Mike Morrell and John Crowder on Holy Spirited Deconstruction

May 30, 2008

church / culture / emerging church / pentecostal / charismatic / spirituality / theology

Before you do anything with this post, visit www.zoecarnate.com and bookmark it. For several years, it has been an amazing resource for anything outside mainstream Christendom, and it continues to improve.

Now. Mike Morrell is one of the founders, and blogs at zoecarnate.wordpress.com. Currently, as part of a wide-ranging conversation that is occurring among emergent bloggers related to Pentecostals and charismatics, he is hosting a dialogue with John Crowder, a prophetic evangelist who wants to be “wasted on Jesus.” The dialogue is respectful, insightful, and is really a blessing to read.

An aside on the “wasted on Jesus” part of John’s message. I have often described experiences with the Spirit with that term, depending on who I was speaking with. I think it really is a valid, powerful metaphor for intense, life-changing encounters with the Spirit, and I never want to discount, forget, or stop desiring those encounters. Being a Post-charismatic should never negate the desire for these encounters, and I hope we who look at that term as a valid term will always make that clear.

On another note, though, I believe that one should not expect one who follows the Spirit to always exist in a “wasted” state. There are times of wilderness and darkness and suffering, and those times do not negate the presence of God even though we may be gripping with our fingernails for evidence of it. I have spent time in the wilderness, both because of the leading of the Spirit (Hosea 2:14) and because of my own laziness and stubbornness, and I have learned wisdom and patience and peace from those times (not that I am always wise, patient, or peaceful, but more so than I would be otherwise).

Pentecostals and charismatics have often struggled in leading a balanced life in the Spirit. They have often sought to live in the clouds, wasted, above the messiness and pain of real life. Non-Pentecostals and non-charismatics have often resisted intoxicating experiences with the Spirit because of this (and other, less noble reasons). Both sides have lost, and both sides have much to learn.

Like some others, I do see a link between the worldwide pentecostal movement (counting Pentecostal denominations, and charismatic churches and movements, it now numbers more than 500 million people) and the emerging church. I believe that the emerging movement, as it develops around the world alongside postmodernism in the West and postcolonialism everywhere else, has the potential to be one of the steps that the Holy Spirit takes to resolve this tension and lack of balance that exists in the church.