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 Standardsalthough required of church officersis 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.
"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.
The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.
At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)
The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.
While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.
You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.
Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been editedall personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expandedto make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.