the angels (Isa. 14: 12 — 16; I Tim. 3:6). Truly, the lust of eye and of flesh have slain thousands, but Pride alone slays the ten-thousands. It is called the condemnation of the Devil.

Elihu of Job 32: 21 — 22 was right when he spoke: "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away."

Thus, whenever the topic of religious titles is discussed, the foundation of Pride must be exposed. It but lurks within the background. Somehow, someway, somewhere, Pride's finger leaves its imprint in the pie of religious titles. Men simply do not address one another as "Reverend" or "Worshipful Master" because it is insulting! They do it because it is flattering! Men love the praises of men (Jno. 12:43).

The Lord in Matthew 23: 5 — 12 condemned the use of any religious titles as but mere abuse of the same. He says it is done to be seen of men and we agree.

The title of "Reverend" deserves special consideration, not only because of its popularity but because of its single appearance in the Sacred Text (Psa. 111:9). Here it applies to God alone! And Pride was the Devil's condemnation . . . it also is man's!

In our opinion, there is no other title, except it be "Father", that can be used any more blasphemously. To reverend man is but to irreverend God! It is robbery of the highest degree!!!

But of the religious doctorate degree, its appearance within the brotherhood is becoming more and more common. We wish it were a sign of brethren only becoming more and more learned in the knowledge of our Lord. Unfortunately, such is not necessarily true!

No quarrel is had with time, effort, finance, and ability required to obtain such high and difficult honors, since in this respect the religious degree has as much merit and right as any.

The point is that no institution has been authorized to issue such titles regardless of recipients' knowledge or ability. They can only be conferred by Heaven itself . . . and those doors are shut!

Pride is subtle but it is sure. Truly, it is called the condemnation of the Devil.