According to the statistical data of the PC(USA), as of 2010 the PC(USA) was made up of:
- 10,560 congregations
- 2,016,091 members
- 13,264 teaching elders (ordained ministers)
This means that the clergy make up a total of .0667% of the membership of the church.
Read that again, the clergy make up less than 1% of the membership of the church.
- Of the teaching elders, there were a total of 2,366 specialized clergy.
- The specialized clergy represent 17.8% of all teaching elders.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because when it comes to who the PC(USA) is, the non-clergy members of the church make up more than 99% of the life of the church.
So when you ask the question what does the PC(USA) believe about the authority of scripture, the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ, salvation, sexuality, etc., the non-ordained clergy are much more historically orthodox than both the clergy, and in particular, compared to the specialized clergy.
In 2008 Presbyterian Panel Survey reports the following:
The survey shows what many have already known: that the membership of the church is much more historically orthodox than the clergy, and in particular the specialized clergy.
So who are Presbyterians? What do the Presbyterians believe?
Don't look to the clergy. They represent less than .0667% of the PC(USA).
And particularly don't look to the specialized clergy to make declarations of what the PC(USA) believes. They represent less than .0012% of the PC(USA).
Ask the people, the members who they believe Jesus is. Ask the members what they believe about the authority of scripture.
The non-clergy members make up more than 99% percent of the church.
More than ever, the PC(USA) needs to claim the priesthood of ALL believers.