Let me first say that I did hint at an opportunity to un-request a review of this material, but since the request stands, here goes. I won’t be offering a product link lest anyone purchase it by accident — but I’m showing the CD cover art so you’ll know what to avoid if you should happen to see it somewhere. Yes, that’s a not-so-subtle foreshadowing of what I thought of the disc… I said on Twitter that this CD had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but I have managed to stretch and find a couple.
Firstly though, the CD is offensive. I’m not particularly offended by it, but maybe I’ve got thicker skin than many, so I might not be the best gauge. I don’t know why, but when I first saw the cover art, I thought of AC/DC. I’ve been told that they released an album in Australia some years ago with cover art depicting just a “peace” sign made with two fingers extended upward, but showing the back of the hand facing outward instead of the palm. This means nothing in North America, but I was told that in Australia it was the equivalent of the the North American use of the middle finger. All that to simply say that hand gestures do not necessarily have universal meaning, and the hand sign for “OK” is not universal but in some cultures is actually offensive. I would say I hope that they redo the cover art for the international release, but I expect (and hope) that as it is there will be warehouses full of unsold product so as to preclude any further distribution. It’s that bad.
I jotted down some notes on a few of the tracks as they played. I might point out that this was on my third attempt to listen to the CD — the first two failed when I turned it off unable to listen to any more than I had at that point.
Track one, “Holy Ghost Hits” is a psychedelic soundtrack with the sound of a water pipe bubbling and gurgling in the background while parts of the 23rd Psalm are recited along with other ramblings. It completely lacked any coherence at all, and in that respect is an accurate prelude of what’s to come.
The second track, “I’m Being Sucked Out of My Body” opens with the spoken words, “Here we go! I’m being sucked out of my body!” followed by more technopop claptrap comingled with random quotes and spoken words intended to sound drug-induced, such as “Let’s go on a little trip with Psychedelic Jesus” and “Do you feel the colours yet? Taste the sounds?”
The third track, “Mystical Powers” is a string of prayers set to a similarly annoying audioscape background while the recited prayers request a litany of requests from the inane to the juvenile to the offensively selfish. For example, praying for stigmata, including the phrase, “I want a stiggy that glows” and the occasional stop while a group of zombie-like voices recite the phrase, “Lord, hear our prayer” — as though any of this might somehow fit into a traditional worship liturgy. The insanity continues with requests to “bilocate us,” so they appear in multiple places at once, creating “a clone army of me,” followed up with “bitokate us” to signify the request for “a double-toke of your Spirit.” It goes on to further attempt some kind of alignment with traditional saints, but displays an utter lack of understanding of the saint in question: “Lord, I want to be like St. Francis of Assisi, communicating with the wolves, with the bears, with the animals of the forest.” Moving right along to the more outlandishly offensive is the prayer to “release the miracle of lactation from our bodies [sucking sounds] as we nurse from the breast of heaven” and the insultingly base request, “we want to see diamonds, gemstones, angel feathers, all kinds of crazy stuff. Lord, make it rain in the building.”
It took me a while to recover from the third track, but by he sixth track, “We are Insane (2Cor5)”, I noted the general content as reciting some kind of verses with grunts, groans, and gibberish — or speaking in tongues, I don’t know. If they are intent to display themselves as insane, this is the right stuff for the job at hand. I’m rather confident that this is definitely not what Paul was referring to in his letter to the Corinthians.
By track eight, “Baby Jesus,” we discover that Mr. Dunn and Mr. Crowder evidently find spiritual inspiration from Talladega Nights as the lead character prays, “Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces baby Jesus…” At least the movie was a comedy — this CD is supposed to pass for something of spiritual value. Both are preteen juvenile idiocy, but at least the movie hits where it aims. Of the song, it’s a fairly nice melody ruined by the spoken word, including “Here, Ben — have a hit of Baby Jesus” followed by sucking and inhaling sounds.
Now, I acknowledge that this CD is not my taste in musical style, but there may be those who enjoy this sort of technocrap. Even if this represents your musical taste, I have serious doubts that the music can redeem, even for you, the “lyrics,” which word I can only use here in quotation marks despite the origin of a few of the snippets that appear. The single page of liner notes proclaims that excerpts have been taken from Brother Lawrence, the Vulgate, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and a variety of Bible translations, including The Cotton Patch Version of Paul’s epistles. If they’re trying to sound intelligent, they shouldn’t have demonstrated such a disrespect for and lack of understanding of these sources they cite. Saints through the centuries are rolling over in their graves.
This CD is sheer lunacy — run, do not walk, away from it. Should you find it in a bargain bin someplace, I urge you not to pay more for it than the value of its raw materials. As to redeeming qualities, I suggest a drink coaster and replacement parts for damaged CD jewel cases… for CDs of infinitely greater value, which won’t take much. Perhaps as a gag gift it might have some merit for those who are inexplicably drawn to gape at a train wreck. No, that is how I really feel.
Review copy provided through The Ooze Select Blogger program.
Bro. May, could you answer a question for me. I can’t get anyone to sit still long enough to have an intelligent conversation about this.
My problem with all of these kids is that I think we adults started the fire that they are flaming into this insanity. Here’s how. We took the verses where the disciples came down from the upper room and it was said of them that they must be drunk and made a whole culture of people acting “drunken” under the power of the Spirit. They stumble around and behave in the most disgusting fashion. I did it. We called it good. We encouraged it. Now these kids are only taking this a bit further and “getting high” off the Spirit.
Here is my point. Could it be that the disciples were assumed to be drunk because they were loud and rowdy and full of joy – not stumbling around as if they were drunk?
When I see the teachings and videos of the younger charismatics I am full of repentance for my part in paving the way into their deception. We did this.
At least that is what I think. How do you read those verses? How does that line up with what you saw in the Groups you were a part of. I think it is wrong to tell these kids they are wrong without repenting first of our part in it.
Piggybacking on Barb’s thought provoking comment…
Because the boundaries for being billed as Pentecostal or charismatic were deliberately stretched to include many odd, quirky personality types & manifestations & antics, it is attractive to many extroverted types claiming they have the anointment & directive from God to make exaggerated claims & get paid while doing it…
Now it is true the conservative, non-charismatic types have their own brand of oddballs, but they seem much quicker to address such abuses & in getting the word out that no, this individual is not considered a bona-fide member of their particular denominational flavor & to cease-and-desist immediately.
Pentecostal/AoG/charismatic expressions are more interested in letting the Spirit loose than keeping unchecked character restrained. What results is the attention grabbing ministries become more a parody than what the kingdom is really about.
Crowder is a prime example of AoG upbringing, indoctrination & ultimately a ‘top this’ attitude. He is making mysticism ‘hip’ for the disinterested youth turned off by grandma’s old time religion. I think he may have a sincere desire to repackage Christianity as a supernatural adventure instead of the dour go-thru-the-motions format it is measured against. Not sure such sincerity or zeal trumps reality & truth & a respectful representation of the kingdom though…
Crowder is deliberate in offending the old guard. It is his act of religious martyrdom that legitimizes his claims in the eyes of the youth he wants to influence. Since I am an outsider looking in, I would say he is more goofy than genuinely Spirit inspired. More silly than sincere. More repulsive than reverent. But you make the point that what was permitted before has opened up the door to even greater antics billed as real encounters with God here on earth.
Should we be surprised? Nope. Are ‘we’, the collective older generation to blame? Nope. Has charismania taken on its own screwy identity? Yup. Can we get what we consider that ‘bad genie’ back into the bottle again? Nope.
Ever consider the dear saints of old that were considered mystics? As far as I can determine, they were always an exception, not the rule. They may have been pious, but how much of what they experienced was genuine or a personality quirk or a result of an austere lifestyle where severe asceticism was the norm? How much was hallucination vs. divine encounter? We only have their stories to appreciate. There is no way to look into the claims with our current understanding of personality disorders or how physical deprivation affects the mind. I can accept their stories without translating that into the new bandwagon everyone gets to climb aboard.
Once you set a theological precedent of the exception & claim it is the right of every believer to have the same or even greater experiences it sets people up for a grand disappointment. There are going to be exaggerated claims of God doing this, or instigating that, or moving here, or breaking out there, or stirring up revival here, or doing new/strange things there until the end I suppose. And not all such claims are insincere or improper. I think the approach needs to be the sober one. Test it. Speak up about it. Point out the inherent problems. Challenge the claims. But as it is in the secular realm it is a ‘buyer beware’ world we live in with its myriad brands of snake oil being peddled today. The ranks of the disappointed glam-glory chasers are growing. Post-charismatics are speaking up more. And it will be those that want to reestablish the authentic gift expressions sans hype that will create a soft place to land for those that ended up flying higher than was needed or expected…
I listened to this with my son on the way to school one morning – a 20 minute drive. I don’t think the two of us had ever laughed so hard together. For this reason, I highly recommend the CD.
I’m still not sure if these guys take themselves seriously, or if its an act. If the latter, they are brilliant. If the former… yikes.
All I would like to say to John Crowder and his followers – “GOD will not be mocked”!!!!!!!!!