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    Christian Theology - Thread: Titles Used by Clergymen.

    1. #1
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      Titles Used by Clergymen.

      This seems minor, but I know of some hard feelings in congregations over how the clergy want to be addressed.

      The choices are many, from Mister to Reverend to Father to Doctor to Bishop, and even Apostle. That last one seems to be gaining favor in some churches. However, there are some who prefer just their own first name. What do you think about this matter and why so?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      This seems minor, but I know of some hard feelings in congregations over how the clergy want to be addressed.

      The choices are many, from Mister to Reverend to Father to Doctor to Bishop, and even Apostle. That last one seems to be gaining favor in some churches. However, there are some who prefer just their own first name. What do you think about this matter and why so?
      I'd prefer that no title be used except perhaps "brother" and that ought to be used of all one's Christian brothers and "sister" for one's Christian sisters. But on the whole first names seem best for informal occasions. If a title is needed/wanted to denote one's training and education then "Doctor" might suffice if one's pastor/priest has a doctorate in theology or something else.
      Saint Jude, author of the new testament letter.

      He is the patron of impossible causes because the scriptural Letter of St. Jude, which he authored, urges Christians to persevere in difficult times.

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      Does anyone in your parish call the priest/pastor "Tom" when speaking to him?

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      Our clergyman goes by "Pastor"

      I understand in Europe, Lutheran clergy are typically referred to as "Father" (in whatever language is spoken there).

      In the USA, "Reverend" seems very popular. "Minister" is used a lot, too. But probably "pastor" is most common. In my Catholic parish, we used the terms "Father" and "Pastor".



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      All my communications with my pastor start off with, "Pastor". My previous pastor was also "Pastor". The one before that had a transition phase where he was the senior pastor and right before his retirement we had another one there...so I used their last names after "Pastor"

      I've never liked calling ministers "Father" like they do in the Catholic churches I've gone to. It's awkward.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

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      As a side note, does anyone think there's any other issue involved with this--that one or another title is actually correct or properly respectful or historically accurate or anything other than just a matter of preference?

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      All my communications with my pastor start off with, "Pastor". My previous pastor was also "Pastor". The one before that had a transition phase where he was the senior pastor and right before his retirement we had another one there...so I used their last names after "Pastor"

      I've never liked calling ministers "Father" like they do in the Catholic churches I've gone to. It's awkward.
      Pastor seems very standard among Lutherans. The only time I ever heard a Lutheran pastor called Father it was somewhat of an inside joke. However, I don't doubt that it might be different in Europe.

    8. #8
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      I think it's more of what we're used to.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Does anyone in your parish call the priest/pastor "Tom" when speaking to him?
      No, they call him "Joe" and his assistant is also called by his Christian name. Some prefix "Father" many do not.
      Saint Jude, author of the new testament letter.

      He is the patron of impossible causes because the scriptural Letter of St. Jude, which he authored, urges Christians to persevere in difficult times.

      Hidden Content

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      I think it's more of what we're used to.

      I think it's mostly cultural.....


      "Father" and "Pastor" both carry the idea of leadership and caring....

      "Reverend" carries the idea of worthy of respect, which because of the office, seems appropriate (although I've always seen this as a bit egotistical, lol)

      I'm not sure it matters. I KNOW it's increasingly common (at least around here) to simply refer to the person by their first name. Informality is a part of American culture (especially in California). I'm okay with that IF the clergyperson is... but it "rubs" me wrong: I was raised to respect people. I never referred to my teachers and profs by their first names (even if I know that was okay), they were "Mr." or "Dr" or "Professor." I was just raised that way....
      We are justified by works - just not our own.

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