Where did pulpits come from?
A pulpit is another word for a podium, a platform, a stage (Mirraim Webster Dictionary).
What do people do from a podium or stage?
They give speeches and performances.
Speeches and performances-putting on a facade-comes naturally (and supernaturally) with the use of the pulpit in the organized church.
Pulpits can be dated back to the 14th century in medieval churches. They were created by priests in the temples who were trying to compete for the attention of followers of migrant preachers who preached outside-much like John the Baptist and Jesus Christ of Nazareth Himself-did…OUTSIDE of the temples.
The migrant preachers only had a small piece of wood that they stood on outside to preach the Kingdom of God. They often could be heard by temple-goers while they were in service. So the priests and heads of the church created the pulpit so that their voices could carry ‘over’ the preaching and teaching going on outside. To keep the attention of the people.
It was a competitive thing between the insitutionalized priests and the preachers and teachers of the Kingdom of God who proclaimed God’s word OUTSIDE of the four walls of the church.
Over time, the pulpits became more elaborate in design, seemingly as to draw attention to the speaker of the hour-and to divert attention AWAY from THE WORD, who is JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH.
Charles Tracy, author of ‘Medieval English Pulpits,’ calls pulpits ‘objects of parochial pride and authority.’
What a fitting definition!
Pulpits as we know them today have morphed into ’objects of parochial pride and authority‘ indeed, in stark contrast to what they started out as. There is mention of the word ‘pulpit’ in the Word of God only once, and that is in Nehemiah 8:4, when Ezra the scribe read the Torah to the people, he taught the people. Afterwards, they repented…
The Hebrew word used for pulpit here is ‘migdal,’ which means ‘an elevated stage or pulpit.‘
And the pulpit Nehemiah used was NOT inside of a temple; it was OUTSIDE. Just read the entire 8th chapter and you will see this is so.
This would explain why the migrant preachers of the 14th century were preaching on ‘slabs of wood’ OUTSIDE of the synagogues and temples.
Hmmmm, isn’t that odd?
It seems to me the pulpit originated OUTSIDE of the four walls of the church!
The practice of having elaborate pulpit/podiums/platforms did not start until the 14th century, and that was only to compete with the preachers outside of the church preaching the Kingdom of God!
Why were they competing?
They were competing for the numbers. The priests inside of the temples have always been into the numbers’ game. They will do whatever they need to to keep people coming to their churches. More people inside of the temples meant easier control of the masses. It would be easier to try and hinder THE church-THE Ekklesia- that Jesus Christ of Nazareth died for by gathering them all in one place, then indoctrinating and infiltrating error into the masses.
And more people meant MORE money for the temples!
Is it any wonder the stuff we see going on ‘in the pulpit’ is so crazy today?
We like to call preachers in pulpits ‘hypocrites,’ but what else do we expect when we place someone on a platform or a stage?
A hypocrite is someone who puts on a show, behind a mask.
Isn’t the WHOLE purpose behind putting someone on a platform or a stage is to see them….PERFORM? Or be SOMEONE ELSE?
When you spend $500 to go see a Tyler Perry play, you don’t go to the Convention Center, find your seat, sit down, only to watch the stage, do you?
When you go to your child’s school because lil Johnny is going to be the bumblebee in the spring play, you would be angry if you just sat there for 2 hours in the school auditorium-camcorder on standby-only to see an empty stage?
When you travel to a hair show in Hotlanta, sponsored by Dudley’s Products, wouldn’t you be tee’d off if you just sat there, never seeing any models come down the ramp?
Well, whenever we put someone on a pedestal, on a stage, behind a podium…and YES, even a pulpit, we must expect that they WILL perform! And a performance is NEVER REAL!
STOP getting mad at finding out that preachers are actors, puppets on a string. You placed them on the stage to perform, not to minister TRUTH to you.
A minister of truth is going to step DOWN from the pulpit and minister to you, RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! They are NOT going to hide behind clergy collars, cassocks, long flowing robes and fancy pulpits that cost more than what you make in one year.
A minister of truth is going to TELL YOU THE TRUTH. And they will do it wherever you happen to be. You don’t have to dress up and go to a building to be set free.
Do YOU need that type of minister? Do church buildings and all its rhetoric and hype intimidate you? Do you tire of the hypocrisy of churchgoers and preachers, in particular? Yet you see the need for ministry?
The team at Pam Sheppard Ministry (don’t be fooled by the word ministry….) are prepared to meet you right where you are, no matter where that may be.
Just give us a call at (518) 477-5759 TODAY!