Why Not Reverend?

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

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“Why is it that you never refer to yourself as ‘Reverend’ (Rev.) or ‘The Reverend’? I must add that I totally agree with not using the title.”

In the Old Testament “reverend” is an adjective referring to the One who was to be revered. The Psalmist says, for example, “He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant forever: holy and reverend is His name” (Psa. 111:9). The term is clearly used here to describe the honor of His name. The name Jehovah was so high, so holy, so revered that the Hebrews changed the pronunciation of it fearing the curse of the law:

“And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord [Jehovah], he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger” (Lev. 24:16).

The Scriptures are very clear that we are to hold those in high esteem who have rule over us in spiritual things (I Thes. 5:12,13; Heb. 13:17). While they are indeed worthy of our recognition, the fact is, the very best fall short of the calling. Furthermore, we never want to give the impression that “The Reverend” is in any sense the final authority. Instead, it should be every spiritual leader’s desire that believers study the Word of God, which is the final authority.

Since the designation of “reverend” is such a lofty description that only God is worthy of, we believe ministers of the gospel should avoid its use. We should, however, give our due respect to those who proclaim the riches of His grace among us. This is the Lord’s way of encouraging them in the faith.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

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