The Presbyterian Church is one of the mainline denominations around the world. The Presbyterian Church is one of the
older denominations in America. The word Presbyterian comes from the Greek word Presbuteros which means elder. An
elder is a person appointed by God and the church membership to lead the church in administrative and religious matters.
The Presbyterian Church also has a more hierarchal form of church organization. Even past the organization of each local
church, the national denomination is pretty structured and hierarchical. As with the other Christian denominations, the
Presbyterian Church membership is made up of people who believe in God and his son Jesus Christ, they have committed their
lives to live for Jesus and to obey his commandments as far as possible, and they plan on spending eternity in heaven along
with all the other Saints of God down through the centuries.
One of the distinctive of the Presbyterian Church in the United States is that is it composed of two large separate groups
of members: the Presbyterian Church of America and the Presbyterian Church USA. The Presbyterian Church of America church
'left' the mainstream Presbyterian group several years ago, after growing disapproval of some of the more liberal policies
of the main denomination. The Presbyterian Church of America members are very committed to the authority of scripture.
This means that they are very serious about knowing, understanding and following the things that the Bible teaches about
all types of morality, church practice, etc. As an example, they do not permit a woman to speak 'authoritatively' from the
pulpit in regular weekly worship service. This kind of strict adherence to the scriptures has led to some criticism from
other groups, but the Presbyterian Church of America membership is doing their best to order their church as close as
possible to the standards God would have them.
A big issue in the Christian church in the last fifty years has been drinking alcohol. Is it right or wrong for
Christians to drink? The Presbyterian Church takes the position that it is not a sin for a person to drink, therefore
it is perfectly acceptable for a person to drink alcohol in moderation, as long as they are complying with all the laws
of the United States. They do not condone underage drinking, driving a car while under the influence, etc. Why do other
national denominations condemn drinking? The Baptist denomination believes that a case can be made from the Bible and
from the study of the ancient Israel that drinking as we know it in our day, didn't take place in the Bible and therefore
we should not drink. The Baptists also disapprove on the grounds the drinking has done and continues to do a great deal
of harm in our society.