Son of God. Prince of Peace. Son of Man. Cagefighter? While the first three masculine titles given to our Lord Jesus are biblical and sufficient enough to express the wonder of Jesus, the last title seems to be ever-more increasingly projected onto Jesus by evangelical churches which have long struggled with the over-feminization of the church. Any brief inspection of some of evangelicalism’s top blogs seem to tout Mixed Martial Arts as the next great outreach strategy for men. Forget Promise-Keepers, let’s have a fist, iron, and blood.
On the Sojourners blog, a blog I disagree with 99 percent politically and theologically, Eugene Cho draws our attention to an article in the New York Times on the growing popularity of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) or more commonly known as Ultimate Fighting Championship and various other leagues.
In a former life, I was a proud and militant pacifist. I would have argued that to equate Jesus with any type of struggle or legitimating of defense would have been heretical. I was wrong—and so is this position of casting Jesus into a male-affirming, machismo-injecting, repressed masculinity with capricious sport.