Question:

I respect and appreciate your spiritual and professional opinions and thank you all very much for your hard work.

Have you ever heard of the C&MA,Christian and Missionary Alliance?


Answer:

The Christian and Missionary Alliance started in the late 1800's as two societies dedicated to the spread of Christianity. In time the societies merged and very shortly formed a denomination. In beliefs the Christian and Missionary Alliance are very similar to the Methodists having branched out of the same "Holiness" movement that gave rise to the Methodists, Church of the Nazarene, and the Assemblies of God. The Christian and Missionary Alliance is the most conservative of these type of churches.

They believe that the passages recording Jesus' promises to the apostles apply to all believers. Thus, "The Holy Spirit is a divine person, sent to indwell, guide, teach, empower the believer,and convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment" [Christian and Missionary Alliance Statement of Faith]. They believe in the direct guidance of believers by the Holy Spirit, though they don't go so far as other groups in claiming charismatic gifts, such as speaking in tongues or miraculous healings.

Like many denominations, they are heavily influenced by John Calvin's teachings. They believe in sin inherited from Adam, "All men are born with a sinful nature, are separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ" [Christian and Missionary Alliance Statement of Faith]. Seeing baptism as a work, they believe salvation by faith alone. "Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ for all men; and those who repent and believe in Him are born again of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life, and become the children of God" [Christian and Missionary Alliance Statement of Faith]. Notice how this statement is a twisting of Peter's statement in Acts 2:38.

Like other Holiness groups, they believe in two levels of salvation. There is conversion and then there is sanctification as a separate step. "It is the will of God that each believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be sanctified wholly, being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to the will of God, thereby receiving power for holy living and effective service. This is both a crisis and a progressive experience wrought in the life of the believer subsequent to conversion" [Christian and Missionary Alliance Statement of Faith].

They are premillennialists, believing that Jesus is second coming is to establish a kingdom on earth. "The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal, visible, and premillennial" [Christian and Missionary Alliance Statement of Faith].

In organization, the Christian and Missionary Alliance is the ultimate authority (not the Bible, though their bylaws state otherwise). Members must acknowledge their acceptance of the denominations' teachings: "Full sympathy with the mission and core values of The Christian and Missionary Alliance and cooperation by systematic support of its work" [The Manual of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Section A5]. Ministers must acknowledge the church's authority: "Understanding of and commitment to the mission, vision, core values, and distinctives of the C&MA, and willingness to submit to constituted authority as defined by the Board of Directors of the C&MA" [The Manual of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Section E3]. Membership and congregations are controlled by a central authority: "A developing Christian and Missionary Alliance church with at least 20 adults who have completed a membership class, confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and signed the Christian and Missionary Alliance application for membership may petition the district superintendent to become an organized church" [The Manual of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Section E15]. Thus the organization and its decisions in practice exceed the teachings in the Bible.