I have never been a boxing fan, but I have to admit when I saw a promo for Mike Tyson vs Jake Paul, I was intrigued, and kind of want to watch the fight. What are your thoughts on grown men hitting each other for money? — A.M.

I understand the draw. Nearly everybody enjoys sports. We gravitate towards champions—and underdogs—whether in hard competitions, like rugby or gentler ones, like golf. But few followers of Christ have thought biblically about the implications.

So I recommend a little Bible study. Search the word “violence.” And come to your own conclusion. Be careful to distinguish the testaments; a number of things permitted (or even condemned) in the OT are not permitted (or condemned) in the NT.

The early church had opportunities to witness violence in the arena, too. After your biblical study, you may want to take a look at what they wrote about this. See such patristic writers as Athenagoras (ANE 2.147), 175 AD, Tertullian (ANE 3.67 (200 AD), and Lactantius (7.187; 3.88), c.305 AD.

I suggest some Bible study before going online to find what others say. In face, many articles written by Christians defend blood sports. This should not be surprising, since most Christians defend hurting / killing one’s enemy, despite Jesus’s words in Matthew 5 and Paul’s in Romans 12. However, some Christian writers strongly condemn boxing and other violent sports. It’s important to try to reach a conclusion from Scripture, before being influenced by others.

Once you’ve completed your study, then consider asking the following questions:

  • Is God pleased when men try to hurt one another in sport?
  • Is the Lord happy for us to pay for / watch / be entertained by such activities?
  • Is there anything in my thinking or lifestyle that needs to change?
  • If I’ve settled on a position vis-à-vis blood sports, do I insist on binding this on others, or will I allow them freedom of conscience and decision?

Credit: Mikey Williams