We, in the non-Catholic ranks, criticize the Catholic Priest for being addressed as “Father” when we ourselves address our clergy as “Reverend”. That’s hypocritical! Being called reverend insinuates a lofty and pious estimation of ones self.
Consider what Jesus said when speaking of the Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 23:6-11
“They love the best places at feast, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the market places, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But you do not be called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, the Christ: and you are all brethren. Do not call any one on earth your father; for one is your father, who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers: for one is your teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
It’s clear, these Pharisees and scribes loved the esteem their positions and titles brought them. Jesus was so clearly teaching that flattering religious titles were not to be a part of the Christian life. Christians are all brothers. Christians are servants of one another.
God calls preachers to be apostles, or prophets, or evangelists, or pastors or teachers (Ephesians 4:11). These are titles of the positions of service they occupy in the body. Elder or bishop or deacon (Titus 1:5-7, 1 Timothy 3:1-8) are also titles of positions of service in the body. But these men are all brethren and servants of the church. When addressed with a title, that title should recognize their position of service or simply their relationship. But religious titles that elevate one member of the church, by their very nature, abase others.
Because Jesus said not to be called “Father” and didn’t say not to be called “Reverend” doesn’t justify being called “Reverend”. Seek the truth from this passage. Don’t be so caught up in the “letter” that you miss the “spirit” of the passage.
There is a snare in the use of flattering religious titles. Jesus said,”He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”