I keep going back to Matt’s earlier comment that on this narrow issue of “worship” it might be too difficult for either of us to get much traction. That may eventually prove true, but I’m not quite ready to let it drop. You’ve been a valiant adversary, and you have definitely challenged me and forced me to refine my thinking upon some particulars. Be that as it may, I still cannot see how those words and deeds rendered Christ in the fifth chapter of Revelation can constitute anything less than divine worship.
I can’t get past it: the highest angels and heavenly elders fall down before Christ with harps and golden bowls filled with incense (which symbolize the prayers of the saints) and sing songs of his worthiness. Then, joined by all the angels in heaven and every other created thing in the universe, they attribute to him everlasting blessing and honor and glory and dominion. They end by falling down before him and rendering him proskynesis.
As you have pointed out, there have been instances in which particular men and angels have received a lesser kind of proskynesis, one that did not rise to the level of worship. But surely, you have to admit that no one besides Jehovah (be he man or angel) had ever before appropriately received anything approaching the scope or extent of reverential treatment here rendered to Christ. I challenge you to point to a single instance that even begins to compare.
When the Israelites did such things to Jehovah, whether or not they used the name “God” in a particular instance, they were worshiping Jehovah. When the Canaanites did such things to Baal, whether or not they specifically credited him with creation, they were worshiping Baal. When the Romans did such things to Caesar, whether or not they recognized other divine persons to which he was submissive, they were worshiping Caesar.
If, therefore, you’re going to claim that those doing these same things to Christ were not, in fact, worshiping him, your burden of proof is going to be quite heavy. I think you’re going to have to do more than point out that Christ is not here called “God” (for elsewhere he is clearly so called). And I think that you’re going to have to do more than point out that he is not here credited with creation (for elsewhere he is clearly so credited). And I believe that you’re going to have to do more than point out that he was submissive to the will of the Father (because I don’t see how that changes anything).
Simply put, despite what has said thus far, I still cannot see how these activities, which in every other imaginable context would be immediately recognized as worship, are not here to be so considered.