A few nights ago I watched Jesus Camp (you can watch the rent the video now). A number of thoughts and feelings arise after watching this film, and its hard to express them all. I don’t think I can write in regular article format for this, because I don’t really have a point to make, but just hope to share some things that I felt. But here is what I can come up with in no order.
I am extremly thankful for those that had a major influence on me growing up in the Pentecostal church. I fear that I would have been running a Jesus Camp like this if it was for a few key people in my spiritual upbringing. Thank-you to both of them and to my parents.
The film was amazingly put together. Both women, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, put together one heck of a documentary. It seemed fair, non-discriminatory and very gracious to every side. There was still all sorts of symbolic moments throughout the film that you could tell it wasn’t just an all-over-the-place documentary, but a well formulated and directed film.
I can’t help but worry about these kids future. The film followed to kids around ten to twelve years old who were the product of this hardcore evangelical upbringing, and I must say that I fear their future. I pray that God watches and holds them and brings them closer to him and not their parents wishes through this all.
I began to see the craziness of church and state more and more as I watch the news and films like this. The more I see it the more I can sympathize with why they want it that way, but the more I realize that to even try to aim for some sort of marriage between the two is lethal for a country and for a religion. The patriotism for their country, George Bush, the army and the republican party was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
A film like this again makes me realize how important parenting and raising children is. These children are indoctrinated robots of who their parents and pastors want them to be. Maybe its because the parents dropped the ball and they are trying to live it through their kids or maybe its an entire culture that they are just wrapped in. Whatever it is, parents raise their kids (whether they choose to or not) and they will be products of their parents.
Watching this, makes me realize how vast the difference is between Rachel and I and how we were raised. She grew up Baptist, where clapping your hands was the charismatic thing to do. I grew up Pentecostal where running circles of the entire sanctuary was a regular occurrence on Sunday nights and most people were bi-lingual. I’ve come a long way since my Pentecostal days (I think most of them have disowned me), but I think there is still a small way for us to go to understand each others upbringings.
You can watch a trailer of Jesus Camp below.