The version of the EFCA Statement of Faith voted upon at the Merger. EFCA Statement of Faith Teaching Notes – Article 1. Part of an week series. EFCA Statement of Faith Teaching Notes – Article 7. Part of an week series.
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These frequently asked questions and theological answers are an additional resource. First, in reference to history, it refers to the fact that in Europe, the Free Church was free from the state church control. Second, in reference to theology, it refers to our local church polity in that each local church is autonomous, i. Here is how this is explained in Evangelical Convictions: Though not included among our central doctrinal convictions, the Evangelical Free Church of America is congregational.
That is, Evangelical Free Churches are o and self-governing. In Article 1 of our Statement of Faithwe affirm the following: We believe in one God, Creator of all things [who has] limitless knowledge oc sovereign power [and who] has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make fairh things new for His own glory.
These are the explicit essentials of creation we affirm. When addressing the age of the universe, i. What this means is clarified in Evangelical Convictions: Genesis 1 expresses truth about God as Creator and His creation, statejent because of the uncertainty regarding the meaning and literary form of this text and the lack of Evangelical consensus on this issue, our Statement does not require a particular position on the mechanics of creation.
However, to be within the doctrinal parameters of the EFCA, any understanding of the process of creation must affirm:. To be acceptable within the EFCA any views on these specifics must completely affirm this Edca of Faith and align within these essential parameters. Historically, Evangelicals affirm that because of sin God initiates salvation.
What we believe | EFCA
Though there are differences, in both streams God initiates and affirms that He must do so because of the state of all of humankind after the fall of being spiritually dead. Evangelicals deny Pelagianism condemned at the Council of Ephesus in and semi-Pelagianism condemned at the Council of Orange in The fact of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is essential.
Whether regeneration precedes faith Calvinism or faith precedes regeneration Arminianismwe have placed in a secondary category. This does not mean that each local church has an equal number of those positions represented. Each local EFC church leans in one theological direction more so than another. But whichever way the church leans, the church ought to be welcoming to the person who leans in the other theological direction.
In the EFCA we allow beliefs within certain acceptable theological parameters on a number of doctrinal issues. For example, this is true regarding the issue of the age of the universetime and mode of baptismwhether faith precedes regeneration or regeneration precedes faith the Arminian and Calvinist discussion. Once [the early Free Church leaders] began to put in writing what was commonly believed among them, they were silent on those doctrines which through the centuries had divided Christians of equal dedication, Biblical knowledge, spiritual maturity and love for Christ.
Though the EFCA is premillennial, we embrace the breadth of premillennialism, including the various positions of DispensationalismProgressive Dispensationalismand Historic Premillennialism. The broader view of premillennialism, including the breadth noted above, also has specific nuances of the tribulation including the following views:.
This means that the EFCA does not take a position regarding the seven year tribulation that precedes the millennium, thus allowing various views, viz. The Lord Jesus mandated that the church celebrate the ordinances.
It is not a matter of indifference adiaphorasince it is a clear command given by the Lord Jesus for the church to celebrate Matt. But the timing paedo and credo and the mode sprinkling and immersion we have placed in a category of silence, i. The EFCA is primarily believer baptism by immersion in both belief and practice. Some churches do practice infant baptism, though not considered for salvation. With this position, we do not want to portray that the Scriptures are unclear or baptism does not matter.
The key is not the command to be baptized but the time and mode of baptism. We recognize that the interpretations of Scripture on the relevant points regarding the two positions on baptism differ with one another and are in some ways incompatible.
We allow different interpretations, not because we think Scripture is intrinsically ambiguous on the matter, nor because we think Scripture provides so little information that it is unwise to hold any opinion, but because some of us think the credobaptist position is in line with Scripture and that the paedobaptist position is mistaken, and some think the paedobaptist position is in line with Scripture and that the exclusively credobaptist position is mistaken.
In other words, both sides hold that Scripture speaks to the matter, but each side holds a view that excludes the other. However, we do not believe that our differing views on this matter among others should prevent our unity in the gospel in full local church fellowship.
EFCA Statement of Faith Teaching Notes – Article 1 | EFCA
Writing on behalf of the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy sought to respond to some of the concerns raised by religions and those with religious convictions. Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.
As part of this defense this bill prevents federal intrusion and government retaliation, specifically against those individuals and institutions who support traditional marriage. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings. It is interesting to note, that two legal issues that strike at the heart of key biblical truths and central issues of living out our Christian faith — abortion and same-sex marriage — are both rooted in the 14 th Amendment: InRoe v.
There are things we can learn from these two laws that we believe compromise biblical truth and convictions, how we have responded in the past, and how we ought to respond in the future.
In the first few days after the decision a number of Christians have begun to think along these lines as they ponder further how we ought to process this and how we ought to respond. Theologically and pastorally, we affirm God is the sovereign one who remains sovereign as he unfolds his providential plan in this fallen-redeemed-not-yet-glorified world.
This will impact believers, churches and church-related institutions, but we do not know in what way. It is most likely that church-related institutions rather than churches themselves will be most affected by this new law. You can be assured the EFCA will work prayerfully and diligently to provide instruction, guidance and resources for pastors and churches. It is not as if this is catching us completely unaware, but it is a new day that will require a new way of thinking about and responding to this.
Our biblical and theological commitment remains the same.
It is likely that the Spiritual Heritage Committee will be enlisted to work on how best to guide our thinking and responding, biblically, theologically and pastorally. We have also provided resources and policies. Article 2 which grounds and guides our understanding of and response to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We also have a statement on same-sex marriage that provides guidance to local churches who are writing a policy on this issue: This Statement is drawn from Scripture as our ultimate authority.
It sets forth a Christian vision of human sexuality as a good gift of God.
EFCA Statement of Faith with Scripture References
The divine design for sexual expression within the commitment of marriage between a man and a woman is fundamental to the well-ordering of human society and is integral to human flourishing. We desire to articulate this ethic as moral truth binding on us all while recognizing our need of God’s grace and forgiveness in the ways that we all fall short of this divine ideal.
God created human beings as male and female Gen. Scripture grants two life-enhancing options for sexual behavior: In Scripture monogamous heterosexual marriage bears a significance which goes beyond the regulation of sexual behavior, the bearing and raising of children, the formation of families, and the recognition of certain economic and legal rights.
We regard marriage as a good creation of God, and marriage within the Church as a rite and institution tied directly to our foundational belief of God as creator. We also regard marriage as a sacred institution which mirrors the mysterious and wonderful bond between Christ and His Church. Marriage is much more than merely a contract between two persons a secular notion. We therefore only authorize and recognize heterosexual marriages. We define marriage in etatement following way: The EFCA premillennial position embraces the breadth of premillennialism, including the various understandings of it.
Some in the Free Church say those covenantal promises will be fulfilled with the nation of Israel Evangelical Dispensational Premillennialismwhile others would claim that those promises have been fulfilled by Christ, are being fulfilled in the Church and will be fulfilled when Christ returns Historic Premillennialism.
Both of these positions are acceptable within the EFCA, as is the more mediating position known as Progressive Dispensationalism. Those in the EFCA who embrace a Historic Premillennial position say that the promises have been fulfilled in Jesus, the church, new heavens and new earth, thus affirming a fulfillment theology, not a replacement theology. It is important to acknowledge that there are some who affirm statemetn theology who have desired to do Israel harm.
In affirming premillennialism, we affirm the breadth of the premillennial view including Dispensation Premillennialism, Progressive Dispensationalism and Historic Premillennialism.
The specific answer to this question is found in Evangelical Convictions: Our affirmation of the premillennial return of Christ in the Statement entails the following:. The EFCA as a denomination attempts to focus on the essentials of the statdment which means we have a parameter on some doctrinal issues. One of these issues is whether or not one affirms eternal security perseverance of the saints or apostasy one can fall away and lose one’s salvation.
The former view is generally held faiht those who would be more Reformed in their leanings, while the latter would be held by those more Arminian and Lutheran. Because the EFCA is a place statemnet both Arminians including Vaith and Calvinists, there is no official position mandating or prohibiting either position. Our official position is that we are a place where both can serve and minister together.
It is not to be a doctrine that causes division in the EFCA. Local EFCA churches lean in one theological direction more than another on this doctrine. But the church ought to be welcoming to the person who leans in the other theological direction. This means this issue is local church specific and a local church distinctive. The EFCA believes cf.
Article 7, The Church that one is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone key Pauline and Reformation truths. A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America summarizes our understanding of the ordinances and affirms:. Although the EFCA does not have an official policy on miraculous gifts, we do have a boundary stated in our Statement of Faith and a position rooted in our ethos.
Other than this theological conviction, the EFCA is on a continuum from cessationist to continuationiston this side of classic Pentecostalism. We know that the Christian life, including the beginning, middle and end, is impossible taith from the Holy Spirit Romans 8: Within the parameters stated above, belief and expression are determined by and dependent on the local EFCA church.
The EFCA does not ordain women, which is a general conference decision based on our understanding of the ststement text cf. B to those engaged in vocational ministry. This certificate is available for men and women who are in a qualifying ministry and are not ordained.
Regarding questions faithh women in leadership in the local church, woman usually do not serve as an elder in the EFCA, as most EFCA churches recognize that the biblical qualifications for the pastor serving vocationally in this capacity are the same efcca for all other elders as well serving in a non-vocational capacity.
However, it must also be stated that because of our congregational form statwment church government, the local church is free to make its own decision on this matter.