fightpastor follow-up

Ok, after posting a link to the NY Times article on churches and mixed martial arts (MMA), the fightpastor posted a link on my blog to his response. Wanting to be fair in my criticism, I thought I'd mention his response (see here) and make a few comments.

I'm glad to hear fightpastor's passion for faith and MMA has nothing to do with the supposed "feminization of the church" that some Christian individuals blame for a decline in church popularity. It's also good to hear fightpastor is just an "ordinary guy" with no agenda beyond connecting and loving the people around him. And I affirm fightpastor's faith in the ultimate victory of Jesus. In a world full of brokenness and violence, Christians do proclaim that evil and suffering don't have the last word.

My problem, however, is the message of Christ's victory being communicated through the "sport" of MMA. Can an activity that promotes victory through violence and brute force really present a picture of Christ's victory over violence - victory achieved through a non-violent submission to the brutality he was presented with? I just don't see how the message of God's self-sacrifice at the cross - the ultimate declaration against violence - can be represented through such a violent activity. I don't get it...

And so while I commend some of fightpastor's motives to reach out those around him, my response to all things MMA remains the same: "ugh."

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