Displaying Our Titles
January 19, 2014
When we attach titles to our names, this gives the message that we consider ourselves an authority in certain subject matters and a person who should be listened to and heeded. This may be okay when we are making an offer to those whom we know are looking for individuals having expertise to teach them, train them, or heal them, but for us to initiate a conversation with others, especially a disagreement, using our scholarly titles is really none other than a tactic of intimidation. It is a display of not only pride, but insecurity, for instead of allowing others to converse or debate with us on an equal level, it is a move to make others feel immediately intimidated and inferior. Such moves are practiced by people who undoubtably have a feeling of insignificance, who have a fear of being proven wrong, or who are just incredibly arrogant.
When we approach another person to discuss God’s Word, we should especially refrain from using titles. Jesus commanded this in Mt. 23:8-12, saying that because we are all brothers, we are not to exalt ourselves by allowing ourselves to have titles that infer spiritual authority over one another. Why then do men who claim to know God’s Word continue to disobey this command? Jesus Himself, exemplifying the humility all Christ-followers are to have, merely referred to Himself, time and again, as “The Son of Man” –even though He was the Almighty God in human form!
Jesus taught us, as well, that we are not to lord it over one another or exercise authority over one another. (Mt. 20:25-28) Instead, anyone who wants to become great or prominent is to be a servant and a slave. (v. 26,27) This certainly is not accomplished by displaying our titles for one another. Such action reveals, honors, and promotes pride, not Christlikeness.
Bible scholars are the ones who should know better than to disobey Christ’s very clear commands.