“For we wrestle…” (Ephesians 6:12)
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a [M]an with him until the breaking of the day. And when [H]e saw that [H]e prevailed not against him, [H]e touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with [H]im…” (Genesis 32:24 & 25)
In the Genesis text we find the first wrestling main event, if you will. It was Jacob “the Deceiver” Ben Isaac vs. God The Word “Lord Jesus” Theophany. Jacob squared off with (and against) God. This is a contest of Will and of Submission. Jacob wrestled all night. God “realizing” Jacob’s endurance, touched the hollow of his thigh. This mere touch caused Jacob’s thigh to disjoint, yet Jacob persisted for he desired a blessing…he desired the blessing the right way, as he had deceived his father, Isaac, to get his blessing the first time. God asked this persistent fighter, “What is thy name?” and Jacob answered, “Jacob.” [Side note: the meaning of Jacob is deceiver & in answering God, Jacob confessed his sinful nature] God then renamed him, “Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Jacob named that place “Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” WoW!!!
In the pro- wrestling world there is a vocabulary specific to the business. Heel is a bad guy and face or baby face is the good guy. Work means scripted. Shoot means real. Angle means the story line of the wrestling match. Hooker is the guy that can really hurt you; he is the guy that is called when a champion is not cooperating. The hooker knows the little tricks of the trade that most do not. These tricks or hooks can, will, and do cripple. In the wrestling match between Jacob and God, God proves Himself to know all of the tricks and hooks. However, we will not call God a wrestling Hooker…..we will call Him, Creator God.
There is also the sport of MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, which is what it sounds like. Mixed martial arts or MMA from this point is all martial arts versus all martial arts. If you are in a karate contest you should expect karate to be used. If you are in a MMA Cage you can expect any and all disciplines to be used. Anything from striking (hitting), kicking, choking, to joint locks, to painful and dehabilitating hooks.
In a peaceful world these arts would be watched for the science and the strategy…like a living chess game. But…in our present evil world, which lieth in wickedness we see those attending these events as they are hoping for blood and injury. The pro-wrestling company, WWE, keeps things pretty family friendly so one cannot judge society by the bloodlust. However, you can judge society by their reaction to the wrestlers themselves and certain catch phrases. There is the World Champion John Cena , who preaches, “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.” He also preaches, “Never Give Up.” These are goals we should all aim for. These are messages we can all get behind, but when Cena’s theme music begins, the crowd chants, Cena S*c!s. There are some that shout, “Let’s go! Cena!” but the former is what is heard loudly and plainly.
What must a child think when s/he hears Dad belitting the man who has a good message? Our options seem to be: Dad is bad or the Wrestler is bad. If the wrestler is bad then everything about him is bad (this is child think) or hopefully the child has a mind of his/her own and can think these things through thoroughly.
Years ago, there was a match between Jake “The Snake” Roberts (one of my all time favourites) and “Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Austin represented the “down with societal norms” and Roberts had a preacher gimmick (I doubt his sincerity). Anyway, it was a good match between a heel and a babyface. The angle was over (over means big hit with the fans). After the match, Austin was crowned “King of the Ring” and he began to berate the Snake. Austin said something like, “You can thump your Bible and quote your Psalms, but Austin 3:16 says, I just whipped your ***! The arena went crazy, they loved it!
What did they love? the down with societal norms? the 3:16? or the preacher being berated? Any of the three spell degeneracy. The Austin character and he is playing a character…the real Steve Austin is Steve Williams and he is a decent guy by human standards or is he?….. The character of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin went way OVER. The problem is he was a heel (Bad Guy). I believe the term is anti-hero. This character would week in and week out “flip the bird” to the boss, Vince MacMahon. This character would stand on the turnbuckle (corner of the ring, 4 of them) and chug beer after beer after beer. All in the sight of kids. What did the kids think? If Dad is laughing and liking it, it must be okay. Thankfully the “Era of Stone Cold” is long gone.
The WWE product today is a PG product. There are heels and faces again. but even now many of the faces are booed while the heels are cheered…this speaks to society, does it not?
We were trained in Jiu Jitsu and we fought competively. We would also put on demonstrations of jiu jitsu. The trainers and my fellow combatants would go to the mall and to the church (my trainers, the Hill brothers, Ron and James are owned by God) and we would put on a demonstration. We would even pretend to be pro wrestlers and carry on a match. The people enjoyed it, the kids loved it. My name was Brian “The Technician” Loder and I was a heel, therefore, I lost. Our team, each of us would beat on each other without mercy, but there were no ill feelings.
This leads me to a question, Who are the real heels? Is it the guy playing bad guy, or is it the observers who lust for blood and injury? Who is the real heel? Could it be the persons that belittle a good role model who has a good message?
As Christ-ians we will have to learn to get into the mind of the old creation. We must be many steps ahead of them in this MMA fight we call life. We have an advantage they do not. We can remember what it is to think like a sinner, but they cannot fathom what it is to think like a saint. We are God’s Hybrid, “Simuli Justus et Peccator”*…We are God’s Saints and sinners simultaneously, they are merely sinners.