This week the LA Times published a review of an upcoming documentary entitled, Jesus Camp (the article is available here). The film documents “Kids on Fire,” a summer camp in North Dakota. The film focuses on three children Rachael, Levi, and Tory. I may take the time to see the film to learn what perverted distortion of Biblical discipleship is being presented as the status quo among evangelicals, as this documentary will likely play a large role of forming, or confirming, the public’s opinion of Evangelicism.
More important than the documentary itself is the following comment quoted by the reviewer: “I kept saying to myself, ‘OK, these are the Christian version of the Madrassas (those Islamic religious instructional schools in Pakistan and elsewhere, often financed by Saudi oil money) … so both sides are pretty much equally sick.” More and more individuals are comparing Evangelicism to radical Islam; what makes this comparison so important is the clarity with which it pinpoints the root issue. The root issue is that the problem with radical Islam has nothing to do with its violent tendencies but rather its intolerance of other viewpoints, a characteristic shared with Evangelicism.
If this does not serve as a siren to break the silence before the coming storm I am unsure what will. Earlier this month Stephen Green was arrested in Great Brittan for handing out tracts addressing homosexuality (some articles are available here and here). Just last week German parents who home school their children were being imprisoned. I am not going to make prophetic predictions concerning when we will begin seeing laws condemning the Gospel as hate speech or against following Christ on the ballot here in America, although I think it will be soon.
Honestly, if God uses such persecution to shock the dead American Church to life, to rid the church of nominal Christians, and drive the Church out of comfort and complacency and into the nations; then I look forward to it.
 I say following Christ instead of Christianity because I see a vast difference between the two; furthermore, I am trying to eliminate the term “Christian” from my vocabulary and replacing it with “follower of Christ.” I am doing this for several reasons. First, Christianity is an institutionalized religion, Christ did not come to establish an institution He came to establish His Church. Secondly, the world, especially America, is rife with self-professing Christians, very few of which truly follow Christ. The fulfillment of the Great Commission is not found in individuals from every race and tongue and tribe affirming a catechism or creed; but by individuals from every race and tongue and tribe submitting themselves, in obedience, to everything Christ has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). In closing, I will leave you with a quote. “During the time of Christ, we would be known as followers of the way or followers of Christ and the surrounding culture would insult us by calling us ‘Christians.’ But now we call ourselves Christians and the surrounding world calls us hypocrites.” -Erwin Raphael McManus
Keith. Great post bro. I haven’t been reading many blogs lately, but I am glad I read this post. I too think we are complacent and comfortable in our “Chrisitanity”. At Ignite I shared with the congregation how I felt that western Christianity takes for granted the opportunity we have to freely worship God. The persecuted church in China does not have that luxury. And, I believe them to be better for it….stronger followers of the Way.
I see the pendelum beginning to swing in a very negative direction for evangelicals. But as you said…if it drives us from our pews to the nations…then bring it on.
Keith. What up cracka? I think you can view a trailer for the “Jesus Camp” movie on Youtube.com. I’ve seen it, and it is scary. Kids are literally going through boot camp to wage physical war against people, and I really doubt the kids know what they are being taught by these crazy adults. You should check it out. Lata bro.