Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You're My Brother; You're My Sister (Or Not)

I dislike the mandatory 'brother' and 'sister' prefixes that people in our church circles attach to each other’s names.

I think they get it from I Timothy 5:1-2

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

But we don't go around calling the older men 'Father_____' or older ladies 'Mother______.' I shudder at the creepiness of the thought.

I call people sister and brother on a regular basis, so that people don't feel disrespected. I've done this my whole life, but it's still weird. Supposedly it’s to show that people are your family in Christ, and you are as close as siblings. (I think.)

I understand that we are to have a church family.

No one does those titles with their blood family though; if brothering and sistering everyone is to show we are siblings it makes no sense. I don't say, "Brother Seth will you please jump start my car?" or "Sister Leah do you wanna hit the mall tonight?"

When you are closer to people is when you generally lose the tags and titles.

It's weird.

I do it, but only so that I am not considered 'that disrespectful girl.'

I'm quite fond of 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.' and 'Miss'.

So instead I will joke about the weirdness on my blog and continue calling you Brother [insert your name here] or Sister [insert your name here].

But I don't have to like it.


Jes said...

I completely understand, and yeah it weirds me out. But I feel weird just saying "Anthony" or "Shelia" but find it quite hilarious when the boys call my mom "Sister Christie." But your brothers just call her Christie, and for some reason it makes me happy inside.

Esther said...

Some churches seem to do just last names. Which imo would be even weirder.

Sunday at church one of their youth leaders was introducing herself to us, and said, "Hi I'm Sister[her last name.] What are your names?"

Josh M was just "Hi I'm Josh."

Then he asked for her first name I think cause he said, "Ok, [her first name] I can remember that."

She pulled back a little (not angrily just a little shocked,) "Im Sister [last name again]" she reiterated then we continued talking.

I do prefer a title for pastor and Sis. Shelia. Dunno why. And I think I prefer Sister Christie for your mom...

Probably because I don't know her very well???

Running hard . . . said...

Preferably I would rather do away with titles and any such thing that divides! I have known church folk who call some "Brother" or "Sister" and then turn right around to another -Brother or Sister- and do not address them with the title because they do not consider them a brother or sister based on religious beliefs.. My opinion is - if you have to call one Christian "Brother or Sister" you should call all Christians that - after all, do we really know what is in the hearts of others? And whose to say one Christian is our brother and another is not?
That's my take on it - for what it's worth -- normally it's not worth much. :)