The happenings in Lakeland Florida have caught the attention of the media and of Christians throughout our country. Several friends and family have asked my opinion on these happenings (as if my opinion mattered anyway). A dear friend of mine has even gone to Lakeland and was prayed for by the leadership there. Some of the testimonies from this place are amazing and some of the excesses there unnerving.
As far as my lightly-to-be-considered opinion: A good friend once told me, "God can hit straight with crooked sticks." As I consider the crookedness of some of these "sticks" I can't help but see the crookedness in myself, this helps to restrain my propensity towards rash judgment.
It seems that there is a mixture of blessings and difficulties that have come from these happenings in Florida. I'm not ready to say it is 100% from God, nor am I ready to say that it is 100% not from God. That humanity is fallen hardly needs to be emphasized, but it's inescapably true. That God would allow us to take part, at all, in the majesty of what He is doing in salvation is simply unimaginable - yet He does. Something that is also rumbling around in my musings on this issue is the fact that throughout Scripture, God has continually done things that are unusual to say the least, not to mention uncomfortable, and controversial.
The newest issue raised regarding the Lakeland happenings is something that should cause us to be saddened with contrition and compassion, and to avoid rash judgment and pointing fingers. Piper provides some helpful and insightful thoughts on the matter here.