What We Believe
For many people, the Covenant Church is something new and unknown. The Evangelical Covenant Church denomination was organized in 1885 when Swedes from Illinois and Iowa gathered in Chicago to “Covenant” (promise) together to be a church for Swedish immigrants here in the United States. The covenant they made was to live in such a way that Jesus would be honored and to worship in such a way that all may experience the love and forgiveness of God. Since that time, many nationalities have found a spiritual home in the Covenant.
Covenanters have been asked “what do you believe”, “what makes you different or similar to other Protestant Church groups”? There are 5 Covenant affirmations, central beliefs, which Covenanters stand upon:
1. The Centrality of the Word of God. The Bible, the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The Bible is the foundation upon which we stand to hear and experience the message of God.
2. New Birth in Jesus. People must be called and given the chance to respond to God’s good news. The focus is not on “how and when”, but that one is born spiritually.
3. Fellowship of Believers. While corporate worship as a whole church is a necessity for the Believer’s life, the getting together of believers is also critical. This is not just a social and relational matter, it is a theological statement.
4. Dependence on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a strong and active role in the life of the church and of the believer. The Holy Spirit works through Scripture and equips each believer and church for their own ministries.
5. Freedom in Christ. This freedom makes possible a spirit of openness and acceptance in the Church over things that Believers do not agree upon. In other words, believers are not made by cookie cutters or intended to be exactly the same. Rather, believers are guided by the Bible and led by the Holy Spirit to make decisions concerning life and faith. When decisions and opinions are expressed to one another, we agree to disagree and agree to love one another in our differences of opinion.
These we stand upon to keep us focused upon Jesus and His work on the Cross. The Apostle Paul states, “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Hold firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) Thus, we are set free to love God and love others without qualification or reservation. This we believe, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, this we practice.