Church-free Christianity is simply what it says on the tin. However, a little explanation is in order as people might think it refers, for example, to people who call themselves “Christian” simply because they are English, or to Non-practising Catholics. It does not. Nor does it refer to churchgoers or New-Agers who adopt the name to sound trendy or different; nor to anyone else who lacks clear Biblical doctrine.
Church-free Christians are often dismissed as simply “unchurched”. There are large numbers of people who have drifted out of Church and are not really clear where they stand on key issues. It may be fair to refer to such as “unchurched”. Church-free Christians, however, have made a positive decision to follow Jesus outside of church, and have a clear doctrinal basis. The following four points are typical:
First, they are completely clear about the Gospel and have fully accepted it for themselves. They know the Sacrifice of Christ provides men with the Greatest Salvation possible. They know it is available to all men, and that any other form of Salvation, be it by works, the Eucharist, Animal Sacrifice or anything else, is an error.
Second, they understand that Jesus is Lord of their life (as well as everything else) and endeavour to live it in a way that is pleasing to Him. This “Working out of Salvation” includes an effort to move deeper into all truth, including deeper understanding of the times in which we live
Third, they have a clear understanding of the Bible as God’s Word, and make their own personal study of it. They know it has far greater Authority than any Vicar, author, Pope, website, or anything or anyone else.
Fourth, they clearly understand Darwinian Evolution to be a scientific fallacy, and accept Genesis without any effort at “interpretation”, such as the Gap Theory.
Beyond this there may be a considerable variation in belief and practice. Some will never attend Church, others will see Church as at least the best place to fellowship with like-minded people. In doing so, they will know that their Salvation is not dependent upon it, and that the Church leader, whatever his title, is only a man, not an object of reverence.
Most will have spent many years in Church(es) so are likely to be fairly mature Christians. They will know that opportunities for fellowship are very limited, given the tiny numbers who fit the four statements above. As such, they will depend heavily on Jesus, on the Scripture, and on their own resources.
How many such people exist is a good question. All that one can say with certainty is that the numbers must be very, very small, and that God knows who they all are. And also that their importance can only increase as Churches continue to coast and to close their doors.