Brian and I watched Jesus Camp yesterday afternoon. I don't know how to tell you guys this, but I was a little underwhelmed by it. I mean, it was very well-done, and interesting, and all of that. But after the hype I was expecting - what? Ammo workshops, maybe? Or something like it. Instead, they showed indoctrination of children into the fundamental Pentacostal movement. Honestly, it was not news to me. I lived in that world for a little while. Literally and figuratively - The movie takes place largely in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Brian and I spent most of December 2005 driving from Gardner to Lee's Summit (both are a part of metropolitan Kansas City), considering a job at a church there. The first twenty minutes of the movie I kept saying, "Are you sure they didn't film this at the prayer room? Are you SURE?" Have you guys seen it? What did you think about it? I will say that if you watch it and think, "What were Brian and Stephanie THINKING?", keep in mind that we are not currently a part of a Pentecostal church, and that was an intentional decision. I'm probably most comfortable as a closet charismatic. In all things, at all times, I believe that God is big big big, and while charismatic experiences can be powerful, they are not the only way to worship or be in the presence of God. So while some of their principles make sense to me, it's the application that gets iffy.
So last night we watched An Inconvenient Truth, better known as The Al Gore Movie, with our neighbors. Like many people in the area, our neighbors grew up going to church, but haven't been back since they left home. Watching the two movies back to back was really interesting. It led us to this question: When did being a Christian become associated with all of these extraneous things? Why is it that because I'm a Christian, I should be against acting to slow global warming? Why should I be against the separation of church and state? Why should I be against science being taught in school?
How did the evangelical church get so blind-sided, as to make following Jesus about evolution and gay rights? This isn't the example of the Jesus I know and love from the Bible. The Jesus from the Bible was a radical, who cared more about the guy standing in front of him than about making a political point. How did the conservative church get so far away from that, from Jesus? What happened to forgiveness and mercy and compassion and loving our neighbor?