The Presbyterian Religion is a Protestant faith which originated within the Swiss and French Calvinistic churches. It was founded by John Knox in Scotland in 1557.
The church doctrine can be found in a document known as the Westminster Confession of Faith which was written by a group of 151 laymen, clergy and scholars as directed by the English Parliament in 1643.
Being Presbyterian actually refers to a particular form of church government as the church is led by elders or presbyteros who are either ordained ministers who teach or elected elders who rule.
They differ from other churches as they do not profess that their church is the one true church
The first Presbytery in America was established in Philadelphia in 1706. Presbyterians formed a large percentage of those involved in the American Revolutionary War, so much so that at one point, according to some reports, it was labeled the "Presbyterian rebellion" in the British House of Commons.
It is believed that God speaks to humans through the bible which is considered inspired and is infallible.
Presbyterians engage in infant baptism, although they do not believe that a person has to be baptized in order to go to heaven.
Presbyterians are today the largest and most theologically liberal of all American Protestant denominations. The church does not attempt to legislate for its members any personal moral issues thus, questions about things like birth control and abortion are left up to the individual.
Presbyterians also ordain women as ministers and they are permitted to hold any church office.
The generally liberal attitudes are not, however, necessarily characteristic of all Presbyterians. Like most churches, there exists both conservative and liberal factions within the church and their division does, at times, threaten to cause an internal schism. A current debate between conservatives and liberals involves the question of whether or not Jesus is the "savior of the world."
Conservatives favor a short, simple statement to the effect that faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation and that Jesus is the only way to God
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