DOES GOD APPROVE OF SPECIAL TITLES FOR “PREACHERS”?
With the many titles which are used by the so called "clergy" in the denominational world it can be confusing. Just to list a few there are: reverend, holy reverend, the right reverend, most holy reverend, bishop, father, pastor, priest, pope, rabbi, and possibly many more. When it comes to religion, if it be the religion of our Lord, one must have biblical authority for all that is done. What does the Bible say about religious titles?
Jesus vigorously condemned the use of religious titles. Think seriously about what Jesus says in the following verses. "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called Masters, for one is your master even Christ" (Matthew 23:8-10). This passage requires no interpretation, but an application of the Lord's command.
Possibly the most common title used today is "reverend". The word "reverend" is found only ONCE in the pages of the King James Version of the Bible. "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name" (Psalm 111:9). If you will read the entire Psalm you will find that the subject under consideration at this point is the holiness, purity, fear, awesomeness, and reverence in which we are to hold the name of God. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the psalmist teaches, "HOLY AND REVEREND IS HIS NAME". We should not take an attribute of God, which applies exclusively to Him and apply it to a man.
When men take to themselves religious titles and special clothing, Jesus said to "beware" of them. (Mark 12:38-39). Therefore, from the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, I believe it is wrong to use religious titles. I believe also that you can show proper respect, by calling them “brother”, if they are your brother in Christ, or "mister", if you do not know them well enough to call them by their first name. ---Charles E. Burch