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malcolm chamberlain

musings about the emerging church, mission and contemporary culture...

God is at large, intimately involved in his world in ways that the church is maybe just waking up to!

the tip of the iceberg...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"This is just the tip of the iceberg" - so says Youth Pastor Becky Fischer about Jesus Camp, the subject of a new US documentary film. The trailer (watch it 'here') is unsettling to say the least!

The 'Kids on Fire' camp, which the film focusses on, calls children to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army" and to "take back America for Christ". I can't help thinking... is this a genuine invitation for children to become followers of Jesus, or simply another cynical step in the worrying trend towards using 'Christian' religion to push people into a right wing political agenda? Is this really what Jesus meant when he said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them" (Matthew 19:14)?

I'm afraid my internal alarm bells were going off big time when I watched this, especially when Pastor Fischer gives the following justification for the full-on (dare I say manipulative) approach of the Jesus Camp: "you go into Palestine and they're taking their kids to camps like we take our kids to Bible camps and they're putting handgrenades in their hands". Oh well, that's all the justification we need for using Jesus to unhelpfully politicise our children then!

Watch the trailer and the ABC news item 'here' and see what you think. Maybe I should reserve final judgement until I've seen the full film!

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posted by Malcolm Chamberlain, 4:01 PM

2 Comments:

Hey Malcolm
I did see the film and if you have a chance I wrote up a pretty long blog entry about it. But I would strongly encourage you to see it before you make statements, I think especially when we have a negative attitude towards something, it at least deserves us watching it before commenting on it.

Let me know what you think.

commented by Blogger Andrew Seely, 2:10 AM  

Hello,

I have not seen the film, but I have seen the trailer, and I really enjoyed your thoughts about it. I am planning on seeing the film though, trailers can be misleading.

commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:57 PM  

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