Fandom

Religion Wiki

Free church

34,278pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

The term, free church refers to a Christian denomination that is intrinsically separated from government (as opposed to a theocracy, or an "established" or state church). The term is especially relevant in countries with established state churches.

The free church movement was a religious movement established to do away with the system of pew rents within the Christian church, wherein persons or families rented or bought the title to a particular church pew.[when?]

History

Today, a free church is typically a Christian denomination that is intrinsically separated from government (as opposed to a theocracy, or an "established" or state church). A free church does not define government policy, nor have governments define church policy or theology, nor seeks or receives government endorsement or funding for its general mission.

The Free Church is a pattern that evolved in the Americas, while much of Europe maintains some government involvement in religion and churches via taxation to support them and by appointing ministers and bishops etc., though free churches have been founded outside of the state system [1][2]

Protestant historians would typically argue that this is historically what the Christian church was before Emperor Constantine, and did not appear again until the Protestant Reformation in groups such as the Calvinists and some particular radical movements such as the Anabaptists.

Presbyterianism

A number of churches in Scotland and Northern Ireland, mainly of the presbyterian tradition, have used the name 'Free Church'. The most important of these to persist at the present time is the Free Church of Scotland.

China

Within present-day China the largest free churches are the True Jesus Church, Local Churches and Born Again Movement. Possibly several millions of persons in China belong to isolated radio churches.

Free Church movement

The free church movement was one created to do away with the system of pew rents, wherein persons or families rented or bought the title to a particular church pew. Families actually built the pews or modified them or rented the existing pews in the church. This was a funding mechanism for churches in situations before free will offerings became the norm. Abolishing pew rents dethroned those with money, power and influence, using free will offerings and tithes to fund churches led to the modern understanding of free church as one not under government or established authority, the shift in meaning has occurred over the last 100-150 years.

See also

Notes

  1. http://anglicanhistory.org/misc/freechurch/ Project Canterbury: The Free Church Movement
  2. http://anglicanhistory.org/usa/jhhbrown/free1857.html What "Free Church" means and Why Churches should be Free. (1857)

External links

hu:Szabadegyházak ja:自由教会 no:Frikirker nn:Frikyrkje nds:Freekarkfi:Vapaakirkko sv:Frikyrka

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki