Historic Puritan Presbyterianism
The Bible is the infallible word of God, and God has appointed Christ’s church on earth to uphold and defend the chief doctrines taught in scripture:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” (II Timothy 3:16)
“…the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15)
Since it is incumbent for Christ’s church on earth to uphold and defend the chief doctrines taught in scripture, it has been appropriate for the church over the course of history to prepare and promulgate creeds and confessions which summarize these chief doctrines. In the early centuries of the Christian era, the church issued the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and other creeds as part of that task. In later centuries, and especially during the Protestant Reformation era, Christ’s church found it necessary to prepare and promulgate additional creeds and confessions to extend this task to cover with more refinement doctrines which had come into dispute. These included the Helvetic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession and others. At the culmination of the Protestant Reformation era, the Westminster Standards were prepared and promulgated, arguably constituting the most refined summary of the chief doctrines. The Westminster Standards doctrinally embody historic Puritan Presbyterianism, and we would do well to seek to study and apply by God’s grace these Biblical doctrinal standards today.
While all churches and people fall woefully short of the standards to which we are called, yet we are to strive for those standards. Sadly, many Presbyterian denominations no longer even profess full adherence and subscription to the Westminster Standards, and their seminaries are often taught by those who disagree. In the “day of small things”, we can be thankful that the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland still strives for such. In North America the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland has congregations and/or members in the following locations: Houston, Texas area; Toronto, Ontario area; Vancouver, British Columbia area; Calgary, Alberta area; eastern Wisconsin area; and western Michigan area. Outside of North America it has congregations in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.