Sidney native defends work being done at religious camp
By Ellen Robinson
Becky Fischer and the "Kids in Ministry International"
Pentecostal camp located near Devils Lake, N.D., are profiled
in the documentary "Jesus Camp."
Despite negative comments erupting across the nation about
the film "Jesus Camp," a documentary featuring Sidney native
Becky Fischer's "Kids in Ministry International" Pentecostal
camp near Devils Lake, N.D., Fischer believes God's greater
plan is being carried out.
Fischer realizes the film, which has stirred much controversy,
has hit a nerve in the American society. Hitting that nerve has
resulted in a great deal of negative chatter about it.
"Jesus Camp" didn't exactly turn out as Fischer had originally
envisioned. However, she knows there's a greater plan being
carried out with it as it is.
"About 95 percent of the people making the ugly comments
haven't even seen the film. You have to understand the
filmmakers used the most extreme footage they captured, which
is why the film has drawn so much attention," Fischer said.
One of the aspects of the film that has raised eyebrows in the
secular community is the charismatic nature of the worship
experienced in the "Kids on Fire" camp program. charismatic
evangelical Christianity is one of the fastest growing segments
of Christianity today. Images of children speaking in tongues
and raising hands up, with tears streaming down faces, which
Fischer says are normal expressions of faith for charismatic
Christians, has been frightening for secular audiences that
have no reference point for relating.
There are 30 million charismatic Christians in America today.
The fundamental difference between Christians and charismatic
Christians is the charismatics acknowledge and participate in
the supernatural world around them. Charismatic Christians
believe all of God's children have abilities including healing by
placing of the hands on the sick and use the power of prayer to
affect the world in which they live.
Secular audiences have voiced being disturbed with seeing the
children in the film being charismatic in their expression of faith.
"There have been comments that the children looked distraught
or in despair, which isn't the case," Fischer said.
She feels charismatic Christianity is gaining in popularity,
especially among children, because their generation is not
willing to deny the supernatural world coexisting with the
"This generation is particularly hungry. This is the Harry Potter
generation. Kids are asking if there are schools of witchcraft
they can go to because they want to learn how to cast spells.
For people who have no faith, no spirituality, it's a long stretch
for them to understand charismatic expressions of the Christian
faith," Fischer said.
One scene that has produced complaints is when children are
praying for their nation's leaders, which involves a life-size cut
out of President George W. Bush. The film showed the
presenter with the cut-out of the president, teaching the
children to pray for their leaders. That has become
misconstrued into comments about the children praying to a
cut-out of Bush. Fischer said they were simply following what
the Bible has laid out for believers in praying for the nation's
"What they didn't include in the film is we then prayed for the
children in Africa after looking at a picture of them or the kids
praying for the abused children in Thailand. However, it was
this that has pulled many of those political antennas up,"
Fischer said. "We aren't political. We would pray for our leaders
to make the right decisions for our nation regardless of their
Other criticisms about Fischer's camp seeming to be a Christian
soldier extreme right-wing brainwashing project has brought
even more attention to the film as it has drawn much ire from
some segments of the secular community. Phrases such as
"soldiers in God's army," "taking back America for Christ" and
references to what evangelical Christians acknowledge as the
ongoing spiritual war throughout the world, comprised of the
daily spiritual battles everyone faces, have raised hackles
among pockets of non-believing viewers. She said people fear
and are confused by what they don't understand.
"Secular audiences that have no Christian reference point are
picking up on some of the language being used in the film and
only have terrorism to relate it to today. They have no grid so
they are left to use their imaginations," Fischer said.
Fischer hopes all of her friends, family in Sidney and others
who know her from the area realize the filmmakers were
focusing on specific extreme aspects of the camp, and there is
a larger picture and a greater plan than most aren't able to see
"I want the people back at home to know there isn't anything
fishy going on here, no brainwashing, and this isn't a cult. I'm
the same Becky Fischer I've always been," Fischer said. "I am
extreme by design, and everyone who knows me knows this."
She wants the greater Sidney area to understand the film trailer
is, in her opinion, misleading. However, it was made to be
extreme and appear exotic to draw more viewers.
"Don't go into the film with preconceived ideas based on what
people have written about it," Fischer said. "The trailer is
designed to make people want to see the film."
Since the documentary's debut in select cities, Fischer has
been featured on "The 700 Club," "Good Morning America" and
many other popular programs. She will be returning to "The 700
Club" next month to discuss the larger children's revival
movement that she participates in with "Kids in Ministry
|There are several 100 news papers and Internet news
stories so it is imposable to have the all here on Jesus Camp.