A couple of weeks ago, I went to my denomination’s general council out in Kansas City, MO. During one of our general business meetings, one delegate arose speaking towards the acceptance of a motion that our theological committee looks at our doctrinal statement regarding the Christian & Missionary Alliance’s (CM&A) position on End Times. Currently, the CM&A’s stance upholds the premillennial position. The motion carried and I am looking forward to the debate on this issue in future councils.
Let me give you my position before going on with this article for full disclosure purposes. I am open to the dialogue of changing the CM&A’s End Times position, to being more inclusive. I am more Reformed than Arminian in my theology. Yet, as many who know me, I will support and argue for the premillennial position up until the time that the Lord’s return, proving my position correct. Voting on this motion, I voted, “No,” for two reasons. First, being a representative of my church, I need to speak on my church’s behalf. Second, the reasoning to dialogue given is in my opinion unworthy of initiating this conversation.
The CM&A is a denomination that does not come down on either side of the Arminian/Reform debate. From my own informal discussions with others and observations; listening to sermons, reading articles, etc., I believe (but cannot prove) that the CM&A like many of its sister denominations is mostly Arminian. With the discussion of including more than one End Time position within our doctrine, one needs to think about what this change could possibly do to the make-up and identity of the CM&A.
The truism is taught that not all Reformed individuals are amillennialists, but all amillennialists are Reformed. In other words, those who generally hold to the amillennial understanding of Revelations are always Reformed in their theology. Granted, I have not met all the Arminians in the world. However, I have yet to meet one that would hold to the amillennial position. Primarily, this is based on the fact that to hold to the amillennial position, one generally uses the hermeneutics of Covenantal theology (the part that is generally called, Replacement theology where the Church replaces the nation of Israel. Please note that not all amillennialists hold this view rigorously any longer).
Two questions come to the forefront regarding the End Times position for the CM&A. First, is the denomination ready to open the flood gates, allowing more Reformed brothers into the family? Second, is it possible to hold to the Arminian theological positions and hold to the amillennial view of End Times?
I do not know the answer to these two questions. Being more Reformed, I do not sense there will be too much difficulty in answering the first question in the affirmative. However, I have no idea how the second question could be answered in the positive. I look forward to anyone who may be able to bring to light any thoughts on the probability of answering, “yes,” please let me know.
Nonetheless, there will be interesting discussions on this as we approach General Council 2013.