Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting "Pumped Up!"

While in my office I usually listen to Cd's as I work. On occasion I will listen to the radio, usually for the news updates and a few talk programs. There was one news update today that stopped me dead in my tracks. I even made sure that I tuned in to the same station in the next hour to be sure that I had heard the story correctly. The story, that I have confirmed, is about the Belgian Bodybuilding Championships held over the past weekend. It seems that officials with an anti doping agency showed up at the event in order to test the participants. When word got out among the contestants that drug testers had arrived all twenty of the participants left rather than be tested. The event had to be cancelled for lack of bodybuilders.

I'm not sure about you, but I keep seeing "Hanz" and "Franz" from Saturday Night Live in my mind. These Belgian bodybuilders give a whole new meaning to the phrase "Pump You Up!" What is really sad is that in the past as many as seventy-five percent of the body builders in this contest tested positive for drug use. Seventy-five percent! Does anyone want to argue about the purity of competition, at least in bodybuilding? We can now safely add Belgian bodybuilders to the list of "athletic entertainers" alongside professional wrestlers. There is no doubt that these men (and women) look impressive and work hard, but the truth is that they are tainted, they are frauds. Truthfully, is there anyone who still believed that they achieved their impressive physical condition without drugs?

Unfortunately there are frauds in every area of life. Some of the worst frauds are the spiritual ones, and they've been around for as long as man has walked the face of the earth. Jesus exposed the biggest spiritual frauds of his day, calling them "whitewashed tombs" and saying that they were filled with death and decay. They looked good, impressive in their ritual and their practice. Their hearts, however, were something altogether different. Not much has changed in the two thousand years since Jesus walked the earth. Men are still trying to get by on the externals without regard to the real issue, the heart. We substitute attendance and cliche' for relationship with God and love for others.

Is it any wonder that one of the chief complaints about the church is that it's filled with hypocrites? The truth will come out. Those Belgian bodybuilders revealed the truth without one blood sample being drawn. Spiritual frauds are exposed during times of stress or trial. Usually it is our mouth that reveals the truth long before our actions do. All the preening and posing is all too often cancelled out by the work of the tongue.

Like those bodybuilders, I'm afraid that far too many who profess faith aren't really what they claim to be.

It's hard to be too "pumped up" about that.

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