As part of their efforts to “reach” the 18-30 crowd, GUTS Church in Tulsa has been holding unsanctioned boxing matches. Last week, one of the boxers became critically ill within minutes of his match and died just after reaching the hospital. Making the story even more tragic, he leaves behind a fiance, 2 year old daughter and an unborn child.
I remember hearing about GUTS while I was at Teen Mania because it was one of the big churches in Tulsa. In fact, there are at least 2 former Honor Academy interns on staff at GUTS church.
Chris Hart, former Trailer Club man, is on staff at GUTS and served as the Campus Plant Director for the Sub30 ministry – the department responsible for the illegal boxing matches.
The day before the fight, Sub30 tweeted this message:
RT @travislpeters: Like watching people get punched in the face? Of course! FIGHT NIGHT tonight at @sub30tulsa 8pm, $5. See ya there.
Apparently, you could also upgrade to ringside tickets for $50 as well.
As a reminder, this is actually a church event.
Now, I don’t know who came up with this idea or what twisted way they could possibly come up with to justify this as an even remotely Christian activity…but I wonder – is it possible that the (former?) head of the Sub30 ministry was influenced by Heath Stoner’s trailer club teachings? After all, we know that in the past Teen Mania has held its own underground boxing matches.
This is just one of ten available videos, chosen at random.
Regardless of the specific details about where this idea originated, this tragic situation brings two grave concerns to mind:
1) When will the church realize that being a godly man has nothing – NOTHING! – to do with beating people up or demonstrating your physical strength?
2) How long will Teen Mania continue its dangerous activities before it changes? Does someone have to actually die before they will stop?? We already know that at least one person nearly died and that seems to have changed nothing.
Where is the sense in all this? Where is the Christianity? Where is the love?