9/03/2009 11:46am, #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
Gospel Martial Arts Union -- The hell?
As i detailed in a previous thread, i'm confined to walking distance martial arts training for the next few months. So i've been thoroughly searching the area i live in for judo, boxing, bjj, other alive martial arts, and havent found an ounce of aliveness training until...
The Gospel Martial Arts Union has a member right by where i live, and seems to have a lot around the Indianapolis area. While a christian MA organization isnt exactly surprising, the links regarding Judo and Pankration are. Their video includes some rolling, and they seem to be all around the most legitimate by far MA training in the area.
Then again, i'm pretty sure i still struck out. I'm jewish, and their membership rules are quite explicit:
Membership is open to Christian martial artists in any style or system. All candidates must complete an application indicating agreement with our doctrinal position. We would also expect all members to be members of a theolog-ically sound church where they actively serve. Additionally, all members are expected to portray a high standard of excellence in keeping with their standing in Christ. This should be reflected in technique, know-ledge and lifestyle. We as the members of the GMAU must daily live as a Christians first, and martial artists second. Unity on this concept is the strength of the GMAU, as it has three consequences:
The medium (martial arts) is not the message. We as Christians cannot let ourselves be divided over differ-ences of style, both in martial arts and ministry. There is no one best style of marital arts, each has its strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, there is no one best style of glorifying God through the medium of the martial arts. Hence, the style of another memberís marital arts ministry should not hinder our interpretation of the truth con-tained therein.
The Bible is the standard, not martial arts traditions. Things like bowing to a god shelf or emptying oneís mind are obvious examples that have no place in the life of a Christian. However, there are also less explicit areas where we must exercise discernment, so as to avoid causing weaker Christians to stumble (I Corinthians 8). We as Christian martial artists must be careful that our use of martial arts traditions do not cause our weaker brothers and sisters to fall. It is not a question of a correct biblical knowledge, but rather a matter of how we present Christ in our martial arts. Remember, "stumbling blocks" are things we should not ignore, but rather actively seek out. As Paul said, "When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ." We must continually keep this point in prayer.
Christian martial artists must be accountable to the church. Because the human heart is basically evil (Jer. 17:9-10), left to our own, we will tend to go astray. We must all place ourselves under spiritual authority. The GMAU believes that the local church is Godís ordained institution for this age. Thus, the GMAU and its members must place themselves under the umbrella and authority of a local church.
Aliveness is only for the saved around here, i guess. :sad1:
So what do you guys think? Judo for jesus? Kata for Christ? Pankration for the pious?
9/03/2009 12:14pm, #2
Just go in with a Yarmulke with a crucifix on it and you will be set. Say you are a Jew for Jeebus.I feel like you eye-bawlin' me, dawg!
9/03/2009 12:17pm, #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
I suppose it can't hurt to ask if they accept non-christians. That is if you feel like training with a bunch of guys who probably blame you for the death of their messiah.
9/03/2009 3:00pm, #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
9/03/2009 3:00pm, #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
I would avoid the place just out of principle. I mean, I could care less if an instructor is a Christian, whatever they want to believe is their own personal choice. They can be Zoroastrian for all I care. But when they go out of the way to provide a doctrinal statement on their website, and say that "All candidates must complete and application indicating agreement with our doctrinal position," that's something different entirely. Then on top of that they say: "We would also expect all members to be members of a theologically sound church where they actively serve." And also: "Our purpose is to enable our members to associate, grow and flourish in an organization without being unequally yoked with unbelievers and unbelieving philosophies." So, if you're not a practicing Christian who subscribes to their particular brand of Christianity and goes to a Church they approve of, you'd have to lie to get in.
The thing that I think is funny is that they say things like:
"We have seen thousands of people come to Christ and rejoiced as more and more churches are establishing Christ-centered martial arts ministries."
"We believe that born-again children of God are to live a life of holiness, separated from the things of this world which would hinder their spiritual life and their testimony before others. They are also to aggressively seek opportunities to share the gospel with the lost. "
How exactly are we heathens going to be saved if you shut us out of your little born-again martial arts clubs?
9/03/2009 3:29pm, #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
Wow. It's a fundamentalist protestant gig. Even us Catholics are out.
From the video and the description, it sounds like its an organization that individuals can join but it doesn't actually run dojos -- there are lots of styles -- so its more like a fraternal organization. There were many arts on display in that video, so there's no guarantee on what they might teach -- or even if members are required to join that organization. The instructor may be a fundie, but they are often surprisingly good people if they're serious about their religion. (Some are utter whack-jobs).
Depending on the particular brand of fundie, they may even have a great deal of respect for Jews and prohibitions against actively seeking to covert them.
9/03/2009 4:22pm, #7
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
I wouldn't want to train with people like that
The whole idea of an insular and exclusive religious martial arts group feels like it has the potential to turn into something cult like. That whole thing of excluding, rather than valuing, diversity and intolerance of dissent / difference is unhealthy IMO
I just wouldn't want to spend time around people who were so pleased with themselves and their religion. I know myself too well, just being around them would make me feel compelled to act in ways they would consider delinquent
9/03/2009 4:58pm, #8
If the OP attends, I'm sure the GMAU will just say, "You don't need martial arts training. You already managed to KILL JESUS!"
9/03/2009 6:47pm, #9
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
- Carlisle, OH
This kind of stuff offends me no end and I'm a minister. Granted, I'm Presbyterian so the fundies at this goofy school would probably not consider me a member of a "theologically sound" church. Personally, I think their theology sucks. I also don't get the neo-evangelical's need to marry their Christianity to every bleeding thing in the world. Fact is, most (all?) martial arts were invented by non-Christian people. I'm O.K. with that. I can train with (and be friends with) non-Christian people without thinking I'm violating some kind of Biblical prohibition. I train in Karate and am not averse to practicing a little Zen meditation. But then, as I said, I'm a far left, wild haired liberal Presbyterian with a Master's in Theology from Vanderbilt University. What the hell do I know? If these fundie morons heard my interpretation of the Gospel they'd be sure I'm on the fast track to the lake of fire.
9/03/2009 7:51pm, #10
Dude! You are in Indy! Go find James Klingerman.SEANBABY:
"The seventh law of thermodynamics is that every time a fat person gets near a trapdoor, they fall in. Itís the closest thing we have to scientific proof of God."