I “googled” something the other day, hmmm, or did I Google? I never used to google, but I google a lot lately. —Anyway, on my computer screen there appeared these three words, Christian Wrestling Federation. I don’t know how I got there, but I did.
In honor of that wacky German philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel, I started to think. Why is this Christian wrestling thing a really good idea and why not. Hegel’s version of thinking, the Hegelian Dialectic, is to ponder the best possible reason for a something, then consider the worst reason. His method (I’m over-simplifying here) helps find a middle truth, sort of a new truth.
The thesis, best reason for a Christian Wrestling Federation, is their evangelism catch-phrase, “They come for wrestling, and they stay to be saved.” Sincere, noble, well-intended and I assume it works. The fundamental defense is that we should do whatever it takes (short of sin) to bring people in and give them the Gospel. “If one soul is saved then it’s all worth it.”
So, here I sit, pondering variety of “baptized” activities. Here are a few I find interesting: *Christian Wrestling Federation http://www.christianwrestling.com *Christian Skaters http://www.christianskaters.com * Christian 4X4 Club http://www.christiancrawlers4x4.com * Christian Babysitting Club http://christianbabysitter.homestead.com * International Christian Bodybuilders Association http://www.christianbodybuilder.com
All in all I find that people have hobbies, interests and physical gifts that become their passions. Why not give one’s passion to God? We read in the Bible, “Whatsoever you do, to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31. Seems more appealing than sitting around with a bunch of dull people inventing new sins not to commit.
The New York Times recently did a story about Xtreme Ministries, a small congregation near Nashville. Their motto is –Where Feet, Fist and Faith Collide. They hope to attract young males by making the gospel tougher and by starting a Christian fight league. I wonder if it become somthing like “Fight Club.”
Here’s the kicker, the thing that throws me, their catch-phrase… “Christ fought for what he believed in” and their goal “to improve Christianity’s image. ” WHAT? Christianity has an image problem? According to the NYT article a church leader believes that our boys are getting a bit soft, but still affirms “compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” he said … It even seems that they have some Calvinistic influences judging by the t-shirts they wear, “Predestined to Fight.”
I have a friend who can bend a frying pan, break a baseball bat, and tear a thick phone book in half. He has been a part of what he refers to as “feats ministry” and is a great guy. He is a gifted motivator. So I say, “Hmm, who am I to judge?” — “man looks upon the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
I’m a very average golfer. Lately I haven’t even been that good. But I really like getting out on the golf course and I try to play at lease once a week. What about Golfers Fore! God. I’m sure there could be devotional thoughts about staying out of hazards or bearing down in the rough. Turns out, there is already Christian Golfer’s Association (http://www.christiangolfer.org ). They have a statement of vision, core values and a mission statement. —–Apparently that isn’t my mission field, I have never shot a round of par.
I visited with a local pastor about all this, you know, asking for help through my confusion. He said, “Pragmatic evangelism strategies have been around a long time so the phenomenon is hardly new.” I thought about that and answered my own question —if it works it must be okay. Then he said, “Just remember, what you win them with, is what you win them to.”
Oh great, I was confused again.
Here’s where I’ll try to land this thing: A. They will know we are followers of Christ because we love. We are commanded to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves; B. Jesus modeled toleration without condoning, (though he wasn’t very tolerant of the pious Pharisees who had the terrible habit of looking down their noses at those outside of religious conformity); C. In the process of writing about this, I’ve thought of many, many Bible verses to apply. I can think of Scriptures that could be used to support either side. Therefore I’m glad I can stay confused and remember this great verse. For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish My good pleasure.’ Isaiah 46:9-10
That sounds to me like God who is on top of the matter. I’ve decided to enjoy my confusion and trust Him with the heavy lifting. That gives me peace. I can go to bed.