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What theological differences exist between Baptist churches and the Evangelical Free Church of America?

Where Baptist viewpoints might differ, assume American Baptist Churches USA as the specific Baptist denomination.

  • I'd never heard of ABC-USA until this question. The SBC may likely be a better comparison (based on how big they are). – warren Jan 6 '16 at 22:04
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    @warren - Really? I thought more people would be aware of the denomination given that Martin Luther King Jr. was an ABC pastor. SBC is definitely more well known, though. I might let this sit for just a little while longer before modifying the question unless you have an answer prepped for the SBC vs E-Free comparison. Then I'll make the edit. – TheIronCheek Jan 7 '16 at 3:22
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The EFCA is a loose association of independent churches who have gathered under this banner and agreed on basic fundamental doctrinal concepts although there could well be substantial differences between churches within this association. To compare it to the ABC, one could consider only the EFCA doctrinal statement agreed upon by the churches as a whole. When you look at the individual doctrinal statements on paper, they are very close with some notable differences such as the ABC allowing women in the pastorate. In practice, the ABC tends to be a bit more liberal but that is somewhat subjective and difficult to measure. The EFCA would compare more favorably to the SBC as they both emphasize fundamental doctrine to the exclusion of modern social mores.

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I'm presently attending an Evangelical Free church as well as Baptist church. I'm new to the E Free ideas but it seems to be very similar with very few differences. As others have mentioned there seems to be some differences between individual churches which seem to be mostly independent, but they are under the one banner of the EFCC. They seem to have leanings toward Arminianism, and they are not hyper-Calvinist the way some Baptist churches are. In my opinion they seem very balanced in their theology and have a good balance with Calvinism and Arminianism in their doctrines. They are very Baptistic in their baptism, communion, church meetings, etc. Women are allowed to become ministers, but now instead of being ordained, all ministers are "Credentialed". The Baptist Federation of Canada allows women to be ordained, but the other Baptist churches don't. I guess my overall impression is that they are not as extreme or black & white in their positions, and display less legalism than I have seen in some Baptist churches. However, it seems that their churches can differ significantly from one another. Of course as we all know Baptists can also mildly or significantly differ from one another especially between different conventions such as the Baptist Federation of Canada, General conference, North American-German Baptists, Fellowship, Southern Baptist, Independent, etc.

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