Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Jesus Camp


Last night I watched a documentary on Channel 4 called 'Jesus Camp'. ‘Muslims train their children from the time they’re five years old,’ says Becky Fischer, director of a Pentecostal Christian children’s summer camp in the USA. ‘I want to see young people as radically committed to Jesus Christ as they are to Islam. I want to see them laying down their lives for the Gospel.’



Channel 4 had shown it for it's 'shocking' content and it's extreme views. These people were fundamental evangelical Christians, yet channel 4 forgot to mention this.



What disturbed me about the programme was not that they wanted to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ, not that they were pro-life, not that they wanted to share the joy of the Gospel with everyone... I did have issues with the fact they thought people who consider worship an important element in faith (such as silent prayer and so on i.e. Catholics) were not true Christians, It was the way they went about it.



There was a scene when the kids went to the March for Life in Washington DC; the pro-life pastor had taped the kids mouth up with red tape with LIFE penned on the tape with a black marker. To me this is not only an abuse of children, but it's no way to promote the pro-life message. We have to take this seriously... Using terms like 'murdered babies' and slaughtered and everything else like that is stating a fact, I accept that. However put yourself in the position of a women who has had an abortion, she walks past a rally like that and here's terms like 'your a murderer, you slaughtered your child' she's going to walk away and say these people are nuts and they hate me.

Promoting Jesus Christ is all about being Jesus for others, meeting these people where they are at and drawing them to what is true, good and beautiful. Loving these people regardless of what they do, yet always holding firm to the truth. Remember the term love the sinner and not the sin... It's been forgotten a lot in the past and it's something we all need to challenge ourselves on. The temptation can be to go the other way and just forget what you believe and be 'pastoral'. Being a pastor, being a true witness to Jesus Christ is about holding firm to the truth in a loving way.

Another thing that concerned me was how they sort of indoctrinated children, they didn't come to the faith as a sort of journey, as a result of being confirmed in their believe or a free pursuit of the truth. If they were asked a question and they didn't agree, they were rebuked by their parents, or made to say they agreed when they really didn't.

The whole concept of prayer was that you need to shout and scream 'Jesus do this, Jesus do this, Jesus do that, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus' and if you weren't shouting 'amen' or screaming some sort of mumbo jumbo prayer then you weren't praying. They took no time to listen to God. Prayer in my mind always starts with a cry to God, but always followed by listening to God. How can we know Gods will if we never listen out for it?

What annoys me a lot though is how channel 4 portrayed Christians as wannabe Islamic fundamentalists. That is shocking and indeed I urge you all to write and complain about such a suggestion. But more importantly, listen to God and ask simply for His will to be done, and that we reflect Him whenever we meet others.

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