Jesus Camp: two kinds of people

It debuted in 2006 and was nominated for an Academy Award the following year. I saw it last night: Jesus Camp.

Some say the film proves Christians are lunatics (e.g. Becky Fischer telling children to repent), or hypocrites (Ted Haggard speaking out against homosexual behavior, then getting busted for practicing it), and most assuredly right-wing propagandists (Mike Papantonio throughout the movie, where staged scenes of him as a radio announcer portray him as engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the film).

Some say Jesus Camp is a powerful witness to the power of God at work in young people–and that Becky Fischer is spot on in her admonitions.

If you’ve seen the movie, what do you say?

Magnolia Pictures proclaimed“”One of the great strengths of the film is that it doesn’t come with any prepackaged point of view…”.

I’m not buying that.

It seems to me that Grady and Ewing, the film’s directors, slipped this one right by the folks who welcomed them into their homes and ministries. Jesus Camp portrays Christians as misguided, dangerous extremists. Bottom line.

Personally, I was challenged by the film to reconsider some things in my own life:

Am I willing to risk being seen as a fool by the world? “Stop deceiving yourselves,” says 1 Corinthians 3:18. “If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise.”

Is my faith in the Creator strong enough to stand with Joshua and say, “But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15)?

And do I agree there is a spiritual battle going on in this world? Do I acknowledge this life to be a training ground and proving ground–where my thoughts and actions have eternal consequence?

All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?

Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?

When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, [fn] you were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.

For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink.

I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

(Matthew 25:33-46)

Heidi Ewing, in the interview above, brings out an amazing question–one she says many folks are asking themselves after viewing the film: “What are we doing as liberals to raise our kids with this kind of fervor?”

Turn on the television, Heidi. Go watch a Hollywood movie. Play a video game. Visit a public school. Or watch Jesus Camp. They are doing what those who oppose Christianity have always done–making the Word of God out to be a lie and a joke.

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