A couple of years ago I went on a mission trip to India and came home with some sort of horrible illness. I wound up in the hospital with a 105 temperature, vomiting, and the general feeling that I was going to die. But I got better; after a day or so, I felt like a million bucks when my temperature dipped below 102. I had just enough strength to watch hospital TV and make the occassional trip to the bathroom.
Hospital TV is pretty terrible. There are three channels, and two of them show Bonanza all day. The other channel had the UFC, and I watched it. I like seeing guys beat up other guys, but I'm not so sure that it's something I should like, promote, or even condone.
The early church was adamant that gladiatorial combat was wicked, and certainly any Christian with any spiritual discernment would agree. The UFC is not a no-holds-barred kill fest, but it pushes the envelope of the law and it is brutal, and it is certainly not spiritually edifying, contrary to its popularity amongst many Christians today. I believe that it is a manly flesh fest, and most who watch it indulge in the fantasy that they could whip some tail like the dudes on TV. Of course, some claim that they watch it for strategy or something of that nature, but if you want strategy watch a chess match. It's the blood we like, and the gratuitous beatings.
Some may object that the UFC is simply training for personal self-defense. That's not true. The object of those matches is not to teach self-defense; it's to beat the other guy up worse than he beats you. Some will object and say that this is not the goal of the match, and perhaps they might be right in the first round or so. But if a guy gets behind points wise, he only has one choice in the last round: knock the guy out or put him into such terrific pain that he yields. What is the spiritual value in this? Self-defense can be learned without such sheer brutality, as is evidenced everyday in our military training and in martial arts dojos across the United States.
Just for you pastor/elders out there, I wonder how you equate this savagery with the command for an elder not to be a violent man in 1 Timothy 3:3? Is this the sort of attitude or behavior that we see in Jesus Christ or the Apostles? (I can forsee people trying to equate Jesus' temple cleansing with this behavior. My advice, don't go there; it won't work.) I confess to being perplexed over how such a brutal blood fest has been so easily accepted into the Christian community without much protest. I'd like to hear some opinions on this.
We Must Do the Impossible
6 months ago