Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ministry & Fight Club



First, read this article about churches taking on fight clubs as ministries

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10033/1032813-84.stm

Then, laugh. Because that's what I did.

It reminds me of something Mark Driscoll (I believe it was him, I could be wrong. Google him too though. He's a character) said about people following a Jesus that was a "wimpy vegetarian who wore sandals and drank decaf." I'm guessing he meant that in the pejorative sense. Instead, the solution is to pump up this notion of Jesus who was a MAN'S MAN. A Jesus who watches (and bets on) the Super Bowl, and puts his muddy boots on your couch. A Jesus who doesn't make sandwiches, because we've got women for that.

And they always have the same reasons...

1. "Because men are the head of the household." What that has to do with the price of tea in China I'm not sure, but I'm guessing real men don't drink tea. They drink MONSTER ENERGY and double shots. And they put each other in a head lock on Tuesday nights.

2. "Fighting in real life is like fighting with faith." Riiiight...because you were born yesterday and don't know about metaphors yet. I'm guessing you think the biblical authors didn't either...

So the author of Hebrews really wants me to run a race! Yes!

3. "Because we want to make Christianity more appealing." It's not a video game. It's a lifestyle. And some folks just ain't going, no matter how glossy you make it. At its core Christianity is about having a faith that can suspend reality...rather, negotiate it to create and sustain hope in situations where hope doesn't exist. That's what it means to FIGHT. And if you want a puncher's chance in life, it's gotta happen OUTSIDE the Octagon.

Our churches have got to stop laying in bed so naively with a culture that doesn't care about church. Not to say we avoid culture altogether, but there's got to be some middle ground where we integrate certain cultural practices while critiquing others (I would hate for you to miss a glaring reference and commercial for H. Richard Niebuhr's "Christ and Culture" here). This blind acceptance of whatever's COOL is not making "warriors" for Christ (as the Evangelicals have always hoped) or even good Christians.

Or Christians even.

We're just making folks who fight and go to church. We already got folks who go to church and fight.

I like that my Jesus maintains the sort of peace that can accept whatever God's will is for him (including death). I like a Jesus who won't fight back with instigators. I like a Jesus who does his job regardless of who accepts him or not. I like a Jesus who, instead of telling his disciples (who included women), "I AM BETTER THAN YOU" (It's me baby! Jesus!), he told them "You will do far greater than me." I like a Jesus who fights with his heart, his mind, and his will - not with his fists. I like a Jesus who loves.

Even if he wears thong sandals and listens to Pat Matheny records.

What do you think about this?

5 Comments:

Blogger BreevEazie said...

I like Jesus because He represents the great balance. Sometimes you fight, sometimes you turn the other cheek. Sometimes you overthrow the system, sometimes you submit to authority. Its a hard teaching for organized religion because people take the notion of balance and lean it whichever way is convenient for them. Thats why people cite the Bible for having "many contradictions" when the truth is that there are MANY DIFFERENT ideas in it useful for inspiration in different situations. Without the Holy Spirit to differentiate between them, the Bible is just a good piece of literature. The problem is that the HS is hard to prepackage, ship, and sell on Sunday mornings. We (Some of us) only bring it up during worship so we can dance around, give a good show and leave the "Holy Spirit" at church until the next time we get there. No balance. We only push the easy sell. That mentality only leads to the things you mentioned about making Jesus more "appealing" The hard sell is that sometimes this thing doesn't look so good. Sometimes The decaf drinking 2010 Hippie is going to have to man up and fight for something and sometimes the "Mans Man" is going to have to do something that makes him look like thong sandal wearing wussy. Balance is a key discipline in this walk. When the balance is off set, we go way left and start Fight Clubs to "bring people in" Ugh! I dont agree with it, but I understand...

February 3, 2010 4:07 PM  
Blogger CaesarKwest said...

I feel this, but when you say Jesus represents the great balance, when does he literally FIGHT? His closest expression to rage is flipping a table (and that isn't expressed towards any one person). He also scolds the disciples a number of times.

I'm just trying to understand how people see this blatantly violent behavior, intended to cause destruction to another's body, as even remotely Christian. What balance is this? I feel like I'm missing something.

February 3, 2010 7:06 PM  
Blogger CaesarKwest said...

I'd rather people say "Because it's fun, therapeutic, and would bring folks to church" which is a stronger argument than "it's Christian." I don't bring a Wii to church and play with the kids because it's Christian. I do it because it's fun and doesn't get in the way of my Christianity.

February 3, 2010 7:07 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

When I read the article, I thought that people have simply grown impatient or lack trust in God through the Holy Spirit. This, then, leads to people taking things into their own hands and resulting to desperate measures to "bring people in."

And let's be serious, if it were all about saving souls, they wouldn't be worried about bringing them into a building...they would be going to where the people are. This is ultimately about keeping the building open (a.k.a. creating new revenue streams).

It's a sad day when a church has bought into the western notion of ministry-by-money alone and not by the Holy Spirit, but that is exactly what I see in this article. I can kinda get w/their gender argument (men's lack of interest) as that is a valid issue in many churches today. But, promoting "manly" fights to fill seats is just weak. Come again, folks.

February 3, 2010 8:42 PM  
Blogger BreevEazie said...

@JKwest There are of course no instances where Jesus actually fights, in part (I think) because the Bible only covers that small 3 years of his life where he was really getting into the meat of what he was there for, the Crucifixion. Its like picking up the game in the 4th quarter but I think its reasonable to assume when taking in other passages about other things that fighting in and of itself is not sin or wrong or immoral.

I actually read the article after my first comment. Before that I had only read yours. It seems to be more of a club or ministry like any other one. I have seen the same thing with boxing and more frequently with football. Both sports can be brutal but I feel like some things go on the playing field that wouldnt go in real life and its ok.

February 3, 2010 11:03 PM  

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