October 12, 2004

the inherent association of spirituality to martial arts

I have been asked several times to comment on the supposed inherent association of martial arts to spirituality. In a nutshell here it is, I apologize in advance if my thoughts are somewhat disjointed as I am writing late at night after a very long day mainly from memory.

point 1: People say that Christians are supposed to be passifists.

they get this mainly from the concept of loving your neighbor and turning the cheek.

There are many instances of men of war positively shown in the Bible, beginning as early as Abraham whose personnally trained servents took on the combined armies of 5 city/states and kicked all their butts and directly afterwards was praised by a priest of God (Gen. 14) Abraham had to possess no little knowledge of martial ways. As to the concept of turning the other cheek, lets look at the whole passage in context. Christ is talking about what was normally done, what was natural, and the attitudes that motivated them. It was common to repay someone in like kind, respond to an action with a reaction, anger with anger, hatred with hatred, wrong with revenge, but Christ was teaching them to break that Action/Reaction cycle with a new and higher/different Action -- Love. sometimes, love hurts, and I don't know of any more powerful motivating force than love to cause me to protect those I love.

point 2: There is an inherent association of the martial arts to negative spirituality. Uhhh, show me. Martial arts are nothing more than a set of prearranged motions. they are no more inherently spiritual than dance, gymnastics, or theater. However, unlike those things they have a longstanding history of spiritual association. And many of them were developed out of pagan religions, but if God can redeem people out of pagan religions, He can certainly redeem the arts. How do we do this, we remove those doctrines that conflict with the Scripture without exception, and replace them with ones from the Scripture, and we give credit were credit is due. God is a jealous God and desires us to give Him the credit for the truth of nature, not something else. The martial arts as a discipline can be very beneficial if one is proactive with it. The martial arts teach one to not be controlled by your instincts but to control the instincts. The martial arts don't have room for lies, they deal with life in a very blunt truth, either it works or it doesn't. Many of the principles of martial art can very easily be paralleled in spirituality and Biblical doctrine, some obvious ones being the need for diligent training, single minded focus on the goal, and willingness to drop anything that gets in the way of your objective.

Is there an inherent association with the martial arts to negative spirituallity? No, not inherent, but common. That is why Christians need to be proactive in redeeming their arts from their fallen state. Over and over, I see kung fu in the Bible, my Bible is full of notations in this area. It makes the Word come alive for me, it allows me to have a deeper understanding. And what's more, it teaches me how to be a Christian. Kung fu taught me how to witness, the importance of my daily walk, the importance of true submission to the Call of the Christian, and what it means to Fear the Lord above all else. Kung fu taught me the importance of divine timing, how to have power in my walk, how to bridge to people, and much much more.

I hope this helps.


Posted by GodzScout at October 12, 2004 12:32 AM