Wednesday, July 3, 2013
What does it mean to be a Presbyterian church and a Main-line church?
Recently I had a group of people encourage me to put on our web site what it means to be Presbyterian and what it means to be a main-line church. I've developed the following first draft. I am very interested in responses. Please share your comments in the comments section of this blog, or on my Facebook page. Thanks!
Chain of Lakes is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA). What’s important to the leaders at Chain of Lakes is not that a person becomes Presbyterian. What’s most important is that a person can live out the Purpose Statement of the new congregation, in particular that a person becomes a disciple who impacts the world.
Chain of Lakes Church is not a congregation who puts people through a theological litmus test. The most important requirement for being part of the congregation is that a person professes Jesus as Lord and Savior. Every other theological belief is secondary to this primary profession of faith.
Many main-line churches have struggled because of issues that have polarized our world—issues such as homosexual ordination, homosexual marriage, and abortion. At Chain of Lakes people have different viewpoints on these issues. Our different viewpoints make us stronger as a congregation. What’s essential is that on any issue the people at our new church live out our Core Value of Healthy Disagreement. We understand this to mean that “when we disagree we will encourage discussion while valuing all opinions. We will speak truth in love, treat others respectfully with dignity, and seek to remain in community.”
Pastor Paul shared a sermon series about being Presbyterian in the fall of 2012. You can find these sermons at colpres.org. The dates of the sermon are October 14, 21, & 28, 2012.
As a Presbyterian congregation, Chain of Lakes is part of the main-line tradition. Other denomination in the main-line tradition are the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA), the Episcopal Church, the American Baptist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Reformed Church in America. Though differences exist between these denominations they agree on the core traditions of personal faith combined with social witness.