Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | April 11, 2018


Philippians 3:18-19, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”

Charley looked normal. But, like many in that condition, he had a driver’s license. AND, he used that license to satisfy his other driving passion–wrestling! He loved arena-sized studio “wrassling.”

In fact, he lived and worked for Saturday nights. His whole life was wrapped up in wrestling. He knew all the different federations, leagues, organizations, and other menageries of wrestlers. He could name all the “wrasslers” and could recount most of the last hundred or so matches–in vivid detail with complete demonstrations.

He loved the screaming crowds. He loved the theatrics. He got caught up in the ecstatic shouting and senseless screaming. He loved to watch the body slams, pile-drivers, and knock outs.

He got angry–wrestling mad!–at those critics who called “wrassling” a fake and a fraud. He knew it was real. He had seen the blood. He had seen the wrestlers conked over the head with a metal folding chair. He had seen the slain–or seemingly slain–carried out by bodyguards. Charley boasted, “If it’s a fraud–I’d know it! I can smell a fake a mile away!”

Evidently, he couldn’t smell one any closer! This particular Saturday night, the parking lot was filled as usual, the same Saturday night crowd seemed to throng the entrances and fill the concessions area, and the same type of music blared from the arena; yet, this was not a typical Saturday night. Tonight’s “Crusade” advertised on the marquee had no warriors–no “wrasslers”–that he recognized.

Nevertheless, Charley took his place–his favorite seat. He stomped. He sang, He swayed to the music. He tried to join in on what he thought was a wave or two. He was having a great time–as usual–until he noticed that there was no ring! It had taken a full fifteen minutes for Charley to realize that this wasn’t canvas and that he had been snookered–in toto!

It hit him like a ton of bricks, “This was not a wrestling match and brother Henny is no wrassler!”, he said. “If he is–he stinks!”

You can imagine how angry and how embarrassed Charley was when the truth finally hit him. He was absolutely flabbergasted. He felt like he had been piled on to by both sides of a tag team.

He should have known! He had wondered why he had paid so much to get in this time. Now he knew. This was studio religion–not wrestling!

He didn’t know what to do. He saw an usher by the wall and made his way toward him. He wanted to demand to get his money back.

The usher saw Charley coming–in more ways than one. Charley fit the narrow criteria for being “stage-worthy”, i.e. fairly dumb and healthy looking. The usher directed him to the stage–along with some of the others that had responded to brother Henny’s call for those in need of a healing.

“Hey, buddy, I need some help…,” is all that Charley said. That was all he needed to say.

“Please, just follow the others. Do what you’re told. Brother Henny will help you,” the assertive usher said.

Not everyone got sent in the same direction. The NSW’s “the Non-Stage Worthy” got channeled to back rooms for a short group prayer, a quick daub of anointing oil, a little one inch square of prayer cloth–which workers pinned onto the Crusadee’s lapels, a black and white 8X10 autographed picture of brother Henny, a tape of the Crusadette’s music, and an escort out the back door. Charley would have probably been satisfied with that–in lieu of a complete refund. But, as fortune would have it, this fiasco was not to be that easy.

Charley was evidently so stage worthy that he got moved to the front of the line. One of the stage crew approached him and asked, “Brother, why have you come tonight?”

“I came to see the Devil Demon destroy the Dandy Deliverer!,” Charley angrily shouted, “AND, I want my money–NOW!”

The shocked stage hand went to brother Henny and whispered in his ear, “Watch him. I think he’s demon possessed!”

Brother Henny motioned for two assistants to bring Charley to the front of stage center. The assistants took Charley into protective custody–of sorts–and led him by each placing a hand firmly on his shoulder and grasping him by the arm with the other hand. Charley decided to go peaceably.

As Charley approached him, brother Henny started to wind up like a baseball pitcher–except he held a mike in his one hand and nothing in the other. As he wound up, Henny yelled into the mike, “Out! Out! OUT! You’re gonna be out, demon!”

The crowd began to chant something. Charley didn’t know what was happening.

Just as brother Henny released the invisible “ball of spirit power” right at Charley, the two stage hands pulled backward on the unsuspecting Charley. The next thing he knew he was slammed onto his back with two husky men pinning his shoulders to the stage. The crowd burst into loud applause.

Something snapped in Charley’s mind. All those years of attending wrestling matches in this arena were about to pay off. Charley remembered seeing his hero, Hunk Holgren, in this very same predicament. He remembered what Hunk had done.

Without even thinking, he grabbed the two stage hands by the neck and crushed their heads together. They were out cold.

Brother Henny did not see what happened. He was recovering from the follow through on his pitch when he first saw the two assistants “slain” on the stage–lying against Charley. Brother Henny followed their lead and played along–as usual. “Oops! So sorry! I must have thrown too much–I’ve hit two of my helpers,” he shouted to the crowd as he pointed in Charley’s direction. He started to laugh! The crowd started to rant and chant.

Being laughed at was one thing that Charley could not take. Before he knew what he was doing, he lunged for Henny. He grabbed the little twerp by the scruff of the neck and the seat of his pink and white sequined suit and hoisted him above his head. Charley couldn’t believe it! It was so easy! He whirled Henny around and around above his head. Before he got too dizzy, he stopped and flipped Henny upside down in front of him. He gave the head-down Henny a bear hug–crushing the air out of the charlatan’s lungs. Then–just like on TV–Charley dropped to a seated position. Henny’s head was “pile-driven” into the stage causing Henny to join his two assistants in assisted narcosis. Charley stood up, put his foot on Henny, and then spontaneously pounded his chest in a rage of victory.

One career ended that night–two more were born! Although Charley was arrested that night, he was later released and all charges were eventually dropped because a wise judge determined that Charley’s actions were self-defense–of a sort.

The followers of brother Henny lost faith in him asking, “If he had so much power, why couldn’t he beat Charley?”, or, “If he was such a great healer, how’s come he couldn’t heal his concussion?” Seeing their healer in a neck brace and in the hospital was more than they could take.

And, Charley’s prowess in the “ring” created a whole bevy of new wrestling fans that night. Most of them became lifelong fans of Charley–“The Charismatic Killer.” Moreover, all the publicity that Charley got out of the “Crusade” incident earned him a place on next Saturday night’s card. Charley was an instant success.

Eventually, after he had fully recovered, Henny became Charley’s manager and a wrestling promoter. He had finally found his niche in entertainment. Some call him the Don King of wrestling!

If you are so disposed–and if Charley and Henny come to your arena–be sure to go see the show. Tell them that “Terry the Terrible” sent you


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