Have you ever seen the documentary Jesus Camp? Well you should. It's actually a great movie. The whole thing is free on Google video last time I checked. Got an hour to spare? Go watch it right now. Do it. I'm not even kidding. Go.
Wasn't that a great movie? Aren't you glad you took my advice and watched it right now? You're welcome. Well, if you were lamezors and didn't take my advice, Jesus Camp is pretty much a documentary about a Christian camp in North Dakota where kids speak in tongues and do all sorts of crazy christian stuff and the pastor preaches a lot of conservative political talk under the guise of christianity. Ehh, it would make more sense if you just watched it.
One of my favorite lines in the movie was when the pastor lady was talking about Harry Potter and then said something like this: "Warlocks are enemies of God! If Harry Potter was alive in the Old Testament he would have been put to death!!" haha. I put that clip up on my myspace once as a joke. I wonder if anyone thought I was serious...
Anyways, the reason I bring it up is because I just came back from Jesus camp! Well, my Jesus camp (we call it youthcamp) wasn't as intense as the one in the movie, but it's still an interesting experience. This was my first year as a counselor after four years as a camper. Basically what we do is spend a week away in a woodsy camp and do christian stuff. Sounds like fun huh? haha. We actually do a lot of hanging out and playing games too, to keep things interesting.
To be honest, the week was great. I loooove the people there and seeing the way God works is amazing. It was tough, however, having younger kids. I forgot what it was like to be in 7th or 8th grade... one of them said straight up, "I don't really care about learning about God, I just want to have fun" haha. And I guess that made me think about my role as their counselor. A bunch of them already know all the bible stories, they go to church, they know that God loves them and that he sent his son to die, blah blah blah. And I went with the goal of teaching them things that they may not have heard before... but somewhere towards the middle of the week I thought, "what's the best way I can love these kids?" and the answer came to me, "just have fun with them." so I did. And it was great.
I mean, it's not that I stopped trying to teach them stuff, I just changed my focus. Aaand yeah. I've thought about it before... this whole thing about kids going to church camps... get all on that spiritual high... is it good for them? I dunno. At some point they just start to worship an emotion or a praise band... they just think that being close with God means feeling happy. Church camp seems like the perfect way to compartmentalize a spiritual life and your "normal" everyday life, as if camp is the only place where we can feel close to God. I'm pretty sure it's not indoctrination, but it's getting there.
Yeah ok so that was my cynical rant for the day. But there is hope. God answers prayer. The one defining thing that I took away from youthcamp this year--we need to be real with one another. I am hard pressed to think of another time where I have seen people be so real, honest, uncensored, and raw in a christian community. I hope and pray that this is not a temporary thing; the church NEEDS this. I'm tired of christians; what the church needs is real people.
So those were some highlights of camp. Oh, and an incident with a massive amount of bees, but that shall be (or bee, ha ha ha) for another post. Well, the summer is coming to a close. I must say, I have learned a lot these past three months. First there was China, then daycamp, then youthcamp. I pretty much didn't accomplish any of what I had planned, but God doesn't seem to enjoy going with my plans. It was good though. I'm not quite looking forward to going back to Berkeley, but I know that I'll start to enjoy it again once I get back. This post was a little all over the place, but thank you for reading. The end.