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Author Topic: Jesus Camp on A&E  (Read 17488 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 31, 2007, 12:36:25 PM »

Did anyone see this?  It is a special that A&E ran last night.  Here's the synopsis from A&E's website:

A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway whereby young Christians must take up the leadership of the religious right. This film reveals a new phenomenon: an active movement to train young kids to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army." The film follows Levi, Rachael and Tory to the Kids on Fire summer camp in Devils Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are drilled in the importance of political activism and radical views. The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future. Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 4/27/06.

http://www.aetv.com/indiefilms/if_films.jsp?index=9&type=character

On the one hand, is it ever a bad thing that anyone (especially a child) is seeking Christ and seeking to live His Gospel?

On the other hand, it is almost bizarre... to me, it strikes me how politically motivated the whole thing was (a HUGE overemphasis on praying for politics, politicians, government, political action, etc.).  The kids sounded to me like robots, programmed to say and do these things (like sitting in front of the supreme court with tape over their mouths that says "life"), but it seems unlikely that they really understand what it's about.  Furthermore, they've set these kids up such that they view their beliefs in contrast and in conflict with everyone else's.  They talk a LOT about liberals "shaking in their boots" when confronted with this movement, about changing the government, abolishing the separation of church and state, etc.  One woman on the special said something that perfectly described what the whole special was demonstrating.  She said, "There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those who love Jesus, and those who don't."  I think this is a terrible injustice to the kids, because it breeds ignorance and fear of people whose beliefs are different from theirs. 

They also spoke SOOOOOO much (and sang about) the blood of Jesus.  They prayed for Christ to "sprinkle His blood" on the campers, etc.  It really freaked me out, honestly.

Not to sound narrow-minded or overly sensitive, but I really found it hurtful and almost offensive that this is the way they represent Christ to other people, and that this is the way they regard Christ.  The way they talked about Him, etc. was almost sad.

The fact of the matter is that this movement IS spreading rapidly, especially among the youth.  We need to be prepared with a response to it as Orthodox, and we need to be able to prepare our children to respond to it, as kids are primarily who they are targeting for their "army for God."

Did anyone else see this?  I'd love to open a discussion about it. 
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 12:57:30 PM »

My fiancee and I watch it and truly, I couldn't say much besides "Wow" at every commercial break.

Like the fellow she was speaking to on the radio said, it truly seemed like indoctrination/brainwashing.  The part about corrupt government, smashing the cups and the war dance they had in camo makeup...  Like you said, everything was so politically driven.  Constantly referring to "One nation, under God".

There were a few other things I found troubling:
-  As you referred to as well, the constant emphasis on the blood of Christ
-  The periodic "speaking in tongues"
-  The pastor who said the one kid should use his "cuteness" to sway people, even if his message isn't developed
-  The girl who described that God only "visits loud Churches"
-  The rap hymn they were singing and referring to Christ as JC
-  And lastly, I don't want to seem disrespectly, but the children almost appeared unstable

Why it is so popular amongst the youth?  I guess since it is so informal and "progressive".  The are constantly changing the means to lure more and more people in by making it all seem "cool".
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 01:30:54 PM »

My fiancee and I watch it and truly, I couldn't say much besides "Wow" at every commercial break.

Like the fellow she was speaking to on the radio said, it truly seemed like indoctrination/brainwashing.  The part about corrupt government, smashing the cups and the war dance they had in camo makeup...  Like you said, everything was so politically driven.  Constantly referring to "One nation, under God".

There were a few other things I found troubling:
-  As you referred to as well, the constant emphasis on the blood of Christ
-  The periodic "speaking in tongues"
-  The pastor who said the one kid should use his "cuteness" to sway people, even if his message isn't developed
-  The girl who described that God only "visits loud Churches"
-  The rap hymn they were singing and referring to Christ as JC
-  And lastly, I don't want to seem disrespectly, but the children almost appeared unstable

Why it is so popular amongst the youth?  I guess since it is so informal and "progressive".  The are constantly changing the means to lure more and more people in by making it all seem "cool".

You said it!!!  You're much more articulate about it than I am.  Every single one of those points astounded me as well. 

As far as the youth, I think it's because they are young and impressionable.  It seemed to me like it was the "get them while they're young and can be convinced that we're right" kind of thing.  And the political motivation-- wow!!!  It seemed to me like they really are breeding an army who is ready to vote the minute they turn 18 and change everything.  I mean, these kids are like, what, 6 years up to like 13 or 14?  Something like that?  So they don't have too long to wait to vote. 

It seemed to me like their desire to "spread the message" was NOT about loving God and aspiring to live the Gospel, it was about changing the government, changing politics, and forcing others to live by what they (being the Evangelicals) believe.  I was really shocked by the absolute rejection of non-Christians, as thought this is what God would want.  The boy with the long hair (Levi, I believe) talked about knowing people who weren't Christian and they seemed like they were missing something, etc.  I was just really struck by how he and the other kids sounded like they had been programmed to say these things.  I would be interested to see a follow up special with these kids when they grow up, to see how many of them are still in Evangelical churches like that one, and how many of them have sought out something deeper and more meaningful.

The hypocrisy was another thing that struck me.  The woman (Becky Fischer) preached about Satan and temptation and sin and evil, but was at the same time presenting them with music like the rap, which glorifies a type of music that can be very un-Godly, so to speak.  This was just one of the hypocrisies, though.

I don't know, I feel like I'm not articulating anything very well today.  I'm still in such shock after watching it, the only really coherent thought I can come up with is, "whoa, no wonder people hate Christians."  Sad, huh?  It's this type of thing that makes me feel like when I tell someone that I'm Christian, I have to temper it by saying I'm Orthodox Christian.  Anyone else feel that way?
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 02:39:34 PM »

I watched this program too, at least bits and pieces and I was just as astonished by the actions taken in this film by "ministers" with regards to children.  What I found most appalling was that this one Pentecostal minister justified her actions with children because that is what the radical Muslims are doing with their children in the Middle East and thus there has to be a balance.  These are kids; not an army.

I have no doubt that these are sincere people in their beliefs.  But I am afraid of what they can do to lure children away from the faith of Orthodoxy.  The urgent need for faithful catechesis for our youth from both clergy and parents is made very plain and obvious.
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2007, 02:56:23 PM »

I watched this program too, at least bits and pieces and I was just as astonished by the actions taken in this film by "ministers" with regards to children.  What I found most appalling was that this one Pentecostal minister justified her actions with children because that is what the radical Muslims are doing with their children in the Middle East and thus there has to be a balance.  These are kids; not an army.


Yeah, I can't believe I forgot that part!!!  That was right near the beginning (which is why I forgot).  That almost scared me, that she equated these kids to muslim extremists.  This militant attitude is frightening.  We're watching our faith, the faith of Christ, being hijacked by extremists. 

They may be sincere in their faith (the part where one of the fathers came in and stopped the boys from telling ghost stories-- he seemed sincere to me), but is this a healthy type of faith?  One that is militant, politically motivated, and set up in opposition to everyone else?

As Orthodox, how do we respond to this?  How do we prepare our children to encounter and respond to this?  What do you guys think?
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2007, 03:05:47 PM »

They may be sincere in their faith (the part where one of the fathers came in and stopped the boys from telling ghost stories-- he seemed sincere to me), but is this a healthy type of faith?  One that is militant, politically motivated, and set up in opposition to everyone else?

I can be militant about my own faith.  The problem is that they are, more or less, forcing this on other people.  If it's not our way, that's wrong and we will "convince" you otherwise. That's when faith becomes dangerous, when it becomes compulsory upon those who do not believe the same.


As Orthodox, how do we respond to this?  How do we prepare our children to encounter and respond to this?  What do you guys think?

Again, the solution is faithful catechesis by both clergy and the parents.  I'm the SOYO advisor at my parish and all of the kids (save for one) have one parent who is not Orthodox or even practicing Christian.  Those kids are the ones who need the most support and help because they are so tempted to abandon Orthodoxy just to fit in with others. 

However, at least in the Diocese of Wichita and the Mid-West, His Grace, Bishop +BASIL, has done much to set up Orthodox retreats available to our youth throughout the year.

But above all, parents must ensure that their kids are regularly praying and taking part in the life of the Church.  That cannot be underestimated or undervalued.
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2007, 03:29:20 PM »

Why it is so popular amongst the youth?  I guess since it is so informal and "progressive".  The are constantly changing the means to lure more and more people in by making it all seem "cool".

I think it is probably even simpler than that.  A youth organization with some strong ideological core is a very attractive thing because of the camaraderie and other social factors.  What the actual ideological core consists of is irrelevant - from the American Boy Scouts, Nashi, Hitlerjugen.  The phenomenon is more youth organizations than American fundamentalism.   
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2007, 07:48:35 PM »

Panagiotis and I watched that last night.  I was just going through the onscreen TV guide and hey, there's Jesus Camp!   Cheesy  Of course, we only half-watched, since we were making fun of it and talking so much about our childhood churches (Foursquare for him, Nazarene for me), comparing and contrasting them to what we saw on the documentary.  He used to be in churches like that, but in his early adulthood, began wanting to get far away from them.  They seemed too fake and "milky."

It looked like they were worshipping Bush.   Tongue  The war dance reminded me of Lord of the Flies.

scamandrius wrote:
Quote
I can be militant about my own faith.  The problem is that they are, more or less, forcing this on other people.  If it's not our way, that's wrong and we will "convince" you otherwise. That's when faith becomes dangerous, when it becomes compulsory upon those who do not believe the same.

That's why so many people hate being proselytized, why they bad-mouth Christians for doing it.  But this is what so many Christians are taught to do, or else all their friends and family are going to Hell and they're sending them there.

While I don't have a problem with Christian rap on a philosophical level, that JC song was VERY cheesy.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008, 02:27:57 AM »

My fiancee and I watch it and truly, I couldn't say much besides "Wow" at every commercial break.

Like the fellow she was speaking to on the radio said, it truly seemed like indoctrination/brainwashing.  The part about corrupt government, smashing the cups and the war dance they had in camo makeup...  Like you said, everything was so politically driven.  Constantly referring to "One nation, under God".

There were a few other things I found troubling:
-  As you referred to as well, the constant emphasis on the blood of Christ
-  The periodic "speaking in tongues"
-  The pastor who said the one kid should use his "cuteness" to sway people, even if his message isn't developed
-  The girl who described that God only "visits loud Churches"
-  The rap hymn they were singing and referring to Christ as JC
-  And lastly, I don't want to seem disrespectly, but the children almost appeared unstable

Why it is so popular amongst the youth?  I guess since it is so informal and "progressive".  The are constantly changing the means to lure more and more people in by making it all seem "cool".
I think what worried me the most was the fact that they were "venerating" a cardboard cut-out of George Bush, while sometime earlier condemning Christians that have a very liturgical way of being.

This was the only movie that has nearly brought me to tears from nothing but complete disbelief.  These kids in the movie are going to have really tough problems when they get older.  Problems with how to act around and towards non-Evangelicals and those that take their faith seriously.
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2008, 11:17:29 AM »


These kids in the movie are going to have really tough problems when they get older.  Problems with how to act around and towards non-Evangelicals and those that take their faith seriously.

This is especially true because, typically, those who are serious about their faith are educated in their faith.  And unless something changes from what I saw in the film, those kids are not really receiving a religious education.  They're being taught what to say, and taught how they should feel, but there seems to be little to no education in the Scriptures and in any type of theology.  This is going to make things difficult for them, because they will know that they are not supposed to like non-Evangelicals, but they won't know why, nor will they have an educated answer to the issues that divide them from non-Evangelicals.  Does this make sense?
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 11:40:53 AM »

This is especially true because, typically, those who are serious about their faith are educated in their faith.  And unless something changes from what I saw in the film, those kids are not really receiving a religious education.  They're being taught what to say, and taught how they should feel, but there seems to be little to no education in the Scriptures and in any type of theology.  This is going to make things difficult for them, because they will know that they are not supposed to like non-Evangelicals, but they won't know why, nor will they have an educated answer to the issues that divide them from non-Evangelicals.  Does this make sense? 

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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2008, 01:04:33 PM »

I think it is probably even simpler than that.  A youth organization with some strong ideological core is a very attractive thing because of the camaraderie and other social factors.  What the actual ideological core consists of is irrelevant - from the American Boy Scouts, Nashi, Hitlerjugen.  The phenomenon is more youth organizations than American fundamentalism.   

A lot of the street gangs these days are a mixture of drug, national-ideological, and religious. You'll notice the Rosary in abundance with the Latino Gangs. And it's always some "powerful group" from "above" dictating the terms by manipulating these characteristics. In both the case of the street gangs and those in Jesus Camp, we need to question those "above" since they don't represent Orthodoxy.(in some cases we're even justified in questioning Orthodoxy) People are tribal and seek the truth. I guess it depends upon where they get the truth. One way we can 'combat' this is by not being so quick to accept protestant views and methods in American politics and society. We have to differentiate between the Body and Blood of Christ and Jesus-ideology (forgive me if this is inappropriate). It's not unpatriotic nor un-Christian to go against the popular "

In the end, the Jesus Camp children may indeed end up being another street gang.
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2008, 01:47:45 PM »

Isn't this exactly what the West did in response to Muslims invasions into Christian lands? Crusaders Anyone?

Personally, I don't question or criticize them. People will fight over dirt. It's their way. But ultimately dirt is used to feed the masses and if Islam is going to systematically invade Christendom again I can understand the motive to equip individuals to resist them ideologically and physically.

It worked at Lepanto.
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2008, 01:50:25 PM »

What this camp is doing is shocking. But some secularists are also just as fanatical. I remember once, when I was working at a large technology company, a group of women from my department were discussing abortion. Of course they were all in favor of it and they were shocked and appalled when I stated I was pro-life. They didn't even give me a chance to explain or hear me out. They immediately attacked me personally and tried to shame me for being pro-life. I stood my ground and did not let the peer pressure of the group sway me to say something against my beliefs even though two of those women were my managers. I think our children will be confronted more often by secular propaganda than they will be exposed to fundamentalist extremism. Although it could depend on where you live. I have never been exposed to or had to deal with extreme fundamentalists out here in the bay area. I can only recall one time in college when I was approached by a born-again Christian missionary. She tried to explain to me I must be born again and read the Jesus Prayer. I explained to her I was already born again when I was baptized as in infant in the Orthodox Church. She insisted I needed to say the prayer so all of my sins would be washed away. I let her know that my church provided me with the sacrament of Holy Confession so I could continually repent of my sins. She finally gave up and walked a way in a very confused state.. Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2008, 01:52:33 PM »

Isn't this exactly what the West did in response to Muslims invasions into Christian lands? Crusaders Anyone?

Personally, I don't question or criticize them. People will fight over dirt. It's their way. But ultimately dirt is used to feed the masses and if Islam is going to systematically invade Christendom again I can understand the motive to equip individuals to resist them ideologically and physically.

It worked at Lepanto.

Respectfully, that's pretty reactionary thinking. Why do we always scapegoat our misconduct on Islam, or tie it to the Crusades?

Did anyone stop to think that perhaps the Islamist movement of the 20th/21st Centuries were a reaction to pseudoChristian invasion of muslim resources in the Middle East?
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2008, 02:15:47 PM »

Isn't this exactly what the West did in response to Muslims invasions into Christian lands? Crusaders Anyone?

Personally, I don't question or criticize them. People will fight over dirt. It's their way. But ultimately dirt is used to feed the masses and if Islam is going to systematically invade Christendom again I can understand the motive to equip individuals to resist them ideologically and physically.

It worked at Lepanto.

There are two problems with this, though...

1. They're not equipping them ideologically.  That was my point above.  They are not learning real responses even to other forms of Christianity, much less Islam, or any other religion for that matter.  All they're learning is "you have to accept Christ and be born again."  The mother at the beginning, who was teaching her son about global warming, said it perfectly.  "There are two types of people in the world.  Those who love Christ, and those who don't."  This is the narrowminded Christianity they're teaching.  There's no theology, no humility, no real love for Christ- because all of these involve knowledge, which they are not gaining from this camp.

2. I'm with JustinianPrima on this one.  While I may not be Islam's biggest fan, simply because I don't agree with a lot of its ideology and theology, I am against demonizing Muslims.  If the government and the public in general would stop for a second and listen to what the fundamentalist Islamic groups are shouting about, they'll find that what is making them hate us is our continued interference in their affairs and our unnecessary presence in the region (of course, it's necessary for us so that we can secure the ever-sacred oil!).  Either way, the fundamentalist Muslims are, by far, the minority, just as the fundamentalist Christians are the minority.  I think it's important that we remember all of this, lest we become like the narrowminded fundamentalists in our country who will attack anyone with olive skin and a beard (such as the verbal attack of a Coptic priest on a plane that my parents witnessed- even though he was wearing a very large pectoral cross, they thought he was a Muslim and wanted him removed from the plane).
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« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2008, 02:16:31 PM »

By the way, JustinianPrima, welcome to the forum!!!!!  Grin
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2008, 02:18:07 PM »

Respectfully, that's pretty reactionary thinking. Why do we always scapegoat our misconduct on Islam, or tie it to the Crusades?

What is wrong with 'reacting'? Is it wrong to react? Your statement seems odd to me. Who is scapegoating Islam? Islam is it's own worst enemy. 

Quote
Did anyone stop to think that perhaps the Islamist movement of the 20th/21st Centuries were a reaction to pseudoChristian invasion of muslim resources in the Middle East?

So it's the Christians fault? I guess you can't trace this back very far, uh?
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2008, 02:25:10 PM »

Islam is it's own worst enemy. 
I have to agree with this.   


So it's the Christians fault? I guess you can't trace this back very far, uh?

I think JustinianPrima is saying that the Islamic movement of TODAY is reacting to us. This is what I was saying, too.  I agree about the Islamic movement that crushed the Byzantine empire.  I think it suffices to say that the history of Christian/Islamic relations is a rocky one.  And I won't deny that my feelings are anti-Islam as far as who is to blame in history.  But as far as today, I don't think we have any business policing the world and trying to control that region, especially not for the sake of oil.  We may be the only super-power left in the world (although China's definitely moving up as far as that goes), but no one died and made us god, so to speak.
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2008, 02:26:02 PM »

By the way, JustinianPrima, welcome to the forum!!!!!  Grin

thanks!
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2008, 03:02:30 PM »

There are two problems with this, though...

1. They're not equipping them ideologically.  That was my point above.  They are not learning real responses even to other forms of Christianity, much less Islam, or any other religion for that matter.  All they're learning is "you have to accept Christ and be born again."  The mother at the beginning, who was teaching her son about global warming, said it perfectly.  "There are two types of people in the world.  Those who love Christ, and those who don't."  This is the narrowminded Christianity they're teaching.  There's no theology, no humility, no real love for Christ- because all of these involve knowledge, which they are not gaining from this camp.

Honestly, I haven't seen the program but I'll reserve my criticism of them at this point.

Quote
2. I'm with JustinianPrima on this one.  While I may not be Islam's biggest fan, simply because I don't agree with a lot of its ideology and theology, I am against demonizing Muslims.  If the government and the public in general would stop for a second and listen to what the fundamentalist Islamic groups are shouting about, they'll find that what is making them hate us is our continued interference in their affairs and our unnecessary presence in the region (of course, it's necessary for us so that we can secure the ever-sacred oil!).  Either way, the fundamentalist Muslims are, by far, the minority, just as the fundamentalist Christians are the minority.  I think it's important that we remember all of this, lest we become like the narrowminded fundamentalists in our country who will attack anyone with olive skin and a beard (such as the verbal attack of a Coptic priest on a plane that my parents witnessed- even though he was wearing a very large pectoral cross, they thought he was a Muslim and wanted him removed from the plane).

Frankly, I served in the Military so I'll take Rome's tactics over Constantinople any day, with all due respect of course.
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2008, 03:05:44 PM »

I think JustinianPrima is saying that the Islamic movement of TODAY is reacting to us. This is what I was saying, too.  I agree about the Islamic movement that crushed the Byzantine empire.  I think it suffices to say that the history of Christian/Islamic relations is a rocky one.  And I won't deny that my feelings are anti-Islam as far as who is to blame in history.  But as far as today, I don't think we have any business policing the world and trying to control that region, especially not for the sake of oil.  We may be the only super-power left in the world (although China's definitely moving up as far as that goes), but no one died and made us god, so to speak.

My only problem is that you can't simply say 'oil' anymore than you can 'corn' or 'air'. These are all three necessary elements of our economy. If any one of these elements are in danger then it stands to reason that the powers that be would be motivated to secure them.
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2008, 03:06:54 PM »

So it's the Christians fault? I guess you can't trace this back very far, uh? 

It's really not much of a leap to state that the current Islamist anti-Western anti-Christian movement is in reaction to the activities of the Great Western Powers in the 18th-20th centuries.  It was like "stirring the pot."

Frankly, I served in the Military so I'll take Rome's tactics over Constantinople any day, with all due respect of course.

Lol.  I know the point you're trying to make, but technically you just said "I'll take Rome's tactics over Rome any day."
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2008, 03:27:35 PM »

My only problem is that you can't simply say 'oil' anymore than you can 'corn' or 'air'. These are all three necessary elements of our economy. If any one of these elements are in danger then it stands to reason that the powers that be would be motivated to secure them.

No worries, we'll just start drilling in Alaska as indications point. The only problem being 'peak' oil, or how soon is it going to be more expensive to extract oil than it's actual worth?

Please don't get me wrong, I have my share of problems with Islam. But there this little piece of me, as much as it pains me to say, that believes that our problem will come from within "Christianity" ... besides, a big part of our faith(that being Orthodoxy) is focused on the internals, so it shouldn't be hard for us to find the cultprit(s). I for one know that I could always use Our Lord's Grace in order to become a better servant in Christ.
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2008, 03:32:41 PM »

My only problem is that you can't simply say 'oil' anymore than you can 'corn' or 'air'. These are all three necessary elements of our economy. If any one of these elements are in danger then it stands to reason that the powers that be would be motivated to secure them.

It stands to reason, yes.  But that doesn't make it right. 
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2008, 04:09:02 PM »

It stands to reason, yes.  But that doesn't make it right. 

So you would posit that it is morally unethical to protect a resource which is necessary for the well-being of one's society? How is that morally 'wrong'? Seriously. You need to weigh the consequences of 'not' protecting such a resource.
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2008, 06:01:54 PM »

So you would posit that it is morally unethical to protect a resource which is necessary for the well-being of one's society? How is that morally 'wrong'? Seriously. You need to weigh the consequences of 'not' protecting such a resource.

Yes, I would say that it's unethical when it is protection no matter what the cost to the society that we are invading/taking advantage of in order to secure it.  This is especially true considering that we have all kinds of alternatives to oil, we're just not willing to spend the money to develop and use them.  We'd rather rape the land, exploit the governments and economies, and subjugate the people of those areas rich in oil.  And all for the glory of the obnoxiously large, unnecessary vehicles we drive.  Not to mention the various wars we've engaged in to protect our oil interests.  Yeah, there's ethics for ya. 

Just my 2 cents, though.  And not really on topic for this thread.  Maybe we should start a new one?  I have no idea where it would go, though.
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« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2008, 06:26:24 PM »

Yes, I would say that it's unethical when it is protection no matter what the cost to the society that we are invading/taking advantage of in order to secure it.  This is especially true considering that we have all kinds of alternatives to oil, we're just not willing to spend the money to develop and use them.  We'd rather rape the land, exploit the governments and economies, and subjugate the people of those areas rich in oil.  And all for the glory of the obnoxiously large, unnecessary vehicles we drive.  Not to mention the various wars we've engaged in to protect our oil interests.  Yeah, there's ethics for ya.

You appear to object on the basis that the consequences mentioned (rape the land, exploitation of governments and economies, subjugation of people, etc) that such an endeavor does not justify the pursuit of the object (securing one's own future generations).

My response would be that such 'consequences' are a non sequitur (i.e. the consequences don't necessarily follow the objective).

Quote
Just my 2 cents, though.  And not really on topic for this thread.  Maybe we should start a new one?  I have no idea where it would go, though.

I would hope that it would lead to a less rhetorical discussion.   Wink
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« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2008, 08:12:31 PM »

You appear to object on the basis that the consequences mentioned (rape the land, exploitation of governments and economies, subjugation of people, etc) that such an endeavor does not justify the pursuit of the object (securing one's own future generations).

These are not consequences, though, because these are the things we do in order to secure the oil.  Thus, securing the oil is the consequence of our actions.  Rather, I think you mean that these things are means to an end.  I say that the end is not worth the means, as we have so many alternatives to oil now whose benefits to our economy far outweigh those of oil. 

Oil is not essential to securing one's own future generations.  That may have been the case in the 60's or 70's, even the 80's, when we had no alternatives to oil.  But now we have plenty of technology that makes oil almost obsolete, should we choose to spend the money to implement it.  The question is, are our morals and ethics, the well being of the earth that God entrusted to us, and the lives of those in the areas rich in oil important enough to spend a little more money? 




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« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2008, 08:47:03 PM »

Ya..Saw it.

I am a convert but my kids are not. This confirmed every negative stereotype they have about "Christianity".

They especially noticed that Rev. Heggard turned out to be a meth addict who used male prostitutes...  Nice

Oh well. Maybe they will forget what they saw after 10 or 20 years.
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« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2008, 08:47:31 PM »

It's really not much of a leap to state that the current Islamist anti-Western anti-Christian movement is in reaction to the activities of the Great Western Powers in the 18th-20th centuries.  It was like "stirring the pot."

I posted an short outline of why I believe the model of a clash of civilizations is inaccurate in describing Western / Islamic conflict of the 20th century as the West and its (neo)colonial relationship with the Islamic world and using radical Islamists groups to secure its own interests in fights against other Western powers, backing despotic regimes (the Iranian Shah, Saudi Arabia etc) and the near Carte Blanche that Israel has from the West is why this is tactical fight using the only effective means possible to fight against great powers by a pre-modern society - terrorism.  But it is always so much easier to look towards others as the source of our society's problems rather than our own bad policy.   

The primary reason why I reject the the idea that there is some great conflict of civilizations going on is because that is simply the wrong model for the these ongoing conflicts have unfolded.  Instead they have been more like the French-Indian War in which the British and French used Native American groups as proxies to fight each other.  Nor does the clash of civilizations model place enough culpability on the poor policy decisions of the Great Powers that have created and sustained these conflicts, namely:

The dismantling of the Ottoman Empire to largely serve British and French colonial interests created the modern borders of much of the Middle East that are so very "unnatural".  This left unsustainable nation-states and lasting instability.

In the post WWII era, the chiefly American support of brutally repressive regimes is at the root of anti-Westernism in the Middle East.  Supporting the Iranian Shah was bound to lead to an opposition formed of political Islam.  And when that did finally come to fruition, this Shiiate revival has left Syria and Lebanon destabilized to this day.  And what was the American response?  Let's fund and support another brutal despot in the region to fight the Iranian regime:


In the backdrop of this, the USSR was doing similar activities in the cold war game of geopolitical chess.  And it wouldn't be entirely accurate to call this simply a cold war byproduct as the Russian Empire and the British were fighting this same proxy war over territories largely inhabited by Muslims for centuries. 

Saudi Arabia.  This corrupt and hypocritical monarchy is the primary target of Islamists once they settle their score with the US.  It is Western support of the the Saudi regime that (such as when the French Foreign Legion put down one of the most important coups) has allowed it to continue its existence and spread its Wahhabism around the world. 

Afghanistan.  The USSR and the US fought their proxy war and left a country devastated and in control of warlords - not to mention arming the future Taleban and Al-Qeada.

And going on behind all of this has been the US support of Israel.

This is not some anti-American rant; Pat Buchanan makes a very similar argument in his book Death of the West.  I entirely disagree with his conclusions that America should turn to a path of isolationism, but I think he is entirely correct that the Bush administration rhetoric that "they" hate us for our freedoms and such is a total lie.  Islamists hate the US, Europe, Russia and China because they have all enacted policies with which they disagree (i.e supporting oppressive regimes in their homelands, backing Israel, invading their homelands and causing tremendous collateral damage). 

Hence, this is why I think that to describe these ongoing conflicts as some sort of great clash of civilizations is simply inaccurate.  The hostilities have been caused by Great Power proxy wars and hostile policies by the Great Powers.  Modern Islamic terrorism is simply a tactical response to that.   
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« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2008, 08:53:22 PM »

This is especially true because, typically, those who are serious about their faith are educated in their faith.  And unless something changes from what I saw in the film, those kids are not really receiving a religious education.  They're being taught what to say, and taught how they should feel, but there seems to be little to no education in the Scriptures and in any type of theology.  This is going to make things difficult for them, because they will know that they are not supposed to like non-Evangelicals, but they won't know why, nor will they have an educated answer to the issues that divide them from non-Evangelicals.  Does this make sense?
Yes.  The kids are being raised to think "non-Evangelicals are going to hell" when they have little to no theological prowess to justify why they say what they say.

To make a long story short, they are taking Christianity and turning it into a political ideology and justifying it with "private interpretation".  A great example is the dj at the beginning who was saying "Let's rape the earth, we won't be here long anyway".  Sure, we may not be here long, but our children will and so on and so forth.  Besides, the earth is a gift from God and should be taken care of as much as possible.  Point is, they are saying that the earth is open to rape and pillage, while ignoring many key points.

Even Ted Haggard near the end said something like "There are two of these [megachurches] churches being built everyday.  Imagine the political power that can be gained.  We could swing any election."  That is what scares me is seeing people with very narrow minds in power.
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« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2008, 09:24:10 PM »

Of course, we only half-watched... talking so much about our childhood churches, comparing and contrasting them to what we saw on the documentary.

Sounds like my wife and I when we watched the film a year ago.
We had to pause it several times because we were both getting a little too emotional (LOTS of bad memories coming back).
After a few "Lord have mercy"s we would calm down enough to start it again.

Words cannot express how much of this film hit home for me.  I spent my late childhood and early adolescence in the Charismatic scene. 
Granted, not all Charismatic congregations are this extreme... but the essence here is pretty much standard anywhere you go.

Goodness gracious! 
After years of being around people screaming "Blood of Jesus" while they wave their hands in the air...  Roll Eyes
no wonder I was so drawn to Buddhism in my late teens.

Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ that I eventually found His TRUE Orthodox Church!  Glory to God!   Cheesy
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« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2008, 09:39:49 PM »

It's this type of thing that makes me feel like when I tell someone that I'm Christian, I have to temper it by saying I'm Orthodox Christian.  Anyone else feel that way?

Every single day.  However, it tickles me how confused most people look when you say "I'm an Orthodox Christian."
Its usually a win-win situation:

1) either they have no clue what you're talking about... which gives an opportunity to witness
2) or they say "Oh, yeah, that's a Greek/Russian thing, right?" ... which gives an opportunity to emphasize the universal/multi-cultural-ness of Orthodoxy.

Regardless of their initial response, it usually results in quite a lengthy (and often very productive) conversation.

Growing up , I was at first very proud to be a Christian and would "witness" to my playmates (at least as much as a young Protestant can).  However, by the time I reached puberty, I was pretty much ashamed to call myself a Christian (because of all the distortion I was exposed to).  By the time I was in my mid-teens, I would full on openly attack Christianity.  I pretty much stayed in that state until the day I first walked into an Orthodox parish.  Glory to God for leading me Home!
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« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2008, 09:47:23 PM »

Glory to God for leading me Home!

Amen to that!
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« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2008, 09:48:50 PM »

I stood my ground and did not let the peer pressure of the group sway me to say something against my beliefs...

Glory to God!  Smiley

I think our children will be confronted more often by secular propaganda than they will be exposed to fundamentalist extremism. Although it could depend on where you live.

Secularism, not some other religion, is Orthodoxy's greatest threat.  Atheism/non-religious-ism is growing... on its way to becoming the most popular "religion/worldview" in the world (at least in mainstream pop-culture).  There are several Orthodox elders today who speak of the end times as the age not of false gods... but of NO gods/God.  Paganism is a thing of the past.  Atheism is the future of the fallen world.

Lord have mercy.  May God grant us the strength and courage to endure what is to come.
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« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2008, 02:25:08 AM »

Glory to God!  Smiley

Secularism, not some other religion, is Orthodoxy's greatest threat.  Atheism/non-religious-ism is growing... on its way to becoming the most popular "religion/worldview" in the world (at least in mainstream pop-culture).  There are several Orthodox elders today who speak of the end times as the age not of false gods... but of NO gods/God.  Paganism is a thing of the past.  Atheism is the future of the fallen world.

Lord have mercy.  May God grant us the strength and courage to endure what is to come.

Yes. Glory to God for the strength He gives us!
I agree with you. Secularism is the greatest threat to the faith of our children. It is easy to teach them the doctrinal differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism or Protestantism. Even at a young age, my children can see the truths of our faith because they have been ingrained in their hearts since they were tiny boys. But secularism is insidious as it creeps into our hearts and grows like a weed and slowly chokes our love for Christ. Peer pressure to conform to the wishes of secularists is much harder to avoid because we live among them (family members, friends, coworkers, bosses, teachers, coaches etc.). We have to develop a strong enough faith to stand firm in what we believe and yet retain a loving heart toward those who would ask to conform to this world. But what is impossible for man is possible with God.  Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2008, 11:39:47 PM »

Did anyone see this?  It is a special that A&E ran last night.  Here's the synopsis from A&E's website:

A growing number of Evangelical Christians believe there is a revival underway whereby young Christians must take up the leadership of the religious right. This film reveals a new phenomenon: an active movement to train young kids to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army." The film follows Levi, Rachael and Tory to the Kids on Fire summer camp in Devils Lake, North Dakota, where kids as young as 6 years-old are drilled in the importance of political activism and radical views. The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future. Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on 4/27/06.

http://www.aetv.com/indiefilms/if_films.jsp?index=9&type=character

On the one hand, is it ever a bad thing that anyone (especially a child) is seeking Christ and seeking to live His Gospel?

On the other hand, it is almost bizarre... to me, it strikes me how politically motivated the whole thing was (a HUGE overemphasis on praying for politics, politicians, government, political action, etc.).  The kids sounded to me like robots, programmed to say and do these things (like sitting in front of the supreme court with tape over their mouths that says "life"), but it seems unlikely that they really understand what it's about.  Furthermore, they've set these kids up such that they view their beliefs in contrast and in conflict with everyone else's.  They talk a LOT about liberals "shaking in their boots" when confronted with this movement, about changing the government, abolishing the separation of church and state, etc.  One woman on the special said something that perfectly described what the whole special was demonstrating.  She said, "There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those who love Jesus, and those who don't."  I think this is a terrible injustice to the kids, because it breeds ignorance and fear of people whose beliefs are different from theirs. 

They also spoke SOOOOOO much (and sang about) the blood of Jesus.  They prayed for Christ to "sprinkle His blood" on the campers, etc.  It really freaked me out, honestly.

Not to sound narrow-minded or overly sensitive, but I really found it hurtful and almost offensive that this is the way they represent Christ to other people, and that this is the way they regard Christ.  The way they talked about Him, etc. was almost sad.

The fact of the matter is that this movement IS spreading rapidly, especially among the youth.  We need to be prepared with a response to it as Orthodox, and we need to be able to prepare our children to respond to it, as kids are primarily who they are targeting for their "army for God."

Did anyone else see this?  I'd love to open a discussion about it. 


I saw previews of it last year. I don't see a problem with it. This helps keep kids into some type of christian worldview as they get older. The public schools and colleges pump Atheism(secular humanism) into the minds of kids. One of the ways to neutralize that is to tell the kids what they believe and why they believe it.


The culture war they are fighting is one against secular humanism. I almost lost my faith in college so I understand why they are doing what they are doing.




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« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2008, 11:45:38 PM »

My fiancee and I watch it and truly, I couldn't say much besides "Wow" at every commercial break.

Like the fellow she was speaking to on the radio said, it truly seemed like indoctrination/brainwashing.  The part about corrupt government, smashing the cups and the war dance they had in camo makeup...  Like you said, everything was so politically driven.  Constantly referring to "One nation, under God".

There were a few other things I found troubling:
-  As you referred to as well, the constant emphasis on the blood of Christ
-  The periodic "speaking in tongues"
-  The pastor who said the one kid should use his "cuteness" to sway people, even if his message isn't developed
-  The girl who described that God only "visits loud Churches"
-  The rap hymn they were singing and referring to Christ as JC
-  And lastly, I don't want to seem disrespectly, but the children almost appeared unstable

Why it is so popular amongst the youth?  I guess since it is so informal and "progressive".  The are constantly changing the means to lure more and more people in by making it all seem "cool".


everybody is brainwashed/indoctrinated. So the problem is not being indoctrinated.......it's what are we being indoctrinated with?

Are we being indoctrinated with good things or bad things? I praize God for the indoctrination and brain washing I received as a kid in Sunday school and Bible summer camps.

Everyone is brainwashed. When I became Orthodox I had to brainwash myself on a couple beliefs for I had to embrace somethings on a matter of faith.


But if this bothers you just pray that as they get older they keep the good and spit out the bad.



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« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2008, 11:55:12 PM »

You said it!!!  You're much more articulate about it than I am.  Every single one of those points astounded me as well. 

As far as the youth, I think it's because they are young and impressionable.  It seemed to me like it was the "get them while they're young and can be convinced that we're right" kind of thing.  And the political motivation-- wow!!!  It seemed to me like they really are breeding an army who is ready to vote the minute they turn 18 and change everything.  I mean, these kids are like, what, 6 years up to like 13 or 14?  Something like that?  So they don't have too long to wait to vote. 

It seemed to me like their desire to "spread the message" was NOT about loving God and aspiring to live the Gospel, it was about changing the government, changing politics, and forcing others to live by what they (being the Evangelicals) believe.  I was really shocked by the absolute rejection of non-Christians, as thought this is what God would want.  The boy with the long hair (Levi, I believe) talked about knowing people who weren't Christian and they seemed like they were missing something, etc.  I was just really struck by how he and the other kids sounded like they had been programmed to say these things.  I would be interested to see a follow up special with these kids when they grow up, to see how many of them are still in Evangelical churches like that one, and how many of them have sought out something deeper and more meaningful.

The hypocrisy was another thing that struck me.  The woman (Becky Fischer) preached about Satan and temptation and sin and evil, but was at the same time presenting them with music like the rap, which glorifies a type of music that can be very un-Godly, so to speak.  This was just one of the hypocrisies, though.

I don't know, I feel like I'm not articulating anything very well today.  I'm still in such shock after watching it, the only really coherent thought I can come up with is, "whoa, no wonder people hate Christians."  Sad, huh?  It's this type of thing that makes me feel like when I tell someone that I'm Christian, I have to temper it by saying I'm Orthodox Christian.  Anyone else feel that way?


Rap in and of itself isn't good nor evil. What makes any kind of music good or evil is the heart of the one making the music.


Rap is nothing more than words puts together that rhyme in a couplet.


I have heard both good and evil rap. The difference is the heart of the one behind the mic.




Thus she wasn't being a hypocrit for rapping





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« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2008, 12:02:50 AM »


Rap in and of itself isn't good nor evil. What makes any kind of music good or evil is the heart of the one making the music.

Oh, all rap is evil...the only good music is country and folk. Wink
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« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2008, 12:03:14 AM »

Yeah, I can't believe I forgot that part!!!  That was right near the beginning (which is why I forgot).  That almost scared me, that she equated these kids to muslim extremists.  This militant attitude is frightening.  We're watching our faith, the faith of Christ, being hijacked by extremists. 

They may be sincere in their faith (the part where one of the fathers came in and stopped the boys from telling ghost stories-- he seemed sincere to me), but is this a healthy type of faith?  One that is militant, politically motivated, and set up in opposition to everyone else?

As Orthodox, how do we respond to this?  How do we prepare our children to encounter and respond to this?  What do you guys think?



Teach your kids the Faith. Teach them why they believe what they believe. And have them do what you do. If you pray then teach them how to pray. If you know something about the Faith then teach them.

They may not understand fully, but that's ok for they will grow in understanding as they get older.


Teach your kids things that will not only keep them safe against Evangelicals but also against secular humanists.

If you don't then your kid may come back to you as an Atheist or Agnostic.





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« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2008, 12:05:23 AM »

Oh, all rap is evil...the only good music is country and folk. Wink


I like some country, but even country can be morally crude.



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« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2008, 12:15:31 AM »

Ya..Saw it.

I am a convert but my kids are not. This confirmed every negative stereotype they have about "Christianity".

They especially noticed that Rev. Heggard turned out to be a meth addict who used male prostitutes...  Nice

Oh well. Maybe they will forget what they saw after 10 or 20 years.

If you are a convert then you should be nicer.


What happened to Ted Haggard can happen to anyone.  He said he was alone and had noone to talk to. This is what can happen when you become huge with no support group or accountability.



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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2008, 12:19:16 AM »

Glory to God!  Smiley

Secularism, not some other religion, is Orthodoxy's greatest threat.  Atheism/non-religious-ism is growing... on its way to becoming the most popular "religion/worldview" in the world (at least in mainstream pop-culture).  There are several Orthodox elders today who speak of the end times as the age not of false gods... but of NO gods/God.  Paganism is a thing of the past.  Atheism is the future of the fallen world.

Lord have mercy.  May God grant us the strength and courage to endure what is to come.



Co-sign!!!!

secularism is our greatest threat. And this is why JESUS camp exist. Jesus camp wasn't started to confront Orthodoxy. It was started to stop the secular humanistic advance in evangelicalism as well as in American culture.




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