Movie: ‘Jesus Camp’

21 05 2010

I had a very tough time watching this movie, but I’m glad I stuck it through – I’m more, and more seeing the importance of good theology (in order to avoid the atrocious theology seen in this movie)! After watching this, I seriously had to watch ‘The Ordinary Radicals‘ so I could get my mind right 🙂

‘Jesus Camp’ is about the “Kids On Fire School of Ministry,” a charismatic Christian summer camp located just outside Devils Lake, North Dakota and run by Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kids in Ministry International.

At the camp, Fischer stresses the need for children to purify themselves in order to be part of the “army of God”. She strongly believes that children need to be in the forefront of turning America toward conservative Christian values. She also feels that Christians need to focus on training kids since “the enemy” (Islam) is focused on training theirs. She refers to the Earth as “a sicko world” and wishes for Jesus’ return. In the preparation meetings before the camp begins, she asks other staff members how they should prepare for “demonic forces” that may be stirred up during camp services.

Fischer is shown preaching a sermon where she mentions Harry Potter and claims that had he existed in biblical times, he “would have been put to death”. Fischer admonishes the children—many whom are in tears—that many among them are “phonies” who curse or engage in non-evangelical behaviors with friends at school, and says “clean up your act”. As several tearful children gather around her, she pours water on their hands to be “washed in the water of [God’s] word.”

There is also a scene at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Levi and his family go on vacation to hear its later-disgraced pastor, Ted Haggard. Levi highly admires Haggard and is thrilled to meet him. He informs Haggard that he too wants to be a pastor and has already preached sermons. Afterward, Levi, Rachael, Tory, their families and several other children take part in a Justice House of Prayer rally held by Engle in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jesus Camp‘ is a 2006 American documentary film directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing about a Pentecostal/charismatic summer camp for children who spend their summers learning and practicing their “prophetic gifts” and being taught that they can “take back America for Christ.” According to the distributor, it “doesn’t come with any prepackaged point of view” and tries to be “an honest and impartial depiction of one faction of the evangelical Christian community”.

‘Jesus Camp’ debuted at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, and was sold by A&E Indie Films to Magnolia Pictures. Controversy surrounding the film was featured in several television news programs and print media articles in 2006.

On January 23, 2007, ‘Jesus Camp’ was nominated for the 2006 seventy-ninth Annual Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Documentary Feature. It lost to Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘.







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