Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gnosticism is alive: "Christian" children worship President Bush at Bible camp

I've yet to actually see the new documentary Jesus Camp that this ABC News clip is about, but I've heard from plenty enough sources to take their word that the kids depicted actually are worshipping an image of George W. Bush.

This movie is about a Bible camp for children in North Dakota. As a Christian, I'm compelled to ask the obvious: why does a Bible camp need a large cardboard cutout image of President Bush at all? What's the purpose of it being there?

The kids are clearly shown praying and raising their hands toward the image of Bush. Are they praying for the man or to the man? If they're simply praying for him, why do they need a physical object representing him to pray toward at all?

The Bible had a very neat word for what this sort of thing is: "idolatry". These children are giving their reverence to a physical object representing something other than God. How is what these children are doing really any different from having a statue of Baal to appeal to in hopes of having some rain?

It's actually a form of Gnosticism that these kids are being taught to practice. They are imbuing a physical thing with spiritual power and hoping to use that to sway God.

Here's the clip. Watch it and judge for yourself...

P.S.: Why does a Bible camp... or any Christian function at all... need to display the American flag so prominently? Personally, I think it's a form of idolatry too when we put the American flag in our church sanctuaries. I mean, do you think the apostle Paul would have ever approved of sticking a Roman "S.P.Q.R." standard in the corner of the church at Antioch?


Anonymous said...

okay well what do you think about all this

Bush Appeals to Muslim Nations to Pursue Democracies

Chris Knight said...

We've "encouraged" democracy in Iraq, and what have we got to show for it... except for a Shiite fundamentalist government so unstable that it makes Saddam's regime seem like an oasis of peace. We also did what we could to get the Palestinians to embrace democracy and they only voted to continue Arafat's nuttiness. "Democracy" isn't a silver bullet cure-all like Bush and his kind would have us believe. It's only as good as the people practicing it want it to be. And unfortunately the mindset of pure Islam doesn't lend itself very well toward recognizing democracy as most western countries understand it.

Anonymous said...

You might find this blog post interesting:

"Elsewhere, we see another pastor instructing the children to reach their hands towards a life-sized cardboard cutout of George W. Bush so that they can pray for him."


Thats a review of the documentary "Jesus Camp".


"But the intentionally provocative ABC report on the documentary has sparked a number of misreadings of a film few people have seen. Most notably, the ABC article describes the scene in which the campers pray for a cardboard cutout of Bush as worshipping him. While the camp is clearly politically-charged in ways that my church youth camps never were, I think it would be a mistake to read the scene in this way, in part because there's a mild jokiness to the presentation of the cardboard figure, even if the prayers themselves are sincere."


I'm giving the Jesus camp people the benefit of the doubt. It looks like as if they are victims of the Drive By Media. I hardly think they would practice idolatry. I think they know better.

Chris Knight said...

That may be, but asking for God's blessing upon a person does not necessitate having a graven/printed image of that person to pray on behalf of. The Old Testament is full of dire warnings against doing that, even.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so much concerned about the Bush prayer effige, as I am about the line where the lady talks about recruiting kids to put their lives on the line in much the same way that Muslim kids are in the Middle East... the comparison alone gives me chills.