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Names Not To Call People

I know the Catholics are wrong by calling priests 'father," but since the next verse, Matt 23:10, says we're not supposed to call people master, doesn't that mean we shouldn't use Mister (which is just a different spelling) or Mrs (mistress, feminine of Master) either?

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 ---sallemae on 7/7/06
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The bible says 'call no man a fool' I guess many of us will have broken that rule. I personally hope that I never have to attend court and go in the witness box because the judge is referred to as 'my lord'. If I had to, I think I would have to say beforehand that I wished to call him 'sir' because Jesus is the only one I can call Lord. I think the law of our land (uk) allows for that but I'm not sure what I would do if it doesn't. Perhaps they would lock me up for being disrespectful.
---emg on 11/21/07


Again, (include verses 8-9 too) this passage was making a point that God is the ultimate of all fathers, masters and rabbis. If you read the rest of the NT, you will note that these terms continue to be used, even in Paul's epistles which were written after Christ ascended to Heaven.

Note especially Ephesians 6:9 and Colossians 4:1 for "master", the term "father" is used too frequently to list.

Note 1 Cor 4:15 for why we call Priests "father".
---lorra8574 on 5/14/07


It is the elevation of a person in the giving of a title to them that is wrong. Jesus is Master for example, so to call any human being by any title that would elevate them is wrong. "Reverend" I believe is wrong as it is a title that elevates the person above others.
---Helen_5378 on 5/14/07


No Jack I take them all literally. Reread my post.

I don't perceive how verses 2-12 could be taken any other way.

How do you take the verses Jack?
---josef on 7/15/06


emg--The Bible also says "honor to whom honor is due," so I should think that following the usual customary courtesies wherever you are is called for.
---Jack on 7/13/06




Josef--So, you would take the verse Matthew 23:9 LITERALLY, but the next verse (given in the same allucution, with similar structure) you would NOT take literally.

Do I understand you right?
---Jack on 7/13/06


Yes, as Josef says, I, too, would have trouble calling a Catholic priest "father"...not being Catholic, I seldom have an opportunity to speak to a priest. Can anyone suggest an acceptable alternative? Otherwise, I'd probably just avoid the use of any form of address.
---Donna2277 on 7/11/06


However apart from Father the verses mentions nothing about not calling another by that title if they desire to be referred to in that manner.

"Out of respect, I call people whatever they WANT to be called."

That post reflects my thinking concerning this, except when it comes to the term Father. I reserve that title for The Father only.
---josef on 7/11/06


The word master as used in this verse is defined as a guide, teacher or leader.

We are not to consider ourselves as having an official authority to be called a leader, guide or teacher of things that pertain to the kingdom of God, or to think ourselves to be judges of the law. Nor are we to allow ourselves to be considered as such.

As the ending of the verse states "for one is your Master, [even] Christ."
---josef on 7/11/06


I believe Helen is correct in that it is whether or not we elevate a person in our minds or hearts into a god/idol. It is not the title itself, but a matter of the heart. Jack, yes some are elevated above others, but by God, not man, that is a big difference.
---Christina on 7/10/06




Thanks for that Jack. Let us all hope that I am never put in that position then. Do you have a term that you could suggest be used instead, because this problem is going to arise for Christians at some time or another?
---emg on 7/10/06


MaryLouise - Honoring one's parents does in no way mean to elevate them to some high status - all it means is to respect them. We are not to elevate any human being, only to respect others.
---Helen_5378 on 7/10/06


"Mister" once meant "Master". But "Master" was also a title for a male child. "Master John Jones", "Mistress Mary Morris" was how letters were properly addressed to children in the first half of the 20th century.

Language is constantly changing. Often titles just identify OCCUPATION. To me, "Reverend" is like "Doctor" or " Your Honor" (for judges). Out of respect, I call people whatever they WANT to be called.
---Donna2277 on 7/9/06


"I know the Catholics are wrong by calling priests 'father," ~sallemae

If that were true, then Jesus would also be wrong. He told us to "Honor your father and your mother" (Mt 19:19) and referred to "Father Abraham" (Luke 16:24). Also, look at St Paul "For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel" 1 Cor. 4:14-15).
---MaryLouise on 7/9/06


emg--If you're going to be consistent, you can't call a judge "sir" either, because "sir" is really "sire" and "sire" means "father".
---Jack on 7/9/06


Actually, calling God "Lord" is taking a word originally applied to human beings. "Lord" comes from the Old English/Anglo-Saxon word meaning literally "loaf guaradian." The feminine, "lady" comes from words meaning "loaf kneader."

In many European languages, the word for "sir," "lord," and "mister" are the same.
---Jack on 7/9/06


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But "Mister," which is really "master" and "Mrs" which is really "mistress" ARE titles, as sallemae pointed out.

At least she is being consistent.
---Jack on 7/9/06


Helen--But some people ARE elevated above others. As Jesus said, "He who humbles himself shall be exalted....Take the lowest place at a feast, and when the host calls you to a higher place, then you will have WORSHIP from those who sit at meat with you."
---Jack on 7/9/06


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