I just read some thoughts by Dan Wilt on the happenings in Lakeland, Florida. It has of course generated a lot of conversation and discussion around our church and across the Internet. I haven’t really formulated a formal response to it myself, but Dan’s thoughts seem to come close to mine. Perhaps I’ll write more later, but for now I’ll just quote some of the blog post:
spiritual drama does not equal, has never necessarily equaled, God’s
activity, though He may be quite involved. I’m thrilled for what God is
doing in the midst of Lakeland, but I expect Him to do the same here in
my town of 5000. I also expect Christians to be more educated and
thoughtful about these things – I’m getting tired of any reflective
analysis of an amazing event being labeled as “unbelief” or
“skepticism.” I’m glad Jesus was “skeptical” about the religious
patterns of his own day.
Love [rather than power] is the center of the story I know and love – and am giving my life for.
I say, “God, heal the sick through us, raise the dead through us, and
deliver the oppressed through us… but also feed the poor through us, do
justice through us, show your care and humility through us, and
integrate us into the heart of culture as your new humanity – as you
help us not to spiral off again into a new brand of Christian
I like that – let’s affirm what God’s doing, but let’s not blindly assume that every time someone has a dramatic experience that God caused it. Discernment isn’t unbelief, and faith isn’t gullibility.