PRESBYTERIAN DESK

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

    The Presbyterian Church was part of the Reformation which took place several hundred years ago.
   In about 1517, Martin Luther, a German priest and professor began the Protestant Reformation against the Roman Catholic Church. It is reported that he had a list of 95 grievances against them.
    An estimated 20 years later, another theologian, John Calvin, (reportedly Swiss and French) took the reform understanding further.
    Another man named John Knox (reportedly a Scotsman) knew and studied under John Calvin in Switzerland.
    There were also other reform groups that developed in various countries including France, England, and Holland.
    In the history of the Presbyterian Church, it traces its roots back mainly to Scotland and also to England.
    In the United States, it is reported that Francis Mackemie arrived from Ireland in app. 1683. Then, about 23 years later, in the city of Philadelphia, he founded a church. Over time, it grew.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)

    The Presbyterian Church has had disagreements over the years, resulting in splits. From these various splits, some factions have reunited. There were two large Presbyterian denominations in the United States, but in 1983 these united. Reportedly, its formation occurred when the (southern) Presbyterian Church (PCUS) and the (northern) United Presbyterian Church (UPCUSA) came together. The largest of the Presbyterian denominations is now the Presbyterian Church (USA).

STATISTICS

    It is reported that sixty-seven colleges have a relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).
    It is estimated that they have a membership of about 2 Ĺ million people and approximately 11,260 congregations. Included also is nearly 21,000 ordained ministers.

OTHER PRESBYTERIAN DENOMINATIONS

    The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
    The Cumberland Presbyterian Church
    The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC)
    The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP)

BAPTISM

    The Presbyterian Church practices infant and sprinkling baptism (contrary to Scripture).  Note the subject of Baptism on this site. Presbyterians believe that the children of believers are included in Godís love or covenant.  Baptism, therefore, usually occurs during infancy, though a person may be baptized at any age.  Thus a person that professes their faith and their children are under the same sacrament.  The water used for baptism is understood to be symbolic of 1-the waters of creation, 2-the waters of the flood in the days of Noah, and 3-the Jews escaping from bondage in Egypt by crossing the Red Sea. These three incidents or episodes connect the human race or believers to Godís goodness through water. Baptism in the eyes of a Presbyterian is symbolic of 1-Godís faithfulness, 2-sins being washed away, 3-the new birth, 4-putting on the new garment of Christ, 5-being sealed by the Spirit of God, 6-being adopted into the covenant or family of the church, and 7-the resurrection and illumination which is in Christ Jesus.

HELL

    Though their doctrinal statement regarding hell may be correct, teaching the reality that hell lies ahead for those that do not come to true repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ is seldom ever done in the Presbyterian church. More and more, practicing homosexuals are being accepted as saved, and although they do not encourage abortion, as a whole neither are they against it.  There is more information on hell on this web site. Click here for HELL.

ORDAINING WOMEN AS ELDERS

    The ordination of women to serve as deacons, elders, and ministers is permitted.

MISCELLANEOUS

    The previous statements pertain primarily to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and may not represent the views of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP), Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), and Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).  

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