Sunday, February 06, 2005

Remarkable Person: John Wimber

I knew John Wimber only from his books, tapes and conferences, but I consider him a remarkable man. I was a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance and he was part of the "competition", the Vineyard. As a conservative, non-Charismatic Christian, I was quite skeptical of him. I gradually grew to admire his ministry, but I never joined it or anything similar. I was quite sad when he died as I grew to think of him as an uncle. I didn't hear of his death for six months, because in my Christian circles in Taiwan, no one spoke of him.

He used many gifts, leading a large denomination, helping thousands of people find Christ, developing a powerful music ministry, promoting revival and intimacy with God. Oh, there was something about signs, wonders, miracles and healing, too. Sure he had his flaws, he got depressed sometimes, some of his doctrines were off, he believed in some prophecies that didn't work out, at times he should have used more discernment and other times more mercy.

That is all unremarkable of highly gifted, high profile, fallible man. But what made him remarkable to me was his sense of "naive" honesty. He never forgot what it was like to be a pagan. He never forgot his experience as "new" creation. He wanted to know why we aren't "doing the stuff" the Bible talks about. And he wasn't satisfied with our answers, "Oh, we don't do that anymore". John Wimber is remarkable because he awakened the same question in me and gave me courage to seek a better answer. I still miss you, Uncle John.