Lacquer thinner is volatile and the fumes are harmful to breathe in. I use KleanStrip in the spray can, available at Walmart. If the old finish is already flaking off or coming off fairly easily, maybe just sanding the remainder is good enough.
For many of my utility pieces I use Varathane Floor finish. No matter what sheen you use.... Too shiny, simply burnish it with a ScotchBrite pad, brown paper bag, burlap. Any good poly wipe on finish should be durable enough. I wouldn't recommend any BLO or tung oil finish.
Gloss Varathane was used on this rocker, then burnished with both ScotchBrite pad (legs, rockers, other frame parts, bottom of seat, back of backrest) and brown paper bag (arm rests, front of seat & backrest). Long term use, the seat & backrest will end up shiny again from the long term rubbing.... same for your pew.https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@ ... hotostreamhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@ ... otostream/