17 November 2010

Violence Only For Justice

I blogged several months ago saying of the topic that I would "expand a bit more soon." Now, when God starts a thing He is faithful to complete it. I am recognizing that I fail to glorify God when I start a thing and do not follow through with it. So I here am.

But before resuming that topic, here's something I want to tell you: Violence is only acceptable when it is coupled with justice.

There is a certain Christian subculture today that seeks to be manly by watching mixed martial arts fights such as UFC. I recently came across Mark Driscoll say the following in the sermon "The Weaker Christian":
If you’re a person who has no problem with violence, and last night you watched Matt Hughes beat Royce Gracie in the Ultimate Fight – thank you, Jesus. We all knew it was gonna happen. You don’t have a problem with violence – because you’ve read the Old Testament and you know it’s Biblical – you don’t have a problem with violence, then you can watch Ultimate Fighting. If you marry someone, though, like I did, and she says, “I don’t like violence,” then I watch it with my boys, not with my wife. My wife’s not into Ultimate Fighting. My boys? Totally into Ultimate Fighting. They take their shirts off and watch Ultimate Fighting with their dad – that’s what we do.
Though I have myself in one instance gathered with some guys to watch a fight, there is something unsettling about all this. I have two objections: violence itself is not Biblical and it is not manly.

Violence is in the Old Testament, yes, but it is not recreational. Violence per se is never condoned, let alone being entertained by and deriving pleasure from it. It is always the story of God executing justice using His people as agents to deliver His wrath on those well deserving for their sin. It is the same story in the New Testament and in our present age: Jesus Christ is the true Ultimate Fighter, the conqueror of sin and death.

If you want to be a man, take off your shirt with your Dad and get violent fighting your sin. Fight for justice in the world as agents of Christ's redemption and victory to the captive and oppressed. This is the ultimate fight.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. - James 1:27

Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of. - Jonathan Edwards, Resolution #22


Caleb said...

Spot on.

Josh said...

If this is true, should we watch football?