Pillars by Pastor Carl W. Mann, II

Galatians 2:9 (KJV) “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”

Being raised in, nurtured, and trained in the rudiments of my Christian Faith in the Roman Catholic tradition, afforded me the opportunity to worship in various, beautiful churches and cathedrals.

I especially relish my summers spent in Lawrence, Massachusetts visiting relatives on my mother’s side of the family.  We would worship at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  It is a large, bricked cathedral that presents an outward appeal of friendliness and acceptance.  It is easily identifiable as a Christian Church; but, it is not ostentatious.  When you walk into its foyer, however, you will quickly recognize it as a work of architectural beauty.

I was particularly interested in the large pillars that were scattered around the sanctuary, and the pillars that stood close to the central altar.  I found myself wondering what would happen if any of the pillars were moved, or more drastically, removed!  I wondered how many of the pillars could be removed before the building collapsed.  For those who are wondering if I participated in the worship which all my “wondering” about the pillars, I can reassure you that I did!

“Pillars” were very important to Paul.  He referred to James, Cephas, and John as men who “seemed to be pillars,” it today’s Scripture.  He also wrote about the Church in the following Scripture:

1 Timothy 3:15 (KJV)“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (Emphasis Mine).


Now, for those who tell us that Scripture never referred to “church buildings,” it appears they are incorrect considering this Scripture.  Paul presented the principle that what we think the “church” is will control our behavior.  When we allow, even welcome, the Holy Spirit to lead us into the “Secret Place of the Most High,” we will come to believe that where God is, is Holy, and necessitates that we conduct ourselves in a meek and quiet manner.  This means that we will also reverence the Presence of the Lord whenever we are gathered in the humblest church or cathedral.


It is most thought-provoking to me that Paul used the name Christ gave to Peter – “Cephas!” This name meant “Rock.”  I find another interesting element in today’s Scripture – Paul placed “Cephas” second in listing the three prime Apostles “who seemed to be pillars.”  Most often, we see these three names listed as “Peter, James, and John” in the Gospels.  Could it be that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to place Peter in the middle to accentuate the importance of the placement of “pillars?” Quite often, the center pillar in the most critical to provide the continuity of weight distribution and absorption.

As we consider this subject of “Pillars,” let us keep in mind that it is one thing to seem to be a “pillar,” and quite another to be a “pillar.”

To “BE” a “Pillar” in the House of God, we must be…

  1. SOLID

It does not take a high degree of critical thinking to determine that quality pillars must be made of solid materials.  Upon unearthing ancient cities and buildings, archeologists discovered that most pillars had been constructed using broken tiles, mixed cement, or stucco.  Such materials absorb the rain and moisture; therefore, dry rot and disgrace was generated instead of the solidity to hold the building together.

Jesus told His disciples that a tree must be either good or corrupt.  He also taught that everyone must be of a single-mindedness.

James 1:8(KJV) “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

To “BE” a “Pillar” in the House of God, we must be…


Pillars must be straight to be “fit” for use in the House of God. I would have very little, if any, confidence in a pillar that was not straight! IF we are not “straight,” single-minded, and solid, our behavior will not reflect the Glory of God.  I wouldn’t have much confidence in a “Pillar” that would bend!

I’ve taught the “Principle of the Straight Stick” for years.  It is very easy to identify a crooked stick if you have a straight stick present.  All you must do is compare your stick to the straight one.  By the way, I’ve discovered that a crooked stick will also have a crooked shadow.

Jesus is the “Straight Stick” of Heaven.  John 14:6-7 (KJV)“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” 

To “BE” a “Pillar” in the House of God, we must be…


Pillars must be steadfast!  Who would want to be in a building where the pillars were always being moved around?  Wouldn’t we question the integrity of such a building?!  This being true, the House of God, requires “Pillars” that will be consistently unmovable.

“Pillars” are designed to bear the burden of the building.  They are not designed for the building to bear them.  As stated earlier, when we enter a building, we expect to find the pillar in the same spot it was originally placed by the “Builder.”  We would NOT be impressed, or comforted, if we saw the pillars on top of the building!  Sure enough, weathervanes are designed to change directions according the wind; however, “Pillars” must remain unmovable.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 

To “BE” a “Pillar” in the House of God, we must be…


While “Pillars” must be solid, straight, and steadfast, they must also be sure-footed; that is, they must be placed upon a sure foundation.

One of the core values I’ve acquired early in my walk with Christ is this, “No building can grow any larger, or more soundly, than the size and soundness of it foundation.  In fact, the integrity of the building depends upon the integrity of its foundation.”

We too must know that we stand upon the sure foundation of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  He is the Chief Cornerstone upon which we, His Church, is built.

1 Peter 2:4-10 (KJV)“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”

I wonder, would God think I “seem to be a pillar” in His House(hold)?  What does He think concerning your “behavior?”