I am not a strong supporter of John Crowder. Let’s get that straight. I have some issues with him on some pretty serious views. However, I do not find him to be a heretic. At least, not the burn them at the stake heretic. He is a just a little different.
Many years ago, I drove from Tennessee to Georgia to meet with John. I wanted to know what he believed from him, not from blogs. I have read some troubling things and he agreed to meet with me. It was in a small town south of Atlanta. I think it was called Griffin, GA.
What I found in John Crowder was a very well versed man that knew theology as well as I did, if not better. He knew systematic theology and church history to a tee. No matter the disagreement, no one can question his study of doctrine and history.
The issue that I see with him, I also see with many believers today: they have a Ryan’s buffet line view of theology. Pick them here and pick that there until you have a full plate of doctrine. He is not the only one doing this. Many believers have a doctrine system that is 50 shades of grey.
John Crowder does not believe in hell?
Well, he is not the only one. I find anyone that deny the damnation of those who reject Christ is wrong but it would be wrong to pick on just one of these people. Many people who think they are “cutting edge” deny the reality of eternal damnation. Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell all would make the list as well. It is a heresy that is sweeping the Church currently and it is not just some crazy Charismatic like John Crowder.
I consider anyone that does not believe in hell to be on very shaky theological ground. I am not talking about what they put of their “core beliefs statement” for their website, either. What do they really believe about hell? Is it real and are people really going there? If they do not hold it to be just as real as heaven; that is shaky ground to say the least.
In this seeker sensitive era of teaching where we worry more about how people feel than if we offend the Holy Spirit; it is popular to cross eternal damnation out from core beliefs. It still does not make it right.
I want to take this a step past that. What about the people who claim to believe it but refuse to preach it. I am not talking hell, fire and brimstone or being John Hagee Jr either. I am talking about preaching the complete gospel. Heaven as well as hell. It is just as dangerous to not present the reality of rejecting the gospel as much as it is not preach the gospel at all.
Hell is a real place and people are really going to hell every second of every day.
What about Gnostic Dualism?
Let’s start with the term even means. It is a rarely used term that we do not hear every Sunday in Bible Study so we need to make sure we understand it.
Gnosticism is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world – which they viewed as created by the demiurge – and embraced the spiritual world.
It simply is what we believed in old Pentecostal circles to be “holiness preaching.” If we didn’t live in the world, we must be more “spiritual.” Anything from going to the movies to even playing basketball (wearing shorts) was evil and we must be holy people. John Crowder is right to call this a heresy. I agree with him.
However, the question becomes where do we draw the line between freedom and godliness? We have to know where freedom ends and bondage begins. If we do not, we will end up with all types of sin and even demonic oppression in our lives.
We are people of Pentecost. We are people of the Spirit. We also people of the natural. We still have bodies. We still have to live. There is nothing sinful about sitting down to watch a good movie or shooting hoops in the gym with some old friends. Nothing at all.
The reason this is so important is church preaching this non-sense has done alot of damage and sent alot of people to hell in the process because people didn’t reject the gospel; they rejected the legalism that the church taught as the gospel. There is a big difference.
So is John Crowder really a heretic?
I do not think he is. I think is off on some major issues and that are concerning. I believe some people that he respects have the authority to deal with these theological shortcoming much better than I do with a blog and a short meetings almost a decade ago. I can not support his ministry in its present state but that alone does not make it evil. I just disagree on too many important issues with him.
However, to John’s credit; he is a revivalist and believes in the power of the Holy Spirit in our midst. He does believe in the Latter Rain as well. There is no question that his heart is for revival and for the end time harvest. On those issues, we can rally together!
My suggestion when reading his books or watching his videos would be simply this: make sure you have your bible next to you. Be a Berean and check everything to make sure it is line with your best understanding of the written Word of God. While his books have alot of gold in them, there is also alot of dirt on top of that gold. Do not receive the dirt and miss the gold.
What is your views on John Crowder? Let me know.