Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pew Rent

QUESTION: Is it right to patronize or worship in churches which require payment for the sittings?

ANSWER: It is not the way to reach and save the unchurched masses. It gives them an excuse for nonattendance. It keeps alive the idea that the church is a sort of club in which none but "our set" are wanted; and gives scope for class distinctions, the rich in the best pews and the poor in the less desirable. If pews are given to the very poor, they very naturally shrink from sitting in the seat of the paupers. Hence it is exceedingly difficult to keep a pewed church full of hearers. These are very grave objections which are not obviated by the arguments in favor of this practice such as that it is easier to finance, family sittings are more favorable to the attendance and good behavior of the children, a place for one's hymnal, psalter and Bible. I cannot say that it is not right to attend such a church, for in many cases it is the only open communion church in that place. This is the writer's situation. The most I can say is that it is not the best way to promote the kingdom of Christ. The Protestant Episcopal Church is worthy of commendation for bravely attempting to make all their churches free. I hope their great success will be complete.

Steele's Answers pp. 206, 207.