Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jesus Camp

Movie Synopsis

A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway in America whereby Christian youth must take up the leadership of the conservative Christian movement. JESUS CAMP, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka), follows Levi, Rachael, Tory and a number of other young children to Pastor Becky Fischer's Kids on Fire summer camp in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God's army. The film follows these children at camp as they hone their prophetic gifts and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ. The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future. -- © Loki Films
I watched this 2006 documentary last weekend. This documentary is about a Pentecostal youth ministry run by Pastor Becky Fisher.
I am both exhilarated and disturbed by watching the documentary. It is not about youth from 6-10 years being filled the Spirit and speaking in tongues, slain by the Spirit, and other manifestations. That is exhilarating.
What is disturbing is that there is a hidden agenda in the camp. The agenda is the teaching that the United States is a Christian country and President Bush is leading the country in a Christian way. I am not against the United States but I will fall short of calling the United States a Christian nation. I have nothing against anyone especially children being patriotic about their own countries. I will encourage parents to teach their children to be patriotic. However I will draw the line when Christianity and patriotism to the USA are merged.
What is horrifying is the way the children are being manipulated and indoctrinated into patriotism under guise of Christianity. It is heart breaking to see footage of the children standing outside the Supreme court building in Washington DC in the bitter cold, claiming the appointment of a pro-life Supreme court Judge in Jesus' name.
An interesting feature in the film is the children visiting Ted Haggard's church and hearing him preach. This was before the scandal. Much of Ted Haggard's sermon can be found in the deleted section of the DVD under special features where he spoke out against gays.
Well, to be honest, I was exhilarated, disturbed and a bit confused after watching the documentary.
What do you think?

"kids..they are so open, they are so usable for Christianity." Pastor Becky Fisher

What others say
Center for American Progress: What I Learned at Jesus Camp


  1. Hi,

    I've seen this docu in a Belgian cinema, as a christian between 200 non-christians and it was really weird to see people laughing at christian things I believed in and see people get angry at political things I got angry about. On the other hand the line between politics and christianity is very small in this documentary and the question is if there should be a separation between the two. The American way is definitely not the solution, but what is? Just questions...


  2. Hi Anton,

    welcome. It is interesting that you saw the documentary in a cinema filled with non-Christians. I wonder what makes non-Christians pay money to watch a documentary called Jesus Camp?

    It is a very thin line that separate the church from politics. If the American way is not the solution, any idea of what will works?

  3. finally got so see Jesus Camp; i appreciate the fact that the movie’s makers let the people interviewed do all the talking; then again i couldn’t help wondering, "wait, what’s the problem here? these kids seem to have a pretty high quality of life..." over all, there is some truth in this flick, but only so long as it's taken with a grain (or a bucket) of salt

  4. hi patrick,

    welcome. Thank you for your comments. I agree with you that the kids look well taken care of. I guess nobody argues with that.

    I too agree with you that there are some elements of truth in there. What concerns me is what is the message the director and producer of the flick is trying to tell us?

    using your metaphor, should we take anything unpalatable with a pitch of salt? :)