Questions about Presbyterian ChurchesLooking for information about the Presbyterian denomination. I have found plenty of info in regards to the history of the denomination. What I am really looking for is information about the different branches, if you will. How many are there? Which ones are liberal? Which ones are conservative? Which ones believe what?Thanks in advance!
PCUSA is liberal. Steer very clear of this.I am coming from a conservative, Reformed perspective who enjoys reading the Puritans, etc.The PCA is a conservative group theologically. However, you may find a few of them to be a little more "hip" (more casual dress, younger crowd), while most others are probably more traditional. I don't think this is really an issue, just FYI.The OPC is conservative theologically and probably more "traditional" than the PCA.The RPCNA is conservative, traditional, and sings the Psalms exclusively. From what I understand, this is the American branch that finds its roots in the Scottish Covenanters.The RPCGA is conservative and has a great emphasis on family integration and family godliness. Two-office presbyterianism (no teaching-elder, ruling-elder distinction). The ARP is also a conservative group.Those are some of the groups that I know of that would be worth looking into. Even though they have a few disagreements, there is not some bitter rivalry between them. Brothers from these groups would very likely have sweet fellowship. During my senior year of college (after coming to embrace the doctrines of grace), I attended a more traditional PCA church and learned so much about the Lord's Scripture. The pastor and I also met weekly to read through Thomas Watson and later, Jonathan Edwards. As far as doctrinal statements, they all hold to the Westminster Confession as a summation of their convictions with regards to what the Bible teaches. I can tell you that any of these groups will be rock solid on the Gospel. Also, the accoutability of the presbytery is helpful. These groups are not afraid to take disciplinary action against churches who stray from the gospel. If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask!
What is the difference between liberal and conservative when applying them to these areas?
By liberal I mean women elders, pluralism, multiple ways into heaven, homosexuality acceptable, etc.Conservative Presbyterian churches are very diligent students of the Scripture and are the homes of many godly believers. They are the spiritual descendants of many of the Puritans.
Check out Tenth Presbyterian-[url=http://www.tenth.org/]Tenth Presbyterian[/url]This site will help you as well-[url=http://www.opc.org/]Orthodox Presbyterian Church[/url]
Just to supplement what roaringlamb said...The OPC has a thorough document here describing their faith and practice:[url=http://www.opc.org/whatis.html]What is the OPC?[/url]
During my senior year of college (after coming to embrace the doctrines of grace), I attended a more traditional PCA church and learned so much about the Lord's Scripture. The pastor and I also met weekly to read through Thomas Watson and later, Jonathan Edwards.
_________________Paul Frederick West