3 Things you possibly didn't know about the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church (and a few extra...)
1. Non-Subscribing Presbyterians are not told what they have to believe. Our members and ministers are given freedom of conscience to read scripture for themselves and to come to their own conclusions on matters of faith and doctrine. Members are therefore are free to ask questions and to disagree with their minister, and to hold their own opinions and beliefs about various spiritual topics.
2. For Non-Subscribing Presbyterians, Presbyterianism is a democratic system of Church governance (in other words how the church is run and structured) rather than a belief system. Unlike most other Presbyterians, Non-Subscribing Presbyterians do not ‘subscribe’ to or adhere to the Calvinist Westminster Confession of Faith, or any other man-made creed or statement of belief. Instead, the Bible is viewed as our foundation document, which every member has a right to read and interpret for themselves. Individual members are however free to subscribe privately to the Westminster Confession or any other creedal statement if they so wish.
3. Non-Subscribing Presbyterians would especially hold to the greatest commandment of Jesus: To love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34, Luke 10:25-28).
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4. The Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church seeks to be welcoming and all-inclusive. All are welcome and will be received without judgement regardless of background, colour, nationality, gender, marital status or sexual orientation. Not all our members have the same views on matters relating to gender and sexual orientation. Some would be more traditional while others would be more progressive on the issue. But all are welcome to be members of the church, regardless of views or orientation or gender identity. Hopefully you will find that we are a gentle community even when we differ.
5. Some Non-Subscribing Presbyterians would regard themselves as Trinitarian* while others would call themselves Unitarian**. Others like to consider themselves simply as followers of Jesus. (For a fuller explanation, please see below * and **).
6. Not all Non-Subscribing Presbyterians believe in an eternal hell (although some do). Some believe that the Bible teaches that one day, all things and all people will be reconciled to God (see Colossians 1:20) and that God will be All-and-in-all (1 Cor. 15:28), and “...all will be made alive in Christ,” (1 Cor 15:22). They believe this is good news!
7. Non-Subscribing Presbyterians especially believe that God is Love. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus shows us that God is like a patient and loving parent waiting for his children to come home (Luke 15:11–32 see also 1 John 4:16 and 18).
8. Some Non-Subscribing Presbyterians would consider themselves ‘evangelical’ in the widest and best sense of the word which simply means ‘Good News!’ We believe that God’s love for us in Jesus is ‘Good News’ because there is nothing that will be able to separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).
9. Most Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Worship Services are very similar to other traditional Protestant Worship Services, with four hymns, a Bible reading (or two), prayers (including the Lord’s Prayer) and a sermon. Communion or the Lord’s Supper usually takes place twice a year.
10. First Presbyterian Church (Non-Subscribing) Dromore (also known as the Dromore Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church) together with First Dromore Presbyterian are the oldest Presbyterians in Dromore, dating back to the 1650s, and were originally one church community until October 1725 after which a split happened in the church. Two-thirds became Non-Subscribing at the time and one-third began to subscribe to the Westminster confession. (To find our more, please read our history on website).
If these points have got you interested and you would like to visit us or know more, please join us at one of our Sunday Services (11:30am) or contact the minister, Rev. Brian Moodie 07427662828.
We would love to have you join us.
*Trinitarian: Trinitarianism speaks of God simultaneously as Three-in-One and One-in-Three. Most ‘orthodox’ Trinitarian’s speak of God (the Trinity) as Three co-equal and co-eternal persons in one Divine Being or Reality. They would speak of Jesus as being the incarnation of God-the-Son who is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. There are also other early understandings of the Trinity in which the 3 ‘Persons’ of the Trinity were regarded as three ‘personas’ or ‘masks’, as an actor in the ancient world would have worn. But behind the three ‘personas’ there is One Divine Being or Reality. Another early interpretation of the Trinity is that each of the Persons in the Trinity are Divine, but the Son and the Holy Spirit are subordinate to the Father. Trinitarians would say that even though the term Trinity does not appear in the Bible, it is implied by Scripture.
**Unitarian: Unitarians would generally speak of the One-ness of God and the Sonship of Jesus. Just as there are different interpretations of the Trinity, there are different interpretations of Unitarianism, some of which may overlap with some interpretations of the Trinity above. Unitarians would regard Jesus as subordinate to God but one in will and purpose with God (Matthew 20:23; John 5:19; John 6:38; John 14:28; John 20:17; Acts 4:27,30; 1 Cor 15:28). As we read in scripture, Unitarians would believe that God was in Christ reconciling the world to God (2 Cor 5:19). Unitarians would say that the phrase ‘God-the-Son’ as used in orthodox Trinitarianism is not Biblical. They would prefer to speak of Jesus as the Son of God. Some would say that it is still possible to speak of Jesus as divine or expressing God’s Divinity in human form without using orthodox Trinitarian language and without using the phrase God-the-Son. Not all who hold these views necessarily like the term Unitarian, but some do.