A word for the reverend

19 February 2005

"He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name."- Psalm 111:9 The peculiar word, reverend, is used only one time in scripture. The common man does not need to understand Greek or Hebrew to recognize that this title belongs not to man, but to God Himself: He alone is Holy. How is it that professors of religion have usurped this divine title and the people love to have it so? Could it be because they have taken upon themselves the title, "saviour", which belongs to Jesus only? There is only one name given under heaven whereby men must be saved, that name is not reverend so and so, it is the only Reverend: Jesus because He alone is Holy. The Bible gives titles to men for their special calling of God. These titles include: pastor, elder, bishop, evangelist and brother. We can find no place where the church, the apostles, no, not even Christ Himself ever referred to men as reverend. Perhaps it is because men love to be worshipped themselves. Paul referred to himself as the chief of sinners, he boldly claimed his apostleship, but never referred to himself as reverend. The Pharisees loved the applause of men, of one another, they loved the chief seats in the synagogue, they loved to be called Rabbi by the parishioners, even master, but Jesus rebuked their pride and reminded them they had but one Master, the Reverend Jesus. For myself, if there were those who thought I might know something of God's word and had encouraged them along the way, pastor would be a most honorable title, more than a sinner would deserve. But to sit in His place in the temple, I would fain not do. Our pen is not excited today to harm good men. Yet, if they are good we ask them to be biblical. Jesus made a small scourge of cords and drove the moneychangers out of the temple, those who had made His house a house of merchandise. If He came back today, would He call men reverend, worshipful master or any other such title? He said He would return one day and many false professors of religion would say, "We have cast devils out in your name". His reply, "I never knew you". He said it was by their fruits that you would know them: not their titles. If Jesus came tomorrow and walked into your church, would He call you reverend or would you call Him Reverend?