Fidelity to the Bible, expressiveness in worship, and an emphasis on evangelism characterize the Foursquare Gospel Church. Local churches balance traditional Christian beliefs with lively, joy-filled services.
Foursquare Gospel Church Beliefs
Baptism - Water baptism is required as a public commitment to Christ's role as Redeemer and King. Foursquare Gospel Church baptizes by immersion.
Bible - Foursquare teachings hold that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, "true, immutable, steadfast, and unchangeable."
Communion - The broken bread represents Christ's broken body, given for humanity, and the juice of the vine reminds of the shed blood of Christ. The Lord's Supper is a solemn occasion, entered into with self-examination, forgiveness, and love toward all.
Equality - The Foursquare Gospel Church rejects anti-Semitism and all ethnic discrimination. Since its founding by Aimee Semple McPherson, the church has ordained female ministers, and women are active throughout the church.
Evangelism - Planting and growing local churches is a priority. This church engages in global, interdenominational evangelism.
Gifts of the Spirit - The Foursquare Gospel Church teaches that the Holy Spirit still bestows his gifts on believers: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
Grace - Salvation comes through grace, a free gift from God. On their own merit, human beings cannot earn righteousness or God's favor and love.
Healing - Jesus Christ, who does not change, is still ready and willing to heal people in answer to prayers of faith. Christ can heal body, mind, and spirit.
Heaven, Hell - Heaven and hell are real places. Heaven is reserved for those who are born-again believers in Jesus Christ. Hell, originally created for Satan and his rebellious angels, is the place of eternal separation from God, for people who reject Christ as Savior.
Jesus Christ - Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. By shedding his blood on the cross, he redeemed from sin all who believe in Him as Savior. He lives as Mediator between God and man.
Salvation - Christ died for the sins of humanity. Through his substitutionary sacrifice, he earned pardon of sins for all who believe in Him.
Spirit-filled Life - Members are encouraged to live holy, exemplary lives, honoring Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit with their thoughts and actions, behaving in a loving, sincere, truthful manner.
Tithing - The Foursquare Gospel Church believes that tithes and monetary offerings are commanded by God for ministry, evangelism, and to release personal blessing.
Trinity - God is triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The three Persons are coeternal, coexistent and equal in perfection.
Foursquare Gospel Church Practices
Sacraments - Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two sacraments practiced in the Foursquare Gospel Church. Water baptism is "a blessed outward sign of an inward work." The Lord's Supper is a reminder of Christ's sacrifice, to be partaken with great seriousness and reflection.
Worship Service - The Foursquare Gospel Church is Pentecostal, which means people may speak in tongues at services. Worship varies from church to church, but music is typically contemporary and upbeat, with an emphasis on praise. Many Foursquare Gospel churches encourage casual or "come as you are" clothing. Sunday worship services run an hour to an hour and a half.
To learn more about Foursquare Gospel Church beliefs, visit their official website.
(Sources: Foursquare.org, Rochester4Square.org)