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.

Click for more

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!

Click for more