Many of those who attended the EFCA One Conference in 2023 were deeply moved when president Kevin Kompelien read the declaration Where We Stand in the EFCA: Denials and Affirmations and responded with resounding affirmation.1 In the light of the controversies of our current cultural context, this became a defining moment for the EFCA. We in the EFCA seek to stand firmly on the authority of Scripture, centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ, and not on any human ideology, whether political or cultural. This document seeks to articulate that stance. 

Because we are responding to questions, claims, and accusations against the EFCA, this statement begins with denials, declaring what we are not. This is followed by positive affirmations clarifying where we stand. This declaration was approved by the Board of Directors and the Board of Ministerial Standing, the two boards that are elected by and accountable to the EFCA Conference. Subsequently, it was affirmed by the District Superintendents of the EFCA. While personally endorsing it, President Kompelien also explained, “As with all statements that are not formally approved by the Conference, this statement is not binding on our churches, but we believe it represents who we are as a movement of churches and is shared with you today as a resource for EFCA churches.” 

In response to requests for further resources subsequent to the Conference, we first devoted four episodes of our EFCA Theology Podcast to this topic. The Spiritual Heritage Committee, along with the Chair of the Board of Directors (and with input from others), is now providing an additional resource in the form of these brief biblical-theological commentaries, grounded in God’s inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient Word, that accompany each of the eight points of the Denials and Affirmations document. What follows seeks to bring clarity and commentary that will have to be carefully and pastorally applied with precision in the context of the local church. If you need help as you do so, please reach out to others in the EFCA family for guidance. We need each other as we address these important issues together. Again, this is not a prescriptive document, but one we hope will provide further biblical reflection and foster healthy discussion in our movement. 

As we contend for the faith in a spirit of convictional kindness and humble courage, with both No and Yes, Jude’s doxological prayer is ours (Jude 24-25): “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” 


[1] Our recent doctrinal survey confirms the widespread support for the viewpoints affirmed here. See attached addendum. 

Denial and Affirmation One

We are not adherents of the secular “Social Justice” movement as held in progressive circles, but we do believe that biblical justice has social implications, particularly in protecting those who are most vulnerable and marginalized.

Denial and Affirmation Two

We are not “woke” in the sense of having embraced a progressive ideology that is grounded in Critical Theory rather than the Bible, but we do see the need to be awakened to the global and indeed cosmic impacts of sin, including racial injustice, and to be attuned to the biblical call for gospel-driven efforts toward reconciliation and restoration.

Denial and Affirmation Three

We are not adherents of “Critical Race Theory” that reduces all racial inequities to a struggle between oppressor and oppressed and presents a worldview that is contrary to the Scriptures, but we do believe that the questions and challenges it raises stir us to recall critical biblical truths that we may have neglected and require our attention.

Denial and Affirmation Four

We are not “Christian Nationalists” who believe the federal government should declare the United States a Christian nation or who believe that Americans are “God’s chosen people,” but we do believe that a patriotic love of one’s nation is appropriate and that Christians should be good citizens who may freely advocate for God-honoring public policies.

Denial and Affirmation Five

We do not believe that political means can establish the kingdom of God, but we do believe that God has appointed governing authorities to do good and that, for citizens in Christ's kingdom, King Jesus’ rule and reign transcends all other citizenships and partisan ideologies and transforms how we live in the world.

Denial and Affirmation Six

We do not believe that a person’s biological sex should be separated from their self-perception as a man or a woman nor that the body should be altered when it does not conform to that self-perception, but we do believe that some people experience a distressing struggle between these two and that we must treat those who struggle in this way with love and compassion as we seek to help them, with the truth and power of the gospel, toward the wholeness of a biologically-sexed identity grounded in God’s “very good” design in creation as male and female.

Denial and Affirmation Seven

We are not egalitarian in our understanding of the roles and functions of men and women in the church, but we do believe that the gifts and ministries of women are essential to the health and fruitfulness of churches and ought to be sought out and multiplied in ways that arise from and are consistent with our complementarian convictions, as reflected in our EFCA ordination policy.

Denial and Affirmation Eight

We do not believe in the annihilation of those who die apart from Christ, but in their eternal conscious punishment. Among the kinds of suffering we ought to seek to alleviate, this is the most grievous, and it is our urgent duty and God-given privilege to seek to alleviate it by proclaiming the gospel and calling all people to believe the gospel by repenting and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Get the EFCA Update

    A biweekly round-up of news, events, resources and stories from the Evangelical Free Church of America.