Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Pilgrim Pastor, Apr 6, 2013.

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  1. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman


    I'm curious to know more about the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) from anyone's be with personal experience with them. I'm just curious where they fall on the "spectrum" of Presbyterian denominations with regard to theological / praxis matters. Liberal-Conservative theologically where about do they fall?
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    You might start by searching prior threads on the Puritan Board.
  3. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    As Wayne said, you can find a lot of information with a search. I'll provide a quick overview, since I have some personal experience (I know quite a few members of the EPC at college and have been visiting a congregation while I'm at home):

    They are more defined by being evangelical than reformed. Although they hold to the Westminster standards officially, they are very loose with subscription as a general rule. They are more liberal in that they allow female elders and deacons (each ordaining body makes the determination: churches are not forced to ordain women and many don't, and currently, as far as I know, no presbytery ordains female teaching elders, although it is a possibility) and sometimes spiritual gifts, but they are conservative in general.. definitely more so than the PCUSA. They have received many churches from the PCUSA in recent years who felt the body was too liberal.

    There are many solid, reformed bodies within the denomination. Practice varies greatly from church to church, however. I would say there is potential overlap between the PCA and the EPC, but that there is more tolerated within the EPC than the PCA and there tend to be less strongly confessional churches in the EPC than the PCA.
  4. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    Conservative, evangelical, bible believing, not big on confessionalism, egaltarian on women`s ordination, and holds to inerrancy.
  5. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks, I'll do that as well.
  6. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks, that's helpful. I was looking for a general sense of them. I've read material at their website as well. That is very helpful.
  7. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Which country? The EPC is in the UK and New Zealand :eek:
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    As has been mentioned, a search (upper right) will be helpful to see the robust discussion about this, e.g.


    Suffice it to say, the denomination self consciously places itself "in the middle" of Presbyterianism, which is to say, away from the OPC and PCA on one side, the PCUSA on the other. Between biblical reformed of which confession is part and from near unbridled apostasy on the other.

    Accordingly, the denomination is not in NAPARC with OPC, PCA, RPC, etc.

    The vast majority of churches departing the PCUSA are going to the EPC, having long ago lost the reformed distinctives, being now broadly evangelical battling for the bare essentials of the Christian faith. Laden with ordained women.

    Enough said.:)
  9. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

  10. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman

  11. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Also another note, in my neck of the woods, I have browsed around EPC churches online. There are quite a few that only mention they are affiliated in a footnote, no mention of the Stardards, and plenty of women elders and desperately try to come across as non-denom; so unless you were looking you'd never know they were EPC. Not every EPC church around me is like that but, I did find it interesting there were a few that way.
  12. JoannaV

    JoannaV Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yes the most recent EPC church in my area is a PC(USA) drop-out. No ordained women though. In comparison to the one PCA church I attended for a while they might actually be a tad more reformed... Sometimes having to fight for the bare essentials can end up making you more grounded in them; I am certainly praying for that church as they go into the future :)
  13. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    There's a wide amount of diversity in the denomination, as I and others have noted. If you want to see it just in how churches portray themselves on their websites, here a few with striking differences that I observed when looking at churches in the local presbytery:

  14. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    The CCP about page is pretty amazing as is the "One Church" beliefs page.
  15. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman

    One note as a former web developer & one who has built & managed a number of Church websites, the person(s) managing a site potentially have a lot of autonomy as to the content of a website. Now, you'd hope to see, and often do see, pastors & other church leadership ensuring consistency with web content & actual church dynamics, but often the site builder, especially if its an individual in the church has a lot of freedom & may not totally accurately represent the church.

    Years ago, 13 years ago, I built a site for a church after only attending for 3-4 months. The pastor was so excited to get their first website (that was the Internet stone ages I know...) that he barely gave me any direction at all. That's probably less common now, but there can be a real disparity between actual church dynamics and various publications of the church; including the website.
  16. JoannaV

    JoannaV Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yeah because you can't really tell, like the CCP about page looks like they might be into "health and wealth"....but if you read their other beliefs page it could be they are focusing on the real meaning on that verse, and they emphasise that their hope for salvation is in Christ. Plus they do mention Reformed theology.
  17. A5pointer

    A5pointer Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is very interesting brother. An analysis of the potential problem and resultant misunderstandings would make a great and helpful blog or more. You seem to be perfectly suited to comment on it constructively. :candle:
  18. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman

    A5Pointer: that's a great thought. Perhaps I'll do just that.
  19. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    Well, regardless of what the EPC has been, it is currently being swamped by churches defecting from the apostate PCUSA. Which, in my mind anyway, is certain to have a liberalizing effect on the denomination.
  20. Pilgrim Pastor

    Pilgrim Pastor Puritan Board Freshman

    Sheffield: I can hardly imagine how that would not have that affect. I was first ordained in a NACCC church (National Association of Congregational Christian Churches), later transferring into the CCCC (see below). Many UCC churches defect to the NACCC looking for a "Moderate" body. What they find us UCC-light, which suites many of them.

    Moderate, in that case, means vague. I appreciate the thoughts. This is helpful as to my original question.
  21. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    I don't have much experience with the EPC, except to point out two things:

    1) The guy who introduced me to Calvinism at a college Bible study roughly 25 years ago is a pastor in the EPC, and has been so for a number of years. He was educated at Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) and is a solid guy as far as I can tell.

    2) Over the last two years two ARP pastors have resigned their calls and have taken positions with EPC churches. Both would probably be classified as "moderates" in the ARP (I do not mean "moderate" in the early 20th century definition of the word -- i.e. "liberal" -- however; just not the of the more conservative stream of the denomination).
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