I hope you have your ranting-caps on, because here comes a little rant...
Last night I watched the documentary 'Jesus Camp'. It was really scary! I was horrified to see what they are doing to children in the states and, undoubtedly, other parts of the world! While I am a christian and I believe in evangelism, what they were doing on this camp really was very saddening and very maddening at the same time.
One of the arguments put forward for why they should be indoctrinating their children at a bible camp was that '...the muslims are doing it, so why shouldn't we?' (Muslims was pronounced Muzz-limbs). Firstly, I would like to point out just how incredibly short-sighted that point of view is. Just because they are doing it, doesn't mean that it is right! Are they saying that since Muslims extremists are willing to train up their children from a young age in the ways of Islam and sacrifice them as suicide bombers, that we christians should be prepared to do the same?! Where, pray, in the bible does it say ANYTHING about raising up our children to murder innocent civilians in this manner? For those who are not familair with the christian bible, it certainly says nothing like this at all! Jesus christ was once asked by a man which of the ten commandments were the most important. Jesus replied with 'Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. Love your neighbour as you love yourself.' Now, how exactly is blowing up innocent people an act of love?
The second point I'd like to make about what was said is that God gave all of mankind the amazing gift of free will. This means that we, as people, must choose whether we want to serve God, accept Christ as our lord and live as God intended for us, or not. I have HUGE problems with anyone who thinks that they are saving their child by indoctrinating them! I believe that it is right to teach our children about the ways of God and how to live their lives according to godly principals but at the end of the day, it is up to them to decide whether they want to follow that path or not. No matter how much we love our children, or how much we don't want them to go to hell, it is not our choice to make and we must accept that and let them choose.
There were so many things in this movie that upset me. Another example was a little girl who was part of a dance-worship team. She would practice her dancing for God every day and when asked about her dancing said that she loved to dance for God, but found that sometimes, she struggled to keep her dancing focused on him. She added that she knew that dancing just for fun was ungodly because, as an act of worship, it would not be focused on him. This distressed me intensely! I think that it is so sad that a child should be taught that it is wrong to dance for fun! There is no place in the bible, to my knowledge, where it says that a person must dance for God alone and forgo any pleasure that may be derived from dancing just for the fun of it!
There was another segment where the children were being preached to about the evil that is abortion. While I myself remain divided on the issue, I feel that there was a more disturbing underlying problem with what was being taught to these children. Many of these kids were between the ages of 5 and 12. Now, I may have just forgotten this, but I have serious doubts that children of age 5 will know how human reproduction works, never mind the details of abortion! What kind of people force children to learn about the practice of abortion and how evil it is when these same children probably don't understand how that baby got there in the first place!
The final part that I shall rant about (for there is SO much more!) is about how incredibly naive they all are! One of the main reasons cited for the bible camps was that children are so open to what you have to tell them which makes them great for moulding as tools to do what you want them to do. Psychologically this is a very valid point, however, I find it terrifying that someone could consiously think like that and not see the horrible potential for the situation to get WAY out of control! The other thing is that these kids just accept whatever is being thrown at them as the truth! And they think that anything that seems vaguely related to God is good. This is very worrying because, I believe, people were given brains for a reason - to use them! Thinking and reasoning are part of what makes human beings so unique amongst the other species that share our world! What good is that if we don't use it? And, what greater way to slap God in the face than to say, 'Sure, you gave me the most amazing brain on the planet, but I'd prefer to not really use it. My life is just a lot easier that way...' This kind of thinking reminded me of something my mother said once. I was listening to the song, 'God is a DJ' by Faithless tonight while cooking my dinner (hence the title) and it too, reminded me of this conversation.
I had just recieved the CD 'Sunday 8pm' (Faithless) for christmas and I was listening to it one day. My mother happened to be in the room and 'God is a DJ' played, followed by another song 'Touched by the hem of his garment', both songs with obvious religious connotations. However, this is where the problem comes in. My mother was very impressed with the music because it was *obviously* about God. But the fact of the matter is that it is NOT at all! 'God is a DJ' is about how for the youth af the time, what mattered to them, their church, was the rave and dance scene. It was a place where they could go and just be themselves, free of the contraints of society and religion. Now the point that I'm trying to make is that my mother just blindly accepted the music as good because it had the word God in it! It is this kind of blind faith that I find scary and wish that I could somehow change.
I am sorry for offending you, if you feel offended by this post. However, I am not sorry for what I have written here. These are my thoughts on the matter and I believe that they are backed up by the bible and good, old-fashioned common sense. Take it or leave it...it's up to you...
P.S. The preacher man at the end of the movie, who preaches about how evil homosexuality is has apparently come out of the closet and has been excommunicated from the church. I find it all hysterically ironic!