Jesus Camp

2006

Documentary

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 88% · 105 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80% · 50K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.4/10 10 28798 28.8K

Director

Top cast

720p.WEB
780.67 MB
946*720
English 2.0
PG-13
29.97 fps
1 hr 24 min
Seeds 27

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by view_and_review 7 / 10

I'm Scared

As a man of religion I don't want to be too critical of the Evangelicals in this documentary, but man! It's hard to watch these kids being drilled on adult issues in a very cult-like way and not feel a certain type of way about it. All parents are going to instill some form of beliefs, ethics, morals, or principles into their children, that's part of being a parent. You have to teach them to be good and upstanding before releasing them upon society. And sure, every parent may go about that teaching process in a different way, but watching "Jesus Camp" I couldn't help but be bothered. These kids aren't old enough to even think about sex, yet they're being lectured about abortion. Not once did I hear anything about being truthful, honest, kind, or generous. I just heard, "Love Jesus." "Pray for this, pray for that, and don't sin." "Jesus Camp" is scary and not for the reasons the camp-goers would think.

Reviewed by samthemacman 7 / 10

Was further proof how far off base militant evangelicalism has become

I give this a qualified 7. I give it for the quality of the work in creating this documentary. If I was to rate it because of its subject, I would be dealing with negative numbers! I used to be an ordained minister, a Pentecostal one. This film was very painful for me, for it addressed all the things about modern evangelicalism that is wrong and gave further proof of why hundreds of thousands of evangelicals are leaving organized religion, and are embracing a simpler form of Christianity, one that is relational and community focused, and one that is not political, seeking to see the arm of government Christianized, but rather one has a powerful social element, seeking social change through loving and helping people in our society.

My wife has home-schooled our two daughters all the way through high school. I thank God they are not like these kids. In fact when my kids watched the film they were equally concerned about kids being conditioned and brainwashed! I agreed with them. God has not called children into the work of evangelism, or to be warriors as portrayed in this film. Evangelism is the work of those who are adults and young adults. Children are never shown to be workers in God's Kingdom in the New Testament. We ought to follow that model, rather than brainwashing and abusing children! I am sickened by this film.

Theologically I am equally disturbed by this film. It portrays that evangelicals have held certain beliefs "forever" which is far from the truth. Foundational to the premise of modern evangelicalism is the "teaching" concerning the pre-tribulational rapture of the church. This doctrine is one of the newest, and it was created by and espoused by people who at one time were heretics, and yet is has become the vehicle that drives this engine to have an "end time revival" where these kids will help usher in the Kingdom of God.

My parents were missionaries, as were my in-laws. They gave their adult lives to the cause of Christ (between 45-47 years of ministry). They believed the same doctrine. Jesus was coming at any time. "Don't lay a nest egg for your grandkids!" "Don't conserve the environment, because as soon as Jesus comes, we are out of here!" "Don't save your money, go ahead use credit, for when you are in the rapture, you won't have to pay the bank!" My parents became disappointed when disease came to the door, and illness overtook them, and when death took home the husbands! There was despair, because Jesus did not come to rescue them.

This is the same kind of despair that will overcome these kids who have been brainwashed and abused by these whacko charismatics. I was one. I know how people condition you to respond a certain way.

There is NOTHING remotely like New Testament Christianity in this film. When the pastor compares what she is doing, to what fundamentalist Islam is doing in brainwashing Muslim children, she was correct. These poor kids of evangelical parents are being manipulated and brainwashed, and are as whacko as those who exploit Muslim children. Two wrongs don't make a right.

This film reveals the whacky morality and bad theological world view that exists not only in America, but in Evangelicalism in Canada, and the UK as well. It is a theology that on one hands believes that our countries can be saved by using our children in the propagation of the gospel, through revival and advancing the Kingdom of God. This is not the work of children, and this makes all of this so immoral. Also, it crosses the line where Christians think, falsely, that if they gain political power, that somehow they will be able to Christianize their nations. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Should this ever happen in my country (Canada - I am a Brit who came to Canada with missionary parents, to plant churches in Canada), I would be the first to oppose it, for it would become tyranny and oppression. The ways of the world, including the use of government, is not the way God advances His Kingdom.

God is not in the oppression business, but the liberation business, and more than anything, our kids need to be liberated from this kind of brainwashing! I am ashamed of having been a Pentecostal Evangelical! This film should be used by libertarians and true democrats, be they Christian, secular, or of another faith community, to reveal how dangerous a political Evangelical movement can be, and how dangerous it is to the very idea of a free and open society. Be forewarned this film will disturb you.

Reviewed by smakawhat 9 / 10

innocence forgotten

Enter the world of Jesus Camp, a brilliant documentary that chronicles the life of several people who attend or set up a "Jesus Camp" in (ironicaly) Devils Lake North Dakota.

Filmmakers Heidi Ewing, and Rachel Grady decide to focus mostly on the children that attend, with some focus on minister Becky Fisher who is one of the main architects of the camp.

Right away the filmmakers show a growing underlying change in the evangelical movement, to politicize their beliefs. Voice overs start talking about the newest supreme court nomination of Alito. However, once the focus starts on the kids who attend the camp the film gets its bearing.

What becomes obvious is that paranoia and fear is driven into the kids. There is Ashley a young girl, and Levi an older boy who seems to be on the quest to become a minister and preacher himself. It's obvious he likes the attention that is given him. But the kids are still kids, Levi and his friend go out into the woods and do what all kids do, explore find a scary spider, Levi even mentions, I like to throw rocks.

But then they are back in lessons again, scarred out of their boots in a sermon as they are being told to stay away from Harry Potter, abortion, and that they are essentially dirty from all the sins they carry. Most of them can't hold back the tears. Levi mentions he said he was saved when he was 5 years old (I can only think of the horrible things that he must have been guilty of to be converted (too much sugar cereal maybe?) ) The filmmakers do the smart thing and let the pictures and words speak for themselves. There is no voice over narration, no probing questions from the film-makers to the subjects themselves. There is no debate. The words from the kids just come out, and they are frightening. A sense of brainwashing can only be observed as the kids talk about how they have to fight in gods army, and that everyone else has to be 'purged'. Never mind that at one point kids are worshiping at a card board cut out of George Bush.

Some scenes literally look like they could have came from the movie "Triumph of the Will".

But the brilliance is shown in the innocence that these children loose and don't seem to enjoy in. What young kid needs to know about abortion? or be cleansed of all the horrors of the world? Why can't the kids just make up their own minds with everything but in front of them? When do kids ever get to just.... play? They are hints in the film at that, kids will be kids, little late night camp ghost stories, some break dancing.. it's all in good fun, and perfectly fine.

But it seems like Jesus camp just wants to crush their spirits.

Kudos to the film-makers for showing it real.

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