ProMMAnow.com Sunday Sermon: Baptists urged to hate the UFC

Kimo Leopoldo used to show his faith by carrying a giant wooden cross to the cage and with his cross tattoo.

In this edition of ProMMAnow.com Sunday Sermon, we’re taking a look at one man who considers the sport of mixed martial arts to be the work of Satan. Check it out…

If you are a Christian of the Baptist denomination and also a fan of the UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, you had best check yourself according to Adam P. Groza, vice-president of enrollment and student services at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, Calif.

In an article entitled, “What does the Bible say about mixed martial arts?” on the Baptist Press website, Groza’s aim is to inform readers how God views the sport of mixed martial arts and those who watch it.

“How should we as Baptists regard the growing popularity of MMA and the UFC? Simply put, we should hate it.”

“MMA and UFC are far from a harmless sport. They are a sinful amalgam of blood lust and female objectification that reflects our cultures growing desensitization to the inherent value of human life.”

Wow! That’s heavy stuff, but he’s far from done. He calls it “violence porn” and compares it to the movie “SAW”.

“UFC and MMA amounts to violence porn, a term which has been applied to movies with wanton violence such as ‘SAW,’ where violence is not part of the plot, it is the attraction. Violence for violence’s sake, as opposed to instrumental or redeeming violence, desensitizes the viewer to the graphic horror of watching two people pummel each other for the sake of entertainment. UFC and MMA offer exactly the kind of violence condemned in Psalm 11:5. Ezekiel 7:23 decries, ‘the city is full of violence.’ “

He says the violence in MMA is different from “redemptive violence” such as when the Christian God sacrificed his Son on the cross or when a soldier defends his country.

“The Father sacrificing the Son is redemptive, like sacrificing oneself in defense of some innocent person or one’s country. In contrast, caged fighting is violence for the sake of violence and profit and as a vehicle for lust. In Genesis 6:13, God announces His plan to destroy all flesh ‘because the earth is filled with violence.’ Some things, such as the love of violence, Christians simply cannot redeem.”

He says it’s part of the Baptist creed to seek peace, and paying to watch an MMA or UFC event is the opposite of seeking peace.

“In section XVI of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) it says that Baptists must seek peace. Paying for entertainment violence is the opposite of seeking peace and violates the Scriptures reflected in the BF&M.”

Now he goes after video games and clothing. Not only is MMA and the UFC evil but the video games and clothing representing these things are no-no’s too.

“UFC and MMA market violent video games and UFC branded clothing to youth. Another sign of the barbaric effect on culture is that women are now fighting in UFC and MMA styled matches.”

Finally, Mr. Groza declares not just Baptists, but all Christians must have no association with MMA or UFC, and you are not to envy or look up to these athletes.

“Christians must avoid any support or association with the entertainment violence of MMA and UFC. We must not envy the men of violence or choose any of their ways (Proverbs 3:31).¬†Or have we forgotten the words of Christ? Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Thoughts for Discussion:

For those of you out there who may be Christian, and more specifically Baptist, what do you think about Mr. Groza’s assessment? Do you think MMA goes against what you as a Christian or Baptist believes?

Everyone of course is entitled to their opinion, even if it appears absolutely ludicrous to others. However, the title of his article should probably read, “What does Mr. Groza have to say about mixed martial arts?” Because I’m pretty sure the Bible doesn’t have anything to say about mixed martial arts or any other sport for that matter.

I would also like to say something about what’s inside a person’s heart. A person could be playing chess and absolutely hate his opponent. Every pawn he takes from his opponent feels to him like he’s stabbing the guy in the heart with a butcher knife, so much is his hatred. In his mind he curses at his opponent and berates him with each new move. Yet outwardly, he never says one word but only glares at him with evil eyes. When he wins the match by check mate, the winner walks off without saying a word, steaming mad he had wasted his time playing against such a loser.

Then think about two MMA fighters entering the Octagon. They bow to one another, touch gloves and even hug before the fight. When one of them lands a good punch, they touch gloves in the middle of the fight out of respect as if to say, “good one.” Finally, one guy lays the other guy out with a shot and before he follows it up with one last punch he stops himself. Then the ref steps in. After the fight they hug it out and the guy who lost asks if he can come and train with his opponent. The fighter who won says, “Of course,” and they become life long friends and training partners.

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