Presbyterianism is a mainline Protestant religion, meaning that it is a historic branch of Protestantism going back to the Reformation. Presbyterians have their origin in Scotland, where it is the historic religion of the Scottish People. Historically, Presbyterianism has been a Calvinist tradition. Calvinism is a traditional Protestant theology with it's five major points being:
- Total depravity of Man: That is that mankind's nature is to be an enemy of God and to only serve our own desires.
- Unconditional election: God has already decided from the foundations of the world who will and will not be saved and it is based on no merit of the individual. Nothing you do can determine if you will be saved.
- Limited atonement: Jesus's sacrifice wasn't for all mankind, but only for those whom God elected to save.
- Irresistible grace: That those whom God has elected to save cannot resist the gift of salvation. Essentially, if God has chosen to save you, you will be saved.
- Perseverance of the saints: Those whom God has elected to save will be faithful to him to the end. Those who fall away were not truly saved to begin with.
The Presbyterian Church USA has modernized as time has gone on and allows a spectrum of belief within their congregations. Essentially, they are rooted in their Calvinist history but informed by modernity which I like.
Some of the more modern aspects of the faith:
- Ordination of women
- Open discussion on allowing homosexuality
- Academic approach to studying the scriptures
- Diversity of beliefs
- Gender equality
- A focus on human rights
I'm quite excited to see this church in action and I'm looking forward to my first adventure in a Presbyterian Church.
Wish me luck. Until next time, peace be with you.