Q. A growing number of evangelical churches are embracing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as a way of attracting and converting young men. Pastors of these churches say that they're using MMA not only to toughen up the message of Christ, but also to combat their fear that churches have become too feminized, with too much emphasis on kindness and compassion and not enough on responsibility and strength.
Some of the churches not only hold gatherings to watch televised MMA fights and give lectures using the bouts to explain Christ's battle for his beliefs, they also host fight nights between members of their congregations and claim the mix of faith and fighting is intended to promote Christian values. Brandon Beals, the lead pastor of Canyon Creek Church near Seattle, said, “Compassion and love - we agree with all that stuff, too. But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.” FightPastor.com offers Warrior Camps to “to prepare mature Christians to lead fearless, courageous, and bold lives,” and lists one of its aims as “we want to make Jesus look good.”