Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More tough news for the PCUSA

I just read this about the PCUSA (the denomination we-the PCA-broke away from in 1973) on the Aquila Report:

PCUSA Membership Drops by 57,572 in 2007

The Presbyterian Church (USA) lost 57,572 members in 2007, the worst decline in decades, according to the official statistics released by Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick on June 21, 2008.

That leaves the denomination with 2,209,546 members, 2 million fewer than the number of Presbyterians who were members of the predecessor denominations in 1965 that merged in 1983 to form the PCUSA.

Kirkpatrick's office projects even higher losses in 2008 and 2009.

The 2007 loss is the equivalent of nearly 300 congregations with memberships of 200 - about the average size for a PCUSA congregation.

The consistent decline in the membership of the PCUSA is not a surprise to those of us who think biblical fidelity is ultimately what God blesses. The whole scale compromise of the PCUSA in several key biblical/doctrinal/moral areas will likely lead to the eventual dissolving of the denomination. To show how far gone the PCUSA is, consider this statement by their newly elected moderator, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chows-"homosexuality is not sinful by nature and should not be an excluding factor for ordination or marriage."

Last night, at the PCUSA General Assembly, by a vote of 41-11, the Committee on Church Orders and Ministry recommended to the 218th General Assembly that it send an amendment to the presbyteries to delete G-6.0106b — which requires “fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness” for church officers — from the PCUSA’s Book of Order. So now each presbytery will get to vote on whether to continue requiring sexual purity of it's church officers.

May God grant repentance to the PCUSA or continued, rapid decline in to non-existence.


pjw said...

Well, I am one of those 57,572 who left. I have been following this pretty closely on and other links. One person said this number doesn't include several whole congregations who are trying to leave. The decision on the fidelity and chastity amendment is going to accelerate the process, I'm sure. There are still many good Christian people who think the right thing to do is to stay and work from within, but this may be the tipping point for them. For me, it was the Trinity paper from two years ago.

For many people, who have been members of a particular church congregation for a long time, it would be very difficult to leave. Also, I think many people don't pay that much attention to what is going on at the national level, just to what is going on in their own church, and some have no clue as to what a Presbyterian is supposed to believe. One of my former elders had no idea what I was talking about when I said one of the reasons I was leaving was because of the Trinity Paper.

The trouble is--when you say you're a Presbyterian, people will only know what they read or hear in the news about the latest atrocity from PCUSA General Assembly.

Reepicheep said...

Thanks for your insights for sure. When church leadership goes bad it's the sheep who suffer. I'm sorry you had to leave, but I'm glad you joined us!

Qayaq said...

Since most, if not all, of them are in the "New Wineskins Presbytery" that will be eventually a part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, I wonder if this will affect this denomination.

I have heard similar dismal news about the United Methodist and Anglican/Episcopal churches. Churches in Africa are trying to save both these denominations. (It is a good thing there were so many missionary efforts to Africa in the past)

I have even heard that China is sending missionaries to this country now...

Rick Calohan said...

As a former member (1979-2005) Elder (1997-2005), and Ruling Elder (1997-2000) of that Apostate denomination, I stayed as long as my minister from my youth was there despite his liberal theology and politics. On the matter of “fidelity in marriage, chastity in singleness,” I knew the handwriting was on the wall back in the late 1990’s. I praise God that in 2000 while still a member of the PCUSA I became aware of Redeemer, Oak Hills, New Hope, and the PCA. That in 2003, by Divine Providence I was able to start my Masters of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) via Covenant Theological Seminary in 2003. By 2007 started attending Redeemer on regular basis, and finally becoming a member in 2008 along with my wife Dorothy who was a former Roman Catholic, and our Covenant Child John Patrick.

I agree there are still confessing Christians in the PCUSA, however there numbers are dwindling. The Laymen are outnumbered by the More Light Presbyterians. The Moderators of the General Assembly have gone further left, especially when the nominated a Palestinian to a high post it was not soon after the divestment of Israel began.

The PCUSA like other mainline denominations have ceased to preach the Gospel, and instead focus on inclusiveness, diversity, and social gospel of works. Their ecumenical outreach to Roman Catholics and non-Christian religions also has diluted the Gospel. I am sure John Calvin and Knox are looking down and wondering where the Reformation hath gone awry in this denomination.

One minor correction Tony, the PCA broke from the PCUS not the PCUSA, which did not form until 1983. The northern church was the United Presbyterian Church; the southern Church was the Presbyterian Church United States.

Reepicheep said...

Correct Rick, regarding the PCA coming from the PCUS. Since the PCUSA consists of the old PCUS now, I speak as them being from whence we (PCA) came.

Frontier Forest said...

As the leadership rules, so goes the denomination! Reading your blog and the postings that followed brings me quickly to remember the exact same reason we left the UMC in 2004. Thank the Lord, from our release of 11 years of aberrant teachings, HE led us to Redeemer! Though it was very painful to leave, it was undoubtedly the most refreshing and spiritual healing decision we have ever untied and agreed upon. It is just a matter of time until the liberal leaders of the UMC will finally get their way, forcing the entire denomination to adopt and embrace the ordination of homosexuals and joining same sex couples in civil ceremonies.

Wayne said...

These numbers are amazing and it is a sad statement on the near complete collapse of mainline Protestantism. Sadder still, is the likely fact that the number of people walking away from the church into no church at all far outnumbers those who have left for more faithful folds.