Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Here's What I Think...Wrestling, What Happened?

Wrestling is finally having to cope with the world of steroids. And since I have been talking about wrestling over the past few weeks, I thought maybe it's a good time to tackle the newest problem with wrestling since the death of Chris Benoit. Here's What I Think...

It's no surprise that wrestling is seeing a new face on the roll of dead wrestlers to drugs, mainly steroids. Everybody knows that steroids are a problem in the wrestling world. In fact if you remember, Vince McMahon ran into some heavy problems with wrestlers using steroids back in the early 90's. There was a huge deal made about it because Hulk Hogan took the stand on the issue in court. But here's what gets me wondering about the whole ordeal. Why hasn't this been a problem prior to the late 90's? It seems to me that this steroids problem has only gotten worse since the death of Brian Pillman in '97. (There may have been others, but this is the only one I can remember that made a huge impact.)

I believe the reason why steroids has become such a huge problem is because image has become the standout for wrestlers and not their ability to wrestle. You could almost blame the Hogan years as to why this has happened. Prior to Hulk Hogan's jump into the center square, not many wrestlers were beefed up and muscle bound. Look at Jackie Fargo in his later years. A lot of these guys had beer bellies. When Hogan and other guys like the Macho Man Randy Savage, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and the Ultimate Warrior to name a few, broke onto the scene, wrestling changed. Plot points took on a new meaning. Wrestlers began to take on strange persona's. And the build of the new wrestler was the chiseled Greek god. For most wrestlers, the easiest way to get built quickly was to start taking steroids.

I'm not going to blame all of this on Hogan. He was just a pawn in the new corporate machine that was the WWF. They had a product and it sold. To keep the product going you had to have similar wrestlers. But let's move on to the mid-90's. Wrestling started getting more intense. The fallout of the McMahon-Steroids scandal was quickly getting swept under the rug and society began to change at the same time. Our society wanted fast paced action. Muscle bound heroes fighting evil villains. Sex and Violence was what was selling and wrestling followed suit. The wrestling wars became greater with WCW entering the Monday Night stage. When WCW started getting bigger, the WWF had to match it. Both organizations were looking for a way to get the attention of the American public. That was when you began to see the wrestlers becoming more vulgar, more violent, and more sexually explicit. The new generation of wrestlers were different, with guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Triple H, and The Rock. The problem with the new generation though was that they had no fear for what was happening to their bodies. Did it make wrestling more enjoyable? Sometimes. But wrestling began to hit the skids with the deaths of Owen Hart and Brian Pillman. Suddenly wrestling was dangerous and in some instances real. Several other wrestlers went the way of Pillman, men like Kurt Henning, Rick Rude, Eddie Guerrero, and The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith.

So who is to blame? McMahon? The Wrestlers? Society? In reality they are all to blame. Society's demands drove McMahon to put out a new product. Wrestlers wanting to get into the business had to become that product. Unfortunately steroids have played a part of creating that product. Whether Chris Benoit was on a 'Roid Rage' or not isn't the point. The point is that there is a problem in wrestling and it needs to be fixed. McMahon needs to have stricter policies for drug use as well as domestic abuse. Wrestlers need to see that their bodies and lives are more important than pushing a product. The statement really is true, 'This ain't your daddy's wrestling.' I wish it was though.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Here's What I Think...Talking on Organized Religion

So today I put my radio on Hallerin Hill to see what he was talking about and the subject was on organized religion. Well I heard a few people saying 'the church did this' or 'the church did that' and I put in my two cents. I normally don't call, but I felt like a Christian voice needed to be heard. So I'm going to give you a run down on this whole deal. Here's What I Think....

Here's the deal. Christianity has been given a bad rap for the past century in my opinion because of how we handle church. Now before I go any further, let me first say that the 'church' is not a building, but a gathering of believers. Believers in Christ are the church. If you attend a church, you are part of those believers and are committing yourself to a 'local' church. Too many people complain and moan about how bad church is and how hypocritical the people in churches are. So what they do is, in essence, blame God for problems in the church. Here is where things go wrong. God has called us to come together as a group of believers as it is written in Hebrews 10:24-25. We are called to be as one and to work together. This scripture does not mean 'gather your family together on Sunday and have church at home.' If we were living in times where persecution was like in Roman times, you could have a reason to say that, but even in those churches that started in Roman times, more than one family of believers got together. So you should not say in your heart, 'I can have church at home or anywhere I want, but not in a building with other Christians.' The Bible doesn't support that. To get back to what I was originally addressing before I side tracked myself. People blame God for church problems. The problem with this argument though is that too many people have a misunderstanding of God's sovereignty and man's sin. When problems arise in church, sin is ultimately to blame. Whether it's from pride or arrogance or both, sin is the reason most problems occur. Misunderstandings also occur, but ultimately if those do not get sorted out, sin suddenly abounds. When sin rears its ugly head, churches do one of two things: they will either collapse and become a dead church or split, or the church will find the sin, attack it through prayer and possibly discipline, and have a reconciliation that brings the church together and stronger than before. Now I have seen a church go through a split more than once. Now if I were like so many people that see a church go through this, I would pack up and say 'forget this, I hate church and God is to blame.' However, what should be said is, 'there is a problem, let's solve it together by God's word and His guidance through the Holy Spirit. And if we can't agree or if the church is moving in an unbiblical direction, I will move on to a church whose doctrine is more in line with Biblical teaching.' If a church is in such disrepair, you must ultimately move on to a church with more sound doctrine. It is also good to leave the church in good terms. You should be willing to humbly go to your brothers or sisters in Christ and let them know that you believe that the Lord is leading you somewhere else and that it is not your desire to leave on a sour note. And that you only desire reconciliation. Being humble is the key to solving problems in the church. So if you leave because of hypocrites in a church, remember that you yourself have been a hypocrite at times and think on whether God is calling you away, or if it is selfish pride that is leading you somewhere else.

To finish up I should point out that church is designed for the purpose of lifting up believers together. We go to church to praise and worship God and give Him the glory that He is due. The church is also where we as believers can share in our struggles and trials and rejoice with others who are experiencing blessings. The church is a place of joy and a place of learning for believers. Let me get a little side tracked here before I end this. The church is for believers. Unbelievers are welcome at all times, but the purpose of the church is for believers. As Christians we should not go to someone with the attitude that, 'if I can just get this person to church, everything will be alright for them.' That will probably not be the case most of the time. It is not the pastor's job to get your friends or family saved. God will use you to touch their hearts, and only He can do the work of saving those who you are close to. Your job as a Christian is to lead a life that is an example of Christ and tell others about the Savior. I am in no way saying you should not bring an unbeliever to church. I encourage you to do that. But it is the work of individuals who make up the church that will bring about a person to learn more about the savior. Let me also reiterate that the Father will draw unbelievers to the Savior through the work of the Spirit, so please don't misunderstand my words on individuals sharing the gospel. All we can do is plant the seed and water it. God provides the growth. I hope all this makes sense. I don't want to in any way discourage you to not bring an unbeliever to church. But the church is for the purpose of bringing believers together.

I hope that this has been at least a little helpful. Like I say with all of these, it is what I think, and I believe scripture backs what I say. I hope you have a great day!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Here's What I Think......Virginia Tech Massacre: Part II

I would normally just pass on talking about something more than once, but I couldn't help but want to say a few things on people's responses to this tragedy. Here's What I Think....

I will go ahead and warn you that this is a rant. I've been looking and listening to see what people have to say about all of this that has been going on with the Virginia Tech Massacre. And I have to say that I am disappointed in a lot of the American public. Here's why. A lot of people are trying to connect this incident, or at least compare it, to the war in Iraq. This is just plain ludicrous. There is a difference in War and a maniac killing students. I recently saw a political cartoon that showed newspapers with a message on how many people were killed in Iraq, and the papers had a day of the week underneath it. At the end the cartoonist wrote something to the nature that a Virgina Tech Massacre happens every day. Obviously this person is not a fan of the Iraq War. That's fine. If you don't like the war then that's your business, but don't try to compare war to one nut job. Virginia Tech is not Iraq. Virginia Tech is not a war zone. So if you think that this massacre isn't as bad as what is going on in Iraq, then you need to get off your high horse. This type of attitude not only is offensive, but it demeans our troops and those who lost loved ones in Virginia. Sure war is rough, but guess what? That's how war is. If Churchill were alive today, he'd have a fit.

Another high horse that people are riding till the horse falls over dead is gun control. Now don't get me wrong, I think there needs to be gun control in America, but how can you make it any harder to get a gun than it already is? And believe me that a nut job who wants to shoot people away is going to get a gun one way or another. I've seen a lot of people blaming Congress and the NRA and it's irritating to see. Do people honestly think that the NRA wants people to buy guns for the purpose of killing other human beings for no reason? That's ridiculous! Of course the NRA doesn't support murder. Should we ban or regulate who owns a knife? Of course not, that's silly. If anything the NRA is standing up for the Constitution. We have a right to bear arms. Imagine this: The United States gets invaded. Most of our army is overseas and can't react as quickly to get here to help. Opposing troops make their way to your town for the purpose of killing or torturing you so that you will be submissive to their will. What will you do? Will you cower under their feet, or will you grab your guns and start defending America? I don't think such a scenario will happen, but that is one reason why we are guaranteed the right to own guns. Heaven forbid that happen, but I would be happy to know that myself and a group of others will grab our guns and defend our country if the army isn't there to do it themselves. Do you see what I mean? I'm sure some people will throw their insults and say I'm a nut job, but believe me, if an Islamic militant comes banging on your door to kill you and your family, you'll be glad you have a 12-gauge or 22 near by.

This leads me to my final thought. The guy who shot up Virginia Tech was obviously disturbed and would have killed people, with or without a gun. You're not going to stop a madman on a mission. It is in man to be evil, to be opposed to God. Our sin has made us this way. Some people act on this evil to do harm to others, and no matter how much counseling, talking, and drugs will stop it. (Especially if that person is demon possessed. Don't mock me, because it still happens, whether we like it or not.) We as American citizens need to be alert and vigilant to stop this evil. It can happen anywhere and at anytime. As I said the other day, the only way to help stop these incidents from happening again is to turn to Christ. The Gospel is the only thing that can lead people from the sinful lives they live. And though we will still sin, we have a redeemer who is at the right hand of the Father making intercessions for us. No gun laws and no banter and ravings can have the same power as the work of God in Christ alone.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here's What I Think......Virginia Tech Massacre

I thought I would give my spill on this whole ordeal. I really don't have a 'Here's What I Think' page on here yet, but I will talk about what I do think about it all. Here's What I Think....

This is a terrible tragedy that no one should go through. When news of this massacre came up I'm sure visions of Columbine immediately jumped out in people's minds. You can't help but think of what madness was going on for such a student to enter buildings and slaughter other students that surrounded him. I had been keeping up with this story on the web and by my co-worker's TV most of the day picking up pieces of information here and there. The thought of something like that didn't really register in my mind that it could have easily happened here at UT until I was leaving campus yesterday afternoon. I began driving from campus and saw news vans parked near the Torchbearer. There were cops standing around among students keeping a vigilant watch. I saw one cop keeping guard over a teacher parking lot. That's when it hit me that UT was no different that VT. Maybe one letter away. One nut job away. What would I do? Where would I go? Would I go to the area that it had happened and try to help students? There are so many things that go on in a person's mind when they see such a horrible thing as this happen on a campus full of students. That could have been UT.

So do I still feel safe where I am here on campus? Of course. I don't think I am in any huge danger unless an athlete or crazed fan comes to my office mad about a video or photo on the web, but that doesn't necessarily mean I am safe. I've heard people complain about the response of the school administration to what had happened and to be honest I don't think that they deserve the ridicule that they are getting. Small shooting incidents have happened on campuses before. A guy got shot in some dorm room and the school sends out an email warning students. The problem is, half of the students are already on campus and headed to class. How many of those students have a laptop and Internet accessible to them to check to see if classes were canceled or not. The administrators did what they thought best. They didn't know some nut case was going to shoot up classrooms full of people. For all they knew, the first shooting was an isolated incident. See if you would have acted differently. Sure you say now that you would call off classes, but you're looking through the eyes of hindsight. There is no way of knowing.

Now I'm going to close out with a few concerns that come to my mind. Some people are calling for teachers to have guns. Bad Idea. I don't think it will ever get to that and it's just not going to work. Because one day you will have a nut job teacher who will shoot up his classroom because they are being jerks to him. The biggest concern I do have is the idea of having people calling for stricter gun control laws. Another bad idea. People will get guns and do stupid things whether you have strict gun control laws or not. Even if you have stricter gun control than you do now, you won't stop a mental case from doing what he or she is going to do. When you're on a mission, you won't stop to register a gun. You will find a gun one way or another. Whether it's yours or someone else's. This is just one of many incidents that happen because a guy off his rocker didn't see life the way it should be in his eyes. It happens and no amount of gun control will stop it.

The only thing that can stop people killing each other is the gospel. I see all of this unfolding and only one conclusion can be drawn. A world directly opposed to the God of this universe can only be brought to peace and order through the cross of Jesus Christ. Without the gospel, the world will continue on in this manner of death and destruction. I'm not saying that sin would stop if everyone came to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, because that isn't true, but at least the Spirit guides a person's heart to know what to do and what not to do. The only hope for the world is the gospel, the saving grace of God through His only Son Jesus Christ. Christ alone is the only hope that can be found in such a tragedy as the Virginia Tech Massacre.

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