sebago, this is not

Warlocks are the enemies of God

The following was probably my favorite line from Jesus Camp, a movie that I can only describe as one where you just have to laugh to keep from crying. If you haven’t either seen or heard of this Oscar nominated documentary, it’s basically an inside look into a Pentecostal children’s ministry called the Kids on Fire School of Ministry. And pretty much it’s everything [sadly] that you would expect it to be. I won’t get into all the bowling ministry, George Bush cardboard cutout, ‘kickin’ it with Christ’, Becky ‘check my hair and nails’ Fisher, homeschool fun, but I do have a couple of things that are sticking with me from this one.

First, the whole idea of ‘us v. them’ is so irritating, whether it be the Christian America v. the rest of the world or the saved v. the lost, it’s all so wrong and stands in direct opposition to the command to love our neighbour. That kind of mentality [of which, at times, I can be guilty of] just drives me nuts.

Second, I can’t help but look back on my own life and pick out the times where such blatant emotionalism was used in an attempt to evoke a transformational spiritual experience. Mostly, that kind of thing occured during my teen years, and in many ways it fell under the evangelical strategy to ‘get them when they’re young.’ While the focus was heavy on personal conversion, there was seldom any exhortation to learn what it meant to love your neighbour [locally and globally]. I guess this ties in with my first point. It was very hard to watch those well-intentioned kids say and do all the right things according to what they had been taught, but in the end, they clearly were not being shown what it means to love, the very heart of the Gospel message. [Jay mentioned this as well in his post about the movie.]

With any documentary, it must be taken with a grain of salt and to be aware that the directors often portray their fil with some sort of bias. At the same time, I think we can all in some way look at this movie and say ‘yeah, I’ve seen this sort of thing before.’ In talking about it with Lewis, he said ‘you won’t be shocked’, and I wasn’t. Sad yes, but not shocked.

Check out Jesus Camp, and don’t forget that if Harry Potter had been alive in the Old Testament, he would have been put to death.

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    • Mark
    • April 4th, 2007

    I watched that movie about a month ago and many parts did leave me with my mouth wide open. Along with the ‘us vs. them’ mentality that was often portrayed, there were so many blatant political agendas driven into these kids from the adults as well.

    What made me most mad about this film was when at the end they interviewed that guy who was a top Bush adviser (who after the film was made was the guy busted for doing drugs and paying for a male prostitute). He said that he just wanted to show these kids God’s love, which is all good and something I want to happen too, but then he went on to say how these kids would basically be turned into good Republican voters! That just made me so mad. So as much as many things in that film were upsetting, that probably bugged me the most.

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