Jon Harris recently did an interview about a large but little talked about denomination, the Evangelical Free Church in America. Every denomination has had to confront Critical Race Theory in the last 5 years, and few institutions have stood strong against the Social Justice Gospel. Pastor Jeff Kliewer is a EFCA pastor of Cornerstone Church in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. And he faces being defrocked by the elites in the EFCA.
The Evangelical Free Church in America is much like the Evangelical Covenant Church in its origin story and faith tradition. However, where the ECC went extremely liberal, the EFCA remained orthodox. Pastor Jeff Kliewer has been a trouble maker to the upper echelons of leadership for speaking out against Social Justice in the church, including writing a book Woke-Free Church and asking questions of woke preacher Bill Riedel. For this, Kliewer was charged with four counts.
The first was Christian Nationalism, which is not only benign, it’s also irrelevant to Kliewer. Kliewer was found not guilty of this charge as the tide has turned in favor of this term, he explained. The second charge was misrepresentation, which he presumes to refer to either the EFCA or woke pastors. The third charge was attitude, to which Kliewer credits thinking that he’s right. This is also not a sin issue. The fourth charge was influence, which is also not a sin issue. He was instructed to repent prior to September 2022 to avoid his ministry credential being taken away. This is the EFCA version of defrocking a pastor, as they, similar to the Southern Baptist Convention hold to a more congregational polity.
The Board of Ministerial Standing has it out for Jeff Kliewer because they are woke. But Kliewer has aims to appeal their disciplinary action to the EFCA which has a congregational polity similar to the Southern Baptist Convention, in that those who show up have the ability to overrule the board.
Jeff Kliewer is optimistic that the EFCA will oppose Critical Race Theory and overturn the conviction against him, believing that the elites are out of touch with the average EFCA pastor. Will the EFCA fight the wokeness in their denomination? This is what we will learn in their June 21st business meeting.
While being a guest speaker for churches in current want of a pastor [fired, vacation, family emergency, illness, death] we have based myself at an EV Free church here in Pagosa Springs, CO. I often feel like Moses in the desert, speaking everywhere but ignored – without cause – in this particular church.
Granted, I am a “recovering” charismatic pastor; fully reject strange doctrines and decry false teachers [Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Benny Hinn, Word of Faith, Vineyard, emotionalism, anti-trinity, fog machines etc.].
Maybe it’s our age, I’m 73 and my wife is 76, but we aren’t dead yet. Or maybe it is our being retired but still possessing active ordinations to free lance helping other churches.
Anyway, I have not witnessed any “woke-ness” in this church but I have begun to notice some repetitious lyrics in songs that can numb the mind. I plan to speak up and maybe get further ghosted but, Jesus comes first!
As for my missionary friends in Ukraine, I have yet to hear from any of them…curses! I did find out that the husband & wife team have returned to the USA due to the out-of-control dangers.
I just found, I hope, a new stateside email address so I just emailed another inquiry about any scandals being reported by Tucker Carlson and your blog. Again, I’ll let you know what I find.