Here is a piece I wrote at the request of the Missions Committee at my church when this subject came up. The issue is support of missionaries and why I would support some and not others because of doctrine. Specific Concerns I Have about Non-Reformed Missionaries Keswick holiness-Perfection This model of holiness-perfection was popularized by Hannah Whitehall Smith and admired by D.L.Moody. It comes in many flavors from mild to intense, from the Campus Crusade for Christ variety to the radical teachings of the Pentecostals. It was incorporated into Dispensationalism, (the theology of most independent Bible churches) and was later adopted by the Foursquare Church and the Assemblies of God churches as well. This has made it pretty much ubiquitous in mainstream evangelicalism. This is the teaching which has brought us the “carnal Christian”. As Michael Horton points out; “The Westminster Confession defines sin as, not only ‘transgression of the law of God,’ but ‘any lack of conformity to’ that law. Because the law is ignored in the Evangelical world…we have invented our own standards of righteousness. Thus, sin and righteousness are not measured by the degree to which we conform to the law in thought, word and deed, but in being able to live above ‘known sins’. But the Bible doesn’t call us to be ‘fully surrendered’; it demands that we conform perfectly to the righteousness commanded in the law. And it condemns not only for ‘known’ but also for ‘unknown sins’. One unknown sin is enough of an affront to God’s majesty to condemn a person for all eternity...Whenever the law is diminished in its strict terror, we lose the stern taskmaster that leads us to Christ for salvation…For the ‘victorious Christian life’ teaching, sin is not a failure to conform to God’s legal righteousness, but merely a failure to yield or surrender to the Spirit.” Horton goes on in a later chapter to compare the typical altar-call (decisional regeneration, and rededication) to the Roman Catholic sacrament of confession. Decisional Regeneration This is the teaching that the moment a person expresses assent to certain propositions, that one is reborn. Once the required propositions have been given the person may express his assent in any number of ways, from repeating a prayer to signing a card, or simply by making eye-contact with the speaker. Salvation is represented as occurring the instant the person believes the stated propositions. This notion of faith is very different from the classic Reformed definition, which represents saving faith as a gift from God which consists of three things, knowledge of Gospel content, assent to the Gospel, and personal trust in Jesus’ death as payment for one’s sin. Neither knowledge nor assent is enough. The desire to end one’s rebellion against God must be present as well. This is a result, not a cause, of regeneration; hence regeneration is entirely a work of God. Active Obedience of Christ Unfortunately, broad evangelicalism has misunderstood and de-emphasized Christ’s active obedience. One popular author (Maj. W. Ian Thomas) has actually written that the perfect life of Jesus on earth condemns us, whereas His death saves us). Because of this misunderstanding among their teachers, many evangelicals have either never been taught about Christ’s active righteousness, or have been incorrectly taught that the righteousness of Christ which God imputes to us is not the active obedience He performed in His earthly lifetime, but another righteousness of Christ, that which He has now in His resurrected life. The idea is that we draw from this resource in order not to sin; rather than realizing that Jesus kept the law in our place in His life on earth.