I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God's word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world. --Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 28, 29. {ChS 112.2}

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What we Can Learn from the Charismatics

Last night we went with a few other Advent ists to a concert at a place called Aaron House Christian Fellowship in Courtenay. We were responding to an ad in the newspaper about the musician couple, Merv and Merla Watson, who had left their home in Jerusalem to do a tour in North America. Merla has written over 500 songs.

We were greeted with strong handshakes, warmth and direct eye contact and welcomes that ranged from "Bless you!" to "hi how are you tonight?" as we came in. There was a strong sense of love and belonging.

There was a bit of a lead-in concert by the local praise band from the Christian Fellowship. While the movement was quite a bit more lively (and less reverent?) than what we are used to, the music was highly singable and praised God. It was easy-to-latch-on-to praise music, sort of half-way between "contemporary" and "country" gospel.

Merv and Merla turned out to be prominent Messianic Christians (meaning that they are not Messianic Jews in that Merla has a Swiss Mennonite background and Merv has Irish-Scottish heritage) who have lived in Jerusalem for over 25 years.

Their family is immersed in 'high' musicality. Merla testified to God's working of miracles in her life (briefly, she had a very serious accident to her wrist wherein the world's foremost 'hand' doctor told her she would never play another instrument again, she was healed within six weeks, and went to see the doctor that very day in order to get medical proof of the miracle). She is a most amazing violinist. Her Israeli colleagues (she plays in various string orchestras)tell her that she plays "with light" (and that has been her desire).

So, yes, there was quite a divergence in our theology, but the warmth, the testimonials, the inclusive music, and the friendliness were all balm to the soul. I hope that we can affect such at our own outreaches. It's truly God's love. Let's not hog it.

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