King George III of England (1738-1820) believed that Presbyterians were a contentious people and blamed them for causing the American Revolution, an assessment shared by others as well. Indeed, while that caricature may have been directed at certain Presbyterian ministers and the Scots-Irish population in general, there is no doubt that historically, American Presbyterians have been no stranger to contention, conflict, and schism. Presbyterians have frequently disagreed with each other on many issues, sometimes amicably, sometimes not. Presbyterians have never been reticent about speaking their minds--or trying to change someone else's.
This Leader Reader, written by the Presbyterian Historical Society, shows how Presbyterians are hardly God's frozen chosen.