MMA and Fight Church
In college I served as a part time youth pastor at a local church in rural Indiana. Three of the students I brought each week were from some pretty tough home situations and worshiped the fighters of WWE. They would put wrestling moves on each other and sometimes me. They some pretty big kids so I didn’t stand a chance. I wondered what effect watching wrestling had on their development and especially on how they expressed their anger.
Recently, I have noticed pastors like Mark Driscoll talk about redeeming UFC and mixed martial arts. Now there is even a documentary talking about the interaction of the church and MMA called Fight Church. You can watch the trailer here.
Questions about how Christianity should interact with a violent culture are not new. The early Christians in the Roman Empire asked these same questions about gladiators. How do you follow a Jesus who said to turn the other cheek and beat the snot out of your competitor? Are there negative ramifications of pushing such a masculine Christianity?
As a father of daughters questions like this don’t come up much. But for those that are raising sons it can be more of an issue. How do you think Christians should interact with MMA? Would you let your child watch UFC?