Emergent church meets New Mystics

Dave T. Brown at Emergent Village Weblog discusses “Where the Edges Meet: What Emergents Can Learn from the New Mystics.

The New Mystics is a rapidly growing segment on the fringe of the Charismatic movement. It’s characterized by its emphasis on ecstatic experiences of God. Considered leaders of the movement, speaker John Crowder, who CurrentTV called “the YouTube Prophet,” and musician Ben Dunn often get “whacked up” in the “drunken glory” of God and stumble around mumbling like they’re flat-out wasted. They have raves during which hundreds of people, young and old alike, don whimsical attire and gather to trance out with trippy worship music and stumble and crawl around just like they’re completely fried. I’ve also seen them pray for people who then apparently get healed,…

And while I have to say that I view much of their stuff as freakish, what interests me the most about the people in this movement is their determination to experience God with wild abandon. These new Jesus freaks just don’t care what people think because, as they might say, they are tired of dry religion and seek to experience God without the chains of religious decorum.


I sometimes feel the Emergent movement seems stuck in a cycle of cerebral discussion. Sharing stories of experiences is what conversation is all about, and sometimes I feel like what we call a “conversation” is more like an intellectual debate that’s open mainly to the scholarly. Although movements need discussion and debate to strengthen their core, others involved can’t survive only on the orations of talking-head representatives.

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