This is a post of a personal nature, but one that HiScrivener (firstname.lastname@example.org – some folk just don’t like posting comments) has received ample questions about, “Can a Christian enjoy MMA and still feel like that is a biblical thing to do?”
[Shout out to my man, Mike, who writes on a blog of a more serious nature but is a sterling MMA fan in his own right and is largely the impetus behind doing a post on this issue.]
In a word, Y.E.S.!
The Wall has chronicled a couple of posts on a terrible incident involving a former UFC champ and a lighthearted, jammin’ post on Jesus not tapping, but this is not a story in origin, rather from opinion (And a bricklaying shout out for MMAWarehouse.com on the pic.)
To the haters and legalists, do you enjoy those football games on Sundays after you race home from Sunday service? If you answer, yes to that, then riddle me this? What happens to end a play? Some 6’4″, 210 lb. dude yanks a flag out of the wide receiver’s back pocket? No, he hurls all his weight at the catcher and tackles him so hard he feels it the following week!
And what’s not that violent about that? How about the quarterback who gets hit so hard by an oncoming freight train known as a pass-rushing defensive end that he gets a concussion? All the while, you jump out of your seat, cheering and wailing at the top of your lungs (unlike you probably do in church) and possibly using your Bible as a coaster.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Cowboys… er, football too. But I also fancy the friendly confines of the Octagon as well. And so what? Is this a sport Jesus would have watched? I don’t know, but then again, I don’t know how he would feel about most of the sports today. Heck, he seemed to be more of a wildlife kind of guy, so perhaps he would have spent his free time watching Animal Planet.
So… MMA? WWJD?
Isn’t that what this is all about? Some pastors run from this issue. Others embrace it and create men’s fellowship night around PPVs.
If these UFC combatants publicly exclaim a true faith in Jesus Christ (not the ubiquitous Grammy acceptance speech, “I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, without whom this wouldn’t be possible. What, what.”), shouldn’t pastors laud them for proclaiming Jesus after a win and give UFC a chance?
No sport is perfect (save maybe Baseball, IMHO). After a bone-shattering tackle, there isn’t a quest to lay hands for a faith-healing, but there could be prayer on the field. And so, during an episode of “The Ultimate Fighter,” one may catch a few eff bombs being launched and others refraining from it because it’s not with his faith. This is not a Christian world, folks. We should just strive to be the image of Christ in this world for everyone to view, enjoy and want to emulate.
That said, why can’t I be a child of God and enjoy some raucous UFC? Serious christians like the aforementioned and great Matt Hughes and Quentin Jackson are highly visible and successful in the UFC. Isn’t that grounds to celebrate the free pub for Jesus in the sport, rather than turn up a nose and around your back on those that appreciate it?
It’s the bridge between the art of pugilism that used to be found in boxing and the melodrama scripted in wrestling. This is a sport that keeps it real, is sanctioned by each state its in, heavily monitored by referees who don’t allow anything to get out of hand, entertainment at its peak and oh yeah… every once in a while, if you are watching, Jesus is glorified.
Pastor, if you are toying with this, I DOUBLE-DOG-DARE YOU. I assure you it’s not hooliganism and thuggery. It’s sport, much like the games you watch on the weekends. People of all kinds watch it, salty language can happen and violence could ensue.
But wasn’t that Jesus dealt with back in his day as he walked the streets?
You would be amazed the viral marketing for your church, public invites of first-time guests and the fellowship men can have while huddled around a TV yelling for a kimora or a noma plata can be pretty exciting, and sanctified all at once. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?
Now back to the news.