Welcome to Fight Club [Christian Edition]
“Welcome to Fight Club. If this is your first night, you have to fight…with the devil.”
Proving, yet again, that my career as satirist is over even before it started, The New York Times reports on a rather unique church which includes the ancient apostolic techniques of a cage match and checking out each others six-pack. Xtreme Ministries, “Where Feat, Fist, and Faith Collide,” is a ministry led by Pastor John Renken that uses mixed martial arts and combat sports to reach a younger, unchurched population. The Times reports:
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…
“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.”
It is unfortunate that this is oh so real for I cannot laugh as hard as if it was published on The Onion or if Der Wolf had given it to me as a joke. Sadly, it is not a joke but something someone takes up with the utmost seriousness. I have been an Evangelical before and I am aware of the “Rock/Paintball/Skateboard for Jesus” mentality that is seeking after every ephemeral desire to attract more people to their doors. It is a truth which shall ring out until the end of time that some fallacies remain timeless though they cannot meet the test of time. Marrying the spirit of the age, Christ is reduced to a philosopher, or a coach (see below), or even Hulk Hogan.
Strangest of all, with these trends to attract more people, is that the ministry can only last as long as the trend remains. In the 1960’s there was the Folk Mass playing off of the success of Keith Green and Larry Norman, but now the only ones who attend the Folk Mass are the Boomers who refuse to believe the 60’s are over and have little consequences on the lives of everyone else. To marry the spirit of the age is to be stuck in that age and sentenced to absurdity rather than to look for the timeless qualities which Christianity has given us.
That being said, I welcome you to Fight Club for Jesus! We’ll be welcoming guest referee/preacher the Fight Pastor next week after a beat down of our sins. Remember maggots, as der Wolff tells us, “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. Until you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are made of the same decomposing matter as everything else!”