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Passion Christian Conferences

            The recent growth of mega church events aimed at college students has sparked conversation about whether these annual gatherings preach a sound doctrine. Passion Conferences are an annual spiritual awakening of 60,000 college students with Jesus as the centerpiece. These three-day conferences aim to create followers of the #JesusMovement, a movement committed to the bringing fame to Jesus Christ to the 16+ million college students around the nation and globe. These events are sustained from year-to-year because the administrators use tactics similar to the ways in which the Mexican friars utilized confession as an apparatus of control for the indigenous population. The cultural and social vortex created by the founders of Passion Christian Conferences precipitates an insincere form of worship and a false religious movement. Osvaldo F. Pardo's The Origins of Mexican Catholicism and Oppenheimer's Knocking on Heaven's Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture will be used to analyze the forces that shape the origins and administration of the conference and how this creates an environment for misleading displays of devoutness. .
             Oppenheimer credits the success of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s to the ways in which the counterculture functioned not just on the fringes of the society but instead forced mainline denominations to interact with the vast cultural and social changes that were taking place. In order to maintain a form of membership even the most conservative denominations were beginning to reimagine the ways in which religion was practiced. This relaxation of conservative religious constraints in the counterculture movement empowered the founders of movements like Passion to recreate a new form of worship in their own light. The Passion form of Christian worship is based extensively in the culture of psychedelic lighting and rock music that emerged from the ethos of the clubbing scene in the height of the counterculture movement.

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