Is boxing or martial arts an acceptable sport for conscientious Christians?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

Is it acceptable for a Christian to participate in the sport of boxing?

  • Yes, it is fine for a Christian to participate in this sport.

    Votes: 9 90.0%
  • No, it is unacceptable for a Christian to participate in this sport.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I don't know.

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
1,581
794
113
#1
Are the sports of boxing or martial arts acceptable for conscientious Christians?

I know a young Christian who has begun to become involved with boxing.

Personally, I don't think it is wise. Too many blows to the head can result in brain damage.

However, some of my friends think it is fine.

Others believe it is a matter of Christian liberty.

Anyways, what do you guys think? And, would you apply the same view to football, rodeo, or martial arts? What other sports would you exclude from the realm of Christian participation, if any?

I have no real solid opinion at this point, although I wish this person would not practice boxing. I personally don't want his mental capacities limited, or his appearance marred, as an adult. I have a brother-in-law who was involved in boxing, and there was some impact to his appearance from multiple blows, particularly his ears.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
9,346
1,749
113
#2
Most 'sports' are Just a 'form-of-war' ,
ISA. 59:8.
The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths:
whosoever goes there shall not know peace' -
when humiliation and wanting to 'dominate others' in 'any form' comes into the equation, then,
it is 'UN-GODLY - therefore, those who accept that there actions are correct and valid, =
they consider themselves 'wiser than God'!!!???
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
24,686
6,366
113
#3
i sure hope so, because i have been practicing HEMA = Historical European Martial Arts for years!
this is: studying the handful of surviving medieval texts written by masters-at-arms and trying to decipher & learn the systems of martial combat they describe.
of course it's not boxing - what hand-to-hand combat we do is more or less grappling/wrestling; we wear helmets and other protective gear for fencing, and we don't use staves or polearms in sparring because there's not really a safe way to do it - a staff can easily strike with a lot more force than even a 5' long montante, crushing armor that is safe for longswords.
there's still a real risk of concussion, but not nearly what boxing entails, so i'm not sure it's a fair comparison, because i gather your biggest concern is the safety risk? which i completely agree with.


i don't have the same concerns about the nature of the activity - even though the 'practical usefulness' of basically learning how best to beat someone unconscious with your fists is questionable for a Christian. the same argument against that is even more valid for what i am learning to do, which is how best to incapacitate & kill someone with a sword. it's not for practical usefulness however that i am interested in this - for one thing, it is useful to train your body, and practicing any physical 'sport' or 'art' can be a valuable sort of active meditation in this way, which aids a person in keeping their body under control in all kinds of other ways. another is that both in pugilism and fencing there are two main goals, not just the one of defeating your opponent: also defending yourself from the other 'player' -- This is like one of the primary things i love about training in HEMA, which is the thing given to us in Ephesians 6, that the word of God is for us our sword. it is plain wisdom that to use a sword well, and effectively, the better you know how to properly handle one, the better off you are, and i have found it very instructive to apply abstract precepts in using a real sword skillfully to the like figure of using the sword of the Spirit skillfully. i don't know much about boxing, to be frank, but i imagine that if one were to apply ones self in the same way to studying what it means to properly attack and defend with ones hands in a spiritual sense, it would also be similarly edifying. a person could say, i could just 'learn about such things' and by meditating on what i've read about them, develop the same kind of understanding, but in my experience much more is learned by doing than by simply observing or hearing about. which speaks also to what i mentioned earlier, about the meditative value of practicing/playing any sport or physical art. it brings your body into focus, and your mind with it, and heightened awareness - all of which are conducive to clear thought.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
9,346
1,749
113
#4
precious One,
hub and I don't have to 'practice anymore', for we are in a place that He has placed us and taught us and assured us
that The Holy Spirit will guide and place us to the advantage that is necessary for us to perform Jesus' Will in ANY
situation that we are led into - we know that this may sound un-likely, but, alas, it is TRUE, even at our 'advanced age!!!

(MOTIVE)???
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
1,025
598
113
#5
boxing
well I am biased but i dont think boxing is a good sport for anyone to follow. (not just a Christian context) Training is good but not serious fighting. if i had kids I would strongly disuade.
but then there other brutal sports I would also dissuade. Like rugby league. Just my million dollars worth.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
4,391
246
63
#6
Are the sports of boxing or martial arts acceptable for conscientious Christians?

I know a young Christian who has begun to become involved with boxing.

Personally, I don't think it is wise. Too many blows to the head can result in brain damage.

However, some of my friends think it is fine.

Others believe it is a matter of Christian liberty.

Anyways, what do you guys think? And, would you apply the same view to football, rodeo, or martial arts? What other sports would you exclude from the realm of Christian participation, if any?

I have no real solid opinion at this point, although I wish this person would not practice boxing. I personally don't want his mental capacities limited, or his appearance marred, as an adult. I have a brother-in-law who was involved in boxing, and there was some impact to his appearance from multiple blows, particularly his ears.
I saw a YouTube video of a guy at a gas station punching another guy and killing him in one punch. Then, a few days ago, I saw a video of a marital artist in a ring kicking another one in the head and knocking him out after a few blows. I don't think the guy who got knocked out, who was supposed to be a certain martial arts master, landed a punch of kick.

What bothered me was seeing the face of the guy who delivered the kick. He was very calm. If it were me, I would be concerned that I might have killed or really hurt the guy.

Jacob wrestled with the angel. Wrestling is probably a bit safer sport. You can get injuries, but real wrestling does not usually consist of the repeated blows to the head that boxing does.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
10,993
5,442
113
#7
I was very interested in Asian martial arts when I was a teenager. After I became a Christian, I sensed the Lord telling me to forsake martial arts, so I did. I'm still interested, but I think the Lord told me that to protect me from hurting others; I carried a LOT of anger when I was younger. I haven't sensed any peace about pursuing the interest again.

I know of others who are genuine Christians and yet practice some form of combat sport or art. I would have a problem with the Asian meditation that accompanies many of them. It's not my place to judge others though. I just know it's not for me.

I think it is good for boys (in particular) to engage in some form of highly-energetic activity, and combat sports build confidence, skills, and respect; it does require careful selection of an instructor though.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
28,911
7,308
113
64
Florida
#8
Paul mentions many types of sports including boxing. He also says to continue to fight the good fight.
 

ArtsieSteph

Senior Member
Apr 1, 2014
5,577
739
113
28
Arizona
#9
I think it really depends on what level of sport. If the person is going full career for it, there are definately lifestyle things in that world that can be very not good. The act itself though and the exercise in it is fine I think.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
1,581
794
113
#10
The injury is the major concern for me, in regards to the person I mentioned.

However, I watch bullriding and rodeo and I believe the bull can do much more damage. I wouldn't want any of my family or friends participating in that either, though.
 

MattforJesus

Senior Member
Apr 15, 2017
2,070
328
83
#11
Are the sports of boxing or martial arts acceptable for conscientious Christians?

I know a young Christian who has begun to become involved with boxing.

Personally, I don't think it is wise. Too many blows to the head can result in brain damage.

However, some of my friends think it is fine.

Others believe it is a matter of Christian liberty.

Anyways, what do you guys think? And, would you apply the same view to football, rodeo, or martial arts? What other sports would you exclude from the realm of Christian participation, if any?

I have no real solid opinion at this point, although I wish this person would not practice boxing. I personally don't want his mental capacities limited, or his appearance marred, as an adult. I have a brother-in-law who was involved in boxing, and there was some impact to his appearance from multiple blows, particularly his ears.
A Christian should never physically hurt a person, and never verbally hurt a person.

But if it is an agreement between 2 people, or in some cases more people such as football, would it be alright for they know the risk, and they are not offending another because they gave consent to partake in the competition.

Or would it still be wrong for although they agree to it people still may get hurt which is what the Lord does not want.

That is a puzzler.

The Bible says do not tempt the Lord thy God which means do not put yourself in a dangerous situation on purpose and then say Lord deliver me, which Jesus quoted that when the devil said to Jesus to jump off a cliff for an angel would save Him.

So to those that pray for God to keep them safe as they participate in the competition God is not going to answer that prayer, and the fact they had to pray to God to keep them safe testifies that there is a risk factor for being hurt in which they put themselves in the position on purpose.

But then there is legitimate work that can be done that people get paid that can be a risk factor like construction work working with tools, heavy machinery, and climbing.

So it is a puzzler, and it seems like it would be wise not to be involved for the risk of being hurt, but I do not think it is a factor of losing salvation in such a case for participating in the competition for it is agreed upon by the people.

And to tell the truth I will play sports and not think it has anything to do with losing my salvation and sports can be fun.

Even if people play something simple as darts, or jarts, or croquet someone could still get hurt, and my dad told me that when he was a young man that he was playing darts at a house, and a person threw a dart and a woman ran by and it hit her in the back of the head and stuck there, but they did not tell her for they did not want to freak her out, and did not want to pull it out, so they said they had to visit a friend in the hospital and took her along, and then they dealt with her there, and of course alcohol was involved for she did not know the dart hit her in the back of the head.

Also when it comes to competition the more important aspect that is a negative thing is that the people might actually start fighting when they lose, or when they are taunted by the other team for losing, or they think they did not play fair, or fouled them with bad intent, or think the judges did not judge right and made a bad call.

Which we see a lot with pro sports teams with them fighting with one another, and sometimes with the fans, and sometimes with teams going against each other, which there can also be fighting among the fans of both teams as well, and it also happens at high school games, junior high, grade school, and even with dart games at the local pub, or in someone's basement, and even with card games it could break out in fighting.

I would say that is a worse part of the sports scene than the physical hurt that can be done in fair play not talking about the actual physical injury but the people fighting over the game which goes against the bounds of a game where the players agree to play each other, and many people can be hurt by the fighting between people concerning the game that is not part of the game.

People will fight over competition from playing tiddlywinks to the most vicious martial arts competition.

That is the worse part of competition for the physical hurt can go beyond the bounds of the original game that is supposed to be done in fair play for people get mad like the dickens over it for whatever reason it is which is many.

How many innocent people accused of cheating got shot over playing cards in the old west.

And how many teams against teams have went head to head over a game.

And how many players against fans.

And how many players against referees.

And how many players against players.

And it can be done in the most harmless games ever invented by the human mind, cards, tiddlywinks, marbles, monopoly, tic tac toe, checkers, you name it, and if it a game there is fighting going on to this very day over it.

How many people did Mike Tyson beat up after the fight at the local bar that was not on his side, and might of let a word or two slip out of that pie hole of theirs, or if they like cake their cake hole, either way their mouth was hit.

But I suppose if the risk factor is high that they could suffer brain damage it might not be wise for then how will they worship the Lord not having full mental capacity, and would it please the Lord they did that to themselves.

But I tend to think if we participate it is not a salvation issue for a person cannot lose salvation because of it, but it probably would be wise not to participate if the risk of head injury is high, and the people fighting over the game that is not the actual game is the more serious offense and wrong.

Which take it from me for I was playing cards with my brother and beat him at cards, and now my whole left side is numb for some people can really get mad when they lose, but the cards themselves did no damage, lol.
 

morefaithrequired

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2019
1,025
598
113
#12
what about Christians in the military? must be some moral dilemmas they have to face!
 

Hevosmies

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2018
3,192
2,353
113
#13
I love boxing and I hope it is acceptable! I love to box and watch boxing. Tyson Fury the gypsy king of the heavyweight division. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!

To what others have said: WRESTLING is definately biblically FINE and is/was common in the Middle-east from which the israelites hail from! Not only that as mentioned before it does not consist of blows to the head so its more safe. You will get them nasty cauliflower ears tho, BE WARNED!
 

Hevosmies

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2018
3,192
2,353
113
#14
what about Christians in the military? must be some moral dilemmas they have to face!
Christians can serve in the military. Proof: David and other OT guys were absolute WARRIORS in the battlefield.
In the New Testament Cornelius was a devout man and he worked for the army (evil roman empire army) and still was considered devout whilst working there and was never told to quit his job
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
24,686
6,366
113
#15
That is the worse part of competition for the physical hurt can go beyond the bounds of the original game that is supposed to be done in fair play for people get mad like the dickens over it for whatever reason it is which is many.

How many innocent people accused of cheating got shot over playing cards in the old west.

And how many teams against teams have went head to head over a game.

And how many players against fans.

And how many players against referees.

And how many players against players.

And it can be done in the most harmless games ever invented by the human mind, cards, tiddlywinks, marbles, monopoly, tic tac toe, checkers, you name it, and if it a game there is fighting going on to this very day over it.
We do the same thing in the BDF to each other. It's just not physical. We even hold grudges and in the next match ignore the sport and go after the player with intent to injure.

Which is the true sinful thing, the fact someone is bruised or the malicious lust in the heart?

I think, what you are talking about is not the sport, nor a product of the sport, but a thing that is in peoples hearts that's stirred when the tide is against them. ;)

Sportsmanship has its corallary in our walk together as believers; it is a good thing
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
1,581
794
113
#16
A lot of good thoughts here.

I was thinking about two other dangerous sports; exploring caves and mountain climbing.

Both can lead to excessive risk and death and injury.
 
Oct 7, 2019
14
19
3
#17
Are the sports of boxing or martial arts acceptable for conscientious Christians?

I know a young Christian who has begun to become involved with boxing.

Personally, I don't think it is wise. Too many blows to the head can result in brain damage.

However, some of my friends think it is fine.

Others believe it is a matter of Christian liberty.

Anyways, what do you guys think? And, would you apply the same view to football, rodeo, or martial arts? What other sports would you exclude from the realm of Christian participation, if any?

I have no real solid opinion at this point, although I wish this person would not practice boxing. I personally don't want his mental capacities limited, or his appearance marred, as an adult. I have a brother-in-law who was involved in boxing, and there was some impact to his appearance from multiple blows, particularly his ears.
Boxing has long term affects that are not so good. Martial arts is a discipline and you almost never hear of people using it to go after somebody unnecessarily. My son took one type and it was taught it is not for attack, it's for defense. It could be useful if you are attacked, but even then it's taught that you should only do what's necessary to stop the person attacking you.
 

UnitedWithChrist

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2019
1,581
794
113
#18
Boxing has long term affects that are not so good. Martial arts is a discipline and you almost never hear of people using it to go after somebody unnecessarily. My son took one type and it was taught it is not for attack, it's for defense. It could be useful if you are attacked, but even then it's taught that you should only do what's necessary to stop the person attacking you.
Yeah, I can see that.

I guess MMA or whatever it is called would be the exception. I believe their intention is to harm their opponent in matches. But, there are many martial arts that are strictly reasoned self defense.
 

Lightskin

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2019
1,336
1,524
113
#19
I taught Tae Kwon Do and was at peace with God in doing so because I overwhelmingly stressed humility to my students. The higher the belt you earned, the more of a servant you became.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
42,074
14,700
113
#20
Most 'sports' are Just a 'form-of-war' ,
ISA. 59:8.
The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths:
whosoever goes there shall not know peace' -
when humiliation and wanting to 'dominate others' in 'any form' comes into the equation, then,
it is 'UN-GODLY - therefore, those who accept that there actions are correct and valid, =
they consider themselves 'wiser than God'!!!???
I like you guys, but this is a total misapplication of the word of God to make a point toward sports that is not supported by this scripture out of context.....