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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Is It Wrong For Christians To Watch Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts?

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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA


"I box in such a way, as not beating the air"

Many things that God has created or that are in this world have a good and or lawfull and natural purpose.

The distinctive mark of the work of Satan is to corrupt that which was once otherwise usefull, or lawfull, or good.

He is the father of lies, which are themselves a corruption of truth.

He is a murderer which is itself the unlawfull destruction of life.

He would take covenant and break it.

He would take marriage and divide it.

He would take sex and sell it or make it cheap.

And he would take the sometimes nescessary use of violence and make it a sport.

He would take lust and feed it untill it is lust for blood.

In the other thread that was listed here, there is a qoute from Pastor Wurmbrand about Marxisim and revolution. He suggests that 'violence to the point of paroxysm' is one thing that 'distinguishes Satanism from ordinary human sinfulness.' In other words, pointless, violence for the sake of violence itself.

Paul's use of the fighting metaphor is exactly the opposite, it is fighting, lawfull fighting, not to obtain an earthly crown of victory by crushing your human foe, but putting his body into subjection, to obtain the crown of life.

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2010/4/18 22:57Profile

Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


Just got through reading the below comments from Matthew Henry's Commentary, and thought it's a great exhortation for us. I thought it went along the same lines as Areadymind and ChrisJD just pointed out.

In these verses the apostle hints at the great encouragement he had to act in this manner. He had a glorious prize, an incorruptible crown, in view. Upon this head he compares himself to the racers and combatants in the Isthmian games, an allusion well known to the Corinthians, because they were celebrated in their neighbourhood: “Know you not that those who run in a race run all, but one obtaineth the prize? v. 24. All run at your games, but only one gets the race and wins the crown.” And here, I. He excites them to their duty: “So run that you may obtain. It is quite otherwise in the Christian race than in your races; only one wins the prize in them. You may all run so as to obtain. You have great encouragement, therefore, to persist constantly, and diligently, and vigorously, in your course. There is room for all to get the prize. You cannot fail if you run well. Yet there should be a noble emulation; you should endeavour to outdo one another. And it is a glorious contest who shall get first to heaven, or have the best rewards in that blessed world. I make it my endeavour to run; so do you, as you see me go before you.” Note, It is the duty of Christians to follow their ministers closely in the chase of eternal glory, and the honour and duty of ministers to lead them in the way. II. He directs them in their course, by setting more fully to view his own example, still carrying on the allusion. 1. Those that ran in their games were kept to a set diet: “Every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things, v. 23. The fighters and wrestlers in your exercises are kept to strict diet and discipline; nay, they keep themselves to it. They do not indulge themselves, but restrain themselves from the food they eat and so from the liberties they use on other occasions. And should not Christians much more abridge themselves of their liberty, for so glorious an end as winning the race, and obtaining the prize set before them? They used a very spare diet, and course food, and denied themselves much, to prepare for their race and combat; so do I; so should you, after my example. It is hard if, for the heavenly crown, you cannot abstain from heathen sacrifices.” 2. They were not only temperate, but inured themselves to hardships. Those who fought with one another in these exercises prepared themselves by beating the air, as the apostle calls it, or by throwing out their arms, and thereby inuring themselves, beforehand, to deal about their blows in close combat, or brandish them by way of flourish. There is no room for any such exercise in the Christian warfare. Christians are ever in close combat. There enemies make fierce and hearty opposition, and are ever at hand; and for this reason they must lay about them in earnest, and never drop the contest, nor flag and faint in it. They must fight, not as those that beat the air, but must strive against their enemies with all their might. One enemy the apostle here mentions, namely, the body; this must be kept under, beaten black and blue, as the combatants were in these Grecian games, and thereby brought into subjection. By the body we are to understand fleshly appetites and inclinations. These the apostle set himself to curb and conquer, and in this the Corinthians were bound to imitate him. Note, Those who would aright pursue the interests of their souls must beat down their bodies, and keep them under. They must combat hard with fleshly lusts, and not indulge a wanton appetite, and long for heathenish sacrifices, nor eat them, to please their flesh, at the hazard of their brethren's souls. The body must be made to serve the mind, not suffered to lord over it. III. The apostle presses this advice on the Corinthians by proper arguments drawn from the same contenders. 1. They take pains, and undergo all those hardships, to obtain a corruptible crown (v. 25), but we an incorruptible. Those who conquered in these games were crowned only with the withering leaves or boughs of trees, of olive, bays, or laurel. But Christians have an incorruptible crown in view, a crown of glory that never fadeth away, an inheritance incorruptible, reserved in heaven for them. And would they yet suffer themselves to be outdone by these racers or wrestlers? Can they use abstinence in diet, exert themselves in racing, expose their bodies to so much hardship in a combat, who have no more in view than the trifling huzzas of a giddy multitude, or a crown of leaves? And shall not Christians, who hope for the approbation of the sovereign Judge, and a crown of glory from his hands, stretch forward in the heavenly race, and exert themselves in beating down their fleshly inclinations, and the strongholds
of sin?

 2010/4/18 23:39Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: The Apostles Devotedness

...gotta love Matthew Henry. Great commentary. I am going to have to do a bit of research on the Isthmian games. I had never heard that term before, thank you. Helpful! The company of Matthew Henry leaves one not wanting much.

You got me thinking along some interesting lines Osandoval. Here we are rightly dividing a metaphor that is intended to make a spiritual point, based in doctrinal truth. It is interesting that we are arguing against the use of the metaphor itself as the base truth to be promoted. Could it be possible that an indication of a persons spiritual state, is the tendency to turn biblical metaphor into doctrine, and to turn doctrine into metaphor? Or the tendency to base decisions on narrative that one assumes the Bible is placing a seal of approval on, when in fact it is just stating the occurrence as something that happened in history and was significant because it was an action connected in some way to the bloodline of the Messiah?

For example: I am reading a book Greg Gordon recommended on Hell right now and in it the author debunks all arguments against turning the doctrine of Hell into a metaphor. Yet it would not surprise me to see those same people turning a metaphor about fighting into a justification of their lust for violence, and then making a doctrinal dogmatic statement about its beneficial warrant.

Now that I think about it, I have seen this happen so many times. However I am only asking the question here, not necessarily is just a curious trail of thinking. It is the justification of Christ that we are to seek, not the justification for doing things that are sketchy, under the banner of His grace, because of justification.

I was listening to Zac Poonen the other day and he said something that was so groundbreaking for me. It was both convicting and humorous. He was talking about how people justify depression because Elijah struggled with depression, or because Jonah was stubborn we to may struggle with being stubborn. He gave a couple other examples along that line, then just said..."Did Elijah die for your sins? Did Jonah?" I am paraphrasing, but it was something along those lines. Certainly made me do a U-turn in my thinking as well as removed a strain of maudlin theology.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/4/19 0:17Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: ChrisJD

Good thoughts Chris. I like the line about sometime necessary violence and make it a sport. Clarifying.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/4/19 0:19Profile

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


hi, yes

 2010/4/19 0:31Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057

 Re: 1 Corinthians 9:26


"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."


Not only has the christian walk been alluded to using the illustration of war and warfare,

(1 Tim. 1:18 This charge I commit to thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mayest war a good warfare)

but the very Kingdom of God in Jesus' parable is compared or likened to slavery

(Matt. 18:23 Because of this the kingdom of Heaven has been compared to a man, a king, who desired to take account with his slaves).

Are these(above)used as prooftexts by these same men for the sanctioning of war and slavery? Is Paul appealed to to support the same? If not,why not?

Here are just a few of the many verses which could be cited:

Philippians 1:1 Paul, and Timothy, slaves of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and ministers:

1 Pet 2:16 Live as free persons, yet not using such freedom as a covering or, excuse for evil, but as slaves of God.

Eph 6:10-17 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies. Because of this, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having accomplished all things, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Paul does not advocate kick-boxing in 1 Cor. 9:26 any more than he advocates sword-fighting in Eph. 6:17 when he compares our Holy Bible to a sword.

Matt. 17:5

 2010/4/19 0:41Profile

Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


Could it be possible that an indication of a persons spiritual state, is the tendency to turn biblical metaphor into doctrine, and to turn doctrine into metaphor? Or the tendency to base decisions on narrative that one assumes the Bible is placing a seal of approval on, when in fact it is just stating the occurrence as something that happened in history and was significant because it was an action connected in some way to the bloodline of the Messiah?

Jeremiah I think you are onto something true there. If these Christians are saved, it can be an indication of their immaturity. If they are not, it's an indication of their lost condition.

Savannah, good post. I think the argument you brought up regarding slavery would be hard to refute. Now the one about warfare, I can think of how it would open up another can of worms; some Christians are all for wars and are even in the military. They use Romans 13 as a justification. I lean heavily toward the view that Christians should take no part in that. I'd like to get some input on that issue as well, either on this thread or a new one devoted to that issue. Thanks.

 2010/4/19 1:41Profile

Joined: 2010/4/23
Posts: 4
Oregon City Oregon

 RE: Spartacus

If you have seen it, you will know why it is popular, even among Christians, especially men. it is another form of PORN, disguised as neo-Roman cable TV. Because it is cable, there are no TV ratings and almost anything goes. Forget about the fighting. the nudity and "soft porn" is what makes it popular. When I had cable a while ago, I turned it on to see a depiction of a popular Roman past-time, which was for those with slaves and gladiators to force them to have sex while they watched.......which i was watching...not for long. Like I said, I used to have cable.

Satan has many disguises. Spartacus is just one of His many faces.

Michael Bigley

 2010/4/24 23:54Profile

Joined: 2019/6/19
Posts: 1


You are exactly on the point. Such a bold answer.

Faiz Ismail

 2019/6/19 12:01Profile

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