Alright. How should we think about violent contact sports? And I think I know why Femi is setting me up on this. Cause I like UFC, MMA. I used to watch a lot of boxing. When it comes to entertainment, movies, and things like that both in terms of movies for example that have “adultissh” content, there’s a sense in which the wisdom of God asks us to continually ask why we allow certain things into our view. So, the question is, if you’re watching a movie and there’s a violent portion of it, is the violence gratuitous or its sort of telling something about the story and then how much violence is too much violence?
Generally, I shouldn’t allow myself to dwell on things that are not good and that are destructive and are gratuitous. In other words, gratuitous means it’s just for nothing. There’s no real honorable aim at the end of it, and so I increasingly had to conclude that a lot of violent sport is gratuitous. Unlike other sports that have other goals and sometimes violence may be present, and we frown at that violence, because we want to see the soccer match, we don’t want to see people break ankles. But with violent contact sports, you then have a sport where people are intentionally, the goal is to pummel each other, and time has now shown us how really damaged those people are.
So, first thing, there’s no biblical command about violent contact sports, but there are auxiliary commands about what you do with your eyes and about what you fill your hearts and your minds with. So, this is a bit of applying wisdom on how to live your life, and I’ve had to come to that conclusion that I shouldn’t watch or participate in violence because the end of it is the destruction of another human being. Even other favourite sports that are not like them, like the NFL, have shown retired players who had brain damage and the end part of their lives are not good at all and they are trying to see how they can modify the rules, keep more protection on or do things to just remove the violent part that essentially destroy the latter part of their player’s life. So, these people give us entertainment. We derive joy. We go home on weekends, we rest, we kick our legs up and say let me enjoy the weekend God has given me and watch two or three people or a whole team do things. We do not want our enjoyment, we don’t want our pleasure, we don’t want our entertainment to come at the cost of another person’s life or the quality of their lives and so I would say there should be caution with that. As to how we then deal with other Christians, like I said you are not pulling scriptures that says thou shall not watch UFC, but you would ask, in everything we ask Christians to be wise in the way they live their lives and the way they use their time, and to be considerate of what honors God the most and what blesses our fellow human beings.
Answered by Yemi Osinubi. Leader at City Church, Lagos