What is the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA)?
1.The C&MA is a genuine evangelical denomination.
From our denomination’s beginnings at the end of the 19th century, we have continued to hold onto the core of evangelicalism. Despite the appearance of liberalism and biblical criticism, and despite the whirling waves of the social gospel, we have always kept Christ central and have wholeheartedly declared the message of Christ the Savior. Especially with our denomination’s foundational teaching of “the Four-Fold Gospel” (Salvation, Sanctification, Divine Healing, and the Second Coming), we as a denomination have held onto the pure faith.
2.The C&MA is a denomination that has passionately poured all of itself into mission.
What distinguishes the Christian & Missionary Alliance from other evangelical denominations is the centrality of global evangelism. Our denomination started from mission. Our founder A.B. Simpson was himself one who sought to go overseas as a missionary. Simpson was also a unique messenger who trained and sent missionaries. From our beginning, we have recognized the connection between global evangelism and the return of Christ.
3.The C&MA is a denomination that emphasizes personally experiencing faith in Jesus Christ.
We as a denomination are made up of Christians, who with the help of the Holy Spirit, live lives of holiness. We teach that Christ is the source of spiritual and physical healing. Furthermore, to hasten the Lord's return, we pray for global evangelism and grow as healthy ambassadors.
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
(Genesis 1:1,26,27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19;1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
2. JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
(Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13)
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
(2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18)
4. THE BIBLE
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error.
(2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13;Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
5. HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
(Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
(Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1)
7. THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
God’s wills that every believer is filled with the Holy spirit, experiencing true sanctification, living a life totally distinct from the ways of sin and the world, completely devoted to the Lord’s will, and ministering effectively with one’s God-given abilities. This comes through the choice of the the people who have been transformed by their faith, and it is experienced both instantaneously and gradually.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23, Acts 1:8, Romans 6:1-14)
Physical healing has been provided through Jesus Christ’s ministry of redemption. Anointing the sick with oil is a biblical teaching and this practice is the privilege of the Church today.
(Matthew 8:16-17, James 5:13-16)
9. THE CHURCH
The Church is made up of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who are redeemed by his blood, and who are reborn through the Holy Spirit. The Church is his body with Christ as the head. The Church is sent into the world as witnesses to every nation and the Church is entrusted to preach the gospel. The local church, as an assembly of believers, is one part of the body. The local church prays, fellowships, worships God, and is brought to maturity through the Word. The local church also baptizes (by full-immersion) and administers the Lord’s Supper.
10. THE RESURRECTION
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous. The righteous will be raised to life and the unrighteous will be raise to judgment.
(1 Corinthians 15:20-23, John 5:28-29)
11. CHRIST’S RETURN
Jesus Christ’s return is imminent, personal, visible, and pre-millennial. This is the believer’s blessed hope, and this truth inspires us to lead holy lives and to minister in holiness.
(Hebrews 10:37, Luke 21:27, Titus 2:11-14)
Our Lifestyle Statement: What We Practice
Beliefs are not worth much unless they are translated into actions. Based on what the Bible teaches, we feel very strongly about the following seven (7) practices:
THE BIBLE AS OUR SOLE AUTHORITY
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right.”（2 Timothy 3:15）
THE AUTONOMY OF EACH LOCAL CHURCH
Since God’s Word is the only completely reliable and truthful authority, we accept the Bible as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is “What does the Bible say?” We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for all we believe.
“Christ is the head of His Body, the church. He is the source of the Body’s life...” (Colossians 1:18 GN）
Christ is the recognized head of our church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe every local church should be self-governing and independent from any denominational control. In relating to our “daughter churches” that we sponsor, we encourage each congregation to determine it’s own strategy, structure, and style.
THE PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER
“Christ loves us, and by His death He has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve God...” (Revelation 1:6 GN） “You are...the King’s priests...God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God.” (1 Peter. 2:9 GN）
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer Bible reading.
“A tithe of everything you produce belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” (Leviticus 26:30)
At Tokyo Shibuya Evangelical, we practice tithing for the support of Christ’s body, the church, as God commands. We recognize that giving ten percent (10%) of our income is the Biblical standard of giving.
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ...” (Colossians 2:12 GN）
We practice baptism by immersion under water, the way Jesus was baptized, and the way the Bible commands.
（Jesus said,） “I am the Vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God’s power within us. So we seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right. (Philippians 2:13, Ephesians 5:18）
TELLING OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)
It is the responsibility of every Christian to share the Good News with those with whom God brings us into contact. We practice personal sharing about Christ and inviting friends to church.