And no, the headline is not about a form of religious persecution.
A number of churches are turning to Ultimate-Style fighting as a way to attract young men back to the pews.
Eventually, as in the case with so-called "Christian tattoos" (ones added after conversion rather than prior too), one will be categorized as not being devoted enough to the Lord if one is not willing to have one's body mutilated in this manner.
If pastors really want to draw in testosterone oozing crowds, why not have two chicks whacking on each other? But that goes too far some may respond.
How so? It is no more immoral to have two women fighting each other without legitimate cause as two men. And in this day of anything goes and sloppy theology, any undue titillation that results could simply be explained and celebrated as the God-bestowed appreciation of the female form inherent to any red-blooded American male.
If churches want to be serious about luring actual manly men back to their congregations how about more songs and lessons that emphasis objective doctrinal or historical content rather than the lyrical equivalent of Jesus blowing in your ear as is the case of many of these praise and worship choruses as well as providing study opportunities where one is free to share what's on one's heart if one feels led to but one is not branded as a heretical individualist if one decides not to.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.