Need some help with Evangelical Presbyterianism


#1

Please indulge me, this is a long story, but I will try to compartmentalize.

I was born of a Catholic mother and a Christian believing but unbaptised father. My father fully agreed to raising my sister and me Catholic, In fact he was there virtually every step of the way, in terms of mass attendance, supporting the Catholic schools and church, etc. Two years before his passing, he converted to the Catholic faith.

My father and my grandparents spoke little of their families. My grandparents were Christians who lived in the Pontus area of the Black Sea coast in Asia Minor in the early 1900’s. Just as WW1 was breaking out, the Turks began to persecute the Armenian Christians. Following the war, they continued with all the other Christians who survived: Greeks, Orthodox, Assyrians, and so on.

My grandparents were among the few who survived and escaped. They did not want to discuss this in much detail, and when I pressed them for more information, they were still reluctant. Before they died they offered a few details. When my father died I knew little more than I had learned from my grandparents. They were very happy to leave their dark past behind and live as Americans.

So just a month ago, I did a little web search of the only sibling I knew of my grandfather, his younger brother. He too escaped and wrote a short book about his experience. Not a best seller, but a real life story of religious persecution by nationalists (and in this case, radical muslims). I was able to obtain a copy (surprisingly) from a society of expatriate Pontians in the USA. They had republished the book just three years ago. The man I spoke to said he got permission from “the eldest relative of the deceased” which I thought came from my great uncle’s widow’s side of the family. But the man explained, "No, this is from your Grandfather’s side, his sister’s daughter (my father’s first cousin).

So I learned that she is still alive at 86 years and has children of her own. She provided me LOTS of information about my distant, unknown family and she was so glad that I found her! But the interesting part is that ALL of these cousins are Evangelical Presbyterians–and my Great Grandfather was a Pastor of his own church in Turkey until he was murdered.

So now that Pandora’s box has been opened, they have found a Catholic relative and I have found Evangelicals. I have also learned that there are other children of two other siblings elsewhere in the USA. One thing they all have in common is a Pastor Son or Son-in-law even to do this day.

As I would like to reach out to them, and have started the process, I also can appreciate how significant their faith life is. I know little of Presbyterianism and would welcome any insight as to how to do the research to gain an understanding and appreciation for these newly found relatives. And although I am not an apologist in any true sense, my Catholic faith is strong and true.

Thanks in advance!


#2

Hi—

I’ve seen an evangelical Presbyterian poster here not too long ago—I think her user name is TinaG. Perhaps you could PM her?

Cool story about all your newly-found relatives!


#3

It’s wonderful that you have found relatives and answers to some of your questions. I was brought up Presbyterian but of a different flavor. If they are true Evangelical Presbyterians here is a link to the EPC site. epc.org/


#4

I remember seeing in the film Ararat, and then reading that there were Presby missioners sent to Armenia and that they helpfull during the holocost.

I have always have held in high regard the Armenian catholic church as wel as the

Armenian apostolic chruches.


#5

I was a member of an Evangelical Presbyterian church for several years and have spent many years learning from Evangelicals teachers in radio and online. What do you want to know about how to reach out to them?


#6

Thanks for the help, I will check out that site.


#7

I have not seen the movie Ararat, but will try to locate it. Thanks for the tip.


#8

[quote="spockrates, post:5, topic:291097"]
I was a member of an Evangelical Presbyterian church for several years and have spent many years learning from Evangelicals teachers in radio and online. What do you want to know about how to reach out to them?

[/quote]


Good question, to which I have no answer, yet.

Once I read up and have some minimum level of intelligence, hopefully at that time I will have some good questions.

Thanks


#9

You’re welcome!


#10

So I did some research and I found that one of the family members is a pastor for a church in California that is part of the PCA (Presbyterian Church of America). Here is a statement of what they believe:

WHAT WE BELIEVE
Presbyterian Church in America

We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.

We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.

We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.

We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.

We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.

We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.

We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

So if anyone can offer any insight into these “essentials” I would be grateful.


#11

[quote="fastenatingguy, post:10, topic:291097"]

We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.

[/quote]

This is predestination. I don't remember it being taught that way. I guess over the years I took it to mean that as all knowing God, He knew whether we would accept or reject Him. That He gave us freewill..but He still knew what we would do.


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