Jesus Camp

Went to watch Jesus Camp with La Gioia and NanSee yesterday. We had quite a day yesterday, filled with meals, at least for me. I just can eat. Let's not go into the boring details and let's talk about Jesus Camp. Before I watched the movie, based on the little information I had on it, I thought Jesus Camp was like how the world today are picturing extremist Muslims training their followers so that they can fight the holy war, it's the same thing, it's just it's about Christianity instead of Islam and of course there were no guns and such involved, so perhaps it's milder? Or is it?

Jesus Camp is a documentary about an Evangelical Christian camp being hold for kids. It followed the pastor, a few kids, and showed a few of the sessions during the camp and services in church. There were also some scenes from a radio segments Ring of Fire in which the host was raising concerns about these Evangelical Christian community. Well I have never been a diligent church goer, especially to those of the charismatic church kind, however I could actually relate to the services. I've been through that, through my Christian education in school. It became pretty familiar to me and some of the things the pastor said were some of the things I remembered hearing growing up. It was rather strange because praying and singing gospel used to be a huge part of my life in school, especially in primary school and junior high. I kinda miss that a bit, however it's not enough for me to want to go back into that kind of Christian lifestyle, not the charismatic kind at least, because it always freaks me out. I always get freaked me out being in a session where people cried and started to speak in tongue. The first time I experienced that, I actually felt rather scared and I remembered feeling so uncomfortable. It's just not right, seeing so many people crying and falling apart and speaking in languages I don't understand. I don't know, they might think that the devil still has so much chain on me because I didn't feel the glory of God during such session. As bad as I am for saying this, those sessions really made me wanna run for the exit. I just don't think it's for me.

So this documentary depicted how kids in their young age were going through such session in their camp, in their church, to make them warriors of Christ. To the extend that I feel that it's way too much. They're kids for God sake. The fact that they are kids made them so easy to accept such concept of love and God. However I feel that allowing these kids go through such intense session is just not right. They were crying like mad, they were trembling and God ... as much as I don't like naughty kids, I think kids should know God in a lighter way, not be subjected to such intense sessions. It was just way too intense. They were just kids and they were educated about politic, they were praying for a just (meaning upholding Christian value) supreme court judge, they participated in a protest to stop abortion in Washington DC. The kids also approached strangers and started to try telling them about Jesus. It's crazy!!! It's just crazy. Pastor Becky, who apparently a pastor well known for her work with kids, said that and I quote: I can go into a playground of kids that don't know anything about Christianity, lead them to the Lord in a matter of, just no time at all, and just moments later they can be seeing visions and hearing the voice of God, because they're so open. They are so usable in Christianity.. I disagree that it's necessary to be seeing visions and hearing voices to know God. I don't think people should strive for this. The fact that she also used the word "usable" also bothers me. She thought that they had the ONLY truth and she also told the kids that Harry Potter was evil. At that, I said RUBBISH!

I've known people who think Jesus is the one and only way to heaven, I think the one bible verse being recited a lot to emphasis this is John 14:6. I've even remembered one particular retreat session in high school where the girl who supposed to lead us into small discussion (I forget her name, but I think she was quite fat) said that Jesus is the only way to heaven and all the other religions are wrong. At which my inside was protesting but I kept my mouth shut. I just don't believe that. I don't believe that Jesus is the only way to God. With all my heart, I feel that there are many other ways you can feel God. I believe that people should not forsake God. I believe that believing in God and having faith are essential for you life, however is Christianity the only way to know Him? NO! I've remembered times when I was walking, looking at the trees, felt the wind and felt at peace because I felt that God is telling me that everything is gonna alright and if you know me, I don't think you can call me a Christian.

Another alarming thing I learnt in this movie was how this Evangelical Christian community in America is growing and going strong. The pastor Ted Haggard even said, and I quote If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election. It's crazy. Why? Because as the Ring of fire radio host pointed out, there are major evangelical christian figures in the government and they can really shake policy and since it's America, what's happening there will have its effect on the rest of the world. If people think that Islamic fundamentalist is a danger, how about these proud Christian fundamentalist? I was thinking, so what's wrong if the world is more Christian, if people think of Jesus more and work with the teaching of Jesus more? The world might be better, but I don't think it should be on the expense of saying that everybody else, everybody with different religion is wrong and gonna burn in hell. I just disagree with extremists, regardless what religion they come from. By the way, after a simple wiki link, I found out that the famous pastor Ted Haggard who used to talk with George Bush and his advisors every Monday was involved in some shocking scandal. I kinda remember now seeing him on the 09:30 news. How ironic!

I was quite bothered with this documentary. In a way, yes these people have so much passion for God and I respect that but I think they're just way too much. I thought Christian who watch this may get offended and pray so that this documentary don't make people think badly of Christianity but now I think Christians who are as strong as those depicted in the documentary will pray instead for bigger faith and conviction so that they could join in this holy war against everything not Christian. Gosh, it seriously brings back some memories from my days in school. I don't know if God will support me on my views, but I guess as with others, He gives me the freedom to choose as well as to think. I am maybe completely wrong and perhaps someday He will show me His truth, we will see. If there are Christian reading this, they maybe praying for me after this. Oh well, all I can say is thank you.

Should you watch the movie then? Only if you want to watch something different. If you want entertainment, go to box office kind of movie instead. Let's move on to my life topic.

Oggi Carl vola per Italia. Sono gelosa. Quando posso fare la stessa? Ieri ho deciso che andrò a qualche posto prima compierò venti sei. Vorrei fare qualche cosa quando ho ancora venti cinque anni. Non ho molto tempo. Spero che avrò il coraggio per farlo, però non so. Quest' anno sono ancora qui nonostante l'anno scorso ho pregato per il corragio così avrei potuto lasciare qui. Forse dovrei più gentile con Dio così proprio volerò via. Per favore, Dio.

Had quite a tough week last week, physically straining. Not feeling so good now. I actually took a few drugs last week to preempt getting sick. May have to do the same tonight. Even if I say I'm not stress, my body begs to differ. You know something is wrong when your body is not doing something or doing something out of the ordinary. I have dismissed the lack of a good sleep as part and parcel of my life, but there's other thing with my body that makes me a bit worried. I just hope I won't collapse. Read a few mails before I wrote this post and well now emotionally I don't think I'm in a good state either. Life, I suppose? We have to keep pushing and fighting? There's that's difference between feeling and responsibility which I felt I have managed to keep quite separate all this time. It should continue being so. I'm running out of words. Oh yeah I just remembered that the kids in Jesus Camp who was homeschooled by his mother, thought (his mother as well) that global warming is not a big deal. Kinda reminded me of Rista who thought the same way, who thought there's some political agenda behind it. Well, it doesn't hurt to be nicer to Earth right? Recycle, use the public transport, use less water and electricity and paper? God knows that some places like Jakarta really need fresher air.

:) eKa @ 9:43:00 PM •

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