Brother Fred Is Still a Title
So we stop calling one another Brother ____ or Sister ____. Instead we say, “my brother”?
Yesterday we talked about how even the title “Brother” is still a title: “Brother Fred,” “Brother John,” “Sister Mary.” Those are still titles. In the entire New Testament, do you know how many times people were called by the title of “Brother So-and-So”? Does anybody know? The answer is that it only occurs two times in the entire New Testament. Both of those times, the title was used for a Jew, not a Christian. It was Ananias saying, “Brother Saul,” (Acts 9, Acts 22) before he was converted. Not one time other than that was anyone called “Brother Timothy,” “Brother John,” “Brother Paul,” or “Brother Silas.” Not even one time was that title ever used in thirty years of recorded history in the book of Acts. It doesn’t show up in any of the letters either. Paul never wrote to “Brother Fred” or “Sister Sally.” It never happened in the New Testament.
“Brother So-and-So” is a title just like “Reverend,” “Father,” or “Pastor.” What did happen in the New Testament is, “Timothy, my brother.” That was a description. “This man right here, he is so dear to me. I cherish him like a brother. I cherish him like my son.” Can you see that that is a description? It’s not a loose title. It’s not a loose, careless word, “Brother So-and-So.” That’s just religion. Jesus never taught us that way. “You did not so learn Christ that way.” Jesus never taught us to use that loose language of exalting men by calling them by holy-man titles.
I’ve known some of the brothers for 17 or 18 years, and they have never once called me anything other than Mike or “Hey, you.” They have never called me “Brother Mike,” even one time in all those years. It is a title and I don’t need that. I have a name and that’s what they used in the Bible too. “Hey, Silas, come here.” Not, “Brother Silas, come here.” Not, “Reverend Paul, Pastor John, Father Patrick.” That doesn’t exist in our Bible. You can make up your own Bible if you want, but I don’t recommend it. In our Bible those titles do not exist.
Why do we do it? Who taught us to do these things? Well, it doesn’t matter. Again, we all came from some place so we don’t have to be hateful or proud. But let’s patiently help each other grow up in the Most Holy Faith. It is unholy to call men by titles. Jesus came right out and said it, “Call no man by titles.” It’s in Matthew 23—look it up. Don’t do it anymore.