Is TRIN de Keltische spiritualiteit 2.0?
Voor liefhebbers van Iona was het verrassend nieuws: de Britse progressive Celtic rock band van Joanne Hogg en Dave Bainbridge, die 20 jaar geleden al de basis legde voor muziek die geïnspireerd is op de Keltisch-monastieke spiritualiteit, maakte na anderhalf jaar stilte haar come-back op de ‘Heaven on Earth’-conferentie van TRIN. Opvallend omdat de diep doorleefde, holistische spiritualiteit en geloofsverkondiging van St. Patrick en Columbanus nou niet direct wordt geassocieerd met de uitingen en activiteiten van extreem-charismatische organisaties als TRIN. Wat hebben de Keltische apostelen die Europa in de 5e tot de 8e eeuw het Evangelie brachten gemeen met de wannabe-apostelen van vandaag? Goedgelovig vroeg het aan Iona-oprichter en gitarist Dave Bainbridge. Zijn reactie in het Engels plaatsen we op zijn verzoek als zelfstandige column.
WHY IONA PARTNERS WITH AND LOVES TRIN
I have heard about some adverse criticism in the Dutch press regarding TRIN, though I don’t know what has been criticised. Actually I think ‘extreme charismatic’ is a good label if it means that they are ‘extremely’ in love with Jesus and ‘extremely’ open to the move of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
In fact if you look back at the inspiration behind Iona the band, you will see that David Fitzgerald, Joanne and I were initially inspired by the great figures of what is often referred to as the Celtic ‘Golden Age’ in the British Isles. The time between around the 5th to the 8th centuries in Britain was an incredible time of the growth and spread of the Good News of Jesus. It is the nearest that there has been to the first few chapters of the Book of Acts here in the UK. If you read the stories of people like St Columba, St Aidan, St Patrick, St Brendan and St Cuthbert, you will find stories of ‘extreme’ lives – no wishy washy, ‘pie in the sky’ spirituality. Lives completely laid down for God and to the service of others. Lives full of incredibly miraculous happenings – healings, people raised from the dead, casting out of demons, angelic encounters, prophetic words, amazing faith in the power of God in the face of often fierce pagan warlords. Lives that sought to bring Heaven to Earth in the fulfilling of Jesus’ commission in Matthew 10v7&8. This was (and is) Iona’s inspiration.
Much of Iona’s and my related music projects explore these aspects of this time period. Open Sky was partly inspired by one of Columba’s retreat trips to the Isle of Hinba – where heavenly light and music was seen to exude from his house of prayer. My album ‘Veil of Gossamer’ back in 2003 asked the question why are these incredible miracles not commonplace in the (Western) church today?
When St Aidan (who lived an incredible life of lowly, loving service, but was also a friend and confidante of the king) died, a 16 year old shepherd called Cuthbert saw him taken up into heaven by scores of angels. As a result of this heavenly experience Cuthbert became St Aidan’s successor and there are many accounts of Cuthbert healing people, preaching to hundreds of people at a time, warring with demons in the spiritual realm and seeking to spend as much time as he could alone with God. So much so in fact that for many years he lived alone on a very inhospitable island off the coast of Northern England. Cuthbert at times even spent hours in the freezing North Sea with his arms out in ‘cross’ position, contemplating his Saviour.
Accounts of Columba’s life are full of amazing happenings – mass healings, rebuking the wind, raising a boy from the dead, casting out of demons etc. You’ll notice within our music that as well as contemplative passages, there are also wild sections. That has always been intentional – to contrast the extremes that we saw in the lives of these early Celtic Christians. St Brendan and his fellow monks gave up everything to follow the call of God to set sail on the vast Atlantic ocean in a boat made of wood and leather! If that’s not an extreme calling I don’t know what is!
I and my family have been blessed beyond measure by attending Heaven on Earth both last year and this year. I have known Mattheus, Rebekka and other members of the TRIN team now for over 1 1/2 years and we just love them! In that time I have played (with Frank van Essen from Iona) at a number of their conferences and Revival Fire Nights. We have seen many people come to know Jesus. We have seen miracles. We have seen people released into their true destinies in God. We have seen children taken seriously, known them to see Jesus face to face, to see angels and even go into heaven. They have prayed for the sick and seen them healed! We support their ‘Project Held’ which reaches out to children in the third world.
I can think of some other labels for TRIN that people have missed out. ‘Extreme service’ to the poor, ‘Extreme love’ for the lost, ‘Extreme reconciliation’ between denominations, ‘Extreme giving’ and not counting the cost, laying their lives and reputations on the line to see God’s Kingdom come on Earth ‘as it is in Heaven’, in signs and wonders and love for each other.
Yes – they are ‘out of the box’, but so was Jesus. I believe God has given The Netherlands a real jewel to treasure in the work of Mattheus and TRIN. I believe that they are a key to revival in your country, and so do many of the world’s key Christian leaders, laid down lovers of Jesus. Why else would people like Heidi Baker, Wesley and Stacey Campbell, Bill Johnson, Georgian and Winnie Banov and Che Ahn make a point of supporting TRIN and coming to The Netherlands in their incredibly busy schedules? Mattheus and TRIN need your support, not criticism. The churches in The Netherlands need to forget about their differences and concentrate on serving the King of Kings. I am honoured that Iona can be a part of what they are doing.
All the best & lots of love,