Punch Thy Neighbour

The first rule of Fight Church is: Real men go to Fight Church.

Fight Church is a documentary film about pastors with ‘cage fighting ministries.’ Preachers by day, fighters by night. Living out the Great Commission in that radical intersection where feet, fists and faith collide.

Because there weren’t already enough reasons for people to think that Christians are odd…

If you want to read more about it, I’d suggest checking out this post from Mark Moring over at Christianity Today (with my favourite line, “You know you’ve entered the theological twilight zone when a pastor prays for a parishioner’s testicles after a cage fight in the church’s fellowship hall.”)

The arrival of this film in my Netflix library makes it as good a time as any to dig out a blog from 2011, “Who Would Jesus Punch?” It’s a piece I wrote in response to an article Mark Driscoll had penned on whether Christians should enjoy Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It remains one of my most-read blogs and when I first posted it, it garnered a range of interesting comments – sadly now lost in the depths of the internet – some of which never made it through the comment filter, but which called me a fascinating bunch of words I’d never thought of juxtaposing before!

I still think I’m pretty happy with the post as a summary of my position, although I should point out three things:

  1. I expressed some hesitation at claiming the title ‘pacifist’ and I think I would put the biblical case for pacifism a little more strongly now than I did back then. I hope to get round to updating my position more clearly at some point.
  2. The Christianity Today article highlights some of the crude gender assumptions that often accompany a love of cage fighting. I only touched on these briefly in my previous post since it wasn’t the main point I was trying to make, but if I were writing it now I would have more to say on this since I think these twisted and disgusting depictions of masculinity are not only unhelpful but deeply damaging.
  3. My hair is ever-so-slightly longer than it was in 2011 and I’ve started to take my coffee white these days, unless it’s really good coffee. I hope that doesn’t undermine the core of my argument too much.

Anyway, take a look and see what you think.

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