The Pulpit

Written by Drew on July 24th, 2007

In Moby Dick, Melville causes Ishmael to reflect on the signficance of a church’s pulpit. This comes after Ishmael visits a chapel in Nantucket and finds that the furnishings of its hallowed halls bear the marks of the whaling fleets harbored outside.

…the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.

Worldly-minded cynics who do not see the importance of sermons in church would do well to digest these words. The pulpit still navigates the world through the tumultuous seas of life.

More importantly, preachers should keep the significance of the pulpit before them at all times. By the looks of things, it appears that many of them do not. Why has the world changed its views on God, the natural world, sin, and morality? Many theories can be offered, and some of them are true. But the chief reason lies in pulpits that have weakened under the weight of a pluralistic society.

There was a time when the pulpit held its course against the floods that threatened to sweep us away. But then preachers began to soften their messages, and the world was swept away in the deluge.

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kevin W. Rhodes says:

    What great thoughts! Would that more preachers of the gospel would realize the responsibility and purpose that should accompany them every time they stand before people in the name of proclaiming God’s message!

  2. Jeremiah says:

    Good job on this article and this blog. I have added your link to my blog. Take a look at mine, and if you like it, please add me to yours as well. Keep up the good work.
    Jeremiah Tatum

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