the estatics movement

Post Reply
User avatar
glow
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:43 pm
Location: wi.

the estatics movement

Post by glow » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:25 pm

What do you think regarding the movement the estatics?

This is led by Benjamen Dunn and Jon Crowder. They have a church set up presently in Santa Cruz but have planted their teachings around the globe.

You can read about them under Sons of Thunder if googled.

User avatar
steve
Posts: 3369
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:45 pm

Re: the estatics movement

Post by steve » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:32 pm

I don't want to post prematurely, because I have not had contact with these two men, even though they are apparently setting up headquarters in my home town. I know that a few of my old friends from my generation's Jesus Movement have apparently associated with this "New Ecstatics" movement...which somewhat surprises me.

The Jesus Movement of the 70s was open to the legitimate working of the Holy Spirit—both the sensational and the subdued—but it was also a Scripture-centered movement (mostly due to Chuck Smith's guiding influence at its hub). While there are some who have disparaged an emphasis on the written Word over against the unrestrained pandemonium of "the Spirit," I have found that those who choose the latter at the expense of the former often lose their spiritual compass, and with it their ability to discern between the workings of the Holy Spirit and the workings of other varieties.

Those who seek God alone, through eager exploration of the Truth through the Spirit will find as much gratifying spiritual "experience" as God may think good for them. Those who seek an experience more than Truth may get an experience for their trouble, but also a diminished capacity to judge whether their experience belongs to the realm of truth or of error. Those who seek experience above all else will often quote Paul's phrase "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (characteristically mistaking Paul's meaning)—but one would be hard-pressed to deny that the daily exposition of the written word, which characterized the Jesus Movement, brought true and transformative Life to tens of thousands of rescued hippies over a relatively short span of time in the 70s.

I have read a little and watched a few Youtube videos of the two ecstatic leaders, who obviously are products of the "Latter Rain" type of vision. They make the same mistake as did that movement in reading into the Book of Joel the description of a great last days "army" of supernaturally-empowered saints—apparently unaware that Joel is there describing an unusually devastating plague of locusts. These zealous young men see themselves as an apostolic team and appear to travel all over the world holding "miracle revivals" and reporting (for example) "100,000 decisions for Christ" in India. They are now starting a weekly meeting in Santa Cruz, and promising to change the whole spiritual atmosphere of the place.

I don't doubt that the spiritual atmosphere of Santa Cruz is in need of significant improvement, but I am not real clear about what changes, of value, this new ministry will introduce. In their videos, they act like men stoned on weed, and claim to be "wasted" on the presence of God. They refer to the speakers that they invite to speak at their conferences as "the drunkest of the drunk," and tell their hearers that it is possible for Christians to remain "drunk" (on the Spirit, that is) "all the time."

On the other hand, they say that they are interested in seeing a "healthy, holy and happy" church—something to which no one could reasonably object. Judging from their videos, they definitely have the "happy" part of this triad mastered. Until I hear otherwise, I will trust them about the "holy" part—but "healthy"? I am not so sure. When these guys say "drunk," they are not using a metaphor. At least the image they are seeking to project is one of being an actual goofy, stoned, giggly fellowship, which I would expect relatively few sane people to consider desirable. Those of us who never had any interest in getting "stoned" in our earlier lives will see little in the behavior of these men to desire. Those who currently are getting high on real drugs may fail to see in this movement anything novel or appealing that they are not already experiencing from drugs. The only people I can imagine being really drawn to this movement would be Christians who used to get high on drugs before their conversion, and who really miss it! To such, this movement may appear to offer all the benefits of drug-induced euphoria, but without the sin.

Since these fellows will be setting up shop in my neighborhood, I imagine I will have opportunity to meet (or at least to see) them, and to get a sense of the long-term effects of their influence. I will be surprised if they bring about the degree of positive change to Santa Cruz that they hope to bring, but then I have been surprised in the past.

My impression of these men, not having met them, but having listened to them, is that they are probably sincere Christian brothers (though I am not vouching for this, I just am in the habit of extending a judgment of charity until I know otherwise). If they are true brothers, I think that they have naively gathered into their ministry kit most of what I find to be the least attractive elements of charismania, gleaned from the most undiscerning "renewals" of the past century, including the Latter Rain movement and the Toronto Blessing. I have always believed that, in the Kingdom of God, there are a variety of ministry and worship-style options so as to include people of many cultures and subcultures. If this "new ecstatic" movement is indeed a genuine alternative, I am glad it is not the only one available from which to choose!

User avatar
thirdwoe
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Aptos/Santa Cruz
Contact:

Re: the ecstatics movement

Post by thirdwoe » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:03 pm

.


1st impression after visiting their church group in Santa Cruz last Sunday night....

I got there at 6pm for the service, as it was posted to start at that time. The name of the church is "The Santa Cruz Church"

I came in and sat down for about 10 min and nothing was starting, so I got up and walked out the side door for about 5 min...

Went back in and sat down for another 10 min... during this second sitting a middle aged man came up and smiled and told me his name, shaking my hand and asked for my name...I said it's Charley...the band was warming up pretty loud, so he asked again, and I repeated it louder...He smiled and went on to another.

about 2 mins later a middle aged lady came up and said hi, giving her name and shaking my hand, she asked for my name, I said Chuck, forgetting that I am going by Charley these days. She smiled and asked "how did you find out about us" I said "The Internet". I asked how long they had been in the building? She said about a month. I asked how long will they be there, she said till June, because the School was going to need the gym area at that time.

They rent from place to place, not having a building of their own as yet.

It was now about 6:45 and the service was about to start. About 50 people were there, including the praise team on stage and the children. There were some middle agers and one two or older couples...with one of the older ladies showing some orange earplugs in her ears...I would soon find out why.

The Music started in full swing and volume...being as loud as a rock concert should be. So loud and poorly mixed that the vocals were hard to make out and thus the words to the songs were muddled, but I got the gist of the chorus...Basically we want more of your Love and Spirit poured out....Fill me up...I want to drink...that sort of thing.

People were encouraged to come up front and dance and they all did, but for a few who praised standing in the seating areas.

Benjamin Dunn was a bit late coming in, but was soon dancing and hugging during the praise session which went on for about 1 hour, and at one point I saw Benjamin laying on his back on one of the bench seats, making motions with his hands as if to be pulling the Spirit into his belly or some sort of thing like that...he was definitely gearing up for something, is what impression I was getting.

He then wondered up on stage and was giving some instructions to the Guitarist, Drummer, Bass, and Keyboard player....The song went into a long repetitive "flow jam session" And Benjamin was on a cordless mic.

He began to sing spontaneously as the band played and at times he would get into a rhythm and go with it for a space, then go off into another direction and this cycle was repeated about 5 times and he was at times coaching the praise team on what direction he wanted them to go...

It looked like to me that they were somewhat knew at this. But they were very good if not very loud....Benjamin's mic was set much hotter than the regular singers mics were, and his voice was so loud that at times there was bad distortion going on with the smaller speaker system...They really need a good sound tech on board.

As the music got more and more intense there were a few people getting wild in their dancing and twirling...two gals falling on the floor and doing some wrestling moves on the floor...three other young gals were hanging onto each others shoulders in a three person line looking high or drunk, kind of wobbly like and glazed eyed...but I noticed one of them seemed to be just going along for the ride as she would look at the other gals from time to time with a straight face to see what they were doing, then go back to her drunk looks and actions.

Others were jumping up and down and laying their hands on people, I guess imparting "the Spirit" they thought.

Anyway...pretty much a wild concert type atmosphere...without the beer and weed...but they were acting like they were on something. Mayne they were...

After it calmed down, Benjamin talked for a while about their conference that just ended up north in Arcata, CA. where his other half, John Crowder was teaching a three day event called School of the Mystics...or something like that, where he goes into all the supernatural manifestations of the past in recorded church history....trying to make the case for their "Ecstatic" type of expression being valid.

There were some drug talk illusions being compared to the manifestations of The Holy Spirit, while Benjamin was talking, with one line being "God does not want you strung out on Prozac, but on Isaac...." which drew big laughs...He also made a reference to "Huffing" the Bible...which is akin to inhaling toxic fumes to get high...putting his nose to the Bible and sniffing its pages...

He also talked about making a trip to some garbage dumps where they go into third world countries to preach to poor kids who live in them and try to make a living from the junk they find there....He said if anyone wanted to go with them to let them know...and not to worry, they would not have to live like the poor kids at the dump, but in "the best hotels" saying, "we don't want to promote poverty, but promote prosperity and hope to them..."

Then when he was done speaking, he gave the mic to Lilly Crowder, John's wife, who then gave some of her thoughts as she read Psalm 86...saying that she had earlier been to the "86 steps" in the Capitol area, and thought of Psalm 86 to teach on that night. Her message basically was very disjointed and tended to revolve around the Ecstatic experience that they feel they are called to bring to the Body of Christ.

I left about 15 mins into her talk, having pain in my back from doing the lawn and washing my car earlier in the day...as they had hard uncomfortable bench seats that were killing me. Plus I could not get into her study, which was from the text of The Message Bible off her iPhone...as she strained to see the text and read through the chapter...It was just too much pain all around. :)

My over all impression, is that these are well meaning, though immature, naive and misguided young people, who believe they have tapped into a new move of God and who are trying hard to work the work they believe they are called to do, in bringing this new "Ecstatic" experience to The Body of Christ, who have been in dry religion and thus stagnate...

I have seen all this played out before a number of times over the last 15 years since at least the Laughing revival days...in 1994, even being a part of some of it at my church from 95 to 98, where I saw people like this encouraging us to get drunk in the Spirit and shed all our inhibition and get loose and crazy in worship. I understand the desire, but the methods seem wrong and misguided and in some cases maybe even blasphemous.

Saying that you are "smoking the blood of Jesus" and "Huffing the Word of God" and the Holy Spirit being called "Shoobie Doobie Juice"...seems to me to be wrong.

I plan on returning for another round next Sunday night, when John Crowder will be leading the group, and Benjamin is off on another conference trip. They seem to be taking over every other weekend or so at their church on Sunday nights.

There is also another side to all this and it is that they are teaching what they call the "Finished work of the Cross" and teach that we are to lead sinless and evil free lifestyles...It seems they believe they are tapping into this truth and it is the source of the "wine" or "blood" of Christ that they are drinking and smoking and huffing, and being shot up with....

Here is a recent video of their group administering "Communion"....You be the judge if this is from The Holy Spirit.

Click on these links to view:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzJVVr4c ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEySjCMX ... re=related


..





..
Last edited by thirdwoe on Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
"You can be a Righteous Rocker or a Holy Roller, you can be most anything, you can be a Leon Russel or a Supper Muscle...but without love, you aint nothin'.." Larry Norman

User avatar
glow
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:43 pm
Location: wi.

Re: the estatics movement

Post by glow » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:32 pm

Thank you so much for both of these posts.I have memories and scars from a group in the great lakes area that started off with good meaning and became basically a cult I became part of early on in my walk after first being saved.
.The very first time I watched these folks on utube I felt the old familiar spirit.
I am deeply saddened by what seems to be maybe? innocent followers taking a wrong turn.But in no way do I believe this is of the God I know and serve. He would never act so disgusting, for lack of a better word. I was outraged watching that so called "communion" that was being given and received.

I remember many a blotter of LSD being on a small tab of paper back in the 1960s.
These folks act like they are stoned and acid seems like it could fit the bill in many ways here.Passed on in communion? Who knows?

I am just heart broken by this. Especially the new innocents, looking for hope, that will be fooled by this. I know our Lord will eventually set them free, but not without heart ache and much healing. Ive been there. May God have mercy on them.

User avatar
ronee
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:30 pm

Re: the estatics movement

Post by ronee » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:50 am

i do outreach in downtown santa cruz, the folk that have gotten involved come back down on the street with a "far off" and pseudo "blissful" look in their eyes :-/// i gotta go with "poison apple".
ronee webster curry facebook ;-)

User avatar
anochria
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:40 pm
Location: Clackamas, OR
Contact:

Re: the estatics movement

Post by anochria » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:32 pm

I've recently been interacting with some friends about the teachings of John Crowder. At first, I could brush off much of his approach as well intentioned but reckless, but the blogs I've seen on his teaching about the "new creation" are really troubling to me. Crowder clearly denies that there is such a thing as a sinful nature to be battled against in the life of the believer. But even if true believers might argue semantics about a "sin nature", Crowder seems to imply that he believes that Christians cannot sin in what appears akin to a Manichean sense. He explains away or ignores numerous passages in Scripture which talk about the very real present battle against sin that Christians face. He denies that there is any paradox in Paul's teaching about "new creation" and the need to continue to "die to sin", emphasizing only that we are now perfect in Christ [past tense], not that in another sense we are being made holy [present tense]

Here's a link to a conversion I've been having on Aletheia's discussion forums on this subject, which includes 2 of Crowder's youtube segments. If anyone wants to join in here's a link: http://www.aletheia.proboards.com/index ... 525&page=1
Last edited by anochria on Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Pastor Josh Coles, Aletheia Christian Fellowship
Visit the Aletheia Discussion Forums

User avatar
anochria
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:40 pm
Location: Clackamas, OR
Contact:

Re: the estatics movement

Post by anochria » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:42 pm

I just realized the link above won't work. I'm fixing it. Thanks for those who have bothered to register to take a look. The link should work for you now.
Pastor Josh Coles, Aletheia Christian Fellowship
Visit the Aletheia Discussion Forums

Post Reply

Return to “Christianity”