Movie Review: Fight Church


Jesus never tapped out

Directors: Daniel Junge, Bryan Storkel
Cast: Jon Jones, Benson Henderson, Jill Burress

Warning violent images

Let me state now that I have nothing against martial arts. I achieved a red belt in Tang Soo Do before a training accident ruined my chances to achieve a black belt. And at one time I went with my instructor all over giving demonstrations and he would give his testimony about how Christ changed his life. So I have nothing against Christians using martial arts to witness to God’s changing power in their life.

But there’s something about Fight Church that rubs me wrong.

Plot:  Fight Church is a documentary about the confluence of martial arts, in particular MMA, and Christianity.  It follows around pastors who are or were MMA fighters and how they merge MMA training into ministry of the church as a form of evangelism and Christian witness.  This film also shows some of those that have left MMA and how they don’t think that the church is the place for training MMA fighters.
With regards to this documentary I would say that it is well done, it does go into the various lives of the pastors and their families. It shows the concerns of the wives who know that MMA is a young man’s game and that age means that healing takes longer to happen and they may not bounce back from a bad concussion.

You also see the pastors in the octagon you see what happens when they fight each other.

And that is one of the questions in Fight Church how can you say that you love your neighbor when you’re doing your best to tear his head off?

But this isn’t the only disturbing image. You also see one of the pastors who is talking about how he wants his boys to be “manly” and so he takes them out shooting. But these aren’t teens they are between eight and ten and can barely hold the semi automatic pistol. And the look on their face as they pull the trigger is more fear of the gun than anything else. Later in church this same pastor shows a pistol to his parishioner before placing it back into his pants waistband.

But the most disturbing part of this film is the “do whatever it takes to put butts in the pew” attitude of these pastors. Dr. James White has a saying “what you win them with is what you win them to.” Is the “gospel” of the Fight Church saving the people who comes to these churches or is it just entertaining them until they find something new?

Ultimately Fight Church makes you think, it makes you examine what should or shouldn’t be used to further the Gospel. It also looks at contemporary Christian culture and asks the viewer is this what church should be?

I give Fight Church four out of five stars.

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Fight Church

  1. Do they mention the fact that violence for any reason other than war and self-defense is always seen by God as abominable in the Bible. One of the main reasons for the flood was that men were pervasively violent. I believe there’s a place for martial arts, and I wouldn’t have a problem with my kids learning martial arts. The difference is, just like with any other weapon I might train them on for self defense, I hope they never have to use it against another human being. I’m not edified by MMA.

    • No they don’t in fact one pastor’s wife was insulted by a rival gym and the pastor challenged the owner to an octagon fight. Not a good witness for Christian behavior IMHO.

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