Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Christian Wrestling!

After preaching a sermon from Ephesians 6.12 dealing with wrestling amid the powers and principalities a visitor, who professed not to know Christ, asked me if I happened to know any Christian wrestlers. I answered in the negative but my curiosity was piqued when he told me to check out the Christian Wrestling Federation. Before leaving, he went on to explain that these guys would wrestle, body slam each other, blood shooting, full on make-up and masks, and then after everything was finished, they would get all serious and talk to us about Jesus.

I had to go check this out for myself, so I googled the terms Christian and wrestling and was directed right to their website. Their governing verse is 1 Corinthians 9:22 that says I have become all things to all people that I might win some (perhaps the most misrepresented text in scripture). Besides Paul didn't necessarily have in mind a couple of big guys in spandex tights body slamming each other. Of course, I could be wrong about that. Some of the wrestlers body slamming for Jesus are "Devestator," "Jesus Freak," "Psycho Simpson," and "The Cross Factor."

I could probably opine about the dumbing down of the gospel and how Christians are embarrassing Christ with foolishness, but I will restrain myself. I just thought it was interesting how the one group this lost guy actually enjoyed was the CWF. By the way, Christian wrestling can be traced back to the early 1720s.

Aeneas Sage was ordained pastor in Lochcarron, Highlands, in the 1720s. He won little regard for his abilities as a minister because no-one would come to hear him. A strong man, Mr. Sage saw that the 'chief man' in Lochcarron was Big Rory, the champion in the Highland games. The only way for Mr. Sage to gain the respect of the district was to take on Big Rory. Sage challenged Big Rory in putting the stone, tossing the caber and in wrestling. He won an easy victory, and his fame was established at once.

But still the people would not come to church. Only Big Rory came, and so Mr. Sage ordained Rory as an elder and, when the people gathered on Sunday mornings for their games, Mr. Sage and Big Rory would join them and carry them, two each, into the Church, locking the Church while they were away, so the people could not escape. At the opening of the service Big Rory would stand at the door with a club, and so the service would be conducted in a full church. It is said that, "Mr. Sage made the people very orthodox" (adapted from Kennedy, 'The Days of the Fathers in Ross-Shire', P. 60).

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