Netflix has done it to me again. I stepped into another pile of bizarre Christian conversion tactics. Maybe I just missed the bus on this one too, but this one is intriguing to me as well because I never would have thought of this and I consider myself a fairly creative person.
This particular documentary, Hell House, surrounds a Pentacostal church [the speaking in tongues type] twho creates their own little house of horrors for the Halloween season. The idea is essentially to portray different and dangerous things that, if you’re unrepentant, you would be condemned to hell for. Then they show an actual portrayal of Hell and what it may be like. From the very beginning this started to sound dicey to me. The idea was interesting but is presented in such a way that the people making their way through this Hell House is bombarded.
They start with the planning and the things they were attacking in the process of creating this monstrosity just had me taken aback. Things I can readily recall involved a child being oppressed by a demon who said he had introduced this person to the occult early on by reading Goosebumps. I’m sorry, I don’t know about anyone else, but I grew up reading those books and I’m not sure I could pull anything of the occult out of them when I read them at that age. Then there was your typical Harry Potter bashing, stereotypical AIDS reference for the condemnation of a gay person, a woman bleeding out after a botched abortion, date rape at a rave, drug deals gone terribly wrong… I’m sure you get the idea by now. They did, however, give a fairly accurate portrayal of Jesus’ response to this in my opinion. They have people arriving in heaven and they are rejected and turned away by Jesus, who denies knowing them and turns them over to Hell. The problem is the guy running Hell. He’s a skinny black clad kid with grease paint that makes him look like a member of Kiss.
So, after traversing the entirety of this house, the groups are brought into a room where they are given the choice to stay where they are or they are given an open door to go through to have people pray for them and help to bring them to Jesus. Not a bad move, but since it’s completely motivated by fear and there is a total absence of the love of God I guess I have a small problem with their methods. There is actually a portion of the film where one of the staff members speaks to a very upset kid in a Fear Factory [\m/] t-shirt. The kid rants that it’s all just stereotypcial Christian bullshit. I would have to agree, though the staff member does say that, for instance, in the case of the gay kid scene where he dies from AIDS, he rejects Jesus despite a friend’s pleas. It’s fair, but I would have to agree that the tactics utilized by this particular group of tongue-speaking, God fearing shock-jock thespians are a little overboard if not a lot.
And, besides, if you see their portrayal of Hell, besides a member of the Kiss army running the show, I don’t think it even comes close to what could be described as Hell. Because this is something very visual, I can’t really give you a full picture so I suggest, if the topic interests you, to check out this piece of work yourself.
My true question I guess, is whether or not I’m just missing weird stuff like this or if it’s because I’m looking. Are there that many weird people who call themselves children of God and followers of Christ that are that far out there?