Historic Documents in American Presbyterianism

The Declaration of Commitment

Originally published on October 4, 1969 by the Presbyterian Churchmen United (PCU), the Declaration was a clarion call issued to the ministers and people of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS)--a call for recommitment to the Word of God and to the Reformed Faith, signed by over 500 ministers and published in over 30 major newspapers.



To the membership of the Presbyterian Church, US, in light

of the questions and concerns being expressed in the Church

as to the nature of our faith and order, we, the undersigned

ministers declare our conviction:


--- That the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ turns men from

darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. By

coming to faith in Him alone is there genuine reconciliation

between man and God and man and man.


--- That the Holy Scriptures are the infallible Word of God,

and that these Scriptures commit the Church to a mission

whose primary end is the salvation and nurture of souls.


--- That Christian faith must bear fruit if it is to remain virile.

These fruits vary from believer to believer. But common to

them all are evidences of love, concern and neighborliness,

toward all races of men without partiality and without preju-

dice, especially to the poor, the oppressed and the disad-

vantaged. The man of faith views all men as neighbors and

himself as debtor, for Christ’s sake.


--- That, for the implementation of the above principles, in

obedience to our ordination vows, we must strive to preserve

a confessional Church, thoroughly Reformed and Presbyterian.

Thus, our support of or opposition to any proposed union will

be determined by these considerations.


--- That, being fully committed by our ordination vows to the

system of doctrine set forth in the Westminster Confession of

Faith and Catechisms, we must oppose all efforts to change

in substance or otherwise debase our historic doctrinal com-



--- That we are in the same context by vow committed to his-

toric Presbyterian polity with its representative system and

its parity among teaching and ruling elders. Thus, we are

forced to oppose any efforts to take our Church into the mas-

sive organization envisioned by COCU.


--- That, should the basic theology or polity of the Church be

altered or diluted, we shall be prepared to take such actions

as may be necessary to fulfill the obligation imposed by our

ordination vows, to maintain our Presbyterian faith.