The Presbyterian Church Essay

Published: 2020-02-24 18:11:26
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The history of the Presbyterian Church can be retraced back to the days of John Calvin, a reformer from France back in the 16th century. Eventually converting himself towards the ideologies of the French Movement and becoming a full-pledged minister as well as theologian, Calvin first underwent training for priesthood in the Catholic Church. He dedicated a significant amount of thought into practical issues and that his theological perspectives were quite similar to that of Martin Luthers.

John Knox is also significant in the formation of the Presbyterian Church as he spearheaded the Reformation in regions of Scotland under the helm of the principles set forth by Calvin such as the protest against Catholic practices as well as the Catholic Mary. Eventually, Scotland formally adopted the Presbyterian Church as its national Church back in 1960 and remains Presbyterian in contemporary times. Particularly in America, Presbyterian Church has had a firm grasp in the country stretching back since the time of colonialism.

At the onset of the newly founded nation, Presbyterians first molded the religious lives of the people inasmuch as reformed churches were installed during the 1600s. Significant facts and beliefs in the Presbyterian Church As a Presbyterian myself can attest, two sacraments are firmly observed by Presbyterians in general. These include Baptism as well as the Lords Supper as part of the Presbyterian belief that these two are not only commended by Christ himself but are also instituted by God as they signify the actions set forth by God inasmuch as these symbolize the reality of Christs power and presence within the Church and beyond.

These two sacraments serve as Gods act of willingness to redeem believers from their sins and rejuvenate their distinctiveness as Gods people. It also gives them the believers the symbolism for servitude not only to the Church but also to the rest of humanity. One of the traditions strongly held upon by Presbyterians is the belief that God is the center and ultimate initiator at every level of salvation in which man is incapable of achieving through supplementing anything for himself. This includes the faiths formative stages as well as the particular decisions of man to follow the lead of Christ.

It must also be noted that the Presbyterian Church subscribes to the belief that it is only with the sovereign decision of God can man be saved from eternal condemnation and that consequently every man is at the mercy of Gods pronouncements unlike in the Catholic tradition where salvation can be achieved by man through a change in his life initiated by himself. The head of the Presbyterian Church is oftentimes called as pastor and that it is not strictly limited to men. Quite on the other hand, women can be pastors and that he or she is the educated one inasmuch as the pastor has acquired seminary education.

As long as one can proclaim before the congregation the Word of God one can be a pastor. Moreover, the Presbyterian Women is a living testimony to the significance and role of women in the Presbyterian Church in pushing forth its goals and religious prescriptions in general. A typical worship service includes music, reading of the Bible, a sermon founded upon what is written in the scriptures, and prayer among everything else. Although prayer is required in times of worship, Presbyterians are nevertheless encouraged to pray even without meetings with the congregation.

However, the worship can also be extended in terms of community sharing as well as times of personal offerings and responses. Essentially, the Presbyterian Church prescribes to the five major actions in terms of worship. These are gathering around the word, proclaiming the word, responding to the word, the sealing of the word, and bearing and following the word into the world (101, 2007). The Presbyterian Church respects the views of other religious congregations and beliefs in the sense that we Presbyterians believe that amidst diversity there is unity. In other words, one that is devoid of division amidst diversity of beliefs.

In this sense, we Presbyterians respect the belief of other religious precepts that they can be brought into salvation, although we remain firmly holding true to our own religious tenets. The Presbyterian belief in an afterlife can be interpreted in the sense that when the individual dies, the soul of the person is united with God where it savors the presence of the glory of God while awaiting the day of the last judgment. During the day of the last judgment, souls are brought back in unity with their bodies and that eternal punishments as well as rewards are given accordingly by God.

Bible interpretation is based on the New Testament and is usually interpreted by no less than the pastor although members of the Church are also entitled and encouraged to read the Bible and seek for themselves their interpretation of the Bible. This is the point where the pastor guides the members of the church in the rightful interpretation of the written scriptures. In connection to the scriptures, the Presbyterian Church condemns abortion, alcohol and capital punishment and that the forgiveness of sins solely rests on the decision of God inasmuch as He provides punishments to the sins committed by man.

The Presbyterian Churchs seal and its components symbolize the cross, a dove descending in the upper portion of the cross, the Holy Scripture, as well as flames situated on both sides of the crosss lower section. The seal also bears the denominations name which is the Presbyterian Church. Conclusion Part of the main difference or point of comparison between the Presbyterian Church and the Catholic Church rests on the fact that the former ascribes firmly in the belief that only through the decision of God can man be brought into salvation whereas the latter subscribes to the belief that man can do a big share in obtaining salvation.

Moreover, the Presbyterian Church uses the New Testament of the Bible in seeking the word of God whereas the Catholic Church utilizes both the Old and New Testaments.

Reference

101, P. (2007). Whats Presbyterian worship like? [Electronic Version]. Retrieved May 16, 2007 from  http://www.presbyterianmission.org/

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