Home > Humor > Towards a Theology of Pewism

Towards a Theology of Pewism

In the midst of the brouhaha over at Founders Ministries Blog, I came across one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen in a while. Here’s a recap:

jbuchanan said:
I would like to see us have a discussion on the gnostic and perhaps even Satanic influence of using chairs instead of pews in our buildings. I would submit that the chair “fad” that we see today is heavily influenced by Gnosticism and the desire to have an individual rather than community experience in worship. I think chairs violate the regulative principle and that they should be banned from every church sanctuary. I hope that Mark Dever will add this as the 10th mark of a healthy church. If pews were good enough for Paul and John Broadus, they are good enough for me. Our Baptist forefathers would never approve of this and in fact one of the little known charges brought against Michael Servetus was that he favored chairs over pews.

And again:

jbuchanan said:
You guys are all missing the point. You are dicussing minor side issues like church discipline and baptism when you should be worried about the influx of theater style seating in our Baptist Churches. Am I the voice crying in the wilderness or the lone prophet. Will I have to challenge the chair crowd all by myself, like Elijah did against the Baal worshippers. By the way the Baal worshippers were notorious about using chairs in their worship centers. Just look at the damage that is being caused. I know that SBC leadership are mostly chairites but gentlemen we must continue the fight. We need to elect a President that rejects the influence of theater-seating and vote for a pewvanist.

To which Jeff Young gave a rejoinder:

Dear jbuchanan,

I might consider joining your cause, but I have to make sure you are as orthodox as I am.

Tell me, are you a 5-point Pewite, or not?

According to the eternal church practice, dating back to when Peter sat on a bench in the high preist’s courtyard, All church seating must be:

1. Totally Homemade
2. Unpadded
3. Left unfinished (no stain or paint)
4. Imcomfortable (the KJV term)
5. Perpendicular (no slant to back)

In understand there are 3 and 4-point Pewites, but I cannot fellowship with them.

There are also Semi-Paddites, who claim to be true 5-pointers, because they allow only bottom pads, and no back padding. These are not the true heirs to the tradition of Peter, however.

Let me know, so I can see about possibly cooperating with you in a pew-building mission trip.

To which brother Buchanan replied:


I am a 5 point pewite. The Left unfinished was very difficult for me to accept at first but eventually I saw the wisdom in it. How can I possibly infringe on the glory of God by adding man-made stain to what He has created. I know that many of our churches have abandoned the ministry of pew building, and in fact according to Lifeway, nearly 30,000 of our SBC churches failed to make one pew last year.

Isn’t this outrageous? Furthermore, Tim Batchelor threw down the gauntlet:

I believe all seating is unbiblical. The only guy that the New Testament records as having sat down in church (Eutychus) fell out a window and died. The apostle James talked about folks sitting on stools (not pews) and even then they were a source of conflict in the church. I think everyone ought to stand while the preacher sits. Then the pentecostals already stand most of the time anyway. Maybe they are on to something. Can I get a witness, Amen?

This is an interesting development and deserves further investigation. I will be spending the majority of my non-Doctrines of Grace posting figuring out exactly where I stand in relation to Pewism.

Here’s hoping the illustrious Archer of the Forest chimes in with a distinctively Anglican view of the pew.

Categories: Humor
  1. February 23, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    That’s hilarious. Hope you’re feeling better brother.

  2. February 27, 2006 at 2:11 pm


    I am so glad to see that you are giving Pewism serious consideration. This issue represents a downgrade in our Baptist theology and practice. We must stand firm and reject all attempts to remove pews from the worship spaces of our churches. If we give in on this issue where will it stop? Will we compromise and begin allowing artificial light in our sanctuaries? This downgrade is steep and slippery. Please encourage all of your friends to stand against the forces of darkness and their theater style seating.

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