In the very first description of the New Testament church, the Bible says that they “continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine…” therefore doctrine is of primary importance in the very existence of the church. At GFPC we take doctrine seriously. First and foremost is that all our doctrine must be founded upon and agreeable to the Word of God. Scripture is ultimately our “only rule of faith and practice.” But since so many people claim to believe the Bible and yet believe different things, it is important for churches to clarify what they hold to be true from Scripture. Below is a bullet point summary of our key distinctives. Below that you will find links to full statements of our doctrinal sub-standards.
Conservative in Doctrine: We believe in the divine authority, verbal inspiration, and complete inerrancy of the Bible along with the great fundamental doctrines of grace it contains. The Scriptures alone are the supreme authority in matters of faith and practice.
Evangelical in Outreach: In obedience to the great commission of Christ to "go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel" (Matthew 28:19-20), we pursue an active program of Gospel preaching, personal evangelism, missionary endeavors, and internet ministry with the great objective of leading people of every class, color, and creed to a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Contrary to what many are told about Reformed Theology, Scripture and history show that these truths are no barrier to evangelism. In fact the greatest revivals in history trace their root to the recovery and proclamation of the doctrines of grace.
Sanctified in Behavior: We encourage our members to lead godly lives in obedience to God’s Word that will be testimonies of holiness and righteousness in a world increasingly plagued by degenerating moral values.
Presbyterian in Government: We are ruled by elders and deacons chosen from the people, by the people, to serve the people. The Free Presbyterian Church of North America stands for a born-again membership, and the ministers, elders, and deacons are men who have demonstrated the fact that they are genuinely born-again by the Spirit of God and are dedicated to the extension of the Kingdom of Christ. For those unfamiliar with Presbyterian government it is important to emphasize that every congregation is represented by its own elders at every level of the Presbytery.
Protestant in Conviction: We gladly take our stand alongside the great Christian leaders of the Protestant Reformation. We cherish the twin pillars of Protestantism, namely a positive witness for Christ and a protest against error.
Separatist in Practice: We believe and practice the doctrine of Biblical separation. In accordance with this, the Free Presbyterian Church of North America has no association with the modern Ecumenical or Charismatic movements, nor will it enter into ecclesiastical cooperation with any church which has departed from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God.
Since our denomination’s beginning, the Free Presbyterian Church of North America has subscribed to a set of doctrinal sub-standards – the Westminster Confession of Faith along with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Presbytery requires every ordained elder, minister, or licensed minister to publically sign his name stating that he agrees with the denomination’s sub-standards (as they have been amended by the Presbytery) to be a faithful representation and statement of his own personal faith. You can search these documents below:
The Westminster Confession of Faith
The Larger Catechism
The Shorter Catechism
One problem of recent decades has been that many Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that are generally orthodox, have nonetheless provided only very brief doctrinal statements. This has led to confusion, often over very important issues. For example, consider the “Lordship Salvation” controversy that came to such a height in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Men who belonged to the same groups theologically and ecclesiastically held to radically different opinions of what it means to be a true Christian. There was no creed in place with enough detail supplied to determine which view many churches or institutions should endorse. Given such conditions, many Christians are now looking further into the details of the Gospel that so many of these doctrinal statements have not sufficiently addressed. This is good, but it is exposing age old divisions between Christians that have for too long been ignored. Often this reveals the fact that unknown and unexpected divisions are being discovered within institutions that have not made use of a sufficient creed. Often doctrinal statements emphasized minor details (such as specific prophetic positions that could be left open) while ignoring details about the doctrine of salvation that should be carefully explained.
The Westminster Confession of Faith is the most widely held statement of faith in Protestant history. It does carefully explain the doctrine of salvation, and it has served as the basis for not only Presbyterian belief, but has been used as a foundation by Congregationalists, Baptists, and many others. Our denomination uses the historic Confession with some declaratory statements clarifying any amendments (such as the American position regarding the civil magistrate). These declarations are located within the Confession in the link provided. The most notable of our declarations are our open policies with regard to baptism and prophecy. We welcome both paedobaptists and believers baptists within our denomination. We also do not ask our ministers or members to endorse a particular view on some questions of Bible prophecy.
We hope you will take time to look over our doctrinal beliefs. They are vitally important and form the foundation of all that we do. And, as always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.