Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Christian paintball

An ongoing issue in thinking about and trying to act out Christianity is its relationship with culture. While Christianity claims timeless truths, culture constantly changes, and so the appropriate cultural expression of Christianity is, well, a challenge.

In this context, what are we to make of Christian paintball?

"According to the site: "Promised Land Paintball is America's Best Christian Paintball Park! Our Purpose is to help grow God's Kingdom with this Unique Ministry! Promised Land Paintball is used by churches to Strengthen Relationships between Teens in Youth Groups and between Teens and Youth Group Leaders! We are also used as a Great Outreach! Paintball is an Absolute Blast! Play Paintball with Your Youth Group at Promised Land Paintball!"

(Note, all exclamation marks are original to the text!)

At first I just rolled my eyes, but then as I thought about it I couldn't come up with any particular reason not to do it.



Nate Loucks said...

What drives me wild about most of these "Christian" alternatives is that they do them half as good as their "secular" counterpart. I don't shop at "Christian" bookstores, I don't buy "Christian" t-shirts, and won't go to a restaurant simply because a "Christian" owns it. God has called people to be His and to follow His way, not buildings, paint-filled balls, or plates filled with spaghetti.

Knumb said...


Kinda cheezebawl.

Joyce said...

"You must have a thorough comprehension of the English language to understand safety rules and instructions." (from their website)

What the ... ? That's a rule? How welcoming and inclusive of them.


Brad Wright said...

I agree Nate that a business shouldn't use the label "Christian" for Christian as a substitute for quality; if anything, it should be an indicator of greater quality.

I suppose the same point could be made about churches... that they be of quality in all things.

Yes, a high cheese factor.

Joyce, maybe they give SAT style language tests?

Scott Kemp said...

I have been participating in athletics (basketball) in an intentionally Christian atmosphere at a local church for many years. The church considers it an outreach and discipleship ministry. Many of the men who participate are (apparently - by my inspection of the fruit in their lives) not Christian. But they act more like Christ while on the church's basketball court than they do outside. And the longer they keep coming, the bigger difference I can see in their lifestyles (sometimes).

IMHO it is important to the process of reaching these men that the setting be overtly Christian. They are not surprised when I talk about God with them. They are accepting of the conversation.

I don't see why paintball should be any different.

These guys may not have done it right... It looks kind of cheesy to me to, but then they ARE in Wisconsin. ;-) ...but maybe they are trying to do the right thing.

My $.02

Joyce said...

A local church having leagues is one thing. Promoting an entirely "Christian" business (where you have to speak English, btw) just creates more division and yet one more wall is put in place in the so-called Christian subculture.

This to me is another example of forgetting the "in" when Paul admonishes us to be IN the world, not of it. How are we going to develop friendships and relationships with people who don't know Jesus if we stay "safe" in our Christian bubbles?

Oh ... if they give an SAT style language test, I probably won't be allowed to play either! ;)

Paula Harrington said...

"Promoting Christian values while shooting your friends!"

Wow, why didn't I think of this?

oh please...:)

Paula Harrington said...

Of course thats one to get back at the preacher for preaching too long :)

Paula Harrington said...

Or at the song leader for singing off key...or that couple for stealing my pew.....Could be a good idea after all


Knumb said...


What other Christian branding can we get going here, since Christian paintball is pretty random.

- Christian deli?
-- I'd still go to the Jewish ones

- Christian Lube 'n Tune?
-- That's definitely taking the fight to the enemy's turf

- Christian Qwik-E-Mart?
-- Hmm... I suspect the reason for high traffic at peak profit hours for these joints are antithetical to our beliefs

- Christian bank?
-- Wait, I think Jesus may have weighed in on this one.

- Christian steaks, vodka, golf courses, and office furniture?
-- Wait, that's Trump Steaks, Trump Golf Courses, Trump Vodka, and Trump Office Furniture.

- Christian Hang Gliding?
-- What wouldn't Jesus do?

S.S.Stone said...


Casey Ross said...

I cannot believe you'd endorse Christian paintball. Would you let your kids do this? I hope not. Next thing you know, people will be trying to make rock and roll blend with Christianity.

LOL! I am kidding. I love watching Christians try to make holy anything from paintball to mints. Why couldn't this company just create the best paintball place ever then attract people from all over? I don't see the need to try to Christianize it just so you can appeal to the church market.

Brad Wright said...

Scott brings up a good point here, and that is the Christian label may break down walls in terms of talking about things.

Is it different for churches than businesses? Not sure.

Really good point about shooting people, Paula. I wonder if Jesus et al. played spear tag?

My guess that the big advantage of making this "Christian" is to attract more customers from further away.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if their tagline is:

Heathens also welcome



Knumb said...

You get fragged, Brad?

I hope your posting lag is due to well earned rest, not stress.

S.S.Stone said...

I came looking for "Saturday Stuff", but there's no TH./ FRI. either..WE ARE MISSING YOU!

Brad Wright said...

Thank you John & Sarah for your posts... had a difficult week and doing anything extra, even something as fun as blogging, just felt like too much.

It's nice being missed!

Anonymous said...

This topic got pretty well covered at:

About 700 comments, almost all of 'em negative/hate/threat.

Poor guy.

Anonymous said...

i'm a Christian and i play paintball. i see absolutely nothing wrong with bonding with men and teens and promoting the love and truth of Jesus Christ. We play hard, we work together as a team and we start to witness. Isn't that what we are called to do?