Based upon my observations, it would seem there are various questions that divide the Westminster Presbyterian Church in the US (WPCUS - http://www.wpcus.org/ ) from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (FPCS - http://www.fpchurch.org.uk/ ). Below are some of those questions I have observed. In the parenthesis following each question I have placed links to articles explaining my personal view on the question.
1. Is the US ready to sustain its own affiliate or sister church with the FPCS, or is what can effectively be called mission status still appropriate for the US? (http://www.puritans.net/news/name041207.htm)
2. Should movie and other stage-play entertainment be tolerated among elders and communicant members?* ( http://www.puritans.net/movie%20reviews/moviereviews.html )
3. Should wearing of earrings be tolerated among elders and communicant members? ( http://www.puritans.net/news/attire040604.htm )
4. Should make-up be tolerated among elders and communicant members? ( http://www.puritans.net/news/attire040604.htm )
5. Should hair-dying be tolerated among elders and communicant members? (http://www.puritans.net/news/hairdying041207.htm , )
6. Should pro sports entertainment be tolerated among elders and communicant members? (http://www.puritans.net/news/olympics081904.htm )
7. Should use of Thou/Thy/Thee in addressing God in prayer be required of elders and communicant members? (http://www.puritans.net/news/thou062205.htm )
8. What are just grounds for the formation of and joining with a new and/or separate denomination? (http://www.puritans.net/news/biblicalrealism021207.htm , http://www.puritans.net/news/bend021907.htm , http://www.puritans.net/news/denominations050707.htm , http://www.puritans.net/news/bannerman051107.htm )
As an example of how the WPCUS condones divergent views on some of the topics above, see http://reformedcovenanter.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/tyranny-of-conscience-the-denial-of-christian-liberty-by-brian-schwertley/ .
On this topic, someone recently wrote me: “I cannot in good conscience take the same stance as the FP church does in not unifying with them over the sake of the wearing of dresses, usage of thee and thou in addressing God, the occasional use of makeup, and the NKJV. Though all of these things I hold as preferable, i.e. the use of dresses, no make up, addressing God in more reverent terms, and a strict adherence to the KJV, I don't view these things as reason for separation from these dear brethren."
I responded to the issues cited with the following points:
1. Wearing of dresses by women - please see http://www.puritans.net/news/dress080907.htm -
"Some of the most relevant Biblical texts are these:
I Timothy 2:9 – “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array”
Jer – “And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, [and] thy heels made bare.”
Isa 47:2-3 – “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet [thee as] a man.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 – “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
According to Thayer’s Lexicon, the Greek word translated “apparel” in I Timothy 2:9 (katastolē) means “a garment let down, dress, attire”. The Greek word for apparel in this text is Katastole, meaning a long dress. Kata meaning down - a garment flowing down; and Stole - a long garment, covering or wrapping. The Greek word for modest is Kosmios, meaning orderly, well-arranged, decent, modest, harmonious arrangement, or adornment. Modesty is also Biblically applied to one's demeanor or behavior. This same Greek word is translated good behavior in 1 Timothy 3:2 in the qualifications of bishops. Therefore, women are instructed to wear modest long dresses (Kosmios Katastole). This Kosmios Katastole not only specifies that the article of clothing should be a dress, but also specifies that the dress should be of a suitably long length. And I Timothy 2:9 teaches that this dress is to be characterized by “shamefacedness” and “sobriety”.
According to Gesenius’s Lexicon, the Hebrew word translated “skirts” in Jeremiah 13:22 (shuwl) means “the train, flowing skirt of a robe”.
Jeremiah 13:22 and Isaiah 47:2-3 imply that for someone, especially a woman, to bare her leg in public is regarded in scripture as exposing one’s nakedness.
Deuteronomy 22:5 (“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”) implies that the attire of women should be distinct from that of men. When pants are worn, if they are worn, they are associated with males and not females. The word breeches in the Bible may have reference to pants. The word breeches appears five times in the Bible: Exodus 28:42; 39:28; Leviticus 6:10; 16:4; Ezekiel 44:18 and it is always used in relation to men. When referring to clothing, the phrase gird up the loins is also found five times in the Scriptures and again is always used only in relation to men. For example, in Job. 38:2-3 (40:7) we read: “Then answered the LORD . . ., Gird up now thy loins like a man.” A man might wear a long robe or covering, but underneath that he wore breeches so as not to show his nakedness. If he needed to work or fight which required running or climbing or such, he would tuck his coat in a belt and it would be out of his way. Yet his breeches kept him modest. If the breeches which are mentioned only in relation to men in the Bible really are the same type of clothing as the pants worn by the men in our modern society, then women wearing pants today could fall into the category of being an abomination to God as stated in Deuteronomy 22:5.
Considered together, we may rightly conclude that as a general rule women should wear long dresses."
2. Addressing of God - please see
3. Make-up, etc - please see
4. NKJV vs KJV - please see Mr. Al Hembd's analysis of the NKJV in his series of articles on the topic in the Quarterly Record of the Trinitarian Bible Society. As he showed in his analysis, the NKJV undermines the Biblical doctrine of scripture taught in the WCF.
I think there are other differences as well between the FPCS and WPCUS. For example:
1. Should movie and other stage-play entertainment be tolerated among elders and communicant members? (please see http://www.puritans.net/movie%20reviews/moviereviews.html )
2. Should pro sports entertainment be tolerated among elders and communicant members? (please see http://www.puritans.net/news/olympics081904.htm )
3. Should partial preterism, anti-historicism be tolerated among elders and communicant members? (please see http://www.historicism.net/ )
4. What are just grounds for the formation of and joining with a new and/or separate denomination, as the WPCUS was formed as a separate denomination when the FPCS was already in existence? (http://www.puritans.net/news/biblicalrealism021207.htm , http://www.puritans.net/news/bend021907.htm , http://www.puritans.net/news/denominations050707.htm , http://www.puritans.net/news/bannerman051107.htm )
In addition, there is probably more laxity on Sabbath-keeping and recreations, etc. in the WPCUS than the FPCS.