History of the Presbyterian Church:The "The Presbyterian Church (USA) was founded by the merger of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1983. This healed a major split in the denomination which occurred at the start of the Civil War. In 1861 the denomination had split on north/south lines over the issue of the abolition and preservation of slavery.
In the mid 1920s, the church weathered a second serious crisis: the Fundamentalist - Modernist controversy. The denomination was divided whether to retain traditional, historical beliefs, or to accept modern beliefs concerning biblical inerrancy, inspiration of the authors of the Bible, the search for the historical Jesus, the existence and nature of Hell, etc. A commission, organized in 1925, successfully avoided a denominational schism. Some liberal ideas were accepted by the denomination at that time.
In 1996, the Church reported 2.7 million members and 11,416 congregations, divided among 171 presbyteries. Like essentially all mainline Protestant denominations, the Presbyterian Church has been losing members for the past 40 years -- about 50,000 a year:
[Part II of my application for Candidacy in the PC(USA) Ordination Process]
I trust in one God who is the creator and sustainer of all worlds. I trust—even when I do not necessarily understand—that this one God is also somehow three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As such, God reigns over all; God loves all.
I trust in Jesus Christ, fully human and fully divine, sent by God to walk among us. He gathered crowds and small groups, using the technology and familiar images of his day to convey God’s love and reign to all. He particularly embraced those labeled by society as outcasts and unbelievers. He visited the sick and comforted the suffering. He challenged powerful institutions, calling them out on oppressive bureaucracy and legalism, and back to the heart of their best traditions. Ultimately, he was subjected to betrayal, torture, and execution. He willingly accepted a fate he did not deserve, so that we might know mercy and grace, and through this act be once and for all awakened to God’s love, saved and redeemed. I trust that God raised Jesus from death into life, giving hope and reassurance for the life to come, and the life today: We are a resurrection people.
Jesus promised that his presence would remain, even when his physical form did not. Because of this, I trust in the Holy Spirit, who comforts, guides, and binds together God’s people in all places. I trust that God calls together faithful believers in every age to be the church: To worship, pray, fellowship, study, and serve one another and the world. Through the teachings of the church, I recognize two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which serve as the signs and seals of my faith.
I read these things in God’s written word, the Bible, which testifies to Christ, God’s living word. I trust in the scriptures and the church as faithful guides to direct my paths closer and closer to God’s Kingdom.
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