“Jesus Didn’t Tap” says the Green Power Ranger

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Jason David Frank, a lifelong martial artist most famous as the Green Ranger on the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, has recently decided to get into mixed martial arts (“MMA”, or ‘cage-fighting’ for the uninitiated).  He also has a clothing line…about Jesus.  Check out the gloves in the above picture, as well as the t-shirt below:

// <![CDATA[// Seen guys wearing Tapout or Affliction t-shirts? Well, this is the Christian version…whatever that means.  Here is the description from the website:

Jesus Didn’t Tap was one of the first Christian based MMA clothing companies to hit the scene. In the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, to “tap” is to quit or give up. The message of the Jesus Didn’t Tap line is that Jesus didn’t quit after going through unimaginable suffering and pain when he was crucified on the cross. The company aims to represent both the competitiveness of MMA and honoring God in all of their designs and hopes it will help spread the Christian message of salvation to a whole new audience.

First of all: there are more than one Christian MMA companies??  Oh well.  The problem with this is that, in MMA, to “tap” essentially means to submit.  And while they are correct that Jesus didn’t give up due to pain, they seem to overlook the fact that Jesus’ crucifixion was essentially an act of submission.  Philippians makes this clear:

Philippians 2

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

This plays on two facets of Jesus’ crucifixion, one of which is usually emphasized to the detriment of the other.  One the one hand, the cross did display the power of weakness the shame the strong, the total abandonment of human power and the acceptance of a shameful and common death – the death of slaves and traitors.  This is the Christology seen in Paul, who tells us that God’s power is “made perfect in weakness.”  The cross is the prime example of this.

On the other hand, Jesus’ torture and execution required a great deal of fortitude, will, physical endurance and spiritual strength.  Paul told Timothy that God gave us a Spirit of love and discipline, but also of power.  The Bible is clear that the anointed of the Lord do receive power from on high – they slay Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, administer kingdoms, suffer torture and imprisonment.  And so, while the cross is a display of weakness, it is also an exhibition of spiritual strength par excellence.

These are hard to hold in tension.  For instance: Neoconservatives who love Jesus will emphasize power and control, the Pantocrator, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and the strength that comes from conviction and duty.  Pacifists and many more Christians who trend left will,  on the other hand, emphasize the weakness of Jesus (and the church) and the power of holy defeat to overcome the strength of the world.  They are both theologies of the cross, but of very different varieties.

I respect Mr. Frank for being open about his Christian convictions, and for attempting (in his own fashion) to get “the message” out there.  But here, as usual, popular expressions of Christianity lack both theological substance and intellectual nuance.  Sigh.  These folks mean well, and have given us a good opportunity to think about the meaning and message of the cross.  There are worse things to sell than Jesus MMA shirts.

At any rate, Jesus did tap.  Thanks be to God.

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33 thoughts on ““Jesus Didn’t Tap” says the Green Power Ranger”

  1. I can assure you that Jesus didn’t tap, if he had have he would have given up in the garden when he prayed. ‘Lord if you will let this cup pass from me’. Matt 26:39. He was in every sense of the word human and went through great suffering for us, which was part of the plan. To give up (in this case tap) would be to deviate from that plan. ‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’. – John 16:33

  2. It really depends on how you look at the whole story. Jesus did give into his fathers will, and accept his fate on the cross.
    But he didn’t give up the fight. Which if you are to look at the martial arts parallel would still shine through no matter what aspect you look at.
    Jesus could have given into the pain, and called down a fleet of angels to get him out, but he refused to quit the fight he had begun against the powers of sin and death (Satan). Both in the face of temptation, and in the face of suffering beyond what we can even fathom.
    And if you look through the rest of the story we know that the death on the cross is the key point in the fight. Then Jesus went beat down the devil took back the keys of death and rose up victorious.
    So basically what Jason seems to be getting at is that Jesus never gave up, no matter what, because he knew the victory was worth all the pain he had to go through.

    We all express our worship to God in different ways. Some through song, some dance, some running, some speaking, and some fighting.
    He’s just doing what he can to bring glory back to God. I don’t see what the theological issue here is.
    Paul used a statue in the temple of the Greek Gods to bring the focus back to God.

    Anyways I should be studying, so God bless.

  3. Pastor Mack, you ARE kind of missing the point of the name of the company. As both of these guys above me have very well established, Jesus could have “tapped” by diverting from His father’s plan, but he chose to go through with it, which by all means would not be “tapping.” And I agree with Zac, let each man spread the gospel the way the Lord has placed on his heart to do so. And we was brothers in Christ should not be criticizing that, especially with so much condescenion as is in this article. You be blessed my brother.

  4. I’m open to the charge that I am splitting theological hairs. I hope I wasn’t too condescending. One of the unfortunate aspects of theological training is that one can tend to overthink things.

    I thought I made it clear that I appreciate his being open about his Christian convictions. I’m also a big MMA fan, and don’t find the sport to be anti-Christian as some would argue. I am wary of the connections between Christianity and any form of consumerism, especially consumerism based on bad theology. Of course, Jesus could have diverted from the Father’s will, but the whole story of Christ from the incarnation to the crucifixion is one of submitting to his Father. If “submitting” and “tapping” are as related as my years of MMA fandom have taught me, then Jesus did tap – for us and for our salvation.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Respectably Pastor Mack I think you are splitting theological hairs.I do share your general concern however that there is a great deal or swallow contextualization of Biblical truth in popular culture that is void of any meaningful theological content, but i don’t see that happening here.As soon as I heard the slogan I didn’t have a problem with it, Jesus in His humanity was subject to all human frailties (Hebrews 4: 15) and even asked if it be His Fathers will that the suffering of the cross pass by Him (Mat 26:9) Yet He willfully submitted to the will of His Father and endured the sufferings of the cross to be a sin offering.I think if you view the phrase “didn’t tap” and submission as synonymous then the analogy is permissible, unless of course one was to be very pedantic.

  5. That’s not what they’re saying though pastormack. While I’ll agree with you, it CAN be looked at from your perspective, that’s not what’s meant by the company name. To “tap” is to “give up”. To “give up” and to “submit” in MMA are hand in hand. However, in Jesus’ case, he never gave up. He submitted to the will of his Father. But he never gave up the goal he set out to accomplish. In the sense you’re looking at it, yes. Jesus did indeed “tap”. However, I feel the company is pointed more towards the idea that Jesus lived a sinless life and died the way he lived. No matter what temptations were thrown at him, he never gave up. Thus, he never “tapped”. I mean if you want to continue to disagree that’s fine. There’s no need to start a religious argument over a Christian MMA company. But those are the facts. It can be taken either way, but it’s quite obvious that Jason Frank and co. choose to take it in the sense that Jesus never gave up as opposed to his submission to his father’s will.

  6. It astounds me how popular this post is among the various things I comment on.

    I think what all of us are arguing over is a difference of emphasis.

    If one wants to emphasize Jesus’ faithfulness, strength, fortitude, and zeal for the Father’s will, then – in a sense – Jesus did not tap. He held true.

    If, however, one wants to emphasize the aspect of submission, the humiliation endured, the selflessness required, the ability to “give up” his own desires in light of his mission – then we have every reason to say that, in the sense of submission, Jesus tapped. He was killed, after all. The classic Old Testament preview is Abraham and Isaac, in which Isaac is the willing sacrifice, essentially giving up his own will to obey his father.

    There is also a kind of “muscular Christianity” redux going on here that is distasteful, I think. I love MMA but it is hard to imagine a clear connection between Jesus and any kind of contact sport. I think he’d rather be praying, or working at the lathe, or telling someone about the Kingdom of God. But I don’t think he’d be opposed to it, either.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Pastor Mack. In MMA, to ‘tap’ or to submit, is to give up to your opponent.

    Jesus did not give up to his opponent. Rather, he gave up to his Father. God was not his opponent, as they have mutual goals.

    Jesus didn’t tap. I don’t remember him submitting to his opponents. If he submitted to his opponent, he would’ve never died for our sins.

    Everybody with a Chrisitan mind knows the history of Jesus Christ, and everybody knows the purpose of the shirt. Nobody will read it and get the wrong idea. You didn’t either. You know the meaning of the shirt, and once again, you know that nobody will get the wrong idea. But you judge based on boredom or something. I don’t know.

    1. And if your goal was to be murdered by Romans in the first place, which was Jesus goal from the start, and you did go see your plan through, and got murdered by Romans like Jesus did. You achieved your goal. AND YOU DIDN’T TAP!! Therefore, Jesus didn’t tap.

      1. I think the goal was to bring the kingdom in obedience to the sending of the Father and in the power of the Spirit.

        Beyond that, I don’t think I follow what you mean.

  8. I know this is kind of old but, when a fighter “Taps out” it is because he/she does not want any bones to be broken or for their life to end, so they “Tap”. They dont have to, in fact they could allow their arm to snap and keep going on with the fight but they always “Tap” beacous it’s “just not worth it”. Thankfully in the case of The Son of God we were WORTH it and the last time I checked the reason we are free from sin is beacouse Jesus knew just how painful it was going to be and knew without a doubt that he would be KILLED and he diddn’t tap.

  9. Allen, I’m a big MMA fan. I know what tapping means. I think it’s idiotic (not tough) when guys like Big Nog choose to let something snap instead of tap. I’m obviously playing a bit of an interpretation game here. As I said above,

    “I think what all of us are arguing over is a difference of emphasis.

    If one wants to emphasize Jesus’ faithfulness, strength, fortitude, and zeal for the Father’s will, then – in a sense – Jesus did not tap. He held true.

    If, however, one wants to emphasize the aspect of submission, the humiliation endured, the selflessness required, the ability to “give up” his own desires in light of his mission – then we have every reason to say that, in the sense of submission, Jesus tapped.”

    I have no doubt that Jesus was tough, that he endured not just physical but emotional and spiritual agony the likes of which I cannot imagine. But he certainly submitted to the will of the Father for the sake of our salvation, and if he submitted (aka “made himself nothing”) then I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that he tapped. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. pastormack. just wants to piss people off. bet if the green ranger put u in a komora armlock you would change your tune. quit trolling the internet. if there is any sense of a meaning behind jesus didnt tap that u can get behind take that and move on. dont waste your time discrediting something that is bringing more people to jesus than you get to reach. whatever way he meant it its true. people wear his shirts and i see pictures of jesus in mma arenas more than into church. this post is popular cuz you are a thickheaded smug scumbag. Get behind people of faith u douche. right now ur doing the devils work!

      1. LOLOL! Well, it’s a bit harsher than the rest but basically this just about sums it up for me.

        Extremely pedantic post for no real reason. Frank isn’t confusing anybody by saying “Jesus Didn’t Tap.” Nor is he confused himself about what “tapping” and “submitting” mean. Why split hairs and make something out of nothing? Just seems undue. Seems your theology has dulled you to the very emotional relationship people have to God and Christ. Theology is teaching but you can’t teach faith. Take a step back, Pastor.

  10. Im a mixed martial artist in the uk. I have been wearing the JDT apparel to training for about 3 years now.
    1. The amount of questions i get about the message and my faith has been great and has enabled me to share my faith with people.
    2. I wore my t shirt to church many times and my pastor liked it.
    3. I have been through the pain of fighting and training and at my lowest points when being beaten down either by an opponent and or the training the JDT message kept me going.

    You see this as you do because you are not a martial artist probably dont train that hard ie Redline your body during training. I believe for us this is something we needed in our training and lifes as fighters. The message is not wrong it is from our perspective not yours as you dont know where we are coming from which is obvious. Your also very happy about how much attention your getting which to me is a bit strange i see how you like it so much.
    There was fighting done on the cross you can look it from loads of different angles but ultimately the way one man sees it is different from the other just like the gospels 4 different views same message. So there is room for J.Franks view as there is room also for yours. I see your view and i agree in your point but also JDT is also a valid point as we all know that Jesus had a choice to go to the cross or not and as the boys and girls said above from our point he didnt tap to the fact he was going to suffer and he chose to fight on and complete isiah 53 prophecy. To sum it up as martial artist and men and women in faith we need this in our live and training and if its helping us through our fight it CANT be bad as why would the spirit allow it in our live as a force for good. Are you reacing out to fighters to spread the gospel ? no ? well we are 😉
    God Bless

  11. This post is 3 years old and no, I don’t love the attention, but I do find it odd. I don’t write a lot on here about MMA, even less about MMA apparel.

    I’m all for evangelism, but in matters of faith the ends do not justify any means. Christian consumerism is still consumerism by another name. At the end of the day, and beyond the theological questions I’ve raised, I find the theme kind of cheesy (most MMA apparel is, if we’re honest). That, of course, is a matter of personal taste.

    Moreover, this post is almost THREE YEARS OLD. I’m just a little old pastor/blogger from North Carolina that no one pays much attention to. I don’t think I’m doing any harm to the brand, I’m just another guy out there with an opinion. Even though people don’t seem to believe this, I’m a huge MMA fan (I just spent a while watching the post-UFC 156 scrum with Dana because I was out of the country last week) and I have written very apologetically about it here in several places.

    Lastly, the lack of spelling ability among many of the respondents leads me to believe that at least some of you are downright incapable of following the logic of my argument. That means I probably shouldn’t point out that the implications of “Jesus Didn’t Tap” vis-a-vis atonement theory are at least simplistic and at most pretty harmful (Christians have historically used theology that justifies suffering against people such as women and ethnic/racial minorities). But y’all probably don’t have much use for all those big words. If nothing else, remember this: use spell check when typing your your screeds, my friends. I wish you luck trolling the ‘net for more old posts to get upset about. Peace.

  12. I love this…
    “Lastly, the lack of spelling ability among many of the respondents leads me to believe that at least some of you are downright incapable of following the logic of my argument.”

    It’s the courteous words I’ve been searching for when people respond to my comments or articles while feeling like they know exactly what I (or they) are talking about.
    As for this article, I feel that becoming like the world to appeal to it and win it is not our calling. We are to be set apart and therefore adopting a commercialized ‘hip’ approach designed to make money and win souls isn’t really going to do so in the most effective glorifying to God way. Even Romans 6:1 seems to apply here.
    As for whether or not Jesus ‘tapped’. Jesus did not conform Himself to this world. He did not come to bring peace but a sword when He came in the flesh. However, He also spoke the truth in love and was a perfect example of grace. He was firm, bold and to the point when correcting or calling out people. Jesus was a ‘friend of sinners’ in that He came to save the lost/ However, “Friendship with the WORLD is enmity to God.” James 4:4
    Just a few thoughts on this topic.
    God bless you in your work to glorify our Lord.

    Ben Ditzel

  13. I’m not here to argue. And because of time constraints, I have not been able to read all of the above posts, so I may be restating something here that has already been mentioned.

    I realize that this post is a few years old, but I feel the need to speak about the content of it. From one point of view, Jesus didn’t submit. From another, he did. Let’s put the two perspectives together and compare to an MMA perspective.

    The poster of this article is stating that Jesus did live a life of submission, which is true. Jesus submitted to his Heavenly Father and to a holy life. But this is a completely different meaning for the word submission. This is a submission that means “to give yourself to.” Jesus gave himself to this lifestyle. He gave his life to God, and he laid it down for mankind.

    Jesus did not give in to temptation, be it from the flesh or from Satan. In this manner, we are stating that Christ fought the battle and won. He could have given in during his temptation in the wilderness. He could have not gone through with the crucifixion. He could have come off of the cross, as the Pharisees demanded. In this manner, Jesus did not tap. He did not submit, in this manner meaning “to give up.”

    Mixed Martial Arts would also have two similar styles of submission. A fighter submits to his training. He commits to a lifestyle of training and dieting, and in the case of a Christian fighter, following the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind and strength, or at least attempting to do so to the best of his ability.

    A fighter’s goal in the cage / ring would be not to submit, or tap out, to his opponent. It is this specific “tap” that this clothing line of “Jesus Didn’t Tap” is referring to. The “tap” is not representative of the submission that we have for our training, so therefore it should not be compared to the submission of Jesus to the will of God. What it is speaking of is not giving in to your opponent. In my case, that’s the man across the cage / ring. In Jesus’ case, it was sin and temptation and a desire to not suffer.

    So while Jesus did live a life of submission to the Father, it is also quite clear that in the terms of what submission means in the cage, and in regards to who that submission is to, that Jesus did not submit to his opponent. Therefore…

    Jesus Didn’t Tap. Amen. Truly.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better! Hopefully the Author of this article will accept that, unfortunately, his initial view was slightly off. (Please) be humble and accept your misinterpretation of a man’s attempt of winning souls in an area of life that may be overlooked.
      Yes it may be using consumerism but I believe if it is effective in getting people to think about Jesus and the Christian walk than it is doing part of what we are called to do as Christians.
      I also feel that it was not in good taste that you insulted people’s grammatical errors and imply that because of this they would be ‘incapable’ of understanding what you consider to be more complex theology.
      This may be an old article but still very relevant.
      God bless
      P.s. there is no weakness in submission. You as a Christian will know how hard it can be to submit to God’s will

    2. Again people interpretation the bible to their beliefs.
      *Jesus had to submit to Father because that was his will, please read John 4 when the disciple came back to Samaritan to give Jesus food after Jesus finished speaking to that samaritan woman with many husband. For his will is to do his father’s will!
      *Jesus had to be tempted by satan in every way so that we don’t have to be tempted. This is what Paul wrote in one of his letters. Jesus fasted for 40 days and was tempted each day by all devil’s schemes, only 3 examples were given in the bible. Because Jesus was tempted in all area, we don’t have to bare that temptation. And bible does say God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bare.
      *Jesus is God…he already won. He came to earth to die for us so we can have etneral life. You guys using the phase “jesus didn’t tap or never gave up” is wrong because you are equalling satan next to God.
      God is zillion times powerful than God, what is hard for him destroying satan when he rebelled?

      and you said this “following the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind and strength, or at least attempting to do so to the best of his ability.”
      My friend, you need to give up MMA as your God and directly follow Jesus Christ as a Born Again Christian.
      No one can love the Lord with all our mind, hearts, soul and strength.
      Your understanding of the bible is not according to it’s Truth.
      You cannot serve both God and MMA.

  14. NONSENSE!
    You CANNOT serve God and the world!

    people like David Frank have 2 gods: Jesus and MMA. They want to serve Jesus but don’t want to give up what they cherish in their heart which is Martial Arts. So they use every excuse to bend the bible and use it to their own advantage to prove that fighting is fine.

    The whole concept of Jesus did not give up is nonsense.
    Yes Jesus almost couldn’t bare to go through the process to give up is life for us, while he was in the garden just in the night before being arrested. He prayed to Father if he should “take this cup from him”, but in the end Jesus still submitted. Has NOTHING to do with fighting. Why does he need to fight? he is God of gods, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, “is there anything to hard for the Lord?”. So these whole concept of Jesus never tap is directly from the devil to promote violence.

    Jesus did tap by submitting and giving his life so we can be saved. I feel sorry for people like David Frank because they love to promote the fact that God encourages us to defend ourselves with our fist and martial arts if completely fine.

    Kain and Abel, Cain started the whole fighting thing because he submitted to Sin, with the fighting he used to kill Abel. Now people use martial arts “war” as a sports. And it is a good thing.
    As Isaiah 5 says “woe to those who makes evil look good”. Woe to David Frank!

  15. Pastor.

    I thought this was a great article. I understood the point you were making. While it’s true Christ didn’t “tap” out in this world, overall he “submitted” to his Father. He gave himself up for us. I’ve heard it said that if Jesus wanted to, he could have jumped off the cross. I suppose you could say by staying there he both submitted to The Father and yet didn’t give up until the work was finished. I think most of the people commenting miss the point. I am thankful for what Christ has done, but the last thing that we should ever consider doing is “NOT TAPPING” we are to submit, give up, bow a knee. If it’s true, as they say that Christ “didn’t submit” it’s because he needed to follow the perfect plan of the Father, to pay for our sins, because we could never do that. We “submit” ourselves to Christ work. If he did “submit” he has given us an example to follow in that submission. Either way, we are called to submit, because God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. I am thankful that Christ never “gave up” “submitting” to the Father’s will. I pray that God continues to draw us to our knees in submitting to Him daily.

    Against great post!

  16. I Really love the slogan-!!!
    I THINK JASON did Great-
    Its bringing curious non-believers that are young, lost, and may NOT even know there IS a lord/God.-
    they may search for and seek him out in their own way.
    Young- Old- Guys- Girls- and lost soles in Rehab, just now finding the lord- might just think that the slogan is cool,to
    wear it,spread the “word”
    EXACTLY what WE are all Supposed to be doing-
    Right ? Or are we all to jump on one side or the other?
    Why is this a silly debate-
    It only began with one pastors opinion of the slogan
    Wear what you like, say it how you like- it doesn’t matter
    i think all us believers are
    “Soldiers for Christ”…no matter how it is said.
    We all see things in different ways and that’s a beautiful thing.:)
    Its what makes everyone of us unique.

  17. If we’re not too “lawyer-y” and can understand the expression “tap out”, then the sentiment, (regardless Jason David Frank himself) is just fine. It’s obviously meant to express what we see in 2 Timothy 2:1-13;

    1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    If we’re talking about Christ’s faithfulness and endurance on that cross in order to give us eternal life, it is without a doubt true that he did not “tap out”!

  18. I love the slogan
    “Jesus Didn’t Tap”, it’s definitely a way to reach this young generation in reflecting on the message of the cross, both submission and No Tap-out. Shows the Divinity and Humanity of Jesus. Love it using it for a Youth Rival.

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