#1 Why Do Presbyterians Sprinkle?
With many Christian denominations allowing the convert to decide between:
- a full-immersion baptism (being dunked underwater)
2. a Sprinkling Baptism (dripped or poured on the person) –
This decision is often left to that person’s preference or the safety of what they find most feasible depending on weakness or age.
The Westminster Confession of Faith (OPC.org), in the official Orthodox Presbyterian Church confession of faith writes:
“Dipping of the person into the water is not necessary; but baptism is rightly administered by pouring, or sprinkling water upon the person.”
- “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38.
- “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” – 1 Peter 3:21.
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20.
- The Mode of Baptism: Immersion vs. Sprinkling – The Reformed Presbyterian – Published September 29th, 2014.
#2 Why Do Presbyterians Recite the Apostle’s Creed?
The Apostle’s Creed is used by Presbyterians as a silent and private prayer that is centered around God’s importance and everlasting forgiveness. As a summary of the Gospel story, this is a recollection of the first event of creation, Genesis.
As a short doctrine (only 109 words), it is used by many Protestant and Orthodox religions, including Roman Catholics.
Within The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church – Part 1: The Book of Confessions lies section 2,The Apostle’s Creed (also known as Apostolicism); it read:
“I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
2.2 And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
2.3 I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”
In Ligonier Ministries’ piece Why Do We Recite the Apostle’s Creed (Ligonier.org) Riddlebarger writes:
“Ursinus chose the Apostles’ Creed as the skeletal structure for the section of his catechism dealing with God’s grace because the creed so effectively summarizes the basics of the Christian faith that no non-Christian could possibly recite it.
In this sense, the creed defines what is Christianity and what is not”.
It is also used by:
- Many Evangelists
- Many Protestants
- And various other baptizing denominations
- Apostles Creed is considered a Baptism scripture, often accompanied by scriptures such as Acts 2:38-39“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”’
- The Apostle’s Creed – West End Presbyterian Church – Spring 2020.
#3 Why Are Presbyterians Called ‘The Frozen Chosen?’
Protestant of the Mainstream/Mainland Protestant (also known as Oldline Protestant), sometimes self-identify as ‘The Frozen Chosen.’
This reference is due to what can subjectively be taken as a ‘cold’ approach to religion, offering a non-emotional interpretation of Scripture that is led by Bible-based evidence. This coolness and detachment can sometimes be considered of the Fundamentalist/Traditionalist nature, but also led to a humorous awareness within the nickname of ‘the Frozen Chosen.’
The Urban Dictionary, often used for slang and pop-culture terminology, defines this as:
“The Presbyterian Church. Frozen by their beliefs and Chosen by God to do His will. It can also mean that they can be overly traditional and not welcome to change.”
Mainline Protestants include groups such as:
- Reformed groups from Europe
- Either being seen as an aloof dedication, or a frozen choice of being ‘saved,’ by Presbyterianism, The Presbyterian Church in the Highlands writes:
“The stereotypical frozen chosen are the folks in the Presbyterian and the Episcopalian denominations, though really the members of any church (in any denomination) can be labeled as “frozen.” It just has to do with how stiff and reserved they are.”
- “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.” – Acts 2:43
- Unfrozen – Calvary Presbyterian Church – “Presbyterians and other Christians sometimes called ‘The Frozen Chosen.’
#4 Why Are Presbyterians Called ‘Black Mouths?’
With the term being coined based on stories of the Irish Anglicans being able to tell a Presbyterian by the black stains of stolen blackberries around their mouths, this is a slur used against Presbyterians but can have several meanings.
Some of the meanings of the term ‘Black Mouths’ include:
- Presbyterian generalization
- Foul-mouthed person
- Radical political
- Could reference the Black Oath of 1639
- Radical Irishmen
Reverend Professor John M. Barkley writes in the Publications Board of The Presbyterian Church in Ireland:
“It is of interest to note that the connection between Presbyterianism and radicalism may also be seen in the contemptuous epithet “Blackmouth.”
It has nothing to do with eating “blae-berries”, and it only came into wide use in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
“Black-mouth” was a term of political abuse, applicable to rebels or potential rebels against the State at a time when Church and State were closely linked and when in certain circles “Presbyterian” and “rebel” were regarded as synonymous terms.
It was first widely applied to Presbyterians in the days of the Volunteers and United Irishmen and is a testimony to the radicalism of the Church and her desire for political democracy.”
- “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” – Ephesians 4:28
- Ulster-Scots Thoughts – Presbyterian Minister, Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) uses the term ‘Black-Mouth.’ Published September 30th, 2011.
#5 Why Do Presbyterians Believe in the Catholic Church?
Although they share a tangible link in their Christina-based faith for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as well as practices such as Communion and Confession – Presbyterians and Catholics are two completely separate denominations.
With various disagreements regarding basic theology, Church hierarchy, trinity authority, and scripture interpretation, there are many subjects that Presbyterians and Catholics do not see eye-to-eye on.
A Presbyterian may not attend Catholic Church and are told to avoid attending as the purports to re-sacrifice Christ. Although Presbyterians use phrases such as ‘for all,’ and the lord’s table is open to ‘all who are baptized,’ (meaning, all baptized Christians), this does not mean that they share services or ceremonies with Catholics.
- “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”- 1 Corinthians 11:26.
- “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.” – Joel 2:32.
- Presbyterianism – St. Andrews Presbyterian Church – Published January 31st, 2001 under Christian Education. “In 1054 AD, this led to the first split in the ranks of Christianity, and The Roman Catholic Church separated from…”
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