Statement of Faith – .pdf
Our Statement of Faith is in full support of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada:
The Evangelical Free Church of Canada is an association of autonomous churches united in a common commitment to God’s evangel — the gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to give us eternal life. To God’s glory, the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Our essential theological convictions are vitally connected to this gospel.
God’s gospel originates in and expresses the wondrous perfections of the eternal, triune God.
1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
God’s gospel is authoritatively revealed in the Scriptures.
2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest need.
3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
God’s gospel is made known supremely in the Person of Jesus Christ.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel’s promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
God’s gospel is accomplished through the work of Christ.
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
God’s gospel is applied by the power of the Holy Spirit.
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
God’s gospel is now embodied in the new community called the church.
7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
God’s gospel compels us to Christ-like living and witness to the world.
8. We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
God’s gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age.
9. We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels when He will bring His kingdom to fulfillment and exercise His role as Judge of all. This coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
God’s gospel requires a response that has eternal consequences.
10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.
Character and Calling – .pdf
We also share a certain ethos with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada as expressed in our Character and Calling:
The Kingdom of God is His eternal possession, and is present in part but not fullness in the world today. By God’s decree, under His direction, and empowered by His grace, the universal Church is responsible for the care and expansion of that Kingdom. Every local church, denomination, and ministry organization is a part of that Kingdom and carries some responsibility in the work of the Kingdom. As a part of that Body of Christ the Evangelical Free Church of Canada (EFCC) desires to understand and fulfill its particular calling in the work of the Kingdom. The EFCC will seek to live out our calling to be a New Community in Christ, reflecting the fullness of His vision for the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.” We will do this by putting aside the prevailing values of our time and replacing them with the radical demands of the gospel of God’s grace.
In essentials unity; in non-essentials charity; in all things Jesus Christ. The calling and spirit of the EFCC is summed up well in this famous motto of Rupertus Meldenius. We both define our call and express our aspirations for this 21st Century through this early quote.
In essentials unity…
- Essential truths: We are called to embody and proclaim the essential truths of Christianity as articulated in the Word of God, expressed through the centuries in the great creeds of the church and defined for us in our Statement of Faith. We continue in the tradition of our EFCC forefathers who said; “Where stands it written?” These truths have led us to Jesus Christ who said “he is truth” and that the “truth would set us free.”
- Spiritual unity: This calling is to a spirit of unity in Jesus Christ, with an affirmation of the priesthood and ministry of all believers, congregational government in the local church where He is Head, meaningful involvement within our fellowship of churches, and cooperation with all who share our call to these essential truths.
In non-essentials charity…
- Generosity of spirit: We are called to a generosity of spirit that frees us to embrace a wide variety of Christian brothers and sisters — “simply believers” — some with whom we will not agree in matters that are outside our Statement of Faith. Our spirit is one of warm welcome to all believers who share our commitment to our Statement of Faith and who seek to follow Jesus’ command to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves.
- Kingdom minded: This generous spirit encourages us to joyfully work with those outside our own denomination, those of “like precious faith” who endeavour to expand the kingdom of heaven.
In all things Jesus Christ
- The Great Command and Great Commission: We are called to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Lord God. Through His grace and through His Spirit we seek to fulfill His command to love our neighbour by loving each and every person, especially the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. We seek to fulfill His great commission by making followers of Him from all people groups.
- Godly living: From the practice and teachings of Jesus, from the present ministry of the Holy Spirit working within us, and from the pietistic model of our forefathers, has grown a spirit that hungers for a closer relationship with Jesus Christ that will transform our hearts, our heads, our hands, and will reveal itself in a Christ-inspired value system and a holy lifestyle.
Code of Conduct – .pdf
This is our Code of Conduct produced by the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. Pastor Tom promptly and willingly adheres to this and all other annual requirements under the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. We believe this provides a reasonable baseline of accountability and integrity for pastors and ministry workers across our denomination:
Covenant of Personal and Professional Ethics for Those Serving the Lord Through the Ministries of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada
I believe that I have been called and equipped by Jesus Christ to serve Him and His Church, and am presently serving the Lord through the ministries of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. According to Scripture, those in leadership within the Church must live a life that is above reproach and meet the qualifications for such an office as outlined in the Word of God. I am committed to living my life under the Lordship of Christ, recognizing my responsibility to set an example of a lifestyle that is consistent with Scripture and sensitive to cultural dynamics.
I believe that God calls all believers to be people of integrity, that He enables us to live for Him by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that He extends grace in our weaknesses. Therefore, by God’s grace and in complete dependence upon Him, I enter into this Covenant of Personal and Professional Ethics as a guideline for my life as I serve Him. I enter into this covenant with my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, with the fellowship of the Ministerial Association of the EFCC and with those whom I serve.
- Personal and Spiritual LifeI understand that God has called me to a life of righteousness, godliness and growth in Christ-like character. In order to be what He wants me to be I accept the responsibility of exercising the spiritual disciplines necessary for growth, yielding every area of my life to the control of the Holy Spirit. As I bring my mind under His control, I will choose to fill it only with things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. I will deal with sin by honest confession to God and those who have been affected by it. Fellowship with others is essential to growth, so I will avail myself of opportunities to be encouraged, instructed and built up by others in the things of the Lord. As a whole person, I will seek to keep physically, emotionally and mentally fit and will refrain from the abuse of alcohol, drugs or any other habit that would harm my ability to do all I do for the glory of God.
- Family LifeI understand that my first responsibility before God is to love and care for the family He has entrusted to my care. I will be faithful to my spouse, guarding our relationship, investing in it and working humbly together to keep it healthy, growing and honouring to the Lord. The responsibility to love my children practically and to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord is a great privilege and among my highest callings. As I plan and maintain my schedule, I will seek to keep my family as an important priority, and model for them by my attitudes, words and actions, a healthy and positive view of the Church.
- FinancesI believe that God is the provider and owner of all things and calls me to handle what He has put in my hands faithfully as a steward. As He provides, I will be content as I live within my means. Although unforeseen circumstances may arise, I understand that my goal must be to so order my affairs that others can rely on me to meet my financial obligations and demonstrate obedience to Biblical principles of Christian stewardship. I will demonstrate wisdom and discretion in handling financial matters with integrity and will avoid any financial or business arrangements that would deter me from being effective in fulfilling my calling to ministry.
- Sexual LifeGod calls his people to live lives of sexual purity and commitment in which sexual intimacy is practiced only within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. Out of respect for the obligation to live a life of sexual integrity as a model for my children, my spouse and my church, I will refrain from any pre-marital and extra-marital relationships as well as homosexual activities. Recognizing the danger of impure thoughts, I will avoid any sexually-oriented, pornographic or any other material that could tempt me to further sin. I choose to treat others with respect and will not be involved in sexual abuse, harassment or assault of any kind, and accept my deep obligation to avoid acting in such a way that might tempt others to sexual sin.
- Professional LifeI am called to be a servant of the Lord and His Church and count this to be a great honour and profound expression of His grace. In reliance on His help, I pledge to uphold this trust and never bring shame to His Name. I will be diligent in my duties, remembering that I am a steward who will give account to my Master. I will be Biblical in my preaching, presenting faithfully the whole counsel of God, speaking the truth in forthrightness and with love. I am determined that I will never abuse my position for personal benefit or pleasure.
I will always seek to be known as one who promotes peace and unity in the Church and will resist any effort of activities to divide it. I will not knowingly build the ministry in which I am involved to the detriment of other ministries. I will avoid speaking disparagingly of others in ministry. I have a special obligation to exercise sensitivity and care in relation to those who precede or succeed me in ministry. I will exercise sensitivity when I may be present in a place I have left and where another is serving. It shall, in these situations be my intention to strengthen the ministry of others, and work for the well-being and unity of the church. Similarly, in pursuing a call to a new ministry or considering termination of a present ministry, I shall understand the need for wisdom, discretion and honesty.
My calling obligates me to discretion and wisdom in relationships with others. I will avoid situations where being alone with a person of the opposite sex could in any way be misconstrued by anyone involved, directly or indirectly. If necessary I shall willingly limit my freedom where its use could hinder the reputation of my ministry.
Knowing that my effectiveness in ministry will often hinge on whether others can trust me fully, I will always seek to maintain confidentiality, except where my silence might endanger others.
I will respect my relationship to the Evangelical Free Church of Canada and will seek to support it through prayer, participation and promotion, always working in harmony with its doctrines, aims and objectives.
Marvin Penner is our Parkland District Superintendent. If you have any questions about the Evangelical Free Church of Canada or the EFCC statements on Gender and Sexuality or Marriage please feel free to contact him.