An article on “Surveying Presbyterian Beliefs” by Michael D. Bush in Theology Matters notes the results of a recent survey of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) members and ministers. For Bush “This survey makes it clear that while there are many faithful in the church, the PC(USA) remains ecclesia reformanda, a church needing to be reformed.”
No doubt the PCUSA needs to be reformed. There is a sense in which every church needs to be reformed. The situation in the PCUSA, however, requires more than a change of hymnals or further study on a some disputed point of doctrine. What is required is a massive Holy-Spirit led movement of submission to the Lord and His Word, for, as the survey shows, there is rank apostasy in that denomination.
Consider the following results from the survey. Bush writes,
“Respondents were asked first whether they agreed that ‘Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Lord.’ 74% of members and 73% of ministers agreed that this statement is true.”
This means that over a quarter of both members and ministers follow more than one master. That is, they are polytheists. Or perhaps, they do not believe that there is any Savior and Lord; not even Christ. Then, Bush writes,
“They were then asked which of four statements reflected their view: 1. ‘God chooses who is to be saved through Jesus Christ.’ 2. ‘People choose Jesus Christ as their Savior.’ 3. ‘God saves everyone,’ and 4. ‘Salvation is an outdated concept.’ Not many (6%) said they believe salvation is outdated. Fewer than 30% said they were universalists by agreeing that ‘God saves everyone.’ Nearly half (46%) of members but only 15% of ministers chose the historically Arminian position that ‘People choose…’ On the other hand, half of ministers but only 20% of members chose the orthodox Presbyterian and Reformed view that ‘God chooses…'”
While Bush finds it a “relief that only 28% of members and 29% of ministers say they are universalists” those of us, like myself, who are less familiar with the current situation in the PCUSA might yet be shocked at such apostasy. With only half of the ministers (and an abysmal 20% of members) holding to the orthodox Presbyterian and Reformed view of salvation, it is surprising there is not a movement to take the “Presbyterian” out of the name of the PCUSA.
In fact, I’ll go on record hazarding a guess here that in the next 10 years there will be a movement (maybe even successful) within the PCUSA that will find “Presbyterian” to be offensive and want to remove it from their name. On that thought, “USA” is quite offensive too these days. And so is “Church.” So goodbye Presbyterian Church of the United States of America and hello Polyamorous Collective of United Spiritual Allies.