Anyone want to take a guess at what was voted the scariest movie of the year by Hollywood insiders? It was not the latest Freddy Krueger movie, nor was it the latest Halloween movie. It wasn't some teenage slasher flick with some guy running around with a chainsaw. No. What was voted the scariest movie of the year was a feature length documentary called Jesus Camp, a film that follows three young children to a Pentecostal Christian summer camp.
You may be thinking to yourself "What??!! A Christian summer camp is more scary than Friday the 13??!!" If you don't believe me, check out the reviews. If you are like me and you were raised in the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, then you are certainly familiar with the yearly trip to the lake where you go swimming and horseback riding during the day and get filled with the Holy Spirit at night. I attended several of these as a kid and I think that I have turned out to be a normal rational human being....okay I realize that might be a bit debateable so you'll have to humor me for a moment and pretend you agree.
So what is so scary about Jesus Camp to the outsider. Well, besides the fact that children are dressed up in military outfits symbolizing that they are warriors for God (which to an outsider who doesn't have an inside perspective would see that as the same thing as some Wahabbi Islamic Koranic school teaching children the concepts of Jihad), the leader of the camp, Becky Fisher, is seen decrying the evils of evolution, the deception of global warming, and, of course, the incarnation of the devil himself-Harry Potter.
Here is the ironic part. I am sure that there are Christians rejoicing that the gospel was preached through this movie. The sad part about it is that the secular critics didn't seem to get the memo that those involved wanted this to be a witnessing tool. While I appreciate the sincerity of the subjects of the film, I have to ask these basic questions.
1. Is denying evolution as a natural mechanism central to the gospel?
2. Since when did global warming become a central issue in the Christian faith?
3. Is J.K. Rowling really a Satanist seeking to poison the minds of innocent little children?
The last question I have to ask is the most important one. It demands careful attention. Since when did we evangelicals become more known for what we are against than what we are for?