Pulpit in the Middle

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Salty, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. Salty

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    Most non-baptist churches have their pulpit on the side of the platform. Most Baptist churhes have our pulpit in the middle. What is the history of this practice, or could us Baptists be wrong? :D :confused:
     
  2. Baptist1611KJV

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    Could the Baptists be wrong? It's only the position of a pulpit! I think Baptists have the pulpit in the middle for very obvious reasons. Such as your voice carrys everywhere better!
     
  3. Karen

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    It is my understanding that the position of a pulpit is very intentional. At least, historically.
    Baptists usually have the pulpit in the middle, emphasizing the centrality of the preached Word.

    In the local Episcopal church, I presume it is typical in this, there is a lectern on the left (looking from the congregation) for reading the Law. On the right is the lectern or pulpit for proclamation.
    When the Gospel is read, the reader comes down from the platform into the congregation to show symbolically that "the Word has come nigh unto you". In the local Lutheran church, the Gospel is read from the lectern on the right.
    In such churches, the Bible is read publicly every 3 years or so.

    Unfortunately, more than one pulpit is not needed in many Baptist churches now, anyway, because they have gotten away from the public reading of Scripture, other than the pastor reading his text.
    [​IMG]

    Karen
     
  4. rsr

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    Thank you. I think that is the most comprehensive answer. Baptists grew up in crowded, persecuted surroundings. Most had not choice but to put the pulpit in the middle so everyone could hear.

    In addition, there is a tradition of having the pulpit elevated, which put the clergy above the congregation. Not a strong tradition in Baptist churches (at least in architecture, although in fact sometimes.)
     
  5. All about Grace

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    What pulpit? :D
     
  6. Su Wei

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    What Baptist architecture? :D
     
  7. Salty

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  8. Jim1999

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    In Anglican tradition, the pulpit is to the left and elevated (facing the altar) and the lectern is to the right, where an open bible is placed. The gospel and another text is read at every service, and the words said, "Here endeth the reading of the gospel", or "here endeth the first reading."

    The alter is in the centre and is the main focus, hence the two speaking platforms to each side. Another reason for having the platforms to each side, is to accommodate the processional,,minister(s) and choir. The pulpit is elevated, not to elevate the minister, but to put him (her) in the ideal position for the carriage of their voice over the entire congregation.

    The general thinking in Baptist circles is to keep preaching the word as central. In a well-designed church, one can whisper and be heard. Then young preachers are getting used to electronics these days, and location doesn;t matter. I usually shut the microphone off.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    History Lesson:

    The central Altar and side lecterns are a result of an admixture of paganism with Catholicism.

    In AD 363 the concept of an "ALTAR" as the central focus of worship was borrowed from paganism by the growing State church. This put the sacrifice of the Eucharist as central and preaching or reading of the Word as secondary.

    In AD 461 the "PULPIT" was restricted to clergy only. The Roman pulpit (which is NOT the lectern but the raised platform) was introduced for head clergy, giving them the only access and right to speak in church, and also elevating them above the vulgar "hoi polloi" (common people).

    In AD 476 the church decreed "SUNDAY" as the only day of worship.

    In AD 513, the policies of John Chrysostom (the golden tongued) emphasized professional polished pulpiteerism. Since laymen could not speak as eloquently as pastors, they were forced to keep quiet instead of open worship and sharing. Rhetoric replaced Bible teaching, with structure and style of speech more important than biblical content.

    In AD 590, Western Catholic Pope Gregory the Great, pastor in the ruins of Rome since Vandals and Huns attacked, established an order of worship, still followed today! This was boring, dead, ridiculous, and irrelevant.

    Now FAST FORWARD 1000 years . . !

    Part of the Reform under Luther of the Church focused on the "PREEMINENCE OF THE PULPIT". Following the removal of the altar at the center of the Catholic church, the little rostrum where local announcements were read was changed to an elevated, centralized pulpit.

    Sadly, this central pulpit was still monopolized by the "clergy" and used for pulpiteering, not for true preaching, sharing and communication.

    And although the Pastor replaced the Priest, the role DID NOT CHANGE, with Pastors still today ordained to marry the young, bury the old, hear confession (now called counseling), bless special events, baptize converts, visit widows, and help needy. For the Pastor is the C.E.O. of the Church.
     
  10. Salty

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    Several years ago, I led the music in our church. The first Sunday I started, I went to the pulpit to perform my duties. I was informed by the pastor I was to use the music stand, NOT the pulpit :eek: :confused:
     
  11. Salty

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    Any new thoughts?
     
  12. Squire Robertsson

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    At one point, lo many moons ago, my home church (we are notoriously high church) had both a pulpit and a lectern. The reason being the pastor at the time did not want women speaking from the pulpit.
     
  13. WallyGator

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    Most newer (church plant, home churches,etc.) settle the question. They don't even have a pulpit!
     
  14. Salty

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    Isnt it anti Baptist NOT to have a pulpit?
     
  15. Tom Butler

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    I was invited to sing at the morning service of a Presbyteian church where my brother-in-law was an elder. He told me that I could not stand behind the pulpit to sing, that I had to move to the side. He said the pulpit is reserved exclusively for the pastor.

    Incidentally, it was in the center of the platform.
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    Some of the Old Regular Baptist have a raised platform in the middle of the church where most of the preachers and some members sit and the pulpit is at the front side of the raised platform. Most of our churches have a raised platform at the back of the church with pews for preachers and singers with the pulpit at the front center of the raised platform. I always thought it was just a preference and I am 67 years old.
     
  17. rbell

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    Interesting thoughts...

    We have no pulpit at my church. What does that say about us?

    (This oughta be fun...!)
     
  18. EdSutton

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    Isnt it anti Baptist NOT to have a pulpit? </font>[/QUOTE]Might even be anti-Biblical, or "sumthin". I believe that is probably found in the book of II Calamity, or somewhere like that! :rolleyes: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Uh- didn't Jesus stand up to read, sit down to teach, and jump into a boat to preach? Or did I misread that one?

    [​IMG] :eek: [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  20. Pipedude

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    A "Reformation pulpit" is elevated far above what an ordinary Baptist church would have. I've seen them in Presbyterian buildings. Architecturally (I was told) they symbolize the elevated status of the preached word while the communion table is subjected to a minor role.
     

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