My denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, has navigated the desire for nations to come to Christ for years. Since 1887, various approaches have been tried.
We were on the cutting edge of making sure that national churches were true to themselves. They needed to be able to finance themselves, to have their own leaders and to even seek to grow themselves outside of themselves (mission was particularly the aim).
In striving to do missions we wanted to take the evangel (good news) everywhere. That meant adapting to various cultures and languages.
We have done well.
And now that concern is back at home with us. For many years the Western church has evangelized with strong logic, winsome language and personal virtue. With the influx of new cultures to our shores, we are confronted with those who seek spiritual dominion, emotional freedom and being unchained from shame and dishonor.
This approach scares those who have lived in an ordered world. We are not ready for evangelism that is filled with healing and emotion and deliverances.
These two approaches highlight a current Canadian denominational conundrum. Are we willing to live under the big tent which allows both the Western and the Majority world to live together?
Getting personal – does the Westerner mind a brother being slain in the Spirit, who is standing next to him? Can a woman of faith in the Spirit live with a man of order, both of whom dispute the others’ managerial styles?