Honorific Titles in the Church

The relation of Honorific Titles
with respect to
“Body Life”

1 cor 12, Romans 12, 1 Cor 14:26-31, Eph. 4:11-16

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The writer is indebted to MANY brothers and sisters who have nurtured, persevered, and fathered him in the faith. Where there may be nuggets of truth in this article, it is second hand, received through many "channels of blessing" and our heavely source--the MASTER TEACHER, from whom we receive any and every thing of value (1 Cor 4:7, Eccles. 1:9, James 1:17)
As a general axiom, before engaging in the study of any doctrine, one must first settle in his or her heart and mind the purpose for engaging in study. The student must ask himself or herself, is the purpose of his or her engagement with the study of doctrine curiosity or application. God does not honor curiosity.
Yet another general axiom for post reformation churches that claim commitment to the Scriptures is the assumption that the precidents for the working out of the faith exist and are found in scripture--as Martin Luther would say "sola scriptura." If they are embedded elsewhere, we run the risk of the excesses of the Roman Catholic church or the excesses of Judaism in its embrace of the Talmud and the writings of renown rabbis.
Keeping these axioms in mind may we delve into the subject of honorific titles in the church.

At first brush, one may regard prefixes such as "Reverend", "Pastor," "Elder," “Deacon,” as simply endearing benign words as "dad" or "abba" for Sheep of God's flock to employ as they behold Shepherds in God's flock and indeed often this may be the manner in which these terms may be employed. However, it is also true that these prefixes embed the potential of assuming the status of honorific titles which the unperfected individual on embracing may begin to cherish for the honor it illicits from fellow humans (Luke 17:7-10).

Our Lord knew that the potential for this existed, for “he knew what was in man” (John 2:25), so he gave us a COMMAND in Matthew 23:8-10 (please read it). Matthew 23:3-8 was not merely a suggested best practice, or a friendly piece of advice. The One who was as gentle as a Lamb, was also capable of issuing a command--"But be not ye called,...and call no man..., neither be ye called..." are not requests but pointed commands that stem from the wisdom of God's Son.

Oten the one "who comes in with a title” winds up if you will eliciting in the extreme a reverence only due to God, resulting in ostentatious displays not found in the followers and disciples of JESUS in Inter-Testament times and New Testament times of the Bible. There is no evidence in the Inter-Testament times of Jesus, nor the New Testament times of the Spirit following Pentecost where the followers wore ornamented garments, or sat in special seats, or took titles per se that proclaimed their high calling--ABSOLUTELY NONE. They just lived their calling as despised "fools for Christ." (1 Corinthians 4:10-12).

The risk and the fallout associated with titling persons with honorific titles in a local church setting this writer believes has resulted in incalculable damage within the local church. While some may argue that there are "pros" to titling, we must consider the "cons" even if these be considered apart from the fact that it is a practice in plain negation of our Lord's express command of Matthew 23:3-8. The fallout is as follows:
The titled being reverentially addressed by way of a reverential title often results in a tacit "dishonoring" of the untitled in the church body (1 Corinthians 12:22-25). As a result a mechanical relenquishing of time to the titled results robbing if you will time necessary for the exercising and the building of the callings and giftings of others in the body. This is in this writer's opinion one of the paramount risks of titling. Titling risks squelching and quenching the gifts and callings of the untitled in the body.

As an example of this effect consider Ephesians 4:11,12:
11 And HE GAVE some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY , for the edifying of the body of Christ:

For all intents and purposes these scriptures in the church of our day reads as follows:

11 And HE gave PASTORS;

12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR THE WORK OF Ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.

We must ask ourselves what happened to the other three gifts of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists in the church, and will their loss result in stunted growth assuming they were necessary to bring the body to maturity? We must ask ourselves have the five fold gifts presumably present in five different individuals been surrendered to the one who holds the honorable title of pastor? If this is what we see all around us we must ask where lies the precident for such an operation--does it lie in Scripture or does it lie in our traditions? Herein lies the risk of honorifically embelishing one gift over another.

This study asks the question were there titles ascribed to persons who could be described as "pillars", "elders", "deacons" and "bishops". Else, were these callings and giftings ratified whether by ordination or otherwise without the deployment of Honorific Titles.

In other words the rhetorical questions presented in this paper attempt to point out the following: Timothy displayed the giftings of an elder and was ordained an elder so as to fulfill his gifts and calling in freedom, but Timothy was never addressed as Elder Timothy in the scripture. Ordained or unordained individiuals in the body were never titled as, Prophet Joe, Pastor Jack, Evangelist Jim, Apostle Paul, Deacon Stephen and so on. The addressing if any were culturally accepted terms of respect offered all men, as endearing words such as brother Paul, uncle Peter, aunt Priscilla. None of these prefixes had the ostentatious underpining that surrounded a high level of spirituality or honor such as "Rabbi," "Master," or "Guide." (Matt 23.8)

We must ask ourselves are we operating against the express instruction of Jesus in Matt. 23:8-10. Have we embraced the traditions of our fathers, while relinquishing Jesus's command? Is this an error that has arisen from a hankering from within the human heart for self honor for indeed this "sought of thing" has been present all through the church age other than the church of Inter-Testament and New Testament times. Is this a desire from the human heart to want to be seated on the right and left hand of JESUS in the local church. When one considers in Mark 10:33-45 that it is soon after Jesus announces his betrayal so as to be condemened to death, his very apostles James and John ask him:
"Grant that we may sit on your right hand and the other on your left hand in thy glory" (Mark 10:37)

When one considers the words of the Mother of Zebedee, "worshiping Him and desiring a certain thing from HIM." says:
"Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom." (Matt 20.20-24)

Is it safe to presume that this tendency is entirely absent in a local church.

Whether the reaction were justified else not justified on the part of the other ten, this is what we are told:
"...when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren" (Matt 20.20-24)

There is an awful tragedy that titling has contributed--the gifts and callings of the untitled in the body have often been ignored. Shepherds have remained shepherds and sheep have remained sheep, the great divide being maintained by a wall of distinction that titles have erected. As a result 1 Corinthians 12:22-25, 1 Corinthians 14.26-31, Ephesians 4:16 has never been thought so as to boldly procliam their expository import. Unfortunately, it is my opinion that church leaders will be held accountable for this.

I am in touch with several of my brethren in India that have as a prefix to their names the honorific title of Reverend. I have in love broached this subject with them as a matter that embodies grave and very serious error. I am happy to say that one brother preciously and mightily used of our LORD is in the process of droping his title from all his official duties.

Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 14:26-31 that when the early church came together for worship:
"...when ye come together, EVERY ONE, of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation..."

"ye may ALL prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted."

Is this the case with our churches today or has "EVERY ONE" now been reduced to "honorable PASTOR JOHN DOE," The result being each Sunday the body hears the Pastor's favorite Psalm, the Pastor's carefully thought out homily, and analogies and metaphors brought forth from the Pastor's unique domestic experience. One may ask, where is the body? In modern day Christianity the man "that bares the badge" of Reverend or Pastor holds the key to the kingdom in the local church mores so than Jesus our Lord through the instrument of God the Holy Spirit who wills to work "through Every Joint."(Eph. 4:15,16)

This study asks the question, do honorific titles absent in the whole of the Bible block the flow of the Holy Spirit. Has a misunderstanding regarding Body Life confounded the thinking of Christians thus resulting in the errecting of a “middle wall of partition” called "clergy-Laity".

Judged in the extreme, JESUS may have suggested that the titles we confer on ourselves (Matt. 23:8-10) had the potential of rendering a Mattew 23:13 perplexity.

"But woe unto you, scribes and Parisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men.....neither suffer ye them that are going in to go in." (Matt 23:13)"

It seems to this reader that God has endowed his children in the church with giftings and callings and roles for the perfecting of the saints BUT HE NEVER ENDOWED THEM with TITLES. You don’t see it in the entire Bible, neither in the old testament or the knew testament. The trailblazers of the kingdom never deviated from this practice. Paul was Paul, Stephen was Stephen, Philip was Philip, Timothy was Timothy, Titus was Titus, Peter was Peter, James was James, John of Pathmos was John, Jeremiah was Jeremiah, Iasaih was Iasaih, Moses was Moses. The only authentic title to be noticed is JESUS being addressed as LORD (Christ) (Matt. 23:8-10).

So if the scriptures do not address the persons above as Apostle Paul, Bishop Titus, Bishop Timothy, Pastor Timothy, Rabbi Apollos, Deacon Philip, Deacon Titus, Reverend John, Right Reverend James, and the Very Right Reverened Peter, why do we do so today?

This writer asks the question do we in titling give honor to whom honor is due in a manner prescribed in the scriptures? Or, is this manner of honoring indicitive of a misunderstanding of what "honoring" in scripture wills us to do. This study asks the question, has it resulted in permanently undermining the teaching given to us in 1 Corinthians 14:26-31 and Ephesians 4:11-16. It asks the question have we calcified our methods so that "the Unity of the Faith" (Eph. 4:13) is never arrived at. It asks the question have we calcified our methods so that "every joint" NEVER supplies(Eph. 4:15,16).

As the church moves from Organism to Organization the admonition of Matt. 23:8-10 is often droped for various reasons. Titles are introduced so as to establish a mechanical hierarchial system of order. And once the new order is set, it serves as a precident that conveniently ignores the plain reading of the scriputres. The converse is also true, that as the church moves from Organization to Organism the titles are dropped and we embrace as a brotherhood.

To the objections that some may surface in which it is suggested that titles have been instituted for a good reason i.e. It helps -- "Doing things decently and in order" (1 Cor 14:40). The writer has the following response:
There has always been a a need to do things "decently and in order," but this manner of categorically titling thereby distinguishing brethren from brethren is fortunately absent in the Bible. It is one thing to give honor to whom honor is due (Romans 13,7) appropriately, it is another thing to do the same in a manner expressly forbidden by our LORD(Matt. 23:8-10). It is one thing to obey those who have rule over you “considering their conversation" (Heb 13.7,13). But it is another thing to title these persons for we have only one MASTER i.e. JESUS. (Matt. 23:8-10). There are many in the annuls of church history that joined the ministry for the honor of men. It is known, that George Mueller was sent to seminary because being a minister was regarded as an honorable and lucrative profession in his day, and not because it meant suffering for the gospel as portrayed in the Bible ( 1 Cor 4:11-13)
In general, the "Pharasical Spirit" as described in Matt 6:1-6 and Matt 23 is not distant from the heart of most all men and must be viciously resisted if we are to walk in the Spirit. To seek the honor of men is a fairly natural tendency. I know it, because I experience it and indulge it as well. Jesus too knew this was the tendency even in the unperfected redeemed. He knew that the motives of men could not be entirely relied on. In consequence it is said that he did not receive the honor of men. (Matt 5:41,44, 1 John 2:16). Not only do Shepherds err by ascribing to themselves honorific titles, but so do Sheep either from ignorance of the existance or plain disregard of the express command of the Chief Shepherd (Matt 23:8-10) Sheep often title Shepherds while addressing them thinking they are doing "the humble and proper thing." But we must ask ourselves, can we be doing the humble thing in error." i.e. "Can we be doing the humble thing while at the same time be doing the wrong thing?”

It appears to this writer, that there is a direct connection between the Cost of Discipleship and Honorific Titles in the church. Historically we are told that most all the apostles of our LORD died as martyrs. They embraced "the Way" knowing that they may be martyred for the faith. Foxe's book of martyrs suggests that they died as martyrs because they lived as martyrs. They lived as:
Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1 Cor 4:11-13)

...the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
For these early shepherds, pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophets, apostles, shepherding meant the imminent possibility of homelessness and death. None of these individuals in conformity to Matthew 23:8-10 added a honorific title to their name, although they served even unto death while playing out the roles their callings and giftings called for. Indeed there were Bishops, and there were Overseers, and Elders, and Shepherds, and Pastors, but rather they regarded themselves as unprofitable servants. Tradition tells us that probably all of the apostles died a martyrs death. Tradition tells us that Peter had no 21st century Pope's burial, but at his crucifixion simply said that he was not worthy to be hung vertically as HIS Savior, and that it was more fitting that he be crucified upside down. John in the natural languished in the prison of Pathmos. No where in scripture do we see these individuals taking on an honorific title. Peter refers to Paul as "our beloved brother Paul...hath written," (2 Pet 3:15) and not as "Bishop or Overseer or Minister or Pastor Paul...hath written." These were constantly aware that they were not worthy of their calling, but were unprofitable servants and debtors to grace (Luke 17:10). At the height of his calling this is what Paul always had before Him:
...that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief (1 Tim 1:15)(
Ever conscious of the debt he owed to His Savior, it is reasonalbe to summize that Paul and Peter and the martyrs probably "CHRINGED" when people addressed them honorifically, even as they were ever conscious of their late Savior's words in Matthew 23:8-10.

So the question arises how did honorific titling come to infiltrate and embelish the once persecuted church?

Here again books could be written on the subject. But in general it appears as though that once Christianity became "main stream" consolidated by Constantine declaring it as a state religion, there was far less of a "COST OF DISCIPLESHIP" and far less of a cost to being a servant of the LORD. A new and horrible day dawned on the church. No longer was it necessary to suffer for Christ as the early Christians did as described in Hebrews 11.37--They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword. Costly Discipleship made way for Easy Discipleship. No longer did "a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim 2:3) run the risk of imminent death, no longer would he risk being regarded as a "fool for Christ" (1 Cor 4:10), so long as he pontificated from his pulpit and not from the street corner. These concerns were lifted as the church forsook its militant life style and became an honored institution. Though not all, many with less than a "dying attitude" toward the proclaimation of the gospel could now enter into the service of the Master endowed with an Honorific Title. Instead of being despised, these persons could now be assured of the "best seats" both in and out of the "house of God." (Luke 11:43).

We have a parallel to such a phenomena in the secular world today. Today, there are many though not all, who enter into the profession of Social Work simply because to them it is a relatively easy profession to enter into. They embrace it as a career--a 9 am to 5 pm job done for pay. "Social Worker" is no longer a sacrificial endevor pursued by hearts deeply burdened for the plight of the needy. Rather, it is a title earned at the end of academic training and certification, endowing persons with such a title to engage in "social work" with the license to oversee and preside over ones in the community who have no honorific title but the heart, the will, and the burden that only Gods sees in secret and that often out weighs theirs by leaps and bounds.

The Honorifically Titled

Statistical failure and Expediency

Matthew 23:8-10

While, my primary reason for writing this paper is to demonstrate that “titling” people in the body of Chirst with honorific titles has the potential to undermine the expository understanding of body life as presented in 1 Cor 4:26-31, Eph 4:11-16, 1 Cor 12, and Romans 12, there exists a secondary reason that we may do well to consider. While statistics may be exaggerated for they are often put out by agencies that have a vested interest in potraying horror for they promise healing for cash ($s), even if such potrayal were 50% true it would be prudent for church leaders to not take Honorific Titles and merely consider themselves as Brothers amongst Brethren (Matt. 23:8-10, 1 Sam 5:22). Adjusting for observer bias thus dropping the claimed figures by half (only validating 50% accuracy), statistics would have us believe that with regard to this secondary reason, ministers who prefix their names with a an honorific title as “Pastor,” “Senior Pastor,” “Reverand,” “Bishop,” etc, I quote:


[20%] “of persons who go with the honorific title of ‘Pastor’, have brought pain to the whole body at one time or the other.”

If persons clearly endowed with gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12, Corinthians 12, simply considered themselves as Brothers amongst Brethren as Matt 23.8 recommends, albeit with wonderful God given gifts to serve the body and the world in the calling bestowed upon them, (1 Cor 12:28, Eph 4:11), is it possible that much of this pain may be easier to entreat and easier to heal from FOR BOTH THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND FOR THE CHURCH BODY AS A WHOLE. The reason behind such thinking lies in the fact that titling a person as in, First Baptist Church, Pastor/Bishop John Doe, has the effect of making John Doe the public face for the entire body, and should he fall momentarily from grace, the whole church body by virtue of this “limelighted individual” experiences a catastrophic jolt. However if the church regarded such a brother as one to be doubly honored amongst many Brethren (Matt 23.8) without “halo-ing” so as to cast such a brother pointedly and exclusively into the limelight by virtue of an honorific title, then it makes it easier to isolate if necessary for a period of time this honored brother for “healing” while other brethren in whom similar gifts ought to be inculcated may ”pick up the ball and run.”

Should the honorifically titled Pastor John Doe fall from grace, the whole church is jolted into shock, and may or may not fully recover. If John Doe merely considered himself as a brother amongst brothers and blessed the body “by using his pastoring gifts” without prefixing the word pastor to his name, he may easily be isolated or isolate himself for “healing” when deemed necessary, without it being experienced as a “collapsing of the entire deck of card.” The reaction is less severe for this gifted brother and his family, and the church does not have to say “we felt betrayed by OUR PASTOR who was having an affair, while ministering” (2 Pet 2.1,2).

Pastors should just pastor without titling themselves, or permitting others to title them. It is not what you say you are that is important it is what you do that is significant. And, if you are observed doing well in your gift of pastoring, evangelizing, teaching, prophesying, apostleship etc.the congregation and/or the elders may even open the door wider by way of ORDINATION for you to do what you do best. However, if this brother takes on, or is ascribed an honorific title for the things that he does best, apart from the fact that it may lead to pride (Matt 23.8), he may be led to believe that his honorific title earns him the right to single mindedly decide what is best for the church and may inadvertently close the doors on the giftings and callings of others else not open the doors for other peoples gifting to see the light of day. What results is a quenching of the gifts of others for which leaders will be accountable. It may also result in "pastor burnout" as he attempts to do it all. Pastor John Doe becomes practically speaking the head, the tail, the nose, the eyes, the ears of the church, while the rest sit in pews, with their, noses, eyes, ears and hands cut off. These are some of the imminent risks of titling people who have gifts in the church. You never hear of a Pastor Titus in the New testament, however Titus pastored! Apollos was understood to have been a good teaher--which by the way has nothing to do with rhetoric (1 Cor. 1:17, 1 Cor. 2:1-5, 2 Cor 10:10)--but he was not addressed as Teacher Apollos! (Matt 23.8). In the context of Apollos and slightly tangential to the purpose of this discourse, the question of claiming a single pastor as your own is what I believe Paul is probably discouraging, when he asks the question "Is Christ divided?" (1 Corinthians 1:12,13).

These are the statistics from a poll taken by a ministry that attempts to help persons to whose name was appended the honorable title of pastor, as in Pastor John Doe.



-- Fifteen hundred pastors in America leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.

-- Fifty percent of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.

-- Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of • their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.

-- Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would eave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

-- Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.

-- Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.

-- Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.

Even if these statistics were only half true, one may ask have we reaped the consequences of neglecting our LORD's simple command of Matthew 23:8-10.

There are indeed in the body of Christ, persons whose "conversation" we consider with honor and double honor, and even have gates opened wide to them by way of ORDINATION to freely exercise their gifts. And it means this and only this. i.e. a door has been officially opened wide for this excellent brother to use his gifting, but that door does not permit this excellent brother to LORD IT OVER OTHER PEOPLES GIFTINGS (1 Pet 5:3). On the contrary it means you are to use your giftings to bring to life, other peoples giftings for the work of the ministry. i.e. Replicate your own gifting and leadership skills in others. Elders, pastors, teachers, evangelists etc. MISUSE their gifts when they engage in “PULPIT HUGGING” and not in “PULPIT SHARING” -- “Don’t tell me that in your 10,000 man church you cannot find one person who cannot preach and teach as well as love our LORD as you.” And what of Paul's admonition: "in honor prefering one another (Romans 12:10). The role of elders is not to endlessly Shepherd Sheep . Their role rather is to Shepherd Sheep into becoming Shepherds (Eph. 4:11-16, 1 Cor 14:26-31).

Whatever be the gifting and the calling, these callings are meant to be understood by members of the body in the hearts and minds of the individuals comprising the body by way of heart recognition but not by way of deploying honorific titles (Heb 13:7, 17)

It is reasonable to assume, that generally speaking people are more or less similar, the capability to err lying in each one of us. Pharisiasm can stream from any ones heart (Jer 17:9, 1 Cor 10:12). This being the case why does the church provide its leaders with an “occasion for sin.” (1 Tim. 5:14), by ascribing to humans honorific titles contrary to Jesus’s express command (Matt. 23:8-10)

At the risk "tooting my own horn," (2 Cor 12:1a, 11a) permit me as Paul to present the following to state why the statical declarations above rings a bell with me:


-- I have street preached and I have preached via a pulpit. Following this, I Studied in a seminary as a full-time resident student in India for 2 years Following this, I Studied in a seminary as a full-time resident student in the US for 4 years. Obtained a Bachelors in Theology, following a Masters in Pastoral Counseling.

As an aside, these degrees in my opion may have little bearing on the idea of “Study to be approved” as suggested in 2 Tim 2:15 which was written at a time when neither seminaries nor the New Testament writings existed. What matters is our life expression.

Notwithstanding with all the above qualifications, oven the last 43 years that I have been a Christian, I have failed so often and so severly to my shame, that I am grateful that I had no honorific title such as Pastor, Reverend, etc. attached to my name. Many of my friends who started off with me and with whom I have close contact maintain honorific titles before their names. I have pointed out to them they stand in disobedience of Matthew 23:8-10. But in so many words their response is “the system demands it”.

“When a pastor falls sexually, his church responds like a wife betrayed by her husband, experts say.” Joe Maxwell

"All trust has been broken," says former Bethel University professor Nils Friberg, a psychologist "This person held a position that led members into the highest spiritual places and now those sacred spaces have been sullied." -- Nils Friberg

The pertinent question one may ask this writer is how do we keep "Order" in a church without bestowing Honorific Titles. (1 Cor 4:40)?

The response is a simple one. We study the scriptures and ascertain how the early church governed while honoring our LORD’s command “But be not ye called Rabbi; for One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren” (Matt 23.8).

The apostles actually heard our Lord issue this command and followed through. In the light of this truth We might ask ourselves by what authority do we ignore our Lord's command. (1 Samuel 5:22)

How did the Apostles strive to maintain order without honorific titles we may ask? how did Timothy and Titus do so? Different situations may call for spontaneous ways of bringing order managed by a recognition of giftings and callings and recognition of offices bestowed by ordination. Congregational participation may need to be sought. etc. etc. Yet all this without ascribing TITLES to elders called to bringing th body to maturity (Acts 15.6,22, Matt 18:15-20, James 5:19,20)

A friend of mine in regard to this discussion of how order in the church may be affected without the use of titles said:
"Our understanding of what we need to do will greatly be enhanced by our willingness to obey."

The problem today maybe there is so much metaphorically speaking "REAL ESTATE" used in the proclomation of the simplicity of the gospel that we are stuck with unbiblical methods to render governance. These practices have historically existed since the passing of Our Lord and his early disiples from this earthly plane.

Thanks for reading.


Please Note: This is one persons research. Allbeit, it is witnessed to by a number of likeminded believing friends and disciples around the world. The writer sincerely acknowledges that he may well be seeing dimly and narrowly, and there may be something that he has written that may well be wrong and plain erroneous. Readers of this site therefore are strongly advised to search the scriptures and validate, negate, else modify for themselves the statements made by this blogger. Beloved brothers and sisters, please examine the scriptures as the Bereans of Acts 17.11 did and thereby stand fast on the foundation of GOD's Holy Word.