A person named I. R. asks, “What are the best denominations for Free Grace Christians if they cannot find a church in the GES tracker?”
A friend of mine attended a conference in which a speaker listed a group of denominations which he said held to Free Grace Theology. He listed the following denominations (taken directly off his PowerPoint slide):
- Independent churches
- Free Brethren
- Southern Baptist
- And many more
I am not as optimistic as that speaker was. Or maybe we just have different understandings of what Free Grace Theology is.
While one could certainly find some Free Grace people in those denominations, I think it would be hard to find more than a few, if any, churches that held to Free Grace Theology in some of those groups.
I don’t think that there is a denomination in which every church in it—or even most of its churches—holds to Free Grace Theology.
I have not done any surveys. My answer is based on my attendance at various churches, interaction with pastors, reading of materials, and hearing the experiences of other Free Grace people.
I think the following denominations or groups are more likely than other denominations or groups to have a church that teaches Free Grace Theology:
Doctrinal Churches (Churches influenced by R. B. Thieme)
Plymouth Brethren Churches
Independent Bible Churches
Churches affiliated with Florida Bible College
Brethren-like Churches (Churches influenced by Watchman Nee)
Other denominations or groups that have some Free Grace pastors include Evangelical Free, Southern Baptist, Independent Baptist, Calvary Chapel, churches affiliated with AWANA, and home churches. (Also, GARBC and IFCA churches have some Free Grace pastors.)
GES is not a denomination or a church, and we have no churches. However, churches on our church tracker list are ones that indicate their agreement with us. They are a great place to start if you are looking for a Free Grace church near you.
In my opinion there are four types of churches: 1) Free Grace churches, 2) churches that are friendly to Free Grace, 3) churches that are hostile to Free Grace, and 4) liberal churches.
We hear from people who can’t find a Free Grace church near them and who are not able to move at this time. In some cases, they attend a Free-Grace-Friendly (FGF) church. That is a conservative church that preaches the Bible faithfully and that proclaims a sort of generic saving message. It is the type of church where the pastor welcomes you to the church even though he knows you are Free Grace. He might even invite you to teach a Sunday School class.
The pastor in a FGF church gives varying evangelistic messages, such as: “If you receive Christ as Savior, you are saved once and for all” or “If you commit your life to Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are eternally secure” or “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” or “Whoever believes in Jesus has everlasting life and will never perish.” While one of those messages is a mild Lordship Salvation position, it is a far cry from churches that come right out and teach Lordship Salvation. And that same pastor may give a Free Grace saving message on some Sundays.
I think a great option is for you to start a small church in your own home, even if it is just your family. But many do not want to do that. In that case, as long as a church is not presenting a clear and consistent Lordship Salvation or works salvation message, I can understand why some would choose to go there if the teaching is otherwise solid most of the time and there are other Free Grace families there.