John Bloom's picture
05.15.2008 | Comments(30)

High on Jesus, or Just High?

"High on Jesus," the evangelical cliche that originally meant "I don't do drugs," now means the opposite when expressed through the ministry of nutjob Emergent Churcher John Crowder, based in Griffin, Georgia, who's been stirring up the neo-hippies with tales of miracles, healings, signs, wonders, "bi-locating" (that's when John appears in two places at the same time, compliments of the Holy Spirit), but mostly marijuana-induced raving. I first saw the guy in a YouTube video called "Tokin' the Ghost" (puffing on a joint of "Jehovahuana" as a way of accessing the Spirit) and assumed he was an atheist busting on Christians.

wasted_on_jesus

It turns out, though, that he's got an active ministry that claims to be building an orphanage in India, and he has a whole raft of speaking engagements at storefront-style pentecostal churches where he thunders about being "wasted on Jesus" and talks about "the heavy drunken glory." Since a lot of pentecostal preaching uses metaphors about being "drunk in the spirit," you don't really know whether he's talking about drugs, alcohol or God when he says things like "Get whacked, stay whacked, never go back!" "We're huffin' olive wood from the garden of Gethsemane," he tells an interviewer in Israel. "And we been snortin' some dust from the tomb of our Lord and Savior. We been smokin' Baby Jesus."

crowder_cow

But apparently "Tokin' the Ghost" is not even his most famous YouTube moment. That would be the time he entered the pulpit totally wasted on something and started talking about his own inability to speak, followed by a series of "oing oing oing" noises that presumably indicate speaking in tongues, followed by listing a bunch of miracles that can't be verified. When Crowder first started getting popular with his "New Mystics" ministry, he stirred up a hornet's nest of criticism, mostly from his fellow Emergent Churchers who wanted people to know that, although he wears the uniform (including the goatee), he is not on the team.

Unfortunately, the Internet being the global community that it is, people started sending in videos of similar preachers doing similar drug-induced schtick all over the English-speaking world. (Check out the rooster-crowing of John Scotland of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, where the mass-psychosis "Toronto Blessing" occurred in the late nineties, and the ravings of Chris Harvey of Australia.) Apparently this is a trend that harkens back to the Jesus Freaks, like our own veteran Door reporter Bob Gerzstyn, who was dropping acid when he found God but quickly sobered up. These new guys went in the reverse direction, and some of them seem to be actively leading people to drug usage.

By saying that's wrong, I'm identifying myself with the non-emergent Old Fart church. But on the day of Pentecost, it was the non-believers who thought the apostles were drunk. The apostles knew they were not drunk, and that being seized by the Spirit appears like drunkenness to those who have no eyes to see. Crowing like a chicken, squinting your eyes like a man with a massive migraine, jerking like an epileptic, these are the signs of self-deluded men who, if they have the slightest fear of God, should be terrified that they'll lead even one child toward junkiedom, which is not the sort of thing you can clear up by quoting verses on "freedom.".


30 Days Interest on That Would Fund The Door Through 2117

A London hedge fund injected $30 million into GodTube, the sanitized Christian version of YouTube based in Plano, Texas, after only nine months in business. Maybe that will be enough money to ask the Holy Spirit for some better lighting and art direction.

Just Paint a Target on Obama's Back

Here's one to keep the next Secretary of State awake at night. Edward N. Luttwak, a fellow at the huge Washington think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points out that, if we do end up with a President Barack Obama, he will be limited in his ability to influence Muslim countries because they will regard him as an apostate. By abandoning the religion of his father (Islam) and converting to Christianity, he is eligible for the death penalty in some Islamic countries and is guilty of the ultimate sin in all of them. This is relevant, not just when he talks to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--because he did say he would talk to him--but when he visits any nation in the Middle East, since the security forces charged with guarding him will be full of devout Muslims who will be certain of his sin. That could in turn lead to international incidents, since any attempt to kill him would not be punishable under Muslim law: punishment is prohibited for anyone who kills, or attempts to kill, an apostate.


Polygamists Are People, Too

Arizona and Utah members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were in a panic the last few weeks, wondering whether police would be raiding their homes and spiriting away their children in a replay of what happened to their brethren in Eldorado, Texas, where 464 children have been seized without legal review. So to allay their fears, law enforcement officials in St. George, Utah, held a town hall meeting, making it clear that, in the words of Utah Attorney General Mark L. Shurtleff, "We do not plan a raid to end polygamy. . . . We don't believe that's the answer."

polygamists

Both states have had various encounters with the sect ever since 1953--the year of a famous Colorado City, Arizona, raid now regarded as a disaster for both sides--and both attorneys general have offered to lend assistance to Texas. (Texas officials said thanks but no thanks, and turned down an invitation to attend the town meeting, saying they were too busy. One thing they were busy doing, according to the FCJCL lawyer, is classifying grown pregnant women as minors so they can hold them in custody until the child is born.) Since it would seem to be in everyone's interest to separate the two issues here–underage sex on the one hand, polygamy on the other–wouldn't it be wise to get together with the male elders and suggest some ways they could guarantee the virginity of their women up until age 16 (the legal age in the states involved), without the state's getting involved in their polygamy practices? This would seem to follow the course of family law precedent for the past hundred years, which has been moving toward staying out of the bedroom when consenting adults are involved, but aggressively breaking up families where underage sex is practiced. Unfortunately, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada has suggested doing the opposite: toughened enforcement of polygamy laws, even to the point of bringing in the Department of Justice as supercops. At this point many of the church members are afraid to answer their doors, so what might be appropriate is a) a few soothing words (like the town meeting), and b) forcing the cases of the 464 children into a courthouse, where they belong, so that parents have a fighting chance of getting their kids back. Of course, that would involve treating the church members like denizens of our own planet.

Comments(30)

budda | 10:29 am on 5/16/2008

O>M>G> John Crowder. I thought I had seen everything that the wacky world of christianity has to offer. I had no idea there was a High Times Bible translation. Jay and Silent Bob would fit in if they got saved and filled with the spirit pentecostal style.

No judgment passed- The Dude abides.

ron | 07:12 am on 5/19/2008

to buddah: did you see clerks 2? "if you're holding all the time won't you be tempted to use it?
not with the power of christ. show'em silent bob.
is that a fuckin' bible?!
hey! it's the holy fuckin' bible, son!"

let's see if crowder drops f bombs like jay

lewis | 10:58 pm on 4/23/2011

i second you mate, its doesnt amaze me anymore when i heard or read some similar posts like this. And i always say that there is alot more to discover about the realities of different religions. way to go man!

Pot Lighting

Anonymous | 10:57 am on 5/16/2008

Drugs have no spiritual role. They are just plain fun.

60613 | 09:50 am on 5/21/2008

There are quite a few "older religions" (of pre-colonial, pre-industrial civilizations) that would most certainly disagree with you.
Shamans all over the planet regularly use/used drugs to enter the state where visions were seen, the state where the shaman communicates with the spiritual world.
I'm just surprised that it took christianity so long to co-opt the practise!

web tasarımı | 10:51 am on 12/08/2010

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that calvinist doug | 01:00 pm on 5/16/2008

1. So, these kids that got in trouble for the "bong hits for Jesus" sign, they were serious.

2. John, in the interest of keeping The Door afloat, I'm sending you a check for $30 mil. That should last until Jesus returns, or until we're all dead, unless you decide to live like Creflo, in which case, it'll last until next spring. Check's in the mail, brother.

The High and The Mighty | 08:05 pm on 5/21/2008

wow!!!I knew that the Native American Church allowed the use of Peyote,but"Jehovanuah"???
Sounds like something a Christian Version of"Cheech&Chong"would come up with!!!
Or If Adam Sandler became a"Messianic Jew",the"Channukah song"would go like this:
"So Put On Your Yarmeluke,
Here Comes Channukah.
So Enjoy Your Gin and Tonicah,
And Smoke some Jehovanuahka.".

SRebbe | 03:46 pm on 5/16/2008

Benny Hinn gots a love child.

"I'm not drunk... I don't have an addiction problem... I just love GAWDDDD a whole lawwwttt!"

ny guy | 04:07 pm on 5/16/2008

"These new guys went in the reverse direction, and some of them seem to be actively leading people to drug usage."

Regardless of the authenticity of their experiences and obvious paraphernaliac (is that a word?) references to being wasted on Jesus they do not take actual drug use lightly or find it in any way acceptable. In college I had a couple of acquaintances that were all about stuff like this. Toronto blessing this, drunk in the Spirit that. They would run to conferences where there would be sessions where everyone would do stuff just like this (speakers at the podium not being able to speak and such). From an outside perspective one might conclude that most of these "happenings" have to do with egging each other on, losing of inhibitions due to group hysteria, and minor hyperventilation. But if you were to go to one of these meetings and start telling people and pastors around the room that you currently drop acid, smoke pot, or munch on shrooms to reveal more of God and get closer to Jesus you would be confronted right away. For however out there they are with their Pneumatology they are pretty conservative when it comes to stuff like sexual sins and a lifestyle of drug use. This is ironic when you consider that they use so many drug references in their speech.

I'm just speaking from what Ive seen. I think that 98% of them would shoot clean piss on a drug test.

budda | 06:04 pm on 5/16/2008

I don't know man, while I am with you on the Toronto/Brownsville etc "happenings" being anti-drug, but this Crowder guy is way, way, beyond that. Check out the link and then some more of the you tube vids with him and his buddies. There is absolutely no spiritual connection on some of them. "Bliss Bomb" and "John Crowder and Ben Dunn Get Arrested".

Not that there has to be any spiritual connection but it might help if the vid is all about getting high with Captain America and turning the arresting officer on to your Baby Jesus Pipe. (seriously, he has a Baby Jesus one hitter) I can't figure out where I am at on the whole thing. Some of the vids are well done, in a Cheech and Chong sort of way. The wacky Pentecostalism throws me though.

The Holy Ghost house party is interesting. The abundance of hot chicks suggests that there may be more than love in the brownies in the foyer. But then maybe I just go to the wrong church.

Sheesh, A Baby Jesus one hitter.

ny guy | 03:06 am on 5/17/2008

Yeah I just watched some of that stuff.
I wonder if they are actually smoking pot or if they carry around pipes and pretend to hit them up as prophetic symbolism. I read somewhere that Captain America in the back seat was there to symbolize the US once again experiencing the power of God. But I wonder the same thing with the shots at the house party. Is that "holy water" that they were taking shots of in the house party actually water or is it vodka? Either way the fact that one is left to wonder is extremely sketchy. I mean why does everything have to be a drug reference? Is that the best prophetic analogy that this brand of Pneumatology has to offer to explain the overwhelming power of God. I mean really, smoking pot. I used to smoke a lot and get ridiculously stoned back in the days and honestly it wasn't that overwhelming or exciting. I didn't dance or talk funny or do amazing things. I just ate copious amounts of doritos, watched a lot of TV, and let my room get extremely messy. And as corny as this sounds, it was coming to Jesus that snapped me out of all of that crap. But I suppose that in their book if I think that the concept of carrying a "Baby Jesus one hitter" around is ridiculous that I have a religious spirit and I need to lighten up.

I mean dude, we understand you believe that when you all come together and the Spirit of God descends on your services that the outpouring of his power is so great that it causes you to do wacky things and appear foolish. And yes, there is an account of this happening (sort of) in the beginning of the book of Acts. But I don't think that when the accusations came from the pharisees of the crowds drunkenness the response of those involved was to pull out wine skins and glorify or pantomime the act of getting sh!t faced.

And I'll bet you a million denari that they didn't pull out their "baby Jesus one hitters".

korby | 08:33 am on 5/17/2008

I couldnt get past the oingk oingk oingk , what happened to good ol' shondala honda ? I hung out with Lonnie Frisbee in the 80's lots of strange stuff but no drugs , when you were with Frisbee you didnt really need them .

ny guy | 01:44 am on 5/19/2008

shudda buta hundah insteada batayahama

wait...
I have an interpretation

should have bought a Honda, instead I bought a Yamaha

Uncle Kenny | 12:01 pm on 5/19/2008

Bloom,

I think you might be firing without aiming on this one. I read your article and thought, "wow more wacky stuff, only this time it is Georgia instead of the great white north." Then I did some more digging on Mr. Crowder. Sure there was some silly schtick to be found captured on internet video, but I also ran across a few videos that showed John Crowder being a red-letter kind of guy. I saw him doing kindness and loving people and pretty much following the model of Jesus on the streets of Georgia. I saw him making Jesus relevant to young people. I saw him leading people in the salvation prayer (not recruiting them for his church or movement) after spending some time handing out the mercy and grace of God in small ways with great love. I saw the presence of God in these simple street encounters that he did with a few folks visiting from Wales. He seemed pretty stable to me in that footage. I think I am going to hold off and see what type of fruit this guy produces with this approach before joining your rock throwing party. Heck, Jesus seemed odd to many people. . .let's wait and see what happens lest we end up missing something like the Nicodemus and his pals did just because the delivery seemed strange.

Anonymous | 07:48 am on 8/02/2008

right on ... Crowder is on the right track...

Leland Maerz | 02:23 am on 5/21/2008

Well I just read this article (and watched subsequent video links) then checked out the Peter Rollin's interview. Talk about being struck with the diversity of Christian experiences out there. Strangely however, I think the two dove tail each other nicely. God may be beyond all concept but he sure doesn't seem to mind us using using human concepts to facilitate our experience of Him.

Leland

Jeff | 12:51 pm on 5/21/2008

Interesting. The YouTube video has been removed by the user.

Geoffrey | 02:17 pm on 5/30/2008

Hmmm interresting how people can slam on someone they have not met. Interresting how people will convict someone without having anything other than youtube as evidence. I mean c'mon ... now I've waited till now to say this for a reason, Ben Dunn and John Crowder were at my church last eve and will be there again this eve. So I've gotten to meet them, shake their hand, and look them in they eye. They brought very loud music (per us) and they brought a great word... and they brought ... oh wait no drugs. They use drug culture lingo, and other lingo that is apparently offensive to many... but last I checked the name Jesus is offensive to many ( just look at the american idol performance of "Shout to the Lord" sans the name of Jesus)

here's the deal ... look at the fruit. People are getting delivered, people are getting healed, they prophesey... but those are not the clinchers of course. BUT people are giving their lives to JESUS... nuff said

[><]

Anonymous | 09:33 pm on 9/08/2008

This is all funny to me. Why should we abuse our own body. Does the hand get mad at the foot for not being able to grab things and then cut it off??? No. Feet don't grab, they walk. Hands don't walk, they grab. Besides, I am very close to Ben Dunn. I don't know John Crowder. I have been a friend of Ben's for over 4 years and I know his whole testimony. He is in no way shape or form a drug user. He does not drink alcohol. He is just goofing off in the Spirit. I don't agree with all of his antics, but who am I to say He is wrong. I have known him long enough and i know he loves the lord and he loves people. I have been overseas with him in Gypsy villages. I have watched him hug on and love on the smelliest dirtiest people that I had a hard time even getting close to. He is silly, I know. But there are no bad intentions. We need to be more like children. No matter how offensive it is to the grown-ups around us. We all try to be big, smart, learned, intellectual and transcended. Wake up, we're all the same and we can't judge one another, it's only killing the wonderful bride of Christ that we are all a part of, whether you want to believe it or not John. And I hate to say this but I think you will be seriously surprised who your streets of gold mansion neighbor will be, you better get used to toking the ghost!

Slarti Bartfarst | 01:38 pm on 6/04/2008

No, they are not encouraging drug use. zzzzzz. Saying "you don't really know whether he's talking about drugs, alcohol or God" is irresponsible journalism. If you were really interested in the truth, rather than leading your readers to a potentially libelous conclusion, you should have asked him what he meant.

You said "The apostles knew they were not drunk, and that being seized by the Spirit appears like drunkenness to those who have no eyes to see." How do you know that? Certainly not from the scriptural account. It is not that clear. This is just your opinion, "old fart". Perhaps you should ask the Holy Spirit for new eyes to see what He is doing in the world...

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Luke 5:37-38)

Yes, there is definitely some excess, and fleshly and irresponsible behavior among those who have platforms to speak of "the new wine" of the Spirit (I know a number of them personally). But check out the Church (presently and throughout the ages). This has always been an issue (flesh, flesh, flesh), even among true movements of God.

Also, Jesus was accused of being a winebibber and of having demons. But don't be too quick to dismiss all this as flesh or demons. Look at the fruit of their lives and ministries (you might have to dig and do some real journalism) as well as at the things that you personally find obnoxious. Take some time to seperate the wheat from the chaff. (That is, if your goal is truly to promote the truth and to seek restoration for the Church and the world, and not just to use your platform to bash that which you don't understand or find uncomfortable).

I truly hope and pray that you will one day soon enter into an experiential level of peace and joy that leaves you (momentarily!) speechless and overcome with joyous, silly, child-like behavior, as you play with your heavenly Abba.

Pat Holliday, Ph.D. | 12:38 am on 6/19/2008

On Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 11:19 PM, pat holliday wrote:

Hello Dear Ones;
This one's real Shocker. If I were you, I'd stay away from these demonic meetings and I'd certainly protect the children.You might get an "impartation" of something that's hard to get rid of. Cover yourself with the blood of Jesus and pray before reading the article.
Yes, I do encourage you to forward these articles. How will they know unless a preacher is sent?
You'll find new article here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/3482527/Todd-Bentley-John-Crowder-AFTERGLOW-Su...
Blessings and do be in prayer from me, family and team. We are all covered by the blood of Jesus and the Fire of the Holy Ghost.

Todd Bentley & John crowder HIGH ON JESUS? Star gate openers and STARWALKERS TO THIRD HEAVENs~ Secrets of the ascended masters ~angels of destruction, TOWER TO HEAVEN, LADDER TO GOD, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN ~ and cocaine jesus
http://www.patholliday.com/ebooks.php
AFTERGLOW getting high on Jesus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkBLnmdJ2SY
Summer Solstice Witchcraft wizards
~soul snatchers & soul scalpers Bentley and Chowder want disconnect you from the Jesus of the Bible and link you to the Awakened Beings they are calling angels who they say are from the divine realm existing in the Third Heaven. They want to take you through an occultist wormhole, the sorceries, long sought "Stargate of the gods." Their witchcraft experiences want to teach you about the powerful new "electrical energies" bathing your spirits with the anointing of the Ascended Masters powers of the New Age.

Jenn Quan | 07:36 pm on 6/23/2008

Have most of you actually HEARD or SEEN John Crowder aside from You-tube? I have, thank you very much. I was unfamiliar with him prior to personally attending and meeting John Crowder and his wife and their four beautiful children. I can personally attest to the fact that there are: 1)No drugs 2)He talks continually about living "whacked" in love with God and 3)He is based in the Bible. Or Have you all simply become to comfortable with a boxed in God to allow Him to do something you can't explain? I was and I had a lot of fun "tokin' the Ghost." That's right, and you know what--God rocks. He isn't a frail, frowning, do's and don'ts God; He's wild. He does what He wants where He wants how He wants and frankly - You might just need to unpin your hair a bit and fall back in love with Him - not just religious tradition.

And to Pat Holliday: Are you serious? Come on, at least attempt to have some fact-based comment in your response. And as for the "demonic" meetings he apparently gives - Jesus himself was accused of casting out demons by the power of Satan - by the PHARISEES. I.e. the old-guard religious people who couldn't except what God does outside the box they placed Him in.

Sean | 10:51 pm on 7/24/2008

I think it pretty clear that this man is not using narcotics in the pulpit. Obviously what he does is Biblical because you mention that the group on Pentecost also appeared to be drunk.

Your reasoning that non-christians thought they were drunk, but Christians knew it was the Holy Spirit, doesn't really prove that what Crowder does is any different. This is because the other Christians there were also drunk with the Holy Spirit.

Paul tells us to get drunk on the Spirit- and thats what Crowder does.

A lot of conviction in America is not based on what the Bible says, but a mindset that the Bible says certain things it doesn't. (i.e. we should dress up to go to church). Watching some John Crowder and Ben Dunn is one of the fastest ways I've found of breaking false religion that requires us to replace Jesus with a set of rules.

Joe Miller | 05:13 pm on 7/29/2008

You might like to see this video... I am not certain, but I think it is from a recent worship set from the "tokin the baby Jesus" tour.

Anonymous | 09:34 pm on 9/08/2008

This is all funny to me. Why should we abuse our own body. Does the hand get mad at the foot for not being able to grab things and then cut it off??? No. Feet don't grab, they walk. Hands don't walk, they grab. Besides, I am very close to Ben Dunn. I don't know John Crowder. I have been a friend of Ben's for over 4 years and I know his whole testimony. He is in no way shape or form a drug user. He does not drink alcohol. He is just goofing off in the Spirit. I don't agree with all of his antics, but who am I to say He is wrong. I have known him long enough and i know he loves the lord and he loves people. I have been overseas with him in Gypsy villages. I have watched him hug on and love on the smelliest dirtiest people that I had a hard time even getting close to. He is silly, I know. But there are no bad intentions. We need to be more like children. No matter how offensive it is to the grown-ups around us. We all try to be big, smart, learned, intellectual and transcended. Wake up, we're all the same and we can't judge one another, it's only killing the wonderful bride of Christ that we are all a part of, whether you want to believe it or not John. And I hate to say this but I think you will be seriously surprised who your streets of gold mansion neighbor will be, you better get used to toking the ghost!

Princess Dana | 05:53 pm on 12/26/2008

I don't think there doing drugs but I do think they are miss using there "spiritual high". I get drunk in the spirit, and my church believes in it, and its all good fun. But we would never do it on camera or in service or in front of a non believer or something like that. I think getting drunk in the spirit is a privellge for saved people only because the rest of the world is going to think were crazy.

Anonymous | 01:55 am on 1/20/2009

are you drunk on pop and hi on jesus

from;saphire and tammy

Donna | 12:25 pm on 4/08/2010

I don't think God approves drug use to his glory and I cannot explain to myself how smoking pot or drinking can get you closer to your spiritual life. There are many reasons for getting high: one can get high to have better fun, to forget about troubles, to stop being cold or just to get messy but getting high to get closer to God? Where did that come from? These guys could use some support in drug and alcohol rehab treatment centers.

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