Saturday, January 10, 2009

Violent men have no place in the Kingdom of God

Psalm 11:5
The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.

I've been thinking about this for a long time, ever since Mark Driscoll wrote a blog (now removed from the website) about using mixed-martial arts as a way to attract young men to church. (A quotation can be found here.)

I have a friend who is planning on entering mixed-martial arts contests. What do I say to him? Do I tell him the LORD's soul hates him?

Looking in scripture, King David was barred by God from building the temple because he was a violent man. There are also several passages speaking about violence negatively.

Proverbs 13:2
From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence.

Malachi 2:16
"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

Proverbs 3:31, 32
Do not envy a violent man
or choose any of his ways,
for the LORD detests a perverse man
but takes the upright into his confidence.

Proverbs 16:29
A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good.

Titus 1:7
Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.

And Christ was man of nonviolence.

Isaiah 53:9

He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

1 Peter 2:23

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

I could go on at this point with dozens of more scripture, but you get the idea by now I'm sure (you're smart).

For some reason people think what is done "in church" is holier than what is done throughout the week, I wonder why we wouldn't include martial arts as part of the Sunday service. It appears like that's already happening. Driscoll says he incorporates UFC matches in his men's Bible study groups.

This is sick. While we're taught in scripture to build one another up, this violent "sport" demeans humans. We're taught to love what is good and hate what is evil, yet UFC would have us love violence and and turn away from peaceful resolution.

We see this in our culture now. Underground fight clubs, mixed-martial arts classes at the gym, and kids being beat to death practicing the moves they see on TV.

When God hates violence, how is the Church supposed to embrace this?

1 comment:

jen said...

oh my! it sickens me that some in the church feel that the only way to draw men in is to embrace ideas that are harmful to people everywhere. "hey look at us, we beat people up for a living! Praise the Lord" makes me's stupid. that's all