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Where did sitting on the platform come from?

Submitted: 3/6/2008
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Question: I read your article 'Letter to a Pastor' and I was wondering: Where did the custom of 'the minister' sitting on the platform come from and why do a lot of Apostolic Churches practice it (since if obviously against the teachings of Luke 20:46)?

Answer: In Luke 20:46 Jesus said, 'Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts....' We have no idea where this practice came from. Like many church practices, it probably has its roots in Roman Catholicism. The point is, this practice only serves to perpetuate the division between the so-called ministry (the clergy) and the so-called laity (the rank and file). According to the Bible, all believers are part of the clergy (Greek kleros, translated 'heritage' in 1 Peter 5:3) and all believers are part of the laity (Greek laos, translated 'people' in Titus 2:14). There is no division in the body of Christ. We have one Father and the rest of us are brethren (Matthew 23:8-9).