Thursday, September 02, 2010

Charismatics and John Crowder: what's the deal on this freak-show?

So here's the latest Charismatic to cross my radar: John Crowder.

Yeah. "Yoy yoy yoy." I always say.

And then there's about the most shameful thing I've seen a charismatic do in God's name, which I can't bring myself to embed.

So, think about these:
  1. God dropped by over there a while back — wish you'd been there. This is a charismatic constant. I mean to write a post on that, but charismatic addicts are signing up to chase after a God who's coy, evasive, and on the run.
  2. This guy can thank Wayne Grudem and that whole gang of charismatics, reformed or otherwise. What are the constant refrains of that lot? "Don't quench the Spirit"; "As long as it is not against Scripture"; "Open yourself to the supernatural." Well, fine. So is there a verse that says, in so many words, that one can't do what this clone is doing? See? There you go. There's their ticket, and that's why big name charismatic and charismatic-enablers are slow to denounce what they really should denounce.
  3. By contrast, if you affirm that Scripture is sufficient, and that no one has the authority to do in God's name what is not directly authorized by Scripture — and if you therefore affirm that all our public meetings should center around God's living self-revelation in His Word... then stuff like this could never take hold.


GrammaMack said...

That's...what is that? Do people actually fall for that...that...there are no words, really.

His testimony says, "I met Jesus on an acid trip, and what a long, strange trip it has been ever since!" Apparently he's still trippin'...

John said...

Brother...this literally brought tears to my eyes and deep grief to my soul.

Our precious Lord...imagine being Ezekiel and having the Lord break through the wall of the Temple and seeing the equivalent of these videos.


Robert said...

Oy, oy, oy! I couldn't believe the pee pee. This is just plain sad...especially when you read the comment thread on the last one you linked to. Do people really have no clue what the Bible says about Satan and his demons dressing themselves up as angels of light? Talk about cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

What is sad is that this reminds me of the 500 false prophets who went up against Elijah. All the extremes that people will go to to try to have some experience of God...when all they have to do is open the Bible and read! That's too hard, though...God wouldn't make it that hard...He loves us too much. No, friend...God loves us too much to leave us to our own wicked and deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9)...thus, He provides us with His Word so that we may know how holy He is and know how sinful we He has provided a means to bridge that gap in the perfect life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus. That is why we look to Him and not for "wonders and signs". I don't know how to link, but I liked your handling of 2 Timothy 3:14-16 in the second of your series on Pyro to address this matter.

The Squirrel said...

So, I'm watching this video, and all I can think is "Is this guy stoned?"

People actually follow this guy? Scary.


GrammaMack said...

Profane. That's what it is. And yes, so very sad and sickening.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

That was disturbing. My jaw was gaping open. I'm glad my kids didn't see that. Scary. I was so befuddled, I wondered why you put up the same video twice. Was that on purpose? Once was enough, thanks. And I couldn't get through the last one.

He kept referring to the heavy, drunken glory, and the way he was staggering and carrying himself, one wonders if he had any actual drugs in his system, or if he was just high on the limelight.

Is this the same Crowder who sings that song,"Oh, how He loves us, oh" (x47)?

DJP said...

It wasn't twice when I set it up. I'll have to check later, from home.

David said...

From the beginning of the second video: "... and then you expect me to say coherent words ..."

I wonder, was anyone really expecting that? Where would they get those expectations?

David said...

Hey, it is the same video twice. well, I only watched the second.

Robert said...

It is the same video, but it was posted two different times on YouTube. I think it does have an effect of showing how people are buying into his act, though.

David said...

In fact, if this audience knowingly came to see this clown, I'm pretty sure coherence would have disappointed.

mikeb said...

This guy is known as the "youtube prophet". Dan you posted one of his more "sane" videos. I guess he toned it down a bit since he was in a "church" Watch this documentary done on him, which is frightening:

Robert said...

At least they do a good job of deining themselves...they call themselves the new mystics.

Chris H said...


Don't confuse this fellow with the David Crowder who writes and performs worship music. They are not even remotely the same. I don't know if they are related, but if I were David, I would probably disavow any connection to John.

I made the error of confusing the two, myself, once. It only took two youtube videos (one by each) to demonstrate the difference.

Robert said... gets worse:

I guess the seeker sensitive churches could look at this as an avenue to reach the drug addicts.

Halcyon said...

You could put that guy on Comedy Central and nobody would know the difference.

Rachael Starke said...

I'm eating a late lunch, so I'm choosing not to watch and just take your word for it. :(

MSC said...

I think this guy is channeling one of those demons that Jesus cast into the swine - ;).

In all seriousness, this guy came to a town near us and I was asked to evaluate his ministry to see if I would recommend him to other Christians in the area. I could not believe how wacko he is and it made me fearful for anyone in our area who actually thought he was the real deal. Should I say the lack of discernment in the present era is an understatement?

Herding Grasshoppers said...

"wack slosh slippity slap"?

Y'know... I've been around people who fried their brains on drugs decades ago and they walk around, talking crazy talk still today.

This one just figured out how to make it sound religious and make some money off of it.

And people buy this act?

I'm not sure which side of the equation is more tragic.

DJP said...

Sorry; now I've checked, I don't know what that second vid was supposed to be. So I removed the dup.

Magister Stevenson said...

He did mention that at times God makes him mute in the middle of sermons. I think, of all that could possibly occur during a sermon of his, that would be of God!
And I laughed briefly when he said a work was going to happen which was not doctrinal or theological. Sort of like when Caiaphas mentioned that Jesus would die for the nation.
Word verification: hymoly

Brad Williams said...


If he acted like that in most places, he would immediately be given a sobriety test by the police.

That is the stupidest, most shameful thing I have seen in a long time. I would rather listen to a Mormon preach.


Unknown said...

I've seen people on drugs, and I really can't think of any other possible explanation for this loony. What a shameful act.

Fred Butler said...

He doesn't drop kick grandmas and body slam autistic children like that Todd Bentley guy does he?

Steven said...

Of all the people to mention reality in their speach (that was not a sermon), this guy is certainly the most unqualified.

Anonymous said...

Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. (Matthew 15:14 ESV)

Shaun RW Little said...

As bad as that was, I've seen worse.

There was speaker I saw at a so called "revival" meeting I attended with some folks who invited me. The the guy was doing this same drunk act but saying: "shah-boy-oing", and then he proceeded to pretend he was putting the Holy Ghost in a needle and shooting up (all this in front of a crowd of teenagers mind you).

It was the most absurd thing I have ever seen and I was absolutely livid after seeing it. It was utter chaos. On one hand I wanted to storm out of the meeting in disgust but on the other hand it was kinda like watching a wild freak show... I had to keep watching.

During the alter call (if you could call it that), my Mom (who went with me) said she espied two young girls making out in the crowd that went up front. It was absolutely demonic.

Al said...


Here is a guy who loves his sin, just not the negative effects of his sin.

He loved getting wasted when he was a drunk, but hated the hangover. He loved getting high, but hated the weight that came with munchies. He loved acid, but hated the suicidal thoughts that struck in the midst of delusion.

Now he gets all of the things he wants, while the ramifications of such behavior have been put on hold. Of course the consequences of leading thousands into error are a bit more damning than vomiting before work.

"Depart from me I never knew you" is going totally suck dude.

al sends

Merrilee Stevenson said...

Chris H,

Thank you for the clarification. They DO look like they could be related, though. If not brothers, then cousins. I wonder.

lee n. field said...

preachin' to the choir, dude. (Not that the choir doesn't need to hear the word regularly, too.)

"Most shameful thing". Youtube's title is enough, I won't let the video buffer enough to start.

Some of this stuff seriously creeps me out. How do people sit and drink it all in?

Kay said...

Having seen this sort of thing before, I actually suspect Crowder is an out and out charlatan knowingly taking the mickey out of the gullible church.

DJP said...

Lee: How do people sit and drink it all in?

That's the aspect of this post that hasn't caught fire yet. I am suggesting that they do it because of the Charismatic movement - all of it. Hinn, Hagin, Grudem, Mahaney.


Robert said...

Where do I begin? I think this ties in so much to your post from Pyros yesterday. People need to commit themselves to Scripture and not feelings. I was quite amazed when I read a book by a prominent author where he talks about getting away from just finding an experience and I guess the Pentecostal charismatic movement, but he still holds to believing in exercise of "da gifts". Really? You saw all those problems there, but it couldn't be related to being charasmatic at all?

This is what happens when people try to take the easy way out of really digging into Scripture and putting it all together. I love how Martyn Lloyd-Jones called people out on having that attitude and said it is wrong to not try to work through parts of Scripture just because they are hard. And to me part of working through it is to make it all work together. Some of that takes looking at the history and how it all works together. Look at who and when certain gifts are mentioned/exercised. Learn when authors are being sarcastic (1 Corinthians 13 comes to mind).

I have a hard time with this because I honestly hate when people take Scripture out of context to support something that is wholly unscriptural. And guys like Crowder, Bentley, and Hinn are what you wind up with if you follow that type of thinking. To which the reply wll be "We're not like them." And if you point them to the history of the church showing that "da gifts" were not manifested in the church for 2,000 years they say it is because the church wasn't holy enough or something. HOGWASH! The Puritans weren't holy and pure enough? The Reformers weren't? I just don't get it. Once again I see people not really working out the implications of what they say or write.

Christopher said...

"Heavy drunken glory"

Enough Said.

Verification word: "Croundog" I may try to create a definition for that

Mike Westfall said...

I suspect that for those who sit and drink it it, it's actually therapeutic.

Gilbert said...

Heavy, drunken glory? Yi, yi, yi.

I didn't even want to see the "pee pee" video. See Kay's Gravatar? Yeah. Exactly.

How do people sit and drink it all in? Deception. It feels good. Casting aside God, if you feel a rush, if a guy is babbling incoherently and happily, then it MUST be of God. How much you want to bet that after they leave that "service", or whatever that train wreck is...they'll say, hey! Let's read our Bibles seriously for an hour, and pray the Spirit would open our eyes more and more.

This generation is 30 second soundbytes and feel-good. Charismaticism is perfect for a time such as this. They don't want to give themselves up, but to have their ears tickled. This does the job nicely.

And...on other's obviously nauseated Dan so badly that it stopped him from posting H&T today. :-(

Steve Talas said...

Well since Mahaney and Grudem have been mentioned...

My 4 year old keeps asking me when watching movies or reading a book 'Daddy who are the goodies and who are the baddies?'
I have to say looking at the so called 'Reformed Charismatic' movement I kind feel like asking the same question.
Wasn't it CJ who was all squishy on the Toronto blessing, John Piper a tad soft on the Tom Bentley fiasco and what of his more bizzare pronouncements.

I've listend to them, read them, even enjoyed them but somebody tell me what road are we heading down with these guys? From where I'm sitting, at times it's looking more than a little disturbing.

Kay said...

It also reminds me of Patricia King from the same kind of stable, who advocates practising resurrecting the dead on roadkill. A good friend who is a charismatic is in the position of standing against it in the her church, but, like with the Todd Bentley fiasco, there are still people who accept it all with little questioning. She has very little ground to stand on when she takes a stand. (she is also listening to John MacArthur a lot, so her thinking is getting sharper, it has to be said)

Unknown said...


Alas, discussion!

Do you think that any of these Crowder-types - let's call them loonies for now - have ever read Grudem? Personally, I doubt that reading Grudem lead them to their Pentecostal-crazyness.

And Dan, do you think it is fair to lump Mahaney and Grudem in with Hinn?

Christopher said...


Have not seen Hinn and Grudem mentioned in the same sentence before. Do you think, just to play sides, that this could be like Calvinist and Hyper-Calvinist: One believes it to a certain point, while the other completely over shoots? Let me know if they analogy did not make sense...I am kind of on the go and brain slows down as the feet speed up

David Kyle said...

I want to know if and how any charismatic can rebuke this kind of behavior. From where do they launch their rebuke, scripturally I mean.

threegirldad said...

Squirrel: all I can think is "Is this guy stoned?"

Trevor: I've seen people on drugs, and I really can't think of any other possible explanation for this loony.

I have no way of knowing if he's actually stoned in this particular instance, but being stoned is nothing out of the ordinary for John Crowder. I take it that most folks who've commented so far haven't heard about "Tokin' the Ghost" -- which, yes and unbelievably, is a reference to the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...


I think that's right. We're always looking for something "more", so the folks who follow Crowder and Hinn and the like, didn't start there.

They began, innocently enough, with someone who was a little edgy but not out and out denying Scripture.
A little more and a little more and next thing you know, you're expecting God to do all manner of things that Scripture either is silent on, or outright forbids.

DJP said...

Steve, also add Adrian "I Only Write About One Topic" Warnock, who last I checked very deliberately would not criticize Bentley.

I think many of those guys ARE good guys, great guys, even -- minus their position on Da Gifts. What they don't get is that they are running cover and lending false legitimacy to the worst of the worst.

DJP said...

Thank you, Trevor. Yes I do, for this reason: they do two things that give cover to all the rest --

1. They "Clinton down" the Biblical gifts so that they can be faked; and

2. Their constant, constant refrain is that we must let the Spirit guide (by feelings, impressions and such) as long as it isn't against Scripture. Well, is there a verse in Scripture that says not to get up and go "yoy yoy yoy"? If Crowder claims it's the Spirit's leading, and there's no verse against it, the better charismatics have given him "cover."

trogdor said...

Well, I guess it's analogous to good preaching, so what's the problem?

DJP said...

Ba-dum bum.

I love my readers!

Barbara said...

David Wilkerson, clearly a continuationist, has some sound words (and much grief) on that subject.

Anonymous said...

Dan, I'm hoping I might be able to give a little bit of perspective on this for those commenting.

I was raised as a Pentecostal/Charismatic. We had services like Bentley's and Crowder's often (just to give you a bitter taste, here's my former 'youth pastor' with Todd Bentley: I participated in the rotten fruits of the Toronto movement indirectly and the Brownsville movement directly. At first, when you see all of these things, you're scared, you think that the people doing these things are possessed, insane, or something else, but certainly not biblical. What happens, however, is that the powers that be start releasing papers defending these manifestations with strained prooftexts and sloppy exegesis. Some of the people they cite--Wayne Grudem, Jack Deere, Jack Hayford, Gordon Fee, and other scholars. Then you see how others "feel so happy" or "are blessed by God" during their experiences, and then you think, "Well, then, if so and so thinks the Bible says it's okay, and if so and so is so blessed, what's the harm?" And then, you get sucked in, and, if they're anything like me, they get such a rush they become addicted. So after that, you do all of the things you may have seen on YouTube: shaking violently, ecstatic "tongues", "prophecy", being "slain in the Spirit", etc. It never stops at one thing. Once the door is open, you can never shut it without an arbitrary appeal to Scripture (which you've already thrown out the door).

The scary thing is this: this new "Reformed" movement is running headlong into this disaster without any proper historical-grammatical exegesis ( It's all based on experience. God, in His sovereign grace, saved me from bondage to a distant, coy, manic God, and it grieves me that undiscerning Reformed-charismatic types are leading people right back into the fire.

Once you throw out the sufficiency of Scripture, anything goes.

Robert said...

I guess part of my problem is that it is like the "cool" part of being Christian for a lot of people. When Matt Chandler pronounced that he was reformed and charismatic at T4G, there were many young people in the crowd who heartily approved of it and it seemed like it was the cool crowd or something. It just felt weird for some reason. He delivered a great message and that part of his intro didn't add anything to it at all.

Anonymous said...

Just a few observations & thoughts:

1)Right at the beginning of the video, Crowder makes a quick reference to 'users'. Does he mean drug users or alcohol?

Crowder: "...they say when you put two users together..." followed by "...when Wennie (?) gets up here...and then you expect me to get up here and say coherent words..."

Seems pretty clear that he's drugged up or drunk.

2)I suspect his alias is 'Wormwood' and his Uncle Screwtape is also known as C. Peter Wagner

3)Those who are in the audience are fulfilling 'their own desires, because they have itching ears' and 'they [are heaping]up for themselves teachers.' 2 Tim. 4:3

Like the Emergents, the Charismatics put emphasis on experience instead of doctrine. If I experience something as a 'Christian' it must be from God, right?


DJP said...

Jason: invaluable.

Thanks so much,

DJP said...

Robert: did you get the part where Chandler said he wasn't going to be Reformed if he couldn't be Reformed and Charismatic?

David said...

Regarding Grudem, Mahaney, et al being the "good guys":

I agree, they are. But sometimes what's needed is something more than good guys. For example, I'd say Neville Chamberlain was a good guy. However ... how did that "peace in our time" thing work out?

Give me a theological Churchill.

Anonymous said...

@Dan: you're welcome, brother. Anything I can do to warn my brothers and sisters of this seductive movement.

@Robert: (about charismaticism being the cool crowd) you're more right than you know. The Charismatic Movement, beginning in the 1960s, has now effectively infiltrated every Christian denomination, and has been a major reason that evangelicals have become squishy towards apostate Roman Catholicism, since Charismaticism infected their ranks as well.

I am a student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and I can safely estimate that the majority of the divinity students there hold some form of continuationism. During one of my formation group meetings last year with some of my fellow students, I was asked to give my testimony. I did so, and, after hearing it, one of the students asked, "So, today, you would consider yourself to be a cessationist?" When I replied in the affirmative, most of the students in the room were either shooting me looks of disdain and disapproval or physical shaking their heads no. THIS is the growing trend in seminary today. You'll see more and more people like Chandler popping up than not.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty darn sure there IS a verse that says not to go 'yoy yoy yoy', several in fact.

1st Peter 4:7, 1st John 4:1, etc.

Watching those videos's a paradox. On the one hand I want to laugh, on the other I want to do some righteous smiting.

Robert said...


Thanks for refreshing my memory. I knew there was something else in there that bugged me. That reminds me of the lady who said she didn't want to go to heaven if God really chose people before time began to go to heaven (it was on a pyros post a while back). I wonder if he went back in time and asked the Reformers if it was OK to be charismatic how he would fare?

candy said...

JOhn Scotland is another crazy guy. On one video he keeps trying to go to the Book of Luke, but can't seem to ever get there with his laughing, and his cock-a-doodle-doos. He may be the guy who one commenter quoted as saying, "shah-boy-oing", He also says "ping" a lot.

Barbara said...

Candy, this discussion reminded me of that video, having seen it maybe a year ago. It was absolutely heartbreaking.

All this stuff is out of the Toronto Blessing type hypercharismaticism with the so-called "laughing revival" and being "drunk with the spirit" kind of nonsense. Somebody on youtube put together a good compilation putting these kinds of manifestatations up against the kinds of manifestations we see in other world religions, kundalini yoga, and the whole "mind-emptying" meditation movement. It's very hard to watch, but it makes a very good point for the less-discerning-but- honestly -seeking types. It's called, "The False Revival (comparison)".

Ultimately what leads to this level of error is nothing more than a complete ignorance of God.

Anonymous said...

That guy was a combo of drunk and high. My cop instincts are definitely kickin in here. Unbelievable.

Hayden said...


Have you ever attended a service at a 'Sovereign Grace' church?

I guarantee that this guy would never be invited and kicked out of the local 'Sovereign Grace' church here in town. I know the Pastor well and have talked to him about Bentley and others and he has warned his people against them. Actually, the people who attend his church are some of the most discerning people I know in town.

I have examined the fruit of the Sovereign Grace ministries very closely by attending a conference they put on, talking with multiple pastors in the churches and reading their literature as well and they are nothing like you describe. I even heard one of them rebuke the whole congregation for their focus on Da Gifts as being a sign of Christian growth. He said that growth in the fruits of the Spirit is the only reliable test of growth.

This guy would never fit in their churches. What you are doing is like evaluating the whole Dispentastional theology by reading the writings of Hal Lindsay and Jenkins and Lahaye. You would cry foul there.

By the way, I am not charismatic in any way (I am a TMS Grad). I appreciate some of these brothers immensely (Mahaney and Dave Harvey in particular) but disagree with them in this point. Most of the people that attend a Sovereign Grace Church would see this a mile away and call it demonic. Many of the Pastors do renounce this stuff and Mahaney is active in helping them to evaluate this stuff as well. He is concentrating his efforts on the SG movement and really doing some great stuff within. SG has become far less charismatic and that is a source of worry for some in the movement.

PS Have you ever interacted with Jeff Purswell. He seems to be the theologian of the SG movement.

DJP said...

Hayden, fair enough. Here's my response.

1. Hal Lindsey, etc. - if a critic said we were all Hal Lindsey, I'd say no, and we'd be done. Which is not my argument: read it, I've never said "All Charismatics are John Crowder." What I say is that all Charismatics have created cover for John Crowder. So, if someone wants to say that all dispensationalists have created cover for Hal Lindsey... well, it depends what you mean. If you mean it has put him above criticism then no, that isn't dispensationalism at all. Dispensationalism is all about putting the text first, rather than a foreign construct. So dispensationalism would subject Lindsey to Biblical scrutiny, appealing to evidence equally accessible to all.

By contrast, the constant refrain of all Charismatics is that we mustn't put God in a box like rationalists, we mustn't quench the Spirit, meaning that we must be open to their redefined gifts and non-rational lurches, with only one control: is it contrary to Scripture? So if there isn't a verse forbidding it, then anyone can claim it is the Spirit's moving, and none can gainsay him. (See Adrian Warnock in re. Todd Bentley.)

2. By making this their sole control, all Charismatics have given Bentley, Crowder, Hinn and everyone else the a false veneer of respectibility. They are their "cover."

As I've said, is there a verse that says don't stand up and claim the Spirit is moving you to go "oy yoy yoy," or bark like a dog, or crow like a rooster, claiming the moving of the Spirit -- all Charismatics have given them cover.

Mike Westfall said...

> As I've said, is there a verse
> that says don't stand up and claim
> the Spirit is moving you to go "oy
> yoy yoy," or bark like a dog, or
> crow like a rooster ...

Or stand in a circle and pee in a bucket? Oh wait, there is a proof text for that...

Unknown said...


Thanks for the response. I see where you are coming from with the "all Charismatics have created cover for John Crowder." That makes sense.

Once again, out of curiosity, is there any shining example (link?) of a Charismatic speaking of what you say here:

By contrast, the constant refrain of all Charismatics is that we mustn't put God in a box like rationalists, we mustn't quench the Spirit, meaning that we must be open to their redefined gifts and non-rational lurches, with only one control: is it contrary to Scripture? So if there isn't a verse forbidding it, then anyone can claim it is the Spirit's moving, and none can gainsay him. (See Adrian Warnock in re. Todd Bentley.)

Perhaps that link re: Warnock/Bentley would quench my curiosity.

Thanks as always for thoughtful, pointed, and often very bold discussion.

Oh and Trogdor...wouldn't some of this fiery Charismaticism be analagous to your various burninating activities? :-P

DJP said...

Try this. Note the bullet-points. Tell me that isn't providing "cover."


DJP said...

...and contrast with this, if I may say so.

Robert said...

I'd still like people to take a good look at church history. And then look at the modern charismatic movement and its roots. And then go read 1 Corinthians 15:33. Eventually you have to work back to a point where somebody with sound doctrine couldn't shake the experience of the charismatic movement that they got from "bad company".

The book I was talking about earlier is by Joshua Harris. He talks about having problems with the church he was in, but then he goes to a new church and still holds on to the charismatic beliefs that I would assume (from what he wrote) he got from the old church. I get the feeling he would say the same thing Chandler did about being Reformed and charismatic. It is sad, because I really respect a lot of these guys, but they do give cover for guys like Bentley, Crowder, Hinn, Copeland, etc.

Anonymous said...


As one who grew up Charismatic, no, there is not shining example because, at least in the circles in which I ran, it's the norm.
It's a bit like looking for one shining example of a white egg.

Unknown said...


Thanks for that Pyro post. Great post, great meta.

Logan Paschke said...

Hey Dan,

I've actually had conversations with "leaders" of some of the smaller ministries in the same vein as John Crowder and Benjamin Dunn.

I have no problem saying that they hate scripture through their ignorance/handling of it.

Though I will say that Grudem and Chandler preach the gospel and that is what people are saved unto not this unbiblical crap.

For that reason I don't view the churches explicitly centered around the gospel as in trouble. It's the churches that love the distractions instead of the gospel that will have trouble keeping their people away from this stupidity.

Don't argue with these people, just rebuke them with the power of Jesus Christ. Demons run this neo-neo-neo gnostic movement.

Unknown said...

I believe that part of the reason that this or any other type of non-sense is happening in our churches is linked to the general public's (mine included) laziness to study God's word and to think deeply about what it says. Our entire educational process is devoted to entertainment. Why do we think that our coming to church should be any different?

Perhaps a different way to say it: we look to various leaders in the church as celebrities. Just as many in the common culture expect various movie stars to have a learned opinion about the environment, we expect the common church pastor to have a learned opinion.

We substitute the thinking we should have done for the thinking we think they have done.

CR said...

really sad...

CotnerMD said...

Sorry for the late reply, Dan. I have been stewing on your study questions this week; I have been watching the meta and felt like your study questions never really got as much attention as they deserved. You think Grudem creates cover for Crowder. I disagree, and here's why:

"This guy can thank Wayne Grudem and that whole gang of charismatics, reformed or otherwise. What are the constant refrains of that lot? "Don't quench the Spirit"; "As long as it is not against Scripture"; "Open yourself to the supernatural."

Obviously, this constellation of statements constitute a doctrinal slop bucket. Someone who says "Don't quench the Spirit" is quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:19 without context. "As long as it is not against Scripture" is a woefully incomplete expression of Christian liberty. "Open yourself to the supernatural" is an invitation to the occult, until proven otherwise. This is indeed a recipe for trouble, and you could make the case that this is the cultic catechism of Crowder.

But not Wayne Grudem.

If you will bear with me pointing this out, Grudem has a B.A. from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. His list of published works is beyond the scope of our discussion, but it is worth noting that he was the General Editor for the ESV Study Bible, for crying out loud.

My point is not that he is beyond reproach, but that Grudem’s “constant refrain” -- if anything -- would seem to be one of solid, conservative Biblical scholarship. My further point is that you would hardly expect a scholar of Wayne Grudem's rank to make such banal pronouncements as those above about such an important subject. And in fact, I don't find any evidence that he does. Grudem has written extensively on this subject, and has given many interviews on the topic. His continuationism seems always to be guarded and hedged about with appropriate warnings. Look at his Systematic Theology and I think you will find critique enough of Crowder, though not by name (see below for further details).

CotnerMD said...

(continued from previous post)

"So is there a verse that says, in so many words, that one can't do what this clone is doing?"

1 Corinthians 14:27-28, to start:

“If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.”

These verses are cited in Grudem’s Systematic Theology, by the way, under the headings “Not Ecstatic, but Self-Controlled” and “Tongues Without Interpretation” (pp. 1073-1076).

This is one example off the top of my head, and addresses only one of Crowder's many errors; 1 Cor 14:32 and 14:40 are also applicable. 1 Peter 4:7, 1 John 4:1 have been cited in the meta. This is assuming that we can't condemn Crowder unless we have an explicit proof text.

"that's why big name charismatic and charismatic-enablers are slow to denounce what they really should denounce."

First, it seems to me that your "why" doesn't hold up. As I indicate above, there is scriptural basis to denounce Crowder without resorting to cessationism.

Second, what obligates Wayne Grudem to publicly comment upon John Crowder? I suppose you are calling on Grudem to criticize Crowder as a fellow continuationist, but it seems to me that calling someone like Crowder a continuationist is like calling a Mormon a dispensationalist. Furthermore, Grudem is a respected Christian scholar, who is rarely publicly critical of anyone; Crowder is a YouTube spectacle and only questionably Christian. In short, there is no continuum between these two men, and silence on Grudem's part implies no approval of Crowder. Furthermore, Crowder is implicitly denounced in Grudem's published works; why is that not sufficient?

Third, if Wayne Grudem were actually to start a blog (for example) and publicly denounce John Crowder, what good would it do? Do you think John Crowder and his audience even knows who Wayne Grudem is, let alone recognizes him as an authority? If only it were so! On the other hand, if Grudem is providing a false veneer of respectability, then for whose benefit? Who in Grudem's audience would be taken in by Crowder? Who in Crowder's audience would be convinced by Grudem?

"By contrast, if you affirm that Scripture is sufficient, and that no one has the authority to do in God's name what is not directly authorized by Scripture — and if you therefore affirm that all our public meetings should center around God's living self-revelation in His Word... then stuff like this could never take hold."

This is a good creed as written, because it would exclude Crowder from your congregation, without excluding Grudem. Grudem could affirm all that you affirm above (although obviously you have differences in interpretation). John Crowder, on the other hand, finds his authority for Christian levitation, Christian bilocation and uncontrollable ecstasies in extra-Biblical sources.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Dan...I can hardly watch things like this without feeling physically ill. And, I don't think it's sad or tragic. I think it's simply wicked.

David said...

Not unrelated, I think, is charismatic Dan Edelin's comment on Tim Challies review of The Power by Rhonda Byrne.

DJP said...

But David, that's nothing compared to the raving fit Edelin threw over my asking the hard questions of Chan, when the mild Challies gave it a brief mention. Calling it "one of the most appalling things I have ever read on the Internet," Edelin blasted everything in sight.

Well, except my actual post.

The brother definitely has an obsession.

David said...

Indeed. But Chan, at least, is a brother. I can understand one mystic brother defending another. I just thought it revealing that Edelin couldn't resist defending the mystical even in a totally pagan book.

Anonymous said...

"1. They 'Clinton down' the Biblical gifts so that they can be faked;"

Based on what Grudem has written on prophecy, do you think this was his motive, or is he just genuinely mistaken in his view that what the NT calls "prophecy" is different from the what the OT calls "prophecy"?

"2. Their constant, constant refrain is that we must let the Spirit guide (by feelings, impressions and such) as long as it isn't against Scripture. Well, is there a verse in Scripture that says not to get up and go "yoy yoy yoy"? If Crowder claims it's the Spirit's leading, and there's no verse against it, the better charismatics have given him 'cover.'"

Having read Grudem's The Gift of Prophecy, I do not see this mentality present. In fact, of Charismaniacs, I would say the easiest way to show that their practices are unbiblical is to say that Paul said an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control.

Then of course, having said that, since they probably think the Scriptures are inspired by the Spirit, you can turn one of their favorite verses against them (don't quench the Spirit) because they are doing that if their practice is unbiblical.

Having read Grudem's views on the place of Scripture, I don't see how he would find this disagreeable. Have you seen an example to suppose that Grudem has the mentality of #2? Also, may I ask, on the Pyro blog, is there a series of posts on why Grudem is wrong? I haven't found it using search. I've only seen brief references to his view, but not a rebuttal.