John Crowder on Hyper-Grace

Hyper-GraceI will be traveling this week to attend a leadership summit to discuss the new grace movement that seems to have quickly come front and center as the hot topic in the body of Christ today.

At least in Charismatic circles, this grace message has been given derogatory names like “Hyper-Grace,” a modern form of antinomianism, that these preachers are giving license to sin, along with all kinds of warnings from various prominent leaders that their followers should stay away from this so-called false doctrine.

But instead of being informed by other people’s opinions, no matter how popular they may be, and dismissing what these teachers have to say without investigation, I think it would be wiser if we would be good “Bereans” and see if these things are so according to Scripture instead of our traditions (Acts 17:10-11).

So, since I’ve been spending time preparing for the summit, and have written on this subject before, I thought I would include a recent John Crowder video clip for your edification (or perhaps, entertainment. He is funny!)

There’s probably no one more maligned and misrepresented for his views on grace today than John Crowder. You might not like his ministry style, and you certainly don’t have to agree with everything he says, but you should actually hear what he has to say before you find yourself fighting against something you don’t understand. I have listened to him and  have found his view very solid on this important subject.

Watching the clip, Crowder reminds me of what Robert Farrar Capon said rather tongue-in-cheek about the job of a good preacher…

“I think good preachers should be like bad kids. They ought to be naughty enough to tiptoe up on dozing congregations, steal their bottles of religion pills…and flush them all down the drain.”

And another favorite Capon quote of mine, describing what may be happening today where the ancient wells of pure grace are again being uncovered as they were by the early reformers…

“The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar full of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace–bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture…”

Perhaps we, too, are coming out of our own dark age of evangelical superstition and religious coercion and finding this intoxicating freedom for ourselves. (Gal.5:1)

You might wonder why I keep bringing this subject up on a blog about the Father’s love. Well, there’s three main reasons for this:

First, I believe that our mixed grace/law message (that we’ve called grace) has actually hindered us from growing deeper in intimacy with our heavenly Father. As Paul points out, the Law actually makes us more sin-conscious, not God-conscious (Rom.7:7-11). It’s mixing old wine in a new wineskin; it can never make us holy or righteous and actually separates us from God while denying the finished work of Christ (Gal.2:21).

Secondly, grace and identity go hand in hand. In fact, you won’t properly understand the undiluted grace message thinking like a spiritual orphan. The rebellious orphan will abuse it, the religious orphan will dismiss it and demonize those who preach it. We must understand what it means to be a fully-affirmed son/daughter in the Father’s embrace before we will understand the grace of God that truly empowers us and makes us free. Otherwise, we will build a fence of rules and outward controls around it. But those who finally see themselves in “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor.2:2), who walk by the Spirit instead of religious behavior modification, need no such fence (see Gal.3:24-25; 5:16, 22-23).

Third, because I believe we’ve entered into a new season of Kingdom advancement.  As God has already upgraded our understanding of sonship and the Father’s heart over the last few decades, He’s now upgrading our understanding of grace as we learn to live on the right side of the Cross.

Here’s the description given on Crowder’s YouTube channel about the clip:

“Rightly Defining the Grace of God:
Following last year’s book “Hypergrace” written by Dr. Michael Brown against John Crowder and other proponents of New Covenant grace theology, John is finally offering clarity on the subject. In a frank and honest rebuttal, John addresses three main misconceptions from his accusers: the idea that we preach “license to sin;” the idea that we are against confession; and the idea that we don’t preach repentance.

Far from a defense, John merely clears the air for those confused about what this false moniker “hypergrace” is all about. Enjoy this video as John dispels the myth that the Gospel of Jesus Christ requires our human assistance. For more on Sons of Thunder Ministries and Publications, visit us online at http://www.thenewmystics.com. ”

So, I hope you will take some time to watch this video and get the right information about what people like Crowder believe about grace. But no matter what, know that you are loved!

Photo (modified) used by permission from freeimages.com

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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26 Responses to John Crowder on Hyper-Grace

  1. John Cummuta says:

    The gospel of flesh and pride does not work. I can’t save myself, even partially, and God knows it. Either Jesus did it ALL or he didn’t save us. There is no hybrid. When we get to the time of Revelation 21:5, Jesus won’t be saying, “I made SOME things new.”

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen! That’s absolutely it, John. And it’s the very essence of what’s happening as believers are being awakened to true grace. We’ve given lip service to grace without works in the past, then proceed to tell people what they must do to be saved or stay saved (confess, repent, etc.) when all those things are FRUIT of salvation. Otherwise, we’re back to saving ourselves by our works. What a trip we’ve put on people…and on ourselves! I’m glad we’re getting it now. It’s actually GOOD news! Yes, not only does Jesus make ALL things new, He also seems to think we’re a new creation, which means our old life is GONE, obliterated, nailed to the cross forever. Hallelujah, what a Savior! 🙂

  2. Justin says:

    “You can’t over exaggerate grace but on the other hand you can underestimate Jesus.” Lots of good points in this video. Thanks for being bold to speak the truth on grace. True grace sure does stir the pot of the religious because they’ve spent so many years trying to earn God’s salvation and favor. Once we abandon our self efforts of trying to work for Jesus but instead let Him work through us true good works (the kind Paul talks about being zealous for in Titus) are yielded.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen, Justin. Perfectly stated. Real faith and a full life in Christ requires risk and courage to boldly agree with God about who we are in Him, regardless of what those who don’t get it yet say or think. Just because we believed something for a long time doesn’t make it true. That’s one reason I like John Crowder. He’s got that kind of boldness to make us think again.

      I recently heard a true story where someone asked people on the street of a major city what they thought of Christians and the church. There was a 100% negative response. Then the question was asked about what they thought of Jesus…100% positive response. Even if this poll is not scientifically accurate, it should tell us there’s something SERIOUSLY wrong with our brand of “Christianity!”

      I am convinced that the traditional evangelical brand of “Christianity” is hemorrhaging and broken. It’s run its course and the world has already written it off. And the church is the last to see it. I say, let it die in peace! Not that we dismiss what came before us, but we embrace the upgrade God is trying to give us. It’s time to advance with the Kingdom. This is why there needs to be a major paradigm shift about God, how He sees us, and how we relate to Him. I think bold people like Crowder are helping us, however imperfect they may be (like all of us), to embrace the current shift with courage and faith.

      Thanks for your great comments, Justin. Blessings to you, brother.

    • Justin says:

      Praise God that the paradigm shift you talk about is happening! I like how Crowder gets excited about the persecution. In revival history whenever there is a big move of God it always involved a lot of persecution from the “church” trying to cling to the old. Behold He is doing a new thing!

  3. Ben Kilen says:

    Can one ever have to much grace? As in “oh no you have to much, that’s not good, you must be punished. …”

    Makes no sense I’ll take as much as I can, I’ll take as much of His reality as I can.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Haha…yes, amen. “I want MORE, sir” What!!! You want…MORE?!?! Catch him, snatch him! Hold him! Scold him! Pounce him, trounce him. Pick him up and bounce him!” (quoting Oliver Twist and Mr. Bumble).

      Grace is Jesus’ empowering life in me, all the fullness that fills God (Eph.3:19). How much is too much? I rest my case. 🙂

    • Ben Kilen says:

      From C.S. Lewis’ s Prince Caspian

      “Aslan” Lucy said “You’re bigger.”

      “That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.

      “Not because you are?”

      “I’m not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”

  4. Great post Mel. Thanks for just saying it straight. The tide is turning despite the resistance. And John Crowder’s video was better than I expected… and solid.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yes, he is surprisingly good, considering how much he gets demonized by other Christians. That’s why I used this clip in particular, to offset the unjust negative spin people have put on him. I have his book, “Cosmos Reborn.” The guy is brilliant. And what I really like is his ability to mix theology and intimacy with God. Good stuff!

  5. paulfg says:

    “quickly come front and center as the hot topic in the body of Christ today.” Normally prefer to stay clear of hot topic noise – and reading and listening here (to a great post) was left wondering (yet again) …

    How come the body of Christ seems to salivate so much over “hot topics”? Isn’t the original good enough?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Good question, Paul. The original is perfect, but our understanding of it is flawed, distorted by our biases, traditions, and it needs constant upgrade. While the Word of God never changes, we must change and grow in our understanding of these ancient truths. And this is a necessary part of the body of Christ “growing up into all things” until we have the “knowledge of Christ” (Eph.4:15). So these “new moves” of God are the upgrades to remove another layer of distortions in our limited understanding. We’ve seen this throughout church history. But, typically, those entrenched in their dogma of a past move of God choose to demonize, fear monger and persecute the newest move of God rather than being good “Bereans” and seeing if they can learn something and grow,

      And, of course, with every new move there’s a shaking out process, excesses and error. But we should approach that with grace and understanding instead of the inquisition.

      So, it becomes the “hot topic” instead of more good news to grow in and walk in freedom. It’s sad but that’s what happens when pride and fear get in the way of Kingdom progress.

      Again, this is why we should stay humble, being willing to change and do everything from a heart of grace and love, seeking to understand more than to divide. After all, we’re ALL part of the same family that our Father dearly loves! Blessings.

    • paulfg says:

      Mel, thank you for such a thoughtful response. Seems to me that Jesus (and God) debated with what we readily refer to as Pharisees. The rest of the family were touched and offered choices without the debate.
      Maybe when “we debate” whether humble or not – then we cross a line not even visible to those involved. Does a good “Berean” enthusiastically (even with humour) rebutting another’s opinion of truth ever do more than appear a Pharisee to the rest of the family from a distance?
      Not sure.

  6. nancyteague says:

    Great points Mel and John’s video is spot on!

    Hey, maybe this is what Paul was pressing on to lay hold of – more understanding of this grace of Jesus Christ that laid hold of him! (Php 3:12) No wonder Paul extolled in utter ecstasy at the end of his discourse (Rom 9-11) with the legalists challenging them on God’s mercy on all (Rom 11:32) – “Oh, the depth of the riches…how unsearchable…His ways past finding out” (Rom 11:33)

    Even to begin to truly grasp His grace leaves one speechless and overflowing with gratitude and joy. What a God!

    Great bliss to you Mel and in all you do to preach the pure Good News.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. God’s grace is so much more amazing than we have ever thought. I think we’re finally starting to get a glimpse of what Paul saw. Thanks for your comments, Nancy. Blessings.

  7. nancyteague says:

    Reblogged this on Growing In Fullness and commented:
    Perhaps you have heard of the term “hyper-grace”? Sadly it has been used to scare people from the pure Good News of His beautiful grace for all. Mel Wild’s post summarizes well what is really going on and with John Crowder’s video you will gain clarity on the pure Good News. Read on and watch – get the skinny on truth – get full!

  8. PAorangeburg says:

    Enjoyed the article. I have found a book called, “Soul Transformation: Your personal Journey,” by Adam & Candice Smithyman. This book really helps Christians understand what happened to them at salvation. It goes along so well with the understanding of the grace of God.

  9. Planting Potatoes says:

    amen…I think you can never over state the grace of God! Good read!

  10. Linda Gardiner says:

    I have read two of John Crowder’s books, “The Ecstasy of Loving God: Trances, Raptures, and the Supernatural Pleasures of Jesus Christ” and “Miracle Workers, Reformers, and the New Mystics.” He is brilliant and does a phenomenal job of breaking the religious spirit. I know that when I was discerning his writings, I looked at his fruit. Many, many people have received “sozo” salvation in every sense of the word through his ministry. Not only are they saved by grace, but transformed, healed, and delivered as well. That is the finished work of the cross. The old man is dead and we are new creatures in Christ. Just getting by is so much less than God’s best for us. I think it is sad when someone’s ministry is just shooting holes in someone else’s ministry. Where is the fruit in that?

    • Mel Wild says:

      I’ve read “Cosmos Reborn: Happy Theology on the New Creation” and it was surprisingly deep theologically. He’s a great writer and has an interesting mix of a theologian and mystic. I like it! 🙂
      Thanks for sharing your reading and thoughts on this, Linda. Blessings.

  11. daniel says:

    Reblogged this on Daniel Lovett and commented:
    Reading this. What do you think?

  12. daniel says:

    I cannot fully express my gratitude on finding this blog. I loved it!!! reposted and everything. I too just shared his video on my blog and got some flak for it. I love listening to John Crowder (few appreciate his ministry style however). God bless him and God bless you sir!

    • Mel Wild says:

      I’m glad you found my blog and appreciate the re-post, Daniel. Yes, whenever the traditional view is challenged about anything in the Christian faith, you will get a knee-jerk response. But I think history will be on our side on this one. Much of what has been considered heresy in the past has became orthodoxy a generation later. St. Anthanasius was condemned by the Pope and excommunicated FIVE times by the church in the fourth century, and he became a major contributor to the Nicene Creed!
      The Father’s love makes us brave, not just so we can be disagreeable but to be willing to stay teachable and grow in the grace of God in the face of opposition. Blessings.

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