Spirit Week: Crowder & Morrell – Kids & Cocaine Jesus?

This post continues a four-part interview with arguably the most controversial contemporary charismatic minister, John Crowder. It’s worth noting that Crowder’s ministry has evolved since 2008, and that he’s recently released two new books reflecting this: Mystical Union & Seven Spirits Burning. Here we talk about all the DRUG references…

Mike: I totally get the idea of redeeming drug culture for Jesus and ministering to those within it with a ‘tokin’ the Ghost’ motif. And I’m *also* fine with consenting adults – whether they have such a drug background or not – participating in worship celebrations where Jehovah-juana and Godka are in fresh supply. We’re free in Christ, y’know? But I have a question: What about the children? On the YouTube videos I see kids participating in your meetings, which is great as far as it goes – as we’vd discussed. But when you pass spiritual joints to little kids (like I saw on one of Ben’s India videos), don’t you think that *could* be sending them the wrong messages, like that it’s a good idea to start smoking stuff?

John: This is a valid question, Mike, and has been asked before. I think the example you gave (re: Ben in India) is a bit moot though: the person in the video simply looked like a child, but it was actually a crippled person with no legs, who really did need a toke of the Ghost considering the circumstances!

Mike: I’m not sure we’re talking about the same video, John. I mean this one, at around 5 minutes in. It sure looks like a little girl to me [Alas, in 2011, this original video appears to be gone]:


John: You first have to understand something about what we are doing here before we tackle the subject of children. To the pure all things are pure. I am not “pretending” to smoke marijuana, I am REALLY getting blasted on the Holy Spirit by faith. I am not “pretending” to inject heroine, I am REALLY being infused by God’s presence. Obviously, I know the package is offensive, and to say this is not entirely intentional would be a lie. But you see, we are not trying to copy a worldly experience. We are offering the “real thing” which are the supernatural pleasures of Jesus Christ. Joy unspeakable (not humanly utterable).

One of your bloggers (Micah) made a great point with which I fully agree, and in fact I preach this very point vehemently:

“What disturbs me is the repackaging of the world, and it’s way as Christ in order to keep youth interested. I guess my question is, What did Christ have to offer? Did he offer the same culture and “ways of the world” repackaged and relabeled? Or did he offer an entirely new way of life, and an entirely new way of looking at and interacting with the world around us?

I also offer a challenge to the idea that there is anything wrong with going out dancing, or enjoying a glass of wine, and wonder why we would feel the need to try and co-opt and replace those things with a “Get high on Jesus” T-Shirt? If we cease to look at the world around us as something that we need to flee, and the Church as a way to cloister ourselves, but look at everything and everyone as an opportunity to experience and express Christ.. well I wonder if this would even happen?”

I think we are all sick of this repackaging nonsense. This is why I can’t stand Christian bookstores with all their duplicated Jesus paraphernalia knock-offs. We are on the same side on this one, so hold the friendly fire. I’ve had enough of “Let’s make our worship band sound like Nirvana” – rather than “Let’s create a whole new genre of music because the Creator lives inside of us!” We need to create, rather than to repackage. We need to set the standard, rather than duplicate. But is it possible that drug culture has simply “repackaged” something that originally belonged to the church? I am talking about recovering true, authentic experience – not imitating the counterfeit. Drugs imitate and copy the trance experiences of the apostles and the ecstasies of the mystics. They attempt to substitute deep spiritual and emotional needs for interior (and exterior) pleasure. John Piper is completely right that we are “created for holy pleasure.” In getting “whacked up,” am simply living out his theology to the furthest possible extreme. Holy joy is not a “repackaged” version of Prozak. The opposite is true. The issue here is precedence. Prozac is counterfeiting divine joy. Crack is already counterfeiting the bliss of the cross. Jesus is not the duplicator. It is satan/the world/the bad guys who are already trying to repackage the spiritual experience with their naughty schemes (shame on them). If you taste the real deal, you will not want the artificial substitute. Furthermore, we are not comparing God to drugs. The world has already made this comparison by presuming that a drugged lifestyle has more immediate pleasure than what is afforded by the Living God. I am simply recovering what was stolen.

Mike: I can follow what you’re saying here…I think…even though I’d still prefer to speak from the relatively original language & matrix developed for divine intoxication by the Christian mystical tradition rather than the drug culture – how un-missional of me? But hey, we’ll talk about that more on Wednesday, our final slated discussion day. For now I’ll bring it back to the children.

I mean, adults with discernment can tell the difference between the real and the counterfeit, right, but I’m a little worried that little kids (especially ones in other countries) might not know any better and get the wrong idea and start drinking and doing drugs and stuff, at an even earlier age than they normally might. Please give me your take on this – especially if you think I’m way off-base.

John: Let’s talk the issue of children. Kids are going to learn about drugs sooner than later; better at home than on the streets. But furthermore, what if we give them the “real deal” first, so that they are not tempted by the substitute? What if our kids learn to have an interior satisfaction on the pleasures of God, before drugs ever become a shadowy temptation? What if kids taste the presence of the real Holy Spirit before the duplicate ever comes along? What if they learn about visionary experiences before they are ever tempted by hallucinogens?

Whaddaya think parents, would-be Dr. Phils, Dr. Spocks, Dr. Dobsons? Will teaching your kids to savor the shekinah keep ’em away from coke and meth? And what does it mean to be a divine original in a world of spiritual copycats? More tomorrow!

37 Responses to Spirit Week: Crowder & Morrell – Kids & Cocaine Jesus?

  1. natrimony June 2, 2008 at 3:53 am #

    Blood just shoots out of my eyes when I see how well Mr. Crowder communicates his particular brand of gimmicky, pomo, Christianesque spirituality. Somehow he manages to defend the concept that his antics aren’t aping drug use but reclaiming legitimate Christian tradition. That’s a tough sell John. I think somebody laced your baby Jesus.

    Yeah, and I can’t give you a theological hall-pass in your appeal to Dr. Piper’s scholarship either. Joy and satisfaction (what we get out of the whole glorifying God deal, according to Dr. Piper) are not of the same essence as altered consciousness or inebriation. But then again, if ya’ll have toked the ghost together, then maybe you really get the true essence of the whole Calvinist vibe. Dude, Sweet. Shibby.

  2. Micah June 2, 2008 at 4:34 am #

    Hi John,

    I started to write a response in comment, but it got too big. I blogged it here

    The gist of which is:

    How is this not what a described earlier? And, to what end do you do this? Is spiritual experience valuable if it doesn’t result in the manifestation of Jesus’ body here, and now?

  3. Micah June 2, 2008 at 4:38 am #

    Blah. Sorry about the spelling and grammatical errors. It’s late.

  4. Heather June 2, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    My reactions to this are mixed. On one hand, we live in a world where we really need to fight fire with Fire…. while adults deny it and cling to a false belief of children’s innocence, kids (yes, even homeschooled christian ones) are all too often exposed to drugs (or at least drug culture) as young as 6, 7, 10, depending on when the inevitable encounter gets to them (not to mention all the ritalin and siroquel and prozac that adults put them on – what a culture! what a war we are in as a nation!) – if there is anything that hanging out with Crowder and Co. might do, is show kids that talking about drugs with christian adults is not taboo or something that they wouldn’t understand – after all, “my church talks about smokin’ and tokin’ all the time.” Something like that. I guess that is the most hopeful spin I could put on it. Is it time to wake up to the reality of the world we live in, stop squirming, and start confronting it boldly?

    I guess the question is, what package would Jesus come in to this generation? Would He come speaking King James English, somewhat on the clean-cut yuppy side of things – would he come speaking college educated NASB/NIV theological treateses – or would He come tatooed, pierced, and with dreadlocks talking about tokin’ with the Father and Himself? I seriously, seriously squirm – but this is probably not much different than the Jesus people in the 70’s daring to think that they experienced the Spirit making and listening to [Jesusified] “rock’n’roll” music – were they play acting, or was God really in the rhythm somewhere? Was it just copying the world, did God really want such a joyful noise complete with (ooh, ouch, that sexual pagan) drum beat?

    Yeah, Crowder’s argument on the surface seems lacking, until I step back and remember how much this God likes to offend people…and do new and crazy things. Still, I wonder what the dynamics are with taking a puff or shooting up with “the Ghost” – i mean, I’ve had some pretty wild experiences myself with the Holy Spirit but none that I could control on command by making use of some sort of physical motion towards my body when I wanted to recreate the experience. But different “atmospheres” in the Spirit give rise to different sorts of things – so, I don’t discount that something is going on for them guys….. maybe I need to get myself a bus/plane ticket and try it out! If there is anything to be said about this realm, it is that conjecture never gets you anywhere – and thankfully, there is no harm in testing the spirits by taking a hit or two and seeing where you end up 🙂

  5. briana/1ozmom June 2, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    How amazing that John is so free with his faith that he can BE. That he can take all of his ideas and beliefs and just explode like a star. I’ve been wondering if there is an inherent jealousy towards him-it’s probably too simple a reason, I’m sure- but I kind of saw it within myself. I remember going to a wedding and all of our church was there. The Pastor sat at one of the front tables and let me tell you it was one of the WORST weddings ever becuase everyone was afraid to let loose because of the Pastor. No one drank, the DJ was great but no one danced-it was a gripping shame/fear. Shame because most of those people wanted to have a blast and dance, drink and laugh. So are we afraid/feel guilt becuase we’re caught in shame? Wanting to, but afraid to have freedom which expresses in cutting people like John down? It’s just a thought I’ve been tossing around about my own reactions.

    I understand the concern though. Do I think that God and the Holy Ghost can fill the need of people with addictions? I can firmly say yes. John’s videos don’t speak to me, personally, but I’m not going to assume that they speak to no one. Would I let my kids see them? Sure, because I’m there to talk to them about the meaning of the videos. (I’m pretty free with my kids like that, but I homeschool and I’m there to guide) I also think the videos can open up a dialog with kids about the things of the spirit, and God. It could be a fantastic teaching tool.

  6. Frank June 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm #


    Funny what makes an impact in our lives. I wanted to let you know that I really appreciated your comment about your style of homeschooling allowing you to be free with your kids and train them properly in today’s culture and environment. I have found this to be one of the greatest benefits to homeschooling my four children – being able to experience the ideas, music, social and media events, etc. with them, and then help them to process it all instead of simply trying to make sense of the world from the closed perspective of “single-layer,” “single generation,” or a closed-system developmental level comprised of only their peers (who ironically, are trying to process as well). In Christian circles, the impression of homeschooling is the creation of a positive closed-system (is there such a thing???), but I love the ability to help my children become critical thinkers that allows them to also experience life without the “tools” of guilt, fear, doubt, worry, etc.


    Had the idea this morning that I am going to start a movement to redeem the vampire/werewolf culture, since these are actually cheap imitations of the “real” in which we should drink the blood and be transformed! Like it? Hmm? We could have meetings where people “howl at the moon” (see: Sun, moon, stars biblical imagery) or bite visiting unbelievers on the neck in order to infuse them with the life of the “undead,” thus making them “immortal.” C’mon, you know I’m onto something here! We will definitely make the cover of Charisma and the featured list on YouTube!

    (Before I get blasted for being outrageously sarcastic and mocking that which I don’t understand, the above scenario is something that I would probably have considered in ministry at one time, no kidding. I do see a purpose behind the Crowder teachings, even if for no other reason than the initial attempt to break free from the bonds of religious captivity, being able to live in the greater liberty of relationship with Christ.)

  7. natrimony June 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm #

    I’m not afraid to drink or dance. I actually threw out my back last Saturday dancing at a wedding. God gave us wine as part of the common grace He extends toward creation. A good Pinot Noir is some of the best stuff you can pour in a glass.

    With that said, Christian freedom is not license, nor is it libertine. Our freedom in Christ is one of compatabilist common-sense. It has no quarter with either rabid reconstructionism or today’s pathetic pluralism. Crowder is neither of these. He advocates a purely experiential spirituality under the guise of Christian freedom, one which claims a Christian origin but provides no proof of it being so. I spurn Mr. Crowder’s faddish philosophies precisely because they make a mockery of the real freedom we have in Christ. He turns freedom into a joke. I don’t know which is worse; the stereotype which Crowder is reacting against (fundamentalist, legalist, dead orthodoxy) or the stereotype which his overreaction projects (buffoonish, incomprehensible, stoner-mysticism).

    With that said, and in conclusion, the strangest element I’ve encountered in this forum happens to be how well Mr. Crowder articulates his motive/doctrine in print. There is a disconnect between his live performances and his written persona. My question is this: which image is bogus and which is bonafide? Because of this puzzling dichotomy I am tempted to conclude that Mr. Crowder may fall into one of 4 categories: simply deceived, disingenuous, publicity driven, or schizophrenic.

  8. Carrie Albright June 2, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    Why can’t he be a genius and love the lord with free abandon. Why can’t that be a package. Noah made a boat when no one had seen rain ever before. Joseph was said to be the most beautiful man of his time and he was a genius with real spirtual gifts. John the Baptist was completly sold out for Jesus. God uses the fuglies as well as the beauties.
    You can’t pray for revival and for the holy spirit to come, and then be disapointed when it looks not how you want.

  9. 1ozmom June 2, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    Frank-Yes! 🙂

    Carrie-the word fuglies always makes me snerk. thanks!

  10. natrimony June 2, 2008 at 6:45 pm #


    “You can’t pray for revival and for the holy spirit to come, and then be disapointed when it looks not how you want.”

    John Crowder = revival? I’m confused.

  11. Benjamin Williams June 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm #


    I have always wanted to “Baptize a Hot Topic”. Christian Goth, Christian Punk, Christian Heavy Metal. We can even work in a Christian Vamp/Lycano section. Christian ran D&D and LARP games.

    My only problem with it was “Christian” isn’t a modifier and it doesn’t take one. It isn’t a subculture or a genre. So a “Christian Hot Topic” would really look just like a normal “Hot Topic”. “Christianity” a relationship with God, not a set of rules, codes, or guidlines. Therefore if John Crowder has a relationship with God, I don’t have any grief with him or his ministry.

    ‘Toke the Ghost, Dude!

  12. Carrie Albright June 2, 2008 at 7:47 pm #

    Mr Naty
    Revival is happening all over the world.Florida Oregon Wasington California Africa South America Wales. People are sitting up in there caskets of there own funerals, legs are growing and people are seeing out of glass eyes. You can’t make this stuff up. The truth is always better than the lie. And if people are making it up that is between them and the lord.
    I want to believe that burning bush miracles are happening all around us. I don’t want to miss what ever God is doing.
    Jesus as a baby could have made a new creature out of his maconium. He was fully God and Fully Man.
    There is so much atrophy and unbeliefe in the church. It is so sad. But I just want to press in. I want more. It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter and it is the glory of a king(men women) to serch it out.

  13. natrimony June 2, 2008 at 7:50 pm #


    So just to be clear…John Crowder = revival?

  14. Carrie Albright June 2, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Mr Naty,
    You are thinking to small my friend. It’s not someONE(CrowderBentlyDunn) it’s someBODY. The Body crying out to God praying asking for a change for mercy on our nation. Blood has a voice that cries out to God for Answers. Change is coming and it’s crazy scary and awsome all at the same time.
    But yes John happens to be present when revival breaks out. But that is not always the case.
    At IHOP in Kansas City the have had 24/7 prayer since 1998. That changes stuff. Always in the bible you find prayer and then change, God moving and stiring the hearts towards HIM.
    But these men give the glory to God always.
    If you pray Mr Naty God use me. Watch out because he will.
    God uses nonamers to futher the Kingdom of God. Always

  15. zoecarnate June 2, 2008 at 11:32 pm #

    Whoa Mr. Naty,

    I will tolerate snarkiness in the Comments section to a point, but no threats of violence – spritualized or otherwise. I know this whole discussion gets you all hot and bothered, but next time you’re tempted to threaten harm against another comment-er, please take a cold shower first. Or I shall have to ban thee.

  16. natrimony June 3, 2008 at 2:04 am #

    ‘Blowing a shotgun’ is not a threat of violence. It is drug slang. A ‘shotgun’ is when someone turns a joint around backwards (hot end in the mouth) and blows the smoke into another person’s mouth. The practice started in Vietnam when they would literally use a gun barrel as a tube to blow smoke into another soldier’s mouth. I may not approve of Crowder, but I haven’t come to point of threatening his supporters with violence. I was simply following the druggy theme you’ve chosen to roll with. Mr. Naty doesn’t even own a double-barrel. Go ahead and ban me though, I’m sure you’d like an excuse.

  17. zoecarnate June 3, 2008 at 2:09 am #

    No, not looking for an excuse. I didn’t immediately get the drug-slang cleverness. Nonetheless, I don’t think you were offering a smooth re-breathed smoke to Carrie; I stand by my gut feeling that it was an expression of anger. If I’m wrong, no worries.

  18. natrimony June 3, 2008 at 2:17 am #

    Hey, it’s your backyard man.

  19. cathryn thomas June 3, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    Ok, i’ve obviously been reading a bunch today… Monday’s are my grounding in and flying in the Spirit day… so i tend to be a bit more vocal- so a few points…
    Mike… i was getting the same vibe from Mr. Naty and Carrie nicely put and i’m taking a drag… (on a cig at the moment) Tripp F has his cigars i have my cloves to ponder things over and a occasional pipe, whiskey, wine and beer… in Moderation …. and i already know the “all things are permissible, but not beneficial” aspect so please spare me the religious behavioral patrol… i’m just sharing cuz it seems to be some are taking “friendly fire” just for keeping it real.
    So speaking of friendly or NOT so friendly fire…. I just can’t sit with Mr. Naty’s closing statement…….

    “With that said, and in conclusion, the strangest element I’ve encountered in this forum happens to be how well Mr. Crowder articulates his motive/doctrine in print. There is a disconnect between his live performances and his written persona. My question is this: which image is bogus and which is bonafide? Because of this puzzling dichotomy I am tempted to conclude that Mr. Crowder may fall into one of 4 categories: simply deceived, disingenuous, publicity driven, or schizophrenic.”

    Per the “tempted to conclude”- i think we know what God says about temptation……….and the 4 categories listed SOUNDS more like the accuser more than anything else. Never mind the thought that on the schizophrenic point- the diagnostic criteria, IC9 codes and MD initials are lacking.
    I’m all for dialogue and “testing the spirit”, but to put someone in those categories is nothing but judgement.

    Perhaps the “strangest element” could be that John is authentic and verifies in written form, the more thought out aspects of the improvisational high wire act of walking with God.

    I think God likes dichotomies – as much as He likes parables- and the only time i can recall that Jesus really called someone or a group on the proverbial carpet, was when He was speaking to the Pharisees.

    could we please think or feel His heart a bit deeper-

    Thanks Mike for letting me share……

  20. Heather June 3, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    Perhaps it is our own assumptions that are to blame in the seeming schizophrenia of Crowder – in other words, we see a man being playful and irreverant, and we assume there is no theological intellect there. So when he comes out and speaks theologically, we believe there is a disconnect – but doesn’t that just reflect on our own judgements and assumptions, that we really have just looked at a soundbite or two and not taken in the whole package?

    Anyway, I think Carrie’s statements need to be highlighted – I walk with some connection and a lot of respect towards Lou Engle, knowing him to be a sober man of integrity. He’s not a wild crazy partying charismatic dude…he’s a fasting, praying, reverent, holiness preaching [charismatic] dude…. and I just saw him speak where he was talking about his daughter’s young friend who had an incurable disease, whose parents took her to Lakeland and she was completely healed and given back her life. Lou came out very much in favor of Todd and believes that this thing in Lakeland is the beginning of the answers to his prayers for revival, even though it isn’t looking like “what he thought it should look like.”

    So, Crowder aside, what IS going on here when the sick are healed in a moment (without the name-it-claim-it mumbo jumbo attached..you know, claim you’re healed even though you aren’t and you will be because you already are), when the dead are raised?!?! (does anyone know if this is in fact true?) and when the blind see (not just metaphorically?)

  21. natrimony June 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm #


    To say that someone may be deceived is satanic judgment? It is judgment, but the Christian is called to exercise juggment. We have to balance statements such as this:
    “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7.24 Off of Matt. 7.1-6.
    Judgment is o.k.–condemnation is not. I’ve not once relegated Mr. Crowder to the flames of hell-fire.

    Oh..and I am familiar with the DSM IV.

  22. Bill Kinnon June 3, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    As much as I’ve done my level best to stay out of the discussion here, I need to ask one thing. Where’s the proof?

    I’ve been in the charismatic stream for much of my 25 years as a believer. I’ve experienced physical healing and deliverance from a smoking habit I could not escape. There are x-rays to prove the healing – and one cigarette smoked since the deliverance 24 years ago – a cigarette I thought was going to kill me, I reacted so badly to it – to prove the deliverance.

    With the power of social media, providing proof should be simple. Put it up on YouTube for all to see. Grab someone’s handicam and shoot an interview with the person healed – and their physician. Until then, I’m afraid my cynicism is going to trump my willingness to suspend disbelief.

    As much as I appreciate your love for Lou, he is part of the KCF/IHOP world – from whence cometh Brother Bentley’s mentor, Bob Jones. It’s in Lou’s best interests to be very supportive of what’s happening in Lakeland.

  23. Carrie Albright June 3, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    It is true! 🙂 Get Thee To Lakelind and see for your self. My friends said that every night they would ask who was there for the first time and thousands would raise there hands. Then they asked who was from out of the US and thousands raised there hands.200 hundred countries were represted. You can see it live twice a day on GodTV if you have direct TV or on a live feed on your computer, sometimes the words don’t match the picture.
    You go to http://WWW.ignitedchurch.com to see the live feed and read praises.
    God is so creative, people are being healed reading the praise reports, watching on TV or the computer. One girl was healed by a blanket that had been to FL and came back. There have been 13 confirmed dead raisings. One woman had a tumor on her tummy that made her look 5months pregnant. She got a text from her friend that was in FL at night saying God is awsome, at night. In the morning she steped out of bed and her pants fell off. The tumor was gone and she came to FL with a doctors note saying that the tumor is no where to be found.
    So many people are being healed. But so many are coming back with notes from there doctor and xrays before and after. My friends said that when you watch it on your computer you miss some of what is going on. Now that they have been there and experienced they understand. They said one of the biggest was the GLory Cloud over the platform. They didn’t get it watching on TV but they said that you could feel the difference as you walk closer to the platform.
    My friend is not a shaker. But she got prayed for more impartation of the holy spirit and since then her hand shakes when she prays for people. She said that it was like electric shocks in a good way, when she got close to the platform.
    One night they said the whole place was getting whacked up. They saw some guys wearing shirts that said there’s No high like the most high. They said do you know John Crowder and they YES. They came over and talked then one gave my friend a hug. She said her whole body got jolted by God electricity. He was just a kid he let go and said there more were that came from.
    God power is pouring out all you have to do is ask for it. He gives good gifts. He is not a re-gifter.
    I ran into some kids in the parking lot. I said do you want some free drugs they said yes. I said its better than meth or pot. But once you get a taste you will not want anything else. You’ll be a junkie for jesus. 🙂

  24. cathryn thomas June 3, 2008 at 6:10 pm #


    To say that someone may be deceived is satanic judgment? It is judgment, but the Christian is called to exercise juggment. We have to balance statements such as this:
    “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7.24 Off of Matt. 7.1-6.
    Judgment is o.k.–condemnation is not. I’ve not once relegated Mr. Crowder to the flames of hell-fire.

    Oh..and I am familiar with the DSM IV.

    UMMMMM- i said SOUNDS like the accuser- and you are now nit/nat picking. nuff said.

  25. natrimony June 4, 2008 at 4:07 am #


    Oh, my bad. I thought I was providing a thoughtful reply to your former scolding. If you have a right to comment on my understandings then I certainly have a right to reply in my defense–maybe you view that as being combative. But, being dismissive or petty is cool? I guess its just more fun for you and others in this forum to make fun of my blogging handle. Well, I’ll give you all some more ammo. My full name is Peter Nathaniel Ruland. I go by ‘Nat’. Yes, like the bug…without the ‘G’.

  26. jerry June 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    You are looking only on the surface of things. {Or Look at the obvious facts} If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he.

    For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.

    I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.

    For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”

    …….. Or how about this passage:

    We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.

    If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.

    Do you think that the Apostle Paul was “schizophrenic”?

    I like what Andrew Wolmack says – if they’re not accusing you of the same things they accused Paul of – you’re probably not really preaching the gospel. (He was referring to the message of God’s grace in his case). Sometimes even the accusations are revealing.

  27. natrimony June 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    If you remember correctly, I never accused Mr. Crowder of being schizophrenic. I simply included that as one diagnosis among several. Also, I think Wolmack ganked that quote from Martin Luther.

    Commentators disagree upon the interpretation of that passage in 1 Cor. 5.13 which you quoted. Some believe Paul is making reference to a charge of eccentric behavior, while others think he is alluding to his own ecstatic experience. Moyer Hubbard argues that, “the complaint of 2 Cor. 5.13 should be read in light of the central complaint leveled against Paul in Corinth: his poor rhetorical skills (10.10; 11.6; 12.19; 13.3).”

    You make an interesting point. However, I think that comparing Paul and Crowder literally is a stretch. Perhaps schizophrenia was the ‘thorn in the flesh’ mentioned in 2 Cor.12.7-10. It is unlikely, but I think that the exact nature of ‘the thorn’ is left purposely ambiguous to promote a greater biblical identification with every human malady.

    I don’t know where else to look but on the ‘surface of things’. I’m not an MRI machine.

  28. jerry June 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm #

    Hey if Martin Luther was the first to say it – even better – a real reformer – I’ll accept that.

    Isn’t good rhetoric just a performance anyway? I mean really – aren’t most preachers just entertainers seeking out another performance? Isn’t the test of whether or not this is the “Word of God” is that it accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent? There are tons of people claiming they have “the Word of the Lord” – but nothing ever happens – they’re all talk. If God’s Word created the heavens and the earth – it’s a pretty safe bet – these people really aren’t carriers of God’s Word. Isn’t that what Paul is addressing in that passage?

    I believe that the thorn in Paul’s side were the great talkers that convinced the Galatians (and others) that it really wasn’t God they were experiencing – because it didn’t line up with the Jewish understanding of the law.

    Last revivalist meeting I went to – I couldn’t get there until about the middle of the meeting – I was alone – and walked in when everyone was at the altar (front of the room) – and I had no idea what seats were open – so I just sat down on the floor with my back against the back wall until the altar emptied. I cried for about an hour the Lord was so strong in that room. I have no idea what the speaker said – it really didn’t even matter – God was so manifested to me there.

    Are you afraid of going into that setting – that maybe you’ll be deceived or something?

  29. natrimony June 4, 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    Nope. Been there and done that Jerry. Couldn’t sustain the high though. My blood sugar got low on a steady diet of that type of thing. Also, I spent way too much time thinking that there was something wrong with me when I couldn’t cry, sing prophetically, speak in tongues, or manifest 3rd heaven experiences—this meant that my peers often treated me as if I were spiritually substandard. So no. I’m not afraid of emotional experiences during corporate worship times. Actually, I’ve had some really good ones. But, I had to find something a little more boring, normal, and nutritious though for my continued Christian experience. I returned to my Reformed roots.

  30. zoecarnate June 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    I know it hasn’t been easy for you to stick around here, Nate, but I’m glad you have. It’s good to hear some more of your story. We have similar backgrounds: I grew up Baptist, then Pentecostal/charismatic, became Reformed by ‘accident’ (I know, it was sovereignty 🙂 ), got a hankering for my charismatic roots, and then ended up…doing neither! Been in house church settings for the past 10 years. Which hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been fine for this season…

  31. Carrie Albright June 5, 2008 at 12:24 am #

    Lord Jesus thank you for these two men of valor. Heal there hearts of any hurts lord. Touch them and give them peace. Bless them lord for there vulnerability. Give them dreams of your face lord. Give them a new joy and piece of your great and mighty love. Reveal there identy as you see them. Protect them from the enemy father. Let no more lies take root in there hearts. For they are perfect covered in your redeaming blood.
    In your Name Jesus we pray Amen

  32. jerry June 5, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    You know what Nate, I’m sorry if we Charismatics jammed that down your throat. It’s not right to find acceptance in Holy Spirit manifestations – it’s right to find that in Christ alone – He has made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6 KJV). So please accept my apologies if I came across that way.

    My buddy wrote a song – here’s the first line:

    You won’t find Me in temples made by men – don’t abide in a stain glass window, you won’t find Me alive in the dead works of men, but you will find Me, you will find Me in the eyes of a friend.

    If we can’t find Jesus in one another – we probably aren’t going to find Him too much. I’m happy to say though – He’s really there – and that’s a whole lot more edifying to me these days than the Holy Spirit manifestations – I love them both, but given one or the other – I’ll take the Christ in you.

  33. natrimony June 5, 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    O.K. Apologies accepted.

  34. Kevin November 23, 2011 at 10:28 pm #


    I’ve known a couple too many people crushed by drugs to see any appeal whatsoever to this whole line of reasoning.

    With that caveat in place, I’ll put my argument against out there anyway. Drugs are a shortcut to everything we’re wired to strive to attain. The descriptions of the goodness of the good feeling drugs give you for a mere fistful of dollars are unbelievable. Easy. Instant. Strife-free.

    If this is in any way a description of a Christian experience, it’s as unreal as the drugs themselves. Give me no part of it.


  1. Charismatic Chaos or (Holy) Spirited Deconstruction? « zoecarnate - June 2, 2008

    […] Part III […]

  2. think think think « 1ozmom’s Weblog - June 2, 2008

    […] do you define the transcendent? Over at Zoecarnate there is a fantastic discussion going on. I have to admit, it’s making me think long and hard […]

  3. jonathan stegall » Blog Archive » Links for June 2nd - June 2, 2008

    […] Crowder & Morrell: Kids & Cocaine Jesus? « zoecarnate “Whaddaya think parents, would-be Dr. Phils, Dr. Spocks, Dr. Dobsons? Will teaching your kids to savor the shekinah keep ‘em away from coke and meth?” (tags: parenting church theology spirituality pentecostal charismatic) […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.