Grace Martial Arts Fellowship began in 1990, went online with a website in 1995 and began publishing newsletters to the Christian martial arts community in 1998.
Because of the quality of information found in those early newsletter articles and the fact they are no longer available online, we’ve decided to re-publish many of them in the coming weeks and months. Our hope is that a new generation of Christian martial artists will be blessed by the wisdom of those who were on the path before them.
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
THOUGHTS FROM THE MASTER
“To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
The Apostle Paul
Here is a special message from Grand Master Robert Xavier of Confident Kid Martial Arts Evangelism.
Exchanging Self-Confidence for God-Confidence
“This past year has been more than challenging to the youth of our nation. The incident in the Columbine High School in Colorado left people across the nation stunned and grasping for solutions, answers and remedies. Families are asking, “How do we FIGHT?”
Confident Kid Martial Arts Evangelism has been an extremely effective tool to assist both the non-churched and the churched young person to recognize his/her need for God-confidence. The activities stimulate positive Christian peer pressure and help young people to acquire and maintain a heightened personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. From years past, when I served as a Fourth World Missionary in Key West, Florida, a few of the young people who I involved in Martial Arts Evangelism became very serious about the Lord. Some now are third and fourth-term missionaries and pastors. One is a Greek professor at the Greater Grace Bible College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Unless or until a young person recognizes his/her need to exchange self- centered confidence for God-centered confidence, he/she always will be trapped in striving for love, acceptance and forgiveness, rather than living freed from the performance and approval trap. Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” ” You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” “If Christ sets you free, you are free indeed.” The Lord Jesus Christ set us free from trying to be self-confident. He freed us from performing for approval and acceptance. He freed us from all of the condemnation and guilt that self-confidence and sin-addiction produce. Self-confidence teachings are the emphasis of the secular humanist. These teachings have been accepted by too many of our church leaders and undermine the finished work of the Gospel of Christ.
We, who have received the truth of God’s unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness, have been given God-confidence by the Son of God. It is a process for most Christians to recognize that it is God who is working in and through them to will and to do of his good pleasure. The self-confidence trap will lead to the performance trap, which leads to a multitude of sin- addictions, bondage and depression. The Christian youth of our nation who know the Grace Message need us to join together and boldly proclaim our God-confidence. Please, continue to pray for our Fourth World, cross- cultural ministry of reaching a few kids, who will reach their unreached friends with the Gospel of the Grace of God’s finished work on the Cross of Calvary. Thanks!
(Grand Master Xavier is also a co-founder of Grace Martial Arts Fellowship.)
Starting A Martial Arts Ministry
This note from Pastor David Havard is in response to a question from a GMAF member. David pastors a Grace Church in Wisconsin and is a professor at the Berean Bible Institute. He is a 4th Dan and a co-founder of GMAF. Pastor Havard has been involved in Christian Martial Arts ministries for almost 20 years.
“We started our classes with prayer, then taught a “normal” class. The last 5-10 minutes of class was spent teaching a short lesson about the gospel or Christian living using the martial arts as illustration material. Also, for each belt testing, students were required to memorize a Proverb about self control. Later, I developed a different curriculum that had physical (form, sparring, one-steps, etc), mental, (memorizing of form and character development concepts) and spiritual requirements (emphasizing spiritual and Biblical things that paralleled the mental theme such as self-control, integrity, honor, etc). Then they had assigned verses that they had to recite at their rank testing.
In over 5 years I had only a couple of complaints. As I recall, only one family left because of it. One complained, but when I explained my position they stayed. I said that they were free to leave, no hard feelings, but likewise, I was free to teach my “philosophy” just as other instructors were free to teach their pagan philosophy in their schools. Most parents liked it because while they and their kids are looking for answers, no one will step out and give definitive moral answers.
It was neat to see how God worked both in and outside of class. A few families joined the church who had been nominal Christians — one is now an elder and actively involved; a few other were saved, and more were just guided to live a better life.
I’ll just conclude by saying that you should start your school as boldly as possible. When you start you have a clean slate and can make it as obvious or subtle as you want. Just remember that you are setting the precedent. It’s hard to bring the gospel in later if you start without it. Some will feel ambushed and feel deceived. Be upfront about it from the beginning.
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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