Saturday, February 24, 2007

extreme sports are allowed, but not extremists

9:11 AM Posted by: M., 8 comments

You know what is kind of frustrating? I think it is frustrating when you are trying to honestly question your faith and examine truth, and other christians just tell you not to leave the faith and to examine your doubts from WITHIN christianity, or don't stop praying, or don't stop reading the Bible, or don't stop going to church. I mean, I appreciate those responses in that it seems those people do have a sincere faith on their part, they are trying to live out their faith, and they do care--but, it is like it is forbidden to try to examine truth in general--outside of religion, outside of emotional church.

I was reading on another blog about the movie Jesus Camp and some of the comments were saying how that movie is only about "extremists" and "dont get dissillusioned from that movie," etc. etc. But I really wonder why if you are a christian, that movie is bad. I don't get it. WHY NOT indoctrinate kids and brainwash them and shelter them? WHY NOT scare them away from Hell using crazy music and shouting? If you are a Christian and you believe that Hell is a bad place of ETERNAL suffering and burning and weeping and gnashing of teeth and all that stuff, don't you think that mind control in kids and being extreme is a small price to pay in life? I feel like the Jesus Camp people were kind of crazy and weird--but at least they are like legitimately acting out what they believe.

I am mad kind of, because I feel like I have to defend this movie when I do think the people in it are crazy and extreme. I just think that criticizing "extremists" when you are a christian can sometimes just be a cop out and cover for your own doubts or laziness that you dont want to address directly. I know this, because I used to do that--separate myself from any extreme or fundamentalist christians--and I did it so I would feel better for being a half-assed christian. I may be the only one--and if I am the only one who did that, then you can disregard this post.

>>>>Please note that I don't want to alienate christians on this site or make you feel unwelcome. i value your comments and I need to be checked in the things I think. So please show me how I am wrong. I am trying to get Christians to show me why to be a Christian again but thus far, nothing has stuck.


Chris said...


Thanks for the comment over at my blog.

I see the point you are making here about why we wouldn't go ahead and make the small sacrifice of brain washing our children into being 'soldiers in the army of God' and scaring the hell out of them - literally.

I think it leads into a slippery slope. What else could we brainwash our kids into believing?

Think: Politics, Cultural Attitudes, Social Issues, Racism, Consumerism.

Wait. I think we might already be brainwashed.


Becky said...

Have you asked yourself the question, "Has the church and its recent teachings been diluted and distorted and are not the word of God? But we are deceived into thinking that the modern day Christainity/Jesus Soldiers/ unchecked charismatics is what God is and condones."

Have you considered that this calling out this walking away is actually bringing you to God?


Bobo B'nai said...

My greatest fear as a parent is that my children adopt my faith only to please me or that they feel pressured into it. I want it to be their own. Yes, there are disciplines that they are to be brought up under but, as they grow, Dad's got to let them make choices for themselves, in ever increasing measure, whether I agree or not. It starts with discipline, moves on to training and ends up with me as counselor. I can eek my vengeance through the grandkids. ;-)

marie said...

Hey Chris--I think we are brainwashed--I am for sure. I really dont know a lot about WHY I believe a lot of stuff. It is hard because I think with all of our fast communication and entertainment and stuff, we are pressured into making and cementing our beliefs and opinions instantly rather than taking the time to really learn and look at things openly.

Hey Becky,

Thanks for the encouragement. I would like to think that I am growing closer t the real God, but I kind of feel bad because to get there I am getting further away from the "christianity" that is all around me.

I do think that the recent teaching s have been diluted and distorted--the sermon I heard last Sunday should have been taught to pre-schoolers...but I just don't know HOW to know the real word of God--I am not beliving in the Bible right now and that is the biggest obstacle.
Thanks a lot for your comments.

And BC, I think that is so cool that you think that way. My parents are a HUGE problem for me because if they knew any of these honest feelings and concerns I have had, they would really not speak to me as usual--they would judge me and if I didnt come back to God, they would have little to do with me..I am confident of that. It will be so important for your kids to come to you with honest questions--not that they will go through something like this with faith--but your love for them and your willingness to listen will communicate God's love more than true about the grandkids!

Becky said...


One of the most difficult things is to unlearn what you have learned without throwing the baby out with the bath-water. There are some things that are foundational. I do see the difficulty in struggling with the Word. As I said before, honestly search for the truth and it will find you.


Dave Lynch said...

Marie, you said

I am not beliving in the Bible right now and that is the biggest obstacle.

Why do we have to believe in the bible, it is not a person it is a collection of accounts and letters. We do well to believe in the Word of God (Jesus), but the bible is not the Word of God.

marie said...

Hi Becky! --that is a really good point. It is hard and I am struggling. Thanks so much for pointing that out.

Hey Dave Lynch--great point--I wish it was easier for me to believe without the Bible as the ultimate authority. I think it is a product of my background--for my entire life and still to this day, it has been pounded in my head that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and to challenge or doubt that is as good as committing oneself to Hell. My faith up until now has rested so heavily on the Bible, that as i am questioning its role in christianity, I am finding that the solid foundation upon which my Christianity once rested--is no longer there. So for me, it is a big deal to get over. I have hope though, because my best friend has been able to keep her faith strong despite her disbelief in the inerrancy claims of the text--it just is like undoing a lot of previous programming

Anonymous said...

Sorry this is anonymous. I forgot my name and password:) (shows you how much I comment...)
I am a 40 year old father of three. 1 boy, 2 girls, and I am a Christian. A bit of an odd christian since I haven't been to church in several months (long story...) but I digress...
I would rather poke my own eyes out with a coat hanger than send my kids anywhere near a camp like that.
Do I want my kids to have a relationship with the Christain God? Yes. But brainwashing them into it by extreme talk and measures seen in this movie is no way to do it. I've been going to church my whole life. I've seen what heavy handed Christian parenting does. Most kids leave the church the second they move away from home. Imagine what a 24/7 camp like this would do!
It's only a temporary solution for parents that want "safe" unthinking androids for kids.
My point is this. Let's assume for a moment that the Bible is true. That the new testament stories of Jesus and the disciples are true.
Can you point to ANY reference or inference of some sort of military style indoctrination process in Jesus' ministry?
No. Because there was none. The disciples and others followed Him because what he did and was appealed to them.
Same with raising kids. I don't want my kids to accept the God of Christianinty under duress or just to "make me happy." If and when they do I want it to be because they see how I treat them, how I treat others, how I live, and know that it is my faith that drives me to be what and who I am. Not because of some freakfest camp where they are made to feel unwarranted guilt or fear.
As a sidenote.
Outside of the church (no youth group involvement or "church" friends) my son (14 years old) has come to his faith, well , the beginning of it anyway, by reading the bible for himself. Did he ask me questions. Yes. But I never was heavy handed with my answers. He found his way on his own. I am blessed. I am lucky. And to me finding your faith this way is far more long lasting than what could happen at a camp, or household, like the one seen in the movie.
But, as Dennis Miller says. "...that's just my opinion, I could be wrong..."

Mark L