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Presbyterians/Different types of Presbyterian Churches

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Question
Hello Pastor G,
what are the different Presbyterian churches and what are their main differences?
For example, what are the difference between the OPC and the Reformed Church in the United States?

Also, I heard that some Presbyterian churches in Europe are very liberal and even accept same-sex marriage. What are the main conservative Reformed Presbyterian denominations in Europe?

Answer
Nathan,

I'm not at my office now, but according to Frank Meade's "Denomination in the United States" I believe that there are about 25 different Presbyterian denominations in the US alone.

Presbyterian and Reformed Churches usually use different confessional standards. Presbyterians are linked with the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechism). Reformed Churches will generally use the Three Forms of Unity from the Dutch Church (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort). The difference in substance between these two stands is very small, and I could live with the Three Forms of Unity but prefer the Westminster Standards.

The largest Presbyterian Church in the United States is the PCUSA out of which the OPC grew during the Modernist controversy of the early 20th century. Today the PCUSA ordains women to all offices in the Church and endorse homosexual behavior.

The OPC has no fraternal relationships with any church in Europe, though we do have missionaries in Eastern Europe. Our fraternal relationships are mainly with church in Asia and Africa, which churches (their own national denominations) grew out of our early missions efforts there.

This url may be of some help in finding the answer to your question re churches in Europe:  http://www.conservapedia.com/Reformed_Churches

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Pastor G

Expertise

I am glad to answer questions about the Scriptures, Systematic, Biblical and Historic Theology, New Testament Greek, Biblical Hebrew (although my Greek is stronger than my Hebrew); and I am also glad to give pastoral advise and counsel.

Experience

A minister ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church since 1993. Prior to that I served as an elder. Former Senior Police Chaplain. College and Seminary-level lecturer.

Education/Credentials
B.A. Psychology and Theology, M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Law Enforcement Chaplaincy certification, ICPC

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