How Does Sanctification Work? by David Powlison, Free for CAPC Members
David Powlison dispels the myth that there is a “key to sanctification” and then lays the biblical groundwork for spiritual growth.
In recent weeks I’ve become increasingly perplexed by the amount of criticism Donald Trump has come under. Many feel that because his background is in business, Trump doesn’t fit in with his esteemed peers, but I disagree; Donald Trump has more than earned his spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Donald Trump is an exemplary heel (a wrestler who plays a bad guy character)—the quintessential mix of Mr. Perfect’s arrogance and The Hulkster’s nonsensical brand of patriotism. Donald Trump embodies everything we love about the WWE. In fact, Hogan once promised to strap The Donald himself to his back and doggy paddle him to safety in the case of a natural disaster. Trump has perfected the use of third-person self-reflection so well that fans have entirely forgotten who The Rock is. Wasn’t he the guy from that tooth fairy movie? But people can’t seem to stop talking about Donald J. Trump.
To further prove this point and, hopefully, silence those skeptical of Trump’s success as a World Wrestling Entertainment talent, here are five times Donald Trump was a better heel than WWE Superstars.
Nothing gets a crowd more riled up than taking a powder—when a heel interrupts a match for a much needed breather. Unless you’re under the age of five or still sleep on John Cena bedsheets, you know professional wrestling is choreographed, but the break in action is an annoyingly contrived moment heels utilize to rouse the crowd. It’s a classic cheap move and Donald Trump takes it to a whole new level. Lord Steven Regal might have utilized this tactic decently, but when’s the last time he actually boycotted an event?
Enter (or rather, exit) Donald J. Trump.
After getting word that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly would participate as a moderator in a January debate (to my knowledge, no blood coming from her eyes or wherever), Trump took a powder to the extreme, announcing a rather rash boycott.
I said, ‘Bye-bye.’ Fox is playing games. They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else. Let them have the debate. Let’s see how they do with the ratings.
And not only did Trump boycott, he threw his own party. A+ for commitment.
Ric Flair is well known for the promo in which he declares:
You’re talking’ to the Rolex wearin’, diamond ring wearin’, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’, limousine riding, jet flying, son of a gun!
First off, someone should tell Ric Flair that “Rolex wearing’” and “diamond ring wearin’,” quite sadly, do not rhyme. But beyond that, Flair’s menial, WWE salary-funded jet can’t possibly compare to Trump Force One.
It’s bigger than Air Force One, which is a step down from this in every way. Rolls-Royce engines; seats 43. Didja know it was featured on the Discovery Channel as the world’s most luxurious jetliner?
Wheelin’ n dealin’?
I will build a great wall—and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.
Flair might have walked around in alligator skin shoes, but he never threatened to rival the Great Wall of China on another country’s dime.
It’s such a wildly impossible coexistence, and Trump never balks from it.
“Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes?” he asked during an interview with Anderson Cooper.
I don’t think I’ve made mistakes. Every time somebody said I made a mistake, they do the polls and my numbers go up, so I guess I haven’t made any mistakes.
It was also once popular to use arsenic as a skin treatment, which might indicate popularity and big mistakes can happily coexist. And yet, despite his indication of an unblemished spiritual score card, during the final GOP debate Trump posited that the reason he gets frequently audited is, perhaps, because he’s a strong Christian. If you haven’t been audited recently, you may want to conduct a personal faith inventory to measure your current spiritual worth. I’ve scarcely seen a promo executed with such longevity and poise. Christians intend to communicate humility, kindness, and love via a message of forgiveness; Trump communicates pride, rudeness, and bigotry via a message of winning. Hype that poppycock as Biblical and voila—instant Christian Fury! Heel life winning.
Mr. Perfect tries for a similar tone here, but he lacks the total belief in his persona that Trump displays, in my opinion.
Trump is actually incapable of referencing God’s glory without quickly adding ‘but I’m pretty glorious myself!’ Just check out the man’s hair. It’s otherworldly.
Well, I say God is the ultimate. You know you look at this? Here we are on the Pacific Ocean. How did I ever own this? I bought it 15 years ago. I made one of the great deals, they say, ever. I have no more mortgage on it as I will certify and represent to you. And I was able to buy this and make a great deal. That’s what I want to do for the country. Make great deals. We have to, we have to bring it back, but God is the ultimate. I mean God created this, and here’s the Pacific Ocean right behind us. So nobody, no thing, no there’s nothing like God.
It’s a better rendering of the time Vince McMahon challenged God to a wrestling match (God’s introduction: “He’s the holy roller, he’s the hipster from heaven, he’s the man upstairs, from the kingdom of Heaven, please welcome God!”) Trump’s rendering was better, of course, because Vince didn’t have enough sense to lose. Trump invokes skilled nuance in his approach—enough arrogance to be outlandish, but enough subtlety that he can still claim the absurd brand of “Christianity” he relies on to crowd-rouse. Anybody who has ever perused two Corinthians before will be appropriately offended, effectively whipping them into a carefully crafted frenzy.
Ravishing Rick Rude was famous for insulting the crowd upon his entrance:
Cut the music. What I’d like to have right now, is for all you fat, out of shape, inner-city sweathogs to keep the noise down while I show your ladies what a real man looks like. Hit the music.
And did he ever—one more reason we should consider the morality of spandex. I think we can all agree, though, that “sweathogs” doesn’t hold a candle to this zinger delivered by Trump regarding Carly Fiorina.
Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! I mean, [Carly Fiorina’s] a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?
Don’t miss his subtle reference to a human being as “that.” Pure heel gold.
Or this one about Hillary Clinton:
If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?
This one gets a B+ because he missed an opportunity to reference her pantsuits, but it still beats fat and out of shape.
Or this one about Rosie O’Donnell:
She’s an extremely unattractive person who doesn’t understand the truth…I think she’s a terrible person…She has failed at everything she has done…She’s a bully and she sucker punches people.
And lastly, his knock at American war hero and former P.O.W. John McCain:
He is not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay? I hate to tell you.
Rick Rude was on the right track, but he wasn’t specific enough. Perhaps he lacked conviction. Trump succeeds where The Ravishing One failed, unafraid to parade a persona so sexist and otherwise offensive that everyone is sure to despise him. Seriously, who has the inane gumption to imply that a former P.O.W wouldn’t have been captured if he or she was actually heroic? Donald Trump, that’s who; and it worked—the crowd hated him for it.
As these moments evidence, Donald J. Trump was an excellent addition to the WWE Hall of Fame, and his continued commitment to heel life is inspiring. He is perfect amounts nasty and nonsensical. He could easily write a book on crowd rousing (The Art of the Heel?), techniques largely to credit for his continued fame. He says things like “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin” and “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Love him or hate him, the man can cut a promo, and his place in the WWE Hall of Fame continues to be well-earned.
Sure, Trump may not don trunks and a six pack yet, but it’s surly in the works. In the meantime, Trump continues to embody everything we love about the WWE—absurd plot lines, the occasional objectification of women, the refusal to put over more noteworthy talent—and he does it so well. The smarks (smart wrestling fans) hate him, but then again, the smarks hated Hogan, too, and his spray tan still emanated success like a glowing orange beacon in the night. Trump has a great working relationship with Vince McMahon, and I truly hope we decide to accept him as a part of the WWE’s regular roster. What else would such antics qualify him for?
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