Andy Walton looks at whether there is a "Religious Right" emerging in Britain
The Independent: After 103 years, organisation changes oath to welcome 'all girls, of all faiths, and none'
Christian teen camps are wicked, innit
28th June 2012
Though he has attracted countless eulogies in the two millenniums subsequent to his expiry, "phat", "sorted", and "wicked" are not adulatory terms traditionally associated with Jesus Christ.
This failure on the part of posterity's imagination is, however, to the credit of an institution that has become a fixture of latter-day Christendom: the Christian teen camp. Coming to a town near you this summer, British Christian teen festivals such as Soul Survivor have risen to the call of preaching the gospel in the patois of the Twitter generation, as John Wycliffe was moved to translate scripture into the plebeian tongue. God will be said to be awesome. Jesus will be a diamond geezer. Sin will become minging and preserving one's virginity for the marriage bed, sorted. Though the theological implications of Christ as diamond geezer are for others to ponder, we may at least conclude that the efforts to twitterise the good news have been successful in terms of bums on seats. Tens of thousands of British teens flock to such festivals and they have become an established fixture of the ecclesiastical calendar.
The yoof lingo is, of course, mere window-dressing to the escapades going down at the Christian teen camp. Longhaired Christian guitar heroes thrash out three-chord hymns for the Lord, workshops agonise over whether tattoos and piercings are prohibited by scripture, and middle-aged clergy holler to their charges about the wonders of knowing the Lord. Proceedings finish by a godly hour and the Babylonian substances that lubricate secular teen gatherings are surplus to requirements.
All of this is also merely in support of the core raison d'être of the camps. For, in addition to giving today's teen the chance to have good clean fun away from more worldly temptations, the Christian teen camp also aims to bring them to the Lord.
Thomas Prosser | The Guardian
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