A Message to His Holy Highness the Worshipful Bishop Rev. Dr. Apostle Grand Poobah

by | Nov 9, 2011 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Jesus just wasn’t into
titles. We shouldn’t be either.

I am often asked if I have a
title, and my answer doesn’t satisfy some people. I travel a lot, so I don’t
consider myself a pastor. All kinds of labels have been pinned on me: Reverend,
prophet, apostle … even bishop. Once I was introduced to a church as “Dr.
Grady” and I almost crawled under my seat. I only have a college degree. There
are no letters after my name.

I tell people: “You can call
me Lee. Or if you want to sound formal, you can say, ‘Brother Grady.’”

Jesus is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Son of David, the
Prince of Peace and the Apostle of our Confession. Yet when He came into this
world He laid aside His heavenly glory and took on the lowly name of Jesus
.”

Today it seems we’ve
developed a title fetish. For a while everyone in charismatic circles was
becoming a bishop (and some were installed into this office with rings, robes
and funny-looking hats). Then the same guys with the pointy hats started
calling themselves apostles. Then the prophets got jealous and started calling
themselves apostles too! I knew one lady who, not to be outdone, required people
to call her “Exalted Prophetess.”

Now the latest fad is requiring church folks
to address certain people as apostles. (As in, “When Apostle Holy Moly arrives,
please only address him as, ‘Apostle,’ and then make sure he is seated in a
private room while his two adjutants, wearing dark glasses, guard his door.”)
They’ve even invented an elaborate theology to go along with this ridiculous
rule. It suggests that you can’t receive the true anointing from a man of God
if you don’t honor him with the right title.

Sounds so very ooo-ooh
spiritual to the naive. But it’s garbage.

Jesus didn’t play this
religious game, especially when he was around the Grand Poobahs of His day—the
long-robed scribes and Pharisees. After accusing them of loving the best seats
in the synagogues, He pointed out that they loved to be called “Rabbi” by men
(see Matt. 23:7).

Then He warned them: “But do
not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. … the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts
himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (v. 8-12, NASB).

People have quibbled over
these words for centuries, insisting that ecclesiastical titles are not the
problem; pride is what Jesus was rebuking. I would agree that Jesus was going
to the root sin. But He was also asking these title-crazy guys if they’d be
willing to ditch their labels and act like normal people.

When I was in China several
years ago, I met some amazing leaders who had planted thousands of congregations.
They had also spent a lot of time in jail for their faith, and they’d been
beaten with iron rods for preaching the gospel. They were the bravest apostles
I’ve ever met. But when I asked them if they used “apostle” as a title, one guy
said: “We believe in those roles in the church. But we prefer to call each
other ‘brother’ or ‘sister.’”

That settled it for me. A
few years later I met Iftakhar, a Pakistani apostle who has oversight of 900
churches. He also has two scars on his arm from gunshots fired by Muslim
extremists who have put a price on his head. When I asked him how I should
address him, he smiled and said, “Iftakhar.”

If these two giants of the
faith—and true apostles—don’t require to be addressed with titles, then Your
Worshipful Grand Master Rev. Dr. Bishop Jones (who claims oversight of maybe
four churches) shouldn’t wear his ministry role around his neck like a tacky
neon name badge.

If people can’t see the
anointing on your life through your character, then don’t cheapen the gospel by
wearing a title you don’t deserve.

I’m not saying people
shouldn’t use reverend, minister or even bishop to identify their roles in the
church. But can we please dispense with the insecurity, and the childish “I’m
more important than you” appellations, and get back to the simplicity of the
gospel? Let’s get over ourselves!

Jesus is the King of Kings,
the Lord of Lords, the Son of David, the Prince of Peace and the Apostle of our
Confession. Yet when He came into this world He laid aside His heavenly glory
and took on the lowly name of Jesus. He wore no fancy robes. He demanded no
titles. He did not come to be ministered to, but to minister. If we want to
serve Him honorably, we must forsake our need for fame and cast our crowns at
His feet.

J.
Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma.
You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His most recent book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Only Pulpits Have the Power to Change America

One thing is crystal clear in America: If we truly want change, we must re-spark biblical boldness and flame the fires of biblical action. If we won't fight, then spiritually speaking, we will fade away. I recently attended a large gathering of pastors in San Diego...

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

A Big Excuse That Shuts Down Our Ability to Hear from God

One of the biggest excuses we have is that we somehow feel God doesn’t speak to us. This excuse shuts down our ability to hear from Him, trust Him and surrender to Him. All three things are integral when we are trying to change our habits, lose weight, get healthy and...

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

How Do You Leave a Church That Becomes Toxic?

Two weeks ago, I shared several practical guidelines on how to leave a church gracefully. I wrote this because I hear so many stories about people storming out of churches because their feelings got hurt. But one astute reader didn’t appreciate my observations because...

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

Prophetic Word: There Will Be a Day of Reckoning

“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and...

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

How You Can Plead the Blood of Jesus in the Courts of Heaven

You have an enemy. His goal is to keep you from entering a covenant relationship with God. However, once you do, his goal changes. He wants to make you doubt your identity, doubt God’s ability and keep you from walking in your purpose. He changes his accusations...

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Why God Will Sometimes Hesitate to Give Your Mountain

Recently, I was having a discussion over coffee with a group of friends when one of them asked the question: “Can you believe how much the world has changed in what seems to be a very short time?” My answer was: “Yes. Yes, I have no problem believing how much the...

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

8 Reasons for You to Speak in Tongues

If a person were to ask, “Why speak in tongues?” couldn’t we also ask, “Why pray?” The Word of God shows a definite value in praying with an unknown tongue. Jesus tells us that “it is necessary always to pray” (Luke 18:1, MEV). Later, in speaking of prayer, Paul...

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

What ‘The Jetsons’ and Cindy Jacobs Prophetically Got Right

Just as the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons depicted a future full of video phones, robotics and Google-style office space, some modern-day prophets have prophesied about a future full of exposing corruption, fighting for individual freedom and shining a light on truth. One...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Blueprints for Building a Powerful and Abundant Life for Jesus

Have you ever seen blueprints? If not, blueprints are detailed drawings, containing specifications approved by the builder of a home. A blueprint fully outlines the quality of the materials needed...
9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

9 Reasons Why God Never Tries to Prove His Existence

God is self-authenticating. He never tries to prove His existence because it is already evident through the created order. Since He is the only objective being, all other living and nonliving objects emanate from His creative fiat word hence all reasoning (different...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]