More About the Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is a confessional and connectional
church, distinguished by the representation of elders - laymen and
laywomen - in its government.
Presbyterians believe in a theology of mission as expressed in the
Westminster Confession of Faith: "...Christ hath commissioned his
church...(and) All believers...to contribute by their prayers, gifts and
personal efforts to the extension of the kingdom of Christ throughout
the whole earth."
The Presbyterian Church does mission locally, nationally and globally
and through its General Assembly, all Presbyterians have a voice in
setting directions for missions in over 90 countries around the world.
Presbyterians are not generally found ringing doorbells in their communities. Instead, we choose to first show God's love by example through our deeds. With each act of caring we have an opportunity to tell others of the love of God and how this makes a difference in our own lives.
Presbyterians believe in the One Creator and Lord of all, existing eternally as the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We believe Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, died on the Cross for our sins, rose bodily from the grave, ascended into heaven and will come again in glory to judge us all. We are saved by grace alone when God gave us His gift of righteousness through faith alone in Christ, who died for our sins. Good works are the inevitable result of true faith, but in no way the basis of a right standing before God.
Presbyterians believe the souls of believers upon dying go immediately to be with Christ. At Christ's return, their bodies are raised to immortal, eternal life. The souls of the wicked begin suffering immediately in hell.
Anyone who can be a Christian can be a Presbyterian by confessing the Christian faith, trusting in Christ as our forgiving savior, promising to follow Christ and Christ's example for living and committing oneself to attend church and to become involved in its work.
Some other Presbyterian beliefs:
The Cross: The empty cross symbolizes the risen Christ who opened the kingdom of heaven.
Parenthood: There is nothing in the church's teaching which discourages intelligent, unselfish family planning.
The "only" church: Presbyterians believe that no Christian church has exclusive possession of the church government authorized by Christ.
Baptism: Is an invitation into the church community; a public confession; a statement of faith; does not guarantee access to heaven - unbaptized people are not denied Salvation; can be performed in another church. There is no need to be re-baptized in a Presbyterian church. Infant, youth and adult baptism are performed by sprinkling of the water but may, upon request, be done as immersion.
Communion: is a time to renew faith and strengthen participants for the duties and privileges of Christian Service. The bread and wine (grape juice) represent the sacrificial body and blood of Christ and recalls the last meal shared with the Apostles. Together, they symbolize the new covenant between God and all people.