If you know me, or have read my About page, you know that I have had a turbulent relationship with the church.
Neither of my parents grew up in the church, but had childhood experiences with Baptist and Church of God denominations, respectively. As an adult, my Mamma chose the Methodist church, and that is the denomination my parents joined, were married in, I was christened in, and we attended until I was about eight. Due to conflict with our pastor (he denied the infallibility of Scripture, among other things), we left and attended a nondenominational (strongly Baptist) church until I was 13. We then left and began attending a home church, followed by another home church. During our time in the second home church, my family began studying the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) and the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646).
The more we studied, the more convinced we became that we leaned more towards Reformed than Baptist. So we dove into R.C. Sproul’s What is Reformed Theology? By the time we finished What is Reformed Theology? we had decided that we were ready to find a local Presbyterian church. After searching for local Presbyterian churches, we wondered what the difference between a PCA church and a PCUSA church was? So we contacted some Presbyterian friends who lived in Georgia for some clarification, since we had visited their church and trusted their advice. They recommended visiting our three local PCA churches, and so we did. And after two years, we joined one of them– last month was our one year anniversary of becoming members!
I could not be happier in our current church, and I know that it is where God wants me right now. I have been so blessed by the faithful preaching of the Word, the fellowship, the emphasis on Grace, and the room and encouragement to grow spiritually.
Along my Spiritual journey, I have experienced some dark days, I have faced turmoil, and I have lost dear friends. But I wouldn’t change anything. I do not regret one moment, because it has all been for my good, for my growth. Because after the darkness, the light is all the more brilliant. After the turmoil, I have a deeper appreciation for peace. After the years of legalism, I have a stronger love for Grace, and more tolerant view of those around me. And the friends I lost? In retrospect, they weren’t so good for me after all. I would far rather walk in the joy, grace, and liberty of the Lord right by myself, than with a life-long friend, legalism, and contention. Praise God for new beginnings!
Upon joining my current church, I was given a copy of On Being Presbyterian. Explaining the distinctive beliefs, practices, and history of Presbyterians in understandable language, On Being Presbyterian is an immensely helpful book.
I would encourage all Christians to read On Being Presbyterian, no matter their denominational ties, so that they might better understand the rich theological and historical heritage of Presbyterian denominations, particularly the PCA. But On Being Presbyterian would be especially useful for those who are members of a PCA church, or considering joining a PCA congregation, as it gives the reader a more full view of what it means to embrace the Presbyterian faith.
I would give On Being Presbyterian an “A”.