There are common beliefs to all christians, expressed in the articles of faith of the early Church; however the protestants belonging to the Féderation protestante de France acknowledge six main expressions of faith.
“Glory to God alone”
Protestants assert that it is only in God that holiness, divinity and absolute authority can be found.
As a result, they tend to question the true worth of any political party, value, ideology or human institution which considers that it holds absolute, sacred or universal power.
Protestants believe that God is a God of freedom and that man has the choice of responding to his love or not; consequently, they advocate a form of government in society which respects different opinions and acknowledges freedom of conscience.
Protestants assert that a person’s value does not depend on his qualities, or his merits, or his social position, but on God’s free gift of love, which gives to each human being inestimable worth.
So whatever efforts he makes to please God, Man cannot hope to deserve salvation.
God gives him his unconditional grace. This free gift of God’s love enables Man, in his turn, to love his fellow men without asking anything in return.
“Faith is all-important”
Faith arises from a personal encounter with God, which can happen quite suddenly in someone’s life: often it is only after a long series of questions and doubts.
However, there is no condition to receiving one’s faith in God.
Every human being is free to accept or reject it. Faith is the human response to God’s declaration of love to us all, to be found in the Bible, in Jesus Christ.
“By Scripture alone”
Protestant christians only acknowledge the authority of Holy Scripture.
Only the Holy Scripture can strengthen their faith; it is the ultimate reference on issues of theology, ethics and the institution of the Church. It is through the faith of human witnesses that the Bible is the Word of God.
Holy Scripture gives us general principles which guide the faith of individual protestants or the community of each Church.
“Reform without ceasing”
Churches gather together into one faith and one hope all those men, women and children who openly confess that it is the God of Jesus Christ who gives meaning to their life.
Ecclesiastical institutions are human realities. ”They can make mistakes” said Luther. With reference to the Gospel, Churches should continually question the way in which they work. Each one must be responsible for its actions and be a true witness to God’s word.
“The universal priesthood”
The universal priesthood of believers gives the same value to every baptized christian and was one of the most innovative principles of the Reformation Movement.
The government of the Church is shared between the clergy and the laity. Pastors do not have a special status in the Church. They play a particular role because they have studied theology at university.
Pastors aim at unity within their Church they preach, celebrate the sacraments, organize the life of the community; they also give pastoral care in times of need and theological training to their parishioners.
Protestantism in the XXth centuryThe law of 9th December 1905 separating the Churches from the State guaranteed the freedom of public worship for the Reformed Church and a legal framework. Hardly surprisingly, most Protestants...
The French Protestant Federation (FPF)Since 1905, the Fédération protestante de France has included most Protestant Churches and Associations. Most branches of Protestantism which have grown up since the Reformation are represented.
Protestantism todayThe most frequently asked questions.
Protestantism around the worldProtestantism comprises a great variety of churches belonging to five main groups. Most have joined a Churches’ Ecumenical Council trying to present a united message.
Protestantism in FranceWith about one million members, the Protestant Church ranks third in France after Catholicism and Islam. But there is an uneven spread over the different geographical regions.