I just bought tickets to see "Jesus Camp," the documentary film about a charismatic Christian kids' camp run by youth pastor Becky Fischer. Fischer's already in spin control mode. She already has an FAQ on the Web site of her ministry, Kids in Ministry International
, in which she basically accuses the film of being a hatchet job.
However, my journalist's instinct got the better of me, so I decided to delve a little more into what makes this ministry tick--and the links I've found are disturbing. Especially from my unique perspective as a charismatic (i.e., tongue-talking) Christian who is a Democrat. Although she doesn't advertise it, Fischer has direct ties to a brand of charismatic Christianity that is nothing more than fascism in Christian dress. That link, to my mind, makes her whining about "Jesus Camp" little more than a blast of hot air.
This little note on Fischer's bio page
piqued my interest.
Becky now dedicates full time energy to Kids in Ministry International via her writings, mission trips, conferences, and training children and adults to be active participants in ministry. She is ordained through Christ Triumphant Church in Lee's Summit, MO.
So I clicked on it, and it took me to the Website of this church located in a Kansas City suburb. The pastors of this church are the Midwest regional directors of an outfit called Harvest International Ministries. A little more clicking revealed that they are led by an "apostolic team." Nearly all charismatic groups who believe in restored "apostles" and "prophets" are part of what's called the "Kingdom Now" movement. Kids in Ministry is listed as an affiliated ministry.
There's a good reason that Fischer doesn't advertise her links to this group. The gist of it is that Jesus can't come back until a "revived" church takes over the world and everything in it. God has supposedly been looking for a "covenant people" since losing control of the world to Satan in the Garden of Eden. These people, under submission to restored apostles and prophets, will be his "extension" in the world to take back authority from the devil. Christians are "little gods" with all of the authority of Jesus. The church thus has the responsibility to take over the world and put down all opposition to it. Anyone who rebels against the church, along with other "evildoers," must convert or be punished. Once the church has purged all evil from the world, Jesus can come back.
Does this sound familiar? It's fascism--plain and simple. I find it hard to believe that anyone would knowingly join a group that would believe something this outrageous. But most people who preach this do a pretty good job of hiding it. They look like run-of-the-mill charismatics from the outside--but once you get sucked in, it's a whole new ballgame. I should know--I was almost suckered into a similar outfit.
So the bottom line? Whether the parents of the kids who went to Fischer's camp know it or not, their kids are being subtly indoctrinated into a movement which is as close to fascism as has ever existed in this country. And the frightening part is that based on research that merits a post in itself, the fundie Baptists, Presbyterians, etc. are little more than pawns for the hypercharismatics behind "Kingdom Now." About the only good thing that comes out of this is that as we've seen, these guys overplay their hand whenever they get even a taste of power--EVERY time.