December 2007

In Reply:

Actually, the Lord Jesus Christ taught His followers to “judge righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24); and said, “Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Lk. 12:57). Paul the apostle wrote, “I… have judged already” (1 Coir. 5:3); and, “do not ye judge them that are within?” (v.12). Then there is also 1 Cor. 6:4: “set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.” I mention these passages simply to show that there is a time for Christians to judge. What the Lord condemns is hypocritical judgment (Matt. 7:1-5), not all judgment. Every day, Christians are called upon to judge between right and wrong, between true believer and false professor, etc. You yourself, in fact, in writing this letter, have judged that we are wrong regarding this movie!

Sylvester Stallone’s belief system is Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism is the very opposite of biblical Christianity. Thus, yes, it is not the same as mine, for the Bible Christian turns to the Bible, the Word of God, as the only rule of faith and practice, whereas the Roman Catholic turns to his “church”, his priest, his sacraments, and all the rest. The two are worlds apart.

To use this verse [Psalm 144:1] to attempt to support the idea that Christians can be boxers, is to distort the very meaning of the text. It cannot in any sense be used to justify indulging in the “blood sport” of boxing for entertainment. David, the author of this psalm, had been raised up by the Lord to be a soldier, fighting the legitimate battles of the Lord’s people Israel; and for the ability to do this, He praises the Lord, knowing that it was He who gave him all that was necessary to be such a good soldier. And in a spiritual sense, all true Christians are taught by the Lord to fight their spiritual foes – sin, Satan, the world, the flesh. For they are in a great spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:11-18). But this verse cannot be distorted to mean that it is fine for Christians, merely for the sake of sport, to beat another man senseless in a boxing ring, causing physical damage and very often brain damage as well. The Bible says, “whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31); and boxing for sport or “pleasure” cannot be done to the glory of God. It does not glorify God in any way whatsoever. It is a violent and dangerous “sport”, which in addition stirs up evil passions in men: such things as anger and hatred.

Men always point to this man, or that man, as a “great Christian”, regardless of what he does with his life, or how he spends his leisure time; but who you think is a “great Christian”, or who I think is a Christian, is utterly irrelevant; all that matters is, Are they Christians according to the Bible? Anyone can make the claim to be a Christian, and millions do these days; but the Bible says that by their fruits you shall know them. A true Christian gives evidence that he is a true Christian, and he does this by his doctrine and his conduct. For a true Christian has been made a “new creature” in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). And this “new creature” produces the evidence that he is a new creature. It’s what the Bible calls “fruit”, or good works. We are not saved by our works, but our works definitely are the evidence that we have been saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10).

There is the world of difference between earning an honest living by, say, digging ditches, or serving as a doctor or a lawyer, and using one’s physical strength to beat a man senseless, to damage the body which the Lord has given him.

Shaun Willcock

I just wanted to say thank you (and thanks be unto the Lord!) For your excellent article entitled Hollywood and the Christian. I agree with you 100%!

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