Pristine Grace

Doctor or Brother?
by Arthur W. Pink
Doctor or Brother?

"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.' "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant." - Matthew 23:5-11

    God sometimes employs strange methods in teaching His children much needed lessons. This has recently been the writer's experience. He has been approached by a University to accept from them a degree of "D.D." Asking for time to be given so that he might prayerfully seek from God, through His written Word, a knowledge of His will, fuller light came than was expected. He had very serious doubts as to the permissibility of one of God's servants accepting a title of (fleshly) honor. He now perceives that it is wrong for him to receive it even complimentary. Various friends, as a mark of respect, have addressed us as "Dr. Pink." We now ask them to please cease from doing so. 

    Let it not be understood that we hereby condemn other men for what they allow. No, to their own Master they stand or fall. The principal passages which have helped us we now mention, praying that it may please God to also bless them to others. 

    First, to the false comforters of Job, Elihu (God's representative) said, "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man" (Job 32:21). 

    Second, "You are not to be called 'Rabbi'" (Mat 23:8), or "Teacher," which is what "Doctor" signifies. 

    Third, John 5:44 reproves those who "receive honor one of another," and bids us seek "the honor that comes from God only." 

    Fourth, none of the Lord's servants in the New Testament ever employed a title: "Paul, an apostle," but never "the Apostle Paul." 

    Fifth, the Son of God "made Himself of no reputation" (Phi 2:7). Is it then fitting that His servants should now follow an opposite course? 

    Sixth, Christ bids us learn of Him who was "meek and lowly" (Mat 11:29). 

    Seventh, one of the marks of the Apostasy is "having men's persons in admiration because of advantage" (Jude 16). 

    Eighth, we are bidden to go forth unto Christ outside the camp "bearing His reproach" (Heb 13:13). 

    For these reasons it does not seem to us to be fitting that one who is here as a representative and witness for a "despised and rejected" Christ should be honored and flattered of men. Please address us as "Brother Pink."