Monday, May 28, 2018

60 years ago: Two liberal denominations combine to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come...
...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
II Timothy 3:1,5

On May 28, 1958, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) and United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPCNA) concluded meetings in Pittsburgh by combining to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA). The merger came 30 years to the day after the Presbyterian General Assembly at Tulsa, Oklahoma had refused to consider union with the Christian, Universalist, and Congregational churches, but had authorized a committee to meet the Methodists and consider a union with them.

The 1958 merger was a joining of two denominations that were becoming increasingly liberal, and the liberalism continued in succeeding years, culminating in the Confession of 1967, which led Presbyterian fundamentalist Dr. Carl McIntire, President of both the American Council of Christian Churches and the International Council of Christian Churches, to denounce the UPCUSA as "officially, judicially apostate."

This blogger hasn't the time to go into depth on the apostasy of the aforementioned denominations. A quick glance at the Wikipedia entries should give the reader a clue. For those who do want more in-depth information, Dr. McIntire's books The Death of a Church and Outside the Gate, both published in 1967, are worth seeking and reading. The Death of a Church is particularly about the Confession of 1967, while Outside the Gate goes into detail about developments in ecumenism that were current in the 1960s, but are still relevant today. Outside the Gate contains a chapter reproducing the United Church Observer's 1966 interview with Billy Graham, and Rev. Graham's answers to the questions posed, with Dr. McIntire's comments after each, are worth the price of the book, and may come as something of a shock and/or disappointment to Rev. Graham's admirers.

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