UFC 116 just happened… and for those of you either don’t in the know or in the care, it was off the chain! Great fights, good drama and one intense heavyweight championship in which a former WWE superstar arrived as an MMA powerhouse, Brock Lesnar.
Does my rah-rah session of mixed martial arts shock you? What is a fire-baptized, spirit-filled child of God (and martial artist of almost two decades) doing watching MMA?
Easy. Thoroughly enjoying it.
And I’m not alone according to this story in the Houston Chronicle about a man with not a familiar name, but definitely a familiar past and now he is making a mark for Christ in the world of the UFC, Strikeforce and MMA.
Meet Jason David Frank (yeah, this cat), the owner and creator of “Jesus Didn’t Tap,“ a reference to “tapping out,” or forfeiting a fight.
His line of Jesus-branded MMA merchandise is on display on his studio walls, on the backs of his young students and even on cars across the country.
By the way, Frank famously fought evil villains with white metallic armor and a talking saber as Tommy on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. (Parents everywhere along the wall just became interested in this story. Whatever works.)
For Frank and his Christian fans, Jesus Didn’t Tap is more than just a logo; it’s part of their philosophy. “Jesus is the only one that truly didn’t tap. They say, ‘Oh, he was nailed to the cross so he couldn’t tap.’ Well, you can verbally tap, you can verbally cry, ‘I quit! I give up!’ That’s not what he did. He got crucified for all our sins,” said Frank, 36, who wears the company’s logo tattooed across his forearm.
No sport is perfect. And whether we are viewing and cheering the bone-chilling tackles on a football field or a sweet rear-naked choke in the Octagon, it is still sport… and I can still be saved enjoying it.
This is not a Christian world, folks. Therefore, in the midst of it, we should just strive to be the image of Christ in this world for everyone to view, enjoy and want to emulate. That’s precisely what Frank is doing as he positions “Jesus Didn’t Tap.”
And this “trend” isn’t going anywhere.
Think about it? You got some dude jacked up on machismo and bitter from some so-called Christian who scorched his earth. Is there anyway he comes to church via your invitation? Uh, no. However, invite the guy for some UFC or Strikeforce pay-per-view and he is in there.
Fighting ministries help churches reach out to men, who are less likely to attend services, believe in God or consider religion important in their lives, according to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
And you aren’t crazy about that statistic, consider the Bible and Paul’s final words to Timothy:
But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. (1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT).
Fight. I know, I know. It’s not showing the turn the other cheek mentality. Consider, we “wrestle” not against flesh and blood. Besides, I have actually had someone to whom I was witnessing try to kick my blessed assurance.
And yes, I turned the other cheek… because he sucker-punched the first one. So, in the name of Jesus, I had to throw down my “I must protect this house” card and proceed to stomp a mudhole and walk it dry.
Then, I shared the Good News of Christ. It worked too… he’s saved today.
Wall Watchers, we need to pray for brands like this that want to be all things to all men, all Paul professed.
Several MMA sites sell Jesus Didn’t Tap gear alongside top secular brands like TapOut and Affliction. Their shirts depict Jesus fighting the devil (and winning, of course) and slogans like “Jesus loves me and my new tattoos” and “Putting the Jew in jiu jitsu.”
On the real? Jesus didn’t tap… and neither will any of us in these last days. Praise God for the real face of Christianity that despite what the world thinks of Jesus, we can turn that cheek too and introduce them to another side of a complete God.