Certain sects of the Christian population have become so desperate that they’re willing to sell out their core values for the sake of boosting their numbers.
It’s evident by a slew of new churches selling the message “Jesus wasn’t no punk bitch” as a means of getting more men to join their congregations.
The New York Times recently published a report on the Jesus meets Fight Club marketing plan:
Recruitment efforts at the churches, which are predominantly white, involve fight night television viewing parties and lecture series that use ultimate fighting to explain how Christ fought for what he believed in. Other ministers go further, hosting or participating in live events.
The goal, these pastors say, is to inject some machismo into their ministries — and into the image of Jesus — in the hope of making Christianity more appealing. “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” said Brandon Beals, 37, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church outside of Seattle. “But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”
Old Testament and certain instances of Jesus cracking the whip out against those that disrespected his pops aside, isn’t the focal point of Jesus’ message about compassion, love, and charity? Are those not the themes he fought for in the most non-violent of ways?
I guess not:
These pastors say the marriage of faith and fighting is intended to promote Christian values, quoting verses like “fight the good fight of faith” from Timothy 6:12. Several put the number of churches taking up mixed martial arts at roughly 700 of an estimated 115,000 white evangelical churches in America. The sport is seen as a legitimate outreach tool by the youth ministry affiliate of the National Association of Evangelicals, which represents more than 45,000 churches.
I suppose given Christianity’s rise in prominence being rooted in its being forced upon converts it would make sense to some to revisit something forceful to gain more followers. But doesn’t a fusion of fight and faith seem a bit archaic?
If it does, chances are you’ve been conditioned to think that way by the hordes of females who have emasculated the religion. That is, according to James Dobson and his sequel.
The good as feces wrapped in tortillas reverend explains:
The outreach is part of a larger and more longstanding effort on the part of some ministers who fear that their churches have become too feminized, promoting kindness and compassion at the expense of strength and responsibility.
“The man should be the overall leader of the household,” said Ryan Dobson, 39, a pastor and fan of mixed martial arts who is the son of James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical group. “We’ve raised a generation of little boys.”
Now when I attended CCE classes (consider it the Catholic equivalent of Sunday school and vacation bible study) I was taught mainly by women. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, but I can’t say that I’m surprised a known racist, homophobic, sexist bigot like James C. Dobson would prefer Christian churches return to their more sexist traditions.
But, is the secret to getting alpha white men back in church giving them free reign to beat the shit out of each other under under the guise of worship?
Apparently not to all:
But on that cold night in Memphis, Mr. Renken, the pastor from Xtreme Ministries, watched as two of his three fighters were beaten, one emerging with a broken ankle.
Another, Jesse Johnson, 20, a potential convert, was subdued in a chokehold and decided not to return home with the other church members after his bout. He stayed in Memphis, drinking and carousing with friends along Beale Street, this city’s raucous, neon-lighted strip of bars.
This is by far one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read about white evangelicals and the religious right. I flatly say white evangelicals because the article notes black churches haven’t embraced this method of recruitment. But trust me, I get on the black churches for instances of nonsense, too.
It’s obvious these sorts of antics are being employed to gain whatever amount of support they can get:
“This whole generation is raised on the idea that they’re in a culture war for the heart and soul of America,” said Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University.
If you think grabbing a group of men and convincing them that slamming each other is a ticket to heaven and a sure fire way of boosting your stats then quite frankly, you deserve to get your ass kicked. This approach doesn’t read as very Christian, but then again it’s being helmed by a groups of people known for bastardizing their dogma for self-serving reasons.
That said, Jesus be a dropkick of sense.
P.S. If you’re in need of hymns I have a suggestion:
I’m sure if Jesus is really down with your beat ‘em to save ‘em approach to finding his love I bet he could find ya’ll the untagged version.