Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jesus Camp

I have just watched the trailer for "Jesus Camp". I found it quite un-nerving. I have not seen the movie yet- but I shall tomorrow as it is playing now. Initially, what scares me about this movie is not the idea of training children concerning Jesus or what the world might think of this…but the theology the children are apparently being trained with. They are apparently being trained to attempt to change society….not by being representatives of God on Earth by being the "Church"- but rather by overtaking the political structures AKA the World. I wrote earlier today at length on this concept.

Click on the little arrow next to the words Jesus Camp to see the trailer...

Also check out these by cutting and pasting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UWIb4FwHPg&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F8z80pD5JE&mode=related&search=

4 comments:

ccwman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ccwman said...

[This is a repost, per request of the ADMINISTRATOR, who inadvertantly removed a previously posted comment. This post is also located on my blogspot, theologyofnuance.blogspot.com, with a follow-up post that gives important & current pop-culture events that displays meaning, http://theologyofnuance.blogspot.com/2006/09/is-there-purpose.html]

As a young man, I recall going to a church camp that was far different than the current "Jesus Camp" documentary.
One of the evening chapel devotionals was "secret".
No one announced where or when the worship would take place.
It was incumbent on all who desired to worship Jesus, to find the time & place of the devotional by asking circuitous or oblique questions of people, as we went about our day's schedule.
The exercise was intended to demonstrate, more accurately the nature of the 1st and 2nd century disciples' commitment to Jesus.
We learned about the catacombs and the followers of the Way.
We learned about the true development of Roman Candles.
And we learned about the infiltration and syncretism of the pagan religious beliefs with Jesus' teachings.
When Constantine made Christianity the state religion, the Churches resolve to be different from the world was weakened.
Lee Camp's book, MERE DISCIPLESHIP: RADICAL CHRISTIANITY IN A REBELLIOUS WORLD, documents this development and argues that the modern western view of Christianity is erroneously viewed through a Constantine "cataract" and is thusly flawed by worldly and carnal conventions.

I pray for the believer's in Riyadh, Baghdad, and Pyongyang.
Yes, they have it very tough.
But, they are free of the Constantine "cataract", to which American Christians are blinded.

No, I would not want to suffer that way.
But, if God sees me as worthy of that, then I am blessed to be so honored. (Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 2:20ff, 3:14)

At the same time however, those believer's will never have to question their faith, as we in the USA do. Because, 'They know whom they have believed and are persuaded that he is able to keep that which they've committed unto him against that day.' (2Tim. 1:12)

What do you think? Did God really need to know if Abraham would be willing to offer up his son Isaac? Was this test meant to prove something to Yahweh or was it meant to prove something to Abraham and Isaac?
Who, after all, lacked the knowledge? Was it the omniscient God? Or was it his servants Abraham & Issac?
After this episode Abraham & Isaac never had to question their faith.
They were oddly blessed by this apparently oppressive test. Just as the disciples in Riyadh are blessed by the oppressive nature of the Saudi government.

I do not find any admonition in the New Testament for disciples of Yahweh to 'Go find yourself a good beating for Christ.'
But, I do find the following admonitions:

Expect suffering.
Expect persecution.
Prepare your hearts and minds in advance for the spiritual battle that will occur within the realm of your physical bodies.
Stand firm in your resolve, knowing that you are now re-created in the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Stand firm in your resolve, knowing that just as the Holy Spirit raised the Lord Jesus Christ from death, you too will be raised to life.
Stand firm in your resolve, knowing that no temporal power exceeds the creative, re-creative, & eternal power of Jesus Christ.
Never give-in to the temporary fears that the World encourages.
Never give-in to the pride that you are God's arm of judgment.
Endure, in faith, the suffering that the natural will confer upon you, because pain will be healed.
Accept, in faith, the heartaches that the World threatens & delivers, because joy will replace sorrow.

To these, above listed truths, it appears almost axiomatic for American Christians to say "That's easy for you to say...", meaning that we should expect to compromise on some things in the "real-world."
However, I think it is instead, far more difficult to expound these tenets, because to 'the natural', these admonitions fly in the face of experinece, logic, & reason.

And, therein lies the truth of the attitude of too many American Christians, we are falling prey to the philosophy of the World or "the old World order."
Christians must be ready to stand firm on these principles, otherwise they are not principles at all. They are lies and are an out-and-out humbug/fraud.

If we were given leeway to compromise on the Way of Christ, then "the Passion of Christ" should more likely be called 'the Negotiation of Christ'.
The events of the Gospels would be far less dramatic.
And the sacrifice of the Lord would be far less noble.
We would not even be talking about the Gospel of Christ, because, when literally translated, Gospel means "the Good News" of Christ.
We would instead be referencing 'the Good Deal' of Christ.
This, it seems to me, is a profound difference.
If Jesus' example, to us, were simply as a skilled negotiator, working on humankind's behalf, between the Father and the devil, and if Jesus simply got, for us, the best bargain that he could, then the whole dynamic changes completely.

In a senario such as this, Jesus becomes just another broker.
He is simply working for the commision.
Jesus will get a cut. The Father will get a cut. And finally, the devil will get a cut.
Oh..., and humankind may find a "good deal" with Jesus behind curtain #3.
But, we should remember also that there are other brokers and other curtains in a scenario like this; Curtain #1 may have Siddhārtha Gautama, Curtain #2 may have Mohammed, etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
It is an interesting concept to consider, isn't it?

We might, therefore, be wise to say "Show me the money." Say it to academia. Say it to Hollywood. Say it to the State. Say it to Siddhārtha. Say it to Mohammed. Say it to Yahweh.

If it seems too impertinent to imagine ourselves addressing the Enlightened One, or the greatest Prophet of Allah or even the Creator himself with these words, then be reminded of this, we simply do not have to demand this, because God Almighty has already shown us the "money" when he provided the empty tomb of Jesus the messiah.
(You might notice that the attempt to discredit Jesus', by Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code", hit at this very point. Dan Brown's novel stated that the empty tomb was a fraud, because Jesus purportedly absconded to France with Mary Magdalene.
Therefore, if Dan Brown is correct, God has not yet 'shown me the money.' We might consider Dan Brown's novel in a future web-log.)

Nevertheless, with these things in light, we may begin to see an empirical difference between Jesus' Way and the many religions of the World.
American Christianity becomes just another religion of the world.
Its adherents may compromise as need be, concerning all of the factory options (bells and whistles.)
With the "Bells and whistles" being roughly defined as things that 'don't work in the real world' or those things that go against "common sense."

When placed in proper perspective, if Christians make allowances for deviation from Jesus' Way, with deference to "common sense", then we have unavoidably admitted that the "real world" or "common sense" is over and above the Heavenly Kingdom.
This admission is utterly untenable.

War is incongruent with Jesus' Way (Mt. 5:39 "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.")
The "real world" becomes a stage prop for Satan's lie.
An ostensible Potemkin village used to trick gullible Christians into believing that there is more behind the façade of the "real world" than Jesus can offer with His unseen "Kingdom of Heaven".
And in the WIZARD OF OZ, Dorthy was admonished to "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."

So, here we (Christians) are again, right back where we started from.
We must decide 'who do we trust more?'
Is it Jesus and His offer for a Kingdom of Heaven, or Satan and his doggedness for the "common sense" "real world"?
Individual Christians will decide.
There is no way around it.
And my decision will become evident by my actions.

DSM

Starrider said...

Awesome.

Starrider said...

I just wanted to say that I did see the movie...the people it portrays are Pentacostals. The visuals of children speaking tongues can be disquieting- especially to Christians that question the doctrine of tongue- speaking and/or non believers. There are some misconceptions ...nobody worships Bush for instance. There is a scene where the kids are encouraged to pray for the president and they use a cardboard standup for focus. I don't think there is a thing wrong with this although it does look a little silly on tape. The only other thing I would say about that- is that they are firmly convinced that GWB is one of them. I am not so sure on that...'nuff said. I pray for GWB too...and not that he'll be struck by lightning either...chuckle...Man look at the poor guy...he's aged sooo much in the last 2 years. I just pray that he finds the strenght to lead in the right direction while he's there...he surely needs the help.
I do not think it is wrong for Christians to participate in Gov. However, it is a tough deal to serve two masters...especially when it requires such wealth and power and compromise to get there...I believe the Good Book has some well known quotes on that.

I'll think some more on it.

Anyhow, I think you should see the movie. I don't think it will surprise you to know that the people that made this movie don't necessarily agree with what is going on and are not so subtle about it...although they try to be "objective". They do give the folks plenty of opportunity to speak for themselves...which is somewhat fair. They also give some commentary from others for rebuttal. Most of the people in the theater with me were jeering at the Christians this was about. The central message is that the battle lines are clearly drawn and this issue is gonna pop quite a bit very soon...we are hearing the first rumblings already. I remember saying that one day the center, the moderates of this country were gonna wake up and choose a side and then there would be "hell" to pay...I believe that is happening now. A lot of folks feel upset about the implied assertion that the "Right" has the market cornered on Christianity and relgion. I'm just sayin....people in general are not happy about all this right left stuff...
I know Jesus was only a member of the Kingdom of God party...and no other. So its all kinda moot.

Here is an excerpt from aThe book "The Myth of a Christian Nation", which I bought last night after seeing the movie "Jesus Camp":

"Our central job (as the church) is not to solve the world's problems (didn't you also say that Dave?). Our job is to draw our entire life from Christ and manifest that life to others. Nothing could be simpler- and nothing could be more challenging. Perhaps this partly explains why (the church) we have allowed ourselves to be so thouroughly co-opted by the world. It's hard to communictate to a prostitute her unsurpassable worth by taking up a cross for her for years, gradually changing her on the inside, and slowly winning the trust to speak her into life (and letting her speak into our life, for we too are sinners). Indeed, this sort of calvary- like love requires one to dieto self. it is much easier, and more gratifying, to assume a morally superior stance and feel good about doing our "Christian duty" to vote against 'the sin of prostitution."
Perhaps this explains why many evangelicals spend more time fighting against certain sinners than they do sacrificing for those sinners. but Jesus calls us and empowers us to follow his example by taking the more difficult, less obvious, much slower, and more painful road- the calvary road. It is the road of self-sacrificial love."