Introducing the Rev Dr Addison

It's official, I have been ordained. I am now the Rev Dr Addison, BEc., BTh., DMin.

That's how I was introduced in Africa. Ok, I do have a Doctor of Ministry (not a Phd), but I'm not ordained and I"m not a "pastor". Nobody listened. The titles stuck.

In Liberia I met a Pentecostal Bishop dressed in a purple cassock with a gold cross around his neck. I also met an Apostle in a white suit.

It's not just an African thing. I remember a well know author telling how a pastor of a large American church introduced him as Dr …… The problem was, five minutes before coming on the stage, the author made it clear that he didn't have a doctorate.

George Bernard Shaw said, "Every profession is a conspiracy against the laity."

Movements begin on the fringe and are normally led by "lay" people. Actually, the bible has not category for distinguishing "lay" and "clergy." The first term refers to all the people of God, without distinction. "Lay" means people and the term includes church leaders. The word "clergy" refers to God's people as his "inheritance" — all of God's people, not just leaders.

Jesus told religious leaders not to hide behind titles such as "rabbi" (teacher). He told them not to seek special privileges like the best seats at a banquet (or the front rows at a conference).

Movement decline is normally led by seminary trained, ordained clergy. New movements are almost always led by ordinary people who don't know any better than to take God at his word.