First rule about Fight Church Is...Punch for Jesus?!

Yesterday, I came across an article and trailer for a documentary named "Fight Church". Immediately I opened it up to read it, believing that it would be a movie made by someone who hates the church or how churches fight against each other. What I saw was similar to my second worry but oh so more exciting. 

The film is about pastors and their love for MMA (mixed martial arts), to the point where they themselves participate in MMA fighting.

As ministers.

Sometimes against other ministers.

It was quite something. Now, I am not a big UFC/MMA guy so my thoughts were limited to random pop culture soliloquies and comments and so what I've done is tracked my reactions to the trailer here in this post in the first of many:


Stolen directly from Rembrant Browne, a writer from Grantland, this exercise allows you to watch the clip, then see how I reacted to it. At the end, i leave questions! It'll be worth it, even to watch the clip on it's own! Ready? Let's go!

0:04 - The makers of the film dropped the 'Academy Award" mic early in the trailer. This is to add gravitas and avoid the "Hey! Was this made by the Growing Pains guy?" avoidance. They mean business

0:11 - Pastor is up there, wounded, talking about how Christians will take shots. I smell foreshadowing...

0:12 - "Consider yourself foreshadowed." - Punch to the face.

0:23 Rappers call that point "The Sammy Sosa". (1)

0:30 That's the smile of a man who takes out his frustrations with people in the octagon. "Hate all you want, Mr. Hater. Your hate is what's made me 16 and 1 with 15 TKOs!"

0:33 - Check out dude's hands. He came ready to throw down. I wonder if that's how he does teaching times any time he's on the pulpit. That'd be cool.

0:39 - That is me. Look past the chiselled physique and focus on the beard.

0:40 - BOOM. That escalated quickly. Jack Johnson and Tom O'Leary.

0:46 - His nod's telling you no. But his laughing...his laughing's telling me yes. Now he don't wanna hurt nobody. But there is something that he...must confesssssessaaaaahhhh! He's gonna laugh at youuuuuuah, when you get knocked ouuutt!" (2)

0:49 - That line is the tweet of the year. 

0:54 - "Pastor vs Pastor" seems like a fun segment at Catalyst OR a really depressing one from Elephant Room 3: Back For More Battles!

0:58 - Fight then talk about Jesus. Like the good ol' days. 

1:07 - Now this is what you call an example of 'artistic license': The director slo-mo's our dude making the "I'm gon' kill you sign" during the "This is not love speech". Now for all we know, that could be his WWE funny thing that he does and followed by a smile...but that won't create the edited conflict. Conflict makes news. Conflict brings viewers. That's why Maury is still gettin' dem checks.

1:16 - MMA discipleship. 

1:22 - The same God in the cage is with the same dude when he's knocked out in the back room from a punch in the neck.

1:28 - Outreach defined.

1:32 - To de-feminize Christianity, we need to punch more and give little boys guns? I think that is extreme but the OTHER side of the coin is really skinny jeans, low bright v-neck t-shirts and scarves. Indoors. Maybe they're on to something? Also, I need baggier jeans. I know! We just need to go back to the mid-90s hip hop days. Then we're good, right? (3)

1:45 - To say MMA is hate and things like wrestling is a generalization that doesn't take into account other grappling sports.  It's rough but not rougher than boxing.

1:51 - That boy wants no part of this boxing fight, even with Dad sharing scriptures. Look at his eyes, man. No part.

1:54 - Dad to son: "Put your hands up!" Son to dad: Not communicating cause he's getting punched in the face.

2:00 - "Jesus Never Tapped Out" is my least favourite Christian saying. Ever. It just doesn't make sense. That said, remember the reverse count in Carmen's The Champion? Maybe he didn't after all...

2:04 - Child lost and is crying - further proof that he wanted no part of that boxing match.

2:08 - Stomp dee devil!

2:14 - That's how I react when I find out that we got Pizza Pino for supper! Straight bossin'!

2:24 - Yup. Probably. Especially in a zombie war and we're fighting for food. Then definitely, yes.

... Now that you've seen it and read my second-by-second reaction, a couple of questions (which I'd love for you to comment on below!

  1. How comfortable would you be if your pastor or religious leader participated in MMA fighting? Why would that excited/concern you?
  2. Would you get in the octagon if the opportunity arose? For missions? A new youth room? 
  3. Why would a Christian dislike this for ministers? 
  4. Should churches open this up for men in their churches? Would your church be open to that?
  5. Could one do MMA and control their anger?
  6. How does the church help men feel like men? Why don't men like church now?

I think that this movie will, like many things in church, be somewhat polarizing but it does bring up a great talking point about men and modern day evangelical Christianity. It also brings up the point that getting a gun for Liam should be on my list of to-do's.

Thankfully I often lose my lists:)

1. Trademark Pending. When The Sammy Sosa becomes the next hot dance in the vein of the Nae Nae and Stanky Leg, I'm letting the world know it started here!

2. Shout outs to you if you know that reference. It just works so well!

3. Now please don't think I'm hating on skinny jeans (have 3 pairs...probably more), v-necks (check) and scarves (so last season). I also rock dem Toms and large dark framed glasses while opening up my mac, iPad and iPhone in a Starbucks while wanting to do my nails...maybe those gun dudes are right...

LAST NOTE: You need to see this video right away. If you're my age, then this is a throwback. If you're a kid, her schooled. Right now. Drama begins here...with Carmen! Carmen is the best! The best ever!!!!

Chris ChaseComment