Louis Theroux on Fundamentalist Christianity

This is a video that is about Fundamentalist Christianity by Louis Theroux. It provides some insight into the nature of the religion, beliefs, morals, reasons, etc.

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  • hotmetalmel

    These people… if they ever really begin to run things, will take this country in the WAY wrong direction. FREAKS just forcing their cult like religion upon people

  • theology matters

    Many problems here….
    1. Woman thinks the Lord will grant whatever petition she has concerning the sending of angels to a person. God will grant whatever believers ask, as long as it is the best thing for those who trust Him, and most glorifying to His name. If God is in charge, then there is no absolute guarantee of “angels on your body”.
    2. “If you were the only one, he would have sent Jesus to die on the cross for you.” This is a false view of the atonement that assumes God is trying to save everyone equally but failing. This is a failure to come to terms with the Bible’s teachings of total depravity/original sin/enmity against god, particular redemption, and the efficacy of grace.
    3. Woman makes a presentation as a “confession”, not mentioning repentance, from sin/idolatry and faith toward God. She could appeal to Romans 10, but by the time Paul got to chapter 10, he had already established the problem of sin and, the need for repentance from it in all the chapters before that. She then asks if He wants to accept it, when she hasn’t explained much of it.
    4. I think the dispensational view of “the tribulation” in the book of revelation is misled, and is traditionally driven rather than Biblically. I’ll just give one example: John calls himself “your brother and partner in the tribulation” (Revelation 1:9), which shows his own view (the one who wrote the book) that the tribulation is what all believers are going through that experience hardship in the gospel era, especially in persecution(himself being exiled for the sake of the gospel).
    5.She anoints her car with oil, as, “a touch of the Holy Spirit”. What?
    6. “would you just like to try the Lord”; this violates so many Biblical categories, that I don’t think I can get into it in this current format.
    7. It seems as though even the BBC non-christian interviewer, Louis, knows that bumper stickers, shirts, and hats can’t function as substitutes for intelligent interaction with those who don’t believe the christian message (aka evangelism/witnessing).
    8. I don’t know if I would call this one a problem, but Pre-tribulational rapture is a part of dispensational premillennialism, as well as historic premillennialism to my understanding; I covered this in part in point 4; I won’t get into pre-tribulational rapture vs. tribulational rapture here.
    9. Man claims that the only thing keeping satan from destroying the world is the church. Actually, it’s only by God’s permission that satan can, or cannot do anything harmfull in the world. If not for God’s permission, satan could do nothing. God does fight the forces of evil, through His church, but it is all God’s doing. I think there is some truth in his statement, but I think it is misleading.
    10. I like how the interviewer tested their discernment, with the song “faith”. He asked if that song could be used to share the gospel with someone; the man agreed that it would work. Does this really need a refutation?
    11. I’m not sure what he meant by “fools for Christ”. At this point in the movie, it’s good to mention the need to be relevant and interesting, and to create an atmosphere for people that will attract a crowd, not scare a crowd away. I really think those people walking by would have been more interested, if all they were doing was handing out flyers.
    12. It’s interesting how the BBC interviewer, Louis, knows that the man talking to the girls was only interested in the girls. “yeah, but he was confessing that he believes in Jesus”; this really does point out the weakness of pop-evangelism. Again, Romans 10:9-10, is being abused here.
    13. “Is that saying doing try to understand me with your brain?-“, “-Right, it’s not a brain thing”. It seems that, even to Louis, it’s strange to believe God would be glorified by not understanding Him.
    14. You know I have had multiple experiences just like the one Louis is in at this point; I’ve been in LONG, crazy services, where people are “feeling the spirit”, and “falling under the power”, and felt nothing. The problem is, what are people really supposed to be feeling, if the truth isn’t being presented, but instead a bunch of words no one can understand? Maybe there was good preaching there that they didn’t show in the film, but I’ve been in services that look just like that one, and it isn’t a type of meeting that typically has intelligible, much less clear preaching.
    15. The kind of manipulation of people in these kinds of meetings is made clear by Louis. “you don’t have to feel it”…. this is insane; this has to be a joke.
    16. Ya know, alot of times this “power of God” falling on the ground stuff, doesn’t seem God glorifying and holy. It makes me wonder what is going on.
    17. Amazing, question from Louis. “Do you think….it’s human centered, and not God centered?”. I couldn’t have asked it better myself. Amazing how Louis, a person who isn’t a christian can see, this stuff isn’t God centered. He didn’t get an answer from the from the man about how this stuff really is God centered.
    18. I really do appreciate those that love Jesus, but yet are misled in some way or annother. I do like this documentary-type-thing; was funny at parts; I benefited personally as to be reminded in what example I should not follow. I hope Louis can come in contact with a God centered, ministry, that is more Biblically faithful. Maybe one like http://www.desiringgod.org

    Chronological legend of references, point by point:
    1. 2:56
    2. 3:14
    3. 3:20
    4. 5:55
    5. 8:01
    6. 12:13
    7. 16:56/17:07/21:30
    8. 19:44
    9. 21:41
    10. 26:46
    11. 29:00/29:09-30:00
    12. 30:23-30:54
    13. 36:51-37:22
    14. 38:26-41:33
    15. 39:13-40:18/40:33-40:48
    16. 40:20-40:31/40:49-41:33
    17. 42:40-43:48

    Erratum:
    3. Woman makes a presentation as a “confession”,
    should be *Woman makes a presentation of the mode of salvation as a confession
    13: “Is that saying doing try to understand me with your brain?-”
    should be *”Is that saying don’t try to understand me with your brain?-“

    • Shazabat

      Whoa, hold your horses there, Sir Christliness! ¬†THat’s a lot of time you could have spent elsewhere. Lord Lay-a-Load!

    • Xulius_caesar

      Wow, must be nice to have that kind of time on your hands. 

  • Amy

    Omg! I love Louis laughter at 21.11 min. So damn cute <3

    • rosie

      i have such a giant crush on him ūüė°

  • pearlj

    Alright I just HAVE to say wasn’t it a bit obvious that Louis had a thing for the one daughter, and then when she started to make serious slut eyes at the guy behind her Louis was totally crestfallen in realizing that her “interest” was inauthentic and completely manufactured? Also the girl’s Dad struck me as 100% pedo. No joke.

    • meghan

      I noticed in the one about the most hated family in america he seemed a little obsessed about the girls love life, or I suppose lack of one.

      • jack package

        I dont think that Louis focused on the Phelps’ daughters love life due to an apparent ‘crush’ on her, I think it was more to appeal to her natural human desires, and on questioning her further, it was obvious how she had repressed the inate desire to couple and procreate within most of us.

        • Jacquesmuseo

          Well put jack package, I thought the very same thing!

  • Grant

    I really enjoy a look behind groups like these; but I’m a bit sad that he picked those two major groups to represent all “fundamentalist Christians.”

    The Lamb of God ministries is known to be over-the-top evangelical/third wave Pentecostal style Christianity that focuses on feelings and emotions rather than any kind of serious and deep theology.

    The Family is a known cult of Christianity (I’m not calling names here, they fit the specific definition) that has delved into prostitution and possible child abuse.

    I know it makes for good TV, but rather than focus on the extremists, it would be nice if a show that purports to represent the true heart of fundamentalist Christianity looked into some of the regular people. I don’t agree with the fundamentalist Christian stance; but they’re not all crazies.

  • Aoifemfleming

    omg when louis sings ya gotta have faith . . . brilliant

  • swan

    RELIGION IS A PONSIE SCHEME IT IS A PLOT TO CONTROL UR BRAIN, UR PSYCHE THEY WANT U TO BELIEVE IN THIS BOOK NO MATTER WHAT REALITY SHOWS YOU ABOUT LIFE… IF LIFE NOW IS EVEN HALF LIKE THAT OF WHEN JESUS LIVED THERE WERE ALSO PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO CONTROL CERTAIN PEOPLE ESPECIALLY POOR PEOPLE, THE MAJORITY EVERYWHERE……SOMEONE HAS ALWAYS BEEN PULLING THE STRINGS FROM BEHIND A CLOAK BUT THEY WERE AND ARE HUMANS POWERFUL PEOPLE THAT U GIVE POWER

    • saoirse

      what are you six years old?

  • swan

    THE ALL GODS CHILDREN PEOPLE DONT LOOK THAT BAD..ACTUALLY THE MOST INTOUCH WITH REALITY I HAVE SEEN OUT OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE

  • http://www.facebook.com/bigdean636 Zack Dean

    Kind of a silly documentary. You’re not really going to end up learning anything about anyone with this. Much worse than Louis Theroux’s usual work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bigdean636 Zack Dean

    Kind of a silly documentary. You’re not really going to end up learning anything about anyone with this. Much worse than Louis Theroux’s usual work.

  • Tails

    This is a great doco and its definitely thought provoking. Christianity + Consumerism = late Capitalism. Love Louis!

  • Tails

    This is a great doco and its definitely thought provoking. Christianity + Consumerism = late Capitalism. Love Louis!

  • http://twitter.com/charleslemos Charles Lemos

    So many Christians, so few lions.

    • Charles Fuckface

      I’m not a Christian, but how are you going to claim moral superiority when you say shit like that? ¬†And if you don’t claim moral superiority, then stfu.

      Fucking atheist. ¬†I’ll see you up in smoke.

      • Ttt60

        WHO is ¬†claiming moral superiority?? – that’s a simple anti Christian statement. Can one actually claim moral superiority in a 6 word sentence? –

        ¬†Love your ending really showing your own apparent lack of mental..hmm anything i suppose “OMG IT”S AND ANTI¬†CHRISTIAN¬†STATEMENT – MUST BE AN ATHEIST – moron¬†

  • Shazbat

    At least I can still smoke pot an go to gay bars . . .

    Ah, Louis, you take dry gin British wit to a whole new level.

  • Anonymous

    aw man him playing George Micheal’s “faith” with that family is hilarious. That was the best.¬†

  • Jacquesmuseo

    To the people of Great Britain and the rest of world, I as a disabled veteran and American pass my most sincere apologies and beg your forgiveness for the transgressions of these fundamentalist scoundrels and the Texas trailer trash who manipulate their ignorance to rise onto the national scene like God-damned george w. bush and the “empty suit” -rick perry, as they embarass us all on the international scene. Thanks to Louie Theroux for providing the light and disinfectant in order to expose this religious hysteria for the Godless mental disorder and heathen hypocrisy it so very truly is. I ask all these ignorant lambs of God to make a pilgrimage to the Church of England and see first hand spirituality which does not require you check your “common sense” at the door as “the price of admission.”

    • Richskirich

      Im british army, i cant say im a Christian. but i can say im spiritual. massive respect to you man. I think having respect for eachother is the most important thing. 

    • Richskirich

      Im british army, i cant say im a Christian. but i can say im spiritual. massive respect to you man. I think having respect for eachother is the most important thing. 

    • Double Thumb Fist

      Hi, I grew up in the UK and was raised Catholic. I think most people would acknowledge that Americans generally are reasonable intelligent people. Don’t worry about Mr. Theroux, I like his work, but he’s not much a journalist or documentary maker.

    • tonto79

      Well said sir. I wish everyone in your country was as intelligent, rational and mature as yourself. Best wishes for the future.

  • Ttt60

    ahhh just watched a Louis doco on Nazis – This one is much better. He seems more willing to play along with them rather than oppose and kind of antagonise. Rather interesting doco

  • Cate

    Well, at least their not the Westboro Baptist Church…

  • Allures

    I gotta say, I didn’t really get a “fundie” impression of these people. They might fit the technical definition of fundamentalism, but certainly not the popular one. I mean, one could disagree with their exact beliefs, but did any of them ever talk about blowing up abortion clinics? Picketing funerals? When the topic of hell came up, they almost seemed to be embarrassed by it – and wasn’t Louis the one who even brought it up in the first place? So what did they do that was so bad? Wear t-shirts and sing songs? Frankly, I think that if they belonged to an obscure minority religion, we’d be pointing at them and going, “Now, why can’t the Christians be that friendly?”

  • American and British

    I laughed out loud when they said 3/4 of Dallas is “Born Again”. That statistic is just a bunch of subjective garbage made for British television. Clearly they don’t know the Dallas I do… unless those people all all all fit into the 1/4 remainder.

    I am American and English, and have lived in the US and UK in my life, and I think it’s hilarious the phenomenon that British television loves finding ways to make fun of Americans, largely as an odd and comforting past time. British non-professionals somehow love painting Americans as ignorant, and dig up odd stuff from off the beaten track to do so. Meanwhile, they ignore that they are typing into Google on their Dell laptop, trying to download the latest Hollywood film.

    I love Britain and am very proud of it, but the American prejudice has got to go. It’s ignorant and insecure of Brits to continue to embrace this. The media sells this to the public because it’s an easy sell, not because it’s informative. Louis Theroux treats America like a zoo. Meanwhile, the American public loves the British public, as you can see glimpses of here (which is largely played down in the editing).

    • Loop

      ” I think it’s hilarious the phenomenon that British television loves
      finding ways to make fun of Americans, largely as an odd and comforting
      past time. British non-professionals somehow love painting Americans as
      ignorant, and dig up odd stuff from off the beaten track to do so.
      Meanwhile, they ignore that they are typing into Google on their Dell
      laptop, trying to download the latest Hollywood film.”

      Well, This is recorded in the mid or late 90:s so i doubt they went to google on their dell laptops. Btw, if you are suggesting somehow americans “invented” the internet that’s not entirely true. Yes it started as a military project. But the tcp/ip protocoll was invented by a Swede i think. The html language by a lsd tripping professor, and we can just as much thank chinese labour for making our laptops these days.

      And is he really making fun of americans? he wants to understand fundamental christians and it just happens we find most of them in America. thats not prejudice or ignorant. What does the export of american popular culture have to do with wanting to understand (in a humerous way) fundemental christians or making fun of the fact that there is a lot of funny overweight far right ignorant people in texas?

  • mercy

    I personally think it’s wrong for the lady to say “if i ask the lord to put angels upon you he would do it” because I believe everyone has angels guarding them whether they are faith or unfaithful to God this shows how much love God has for his children.

  • earl

    The thing that is so scary about something like 90% of Christians I come in contact with, is that in total opposition to the teachings of Christ, they seem to revel in the idea that everyone who doesn’t believe as they do is going to roast in hell. Christ supposedly committed suicide so that the rest of us would be saved… the last thing he would want is for his followers to get some sort of perverse pleasure on other peoples eternal damnation. I’m not religious at all but I am naturally a good enough person that It would sadden me to think of someone…anyone roasting in hell.¬†I would really like some one to explain the difference between these “so-called” Christians and those Muslim minority who think the world should be cleansed of infedels?