Sunday, December 12, 2010

Enter the Heavenly Wine Cellar - Drunk on the Holy Spirit

So I spent a few days in Searcy, Arkansas and attended a John Crowder meeting and was thoroughly stunned by it.  First off, let me say that I first heard of John from a friend that recommended his books The New Mystics and The Ecstasy of Loving God.  These books are amazing!  They stretch our modern definition of what God is willing to do with someone that is simply in love with Him.  Now, the books do little to prepare you for what attending a "John Crowder meeting" entails.  Thankfully, I have watched the videos of John and Benjamin Dunn on YouTube for quite some time.  While it did take me a bit to dissect the content of their message from the drunken behavior displayed on those videos, the Truth always testifies with His Spirit (and I want both).  A lot of people find their type behavior offensive, but those same people usually A) Take themselves too seriously B) Assume God doesn't have fun and/or C) Assume that because they haven't experienced something it must not be real.

Here's some of the antics you can expect should you google these fellas:

So you might be asking, what happened at this meeting?  First, John is EXTREMELY intelligent.  When you hear him discussing multiple translations of the Bible, it's because he's read them... multiple translations... to get the depth of the verses.  Instead of parking in the King James Version parking lot, he's pursued wisdom by seeking the original author's meaning and attained it.  In the "Questions and Answers" portion of the meeting John eloquently defended his stance on the completed works of Christ.  So what about the drunkenness?

Well, I personally haven't experienced the glory in a manner that makes me feel intoxicated... yet.  Just because I don't have a frame of reference from my experience doesn't mean that theirs is negated.  In fact, it has given me a hunger for more of God's presence and that is NEVER a bad thing!  John gets "intoxicated" when he starts preaching as the love of God tangibly manifests upon him.  I personally have no problem with that because I have experienced God's amazing love (yep you guessed it... I'm saved).

So what about the message he was bringing?  It's simple: his message was the cross.  John's revelation on the completed works of Christ suggest that our modern "striving" mentality to try to complete sanctification, become holy, or be made righteous are all folly, because Jesus completed all of these on the cross.  Sanctification, holiness, and righteousness are not progressive processes which a believer can attain through his/her own efforts, but instead we were made holy (Romans 11:6) righteous (1 Cor 5:21) and are sanctified (1 Cor 6:11).  I'm not sure the verses I mentioned are the ones John used, but they do support the concept.  He attributes most of our religious toiling against sinfulness and pursuit to "better ourselves" as shadow boxing since we are struggling against a self that is no longer there.  We are not sinners any longer, but instead are the "new creations" Paul spoke of in 1 Cor 5:17.  Anyway, I was really encouraged by the whole thing.

One last mention: I know a lot of you are probably asking "how do I get drunk on the Holy Spirit?"  Short answer: by faith.  The "whack" as John calls it, is the presence of God.  In the The Ecstasy of Loving God John covers the different levels of prayer, which result in a tangible manifestation of His presence.  It is this meditation which is the "drinking" you see displayed, by faith believing that the love of Christ is consumable and drinking of it constantly leaves the individual feeling intoxicated by His love.  If you have more questions about that just leave them in the comment section.  Be blessed!