Whether it’s MMA, UFC 84, Elite X — by whatever name you call it, this gruesome, blood-stained, body-maiming phenomenon started in the shadows but now has become mainstream. Elite X had some matches debut on CBS this past Friday night (no, I didn’t watch it).
I foresee a debate arising: should Christians partake of the MMA Phenomenon? Before I answer, I am reminded of one person’s observation of their reaction to the coliseum games in Roman times. The lions would be turned loose on the Christians. This man noted, “At first, I covered my eyes. Before I knew it, I was watching through my fingers. Then at last, I was cheering for blood with everyone else.”
My answer to this question is an undeniable “No!” My simple answer is that all of us are image bearers of God (Genesis 1:26-31). We have been created with the fingerprint of God. Are we called to participate, watch, or approve of a sport whose total goal is to injure and do bodily harm to another? And please, do not tell me that this is simply a sport like boxing (called the “sweet science”) only amplified.
We as Christians need to uplift and protect the idea of humanity being the image bearers of God. We must never encourage anything in which the primary aim is to injure a fellow image bearer.