Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What is Honor?, 3

Continued from "What is Honor?, 2"

In my previous post, I presented the Bible's teaching about how you should react when others do not show due respect to you or your reputation. The other side of the coin is what the Word teaches about how you show respect to others.

I want to address that point, but first, let's return to the dictionary definition of honor.

I believe most of the concept of fighting and killing for the sake of honor comes from the first definition of the word given in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. That definition contains two facets: reputation or public esteem and a show of respect or recognition.

We demonstrate the second facet of honor on days like Veterans' Day when we recognize those who have served in the military for their service. (I may not agree with your choice to serve in the military and thereby enforce our nation's ungodly policies, but if you make that choice in good conscience, then I respect you.)

Everyone wants to be shown respect. The problem comes when someone gets the notion that respect is owed to him as a right -- a right which he will defend with blood.

From the long-ago palaces of Europe to the present-day ghettos of the inner city, men have taken a show of disrespect as a challenge to fight and/or to kill. To them, it's a matter of honor.

The Bible teaches that believers should honor or show respect to others. We could multiply references, but here are a few:

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. (Rom 12:10)

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (Rom 13:7)

Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (Eph 6:2)

The last Scripture quoted is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. The Westminster Shorter Catechism sums up its teaching as follows:

Q. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing anything against, the honor and duty which belongeth to everyone in their several places and relations

You read that and say, "It's only common sense to treat everyone with common courtesy." Yes, and I might add that common courtesy and common sense are as interdependent as they are uncommon in today's society.

Let's put the teaching from today's post together with the previous post:
  1. The Christian Martialist must honor his fellowmen as creatures made in the image of God;
  2. The Christian Martialist must meet disrespect with blessing and prayer.
If you do those two things, brethren, your example serve as a significant contribution to the peace of your society.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Rom 12:18)

(For those who simply will not live at peace, we train ourselves spiritually and physically for conflict.)

To be continued.

3 comments:

The Warrior said...

Ooh, wait there's more? :-)

I don't know if you have/use it, but I always like Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language. Vision Forum (and others) sells this really nice old reproduction. Usually around $50 or more dollars, but I feel that it is worth it. Of course, please don't take this as me taking issues with your dictionary, no not at all! You just got me thinking on mine. ;-)

Spencer

Gravelbelly said...

I bought a copy of Webster's 1828 in the mid-1980's. Paid a lot less than $50 for it, too.

It's great for nailing down the meanings of words as used by writers in the late 18th through the 19th Centuries. Also good for showing the English language at a stage when the Christian worldview still prevailed.

For modern usage, I like to use a modern dictionary. Also, since Merriam-Webster is online, it's easier to copy & paste than to type out extensive quotes.

The Warrior said...

True that. I just thought I'd mention it. Back in high school I tried to actually read the whole thing, but then...life happened. Haha.