Monday, September 25, 2006
It hurts me to even watch that. I'm sitting here, my stomach is starting to churn, I'm feeling sick and lightheaded. Gods, that's the exact same shit I went through. Look at those kids. Look how young they are. See how they're crying? That was me. That was me starting from about the age of 8. I was sent to church camp every summer, there were Youth rallies at least once a month, Sunday School every Sunday, Discipleship Training every Sunday, Girls in Action every Wednesday. There were the revivals every year. All of it like that, all of it so emotional and forceful and so many times there'd be someone, someone in charge who'd stand up just like and make that sort of pronouncment. God is telling me people here are fake. They're phony. They need to rededicate.
How many times did I go to the altar? How many times did I beg God to please, please, please just change me, just make me good? How many times did I cry myself to sleep at night, knowing I'd never make it?
I remember, quite clearly, one night at our youth group. It was almost time for class to be over and the leader had us all kneel in front of our chairs and then turned the light out. So it was dark in this room, with probably a dozen teenagers kneeling in front of metal folding chairs. And our leader started talking, this huge voice in a small, dark room. How many of you are saved? How many of you need to find Jesus? If you die tonight, if some drunk hits your car on the way home, will you end up in Heaven? Or will you burn in Hell forever? Then, he paused. Now, I don't want anyone to feel any pressure. If you're not ready to accept Jesus, just get up and leave.
Just get up and leave? How?? It was pitch black in that room, but the light would come on again. And everyone would know that I had left, that I was lost, that I didn't want Jesus. That I was going to Hell. Everyone would know I was broken and bad. So I couldn't leave. I couldn't leave, even though I wanted nothing more than to get out of that room, away from that voice in the dark, away from those people trying to force me into being someone I wasn't, from those people who didn't understand me or love me or care about anything but there holy mission to make my life miserable.
If anyone tells you this damned film is a misrepresentation of what's going on, don't believe them. That clip is dead-on. It's not an exaggeration, it's not an isolated incident. It's happening all the time, all over the place in this country. If you can still manage to believe in God after watching it, pray for those children. They're going to need a lot of help to heal the damage that's being done to them.