Oh, the audacity! I have a feeling you kind of put this here at least in part for my reaction Aud?
I believe I watched this in the past, and while quite full on, I can relate to some extreme charismatic elements, just not the pushy and more "militant" woman leader if you will.
Churches run camps, that's normal. Holy Spirit is often central and there can be a focus upon baptising children in the Spirit, which is really just a Christian Pentecostal thing similar to water baptism. So those elements, including talking in tongues which is meant to be a "gift" received after being baptised in the Spirit, I don't see much oddness to than other religious experiences or practices if you will.
Some churches I was familiar with growing up (and we're talking probably 8 and 11 years old), the gifts of the Spirit are expected as common place. They did have camps. None with a woman leading it who was as full on as that lady in the Jesus Camp video. Usually, run by teenagers along side a youth pastor or two.
So I attended two camps. The first one, there was baptisim and Spirit and talking in tongues. However, most of us when back in our cabins thought it a joke, making up gibberish and saying it meant this or that. This, had a lasting effect on me, to the point I remember it to this day around 30 years later. My best friend and I saw it as silly. You know, it could be brainwashing if the woman didn't seriously believe what she taught, and you know, I'm sure she believes every word. Many of those children I'm sure will be put off many of these Christian beliefs later in life once they mature in adults and start the critical reflective stage (which I normally see as around 17-25 years perhaps)?
The thing is though, this isn't just a far out Christian thing.
Rather it is a human issue. We all participate and share in such within our societies.
For us to think we think so clearly and objectively that we're not brainwashed and the like ourselves or highly influenced here and there to varying degrees -- well, that's foolishness imho.
There's a bigger picture to be seen that extends outside of the Jesus Camp that it applies to greater society.
That is, all of us are actually brainwashed to some extent and our governments, government run education systems, the media and the like saturates us from the moment we are birthed and arrive in the world.
What's scary isn't really that video.
It's seeing that video and realising that such isn't restricted to pocket groups, but rather on a national scale, even international, people have become a part of "a collective" if you will.
Entire blankets pulled over societies and people who normally live in first world conditions.
Whether that's the government and its "educational" institutions, money has been setup to run the world and we need to conform by getting a job and house and looking after ourselves and/or family. I mean, it's the framework we work within, and perhaps an impossible one to break unless one just stops, turns sideways, and swims out of the current.
To those who do break free, perhaps missionaries and those like Mother Teresa, or those who dedicate their life forsaking their societies to help in this or that country with the poor and victims of war. Even perhaps soldiers, who get a glimpse outside the bubble
that our Western societies love to create around us -- a bubble of complacency, where our world caves in the moment we can't find a parking space, receive a parking ticket or get cut off in traffic.
Yet, we can be so shallow because our society has told us from the moment we are born that this is how we ought to live our lives. We don't know anything else and so just conform the the social frameworks that the governments have set in place. We ought to strive to receive an education so that we can get a good job. Then we earn money, perhaps have a family (though that's going out the window) now, settles down and eventually retire hopefully in a holiday house somewhere.
To think that these extreme types of Christians are somehow unique in the whole entire ultra-charismatic Pentecostal culture, is well... blinding yourself to the reality that in many ways and on many levels, we have been and our children are being indoctrinated into our societies. For better or worse, we all see that on some level I'm sure.
We all struggle to see through the fog of social structures, to the reality of the real world. These are patterns that are easy and comfortable for us to just fall into, because we're indoctrinated into them our whole lives. To break the mould makes us extremely uncomfortable and so we often stay put.
There really is nothing to gloat over here, as though this is just a Christian issue alone with overly charismatic types.
- "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:2