The role of healing in the life of the church

Participants in the 2019 meeting of the Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: MLC
Participants in the 2019 meeting of the Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: MLC

Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue commission in Madagascar for 2019 meeting

(LWI) -The role of healing and deliverance in the life of the church was the focus of the fourth meeting of the international Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue commission, held 7 -13 September, in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

The 2019 meeting continued the phase of annual gatherings that The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Pentecostal World Fellowship began in 2016, with the goal of seeking better understanding of each other and finding ways for common witness. The theme was based on Luke 4:18b, “Proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”

The Malagasy Lutheran Church (MLC) hosting the meeting on LWF’s behalf, offered insights into the country’s strong indigenous Christian revival movement called Fifohazana (Awakening).

One of the presentations was on "Pentecostal Understanding of Freedom, Healing and Deliverance" by Rev. Dr Opoku Onyinah from the Church of Pentecost in Ghana. MLC pastors Rev. Dr Joseph Randrianasolo and Rev. Dr Noel Rabemanatsoa spoke about Fifohazana’s healing ministry and its ecumenical outreach. Lively discussion on the role of healing and deliverance in the life of the church followed each presentation, with participants emphasizing the sovereignty of God in healing, the importance of prayer and intercessions, and professional counseling.

The commission members participated in Sunday worship, which coincided with the annual gathering of the MLC Antananarivo synod. During the service, which was attended by thousands of people, the commission co-chairperson Rev. Dr Walter Altmann (Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil) publicly handed over a letter of appreciation from the LWF to MLC President Rev. Dr David Rakotonirina, thanking the church for hosting this year’s meeting. Co-chair Dr Jean Daniel Plüss, Swiss Pentecostal Mission, greeted the gathering.

The commission members visited one of MLC’s revival camps in the capital city, where care is provided to people suffering from mental illness, addiction and physical disability. As one of the participants in the dialogue meeting, the MLC president stressed the importance of the Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue for churches in the country.

As the current phase of annual meetings nears conclusion, it was agreed to hold the next and final gathering in 2020, in Pasadena, California, United States. The venue is particularly important for the Pentecostal hosts, due to the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in the beginning of the 20th century. The commission members will work on the dialogue’s final report based on presentations, discussions and encounters from the preceding years.

 

Read more in the Communiqué