FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND THE EPC
What is unique about the EPC?
We are unique among American Presbyterians with our self-conscious attempt to balance essential and non-essential matters within a confessional heritage. We are unified in our commitment to the essentials of the historic Christian faith taught in the Bible, but allow liberty of conscience on those matters which are not so plain in or central to the Bible's teaching
What does it mean to be "Presbyterian?"
To be Presbyterian is to be governed according to the pattern of elders seen in the Old and New Testaments. We are ruled neither by bishops in a hierarchical model nor by members in a congregational model. Biblically qualified elders are recognized through congregational election and, along with ministers, rule the church corporately. It also means being connected in mutual accountability and responsibility. Just as individual Christians are connected to one another as members of the body of Christ, so also individual congregations are connected under Christ as the great Head of the Church.
What does it mean to be "Reformed?"
To be "Reformed" means several things. Historically, it means that we trace our roots to the Reformation, when John Calvin and others led the movement to reform the Church according to Scripture. Theologically, it means belief in the absolute sovereignty of God and that the highest good is God's glory. This historical and theological heritage is often expressed in the "solas" of the Reformation-God's grace alone as the only way to be reconciled to God, faith alone as the only means of receiving God's grace, Christ alone as the ground of God's saving grace, Scripture alone as the only infallible authority for belief and God's glory alone as the ultimate purpose for the lives of men and women.
What is the EPC's view of women in office? While this is a topic about which many Christians feel strongly, the EPC believes that there can be genuine unity amid diversity on the subject. Each congregation has the right to decide whether to have women officers. The local congregation, subject to presbytery approval, determines whether they will have women as pastors. We believe that, whatever a congregation's view of office, women should be encouraged to serve as God has called and gifted them. For more on this topic, you may obtain our "Position Paper on the Ordination of Women."
Why did Central leave the PCUSA?
This church left its affiliation with the PCUSA because of longstanding doctrinal difference, disagreement with the direction (theologically and structurally) the PCUSA was taking, and because the PCUSA believed that it was the owner of our property rather than the corporation made up of the members of this church.
Was the separation process contentious?
No, the process was carried out with a gracious spirit among the members. A few members did not agree with the change, but they have remained active members of this congregation.
In the EPC, who owns the property of a local church?
The congregation has the exclusive, inalienable right to own and control its own property.
What is Central known for in the community?
Central has a long history of being a church that presents the Word of God, cares for one another, puts its money where its priorities are (we have a very high percentage of our budget devoted to missions), and impacts the community through outreach such as the Hawthorne Music Conservatory.