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PC(USA) Leaders Urge Hope | Denominational Updates from First Presbyterian Church of Dunellen

PC(USA) Leaders Urge Hope

Today elder Cindy Bolbach, Moderator of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), released a letter cosigned by several other prominent leaders in the denomination urging congregations to have hope for the future and to remain together in the PC(USA). The entire letter is attached to this post, but what stands out is the repeated assertion that:

“We believe with all our hearts that perception is not reality, that the PC(USA) has not left its moorings, its commitment to proclaim the living Word of God – Jesus Christ – as revealed in the written word of God, holy Scripture,”  ”The PC(USA) simply has not turned its back on proclaiming Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord,” and “The PC(USA) is deeply missional.”

If this is true, then where is the fruit of this missionality?

Since 1965, as the Presbyterian Church has embraced a more and more liberal approach to the Bible, the denomination has lost more than half of its members. There has been a 20% loss of membership in the last ten years alone to a current membership of 2,016,091.

One way to measure the effectiveness of missionality is by counting adult baptisms. In 2010 (the most recent year from which statistics are available) the fruit of the denomination’s evangelistic efforts yielded 6148 adult baptisms. By my calculations that means it takes 328 Presbyterians to lead one soul to faith in Jesus Christ.

This summer the PC(USA) announced an initiative to plant 1,001 “worshiping communities” in the next ten years. This will require quite a turn around. In 2010 there were a total of 20 new churches planted, 77 dissolved, and 26 dismissed to other denominations for a net loss of 83 churches.

Here’s another way to look at it. In 2010 the PC(USA) had a net loss of over 61,000 members. The membership of an average congregation in the PC(USA) is 191. Those 61,000 members represent the equivalent of 319 average Presbyterian churches.

The truth is that the PC(USA) has left its moorings, and it’s continuing its long, slow drift away from the gospel. These statistics are not the problem. They are just the fruit of a denomination that has lost its way. jThe only hope for this once-great denomination is to recognize and confess that truth, and in repentance turn back to the solid foundation it was built on.

Please read the entire letter and decide for yourself.

3 Responses to “PC(USA) Leaders Urge Hope”

  1. editor January 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    For an excellent response to the this letter, take a look at what Mark Patterson wrote on Presbyweb:


    By the way, we highly recommend that you become a subscriber to Presbyweb. Go to http://www.churchandworld.com. Every day they post links to the most important news in the Presbyterian Church and Christian news from around the world. You can get a one-month free trial subscription, so what’s have you go to lose?

  2. editor January 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Here’s another reply by Mateen Elass. His blog is always well thought out and insightful.


  3. editor January 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Part two of Mateen Elass response: