Dignify and Deploy 1: Two Fathers Who Changed the Face of Christianity
My friend Mark engages regularly with Kim, a cancer-stricken cousin. As the only Christian in the family, he prays sensitively yet firmly for her healing and against the emotional and physical affliction seeking to vanquish Kim.
He is fighting for her life. He does so with a clear grasp of his authority in Jesus, who brings heaven on earth and who delights in the death of no-one. Kim is starting to know this Jesus, her dignity in the light of His love (personal for the first time), and to welcome His healing presence in her hurting body.
John Wimber empowered Mark—a layman--to take his place as a dynamic minister of Jesus’ Kingdom—His rule and reign for Kim and others facing a host of indignities. In his ‘yes’ to that Kingdom call, Mark’s dignity has been restored too.
Wimber deployed a vast army of so-called ‘Spirit-filled’ Christians like Mark to pray effectively for others’ liberation from sin, demonic oppression, and premature death. Annette and I are among these soldiers. John clarified our authority as ministers to offer healing gifts to hurting persons.
John deployed us, sent us out to continue Jesus’ mission. We did so this year at the Theology of the Body Institute (TOBI) where we prayed weeklong for persons aspiring to sexual integrity and dignity. Pope St. John Paul ll cast a multi-faceted vision for such dignity in ‘Theology of the Body.’ His papal tome on human sexuality remains the best take on the ‘gifts’ we embody—more treasure than trouble—that need to launch with the help of Jesus and Church.
Wimber deployed us to be that ‘help’; John Paul clarified a glimpse of our sexuality raised to the level of what is deeply, authentically human, reflective of the triune God. Shouts of joy and gratitude rang as TOBI conferees testified to the new freedom Jesus gave them to be true and reach for more.
We pray: “Come Holy Spirit, liberate what is true and beautiful from what debases us. May we not settle but aspire to the dignity of our sexual humanity. May we grow into ‘mature expressions of the gift’ by helping others do the same. Deployed to dignify, we ‘harness the John force.’”