Skip to comments.Pastor will shut down controversial kids camp (Jesus Camp)
Posted on 11/11/2006 12:34:59 AM PST by beaversmom
The summer camp featured in the documentary "Jesus Camp," which includes scenes with disgraced preacher Ted Haggard, will shut down for at least several years because of negative reaction sparked by the film, according to the camp's director.
"Right now we're just not a safe ministry," Becky Fischer, the fiery Pentecostal pastor featured in "Jesus Camp," said Tuesday.
The documentary, which hit select U.S. theaters during the summer, portrays Fischer, 55, as drill instructor to a group of young evangelical children steeling themselves for spiritual and political warfare.
Led by Fischer, the children pray in tongues, as is common in charismatic strains of Pentecostalism; tearfully beg God to end abortion; and bless President Bush at a weeklong camp in Devils Lake, N.D.
Fischer has drawn fire from some corners for "brainwashing" the children. After vandals damaged the campground last month and critics besieged Fischer with negative e-mails, phone calls and letters, the pastor said she's shutting down the camp for at least several years.
"I don't think we'll be doing it for a while," she said.
Fischer lives in Bismarck, N.D., and is chief pastor at The Fire Center, a church devoted to children's ministry there. She has run the weeklong "Kids on Fire" summer camp, which is featured in the film, since 2002, with 75 to 100 children attending each year.
The documentary also includes scenes of Haggard, the evangelical leader accused of gay sex and drug use.
In one scene, directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady visit Haggard's 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. He tells the vast audience, "We don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It's written in the Bible."
Then Haggard looks into the camera and says kiddingly: "I think I know what you did last night," drawing...
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
And here is his written review of the movie:
Jesus Camp is the name of a new documentary that is bitterly hostile to Evangelical Christianity.
CLIP: Theres some new brand of religion out there: everything they do, they say they do in the name of God.
Thats Air America talk show host Mike Papantionio whose harsh commentary punctuates the film and gives the lie to the directors stated intention of presenting an objective view of a fervent Christian youth camp in North Dakota.
CLIP: The churches that God likes to go to are churches where people are jumpin up and down. I do think Im different from other kids because we know Jesus. Brittney Spears, Lindsay Lohan: we as Christians - I do not believe in that.
Heavy-handed editing, menacing music and explicit comparisons to the Taliban and the Nazis provide an unfair context for the movies likeable kids and probably wonderful families. Officially un-rated, only
ONE AND A HALF STARS for the one-sided, propagandistic Jesus Camp.
Thats a wrap. Im Michael Medved for Eye on Entertainment.
Also, if you want to see some really ignorant comments, check out the remarks to the Jesus Camp Trailer at YouTube:
I'm not a religious person myself but the bigotry, hatred, and ignorance that is shown on this thread is amazing.
Michael Medved Ping. I'm pinging about this article, because Michael Medved had interviewed the two directors of this movie back in September and he talked about the closing of Jesus Camp on his show yesterday, Friday, November 10.
Evangelicals are a cult, plain and simple.
It is all about the money.
Folks into this cult want to be part of something, and talk in tongues to prove it.
Meanwhile, some gay guy is head of it.
Jesus camp sure sounds like what scientologists do to their folks.
That would be too hard.
You can't fight a spiritual battle until you are trained and equipped. And like Moses, that training often means years and years in the wilderness learning to trust God.
I didn't elect leftist film directors to tell me what is dangerous. When do they make their documentary on madrassas?
You are right and wise.
Please don't call them Christians in the same sentence as 'manufacturers' of religious experiences. If they 'manufacture' such things, they cannot be true.
On the other hand as long as they respect the rights of others, there is nothing in the US Constitution that bars them from practicing as they do.
I saw the long trailer in HDNET a few times.
Obviously a hit piece full of negative spin and clever editing and commentary to cast the camp in as negative light as possible.
Some hyper-left wing rag reviewed it as "even-handed." That's liberal speak for "we diced them."
Your ignorant comments betray the fact that you have not the slightest idea what you are talking about.
If I might add..
Evangelism is a communication gift of the Holy Spirit to some believers to communicate the Gospel to unbelievers. I suspect there may have been some believers with the gift of evangelism, who sought to form their ministry and in an attempt to identify those gifts with their ministry described themselves as Evangelical.
To the unbeliever, witnessing evangelism without receiving it is an exercise in physical perception and soulish rationalism, void of the spiritual perception. For those charlatans who may have witnessed worldly blessings associated with some gifted evangelists, a worldly motive may have existed to entice a worldly perspective of evangelism over the inculcation of faith in the thinking of the believer and Bible doctrine flowing through the soul and then spirit of the believer. They might also be tempted to counterfeit the fruits of the spirit by physical and soulish mechanisms void of the spirit. They might substitute emotionalism for spiritual experience.
Accordingly, the modern day association of 'Evangelical' preaching by unbelievers and many believers alike is of a portly preacher in a three piece white polyester pantsuit speaking dynamically and appealing to the entertainment of his audience with less purient fiscal intersts underlaying his true intent.
This perception fails to grasp the function of two distinct spiritual communication gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gift of evangelism is intended for the communication of the Gospel to unbelievers. The gift of Pastor-Teacher is intended for the communication of the Gospel to believers.
In many cases, the evangelical gifts are to emphasize the basis of faith and initial faith in unbelievers first coming into faith in God through Christ. For the believer, the issue isn't saving faith, but continuing in epistemilogical transformation of our scarred thinking processes, allowing a state to arise where the immutable nature of God the Holy Spirit is may continue to sanctify our souls, and then our spirit. Both gifts are spiritual and both emphasize communication of that spiritual grace, but either may be perceived void of the spirit, simply as physical and rational foolishness.
What happened here is chilling:because of an anti-evangelical propaganda screed, a religious ministry suffered physical attacks and e-mail threats. Had Muslims or Jews suffered such intimidation from bigots, the tone of the article would have been very different, with the thrust being that an unfair, biased, an agenda-driven documentary had provoked "hate crimes." Because the victims are believing Christians however, the suggestion is that they are getting what they deserved following the "revelations" on the film. The ministry must be suspended for the physical safety of the children. The persecution begins in earnest. Christians will soon have a choice: submit and see their children's faith destroyed or resist. An appalling prospect.
You have no idea what you're talking about.
Sorry, but you are mistaken.
Agreed. From what's been gathered and seen, these people are kooks.
“Jesus Camp is the name of a new documentary that is bitterly hostile to Evangelical Christianity.”
I watched the film recently. I don’t think it is “hostile” to evangelical Christianity at all. The main thing that goes wrong is that they visited Ted Haggard’s church. Later, after the film was released, that preacher destroyed the credibility of the whole movement.