Monday, March 27, 2006

Honoring Men in a Christ-Centered Way

Yesterday I had the privelege of sitting in on a cerimony to honor Pastor Gary Pack as he retires from ministry after 15 years at the same church. The service made me think, however, of how it is that Christians can honor such godly men and faithful servants as Gary Pack without being merely man-centered. In other words, in what way can the Christian Biblical honor men?

It's a difficult question to answer. The early church struggled with honoring men over and against one another, such as the account in 1 Corinthians where some men professed to follow Peter, some Apollos, and some Paul. During the second and third centuries of the church a great deal of authority was given to those Christians who had survived severe persecutions, such that they began to make theological decisions even. How do we avoid such unbalanced honoring and yet still recognize the service that Christ has done through certain individuals? Or perhaps some would ask should we even honor someone other than Christ?

These are all important questions and I do not now have the answer, I merely pose the question because yesterday's celebration has made me think about them. I certainly want to say thank you to Gary Pack for his serving and pastoring me while I was under his watch, but how one does that in a cerimony is another question with which I will have to wrestle, as, I believe, we all ought to.


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