The blog has received a few requests (and I’ve received even more via email) to include links to Old School Presbyterian congregations and mission works throughout the world. We’ve decided to go ahead and start doing that, first with a list of links on the menu column and then later with a page with more information. Please note that this will be a page for self-consciously Old School Presbyterian works and not simply conservative Presbyterian churches.
If you would like to have your church or mission included in the locator, please read the statement of Old School principles* and if you can affirm them, please send the following information:
Your Church or Mission Name
STATEMENT OF OLD SCHOOL PRESBYTERIAN PRINCIPLES*
1) Regarding Worship: We are committed to the idea that the Bible, which is the Word of God, is entirely sufficient for everything in our faith, life, and practice and we do not need to add anything of our own, nor should we. Therefore we agree that our worship is to be ordered according to God’s instructions, and not according to our imaginations or traditions or in any way God has not prescribed for us. This formulation is sometimes referred to as the Regulative Principle of Worship, which refers to the idea that our worship is entirely regulated and ruled by the teaching of scripture. Our worship is neither “contemporary” nor “traditional” but simple and biblical.
a) Music: We also believe that music is at most a circumstance designed to assist the element of congregational singing, and not an element of worship. Therefore we do not have bands, soloists, or choirs in our worship.
b) The Sabbath: We believe that Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is the Christian Sabbath and that it is to be kept holy. We believe that only works of Piety, Necessity, and Mercy should be performed on it.
c) Church Calendar: We do not observe Holy Days other than the Sabbath or follow a “church calendar”
2) Regarding Church Polity: We are committed to the idea that Presbyterianism is the form of church polity the bible teaches. We are part of a denomination that has graded church courts (Session, Presbytery, General Assembly, Classis, Synod, etc.)
a) Officers of the Church: We believe that only men are called to the offices of Elder and Deacon and we also believe that the bible forbids women to preach, teach, or lead in corporate worship.
3) Regarding Theology: We are wholeheartedly committed to the Calvinism of the Westminster Standards, and believe this is the system of doctrine that the Bible teaches. We fully subscribe to all the doctrines contained in the standards and any exceptions we have are minimal and not principial.
a) Justification: We are committed to the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone and reject all forms of Shepherdism, the Federal Vision, and Covenant Nomism.
b) Sacraments: We do not believe that the Sacraments are Regenerating ordinances and we do not believe Paedocommunion is biblical.
4) Regarding The Spirituality of the Church: We believe that the Church is not to embroil itself in party politics, nationalism, or anything that Christ has not commissioned his church to do. We agree with the following statement by R.B. Kuiper – “Just because the preaching of the Word is so great a task the church must devote itself to it alone. For the Church to undertake other activities, not indissolubly bound up with this one, is a colossal blunder, because it inevitably results in neglect of its proper ask. Let not the church degenerate into a social club. Let not the church go into the entertainment business. Let not the church take sides on such aspects of economics, politics, or natural science as are not dealt with in the Word of God. And let the church be content to teach special, not general revelation. Let the church be the church.”
5) Regarding Preaching: We believe in expository preaching that is warm and aimed not merely at the intellect, but at men’s hearts and convictions. We believe that the gospel is not preached unless faith in Christ is earnestly solicited. We are interested in and pray for genuine biblical revival within God’s churches.
* Before people get riled up – these principles are simply a brief summary of doctrines Old School Presbyterians have historically held to, most of them can be found spelled out in Miller’s Presbyterianism or Hodge’s list of matters over which there is no controversy amongst Presbyterians in his essay on what adopting the Westminster standards means. Please do not think for a moment think that we are saying you must hold to all of these principles in order to be saved or to be considered to be a true church. Please also remember this is a voluntary association, we aren’t requiring anyone to affirm anything. Additionally, the internet is literally swarming with all manner of non-Old School church planting and building resources for Presbyterians which you can refer to for all your non-Old School needs.