|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS||
The word evangelicalism often refers to a broad collection of religious beliefs, practices, and traditions which are found among Protestant Christians. Evangelicalism is typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to some cultural issues. Historically, the movement began in the early 18th century as a response to Enlightenment thinking. It stressed a more personal relationship with God at the individual level; as well as activism based upon one's biblically based beliefs. Current media usage of the term (especially in the United States), is often synonymous with conservative Protestant Christians. This is only partly accurate.
Church Organizations and Associations
Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA)
Evangelical free churches with the United States are typically part of the EFCA association. The association is divided into 18 districts for administration purposes, to help efficiently connect congregations with their communities. Evangelical Free churches are 'planted' whenever there is deemed to be a need. Each church is independently operated and maintained, allowing the greatest level of freedom possible to do the Lord's work.
The term 'evangelical' defines EFCA's "commitment to the proclamation of the Gospel and to the authority of Scriptures as being inerrant in the original writings and the only safe and sufficient guide to faith and practice.", and the term 'free' defines "our form of church government as being congregational [independent decisions and directions]".
EFCA's statement of faith, or rather doctrinal position, is a list of twelve points. It is condensed below:
- The Bible is the true, inspired Word of God, for the salvation of men.
- One God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ is both God and man.
- Purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ.
- Only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit is salvation obtained.
- Only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ paid for our sins.
- Water baptism and communion observed, but not required for salvation.
- The 'true' Church is comprised of all who have been saved through the Holy Spirit.
- Only those who are saved are eligible for membership in the local church.
- Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Head of each member Church (no other sovereignty).
- Personal, "premillennial", and imminent coming of Jesus Christ has a bearing on believers.
- Belief in both Heaven and Hell, and their importance regarding believers and unbelievers.
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