That’s the life for me?

“The most misguided ‘saints’ of those times were the Stylites or Pillar Saints. They took their name from a certain Simeon who died in 459 at the age of about 70. ‘Stylos’ is the Greek word for a pillar. Simeon imagines that by living on the top of a pillar his soul would benefit. Beginning with a pillar about six feet high, and gradually increasing its height, he ended up living for over 30 years on a pillar 60 feet high. He had many visitors and he preached to them from the top of his pillar. Some of the visitors erected pillars of their own, normally in the region of Antioch of Syria” (Sketches, 28).

Why would somebody do something like that? Apparently, he (and many others of the day) thought that the monastic life (depriving yourself of normal comforts and physically separating yourself from people) would make you a better Christian. While it’s true that time alone with the Lord is profitable, it is quite difficult to let your light shine among men (Matt. 5:16) when you are never near them. And if everyone lived on a pillar…

You can read more about these interesting men here.

7 thoughts on “That’s the life for me?

  1. Joel

    “He had many visitors and he preached to them from the top of his pillar.”

    “While it’s true that time alone with the Lord is profitable, it is quite difficult to let your light shine among men (Matt. 5:16) when you are never near them.”

  2. Andy Rupert

    Among men, not 60 feet above men. 🙂

    At best, it is an unusual way to follow our Lord’s command to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20).

  3. uc

    Why would somebody do something like that?

    He got more than 1000 years of publicity for his idea. We are still talking about it.

  4. Andy Rupert

    But what message is still going out today? Do we remember what he preached from a pillar, that he made a positive, spiritual impact on the people of his day, or just that he did something abnormal for thirty years?

  5. Doug

    One word: Hemeroids! I say after sitting on that pole for 30 years, he had to have some serious hemeroidal problems!

    I would put him in the same catagory as Bro Jed. In some regards, Jed is a sideshow act on any campus where he preaches, just for the publicity. So, this guy was on the top of a pillar for 30 years. I consider it a sideshow act just for the publicity. Maybe someone may come to Christ through this act, but is it the act, or the Power of God to Salvation?

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