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Pray for the C&MA Councilby Duane Mabee on May 26, 2021
Sunday afternoon, Karla and I will leave for The Christian and Missionary Alliance’s (C&MA’s) biennial Council. We ask you to pray for this Council as it will involve several particularly important discussions and decisions, some of which have the potential to become divisive, and if they do it will not benefit the cause of Christ. Instead, they will distract us from our primary mission of bringing all of Jesus to all the world.
It is important for us to have these discussions but pray that we can conduct them with grace and openness to opinions that differ from our own. Pray for God’s will to be done in His way, so that we can radiate the love of Christ and demonstrate to the world how being one in Him changes the way we handle our differences. The rich diversity of ethnicity and theological understanding in the C&MA is a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ and it is too important for us to allow it to be dismantled over issues that are not core to the gospel message.
Here are some specific items to pray over:
- The election of the President. Our current president is seeking to be re-elected to his third and final four-year term. There is, however, another candidate running against him.
- We will be discussing and voting on changes to the C&MA Statement of Faith. Most of the changes are intended to update outdated language and remove unnecessary gender references. A substantive change, however, is the request to remove the word “premillennial” from our statement on the End Times. The significance of this change has been deeply debated. Changes to the Statement of Faith must be ratified by two Councils, so whatever is adopted by this Council, must be ratified verbatim at the Council held in 2023.
- We will be discussing changes to the C&MA’s policy regarding the role of women in ministry. You may have seen articles stating that the C&MA is planning to ordain women. The issue is far more complex than what the articles indicate, but the possibility of ordaining women is part of that discussion. There will not be a final decision on the role of women in ministry at this Council. Because of the complexities of the discussion, the outcome of the discussion at this Council will be referred back to the Districts for further discussion throughout the year.
You should know that both of the issues I mention in items 2 and 3 above, have been the subject of a two-year conversation between the National Office, the Board of Directors and the Districts. They are being taken very seriously and, so far, there has been good and respectful interaction between those who see things from quite different perspectives.
As important as these issues are, our ability to maintain loving unity and work together in spite of our differences is far more important than the outcome of the discussions. The world can argue and divide over important issues. Only Christ makes it possible for us to continue to love each other and work together despite deeply held differences. In issues like these – which are important, but not core to salvation – Christ is glorified by our loving unity, not by our ability to arrive at the “right” answer.
Would you commit to pray with us?