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.
GMAF NEWSLETTER March-April 2002
Welcome to the GMAF Newsletter! We pray it will encourage you in your Martial Arts and Outreach for Christ.
Thoughts from the Master
“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
The Apostle Paul
“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” Solomon
“Concerns about Internal Arts”
Pastor Mark McGee
The Number One question I receive month after month is about Chi , Yin/ Yang and Internal Martial Arts. Christians are concerned about what to do with them. I had my own concerns for many years. I thought it might be helpful to share answers to a couple of the questions I’ve received during the last month.
Q: “I was wondering if you can probably explain to me whether qi is some cultic idea, or a scientific, biological or physical reality that resides in the human body. And perhaps you can help me to look out for things to avoid in martial arts today. Thanks!”
A: The closest thing I can find to the Chinese idea of Chi is the Breath of Life that God gave humans and animals. We know that breath is necessary for life. We die if we don’t breathe. The Oriental concept of the breath (chi) has some differences to what we learn about breath and life in God’s Word. Christians don’t need to go further than what the Bible supports. Things to look out for in martial arts is anything that opposes God’s Word. Martial arts don’t have to be “Christian” to be okay to learn and practice. We buy food and clothing and cars without considering whether it’s “Christian” food or “Christian” clothing or “Christian” cars. We don’t need to go overboard, but we should be sure that nothing we learn or practice opposes a practice of Christianity.
Q: “I thoroughly enjoyed the T’ai Chi – it is the concept of Chi and Yin/Yang I am not sure about … How does this reconcile with Christianity? I assume that you are saying it is possible to learn T’ai Chi without touching on this, provided you have a Christian teacher?”
A: T’ai Chi as a martial art and healthcare exercise is not in opposition to Christian principles or values. I have found tremendous insights to God’s plan for our lives inside the art and exercise. What you should be wary of is someone of another faith expressing their religious views during the teaching and practice of T’ai Chi.
T’ai Chi is an exercise and martial art that is steeped in the history and philosophy of China. Many of the people who developed T’ai Chi were Taoists and Bhuddists. They wove their philosophy into the fabric of T’ai Chi.
Anyone who learns T’ai Chi will have to learn something about Chi and Yin/ Yang. What I’ve done is research the Bible to see what God says about these things. Chinese view Chi as the breath of life and internal energy. The Bible speaks often about the breath of life and the energy it gives to sustain life. Chinese view Yin/Yang as the balance of all things in the universe. God also speaks often about the balance of all things in the universe. We can address most issues in T’ai Chi from a Biblical basis.
I’m fortunate that my T’ai Chi instructor is a strong Christian. His teacher was a Chinese Christian (Master Li died 20 years ago). Master Xavier and I teach T’ai Chi from a Christian perspective. If you can find a Christian teacher, it will be easier for you. If you can’t, study your Bible carefully and compare all things you learn about T’ai Chi with Scripture.
“The Game of Life”
How Can We Serve the Lord?
Pastor Robert Xavier
God gives us many gifts with which we may serve Him. These gifts are from the Holy Spirit within us. They work together with the gifts of other members of the Body of Christ to form a solid representation of Christ. In this way we are interdependent with the family of God to adequately serve Him. If we all had the same gift, we would not be complete as a Body. For example, if everyone in the Body had the gift of healing, but no one had the gift of discernment, we would be raising up a people who were physically healthy but very foolish! Each individual has a particular set of gifts which the Lord imparts to him for a particular reason, and sometimes for a particular season as well.
These gifts are discovered and developed in our walk of faith in Christ, and are experienced simply by releasing Him to do His will through us. They range from the simplicity of serving the Lord by washing the dishes, to miracles like the raising of the dead! Each is valid and vital to the functioning of the whole Body of Christ.
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that shewth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:4-8
Christian service grows out of the experience of being a part of the Body of Christ, as we grow in our relationships with God upwardly, ourselves inwardly and others outwardly.
Taking God’s Grace to the World!
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