1 Cor. 3:1-7
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
Paul begins this chapter by rebuking the Corinthian Christians for being so carnal. There were divisions and envying and strife among them because they were elevating men rather than Christ. They were arguing as to which man was more spiritual, or more important, or had greater significance or influence among the rest. I imagine they were doing this in hopes of exalting their own self-proclaimed importance.
It is a travesty to elevate men to a level of godhood, believing one man has all the answers and setting not only ourselves up for a fall but also that man who we are enthroning. It is unfair to all involved because this kind of thinking does not allow for anyone to make mistakes. It also does not allow anyone else to have a differing opinion. The sooner we realize that only God is perfect and without error, the sooner we can avoid divisions in the body. There is enough opposition on the outside trying to destroy the church without us on the inside giving them an easy target.
There is nothing wrong with admiring godly characteristics of certain men of God or applauding their dedication to His call. But we must always remember, according to the Scripture, that without God or Christ, these and all men are nothing! So, the next time we are tempted to sing the praises of some preacher for the results of a Spirit-filled, biblical, New Testament ministry, whether on the West Coast or the East Coast, sing praise God to God instead, because Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.