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  • « Pre-Trib?...Pre-Mill?....Left Behind? | Main | PCA General Assembly Overture on FV, NPP Theology Adopted »

    The Beginning of the End of the PCUSA?

    In 1903, the PCUSA adopted revisions to the Westminster Confession of Faith that were intended to soften the church's commitment to Calvinism. J Gresham Machen Splits over liberalism and forms OPC in the 30s...

    1967 PCUSA supplements the Westminster Confession with a Book of Confessions, containing Christian confessions from the fourth century to the twentieth, including the newly-drafted Confession of 1967. Before 1967 there was a constitutional basis to call the church to reform. Until that year the PCUSA still had ordination vows that required officers to subscribe to the Bible as the Word of God and to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as containing the system of doctrine taught in Scripture. But in 1967 a Book of Confessions was adopted, a kind of confessional museum whose latest addition (the Confession of 1967) undermines all of the solid, biblical confessions that preceded it, and with it carries a new set of ordination vows in which the person ordained promises only to be "guided" by the confessions of the church.

    1970s splits into PCA / PCUSA - decides to ordain women... Now about 50% are considering homosexual clergy.

    In light of this, is this Beginning of the End of the PCUSA?
    Mark Roberts at his blog has a series of posts on -- is the Presbyterian Church USA already in schism?

    The Beginning of the End of the PCUSA?
    Should Biblically-Committed Christians Leave the PCUSA?
    Should Biblically-Committed Christians Leave the PCUSA? (Section B)

    Disclosure, Eric Costa and myself are members of the PCA, not to be confused with the PCUSA.

    Posted by John on June 23, 2006 03:17 PM


    I think you have noticed the end of a denomination which has been showing symptoms of compromise as it bleeds conservatives since the 1900's. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Well, it may be a good sign that either people are going to more godly, Christ-centered denominations, or they are going to more liberal forms.

    Either way Francis Schaeffer would be glad that this separation occurred each time it did.

    I have also seen on other blogs and sites the upheavel that is going through the PCUSA. I have also heard of the possibilities of an ecumenical union. Just as the possibility of Anglican with the Church of Rome.

    Many people are looking for unity in confrontation of society at the cost of the truth. It is truly sad.

    As a member of the PCUSA denomination, it's my tendency to defend them. There is, however, much that is undefensible, and I am ashamed to see much of what goes on in my denomination. However, one thing I strongly stand by is the fact that it is not required for one to be a calvinist to be ordained in the PCUSA denomination.

    One can hold many of the reformed ideas while not being a 5-pointer. Contrary to claims, it's not all or nothing (lest we cast out Spurgeon...well he's a baptist, so obviously he needs some theological fixin on at least one issue hehe). Anyway, let me get straight to the point. The reformation was about the Church's abuses and putting things on people that it shouldn't. Calvinism is absent from the early creeds, and notably P in TULIP is absent from the first 1500 years of Christianity. How can we bind the conscience of pastors on an issue that was denied for 1500 years? Especially if it's all or nothing...then we should demand they hold nothing! (by that I mean allow freedom). Augustine didn't even hold the Reformed version of P (see his work "Gift of Perseverance" before he died) So condemning the PCUSA on this point I feel is unncessary, and I stand by my denomination on this point. The heart of the Gospel is Jesus Christ' death and resurrection, and the Kingdom which that ushered us into. Whether or not I flirt with border between Reformed theology and other views seems to take a back seat on this issue. Essentials Unity...Nonessentials Liberty. I would say an issue that the Church denied for 1500 years would at the very least fail to be something we should REQUIRE anyone to believe in order to be an active member of any denomination, Presbyterian, Reformed or anything else.

    PS: If you can produce someone who believed in Once Saved Always Saved (or Eternal Security) in the traditional Calvinist sense, I will stand corrected. Augustine, as I said, doesn't hold this view and I can back it up. Feel free to email me if you have something I can look at. I would love to be proven wrong. P is a wonderful wishful thinking, I just don't think it's biblical or historical.

    Hi Richard, this was an article posted in 2006 but I will bite.

    So you say P is a non-essential. Ok, so what you are saying is that what Jesus Christ did in his life and death was unsufficient to save us completely. That something else apart from Jesus is needed. If you must do something to attain or maintain your salvation then you are saying Christ is insufficient. You can be inconsistent and still be a Christian but you cannot be inconsistent here and glorify God. If you reject P then you essenbtial reject the gospel that Jesus Christ alone saves.

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