Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Landlord comes to Grace Church

My parish only has a church home due to the graciousness of the Highland Presbyterian Church. Tonight the landlord showed up, and was the guest preacher, though "guest" may not be the best phrase for someone preaching from their own pulpit. I was a little nervous about what we might hear. There are some big differences between a conservative Anglican and a conservative Presbyterian, but by sticking to the Gospel, he delivered a sermon that would have been well received in any church that believes we are sinners in need of a Savior. He stuck to the material in proclaiming the Word to those of us who need to hear it.

However, I am saddened to learn that the National Presbyterian Church is seeking to follow the Episcopal Church down the road to theological liberalism. The national church body has approved changes to the basic confessional documents that would remove references to certain politically incorrect sins. The local Beaver-Butler Presbytery is much more conservative than the national church. The Landlord is trying to return his church to repentance and its basic confessional roots. He has a blog about it here. I wonder whether more congregations or the entire presbytery will not depart PCUSA and reform or realign with a more conservative Presbyterian body.

This part of Pennsylvania is known as the Presbyterian Valley. As the landlord says, you can throw a dead cat in these parts and be pretty sure it will land on a Presbyterian. We live in a rural township, but are an easy walk to two Presbyterian churches, and a bit longer walk to a third. I am not a Presbyterian because of differences of belief, but I honor the heritage of that church body. We would not have a country were it not for Presbyterians and other Calvinists. Any honest reading of American History will acknowledge this. The Presbyterian emphasis on education is one of the bright spots about this area, with institutions like Geneva and Grove City Colleges. It would be a sad thing to see this heritage lost in the mire of the postmodern incoherence of theological liberalism. The landlord is in my prayers.

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