Saw this video, and it really made me stop and ask the BIG Q….
I have no doubt that they intend good to come from this. Yet I have some concerns.
Yes, the Christian life is a battle, but it is not against flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle fought by Spiritual means. These MMA “battles” are artificial and are not preparatory for the real battle.
There is enough brutality in the world already; do we need to make it a part of the church? Should the First Century Church have formed a Gladiator Church? For me, the popularity of MMA is an indication of a culture in decline. Did we learn nothing from Rome?
On the other hand, tomorrow I am going to participate in an outreach block party in one of the worst sections of Philadelphia. The sponsoring church was built out of a boxing ministry. They are doing real ministry and God is using them to change lives.
So, while I have a personal aversion to boxing and MMA, who am I to say that God cannot use these sports to change lives. I would prefer a different approach but put me down somewhere on the good side of “not so good”
Kinda leaning your way. But….
Gladiator Community Church
Would be cool
That does have a nice ring to it. Preaching in armor . . . and with a real sword!
I believe it’s a great idea. People can come to Christ in many different ways and this is another door. I don’t see it as just fighting, I see it as another form of competing in a sport. Football, hockey, collegiate wrestling, everybody’s a fighter in some way. Even in everyday life, we are all fighters against the enemy in our personal walks with God. I’m only 1-0 as a cage fighter for now but I have been involved in training and teaching for years. I don’t believe it makes me less of a Christian. When training or competing I learn the only way I can get through is through the strength of God given to me. I learn to rely on Him even more. I never been in competition where I fought with a desire to just be in there to hurt someone (even though that comes with fighting) or to show boat. It’s more of me fighting my fears and testing myself against someone else. There are even times backstage when fighters are backstage praying with other fighters, building relationships, meeting new people and sharing their faith with other people and knowing win or lose no grudges will be held and God will still be praised. Of course you got some fighters who fight for the wrong reasons but you’ll find those type of people involved in anything. I want to share Christ with people at the gym and even at an event. Make sure my teammates aren’t fighting for the wrong reasons. I know I have a desire to compete and I am gifted to be able to compete in this intense sport. From my view, knowing I’m about to be locked in a cage with a well trained person coached to do damage, I know not to rely on my own strength. Honestly can be a scary experience but to know God is always with you and He is a healer and protector is comforting. Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified by them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.” Prayer is much needed all the time. It’s not about me praying for favor and for the disadvantage of my opponent but more of me to overcome challenges within myself. MMA can teach someone to know Christ for who He is, some of His attributes in my opinion. Diego Sanchez and Vitor Belfort’s story’s are powerful testimonies .
This is Diego Sanchez and how his view on life and mma was changed through Christ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sWwGdKNxnY
This is Vitor Belfort, a well known fighter and I saw him on an i am second video.
Whatever it takes my bro. If it’s Biblical and it produces fruit, go for it bro!
It’s a horrible idea if you’re reaching out to knitting circle grandmothers or pacifists or similar groups. It might be a great way to reach people who view life from a warrior’s perspective (like me. That sounds pompous when I read it but I don’t mean it to be. I mean, good or bad I have a strong sense of violence) . Every audience has it’s message. Cornerstone probably seems wrong or unsettling to people who need the comfort of ceremony and formal tradition but it suits me perfectly. If they are helping people find Jesus then shoo hoo and glove me up.
Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In my opinion, this is horrible. This would not be the church for my family and me. This is fighting in the natural and we need to be trained to fight spiritually. To me, this goes against what the bible defines as love and certainly goes against spiritual fruits. It almost seems like a hazing method like they do in fraternities and sororities. To me this sends a wrong message. He was right about t being a battle out there, but you CANNOT fight a spiritual battle in the natural and biblically, the battle is not ours. If souls are being saved, kudos to them and their method, but something about this is just a bit weird. Are they talking to them about Christ between blows? The man said “I love fighting…I do.” So if he loved fishing, would he have his unsaved members jump in a lake and have the saved members to get fishing poles and fish them out? Then he would use the scripture about being fishers of men to justify his methods. This is twisted…TO ME.
I see your point Faye. I think they are just trying a (all be it quite questionable) form of outreach that they feel will genuinely attract some (probably) very small portion of their audience to the Kingdom.
I’d like to know how it all turns out in 6-mos…
I’m heavily editing the comment I posted earlier so if you saw that one, attribute the poor tone to my impatience on typing on a Kindle Fire keyboard. The more I read it the more pompous I sounded. Revision Starts Now: I think that the message of Jesus never changes. The way the message is presented changes depending on the people you’re trying to reach. Presenting Jesus and the grace of God through the medium of MMA or boxing or martial arts is a horrible idea if the people you want to impact won’t respond well to it. If, on the other hand, you’re speaking to people who do respond to that activity then it’s a great way to get them to hear the message. While we all (hopefully) come into relationship with the whole being of Jesus we also all first respond to that part of Jesus that strikes a chord of recognition within ourselves.
Yeah, this is better! In some cultures of the world (and some sub-cultures here) this type of “Outreach” may prove fruitful.
It’s a sport that some people like. With any sport there is training and time to share our faith through our lives. It may not be for me, but, as long as it remains at a sport level and doesn’t indwell hearts of anger and bitterness then for those that love, it is an opportunity to let Jesus shine through. When it shifts to pure violence loaded by anger then a line is being crossed. With all that we do, satan will try to weave into the mix and dilute or end the ministry. No matter the calling we are human and need to regularly assess if we are allowing Jesus to live in and through us, or if we are ignoring Him and making it what we wish it to be.
Medically-that sport scares me, so do many others…. But harming our bodies like that…. Yikes, it doesn’t exact align well bibically the preparation does, but not the actual fighting.
Great Insight, thanks Tanya.
Here is my 2 cents: If you are reaching people in the name of Christ – then do it. It is not going to reach everyone as said in some’s comments.
The deal is you have to step out of the box and reach people whereTHEY are. It is no good to sit in your box and preach and never reach the people who God needs you to reach.
Do what it takes for them. God gives us all a passion for a group / kind or people to Love. And if God asks you to jump you better be willing to ask:
How HIGH God?
Well Said! Thanks sis.
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