Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jesus Camp

Some people find the Jesus Camp movie trailer frightening. I can see that. 1) If you've never seen a church service where people get emotional, this is a VERY intense introduction to it. 2) These guys are NOT playin'. Unfortunately, I missed the film when it screened in Nashville last week so I can't say too much on the details.

On the other hand, from what I've been reading online, a lot of people have commented on the little boy--no, I don't know why his hair is like that--Travis' statement that he got "saved" when he was five years old like there's no way that could be true. Well, I guess me, my roommate and my friend Rebecca are the other weirdos who were aware of their own mortality at so early an age (me--age 4). Do I think the kids they featured are very unusual? Of course they are! Otherwise, no one would've wanted to make a documentary about them. Do I think that children should be taught the faith at an early age? Absolutely! Some children will absorb very early, others will not. Do I think all of those kids featured are going to walk the straight and narrow for the rest of their lives? Based on statistics alone, I can confidently answer, "No." At the same time, most of them will return to faith even if it doesn't quite look like this movie.

Now the real question is, would I send my own children (that I don't have yet--applications for husbands ARE being accepted) to this particular camp? Not unless they asked to go. Having grown up in church, I know for a fact that forcing someone to participate in a spiritual experience is a quick way to "turn off" mode. [I use the word experience because this camp is quite different than a regular church service.]

With that in mind, I present the trailer for Jesus Camp.

[SIDE NOTE: In the trailer I noticed Lou Engle of Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) and The Cause USA. Lou is like on a whole different level. He and some of the JHOPers came down when we were doing the media fast here in Nashville. ALL these guys do is pray. They pray, they fast, they read the Bible and pray more. Some of them write songs and that's what they sing for worship wherever they are. They're basically monks. They sometimes call themselves American Nazarites. I bring that up because all of the JHOPers are 18 & up and nobody makes them do what they do. They just do it. There are plenty of less intense organizations around but for some reason they stay. I totally appreciate what they're doing. Someone from JHOP is praying for America every hour of every day, 24-7! That's a good thing. I think what suprised me the most about them was how mild-mannered they all are in contrast to the way that crew worships which is really loud, really intense and kind of tribal sounding. I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want to leave but it's hard to hang with people who don't believe church services have an end...]


Amy said...

Wow, this is extremely interesting- i hope i get to see it! I got saved when i was 12, and i didn't go to an alter call or had an overly emotional experience. I was sitting in my room, reading a christian testimony and my heart was just beating, it hit me for the first time in my life that i didn't really know Jesus at all. I prayed the prayer but i didn't tell anyone until i was about 14. People get saved in different ways, and the Christian message is interpreted in many different ways. The fundemental message behind it is that man sinned, and so God sent his son into the world to die for this sin - whoever recieves and beleives will be saved. There is nothing about age, or gender, or religion in this message. It's simple. Whoever believes and accepts Jesus into their heart will be saved. I think it's entirely possible for a five year old to know Jesus - some children have more faith and more knowledge than me! As for the Jesus camp, if they want to go then let them go. I hated sunday school when i was young but i think it gave me a foundation of morals and ethical values that i still hold really closely. If these children are enjoying ths and have a will to learn, then that's their belief and people should respect that.

Sister Liz said...

Heh... by forcing spirituality do you make reference to the CRC experience of taking kids up to a hillbilly church in the mountainous regions, making them sleep in a moldy basement, shower in dirty public restrooms in groups, drink red flavored corn syrup water and telling them that their demons are keeping them from speaking in tongues while shouting in their faces with a microphone? LOL. Oh yeah. I know what you mean....I'd have done better with a Bethel Christian/Supper Nanny approach.

Good thing I've recovered from that...took me a YEEEARS

t-HYPE said...

Liz, did I go to that camp?! I don't remember the group shower thing at all.

But we both know I'm very prone to blocking out the more frightening aspects of my childhood. (Thus, I have so few memories...)