There are many things that link us together with the catholic, protestant and other Christian churches. We all trace our beginnings to the same source: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Another example is the “Apostles Creed”, a statement of faith we Christian churches would all acknowledge and apply.
Despite our shared foundation of faith in Jesus, there are a few points that distinguish the theology and praxis of the different Christian denominations. To give you a better understanding, we will mention a few specific differences. Like the name “free church” implies, our freedom to make a personal decision is an important aspect to us as you will see in the various points:
- Voluntary baptism: We don’t baptize babies because they cannot intentionally, freely make a decision of faith. Instead of a baby baptism we do have a service where we dedicate our children to the Lord, and bless them. When they come of age to make a personal decision of faith, they can be baptized. We call this a “believers baptism”.
- Voluntary finance: According to the model of the very first christian church in the Bible (see 2. Corinthians 9:7) we support ourselfes by donations. Our church members do not pay an obligatory church membership contribution.
- Freedom for pastors concerning marriage: Since the Bible does not forbid pastors to marry, we do not either.
- Freedom of the local church: Our local churches are independent. That means that we do not have a human leader such as a Pope or a Bishop who makes decisions for all churches. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. The rationale is that God’s word is to be the only basis for the local church.
Basically, every local church should have the freedom to go by what the Bible says – to the best of one’s knowledge and free from institutional laws. Since everybody interprets the Bible in a different way because of culture and background, there is a wide spectrum of free evangelical churches ranging from traditional to modern and conservative to liberal. It’s very important to us to value this variety and seek unity amoung ourselves and with other Christian churches as much as possible. But: In the end it is not important which church you go to. What counts is what you really believe in your heart.