I wonder if part of the problem with the Lakeland event that's been unraveling is that Christians are desperate for a special touch from the Holy Spirit. So we go everywhere, looking for someone who has that "unique anointing" from God. We gather around certain teachers, or apostles, or conference speakers, or pastors, thinking they will give us that word from the Lord that we so desperately need.
That way of following Jesus is, in my opinion, dangerous and unbiblical.
It's unbiblical because it ignores the fact that we are all anointed with the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:20-21 says: "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth." Every Christian has the Holy Spirit living inside them. The Holy Spirit is given to every believer as a sign that he or she a child of God. The Holy Spirit lives in us as God's guarantee that He will continue His work until Jesus' return.
I'm not saying that we can't learn and grow from hearing the wisdom of teachers that God has gifted. What I am saying is that the idea that we are somehow incomplete unless we receive an "anointing" from some special leader is false and unbiblical.
Yet many Christians believe that they need something or someone other than the Holy Spirit living in them to become a whole Christian. I know, because I used to be in this group, and it made me miserable.
It's sad, really. And dangerous. And it says something about what we really believe about God. But this post is getting too long, so I'll jump into the other issues in a future post...