Question about respect of people

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Question about respect of people

Post by email » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:28 am

I have another question ask. It is okay for a Christian to admire people who are not Christian? For example I greatly admiration for Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Regan, John Wayne.

Is it wrong to think of them as a hero? Or we only to have one hero and that Jesus? I know Jesus is the ultimate hero who died for our sins. Please don't misconstrued this idolatry worship. I don't worship these as I don't bow and pray to them.
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Re: Question about respect of people

Post by m273p15c » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:59 am

No problem. Thanks for the good question. ... No, I am sure it is fine to have people we respect. We are told that the people in the Old Testament were given as examples from which we could learn and draw hope (Hebrews 11:1-12:2; Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 10:11). However, even though we "are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses ... run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2). So, it is fine to notice, respect, and value the wisdom of others, but they should not displace our ultimate standard and hero, Jesus Christ, which is what you already observed. :)

So, in addition to the cautions you mentioned, we need to be careful that we don't let these mortal, fallible heroes displace our infallible God, which means we should not give more credence to John Wayne's words over Jesus. Moreover, we should not spend more time digesting Abraham Lincoln's wisdom than God's, just like we would generally not want any hobby or side interest to dominate our time and displace time that should have been devoted to God (Matthew 6:33). (For example, if I play golf every weekend, and I watch the golf channel every night, but I don't have not time to study the Bible, because I am "too busy", my priorities are out of order.)

Assuming the person we respect is worthy of our respect, either by virtue of authority, service, or wisdom, and assuming we don't go too far, honoring others worthy of respect is commended (I Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:7, 17).

I would encourage you to do a word study on "honor". In other words, use Vine's New Testament dictionary and Young's Analytical Concordance and possibly Thayer's Greek-English lexicon to look up the words translated for "honor" and "admire". If you look at the definitions according to these works, and then look up all the references of these words, you will get a really good understanding on this matter. There may be some online resources that allow you to use these resources for free, but I would encourage you to get a copy of Vine's and Young's, when you have a chance. They are extremely helpful for finding all the passages that touch on certain words and explaining what those words mean.

I pray you find this helpful.

May God help us to love truth sincerely and supremely (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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