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95 Theses to the PCUSA

95 Theses we wrote to our denomination

The following statements are coming from members of the Presbyterian Church USA who are committed to its flourishing and faithfulness. In true Protestant fashion, and in honor of our tradition, they will be framed as 95 theses in hopes that unlike the Roman leaders during the Reformation, the PCUSA will honor its motto –  “Reformed and always reforming according to the word of God” – and take them to heart. 

  1. Christian ministers must not be permitted to deny that Jesus is truly God

  2. Christian ministers must not be permitted to deny that Jesus physically and bodily rose from the dead

  3. Christian ministers must not be permitted to deny that Jesus was born to a virgin

  4. Christian ministers must not be permitted to deny the second coming of Christ

  5. Christian ministers must not be permitted to deny the reality of eternal life

  6. Given that the Apostle’s Creed affirms all the above doctrines, Christian ministers who recite it in their churches with their fingers crossed, denying it themselves, are liars

  7. Christian ministers must affirm the authority of Scripture as the Word of God

  8. Christian ministers must not cast doubt on the authority of Scripture by claiming to their congregations that it is inconsistent, lest they lead their flocks astray

  9. Christian ministers must readily affirm the promise of eternal life after death, so their flocks may be given true hope in Christ

  10. Christian ministers must affirm the existence of supernatural miracles, as that is what Scripture testifies to and is what our faith rests upon

  11. The Church must affirm the reality of original sin

  12.  The Church must affirm the reality of God’s judgment upon sin

  13. The Church has no place explicitly denying the existence of Hell, given that Jesus spoke so plainly of it 

  14. The Church must affirm that God is all-powerful, or omnipotent

  15. The Church must affirm that God is all-knowing, or omniscient

  16. The Church must affirm that God is all-good, or omnibenevolent

  17. The Church must affirm that there is only one true God

  18. The Church must affirm that Christ is the only way to God

  19. The Church must affirm that Christianity is objectively true

  20. Given that the Confessions of the Church uphold all of the above doctrines, the Church commits the sin of false witness if it denies them

  21. Liberation theology, while it contains elements of truth, should not supersede the true gospel

  22. The social gospel, likewise, shifts the focus of the gospel away from Christ and towards an earthly utopia

  23. Pantheism is a heretical and inaccurate way to perceive God

  24. Process theology is a heretical and inaccurate way to perceive God

  25. Open theism is a heretical and inaccurate way to perceive God

  26. While we can unite with other religions in earthly matters, such as justice, we cannot unite with them in spiritual matters

  27. Pagan religious beliefs and idols are to be utterly rejected and should never be in our Churches

  28. Our theology should not be relativized by splitting it into “white theology,” “black theology,” “feminist theology,” “queer theology” or any other subgroups, since theology is the study of God Himself, not the study of how we think about God

  29. The purpose of studying theology is to approach the objective truth about God

  30. Our theology should not be done through a critical theory lens, as that relativizes objective truths about God

  31. Ministers whose theology is essentially Unitarian Universalist should stop inaccurately using the labels “Presbyterian” or “Reformed” to describe themselves, and recuse themselves from jobs in a Reformed Presbyterian denomination

  32. The Church should be much more quick to discipline ministers who deny the divinity of Christ than to discipline ministers who won’t ordain women

  33. Churches should spend more time talking about eternal life in Christ than contemporary political issues

  34. The goal of pastors should be teaching their congregations Christian doctrines, rather than casting doubts into the minds of their congregants about such doctrines

  35. The Church should be more dogmatic about theological doctrine than about political and social ideologies

  36. The Church should be united in theological beliefs, and grant individual Christian liberty in political beliefs, rather than the inverse

  37. Preaching about God’s love without preaching about God’s holiness and wrath against sin is just as bad as the inverse

  38. Sin is about personal rebellion against God, not just about systemic injustice

  39. Social justice is a fruit of the gospel, but is not the essence of the gospel itself

  40. Pastors should not give their congregations the impression that God makes no moral demands of them

  41. Churches should hold their members to high personal moral standards

  42. Pastors should not be hesitant to preach against personal sin

  43. All churches should present a clear theological message of what they believe

  44. Pastors should not be hesitant to preach theological dogma from the pulpit

  45. It is crucial for every church member to be directed toward having a personal faith in Jesus Christ

  46. There should be limits on theological diversity within the Church, especially when it reaches the point of denying the essentials of the faith

  47. Children are to be taught the scriptures as well as theology in Sunday school so they know why they come to Church

  48. Churches should teach Christian apologetics to children and adults so that they know how to defend the Christian faith before others

  49. Children are not to be confirmed if they do not profess belief in the essentials of Christianity

  50. People with agnostic, atheistic, or otherwise non-Christian beliefs must not be admitted into positions of leadership, teaching, or authority in the Church

  51. Unbelievers are not to be offered the Lord’s Supper, lest they bring “judgment upon themselves” (1 Corinthians 11:29)

  52. Churches should regularly engage in evangelism

  53. The point of missionary work, in addition to helping people’s physical needs, should be to help their spiritual needs by telling them about Christ

  54. Christ and His objectively true gospel are to be the primary motivation for the charity and social justice work done by the Church

  55. The words of Scripture and the Creeds are not to be changed to accommodate “gender-inclusive” language, which the exception of changing “men” to “men and women” if it is meant to refer to people in general, as that is a simple linguistic shift

  56. People are to be baptized in the name of the “Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” not any alternatives such as “Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,” as that renders their baptism invalid and ineffective

  57. While the divine essence has no gender, God has revealed Himself as “He,” so He is to be referred to as such

  58. We should be more concerned about our worship language being offensive to God than it being offensive to our culture

  59. The Church must do social justice work on its own terms, not on the terms of secular political factions

  60. The Church must not make an alliance with any secular political faction

  61. Scripture and natural law, rather than contemporary culture and politics, should be the authority for the Church’s stances on issues of sexuality and gender

  62. The Church must strongly condemn adultery

  63. The Church must strongly condemn pornography

  64. The Church must strongly condemn extramarital sex or fornication

  65. There must never be risqué or adult-themed displays in the Church, which would generally include “drag performances”

  66. The Church must honor the sanctity and inherent worth of all human life

  67. The Church must strongly condemn racism of all kinds, towards and from all races

  68. The Church must encourage the government to promote law and order for the safety of innocents

  69. Pastors are to model Biblical morals for their congregation, as they are held to a higher standard

  70. The Church should continue to condemn gambling, drunkenness, and drug use

  71. The Mainline Church should see its decline as a call to repentance

  72. The fact that theologically conservative Churches tend to grow and theologically liberal Churches tend to die out ought to signal a change in priorities

  73. The Church should consider the possibility that its decline may be a judgment from God, as God let His people fail when they were unfaithful to Him many times in Scripture

  74. The Church must not ignore the voices of those who call the Church to repentance, as people did in the Bible and during the Reformation

  75. The Mainline Church should let itself be corrected by the Evangelical Churches in certain ways, just as the Reformation inspired Rome to correct some of its errors

  76. In order to revive itself, the Mainline Church should adopt a more evangelical mindset, and elevate the role of personal conversion, evangelism, and confessions

  77. The Mainline Church will likely die out if it continues to drift away from the historic faith

  78. The Mainline Church has the greatest commitment to diversity, yet is the least diverse, since it does the least evangelism

  79. The Mainline Church claims to want to deconstruct “whiteness,” but pays no attention to the fact that non-white Christians, even in the PCUSA, are significantly less likely than whites to adopt theologically liberal views (source: Pew Research)

  80. The Mainline Church globally claims to want to elevate non-white voices, yet ignores the cries of repentance for theological liberalism coming from Church bodies in Africa and Asia, as is happening in the Anglican and Methodist communions

  81. The PCUSA bears the name of Presbyterian, yet tolerates countless theological errors that the Presbyterian confessions explicitly declare to be heretical

  82. The PCUSA bears the name of Church, yet tolerates theological errors that the Church fathers explicitly declare to be heretical

  83. The PCUSA speaks constantly of inclusivity, but often fails to create an inclusive environment for those that hold to historic views

  84. The PCUSA often only calls for justice in ways that are acceptable to the political left

  85. The PCUSA’s rhetoric on social issues and current events is frequently indistinguishable from that of progressive political commentators

  86. The PCUSA is quick to criticize Evangelicals for conflating faith and politics, but dedicates a far greater share of their rhetoric than Evangelicals do to political issues

  87. In offering solely a progressive political message, the PCUSA does not offer people anything they cannot get from the secular culture, which is why it gains so few new members

  88. The progressive faction of the PCUSA is seldom self-critical, except to repent of not being progressive enough

  89. The PCUSA keeps pushing for more and more progressive alterations to the faith, despite the risk that they will further divide the body of Christ and cause more schism

  90. Convicting people of sin and showing them their need for a savior is more important than making people feel affirmed

  91. Ministers who claim the title of Christian but reject the essentials of the faith risk facing God’s judgment

  92. Ministers who lead their congregations astray risk facing God’s judgment

  93. Seminary professors who make it their goal to destroy the beliefs of their students risk facing God’s wrath

  94. Ministers who not only tolerate but affirm what they know to be sin for the sake of not offending people risk facing God’s judgment

  95. Church leaders who lie to the public and claim to represent Christ while denying Him personally are using the Lord’s name in vain and risk facing God’s judgment

We would like these concerns addressed at this coming 2024 General Assembly. This is part of our commitment to be God’s instrument to restore the Church that we love. This document will be sent to as many congregations and leaders in the PCUSA as possible.



Richard Ackerman - Irvington Presbyterian Church, Hudson River Presbytery

Hunter Gracey - First Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of West Virginia

Kyle Eichlin - Mililani Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of the Pacific

Deven Goodwin - Bethel Presbyterian Church West Columbia, Presbytery of New Covenant

Lilly Fore, Rogersville Presbyterian Church, Holston Presbytery

Tristan Boyles, First Presbyterian Church of Kendallville, Presbytery of Wabash Valley

Allison Boyles, First Presbyterian Church of Kendallville, Presbytery of Wabash Valley

John Blank, Congruity Presbyterian Church New Alexandria, Redstone Presbytery

Samuel Meredith - First Presbyterian Church Bristol, Holston Presbytery

Joseph Gonzalez - First Miami Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of Tropical Florida

Zachary Milam - First Presbyterian Church Rapid City, Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Jesse Lawhon - Trinity Presbyterian Wichita KS, Southern Kansas Presbytery

Ryan Wolfer - Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, Denver Presbytery

Colt Novak - The Brandermill Church, The James Presbytery

Emma Morrison - Sea Island Presbyterian Church, Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery

Clare Shin - Bellevue Presbyterian Church, Seattle Presbytery

Ryan Cullens - First Presbyterian Church, Flint River Presbytery

David Yancey Jr. Gonzales Presbyterian Church, Mission Presbytery

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