“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
My name is Eric Christiansen and I created StayPCUSA.info in response to the troubling concerns being shared about the Presbyterian Church (USA).
I’ve been a part of our denomination my entire life, both as a member and ordained minister, and I’ve been in different congregations and presbyteries from the east coast, to the Midwest, to here in California: progressive, moderate, and evangelical. All of that is to say I thought I knew our denomination pretty well, but when I started hearing the reasons why congregations were leaving the denomination it really caught me off guard. My heart was turned and I began to believe my relationship with the denomination I had known as my mother in the faith was coming to an end.
I would understand if your heart has been turned too.
But I couldn’t let it go. What I heard just didn’t resonate with any of my experiences or relationships in the denomination. Now, after many months of researching, studying, praying, and communicating with Presbyterians around the country I’ve discovered what is being said about the denomination is not the whole truth, not even close.
Unfortunately there is often just enough truth to what is being said that it is quickly believed and rarely questioned. Moreover, the concerns are being promulgated by leaders who we want to trust and believe.
StayPCUSA.info questions the concerns and brings together many of the voices and resources I discovered, offering you a refreshing, hopeful, and alternative perspective of the PC(USA).
Most of what you’ll find here isn’t going to be provided to you by the leaders in your congregation who want to leave the denomination. In some cases I’m not sure they even know this information exists. But in other cases, despite their rhetoric about being open, I know of sessions and denomination study committees making an intentional decision not to share it. They want their congregations to have the facts, but they only share the facts that support leaving, even when they know those facts are misleading.
To quote the popular Netflix series House of Cards, “There is no arrangement of facts that is purely objective.” Or as Tiger Woods told an interviewer from Sports Illustrated in 2000, “I’ve learned you can always tell the truth, but you don’t have to tell the whole truth.”
Intentionally withholding the whole truth is extremely ironic considering most of the leaving congregations are joining a denomination where one of the essential tenets its leaders are bound to uphold is “pursuing the truth, even when such pursuit is costly, and defending truth when it is challenged, recognizing that truth is in order to goodness and that its preservation matters.”
StayPCUSA.info helps pursue, defend, and preserve the truth about the Presbyterian Church (USA).
I’ve organized StayPCUSA.info into subject categories you’ll find on the right hand side of this page, you can also scroll through all posts from the Posts link at the top of this page. There is a lot here for you but if you’re looking for a quick place to get started let me suggest a presentation made in 2013 by Steve Yamaguchi when he was the Presbytery Pastor of Los Ranchos Presbytery, titled Is the PCUSA Burning Down? The video is short and quickly demonstrates how factual information about the PC(USA) is being distorted and used as propaganda against the denomination.
Let’s #StayPCUSA together.