ABOUT THE TITLE REVEREND
by J. F. Manning
"When Methodists want to justify infant baptism, they say the Bible does not forbid it. Such logic is common to Methodists, who would have thought Baptists would resort to it.
"We should not use the title “reverend” in addressing our ministers. Reverence for one another is a virtue to be cultivated. But we are nowhere, by precept or example, warranted in God’s word in calling anyone “reverend” as a title, or for any other purpose. (Some) say we are not forbidden to use it. The Methodists say we are not forbidden to sprinkle infants. Some use exactly the same logic as the Methodists.
"The New Testament clearly teaches that the preachers were called elders. If we want to follow the New Testament, we must discard the old Romish and Pedobaptist practice of calling our preachers “reverend” and call them elders.
"If others want to call them “reverend,” “the right reverend,” “the most reverend,” “holy papa,” “holy father,” or whatever man-made title they choose, they have a legal right to do so. But please excuse me. We do not have to use such titles to show reverence."
From The Baptist Progress, July 21, 1938 as reprinted in The Baptist Waymark, Vol. II No. 7 March-April 1992