This has recently been the writer’s experience. I have been approached by a “university” to accept from them a degree of “D. D.”
Asking for time to be given so that I might prayerfully seek from God, through His written word, a knowledge of His will, fuller light came than was expected.
I had very serious doubt’s as to the permissibility of one of God’s servants accepting a title of fleshly honour. I now perceive that it is wrong for me to receive it even complimentary.
Various friends, as a mark of respect, have addressed me as “Dr. Pink.” I now ask them to please CEASE from doing so. Let it not be understood that I hereby condemn other men for what they allow. No, to their own Master they stand or fall. The principal passages which have helped me I 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 men” (Job 32:31).
SECOND, “Be NOT ye called Rabbi” or teacher (Matthew 23:8), which is what “Doctor” signifies.
THIRD, John 5:44 reproves those who “receive honour one of another” and bids us seek “the honour that cometh 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” (Philippians 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” (Matthew 11:29).
SEVENTH, one of the marks of the apostasy as “having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage” (Jude 17).
EIGHTH, we are bidden to go forth unto Christ outside the camp “bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).
For these reasons it does not seem to me to be fitting that one who is here as a representative and witness for a “despised and rejected” Christ should be honoured and flattered of men. Please address me as “BROTHER PINK”.
By Arthur Pink