Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Christian Haunted Houses: Scaring the "Hell" Out of Teens?

    It's that time of the year again. As Halloween approaches, I get to plug one of my favorite youth ministry documentaries : Hell House (see trailer above).  Let me be clear:  I love this documentary but couldn't disagree more with the subjects of the film: Christians who believe fear is an appropriate tool for bringing teens into discipleship in Christ. You can watch the entire documentary online here.

    Relatedly, my current essay at the Patheos site shares more about the nature of these "hell houses" and why I think there has to be a better way to evangelize youth:  

    But all these hell houses, supposedly aimed at pointing teens toward wholesome lifestyles, reek of irony. In their efforts to offer a Christian alternative to supposed pagan elements of Halloween, they end up using the worst cultural elements to attract teens: violence, sex, blood, and carnage. Perhaps most telling, according to the director of the Hell House documentary, is the apparent excitement expressed by the Christian teens who help to organize and present the gruesome scenarios. 

    You can read the entire essay and share your thoughts here


    Calvin Park said...

    I've seen my chair of Christian Hell Houses, and I have to be honest: as a teen I thought they were a great tool for evangelism. But now I think they are an outcropping of a theology which entirely misunderstands eschatology and the nature of salvation.