Becky would not let me title this post “Anal Sex and Mixed Martial Arts” but that’s really what we are going to talk about. As some of you may know Pastor Driscoll and his wife recently published a book on marriage. And this may not be much of a shocker to those who follow Driscoll (I am not one of them BTW), but he brings up some touchy subjects. Apparently one of them is anal sex within the bounds of marriage. I heard about this book because a man I do follow, Doug Wilson, had blogged a bit about it. (Initial Blog Here) His initial post was praising Driscoll for not being silent on some issues that the church has generally been silent on. As D.L. Moody once said, “I like his way of doing it better than other people’s way of not doing it.” In other words he was saying that it’s just as wrong to not address something than to address it in a controversial way. This first blog generated a bit of attention in the comments section over the issue of anal sex. However Doug had not reached that part of the book yet so he waited until he finished to write a post over the controversy that had developed. (That post is here). However, what I’m actually interested in buried within these blogs and books is not the debate on anal sex, but how one’s hermeneutical leanings dictates how he/she makes decision on a variety of issues. In short for those who may not recognize that word, biblical hermeneutics is essentially the theory of how the bible is supposed to be interpreted. I guess its a system that is supposed to prevent massive abuse in interpretation (think prosperity gospel randomly grabbing verses and using them out of context).
So here is a tiny section from the first Doug Wilson post that caught my attention. (my emphasis added)
I agree with the Driscolls that what Scripture commends we should commend. What Scripture condemns we should condemn. I agree that if Scripture doesn’t condemn something, we are free to pursue it . . . depending. This last depending is where differences are likely to arise. I believe there are numerous areas where Scripture-based moral reasoning is necessary, but there needs to be a way to do it without legalistic looks of shocked dismay. When that moral reasoning — on practices not explicitly mentioned by Scripture — is followed, it has to be followed for what it is, which is casuistry done by fallible teachers. Wish us luck.
When is such moral reasoning necessary? Getting a sweet Jesus tattoo on your calf is not an indicator of poetic gifts. Growing a neck beard and moving to Portland does not make you a screenwriter. Buying a sex toy does not make you a savvy lover. We need a hermenuetic that does more than just read the Scriptures. We need a scriptural hermeneutic that shows us how to read our surrounding culture.
So there it is. It is proper and right to declare something wrong even if it is not specifically condemned in the bible. If you disagree with that, think of the implications of,
1 Kings 3:28
All Israel heard about the decision the king had made, and they held him in awe because they realized he had wisdom from God to make judgments.
This verse is at the end of the story about two women claiming to be the mother of one child. So Solomon says to chop the baby in half and they can share. The real mother says no way and tries to spare the life of the child. In doing this she showed to Solomon that she was the true mother. All this to say that God has given us the bible and intends us to use that as a source of wisdom while making decisions on anything and everything that pops up in our lives, directly discussed or not within the bible itself.
OK, on to the actual topic of the post. Over the last year or two I have been involved in many conversations around the subject of mixed martial arts. Here is an image for those who don’t know what this is. I think its’ a fair representation. Wiki says its a “full contact combat sport”. Essentially guys and gals are paid to kick the crap out of one another. Over the years I have not really had a clear and articulate defensible way to portray my thoughts on why this seems wrong. And to my surprise there is VERY little literature to be found about MMA from a Christian perspective. Which either means nobody knows about it, (like my last pastor) or Christians don’t think there is anything wrong with it. However I think tying it in with the hermeneutical debate raised in Driscoll’s book and mentioned above is the way to go in making a coherent defense of my stance against MMA. Even though MMA is not condemned in the bible specifically, its seems as though a hermeneutical approach brought forth by Doug Wilson would conclude with the condmenation of MMA. Is it lawful? MMA is currently ILLEGAL in some states. That is to say that a few secular states (and a ton more a few years ago) still feel that the violence is something that needs regulation. I mean give me a break, if a secular gov’t thinks it’s to violent, it’s shameful that Christians are more tolerant of violence than them. Is it helpful? I don’t know how you could possibly make that debate.
I just want one legitimate reason why MMA is OK once you take away the “it’s not specifically condemmed” argument. And here is a list of past argument that just don’t hold water, so dont even go there.
1. “Well if thats what you think, you need to condemn football and hockey.” Maybe, that’s another debate, but lets keep it focused on MMA right now. I would be willing to go the next step although I’m not sure they are comparable.
2. “Both parties are consenting”. Consent doesn’t make it OK.
Psalms 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
What do you think? Am I on to something here? I feel like the only thing missing is a bunch of verses that seem to uplift meekness and gentleness of heart and action towards one another and negatively portray violence. I don’ think that would be difficult.
One more blog on the Driscoll book from Doug Wilson. A good conclusion i think. Added 1-13-11