I Think that the Church, should keep it out, how about you?
Church's are opening there door to many thing's that are not of GOD, to atract more people and to make more funding.$$$
I Think that the Church, should keep it out, how about you?
Church's are opening there door to many thing's that are not of GOD, to atract more people and to make more funding.$$$
I think it depends on what it is and how you do it. For example, karate is not in and of itself good or bad. It can be used to defend yourself or others. On the flip side it can be used to hurt people. But, so can a knife or gun. Yet, it is great for exercise and stress relief. In an of itself it's not bad.
Now, if you are against karate in general I can see why you would say no. As someone who did it for many years I see it as very non-violent and only used for violence in the same places other violence happens.
But, it depends on how it's integrated into the church. Is it used for outreach? Is it used to open up the community to the church? How does having it at the church work to the mission of the church? If an honest answer can be used for how it fits the mission of the church why would it be bad?
My church has an interesting example of bringing people from the outside in. They have a ministry that teaches english to people who have comes from abroad and don't know it. The classes on a launguage and are not forcing people to become a member of the church. They are free. There is a waiting list to get into the class, hundreds of attenders, and we have to have a pastor around who can work with the Japanese language and culture because there are so many Japanses people interested in Christ from this. And, if you know about Japanese culture that's a big deal.
It's not exactly the same. But, the idea of lowering the barrier to entry to hear about Christ is a good thing. That could happen through a karate class as well.
The only issue I can see with Karate classes is the association. Might be better to have a Self Defense course that teaches karate would be better and make sure the person teaching it does not use the parts of it that are more mystic and come from the various Asian religions. If the teacher is trying to reach the people as well you can incorporate Christian ideals and morals into the classes and build relationships that can lead to outreach.
@jbowen I think you are getting into how a class would happen. This is something that really needs to be taken into account but wasn't my concern when I posted. It was just the idea of having such a class.
Personally, as someone who did karate for years, I would love to see a karate class at my church. There are a lot of great aspects it focuses on that a Christian could benefit from. For example, one of the things we used to do to start off a class was meditate. They taught about meditation and encouraged it. Nothing that was taught went against Christian teachings. It helped us get past the clutter going on in our lives.
Or, It helped keep us in shape. Not just the ways you think of with a gym membership. There were good stretching exercises, practice with balance, and work on body control. All good benefits you wouldn't get in a self defense class. These are things that could benefit Christians and help us live better Christian lifestyles.
I think there is a lot of misconception about the teachings and there are teachers who I just wouldn't have teach the class in a church. But, this has nothing to do with it being good or bad to do. Just a matter of how you do it and who does it.
We have a Karate instructor who attends our church, and according to him, something like half the Karate classes in town focus on Eastern Transcendental Meditation practices, which are significantly different than a Christian-accepted meditation practice.
I can see the wisdom in @jbowens response to call it a self-defense class, to help lose the association people may have in their minds, because there ARE Eastern-focused Karate Classes. Most instructors will tell you that Karate is about heart, mind and body, not just body. And while many practices in traditional, Eastern-oriented Karate are perfectly compatible with Christianity, some are not. And others can be down right dangerous.
Thank you all for replying to this important post.
I am attending a church, that is opening the doors too karate.
In my opinion these is strike one.
Two more strike and I am out.
I know,who cares." I do.
What happen to the good old sports,Football, Basketball,Baseball,Soccer,Wrestling.
I think we have plenty of sports and activity.
Your friend E Morales with http://thegloryland.com
This was a fun topic for me. I went back to the teachings of the form of karate I was involved with growing up. I went back to the official teachings of the governing body, dug through them, and compared anything that might be controversial with teachings from the bible. I am amazed at how much they jive with each other. Absolutely amazed. They not only jive with each other but the way that form of karate is taught reinforces teachings of the church for a Christian lifestyle.
I would be careful not to judge one sport harshly over another because it's one of the good old boys. Isn't that being sportist? Especially since we are a culture full of different things. For example, I used to play rugby. What a fun sport... yet much more physically abusive than karate.
In my experience as someone who did karate growing up and researching the teachings of at least one form, there are some very good things in there and a place for something like this in some churches.
@anthonypero - my experience with meditation in karate didn't target any eastern form of meditation that would contradict what is taught in the bible. That's why I think it has to do with the instructor, form of karate, and what they teach.
I think karate get's a bad name among a lot of Christians. For some it's because it comes out of the east and there is some eastern philosophy mixed in. Yet, some of that eastern philosophy jives with Christian philosophy. Yes, there are places with there is stark disagreement in philosophy between eastern religions and Christianity. But, in my experience and research those didn't flow into karate. I've herd other objections on philosophy there were tied to philosophy but didn't contradict the bible. They didn't jive with our western lifestyle. Some of the time they agreed with the bible but we have trouble with the bible there as well.
As we trace through history we can't reject all eastern religious philosophical ways. A lot of them jive with the bible and that makes sense. We all descended from the same God fearing people in Noahs offspring. If you trace the religions of the east back far enough you find a people who worshiped one God and did things we see the ancient Jews doing. Sure, we can argue they have gone off track. But, in western culture we often do too.
So, my philosophy is to take a look at the teachings of the bible and compare then to what something else says. Even if it feels weird for us to do in our western culture or it's not part of the modern day church I still take a look. In the case of karate when I researched what I did as a kid I found something that very much jived with the teachings of the bible and compliments them in ways a quick look wouldn't show. I can't and wont speak for all teachers and all forms of karate. It's just not something we should quickly reject.
I'm curious why what the objections are to karate in general? What eastern mediation techniques go against the teachings of the bible which are taught in karate classes? If there is a group teachings something wrong I can speak for at least one group that teaches something well. So, they aren't all bad in that aspect.
Thank you Matt, for sharing your view on karate. I took karate when I was a kid also,but what I am concerned about is bringing the non believers form of exercise to the place of worship. What's next yoga?
I found this Message,and now place it on my website for all to read.
Tool for Christian Evangelism
or Zen Buddhism?
- On the cover of Bob Jones University's Spring 1992 issue of the BJU Review is a picture of black belt karate master and senior at BJU, Jim Pitts, in full karate garb, Bible open, giving the "invitation," while the rest of the members of BJU's "Champions for Christ karate team" are kneeling in prayer by their cinder-block bricks. On the inside cover is a picture of Mr. Pitts breaking four bricks with his right arm, while the other team members are watching, with Bibles open. The editor of the Review declares that:
"Champions for Christ is one of many different extension groups that go out from the University each week, bringing the Gospel to needy people throughout the Southeast. These extension ministries give all students the chance to sharpen their soulwinning skills, be an encouragement to others, and use their skills to glorify God." (Emphasis added.)
- Many other so-called youth and evangelism ministries promote the martial arts as a means of motivating youth in evangelism, spiritual warfare, etc. For example, the March 1992 Baptist Bulletin (GARBC) contains an article about a husband-wife ABWE missionary team helping "teenagers understand God's power in their lives" by exhibiting his (the husband's) karate skills ("such as breaking boards with his hands and demonstrating samurai swords and nunchakus") at GARBC youth rallies. The missionary team claims to want "to help the teenagers understand God's power in their lives ... [and] to motivate them to join God in the spiritual battle of the present age."
- Should a Christian's "soulwinning skills" include karate, and can that "skill" be used "to glorify God?" And what has karate to do with the reality of "God's power" in a teenager's life? Even though one might find it difficult to see how the so-called "skill" of karate could or would be used by the Holy Spirit to draw the lost to Christ, the overriding question must be: Is there a philosophy antithetical to Christianity that is at the root of karate exhibitions?
- Karate has a unique and unusual history. It was handed down centuries ago from Zen Master to Buddhist monk by word of mouth, and always in strict secrecy. Even today, everything done in karate can be tracked back to some principle of Zen Buddhism. An Indian Buddhist priest named Bodhidharma in the 6th century A.D. in China, synthesized karate techniques and Yoga meditation in order to unite mind, spirit, and body. (Among the Chinese styles are kung fu or gung fu, wu shu, and pa kua. Tai kwan do and hapkido are among the Korean styles.) Karate is clearly a mental and moral exercise, indeed, a spiritual experience. In each practice session there is a concerted effort to unite mind, spirit, and body just as Bodhidharma sought to do with Zen priests.
Karate is founded on scientific principles of body movements that develop the karate devotee into a healthy, well coordinated person, both physically and mentally. The Chinese karate masters considered karate to be an extension of their religion. The Okinawan karate masters considered it to be a way of life:
"It is, rather, an expression of life lived 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Indeed, the way of karate is a philosophy of life -- a rich, rewarding philosophy if carried through, past the boundaries of obvious self-defense techniques, into the realm of mind-searching discipline. Within karate-do is the potential of a new person: a person huge in all the capabilities that will make him respected and confident" (The Way of Karate).
- Karate is Zen -- so says Master Oyama and many other karate masters. Zen is a school of Buddhism that has been called the "Religion of Immediate Reality." The aim of Zen is to awaken the student to his true self and thus bring about a degree of self-knowledge through inward meditation. Zen students seek peace of mind through an enlightened awakening of an intuitive wisdom, which they feel is dormant now in all people. Zen meditation tries to achieve "no mindedness" which may be acquired by concentration and special breathing exercises. Karate, when combined with Zen meditation, is used to assist the student's quest for peace of mind and equanimity in the face of conflict and tension.
- Although many, especially here in the United States, tend to disregard much of the Zen Buddhist philosophy in their training, some impact of that philosophy is made upon every student of karate. This is because Zen meditation and yoga-like breathing exercises -- whether for thirty seconds or for two hours before and after every practice session -- are an integral part of any Oriental martial arts program. If one truly aspires to master the art of karate, he cannot ignore the spiritual implications.
Zen meditation provides a false "inner peace" that is at best a counterfeit of the peace only God can give. There is only one source of inner peace -- the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We can choose between the self-control developed by the Holy Spirit, or the self-control of Zen. And with the self-control of Zen, as with any Eastern meditation technique, one could also be opening himself up to demonic activity.
While God calls us to humility, the martial arts cater to human pride. For even in gaining mastery over one's self through Zen, it is still recognized as an accomplishment of self. That self-pride then manifests itself through a desire to prove oneself superior.
- Although some proponents for a "Christian" martial arts do concede that karate has roots in occult, pagan, and/or Eastern religious philosophy, they also claim that the primary philosophy behind the martial arts actually originated in Old Testament Biblical times (citing such passages as Gen. 14:13-16; 2 Sam 6:14; Psa. 144:1; Eccl. 9:10 as proof-texts), even going back all the way to the Garden of Eden! (Christian Martial Arts, Tottingham & Tottingham, pp. v & 2). Therefore, according to these advocates, Satan made "inroads" into the true Bible-based martial arts, capturing them for himself, and that all we need to do now is to reclaim them and change them "from an Asiatic philosophy to a truly Bible-centered Christian philosophy" (Christian Martial Arts, pp. ii & 2). Once these "dramatic changes" in "approach" are made, we are told, the "Christian can indeed study the martial arts in total harmony with his walk with the Lord" (Christian Martial Arts, p. v).
This, of course, is the same logic men use to "Christianize" any worldly, pagan, and/or occult philosophy or practice, whether it be astrology (the "Gospel in the Stars"), psychology, Eastern "medicine," magic, pyramidology, graphology, numerology, etc., etc., etc. The logic goes something like this:
"It was originated by God (which requires a few verses out of context to 'prove' it), Satan stole it and/or counterfeited it (under the false assumption that 'Satan can't create, he just steals from God'), we need to reclaim it and re-Christianize it, and then we can use it 'to glorify God'" (Christian Martial Arts, pp. 75 & 83).
- The violence associated with karate smacks of anything but "Christian." Legendary karate "masters" were reputed to have superhuman powers, including the ability to kill small birds with a yell ("the shout of doom"), a secret knowledge of how to touch lightly at a spot on the body to cause death ("the touch of death"), and the ability to penetrate an adversary's body with a bare hand to withdraw his still-beating heart. The very nature of these violent forms of expression runs counter to God's Word.
- How then can any Christian justify his involvement in karate or any of the other martial arts? He can't. Not even by claiming that such involvement is for self-defense, exercise, to learn discipline, etc. (let alone justifying it for evangelism purposes!). There are other methods by which these results may be obtained -- methods not associated with harmful violence and false doctrine.
* The chief source of our information for this report was a special report written by Albert Dager of Media Spotlight. Other sources used were various encyclopedias and three books on karate/martial arts: The Way of Karate, Karate Within Your Grasp, and Christian Martial Arts.
Biblical Discernment Ministries - 4/92
Thank you from the glory land . http://thegloryland.com
This article leaves me with a lot of questions.
For example, on the topic of meditation I've learned that meditation is good for Christians. The idea of Christians meditating is one I've herd a bit of over the past several years from people who have no knowledge of karate. Yes, God is what brings us peace. But, he can and does come to us through meditation. How often are our lives cluttered in ways so we cannot hear what God is saying to us. Meditation is a great was to clear out the clutter to allow us to focus. Whether for 2 minutes of 2 hours. Oh, and controlled breathing during meditation really makes a difference on focus. It does.
Or, we talk about fighting skills. Much of karate (as a generic term) is not fighting. But, there is an element that is. How does that differ from people taking a self defense course? Or, military personnel training and practicing? Or, violent sports (like football)? How do the same reasons the rejection of karate happens on this grounds roll over into other areas?
And, when it comes to the legend of masters who can do amazing things how does that differ from our legends. George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, right? Wrong, it's a legend. We need to be wise enough when it comes to that just like we need to be wise elsewhere.
You do bring up a good point of it's history and philosophy coming from zen masters and Buddhists. That actually extends beyond there into Taoism and beyond. There is a right history of karate morphing over time as it comes into the hands of different students who become masters. That's why we see so many different types of karate (as a generic term) in the form of Tang Sou Do, Tae Kwan Do, and so forth.
Yet, this right history of change is interesting. It means it can shift with a culture and it's masters. So, it wouldn't be out of context for it to shift in ways that definitely mesh with Christianity and are not bad.
This, also, bring up the point of something that is corrupt and it being redeemed. For example, most of what's on TV is anti-Christian. Studies show that scripted TV shows are negative on religion 95% of the time. Terrible messages are spread on TV. Is it inherently bad? Can it be redeemed and used for good?
You might say there is a difference between TV and karate which is a lifestyle. There is. Christianity is a lifestyle and yet most people treat is as a thing they do like TV. This is a place western Christianity can learn from karate. Yet, they are both things of this world that can be redeemed.
I'm, also, careful when assessing the teachings of other religions. They may not speak of the saving nature of Christ. They may not know our great God. Beyond that there is a lot of truth that's been handed down to Christians and those who practice eastern religions that's the same. There is a lot of truth that shows up that's the same because God wrote it into the hearts of all people. To dismiss them as a whole rejects people and the teachings he gives to everyone.
For example, the idea we find of oneness with nature. The idea that we are part of nature, the ecosystem, and the world around us. That we are not separate but, part of it. This is a very true idea biblicly. We are part of nature. We are created. We may be set in charge of other things but we are part of the created system. In the oneness with nature there is the concept of how things interact with each other and we need to respect that with care. This is, also, biblical. Yet, I see people who don't understand this reject it all the time. But, it's true and realizing this can be a great bridge point in talking to others.
Reading what you posted seems to miss some of the flavor of karate. It does point out things to realize and take into consideration. Yet, it misses the flavor of karate, how things are in our culture and world, the similarities between the eastern religions and Christianity, the point of Christianity in cultures, and so much more.
I think the term Karate has bad a bad connotation to it. I see no problem teaching a Martial Arts form in a church environment. However... We should call it Martial Arts training. Or something similar. We need to distance ourselves from the cultural references and teach the class differently. Matt mentioned that several of the concepts jive with Christianity and the Bible. Ok great but if it is done in the Church it needs to be taught from that view point. You can say the world is round because God created it or you can say the world is round because the gravitation pull on the material as it spun in its molten state caused it to form a sphere as it cooled. Both correct. But for a christian one is wrong and the other correct. The emphasis needs to be on the fact that God wants you to be part of nature and you need to realize your place in the world around you. If you teach it correctly I see no problem. We as Christians could use more discipline and physical training to better ourselves. The basic concepts may not conflict with the Bible if that is true then why not teach them specifically from that viewpoint.
@jbowen nice point. I think this is a matter of how you do it and now what you do. If you teach martial arts with a Christian perspective you will still teach many (most) of the same things. So, it's a matter of how you do it not a matter of if it's ok or not ok.
If the person who would teach it would do it badly it shouldn't be done because it's a matter of how it's done. If someone can do it justice that's a different story. But, again that's how you do it and not if it's inherently bad.
To my understanding, there are a few types of meditation, and the only thing they have in common is a name. I'm by no means an expert, so if anyone knows more about this please expound upon what I'm saying.
Within Christianity, there is some disagreement on meditation. Terms to google would be "Christian Mysticism," "Transcendental Meditation", "New Age Practices in Christianity," etc.
Really, the differences boil down to this, from what I understand. In transcendental Meditation, the purpose is to empty yourself of everything, to create a void within your spirit, to "transcend" this plane of existence. And in that void, the "eternal" will speak to you. What the bible teaches about meditation is far different. We don't "empty" ourselves; we fill ourselves with the Word of God, and meditate on it, asking God to reveal His truth to us through it. We don't "transcend" to commune with the Eternal; the Eternal lives with in us, so no transcending is needed.
This may seem like semantics, but it's really not. When we empty ourselves transcendentally, we open ourselves up to everything, and remove ourselves from the protection the Lord provides. That's really as much as I want to say on the subject.
Once again, as it specifically applies to Karate in church, I agree with MF. It's more about how it's taught. Most practices and philosophies in Eastern religions are perfectly compatible with Christianity. In fact, Christianity itself is an Eastern religion at heart, and these religions all have the same root, as Matt suggested. Like I said before, finding a Biblically minded instructor is most key, however, I DO see the wisdom in calling it a "Martial Arts" class, to remove ANY suggestion of "evil", or heresy associated with the word Karate.
I have studied Taekwondo for quite awhile. It is important that it be done properly because there are some of the Eastern philosophies that would run counter to a Christian life. There are also some Western things that run counter. I have seen some instructors that just teach people to be mean and bully others. That is not Christian by any measure. I do want to address a couple of points though.
1. Can it be used to further God's Kingdom? My instructor is very conservative politically and he takes advantage of certain times such as rest breaks to talk about things that just make sense to him politically. Why couldn't a Christian instructor do the same?
2. Karate handed down - Many of the spices we cook with are handed down from those same traditions - should we eat bland food? No. I try to judge a thing on its merits and not necessarily where it came from... as long as those are distinct. I don't think there is any Buddhism inherit in a front kick.
3. Bringing in a non-believer's form of exercise into a place of worship. First, it is a form of exercise for many believers. The basic principles are sound. The tenets of Taekwondo are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. I wish some of my Christian brethren would embrace these tenets and maybe they'd start acting more Christ-like (me too, I'm not perfect either). It also brings a sense of self-confidence and self-control... something every Christian could benefit from. We have too many meely-mouth believers trying to witness when they seem scared of their own shadow. What kind of image is that?
If you feel that strongly about having martial arts in your place of worship I have to ask, is this class going to be in the main sanctuary or a fellowship room or some auxiliary room and do you do other things there? Should the church property be used only for church service or for the church to serve others so that they may see the life and love of Christ in us?
Finally, and please know that these are not attacks on TheGloryLand or anyone else, but an attempt to address what I see. You say that they want to bring in Karate and that's 1 and 2 more you are out of there. I have to ask if you are looking to leave the church you are currently in? I'd suggest that a better approach is to try to address what you feel is wrong and be open to the wisdom of the leadership when they present their thoughts on the subject. Most of the time, when someone feels strongly about something they should get involved to either change it or change their mind - whichever is appropriate. If you just get mad and leave then there is no growth and no opportunity to express your concerns to the leaders. If God has called you to that place then 3 strikes is not enough. Either you are to make a change there or you are to change while there, or possibly both. This seems like a sore spot for you because of your dislike of Karate. My recommendation is to try to sit down with the proposed instructor and talk with him/her about your concerns and see how they respond. Ask them the hard questions like "Will this to anything toward furthering the mission of the church?" One or both of you may be surprised.
I'll leave you with a story. I was an emotional mess as a child - paranoid, mean, hateful, ready to fight at the drop of a shadow. Studying Martial Arts showed me that I don't have to feel small and act out to prove I'm not. It gave me the confidence to walk unafraid of what others say or even do. It instilled in me things like integrity and being a great person and controlling myself, emotionally and physically. When I was not living a Christian life, it at least got me thinking in the right direction. If my instructor had been showing me the life of a Christian and talking about Christ then it would have had an even greater impact. There was nothing in the time that I have trained that ran contrary to my Christian beliefs (I was raised in church, even though I wasn't living it at the time I started MA). The meditation we did was simply clear your mind and leave your worries outside so you can focus on what you are doing. Something we should do from time to time anyway.
I brought a message at my church much more recently while my Pastor was in Africa and I used ideas from martial arts to demonstrate Christian living such as focusing on the goal and not the distractions and how to break a board you have to focus your power into a small area that impacts much like a Christian must focus on Christ to have an impact that will break through the barriers the devil puts up around a non-believer like a punch through wood.
A friend of mine won't let his kids study MA because he says the Bible says to bow to no man and MA bows. Is he right or taking it out of context?
Hello JIM,your question?
If you(I)feel that strongly about having martial arts in your place of worship I have to ask, is this class going to be in the main sanctuary or a fellowship room or some auxiliary room and do you do other things there? Should the church property be used only for church service or for the church to serve others so that they may see the life and love of Christ in us?
Yes" The Church,I am attending wants to start Karate classes in the area where my children have junior church.My church also have a Christian School.
Today Church's are trying to hard to increase in numbers and if they are not careful, they will become of the world. The people or members are changing the church, when it should be the church that change the life of Christian to live for Christ.
What happen when the LORD house become a place of marketing or a business place or no different than a social Club. Maybe with out alcohol ?
We have now, basketball,baseball,football,Soccer,bowling,golf. We do not need any more way's to reach the youth.
Why can we just go to the house of the LORD anymore?
It's going to get harder in my opinion.
Thank you for replying to this post, your brother in Christ,
Edwin Morales, with the http://thegloryland.com
I almost feel like we umbrella to many things under the title the Church. Why does your church have to do this? Obviously they have a teacher lined up. Why can't the teacher build a Christian Based Martial Arts training center that is supported by the church. I think to many times we try to include to many ministries into a church and things get more complicated that way. We need to diversify I guess. Then the Martial Arts teacher can get support from several local churches or just make a Ministry Business out of it. Why does the church have to host this activity. Supporting it is one thing but hosting it another. I think more Christians need to be in active full time or part time ministry and stop throwing the load on the church and just helping out when you can. We need to take personal responsibility to a ministry and fund it ourselves or get support from the church but why does the church and its leaders have to carry all the load?
Certain forms of martial arts, especially the "soft" forms like Aikido, focus greatly on Eastern mysticism and should be avoided. I took Kendo (Japanese sword fighting) in college and learned a lot from it. The only element I had trouble with was a particular hand formation that expressed a Buddhist principle while preparing & focusing. I just used a different hand formation that expressed my faith.
There's something to be said for having non-worship activities at a church, but along with any of these activities, I would always ask how can we share the Gospel with those present, whether by posters on the wall, an opening devotion before class, or something else. I don't believe that just bringing people onto the property will bring them to saving faith by osmosis, but it's also the ultimate foot in the door when it's their foot coming into your door. I would just caution against missing the opportunity to share Christ through the experience. Part of that may be by building relationships, but I always say that nobody should come onto the property without hearing about or experiencing the love of Christ in some way. We're a long way from that here, I confess, but that's our goal.
It's here martial arts in our Church. It's were the children have children church on Sunday. I hope they do not get confused with the Church service and the martial art classes.
Maybe we can start Billiard for Christ? OR I POD FOR CHRIST?
I know I may should negative but I am concern what will become of our church's
Your friend, with the glory land. http://thegloryland.com
Taking introduction is a great idea. The idea of the person is good.