Flattering Titles, Sacred Cows, High Horses
watch as they leap over sacred scripture
"Good morning everyone one, God bless you! I am the the Senior Pastor, Dr. V.A. Nity. We are honored and priviledged today to have as our special guest speaker, Bishop C.M. Proud, D.D./PhD, Chief Apostle and President of the Worldwide Association of Ministers."
-"Thank you Dr. Nity, it is a great honor to be with you, your staff, and the conregation today .... Your Music Pastor Kenolie and Choral Director Bobbie-Jo, did a wonderful job in the Song Service and we want to compliment Deacon Jones who worked to provide us with such generous hospitality."
What you just read takes place in an unlimited number of variations, depending upon who the players are, in pulpits around the world every Sunday morning. How quickly and easily these typical flowery introductions go in one ear and out the other of the typical pew-sitter. Incredibly, that nice introduction and response just made SPAM out of the very Bible those eloquent men desire to represent.
We mind-numbed church goers just smiled, clapped, and nodded at smiling men in suits up there on the platfom, some wishing deep inside they could be up there getting the accolades too. We all watched with anticipation what stirring words of profound wisdom might be forthcoming from our Titled speaker.
Little did we or anyone in the auditorium realize we had just steam rollered right over one of the admonishments of scripture!
1 Job 32:21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.
2 Job 32:22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
Now that is a pretty stiff uppercut to the Doctor of Divinity Bible College mills, Para-Church Ministries, and Denominational hierarchies. Do you think a man like the apostle Paul may have had those scripture verses in mind when he wrote in 1 Thess 2:5
"For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness".
As we searched for the meaning of "flattering", this is what we found: hebrew, kânâh A primitive root; to address by an additional name; hence, to eulogize: - give flattering titles, surname (himself).
According to scripture, in lauding and titling ourselves and others, we have brought harm and hurt to the Body of Christ. Prov. 29:5 says
A man that flattereth his neighbor spreads a net for his steps.
This simply means that the lifting up of men (and women) with titles (surnames and additions to their name) causes them to trip, i.e. stumble over the Word. See the article "Titles" that gives a brief example of how Jesus taught on this same subject.
Rather than seeking to please the crowds, inflate their own ego, or meet their own self-esteem needs, both Jesus and the disciples utterly forsook the ego-centric outward appearences of success so common in todays churchworld.
It doesn't stop there. Not only did we toss honorific flattering titles and poisitions around our churches, but we had our very own well-paid prophets come around call forth great "visions" for our future to go with them. This is nothing new as history repeats.
Ezekiel 12:24 "For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.
In prophesying to the apostates of old Israel we find the same thing repeating in our day in Christianity. There seems to be no shortage of Prosperity Prophets who envision bigger barns for the church folks and bigger ministries for the titled clergy. We had ours too, and we recall the stirring prophecies foretelling us how we would soon be moving to a new building, bigger crowds, and destinied for greatness. Most of it was ear-tickeling, flesh-pleasing, flatter.
"But we must "HONOR" them that labor" among us, the Bible says...... "
Are you ready once again to have your mind changed and your theology tweaked?
"Honor" is used in several forms often in the New Testament, none of which legitimatize the use of flattering titles which tend to puff up egos and enhance the perception carnal authority:
G1784 entimos From G1722 and G5092; valued (figuratively): - dear, more honourable, precious, in reputation.
G5091 timaō tim-ah'-o
G5092 ìtimē tee-may' From G5099; a value, that is, money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself: - honour, precious, price, some.From G5093; to prize, that is, fix a valuation upon; by implication to revere: - honour, value
Ephesians 6:2 Honor g5091 thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise),
Phillipians 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honor: g1784
1st Thessalonians 4:4 that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, g5092
1st Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor g5092 and glory forever and ever. Amen.
1st Timothy 5:3 Honor g5091 widows that are widows indeed.
To honor has everything to do with "to prize, value, consider precious, dear", etc. in the context of Christian love, than it does to flattering titles and flowery speeches. If your Bible is to be believed and followed, "flattering titles" have a roll in causing God's people to stumble.
The fact that New Testament writers and Jesus Himself never sought "glory from men", or had "respect of persons" testifies to yet another area where visible Christianity has fallen away from the humility of the Gospel.
We would reccommend the book "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola and George Barna that ferrets out the historical roots of many common church practices. You will be stunned, shocked, and amazed at how many things we do and did have their roots in Pagan culture and man-made reasoning.