| Re: |
Does it edify me spiritually to...?
Does it tend toward more Godliness if I...?[/quote
twayneb I understand your point. My concern is that these Christians will bring up objections like, "isn't there a place for fun and recreation which is not directly spiritually edifying, such as going to the park with your wife and children, going to the beach, etc. These things are not directly spiritual but not sinful either, and there is a place for them."
And there are many other objections that they bring up. As soon as you try to share with them that it does not bring glory to Christ and that it is sinful they label you as a legalist or Pharisee.
I think some of the most compelling arguments against it biblically is that it is full of violence and that it does not show love toward you neighbor.
But then they come back and say that many fighters do not fight with violence in their minds but simply with improving their combating skills, etc. To me that's a bunch of hog wash and shows lukewarmness at best.
| 2010/4/17 12:37||Profile|
| Re: imago dei - the image of God|
"But then they come back and say that many fighters do not fight with violence in their minds but simply with improving their combating skills, etc. To me that's a bunch of hog wash and shows lukewarmness at best."
I recently had the opportunity to talk with one of these fighters about the Gospel and the Lord Jesus. It was on Good Friday past. He was handing out cards to promote his upcoming fight. Me and another Christian were handing out cards about the Bible and the Lord Jesus.
During the course of the conversation I asked him if he ever was afraid. He said he did get afraid but that was part of what he liked about fighting, to stand up to his fear and the feeling he got when he won.
Whatever is in the heart of the people fighting really isn't at issue for us. What is in our hearts if we watch it, is.
When it says in the New Testament, that love edifies, the word means there to be a house builder, to construct.
Fighting like this is the antithesis of building up in love. It is tearing down, deconstructing, destructive. It builds up one in the pride of life and the power of the flesh and it tears down the other through shame and the humiliation of defeat.
But if tearing down, then tearing down what?
Remember brothers, one of the most basic of truths of the Bible, and something that gives us great inspiration as creatures, but also great responsibility - that we are made in the image of God?
Now I myself believe that the scripture teaches there is a rightfull and sometimes nesessary use of force and violence in this world. I realise others will disagree with that. But I hope that we would all as Christians believe this: that there is never a place for enjoying it.
In Psalm 11 David says that the Lord hates those that love violence, and in Psalm 68 David petitions God to scatter those that delight in war.
Can we justify delighting in watching the image of God be crushed under fists and feet?
It is one thing to do harm out of an obligation to duty or justice, but can it be justified to do it with glee? For sport? For THRILL?
Well, it obviously is becoming popular.
I happened to go to a mall today. I haven't been to one in several years and had no intention of going there today but for whatever reason I got it in my mind to go to a certain one today to get something. I didn't find what I was looking for there, but on the way out I did notice a store.
The name of the store was called "Fists of Fury". And from the looks of the merchandise it was related somehow to this kind of fighting.
For the longest time, the slogan has always been 'sex sells'.
Now I guess 'blood' is being added to that too.
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2010/4/17 17:07||Profile|
| Re: |
And can you imagine Paul, Peter, John, Isaiah, Jeremiah engaging in this sport?
How about Jesus, can you imagine him participating in these sports? Why?
Can you imagine asking God to help you beat the other guy up?
I also wonder much about the emotions that drives a person to bloody another...I would guess it wouldn't be holy, do you think so?
Perhaps the answers to these questions should be able to teach us, as well. And besides, when folks work to justify a questionable activity you already know they have wrestled in their conscience about this issue. So, the probability to convince them intellectually is not all that great - takes the Holy Spirit to accomplish this.
Just my two cents...
| 2010/4/17 17:39||Profile|
| Re: |
twayneb I understand your point. My concern is that these Christians will bring up objections like, "isn't there a place for fun and recreation which is not directly spiritually edifying, such as going to the park with your wife and children, going to the beach, etc. These things are not directly spiritual but not sinful either, and there is a place for them." And there are many other objections that they bring up. As soon as you try to share with them that it does not bring glory to Christ and that it is sinful they label you as a legalist or Pharisee. I think some of the most compelling arguments against it biblically is that it is full of violence and that it does not show love toward you neighbor. But then they come back and say that many fighters do not fight with violence in their minds but simply with improving their combating skills, etc. To me that's a bunch of hog wash and shows lukewarmness at best.
I know the reaction. People who don't understand what legalism really is try to redefine it to mean, "anything that I want to do that you are telling me is unGodly." Ironic that the point I was trying to make is that asking the question, "is it wrong to..." is in itself an appeal to legalism. It is as though I am trying to find out what I can get away with according to the law and still have God be pleased with me.
As I alluded to in the first post, I don't think the problem here is whether to watch fighting or not to watch fighting. You might convince these guys that they hadn't ought to do that from scripture, and you might convince them to the point that they stop watching it, but what is the motivation of their heart in the thing? If my walk with God is built around keeping laws or rules in order to please God and gain heaven, I am a legalist, a pharisee if you will. I will make my decisions, ultimately, based on fear of eternal retribution or loss of eternal reward. This does not come out of the love of God, but out of fear of punishment. There is a fear of God, but it is not the fear of punishment. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear. These guys are not motivated by the love of God, but rather by the legal ramifications of their actions. So the problem is not what they are watching. The problem is what is in their hearts that causes them to react the way they do. I am not so sure trying to convince them of the right or wrong of their actions is the solution. I think praying that God will open their eyes to what is in their own hearts is the solution.
Just a thought.
| 2010/4/18 7:49||Profile|
| Re: |
The problem is what is in their hearts that causes them to react the way they do. I am not so sure trying to convince them of the right or wrong of their actions is the solution. I think praying that God will open their eyes to what is in their own hearts is the solution.
Amen, I agree. That's what it's going to come down to I guess. I originally posted this thread because they asked me where I stood on that issue last week. At the time I was not prepared to give a clear answer, so I just said I don't know but I know that it's a stumbling block to many believers. After doing a little Scriptural research and consulting my brethren here I know where I stand.
| 2010/4/18 12:46||Profile|
| Re: 1 Corinthians 9:26|
The best argument I've heard from proponents of this entertainment comes from the above Scripture. Paul says,
"Therfore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
Proponents of this enjoyment say that Paul is alluding to the fighting that was enjoyed as entertainment during those days. They say in essence, "See, Paul obviously was not against fighting as a form of competition or entertainment. If he was he would not compare it to the Christian walk. If it was sinful he would not do that, in the same way that he would not compare murder or rape to the Christian walk."
I can think of a few ways to refute that argument, but I wanted to see if anyone could through some light on that argument.
| 2010/4/18 15:23||Profile|
| Re: |
correction, i meant to say "throw some light".
| 2010/4/18 20:02||Profile|
| Re: 1 Corinthians 9:26|
I have said on numerous occasions that given a mind to do so, anyone can justify their carnal activity some way by using scripture to do so. What is going to matter in the end is were we workmen who rightly divided or handled the word of God so as to be workman whom need not to be ashamed?
Some people have used the passage where David loved Jonathan as a justification for being effeminate (even though it is a total abuse of the passage.) If someone is using scripture in a way that justifies their natural lusts and cravings then there is a chance that they have gone the way of Balaam, Korah, or Cain.
I could make a total case, if I was in a carnal state of mind, that God encourages incest and drunkeness because he saved Lot and his daughters out of Sodom...and God obviously has foreknowledge of everything, so seeing into the future God decided to save Lot's family so that they could engage in lewd, base behavior...noone would make that stupid of an assertion, unless of course...I wanted to justify natural lusts. Balaam wanted over and over again to justify his lust for money, time after time he begged God to let him do it. And I like what Ravi Zacharias says..."God stepped aside and seconded his motion."
Paul's knowledge of the workings of Roman/Greco sporting was not a condoning of it. He was simply using it as a metaphor to emphasize a point.
Here is where I would draw the line of your argument Osandoval. The reason Paul inserts this metaphor into Corinthians is because he is talking about what lengths he was willing to go to to get the gospel out. He was talking about the fact that the gospel meant more to him than the value he was permitted to earn a living off of it. He was willing to forego income for the sake of the Gospel. His reward was to preach the gospel itself. He was talking about being free of the tyranny of men because of the gospel, yet because the gospel meant so much he became the servant of all men. He was becoming weak to win men.
If your friends who are using this passage to justify carnal entertainment have completely become BOND-SLAVES to the gospel of Jesus Christ and live hand to mouth...completely in rags, city to city with rocks being thrown in their face, never knowing when they are going to get their next meal...and they are seeing thousands upon thousands of people not only saved, but idols are crashing and burning all over places like in Ephesus, then by all means...in what little leisure time they have remaining...(if they can even see at all considering they have poor eyesight like Paul possibly did) then they can go partake of men bashing each others face in to oblivion.
If that does not work, I guess I would go to Galatians Chapter five where Paul says that the workers of "hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, and sedition's..." will never ever ever see the kingdom of God.
If you look up all those words in Zhodiates Greek word study dictionary...it is amazing the insight you get into how much God hates fighting. I am sure that applies verbally as well as physically. Secondly the sermon on the mount seems to really destroy the idea of partaking in violence. If you do not have a Zhodiates...and would like me to, I could take the time to type all those word definitions out...it would just take some time.
Hope that is a help brother. God Bless
| 2010/4/18 20:52||Profile|
| Re: |
Here is a general principle that I go by when it comes to watching things:
Would I, myself, do what the actors or people are doing (in some cases I might have to add, if I was able)? If the answer is absolutely not, then maybe I shouldn't watch it. Why would I enjoy watching something that I wouldn't do? Could it be because I really would like to do it? Is it in my heart? (EDIT: in other words, am I enjoying watching others sin?)
I would watch something like a documentary and say that no, I wouldn't do the things the people are doing in it. However I would do the research about a certain historical situation so to me those type of things are different.
| 2010/4/18 21:30||Profile|
| Re: |
Areadymind, thanks for the input and offer. I actually do have the same dictionary you mentioned and will do the study on those words.
| 2010/4/18 22:43||Profile|