08 March 2012

austin 3:16

this week's confession: i have been a longtime fan of professional wrestling.

i remember watching "maple leaf wrestling" with my dad while growing up. bruno sammartino, tiger ali singh, abdullah the butcher ... and then came the WWF. hulk hogan, tito santana, sgt. slaughter. kids adored having heroes, and pro wrestling delivered some memorable ones. today the faces have changed, but the game remains the same. now there's the undertaker, samoa joe, john cena ... oh and don't forget all of the ladies too. it's a fantastic world of make believe, good vs. evil, mixed with a healthy dose of sexploitation.

one of the icons in recent sports entertainment history is "stone cold" steve austin. a rebel without a cause, he was a genius at self-marketing and ran up a slew of pithy mantras, the best known of which may have been "because stone cold says so". and because stone cold said so, millions of people bought into his hype.

it's funny when we see it in the world of tv fantasy and mass merchandising. not so funny when it comes to spiritual exploration and growth. and yet sometimes that's what happens. people all over will choose to listen without critiquing, follow without questioning, believe without discussing - all because somebody 'said so'. it can be as a result of authoritarian leadership, or failure to exercise the effort to scrutinize. sometimes it's also couched in the language of "blind faith" ... but in then end it is what somebody termed a religion of rumour. and we become susceptible to living by

static logic

those who followed after God in the scriptures lived the tribal way. their world was an interconnected and interdependent one - and they didn't mourn that fact, they embraced it. how they lived out their faith was very much a part of that tribal mentality. an existential wrestling match involving

dynamic discourse
the pursuit of the truth
as it can be best understood in any particular moment/context.

it may be my own personal history - coming to faith in Jesus Christ while in my second year of a philosophy degree at university - but i think that an unexamined and unchallenged faith is both weak and dangerous. when you are able to ask questions in community like "what did Jesus really mean when he said ...?" and wrestle through "how can you consistently hold both of these Biblical teachings together?", then you are honestly engaging the discipleship process.

at least how it was back in the day.