Sadly, this is not a fake trailer:
Two things: there are all kinds of wrong with this trailer; and, I will definitely be watching this.
I hate to judge a movie based on a trailer (I made that mistake with Star Wars Episode 1), but because this hits close to home with me being a Christian and a fight fan, here are some quick, knee-jerk reactions that are probably just as wrong as what’s in that trailer:
- 0:36 – That’s a lot of dudes… Women also fight, so I wonder if any were invited to join the church’s fight club. I never trust any church that has velvet ropes for some members and not for others.
- 0:41 – “Tough guys need Jesus, too.” I’d argue that’s really limiting.
- 0:43 – “You guys like to see me fight another pastor?” Paging Joel Osteen.
- 0:55 – “Tonight we got to fight and then we talk about Jesus tomorrow when we go to church.” This is actually the most insulting aspect of the trailer. Christians are commanded to put God first, before anything, so to stop putting him first for the duration of the fight and pick things up after seems pretty egregious for a Christian to say. Or to say we only talk about Jesus “tomorrow” or “in church” also seems real limiting.
- 1:02 – “The tradition of which I am a part is that we would love one another, and this ain’t love.” True, “this ain’t love”. It’s a sport. However, I wonder if this guy extends the same love to everyone, across the board. It’s easy to say, harder to practice. If you’re that committed to love, get to loving and stop proselytizing. Show me the love, man!
- 1:06 – “At the end of the day, it’s about reaching people with the gospel, regardless of what you do to introduce them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.” Uh, reaching with the gospel is one thing, but an MMA fight ain’t the gospel. It’s an MMA fight. It’s like saying , “I’m going to win over people to Christ through shoemaking.”
- 1:17 – The footage with Benson Henderson is a great example of a guy who has never been shy about his love of God or his relationship with Christ. I don’t know how big a part Benson has in this film, but I bet it’s there (along with the Jon Jones footage) as a prop. Focusing on one man, his faith, and his fulltime job seems like it would make for a more compelling look at both worlds. As it stands I don’t think either Christianity or MMA is going to come out looking good when this movie is released, which wouldn’t be the first time for either.
- 1:30 – “Mainstream Christianity has feminized men. If we would raise our boys to be men, these kind of problems would go away.” This guy again? Is feminizing like Martinizing? Using the gospel to justify some macho fantasy about “de-feminizing” boys is about as good a use of the Bible as using it to power your car. Shouldn’t Christians be attempting to raise their children to be more like Christ and having the faith to let the rest sort itself out according to God’s plans for their kids? Besides, the guy here could use some feminizing.
- 1:40 – “Cagefighting doesn’t speak about loving one another; cagefighting is about hating one another basically.” This guy again, too? Ugh. “Cagefighting” isn’t about loving or hating. It’s a competition. Love and hate play as much of a role in a “cagefight” as they do in building a model airplane.
- 1:48 – As the pastor puts his kid into a fight, “God said don’t be afraid.” Surely there is a better example to show how to teach a child to not be afraid? As a Christian man, I don’t fear (at least I try not to). I don’t fear busses or alligators or crossbows. But that also doesn’t mean I go walking in front of moving busses, wrestle with alligators, or juggle crossbows. Acting on any of those things doesn’t prove to the world that I’m not afraid. That’s ego. Giving in to trying to prove I’m not afraid means I’ve already lost and am giving in to the very fear I’m trying to show everyone doesn’t bother me. There’s a difference between someone of faith being persecuted and not being afraid of that persecution, and a ditzy father thinking that putting his kid in a fight with another kid is going to teach him to trust in God and not be afraid. Also, MMA isn’t a sport for kids. Their bodies are not fully developed. MMA is also not a metaphor.
- 2:00 – “Jesus never tapped out…” Well, yes he did. He submitted to God’s plan as all Christians are called to do. Submission to God is part and parcel to the gospel.
- 2:17 – “Can you love your neighbor as yourself, and then at the same time, knee him in the face as hard as you can?” This depends. Lyoto Machida, Mark Munoz, Jon Jones, and Alexander Gustafsson say yes. Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar say no.
This whole trailer and idea of a church fight club feels like a weird offshoot of the same warped following that the movie Fight Club has. The Fight Club fanatics who love the movie (not even the book mind you just the ideas of the book and movie), seem to miss the point no matter how many times they watch it. Maybe that’s the correlation since too many Christians who love quoting the Bible are only looking to the Cliff notes and can’t be bothered to actually read it.
Anyway, stepping off the soapbox. This looks like a real interesting kind of train wreck. I can only imagine the reactions from Benson Henderson and Jon Joes (or even the UFC) once the film is released.