Jesus Camp portrays a specialty in much of conservative fundamentalism, Pentecostalism and increasingly, evangelicalism: the mental abuse of children in the name of religion. It’s heinous, ugly, deplorable and deserves to be called out in whatever way possible.
I’ve fought my entire ministry against this kind of mindset and these knds of methods. I almost lost my job over refusing to allow a “Hell House” program at OBI. I’ve confronted speakers over manipulative tactics dozens of times. In every case, I’ve been looked at like I was from the Planet Butthead.
Influencing our children in the faith is a Biblical command and a great privilege. It’s also an ethical matter. Children aren’t to be brainwashed, emotionally arm-twisted, manipulated, frightened or bribed. Yet all of these things are done every day in “children’s ministry” and youth ministry as well. And all is justified with a lot of yammering that covers up the agenda of brainwashing and manipulation.
If this makes some Pentecostals evangelicals look like they are abusing their children religiously, then good, because they are and they need to stop.
It’s the parents and ministers of these kids who need to be held accountable for what is said and done to their children. Educating, influencing, teaching, helping, involving….all great and good things. Frightening. Pressuring. Lying. Emotionally manipulating. Messing with the mind. Rewarding those who “surrender.” All very bad things.
I hope Jesus Camp wins an Oscar. Why are we afraid of the truth?
Makes me want to see it...