I had an ah ha moment today by way of Twitter, of all places.
In reading through the feed, I stumbled upon a name that sounded familiar. She’d posted this picture:
She’s Becky Fischer, the preacher behind the children’s ministry that ran the controversial Jesus Camp. You may have seen the documentary that came out in 2006. I saw it several years ago but decided to watch it again this afternoon. (I’ve included all 6 parts below).
Watching the film was a huge trigger for me, catapulting me right back into the world I lived in for so long. Our children’s church ministry at our Full-Gospel/Charismatic church was a virtual carbon copy of this woman’s ministry as seen in the film. The raising of the hands in worship, the speaking in tongues and tugging on the children’s emotions with the shame of sin… it’s all in there. And more.
I was in the Full-Gospel/Charismatic church for roughly 20 of my 40 years as a Christian. Eventually I settled back into the United Methodist Church. The core of the teachings, (Jesus born of a virgin, crucified, resurrected for the sin of human kind) is all the same. But the Full-Gospel/Charismatic church veers away from more traditional denominations by teaching that Christians should expect miracles and acts of God like healing, deliverance, and tongues, among other things.
As I watched the film again, I cringed. I winced. I hung my head in shame for the ways in which I’d made my contribution to this twisted way of thinking. Blogging about my personal experiences has taken on new significance for me from watching the film today. This is a truly toxic brand of Christianity.
The kids in the Jesus Camp documentary just break my heart. I encourage you to watch it because people like Becky Fischer are hard at work, indoctrinating kids with dangerous dogma and I for one, know the damage this kind of stuff can do to a person.
No matter what your background, this film is fascinating. It’s worth your time:
I want to know what you think! Post a comment after you’ve watched the documentary.
What do you think?