Commandments Concerning Titles and Honorifics


And concerning the etiquette of addressing pastors, missionaries, evangelists and suchlike you have no need that I write unto you for doth not nature itself show that it is a shame for a pastor not to put on airs and demand that his given name no longer be uttered by mere people in the pew? For though we may sing that we “say brother and sister ’round here” we know that it’s not quite that simple. And the honorifics of the pastor shall then be on thus wise:

It goes with almost without saying that thy pastor shalt be called “Pastor” or possibly “Pastor Smith” for as far as you are concerned “Pastor” is his first name even if he is only a hireling. But if thou shalt abide in the cleft of the rock and in that land of milk, honey, and NASCAR known as the Bible Belt thou mayest also sometimes tack “Pastor” to his first or last name if he shall allow it. For Pastor Billy-Bob doth often proclaim that he dost not care what you call him as long as you don’t call him late for a potluck. So shalt thou keep the distinction between clergy and those who only perch in the pew.

Thy missionaries and evangelists likewise shall be called “preacher” if they are there to preach, “missionary” if they are there to mission, and “brother so-and-so” if they went to a college where we don’t send our young people. And all shall know that these are among the chiefs of the sons of the prophets and worthy of love and (even more important) love offerings.

And if any such man shall have mailed in his money, and signed the book, and received a sheepskin for his dissertation on “What’s Wrong With America and How It Would Be Better If I Ran Things” then thou shalt make all haste to call him “doctor.” Likewise also if he shall have received an honorary doctorate from The Bible Stands Shcool of Theology and Small Engine Repair thou no longer address him as merely pastor for thus it is written “he who would be greatest among you, let him get his honorary doctorate right quick and hang it on his office wall.” Verily thou shalt rejoice that thy pastor yells so much better now that he has been instantly educated.

But of the address of pastors who have fallen, slid, stumbled, or done time in the pokey we have no command save that thou mention them as little as possible and never by name at all if you can help it.

132 thoughts on “Commandments Concerning Titles and Honorifics”

  1. Touche’. I live in that bible belt and you hit the nail on the head. Lets not forget about the honorary doctorate that didn’t require a dissertation but just another mog to bless the pastor with the title.

    1. The M-O-G at my former church/college used to give out honorary doctorates like candy….

  2. “Pastor We Loue You”?

    Also, it looks like this was taped above the sacred PPP (Pastoral Parking Place)? The sign below looks like it says reserved.

  3. โ€œWhatโ€™s Wrong With America and How It Would Be Better If I Ran Thingsโ€

    Shall be required reading for all young people who wilt attend thy good “Dr’s” school of Bible learning.

    1. Let me guess: this is where the “students” have to pay $19.99 for his 27 page “book”.

  4. Call your pastor, “Pastor” – He’s not “Bob” or “Pastor Bill.” I don’t care what that devil Rick Warren told you, he is called of God to do what he’s doing. Even your doctor isn’t called of God.
    Again, we Americans are so sold on “all men are created equal” that we hate the thought that anyone could be above us socially. (Except maybe your favorite sports idiot.) Well, your pastor is more important than you are. God called him. If you just went through a mental list of his deficiencies it just shows you’re rebellious against God and disrespectful for someone He has chosen. No, your pastor isn’t perfect. No, he isn’t always right. But he is there for you & your family and is far more important to your family than some Nomex-suited NASCAR driver! No basketball player will be there to help your child like your pastor will. (Your favorite movie star would spit in your pastor’s face. Which would you side with then?) Not even a “Gospel singer” was chosen to feed you from the Bible every week. Don’t “chew’im up and spit’im out” when he makes you mad. (If he’s doing his job he will make you mad.) I didn’t say you have to worship him. You don’t even have to love him. But you should appreciate him and not kill him when he makes you mad.
    -Sam Gipp “How to Behave in Church”

    1. “Well, your pastor is more important than you are. God called him.”

      Wow, just wow. Because God didn’t call anyone else?

      1. Good point! God has not only called, but also gifted every believer! Some to preach, yes, and others to show hospitality or to help or to give. Some to more visible roles and others to less visible – but without even one, the body is incomplete.

        1. And, indeed, some are called to practice medicine.
          I certainly assume as much when I let them do surgery or prescribe drugs for me.

        2. Ahh, but fundie doctrine ends with Ephesians 4:11 and ignores 4:12-16

          to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

      2. Now you know where the term “BULL GIPP!” comes from.
        And this idea that the office sanctifies the holder of it is chock full of BULL GIPP!

    2. Nonetheless it kinda alarms me that anyone would need to be told not to *kill* their pastor. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

      1. That, to me, is typical IFB persecution hyperbole. For “kill” read “dare to criticize.”

      2. It’s an indication of Sam Gipp’s opinion of himself that he seems to think his instruction not to kill your pastor would have more force than the severe legal penalties and social sanctions against murder.

        It also reminds me of the legend that saloons in the Old West had signs reading “Please don’t shoot the piano player.”

      3. I have a photo of a plastic disposable cup with the words Dr Gipp written on it taken at a meeting I went to where he spoke.

        1. Did he label his own cup, or did someone else do it?
          If he labeled it, that’s puttin’ on a lot of airs for a guy who has only an honorary doctorate from an unaccredited institution.

          None of the people I know with earned PhDs go around calling themselves “Doctor” (except on CVs and job applications) or having others address them that way.

    3. Most of what I know of theology, I learned from my wife (also from Jack Chick, but that was long ago), but isn’t it generally held God has a “plan” for everyone, and so, the doctor, lawyer, garbageman, etc, might well have been called by God to their jobs, or, at least, are fulfilling God’s plan for their life? Also, wasn’t one of the most important functions of Jesus, theologically, to remove the barriers between man and God, so that there was no longer a need for an elite class of priests to serve as intermediaries? (You know, kind of like how desktop systems and networking meant any office drone could call up data from the mainframe, instead of asking someone to run a report and getting it a week later on green-striped paper, except, with souls instead of sales figures?)

      1. yeah, I always heard that idea (God can call you to be many things, a Christian school teacher, or a secretary, or even a bank teller!) when I was growing up Fundy. But that kind of call is nothing like the call to the pastorate, which was always described as an irresistible urge, like the urge to pee after drinking a 64-ounce bladder buster from the gas station soda fountain. It was supposed to utterly consume you so that you couldn’t sleep at night or think of anything else until you went to the altar and applied to Bible College in sweet surrender. If I had described my calling to, say, education that way, people would have labeled me as carnal.

      2. I know a lot of fundies who would be HORRIFIED to hear Gipp preaching this. While functionally there is often a sort of caste system with pastors and missionaries at the top in the IFB, at least most of them know enough to at least verbally acknowledge that all believers are part of the body of Christ and no one is supposed to say they’re more important than another.

        1. This.

          I know preachers who thought this, but real shepherds know that they are the servant of the church, not its lord.

    4. Is that Poe, Don? Please, please tell me it’s Poe!!!! ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ˜ฅ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      1. No, this is straight up BULL GIPP teaching. Gipp is a Revivalist Guest Preacher. His schtick is going church to church preaching Revivals, Bible Conferences and “Special” meetings. Generally he is called on to set the sheeple straight on how they should treat the M-O-g, tithe, and act in church. He is an IFB “troubleshooter” who can come in, stomp on some toes, whip the sheep into shape and move on.

        1. Lest we forget the message “Dr. Jack Trieber” of the Hyles’ camp preached: My Pastor Is My Shepherd, I Shall Not Want.

        1. Just thought I’d let you know that elsewhere on this page, we have been enjoined to “Serve the Lord Don.” I just had to let you know how amused I am at this.

          Would you like a cup of tea, m’lord?

  5. “…and โ€œbrother so-and-soโ€ if they went to a college where we donโ€™t send our young people.” Wow. I forgot how fundies like choosing colleges to send their “young people” to.

  6. My biggest pet peeve of fundy MOGs is the whole bogus “doctorate” scam. When I was in a fundy church, our pastor committed the cardnal sin of fundies (changing fundy camps) in order to get his. He was BJU through-and-through, but was quick to run into Hyles’ waiting arms when he (St Jack) proffered an honorary doctorate for him. (As an aside, how can one take a Hyles doctorate even remotely seriously when he – St Jack – conferred the same “degree” on John Rice’s horse?) In any event, that was the beginning of the pastor’s ascension to infalliable MOG. I swear he acted like he was elected popette after that point…and spelled the end for me and my family in that church. I attended their IBFX christian school at that point and, when I got in trouble for not doing a book report and they asked me how I ever expected to graduate, I responded that they could just confer a diploma on me like they did for the pastor. I was immediatley asked to not return. BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!

    1. “I responded that they could just confer a diploma on me like they did for the pastor.”

      That was a beautiful smart-ass response. Well done.

      1. Thank you. Many years later my father told me that getting thrown out of the church school was a positive to our whole family…it was the impetus to get us all out of the IFBX (as the pastor didn’t want us around after he heard what I had said). We found a new reformed-leaning baptist church and non-church-run christian school…both of which I love to this day.

        1. a former pastor of mine (whom I admire and respect to this day) always asked to be called Undershepherd (even though he had an honorary doctorate) as a reminder that he was a servant and not a ruler. I thought this was very quaint and very sweet.

  7. What about the man with the funny white collars who works in the church down the street?

    1. If you live a separated-enough life, you can avoid any mention of him and not have to call him anything. If you must, you can say “the priest” or “the minister”. Calling him “father” is forbidden by Scripture, and don’t call him “reverend” because that means you revere him and you don’t!

      *tongue firmly planted in cheek*

      1. LOL! The “Father” and “Reverend” thing…so true!

        It’s funny though, to me, “Pastor” is more or less the same thing. The Fundies seem to miss the point that most people calling their clergy “Father” and “Reverend” don’t WORSHIP them the way the Fundies worship their “Pastor”.

      2. This created a very interesting situation for me a while back. Friends of mine were getting married in the Vatican by Cardinal Chelli and my soon-to-be-wife and I were invited to attend. We had a private audience with the cardinal prior to the service and there was a VERY awkward moment when everyone (there were 7 of us total) lined up to genuflect and kiss his ring. As a dyed-in-the-wool Protestant, I was not about to do either…but, to your point, I also didn’t know how to address him. When my turn came, I stood straight up and, instead of grasping his hand to kiss his ring, I shook it and said “Good morning, cardinal”. We both stared at each other for what seemed like an hour (probably only 2-3 seconds)…and smiled at each other. We both knew the deal, but I give him credit for handling it graciously. He was even moreso the next day at lunch after a few bottles of vino…but that is another story.

    2. Our former pastor, an elderly Jesuit (now deceased), told us a story about this once. It was in the context of a homily (sermon) on the “Call no man father” passage.

      Back-story: Our church is a rural mission, a satellite of an historically black inner-city parish. (The two churches are about half an hour apart. Yes, it makes no sense. Our poor pastor is run ragged serving both communities. Welcome to the Priest Shortage. :o)

      Anyway, the pastor lives in a tiny apartment attached to the inner-city church building. The inner-city parish is his Main Responsibility.

      Well, Father Hunt (the elderly Jesuit) told us that he was once standing on the steps of his Main Church in inner-city Winston-Salem, greeting parishioners as they exited after Sunday Mass. He was in his Catholic vestments, natch. Some young black kids passed by, and one of them looked up, saw Father in all his Catholic regalia, and said, “Yo! Church-Man!”

      Call no man father. But it’s perfectly fine to call him Church-Man. ๐Ÿ˜€

      OK, I ruined that joke. I always ruin jokes. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ But it was funny when Father Hunt told it.

      Anyway, Saint Paul said he was a spiritual father. That’s the sense in which Catholic and Orthodox priest are called fathers. ๐Ÿ˜€

      And, of course, male parents are also called fathers. Hmmmm. But I digress….

  8. The only person with an honorary doctorate who is allowed to use the title is Dr. Ralph Stanley.

    1. I’d also let Doctor Dolly Parton use hers if she wants to.

  9. “… they could just confer a diploma on me …”

    … And on your horse.

  10. Dear SFL Reader …

    On the other hand, Harriet, Thea, Tom, Bill and others walked with me for gracious years before I learned that they hold earned doctorates.

    Christian Socialist

  11. on a side note is Preacher wearing a pink bow tie in that picture???? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  12. A quote from the man in the photo…”Dr.” JH, “There was not another Moody running around, but there are a lot of little Jack Hyleses running around the country-people that we have had the privilege to train.”

    And that’s one reason why SFL exists! I want a pastor who strives to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, not a Jack Hyles! Heaven help us!

    1. I know a pastor who got one of those honorary doctorates from Hyles-Anderson, and he’s one of those “little Jack Hyleses”. He, and those like him, is NOT what this country or the Church of Christ needs.

  13. This was so ingrained in me that, even though my dear friend and pastor (non-fundy) insists on everyone calling him by his first name, I still have twinges of guilt or feel like I am somehow disrespecting him when I don’t call him Pastor [last name]. Same goes for other men in my church who have been pastors in previous lives.

  14. “We love you, Preacher;
    Oh, yes we do!
    We don’t love anyone
    Like we love you.
    When you’re not with us
    We’re blue
    Oh, Preacher, we love you!”

    Whereas Jesus said:
    “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me”

    1. Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalph!

      Sorry, that song always gets that response from me.

  15. I am against all the honorary doctorates and raising up of God’s men above the rest of the congregation. It is the Lord that lifts up a person and expands his influence, not a man. We need to remember that we are all sinners and would all be lost and condemned to a sinner’s Hell without the Lord Jesus Christ.

    One the flip side of that coin, we must run to the scriptures to see what they say about the matter. In the Old Testament, the prophets were respected by the people (even their enemies) and were rarely, if ever, called by their first name. Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha were called “Man of God.” Jesus was called “Master” and “Teacher”. In light of this, I think you would agree that your pastor deserves the same respect.

    The Bible states that the pastorate is an office ordained by God and to be respected by men. Many of us do not agree with the President of the USA, but we would be respectful to him, because of his office. Many do not agree with medical doctors, but respect them for their position. There may be pastors that we do not agree with, but we must respect their position. One way of being respectful, is by calling a person, “Pastor.”

    I have found personally that those that scorn God’s Word and lead disobedient, carnal lives are those that are more prone to call their pastor by their first name, because they do not respect him or his office (not saying that about anyone here).

    On another side, there is nothing wrong with loving your pastor, but everything wrong with idolizing him. If he is a decent man, he will point his people to the Lord Jesus and not himself. The Bible clearly states that the good pastor is worthy of double honor (I Timothy 5:17: speaking of his wages), because he is the one accountable for the spiritual welfare of the sheep (Hebrews 13:17). He is also the one that watches out for the flock (Acts 20:28-31) and protects it from the wolves that would destroy it.

    So, please love on your pastor. He has a difficult work and is praying for you. Please, respect him and call him “Pastor”, because he has earned it and loves you. It is the biblical thing to do.

    1. Do realize also, Jeb, that sometimes pastors want to be called by their first name to help people feel more comfortable around them.

    2. The apostle Paul referred to himself simply as “Paul” when writing to fellow believers. I admire his humility, as I do my own pastor’s for encouraging us to address him by his first name.

      1. Um…by HER first name? If that was her preference. If it were not, I’d be somewhere else. Had enough of brothers and sisters, doctors and reverends, during my long life, thankyouverymuch.

      2. Our current priest just wants to be called “Caroline”. One of our supply priests is “Mother Alcena” A couple parishes over is “Reverend Ann”. I don’t have a problem with any of them.

    3. Nope, sorry won’t do it. Peter was called Peter, Paul was called Paul. Timothy, Titus, Stephen, Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Sarah, (King) David, Apollos, Lydia, Phillip, even a certain man named Cornelius who was a centurion are all called by their given names.

      No, I will not buy into the class/caste system that empowers dictators, empire-builders and despots. The Pastor is one who has the gift of pastoring and it is to be used to carryout Ephesians 4:11-16 in total and not put a period at the end of verse 11. The office does not sanctify the holder of it.

      Respect is earned, not given just because someone holds an office. Anyone can claim to be “Calledโ„ข” but honorable men who are Bishops are few and far, far between. I would venture to say not one in a thousand who claim to be Calledโ„ข should be allowed to stand behind the pulpit and attempt to preach… but God allows Ahabs and Jezebels…

      1. When I was a fundie my Pastor (make sure to use the capital P), would refer to Peter and Paul as Pastor Peter and Pastor Paul, and of course Dr. Luke.

        1. “Shame on your former “Big P” pastor for adding to the inspired, blessed, 1611, perserved for the English speaking peoples KJB!” ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    4. It is the Lord that lifts up a person and expands his influence, not a man.

      IMO you shouldn’t be so quick to ascribe to the God’s will/the Lord what is voted on by human beings, particularly in IFB circles.

      1. Also you might want to re-read the New Testament, there’s a few things it has to say about the equality & priesthood of all believers, and the real meaning of power in the Kingdom of God.

        Lastly, if you are so obsessed with following the Bible, I hope your church has a Bishop of some sort.

  16. Out here, in Southern Baptist and Assembly of God churches I have gone to, it’s always been Pastor and the first name or just Pastor. Sometimes even Preacher and the first name. However, in the GARBC church my hubby got me to go to the first few years of our marriage, it was Pastor, last name, and in the IFB church Hubby sometimes goes to, it’s always Pastor and the last name. But the GARBC church and the IFB church were both more “formal” in a lot of ways than the SBC church and the AoG churches I’ve been to, so maybe that’s a big part of whether the pastor is called by his first or last name.

    1. I grew up hearing Pastor Last Name (GARBC church). My husband goes by Pastor First Name or just his first name. He responds to either graciously!

  17. That last part cracked me up. When we left our old church, they mailed some stuff to my dad and addressed him as “Mr.” rather than brother. An outsider might not understand it, but it was a very intentional dig. ๐Ÿ™„

    1. I’ve seen it done with listing of names on programs (or things like that) too. If you’re a pastor of a non-approved church, they’ll just list you as “Mr.” instead of “Rev.” or Pastor. It’s a definite slight.

  18. In all fairness though, I’ve met a few legitimate PhDs who had all sorts of narcissistic hangups about being addressed as “doctor”.

    1. My uncle is an earned chemistry PhD, and I would never think to call him a narcissist. But he gets his students to call him Dr. First name. Sometimes, IMO, it’s more of “I did a whole lot of work to get this small acknowledgment!” or a way to remind students just why he’s the prof and they’re not!

      Should I ever accomplish a PhD (unlikely), I can easily see myself insisting on the title as a recompense for all my hard work. But then, I have some pride issues I’m still working on ๐Ÿ˜‰ :mrgreen:

      1. Janet, as someone who had to proofread her husband’s doctoral dissertation, I say “Hear hear!” (He wouldn’t let me help type it, because it was about Byzantine history, and a lot of the quotes and footnotes were in Greek, and he was afraid I’d get the Greek characters all garbled — as I probably would have. :mrgreen: )

        Real doctorates are no joke, and the dissertation truly separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls!

        1. Clarification: When my husband taught, his students did call him “Dr.,” but he didn’t insist on that by any means. It was simply the custom at that particular institution.

          I have always been far more protective of his title than he is. That’s because I’m the one with the pride issues. ๐Ÿ˜†

      2. I have a friend who is an icthyologist, and teaches biology at Oregon State. His last name is Sidlauskas, but no one can say it, so they call him Dr. Sid. I think it’s kind of cool really.

        One of my brothers has a PhD in Philosophy. I don’t know if anyone calls him Dr. I call him Johann, or Dorkface. Old habits die hard. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. I see nothing wrong in academia with referring to professors as Dr. So-and-So. The proper title for Indiana Jones was Dr. Jones because of his earned doctorate in archaeology.

  19. For a tradition which places so little value on genuine learning, fundamentalism certainly places a lot of value on degrees.
    It’s especially sad at Fundy U, where you have some genuinely smart faculty members with earned doctorates who have to sit there in chapel every day and get berated by someone with an “honorary doctorate.”
    I remember one commencement service at BJU where Dr. Bob spent 15 minutes conferring an honorary doctorate on some guy who was actually a real doctor, like a medical doctor. Dr. Bob decided to make medical-related puns the whole time (groaning, awful puns). The whole thing was a farce and the poor ‘honoree’ looked really embarrassed.
    Glad I’m at another institution now, where we confer honorary doctorates on people like Donald Trump . . oh wait ๐Ÿ™„

  20. In the Holy Bible, God calls them “pastors”. The world for as long as I have been alive has labeled them “doctors” which the christian schools and churches embraced. In the last few years, I have noticed a new title that lifetime pastors who expect to be called “doctors” are bestowing upon themselves when they semi-retire or retire. This title is “emeritus”.

    It does not matter what the world calls them. What matters is how God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit refers to them. They were called to be pastors, and that is what they are. Placing “dr.” or “emeritus” is only a worldly cosmetic to help their ego look and feel good.

    Now I visited a number of churches where the pastor is called “dr.”. When I spoke to them, I called them pastor, which I could see on their face that they were offended by it. I did this as a test to see if they were truly a man of God or an hireling. If they were truly called by God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit to be a pastor, they will not be offended by the title. As a matter of fact, they will be humble in the knowledge that God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit even considered them when there is always somebody else that could be better.

    “Pastor” is not to be a title to be ashamed of, nor treated nor performed wontonly. A pastor is to be respected and respectful. The pastor has been given a special role that must be held with the highest dignity, responsibility, integrity, etc. because they are working for God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit. The pastor must strive 100% of his lifetime striving not to do anything that is going to shame, embarrass, nor humiliate his Master THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    Unfortunately, there are many hirelings leading churches as pastors today who have spiritually wounded and spiritually killed most if not all of the Lords sheep. God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit has a lot to say about them in His Love Letter to us (the Holy Bible). “God is not mocked”. When He said “Woe to all ye pastors who scatter my sheep”,……… there is a day of judgement for those wicked pastors.

    What we need to do is take a look at ourselves and stop spending our lives playing “posse” going after the false prophets and hirelings in the church. We already know about Jack Hyles and all the rest of them, and we also know God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit will judge them. I guarentee that there is no crooked defense attorney that will get them off on a technicality and no amount of money that will bribe this Judge.

    So, that leaves you and I. Where are we in God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit’ litmus test? If the Lord raptured right now, would you and I find ourselves in the air? What if you and I instead found ourselves still standing there wondering where everyone went? You and I cannot accuse God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit of making a mistake by confusing us with someone else with the same name or a look alike. We can’t go to the Master and tell Him “those angels you got working in the records department are incompitent”. So, that tells us we do not meet His standards for entry into heaven. So, we need to take care of this business now because none of us knows when He is coming back. Once we do truly take care of this business of being saved, we then need to let go of former things and live our lives truly for God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit 100% of our lifetime.

    Don’t wait, take care of this now because our lifetime is when He says it is, and not us.

    1. Doesn’t scripture also say, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

      If we do not warn others of these wolves, false prophets, and worse in order that other may avoind them, would we not then be in error? God allows Ahabs and Jezebels and he raises up Elijahs and his remnant.

      Not everyone who claims they are Christian are, not everything that holds a Christian title is. And calling attention to the difference either through satire and sarcasm or outright identification is required in order to shine light in darkness and expose error for what it is.

      1. Your right, so stop chasing after them as a “posse” and focus on you. Focus on living your life for God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit because one day you will meet Him and then what are you going to say? “Lord, Lord, did I not kill Jack Hyles with my mouth?” What do you think the Lord is going to tell you Don?

        In the Holy Bible we are commanded to be “watchmen” and warn of an invading enemy. I remember reading in the Holy Bible, and I apologize I do not remember where in the Old Testament it is but, it essentially says that a watchman who does not warn and the city falls because of him, he is despicable. Yes, you need to warn people so they can make an informed decision of whether to become their next victim or not. If you remain silent then you are no better than the enemy, BUT, that does not mean that you literally stop serving the Lord and spend every waking minute of the rest of your life on internet sites and other sites badmouthing all Independent Fundamental Baptists because of a large barrel of bad apples. Not every apple is bad Don. That is how the devil works. He gets us to stereotype, to assume that because of all the prevalent Jack Hyles’, all IFBers must be the same as him, and that is far from the truth.

        I understand, to a point, your view because I have been hurt too by hirelings, false prophets, whatever you wish to call them. It breaks my heart to have friends that still attend the church that I use to attend who refuse to speak to me and believe I am an evil person for speaking the truth which they view as a lie because they can’t believe the “nice young pastor who was an army ranger with the nice looking family, the young deacon who has a nice large family and runs a reputable christian school and is a boy scout leader, the trustee who is also the choir director and has a beautiful young family and he wants to be a missionary” would do the things they have done and I can be convinced are still doing. It breaks my heart to see this taking place in the House that is called by no other name than God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit by people who are suppose to be the children of the King.

        Don, the Holy Bible in First Samuel tells of Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas. If God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit did not turn a blind eye to Eli concerning his two wicked sons, Don, you and I and everybody on this site can be assured that God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit has not turned a blind eye to all those who have scattered, hurt, and destroyed us sheep.

        Don, serve the Lord. Don’t stop living in the present and future because of the past. Warn people but leave the “posse” to the Lord. He has the perfect angels to round them up for judgment, and the Lord can do more to them than you and anyone else on this site could ever come up with.

        Serve the Lord Don.

        1. Not, your last sentence works really well without the direct-address comma it should have.

        2. (And I’m past the days of picking on people I disagree with for their grammar, but “Serve the Lord Don” IS indvertently brilliant.)

        3. While I admit I probably have quite a few punctuation and grammatical errors, I can rejoice in the knowledge that God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit does not judge on whether I used a comma correctly. He judges on the basis of what am I saying about Him to people. Since my grammar and punctuation are the only things you can find to complain about, I’ll take that as meaning that you find my comment Biblically correct.

        4. Ezekiel 3:16-21
          16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 โ€œSon of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, โ€˜You will surely die,โ€™ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for[a] his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
          20 โ€œAgain, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.โ€ – NIV

        5. No, don’t assume that, Not. I didn’t read your comments — they’re so long, I just skimmed them. But you should actually read what I wrote, because it’s brief and comprehensible.

        6. If you don’t read the comment thoroughly, how can you judge if it is correct? If you just pick a word here and a word there, then of course you will find something wrong. Sometimes explanations can be one sentence long, but other times, if you want a full understanding, then the explanation may have to be long.

          You have made it clear that you abhor long readings. It is no big deal if you do not want to read any comment I make. That is your choice, after all, I do not read every comment posted on SFL. I am curious about one thing. How do you get through reading the Holy Bible if you consider long readings incomprehensible and unmanageable?

        7. So many false teachers and immoral pastors are out there because the people who knew what they did would not speak out. And because of that more people are lead astray. You say leave it to God, NITC. Why are you so sure that God will not use His people to get the false teachers / immoral pastors out of there, or at least warn people to stay away from them?

        8. We are commanded to warn people but who are you warning? The only people that you all are warning are each other that already knows about the false prophets. Beth D, who on SFL does not know? We are commanded to warn those that do not know, not the ones who already know.

          When was the last time a new neighbour, co-worker, stranger was looking for a church and you warned them: “hey, I went to this church, and this is what I found…..” or “I did not attend this church but the newspaper articles stated that this happens, and here is the newspaper articles and websites to read about the investigations.” When was the last time any of you warned someone that was not on SFL? You talk about corruption in the church and warning other members which we are commanded to be good stewards of God Jesus Christ Holy Spirits House and speak up. When have any of you actually spoken out in the churches you attended to warn people? Some of you I can believe you did while others, I don’t know. At the moment, you all sit here in front of the screen “mooing the blues” to each other about “this false prophet and that false prophet”, and who on SFL are you warning?

          If you want to obey God Jesus Christ Holy Spirits command on warning others, then turn off the computer and go visit your new neighbour. Introduce yourself and ask them if there is any information you can give them on the community, schools, churches, etc. This will open up the door, if they are church goers and not atheists.

          BUT, you have to be careful. God says to warn others. God does not say to bully them. If they do not want to invite you into their home, if they do not want to listen to you about the corrupt church, if they do not want your over 2000 page book on all the bad churches and prophets in the United States of America, if they still are determined to go to this church then you must step back and respect their decision. You have warned them so they can make an informed decision even if it is not the right decision.

        9. Not in the Clique: I apologize for my testy tone in my previous response to you.

          Right now I would like to address your “leave It to the Lord” advice.

          As everyone in the world (even in the remotest reaches of the Peruvian Andes) knows by now, we Catholics went through a big honkin’ Sex Abuse Scandal a few years ago. According to the independent John Jay Study, roughly four percent of our priests were “credibly accused” of sex-abuse crimes over a 40-year period. That percentage is about the same as the percentage of clergy sex offenders across the board in other churches…but, because there are 70 million of us Catholics in America alone, the four-percent figure translates into a lot of perps. And even one is waaaay too many. Child and teen sex abuse is an unspeakable evil.

          Well, when the scandal broke, many Catholic laypeople took the lead in pursuing justice. Outraged victims and their parents as well as ordinary pew-sitters — we all angrily demanded answers and actions from our bishops. We fought for a crackdown on the “Lavender Mafia” in our seminaries. We lobbied for a radical change in the episcopal culture of cover-ups and bureaucratic run-arounds.

          Some people refused to give any more money to the Church until the scandal was resolved. Others launched lawsuits. Speaking cynically, I think the lawsuits had the biggest effect!

          We are far from perfect now, but I think I can honestly say that the U.S. catholic Church has made great strides in addressing the scandal. The number of “credibly accused” priests has dropped precipitously, and the very few cases that do surface nowadays (including one in my own diocese) almost invariably involve abuse that occurred decades ago. This does NOT excuse it!!! — but such cases, when they do surface, are now promptly referred to the civil authorities. The cover-up era is over.

          There are glaring, egregious exceptions, alas, such as the recent cases in Philadelphia, but, in general, we are striving for transparency and compliance, and our priority is “Protecting God’s Children.”

          It was a long, hard road to get where we are, and we still have a lot to do, but we’re working on it. Bottom line, though: We would NEVER have reached our present level of compliance and transparency if laypeople and others (including the Evil Media ;)) hadn’t refused to let the issue go.

          Question, Not in the Clique: When the Catholic scandal broke, should we laypeople have simply “left it to the Lord”? Should we have sat by and done nothing? Should we have continued to entrust our kids to predatory priests? Should we have “heard no evil, seen no evil, spoken no evil”?

          If we and others had not demanded justice, we might never have received justice. If we had not raised an outcry to High Heaven, we might never have moved certain bishops (Cardinal Mahony springs to mind!) to crack down (FINALLY!!) on the perps.

          Christians are not called to be quietists, who sit back passively and wait for the Lord to do everything. Quietism is a heresy, in fact. Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Just as He called us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked — not simply to wait for Him to feed and clothe them — so He calls us to speak out and act in the face of injustice.

          I am sure you agree! ๐Ÿ™‚

        10. Waht BethD said!!

          LOL, I just realized that BethD made the same point I was trying to make…much more succinctly!

        11. Serve the Lord Don

          or I’ll sic my “posse” on you.(you know …just like any good fundie Mafia Don would do) I have the pow-wer!

          Too funny! :mrgreen:

        12. Oh, man.
          Now we have to call you Lord Don?
          I guess it was only a matter of time until you were elevated to the peerage.

          I gave up long ago at trying to get everyone to address me as “Master of the Universe,” so I guess I’ll just be happy for you, Don.

        13. In “Further Absurdities of NITC,” we are instructed to look to the story of Eli, Hophni, and Phineas as part of a long screed about how it is wrong for us to hold accountable those who use their positions of power in the church to abuse others. We are supposed to just “leave the ‘posse’ to the Lord.”


          If you care to refer to the aforementioned story in 1 Samuel 2:27-36, you will find that God brought doom on Eli AND HIS ENTIRE HOUSE…ALL DESCENDANTS because Eli knew that his sons were doing evil, and he did nothing to prevent it.

          Hardly supports NITC’s point, methinks.

          NITC, if you are going to lecture us and quote the Bible at us, the least you could do is learn the truth first. The ENTIRE truth. Not just the parts of the story that appeal to you.

    2. Not in the Clique, may I ask a dumb question or two? Why do you always assume that the people here are not already serving the Lord? Why do you constantly exhort them to Turn To Jesus, on the apparent assumption that they have not already done so? How on earth could you possibly know the precise nature or depth or sincerity of someone else’s relationship with God? Can you read other people’s souls? Somehow I rather doubt it. In that case, who are you to exhort Don to “serve the Lord” as if you were an Old Testament prophet scourging the sins of the people? How do you know that Don is not already serving the Lord better than you are?

      I’m sorry if these are offensive questions, and I hope they don’t get me banned. As a Catholic Gate-Crasher, I’m here on everyone else’s sufferance. But frankly I’m getting pretty weary of your sanctimonious assumption that everyone else hereabouts needs a Come-to-Jesus Meeting, which only YOU can call us to!

      1. To answer your question:

        “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

        For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”
        ———————–Matthew 15: 18-19

        Catholic Gate-Crasher,

        Since the mouth cannot be heard, those things proceed out of the fingers. That is how I know who is unsaved. Their heart gives them away through their fingers.

    3. “What we need to do is take a look at ourselves and stop spending our lives playing โ€œposseโ€ going after the false prophets and hirelings in the church. We already know about Jack Hyles and all the rest of them, and we also know God Jesus Christ Holy Spirit will judge them. I guarentee that there is no crooked defense attorney that will get them off on a technicality and no amount of money that will bribe this Judge.”

      Respectfully, I disagree. He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8). The word translated ‘justly’ is mishpat, which Strong’s defines as
      1) judgment, justice, ordinance
      a) judgment
      1) act of deciding a case
      2) place, court, seat of judgment
      3) process, procedure, litigation (before judges)
      4) case, cause (presented for judgment)
      5) sentence, decision (of judgment)
      6) execution (of judgment)
      7) time (of judgment)
      b) justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man)

      Based on that verse alone (and the Bible in speaks a lot regarding justice in general), I believe God has called us all to right the wrongs of this world to the best of our abilities, including (or especially) in the Church.

  21. At our old fundy place, we had a guy who insisted on calling him Dr, even though it was only a honorary one. Even his wife had to call him Dr. One day I asked him what he did his dissertation on and he hummed and hawed and said it was a honorary one. My reply was, “oh then its not a real one…” That was the beginning of the end for us there.

    I have a friend who has her PHD and years of hard work she put in is not for the faint of heart. You really need to step up to get one of those. One day I called her Dr Myhre, she looked at me and said, “John, my name is Karla…”

    1. Both of my brothers have earned PhDs, which took many years of hard work. In addition, they have one and two master’s degrees, respectively. (I’m the least educated member of my extended family.) Yet it would seem really weird to call them “Doctor Big Brother” and “Doctor Little Brother.” It’s lucky for me they still answer to their names. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Wow, I didn’t realize this was a common thing. My former Pastor asked us to call him Pastor (last name here). I was dumbfounded. I’m not from the Bible belt area, but he is. He said that when people want to have fun and chat, they go to their friends. When they want prayer or have issues- they want their Pastor (apparently he hasn’t ever experienced real friends). I suppose the title was so the sheeple would know the difference between the two. We were told not to talk to each other about our sins/burdens/problems, but to only speak to him or his wife about them. Sharing them with each other would only lead to gossip, and the sin would be spread like a virus.


  23. I think “The Bible Stands Shcool of Theology and Small Engine Repair” is my favorite line ever read on SFL. Hope school was intentionally misspelled! If not, leave it as is…it’s better that way. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Mine, too, Kreine!! I was going to comment on that line earlier, but the Internet Gremlins ate my response. Thanks for mentioning — I simply hooted when I read that line. I can actually imagine that shingle hanging out beside someone’s mailbox hereabouts — right near the farm that sells fainting goats. :mrgreen:

  24. When our (non-Fundy) pastor earned his doctorate after years of studying and hard work while pastoring a large congregation, we asked him what we should call him. Previously, we’d called him Pastor Bill. (Mind you, he’s from the Bible belt). He seemed surprised that we would even ask. After a pause, he said, “Pastor Bill’s just fine.” Then, with a light-hearted chuckle, he said, “Or maybe Dr. Billy.” When the guys at church wanted to rib him, they’d use that title irreverently, but we all genuinely adored that big teddy bear of a man. Life went on as normal after he reluctantly attended a gathering to honor his accomplishment.

  25. My pastor’s wife always referred to her husband as “Pastor” when talking to him or about him. Never heard her slip and call him by his first name.

    1. I asked my wife to call me “Your Excellency,” but she said she wasn’t in the mood.

      1. From now on, I am definitely referring to Don as Lord Don, though. “Your Lordship” works, too. ๐Ÿ˜†

  26. Bravo, Your Lordship.

    In honor of your Scots-Irish heritage, may I also address you as Laird Donald? :mrgreen:

  27. It seems often the size of the ego dictates the title required. My husband went with what people from the varied generations within the congregation felt like calling him. He prefered his first name. Once or twice there were a few inappropriate names lol. He never listed his 3 earned degrees after his name. The education helped him to be well rounded and keep the crazy god complex away. Well, he’s normal enough. :mrgreen:
    What really drove me crazy were the girls who claimed to be called to be a pastor’s wife, a regular oocurence at college. Then the pastor’s wife became a position and a title of sorts to match the husband. Matching egos!

      1. Thank you!

        (Originally when I first stopped lurking and decided to start commenting, I chose the name because there had been some mean-spirited attacks on SFL accusing everyone here of being God-haters and mockers and unbelievers. I thought by identifying myself as a pastor’s wife, at least some drive-by fundies might recognize that many of us still fervently believe in Christ even if we reject the IFB.)

        My husband was dumped by a girl their senior year of high school because she was going to marry a pastor and at the time he wasn’t planning to be one. Little did she know …!

  28. Special message for Bama Man: If you want to address Nick Saban as Grand Poobah & Honorary Demigod, that’s fine with me. ๐Ÿ˜€

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