November 09, 2003 Q & A

Coming from other denominations


Is it difficult for people to become members of the OPC if they have strong backgrounds in other Protestant denominations?


No. It happens quite frequently.

First, people come from denominations with whom we have fraternal relations, though they choose to remain separate denominations. Members can be received from them through letter of transfer, though most OPCs still like to have such potential members come before the Session (board of ministers and elders) just to get better acquainted. But they are almost always received on the letter of commendation from the dismissing church.

Those who do not come from fraternal denominations are required to attend membership classes in which the doctrines of the OPC are carefully explained. Most times, as a result of these classes, new members are convinced of the truth of those doctrines. (Full subscription to the Westminster Standards—although required of church officers—is not required for church membership.) If they demonstrate a credible profession of faith and a willingness to be instructed in the things of God, they are admitted to membership in the church (and their young children, if not already baptized, are baptized and entered on the baptized rolls of the church). The church in which I worship and serve has members from a great number of other Protestant churches and some from the Roman Catholic church.

The central point in testing the faith of potential members is whether they have a living relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Of course there's much more than that, but that is what we seek from all adult members.



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