Apart from being yet another comment by a Papist, under the title of “Pastors and Leaders”, this is just nonsense anyway. What does the Bible say about “self esteem”? “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phil. 2:3). Esteeming others better than oneself, in true humility, is the very opposite of the arrogant “self esteem” mantra of modern psychology. But again, this is the kind of thing that would appeal to be a Papist, and to millions of others as well.
The home page of the site is designed to provide “useful” tools to learn about the movie, “and utilize the film as a teaching, preaching or outreach opportunity. If you are a church, school, or small group leader, there are some excellent resources here that will help you ‘get in the ring’ with Rocky.”
When a pastor has reached the stage of using a film about a boxer to supposedly “teach” the flock, or an evangelist is using it as an “outreach opportunity”, then truly, there are no words to adequately describe the state of what passes for “Christianity” in our times. The Bible has been set aside, and the words and methods of sinful men have replaced it. Truly, truly, the “watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs” (Isa. 56:10). These prophetic words are once again fulfilled: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3,4). They won’t read and study the Bible for themselves; but they’ll turn to fables, to the movies, and embrace them as the truth; and unless a “teacher” gives them what they want, they won’t support him. So there are “heaps” of false “teachers”, scratching the ears of these deceived souls and catering to their lust for worldly entertainment. That’s where the money is.
There is a “Register for Updates” section on the site, which says – amongst other things –
“Tell us how we can serve you:
“– I am a MINISTRY/ORGANIZATION and we would like to partner to promote the film.”
It also advertises “Leader Resources” – including a “Leader’s Guide” – to “help in creating lively discussions about faith themes found in Rocky Balboa. The material includes discussion starters, scriptural references, fun trivia, tools, and effective actions, which could include hosting an interfaith event,” etc.
Ah! There we have it. The material can be used to host an “interfaith event”! Roman Catholics, Protestants – maybe even others – all joining together as one big happy family, to promote Rocky Balboa as a movie with profound “faith themes”! The blurring of fantasy and reality has reached this stage. People are so devoted to the idolatry of the movies, that their whole lives revolve around going to see them, analysing them, and molding their lives according to them. And religious leaders have realised this, and they’re cashing in on it. They can’t hold onto their flocks by the Bible alone, they feel they must cater to a generation that lives like a parasite on the Hollywood host. Is this an exaggeration? Look around you. Everywhere, everyone talks about the movies, talks like the movie stars, and talks as if these movies and their stars have a life of their own, and as if they have profound wisdom which we should all live by. And religious leaders know it. So they are catering to it. Instead of sound teaching from the Bible, they will provide discussions around supposed “faith themes” found in this movie. Instead of biblical separation, they will promote interfaith events around this movie.
One can also order the “Rocky Balboa Outreach Box”! The ad says: “This kit is designed for faith, educational, and community leaders to help tell the story of Rocky – one of courage, faith, and perseverance.” It is the task of the true Bible teacher to tell the story of Christ the Lord! But these false shepherds, these blind guides, are now going to be telling the story of this fictional boxing character! – and in doing so, they will feel they have “done the Lord’s work” and “witnessed” to people!
True courage, faith and perseverance are found in the lives of the real men and women of the Bible, as well as in the lives of true Christian men and women throughout history. How possibly could the story of a boxer, and one moreover who is not even real, convey such things? It is utterly impossible.
On the “Digital Resources” (“Content for Webmasters”) section of the site, for the “Website Administrator Electronic Press Kit”, 2 Timothy 4:7 appears from some Bible version or other: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”! The King James Version says, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”.
It is true that Paul the apostle, both here and also in 1 Tim. 6:12 and 1 Cor. 9:26,27, uses boxing as an illustration of the spiritual warfare in which Christians are engaged. But he is not condoning boxing with these words! For the Bible says of Christians, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19,20). The Lord is certainly not glorified by a man punching another man repeatedly for entertainment, for “sport”, causing blood to spurt from his face, bruising his body, and even punching him unconscious! This is mindless, senseless violence and does not in any sense glorify God! Many boxers suffer severe injuries, even to their brains. And nor does it bring glory to God for anyone to sit watching such “sport”, enjoying the spectacle. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Boxing cannot in any sense be compatible with such things as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22,23). And it is impossible for one to go from watching a boxing match in a spiritual frame of mind: “whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report… think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). Boxing stirs up passions in men. It stirs up anger, hatred, feelings of revenge and retaliation. Self-defence is legitimate; but beating up someone for fun or “sport” is sinful, plain and simple.