Church unions in the next decade or so?

Possible church unions in the next decade or so

  • CRC and RCA

    Votes: 12 48.0%
  • URC and CanRc

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • URC and OPC

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • OPC and BPC

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • OPC and RCUS

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • ARP and EPC

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • OPC and PCA

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • PCUSA and UCC

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • FRC and HRC

    Votes: 6 24.0%
  • ELCA and PCUSA and TEC and UCC supermerger

    Votes: 7 28.0%
  • The two cumberlands

    Votes: 5 20.0%
  • ECO and EPC

    Votes: 2 8.0%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 4 16.0%

  • Total voters
    25
  • This poll will close: .

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
ARP and EPC??? Only if the ARP went off a liberal deep end. They are stronger now than they have been in a long time. Not that it is likely, but you should add RPCNA and ARP. We actually desire this, but doctrinal issues hinder us. But we get a long great.

The OPC and PCA? Never going to happen. PCA too liberal now. If this was 1980's then maybe, but it is 2020.

OPC and RCUS; OPC and URC come from different confessional backgrounds, not going to happen. I might be able to see the BPC joining the OPC, but BPC would probably have to change a few things to agree to that.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
No chance for most of these. I could see the RCA and CRC eventually with the continual leftward slide of the CRC.

No chance for the ARP and the EPC. A PCA and EPC merger is much more likely, although still not very likely. You've got men leaving the PCA for the ARP now because the ARP is now seen as being more conservative and confessional, an about face from maybe even 15-20 years ago.

I think the URC and the CanRC collaborated on a psalter?

Sometimes even denominations who are almost identical doctrinally fail to merge over turf wars, (e.g. control of things like colleges) their distinctive history, etc. The Nazarenes and the Wesleyan Church is an example of this, according to a Wesleyan pastor who I used to know.

With it seeming to be continually shrinking, the BPC joining the OPC isn't nearly as unthinkable as it was even 10-15 years ago. I've been out of the loop for a long time, but I don't know that that is even on the table at this point. Have they even established fraternal relations formally? When Mcintire was still alive, pre-trib was basically an article of faith in the BPC. (I'm basing that on an article by the post-trib John Battle, a prof at Western Reformed Seminary who recounted the controversy that his appointment caused.) Now they have ministers who aren't even premil. Is there still a strong emphasis on things like teetotalism? Those were the kinds of things that caused the split to begin with. Andrew is right that the BPC would have to adopt the OPC's version of the Westminster Standards and thus drop the premil revisions. The more fundy congregations seem to have left after the BPC exchanged friendly greetings or or fraternal delegates or something with the OPC. (I'm too lazy to look it up. Sorry! LOL)
 

BRK

Puritan Board Freshman
The OPC and PCA? Never going to happen. PCA too liberal now. If this was 1980's then maybe, but it is 2020.
Pastor Barnes, could expand on this a little? I'm a member of a PCA church. Should I be concerned about the direction that the denomination is going?
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Pastor Barnes, could expand on this a little? I'm a member of a PCA church. Should I be concerned about the direction that the denomination is going?
Oh very much yes.
The Missouri Presbytery and Covenant seminary are advocating for homosexual, but celibate, pastors. The latter is similarly teaching 'woke theology.'
These have all be headlines in the Reformed world for quite sometime now.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
URC and Canadian Reformed I doubt. Are the URC brethren of one mind in their understanding of the covenant?
URC and OPC I doubt. R2K, concerns about Prof. Scott Oliphint, are among reasons that I doubt that such a merger will occur.
OPC and BPC I doubt. I also doubt that the BPC will merge with the Bible Presbyterians that are not part of the denomination. I expect the BPC to add some of the independent Korean congregations to her ranks.
OPC and RCUS I doubt. A number of old German Reformed congregations have come out of the UCC in recent years. I expect the RCUS to reach out to them.
I doubt OPC and PCA. Some PCA congregations may leave the PCA and join the OPC. A better question might be how many presbyteries will spin out of the PCA?
 
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retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Freshman
Oh very much yes.
The Missouri Presbytery and Covenant seminary are advocating for homosexual, but celibate, pastors. The latter is similarly teaching 'woke theology.'
These have all be headlines in the Reformed world for quite sometime now.
Compared to the OPC, the PCA is like 10 times larger. Because of that, you will see a wide spectrum of beliefs (which it unfortunate because they are supposed to be confessional). However, it doesn't mean your specific PCA church is not still solid.
 

B.L.

Puritan Board Sophomore
Unions? I think there is a far greater chance of further splintering and new micro-denominations sprouting up.
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
I think the URC and the CanRC collaborated on a psalter?
They were collaborating until, suddenly (at least to CanRC eyes), the URC decided to collaborate with the OPC instead. The URC and OPC jointly produced the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. In my view, it would have been nice if it could have been an effort between all three.
 

yeutter

Puritan Board Senior
They were collaborating until, suddenly (at least to CanRC eyes), the URC decided to collaborate with the OPC instead. The URC and OPC jointly produced the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. In my view, it would have been nice if it could have been an effort between all three.
The Canadian Reformed Anglo Genevan Psalter is probably the best Psalter for congregations to chant in the English Language. Why would you want to replace it?
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
The Canadian Reformed Anglo Genevan Psalter is probably the best Psalter for congregations to chant in the English Language. Why would you want to replace it?
We don't chant the psalms -- we sing them. But the joint URC/CanRC project would have seen 150 Psalms with Genevan tunes, but also each one with one or more alternative melodies. Not everybody in the CanRC is a fan of the Genevan tunes, and certainly most of them are a hard sell in the URC.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm a member of a PCA church. Should I be concerned about the direction that the denomination is going?
Yes.

A PCA - EPC merger is as likely as any of the offerings mentioned above. But the PCA may be too liberal for that to work.

ECUSA - PCUSA would be a fairly easy merger at this point. "Executive Presbyters" in the the PCUSA are roughly equivalent to Episcopal bishops.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
If any of the ECO folks wanted to go EPC, it would have been easy enough to do when they belated swam away from the sinking ship.

What I'd really like to see, but don't anticipate, is a general realignment of the Presbyterian denominations. The bulk of the PCA and the bulk of the EPC would probably make a good fit, with small portions of the PCA and larger portions of the EPC going to ECO and tiny bits of the EPC, and a good si\zed chunk of the PCA going to the OPC, ARP, or the smaller denominations.
 

ArminianOnceWas

Puritan Board Freshman
If any of the ECO folks wanted to go EPC, it would have been easy enough to do when they belated swam away from the sinking ship.

It's not as simple as you present. First, there are plenty of PCUSA churches that went EPC during the split. Secondly, the ECO thought they were going to take many more churches with them, probably 3x to 5x more. Therefore, to many congregations leaving the PCUSA, it made sense to go with the group of your peers rather than the lesser-known EPC.

However, since the ECO has only gained a fraction of their anticipated congregations from the PCUSA, they have been left smaller, and less connected than they hoped. Therefore, while it likely remains years away, there is growing momentum at the grassroots level to explore a union.

What makes EPC more compatible with ECO and less so with the PCA is the egalitarianism of gender roles. Furthermore, EPC tends to be more Charismatic which I suspect may be more resisted by the PCA.
 
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ArminianOnceWas

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes.

A PCA - EPC merger is as likely as any of the offerings mentioned above. But the PCA may be too liberal for that to work.

ECUSA - PCUSA would be a fairly easy merger at this point. "Executive Presbyters" in the the PCUSA are roughly equivalent to Episcopal bishops.

If it were ECUSA and PCUSA in communion, then yes, that could work. However a merge of two organizations as 'fairly easy" seems overly optimistic, at best. From an organizational standpoint, it is a very different culture from episcopal to presbyterian polity, this is a huge barrier to overcome. While the position of Executive Presbyter does share some resemblance to the episcopacy, there remain some stark distinctions. Furthermore, the theological heritage is quite distinct as well, and each side has enough faction to resist such a blend. Additionally, local church structures and issues like ordination are very different. Lastly, the ECUSA is part of the broader Anglican Communion, which again, complicates this.

Might it be possible? Sure, I guess, but "fairly easy" is a brutal overstatement. Consider that the ECUSA and UMC have been working toward communion, NOT merger for some years. Those two organizations with closely aligned polity and anglo-catholic heritage, however, much labor has been poured into this effort and it has yet to produce a final result.

It's probably only an easy proposition to outsiders with no responsibility in these organizations.
 
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PaulCLawton

Puritan Board Freshman
ARP and EPC??? Only if the ARP went off a liberal deep end. They are stronger now than they have been in a long time. Not that it is likely, but you should add RPCNA and ARP. We actually desire this, but doctrinal issues hinder us. But we get a long great.

The OPC and PCA? Never going to happen. PCA too liberal now. If this was 1980's then maybe, but it is 2020.

OPC and RCUS; OPC and URC come from different confessional backgrounds, not going to happen. I might be able to see the BPC joining the OPC, but BPC would probably have to change a few things to agree to that.

As mentioned above, the OPC and URCNA collaborated on the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. It also may be of interest that in 2018, the URCNA Synod and the OPC General Assembly were held concurrently, and shared many devotional and meal times, etc. In particular, one of the evenings was devoted to a URCNA-OPC colloquium on the pursuit of unity between the two federations. While the representatives from each body did not minimize our differences, it was said (from the URCNA side) that "in principal, we [both URCNA and OPC] share a commitment to organic unity should God bless it.”
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
If it were ECUSA and PCUSA in communion, then yes, that could work. However a merge of two organizations as 'fairly easy" seems overly optimistic, at best. From an organizational standpoint, it is a very different culture from episcopal to presbyterian polity, this is a huge barrier to overcome. While the position of Executive Presbyter does share some resemblance to the episcopacy, there remain some stark distinctions. Furthermore, the theological heritage is quite distinct as well, and each side has enough faction to resist such a blend.

The biggest barrier would be the entrenched bureaucracies. But shrinking budgets and membership will help solve that problem. As far as theology goes, they align as post - Christian, and when you have no real communion standards, you are in communion with everyone. (I do understand that a decade or so ago, the Episcopalians ruled that one couldn't be both an Episcopal priestess and a practicing Muslim, while a PCUSA church can be in covenant with with an Islamic group, but I don't see that as a major barrier).

Edited to add:
As far as communion goes, " As a result of the Dialogue, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Reverend Gradye Parsons, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, stood together at the Lord’s Table and led the congregation in receiving Holy Communion at the 221st General Assembly (2014)"
 

Brett

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't think the OPC will be part of any mergers anytime soon. From my experience a lot of members are ex-PCA members who wanted to leave. I think that's regrettable honestly.

If somehow a vote to join the PCA made it to the GA and somehow it passed I could see many OP congregations choosing to leave and form a new denomination.

Ecumenical projects like the Trinity Psalter Hymnal are encouraging. I hope things like that will continue. I'm a member of the OPC's southeast presbytery. I've heard rumors that the FRC Is trying to stage a coup of our presbytery since we have a suspiciously large amount of pastors who grew up in the FRC.
 
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