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Schoate
07-03-2004, 07:08 AM
Hello all. I found this forum yesterday and have to say it is great. I didn't think there was anything like this, what a great idea. I have a question that I really just can't find and answer to maybe everyone could help me with. After reading several post I found mention to martial arts or several people taking martial arts. My question is can a Christian practice martial arts? Now given that we all have warrior hearts we would all yell of course we can. If I asked most church leaders the answer would probably be no. Now I am not talking about the act of a punch or kick, but the spirtual side. So I am hoping to get some views and get a real answer. I don't want my love of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to get in the way of my beliefs.

Here are some things to consider.

1. Are all Martial arts the same?
2. Meditation? Good or Bad?
3. Bowing Should we Shouldn't we?
4. Pressure Point Systems? some look like the what I was taught in PPCT class(pressure point control techniques) others like dim mak look like there straight from satan.
5. Chi is it Good? or Bad? from God? from satan?
6. We could also extend this to yoga good or bad?
7. Not all martial art system have these things if you practice something like savate or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like me you may have never heard of these things but on the other hand I have read some articles on animal possesion from some kung fu styles.

Like I said I love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu it seems to go just find with my Christian life, but I have taken a form of karate with a goddess as the symbol of that style and read Ninjitsu books that taught how to harness your occult power. I realize that you can't put all martial arts into one group because it would be like putting all people of latin decent into one group, but I know there is some dangerous martial arts to practice out there. Are there some good ones? Like I said I have no idea please give me your views on this. In doing my research I found one site with a few articles that may help. I don't know who this guys/gals are but it seems to be a christian website out of Austrilla. http://www.pastornet.net.au/response/
Well thanks for all the help!

Gabriel Suarez
07-03-2004, 07:17 AM
Welcome,

If you do a search of the Christian Warrior forum you'll find lots of discussions about topics such as this. It seems your concerns are not the learning of a combat discipline, but rather other issues. I'll give my perspective below.

As far as what a misled church leader will tell you about warriorhood, forget it. They are men just like us, and their interpretation of the Word no more or less inspired than ours. Read the Word for yourself and do not be misled by the misled.

Now to answer your questions -

1. Are all Martial arts the same? NO

2. Meditation? Good or Bad? DON'T BOTHER WITH IT.

3. Bowing Should we Shouldn't we? NO DIFFERENT IN CONTEXT THAN AN AMERICAN SHAKING HANDS. DO IT AS A GREETING NOT AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP.

4. Pressure Point Systems? some look like the what I was taught in PPCT class(pressure point control techniques) others like dim mak look like there straight from satan.
DIM MAK IS FROM MAN. AS FAR AS EFFECTIVENESS - PERHAPS A THREAD IN THE SELF DEFENSE SECTION MIGHT BE IN ORDER.

5. Chi is it Good? or Bad? from God? from satan?
AN ASIAN WAY TO DESCRIBE "LIFE FORCE". GOOD OR BAD IS IRRELEVANT.

6. We could also extend this to yoga good or bad?
SEE ABOVE

7. Not all martial art system have these things if you practice something like savate or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like me you may have never heard of these things but on the other hand I have read some articles on animal possesion from some kung fu styles.
FIGHTING IS FIGHTING. I FOR ONE PAY AN INSTRUCTOR MONEY TO LEARN HOW TO FIGHT. I HAVE NO TIME FOR MUMBO JUMBO AND TELL HIM RIGHT OFF. I'M THERE AS A CUSTOMER AND NOT A DISCIPLE. IF HE DOES NOT GIVE ME WHAT I PAY FOR I GO ELSEWHERE. TAKE THAT APPROACH AND YOU CAN'T GO WRONG.

nightowl
07-03-2004, 04:24 PM
Though I haven't even begun to learn Silat, I believe this is way I'd go personally. I don't want an art form--just no holds bar--and the self discipline to walk away from wannabe troublemakers.

michael
07-03-2004, 04:41 PM
Schoate,

Gabe gave excellent answers to your questions. I would add that there are many Christian martial arts instructors out there--probably more than you would think. Ask around in your local church and see if there are any instructors there-my church has an instructor that advertises on the bulletin board at the church, and he is Christian. Stay away from any of the mystical mumbo-jumbo, and there is a lot of it out there. Find a school that teaches you how to fight and doesn't dwell on all the inner systems of certain styles, which is very prevalent in many of the Kung Fu styles. Krav Maga's founder was Jewish, so you are pretty safe there. Call around and ask questions of the teacher, be up front with them about what you are and are not looking for. Stay away from all the Chi and meditation garbage. If you meditate on something, meditate on the Word of God. And as Gabe said, bowing is okay as a sign of respect as long as you do not do it as a sign of worship to the teacher. The same goes for Yoga--find a teacher that leaves out all the mystical crap, which is exactly what it is. I actually trained in Ninjutsu under a Christian instructor, but you have to be careful. Many of them are into Shinto and Buddhism and it varies greatly from teacher to teacher. Hatsumi is a Buddhist, so keep that in mind if you train in Ninjutsu. All the mystical occult stuff with Ninjutsu is garbage also--I've seen it, and I am no more convinced that it works than that the earth will be consumed by global warming.

Gabriel Suarez
07-03-2004, 05:13 PM
As far as the occult stuff some practitioners get into thinking it will make them better warriors, consider this. When they start chanting and doing their thing, just say, like David, "I come in the name of the Living God", and then smash them to the ground. I'd rather have Christ on my side than all the dark beings worshipped by the mumbo jumbo crowd.

Dave in PA
07-03-2004, 08:20 PM
I'd rather have Christ on my side than all the dark beings worshipped by the mumbo jumbo crowd.


...and THAT, my friends, is why I come to this place. And why I'm so glad there are folks like Gabe to spread the word of God. I am able to get recharged here and remember there are others who feel like I do.


"smash them to the ground" ....I just love that!! Who says all Christians are pansies?

Dave

Al Lipscomb
07-03-2004, 08:24 PM
2. Meditation? Good or Bad?

"Be still and know that I am God."

Meditation can be a very good thing. It has very little to do with defensive techniques.

OdieWon
07-03-2004, 08:38 PM
...and THAT, my friends, is why I come to this place. And why I'm so glad there are folks like Gabe to spread the word of God. I am able to get recharged here and remember there are others who feel like I do.


"smash them to the ground" ....I just love that!! Who says all Christians are pansies?

Dave


BAM

Me too. I agree completely on every point. When I have gonen to martial arts classes, I learn technique. Some times I learn mindset and technique. Some times I just get kicked in the mouth, and learn that it hurts. LOL.

I love this place.

John Kuhlman
07-04-2004, 10:28 AM
Since I've been involved with a few different MA styles and schools of thought over the past 15 years, don't automatically discount meditation if it's part of the training. Meditation doesn't always equate to a religious component of the particular school or style you studying.

I had the same qualms and have come to learn it depends on who's doing the teaching. Some instructors have religious undertones to their use of meditation. Others use it as a generic term for mental conditioning or training...nothing more. The latter use breathing techniques to calm and, more importantly, focus the mind so you can keep your wits about you before, during, or after a fight. Some traditionalists refer to this as pranayama (yoga influence, IIRC), meditation, etc. Modern day folks call it autogenic breathing.

Gabriel Suarez
07-04-2004, 01:55 PM
Gents,

Fighting is fighting. Neither the Japanese, nor the Spanish, nor the Filipinos, nor the Vikings have anything everyone else does not. The only differences may be techniques and concepts developed due to cultural differences. Courage is still courage, toughness is still toughness.

Problem in the USA has been that in the 1960s there was a self-loathing of western ideas going on (promulgated by the save the whales and smoke a joint crowd). This gave rise to the popularity of Asian Martial Arts.

That in of itself is not bad as there is a great deal of great stuff there. The problem is that the cultural development of many combat systems of Asia inevitably tied them to their religious beliefs. When westerners learned them, they may have been led to believe that the two were inseparable.

Can you learn to fight like a samurai without being a Shintoist? Certainly yes! And modern progressive instructors who focus on teaching the pragmatic and practical americans realize that we don't have 50 years to meditate on our navels or read ancient Buddhist texts (nor do we want to). That doesn't mean that we do not respect the culture from whence a fighting system came from, but we have our own heritage to live by and respect (thank you very much!).

Americans are a tough fighting people. We already have morals and ethics, and if we want to find our center we open the Bible. We go to martial arts schools to learn how to fight, not for spiritual training.

InTheBlack
07-04-2004, 11:30 PM
Bowing to someone who's standing in front of you can be the cultural equivalent of a handshake, sure. Although I kinda wonder why these guys won't Americanize themselves if they want a green card.

OTOH- bowing when you walk in the front door, or to the four walls, or to the photograph of the "founder of the system-" these things strike me as hinky.

The Searcher
07-05-2004, 11:32 AM
I once knew a Korean immigrant who ran a karate school. I never trained with him, just knew him through friends. In his private life he was at least nominally Christian (he and family attended Christian church, had pictures of Jesus on the wall at home etc.) He was also a very aggressive and competitive businessman and really hustled for the buck.

His classes had an Asian mystical / religious component. I always felt it was "part of the show" and designed to make the experience seem more authentic to the customers.

billcameron
07-05-2004, 04:24 PM
Sort of like a battle cry. It may stir people up, but only if it relates to something with which they identify. I agree that a lot of it is marketing as well as a sense that the West is inferior even at killing people. Also we in the United States do not generally go into battle in pajama in our bare feet either. But hey this is show biz.

Jujutsuka
07-13-2004, 06:49 PM
I joined this forum today because of this thread/forum. I teach MA and am a Christian. I am glad to have people out there who can understand where I am coming from, and who believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

michael
07-13-2004, 07:14 PM
Welcome aboard, brother. Another like-minded Christian warrior is always welcome. :)

czeska
07-14-2004, 12:35 AM
My opinion, as an asian and a Christian.

Gabe succintly answered most of the questions. There are some I'd like to address more directly.


>2. Meditation? Good or Bad?

Meditation in and of itself is not bad. But WHAT YOU MEDITATE ON can be BAD. Or good. Many schools of martial arts teach that you should "empty your mind" when preparing for a breaking blow or just warming up. Don't do it. Concentrate, sure. Relax, breathe, etc. But I believe that the mind's defenses should not be lowered, which is what I believe can happen when someone is "emptying their mind of all thoughts".

I used to recite verses in my head when doing the relaxing/breathing exercises.

>3. Bowing Should we Shouldn't we?
Yes, it's a cultural greeting/sign of deferrence, and does not mean worship. Most modern Chinese don't bow much anymore, we usually shake hands. But formal bowing, or at least a half-bow still happens a lot. I do it out of courtesy when I met elderly asians, and they expect it. Koreans and Japanese still bow a lot, even among 2nd or 3rd generation in the States. As a sign of respect and acknowledgement, it's okay. As a sign of worship, NOT OKAY.

>4. Pressure Point Systems?

I don't know much about dim mak, but I believe that the physical pressure point systems are based on human physiology, the nervous system in particular, the way God made us. Just because it can't be explained in western medicine doesn't mean it's not part of how the body functions. Remember, China had 5000 years to experiment with fighting systems and observe the human body. Many treatments derived from traditional remedies in Chinese medicine just plain work. But no one nows why or how. Western medicine is a baby by comparison.

> 5. Chi is it Good? or Bad? from God? from satan?
Qi ("chi") in it's literal form means "air" or "gas". Roughly, I guess it could mean simply "spiritual". Spiritual is the nature of man, though he is in a physical body.

Attempts to manipulate the spiritual through man's own power? I consider that to be BAD, and very dangerous. Man cannot manipulate the spiritual, so power to manipulate the spiritual can only come from GOD, or SATAN. And from God, it comes through prayer and faith. Only Satan uses the illusion of human control over spiritual power. Man always craves supernatural ability, but it is not meant for man to have while on this earth.

There are martial arts masters who can literally stare at objects and destroy them. They may think that they control their power, but the power controls them, and that power is evil. Stay away from Qi Gong.

Most teachers I've met don't mess with Qi Gong. They teach Qi as simply the energy in the body, or something relating to the power of someone's personality/spirit. I'd stay away from a teacher who constantly emphasizes harnessing Qi. It shouldn't be the focus, but I don't have a problem with it as a component of life. Yeah, I have a spirit, and I accept it as a component of life.

>6. We could also extend this to yoga good or bad?

Yes, these same things extend to yoga.

>7. Not all martial art system have these things if you >practice something like savate or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like me >you may have never heard of these things but on the other >hand I have read some articles on animal possesion from >some kung fu styles.

Figure that a martial arts master who tastes manipulation of spiritual power will crave more and more. But the only way to get more is to give himself over to the source of his spiritual power.What does a practitioner do to gain more power? Try to find the source and connect with it. How? By meditating, clearing their mind, and opening themself up fully to whatever the source is. Yup, sounds like possession to me.



The right teacher makes all the difference. Same school can have wildly different teachers. Some mystical and wide-eyed, others practical and down-to-earth. Sit in on a beginner's class and see how they are. Leave the influencing religion out of the learning, just pick up the skills.

-czeska

Jujutsuka
07-14-2004, 07:47 AM
Another thought when speaking of MA and Christianity.
Any Japanese martial system that ends in "Do" (such as Judo, Aikido, and Taikwondo) have philisophical/religous ideologies behind the teachings. "Do" means "way" or "path" and generally refers to the way people should live their lives or achieve "enlightenment". I study Jujutsu (the art of pliability or science of gentleness) and while "jutsu" refers to "science" or "art" one of the key components to my learning was the concept of bushido - the way of the warrior.
It was at this point that I was struggling trying to see how this eastern concept could rest within my Christian beliefs. All of the virtues of bushido were great: Rectitude, Valor, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honor, and Loyalty.
Loyalty always struck a chord with me. We hear about the 47 ronin of Ako, and how they were all allowed to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) after avenging their masters death. We hear the stories of samurai who willingly die for their masters honor, for something that would seem trivial to most of us. For some reason, I always had a weird problem with this notion. "Modern civilians don't have masters they need to be loyal to." I mean, loyalty to ones family never had that kind of unquestioning resolution to it. These people that you think of being loyal to do not actually command you in any way. You are not entirely in their service, completely putting their will above yours. You are not first and foremost, their servant. Loyalty, in this respect, was the most prominent virtue in the traditional writings I had researched. It soured the whole bushido thing for me. I questioned my future in this art I had devoted years to.
Then...one day....epiphany. I do have a master, just not a worldly one. When I applied this deep meaning of loyalty to my Lord and Savior, it helped me integrate my life into one cohesive self.
Wow, I rambled a lot on that one. I just wanted to share how it is possible to be very involved with the martial arts (not martial "ways") and to maintian a deep faith in Jesus Christ. My loyalty and submission to the will of God is premier in my life.

MTS
07-14-2004, 01:32 PM
It was at this point that I was struggling trying to see how this eastern concept could rest within my Christian beliefs. All of the virtues of bushido were great: Rectitude, Valor, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honor, and Loyalty.

Loyalty always struck a chord with me. We hear about the 47 ronin of Ako, and how they were all allowed to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) after avenging their masters death. We hear the stories of samurai who willingly die for their masters honor, for something that would seem trivial to most of us. For some reason, I always had a weird problem with this notion. "Modern civilians don't have masters they need to be loyal to." I mean, loyalty to ones family never had that kind of unquestioning resolution to it. These people that you think of being loyal to do not actually command you in any way. You are not entirely in their service, completely putting their will above yours. You are not first and foremost, their servant. Loyalty, in this respect, was the most prominent virtue in the traditional writings I had researched. It soured the whole bushido thing for me. I questioned my future in this art I had devoted years to.

Then...one day....epiphany. I do have a master, just not a worldly one. When I applied this deep meaning of loyalty to my Lord and Savior, it helped me integrate my life into one cohesive self.
So in a sense you were a Ronin until you found your true master and now you are a Christian Samurai?

Jujutsuka
07-15-2004, 05:43 AM
So in a sense you were a Ronin until you found your true master and now you are a Christian Samurai?
Wow - well put :)

Dr. Snubnose
07-15-2004, 07:12 AM
We were always taught, at least in Chinese Kung Fu, that the bow had no religious connotation whatsoever. It was a mere paying of respect for the living and the dead. Respect for both your own ancestrial background and those of your teachers

InTheBlack
07-15-2004, 02:39 PM
But the Asian idea of "respect" for the dead is tied into a religion embodying ancestor worship.

Christians don't set up shrines to the dead; we don't bow to their images or light incense or "meditate" upon them for guidance.

DaveJames
07-16-2004, 01:20 AM
We don't? :rolleyes:

Dr. Snubnose
07-16-2004, 08:30 AM
Good Point Dave!

MTS
07-16-2004, 11:56 AM
Ever heard of a Christian "Holy Relic"? Maybe the fingerbone of St. Peter? Or the burial cloth of Christ located in Turin (for the sake of this argument I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the keepers of the shroud)? The History Channel has some great shows on Chrisian Holy Relics. In the middle ages if a chapel did not have a holy relic or two to attact visiting pilgrims (today we call them tourists) it usually out of business. So nearly every chapel and monestary had to get together a collection of holy relics, usually bones of Christian saints. To this day there are churches, cathedrals, monestaries, etc., throughout Europe proudly displaying pieces of dead Christians. I respectfully assert that having a piece of dead Christian on display in a Christian holy place constitutes a Christian shrine to the dead. I also assert that Chrisians bow to those pieces of dead Christians in Christian holy places because I have seen History Channel shows with people in Italian cathedrals doing just that (I have witnessed this in person, however).
I have witnessed this myself at many churches in Spain.

In addition people light candles at the location of those holy relics. If there is a difference between that and lighting incense I am afraid that it is too fine a distinction for me to understand.

InTheBlack
07-16-2004, 09:37 PM
Unless you have the Ark of the Covenent in your niche, all these "relics" etc & associated attention paid to them are constructed by men; it is not of God.

It would be a different discussion (but interesting) to talk about whether or not the Catholic church had valid strategic reasons for introducing these sorts of things when attempting to co-op various pagan systems or when trying to stop the violence of the Middle Ages (via the so called "Cult of Mary").

>>>
the simple act of performing an act
(bowing) which could possibly be confused by the uninformed as possibly appearing to be
>>>

I might be well enough informed about a particular situation to do as you suggest, but what if my example were emulated by someone who was not as well informed and his choice of dojo was, in fact, under an evil spiritual influence?

We have no need of these customs; there are better ways of expressing the values you discuss.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Abstain from all appearance of evil.

In my opinion, the characteristic of oriental culture which is generally referred to in the English language as "respect for ancestors" is actually a conduit for spiritual bondage.

sionaprhys
07-17-2004, 09:08 AM
It's interesting that much of the development of the fighting arts in the various temples espousing pacifism was due to rebels and criminals seeking sanctuary and often using the temples as a base of operations. I doubt these guys were devout believers.
Likewise the ninja didn't believe in their own "mumbo-jumbo" any more than Gabe does. Much of the ninjutsu mystique is simply propoganda designed to give the ninja a psychological edge over their victims- psy-ops. I'd say fairly effective if people are still buying into it, today.

InTheBlack
07-18-2004, 12:15 AM
I think this will need to be split; first post didn't work...

What is termed "respect" contains elements of ancestor worship, which is clearly contrary to "Thou shalt have no gods before Me."

SORRY TO SHOUT; EASIER TO SHOW THE TOPICAL BREAKS THIS WAY.

I HAVE PUT TOGETHER FIVE SECTIONS.

**************

FIRST, HERE IS SOME BIBLICAL BASIS:
Leviticus 19:31
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them:
I am the LORD your God.

26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood:
neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times

(NIV: Do not practice divination or sorcery)

(AMP: neither shall you use magic, omens, or witchcraft [or predict events by horoscope or signs and lucky days]

Deuteronomy 18
9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to
do after the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass
through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Acts 16:16
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination
met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying
*************

SECOND-- I WON'T QUOTE THIS WHOLE ARTICLE BUT PLEASE GOTO THE SITE & READ THE WHOLE THING

http://global-prayer-digest.org/monthdetails/2002/md-June-2002.asp

How Do We Reach the Ancestor Worshippers in China?

by Wesley Kawato
SNIP

Is ancestor worship idolatry? One Christian spokesman has suggested that the motives of the convert should be examined before this question is answered.
Is it possible that a new convert, if his motives are changed, can continue to show honor to his ancestors by bowing at a family altar without that act being
seen as worship? Many Christian theologians would find such a practice going beyond legitimate cultural contextualization.

People converted from ancestor worship need to be taught the truth about what happens to the dead. Those who have died no longer need food or money
to survive. Spirits no longer have physical needs. Do they always even deserve our honor? And where are the spirits of these ancestors who supposedly
receive this honor?

SNIP

Let us remember that there is a spiritual war being fought in our world today. China is on the front lines of that conflict. Ancestor worship is one of
Satan's most powerful weapons in that war. The enemy uses the fear of being punished by dead ancestors to enslave the peoples of China. Peer
pressure from family members makes this sense of bondage doubly difficult. Jesus Christ has promised us victory. The gates of hell won't remain
standing for long against those who march forward in faith.

*******************


THIRD-- HERE'S A SECULAR, WESTERNER, FOLLOWER OF TAOISM TRYING TO RATIONALIZE ANCESTOR WORSHIP:

http://www.taoism.net/living/1999/199909.htm
>>>
A better word than "worship" would be "communion." When the Chinese hold incense sticks in
their hands and face the ancestral shrine or gravestone, they are in silent prayer to the dead. The
content of such prayers have to do with greetings, the paying of respects, invitation to share a meal
(thus the offerings of food), and request to watch over the safety of family members.

Note that the Chinese prayers to ancestors do not include begging for things like forgiveness for
sins or transgressions, victory over Evil, vanquishing of one's enemies, or a guaranteed entrance into
heaven. That makes sense because departed family members are at best guardian angels, not gods.

When you look at it this way, is the Chinese practice of ancestor worship/communion really so
bizarre after all? In the West, do we not also pray to departed family members?
>>>

NO!!! CHRISTIANS DO NOT PRAY TO THE DEAD OR COMMUNICATE WITH THEM IN ANY WAY (NECROMANCY).
THE DEAD DO NOT BECOME GUARDIAN ANGELS OR SPIRITS.

>>>
We most certainly do, and all without assuming that dear old Aunt Meg has, since her death,
become the Almighty Saint Meg of the Seventh Host. The Catholic priest from my high school
days would never assume that we pray to the dear departed out of some fear of the supernatural.
Christian pastors and preachers would never assert that such prayers are tentamount to devil
worship.
>>>

YES THEY WOULD -CORRECTLY- ASSERT THAT SUCH PRAYERS ARE CONTRARY TO THE WILL OF GOD.

************

InTheBlack
07-18-2004, 12:17 AM
FOURTH--
HERE IS A WESTERN, HUMANIST, SECULAR, SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL ARTICLE DESCRIBING ORIENTAL BELIEF SYSTEMS AND HOW THEY DICTATE THE ORIENTAL CULTERAL RESPONSE TO DEATH. I HAVE ALSO INCLUDED SNIPPETS WHICH INDICATE THAT TODAY, THE ORIENTAL IMMIGRANT CULTURE IS STILL UNDER THIS SATANIC BONDAGE; IN ASIA IT CAN ONLY BE WORSE:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MJU/is_2_9/ai_93610991

Chinese cultural dimensions of death, dying, and bereavement: focus group findings
Journal of Cultural Diversity, Summer, 2002 by Alice G. Yick, Rashimi Gupta

Religious Influences in Chinese Society

As the themes from the focus groups get extrapolated, readers will see an interaction between superstition and folklore,
Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism in Chinese's attitudes of death and dying. Therefore, a brief summary is provided; however, it is
far from comprehensive.

The Chinese religious system is characterized as polytheistic, where people pray to different gods for different purposes (Jung,
1998). The Chinese religions are a mixture of local folklore, superstition, and magical belief systems (Jung, 1998). China has been an
agricultural society, relying on the earth for sustenance. Thus, they have worshiped and offered sacrifices to the local gods of the
land (Zhang, 1993). Chenwu, for example, was invoked to protect families from crime, while Kuan Yu was relied on for wealth and
protection of businesses (Jung, 1998; Yang, 1961). In part, the Chinese religious traditions developed as a product of village
agricultural life, and as a result, they include a combination of ancestral religion, sacrifice, and divination (Lee, 1995). Ancestor
worship, for example, entails praying for the lineage on the male's line of descent. These dead ancestors are believed to play a role
in a family's wealth, health, and success, and therefore, paying the proper respect means that the ancestors will bless the family.
Conversely, misfortune that befalls on a family may be attributed to the ancestors' displeasure.

Ancestor worship is a cross-cultural phenomenon that connects generations of families. For the Chinese, it has been said the term
"reverence" rather than the term "worship" of ancestors is more appropriate. According to Zhang (1993), the worship of ancestors
was very fashionable during the Shang dynasty (1700-1100 B.C.). It was not until the period between 1100 to 256 BC, which filial
piety was connected to ancestor worship, thereby venerating both living parents and those who passed on (Zhang, 1993). During
traditional festivals, such as the Spring Festival, families would set out tablets of the deceased family member and burn incense and
tinfoil paper to express their respect. Similarly, during the Cold-Food Festival and the Pure Brightness Festival, the Chinese would go
to pay respects at the tombs of their ancestors (Zhang, 1993). Rites of reverence were also held in the home, at temples, and in
graveyards. Ancestral shrines containing tablets bearing the names of recent ancestors were maintained in the homes.

The three predominant religious strains include Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, and each play a vital role in community and
family life, which is the foundation of Chinese society (Jung, 1998; Lee, 1995). Confucianism has been described as a philosophy that
emphasized peace, hierarchy, and order. Confucius arrived in China during a period of economic, political, and moral confucius, and he
advocated a highly structured and hierarchical society, where everyone was ascribed specific roles (Jung, 1998). Proper conduct ("li")
would naturally flow from this structure (Pedersen, 1991). His most well-known philosophy describes five basic social relationships
between (1) sovereign and subject; (2) father and son; (3) elder and younger brother; (4) husband and wife; and (5) friend and
friend (Chung, 1992; Pedersen, 1991).

Taoism is considered both a religion and philosophy, emphasizing the independence of the individual and connecting to the natural
forces of life (Jung, 1998; Lee, 1995). Instead of trying to change the environment around them, Taoists focused on finding
harmony with the natural order of things (Jung, 1998). Through rituals, the individual can achieve the peace and union between the
individual and the cosmic forces of nature. Immortality did not necessarily mean eternal life since the Chinese did not adhere to a
distinction between spirit and the physical body (Lee, 1995).

Buddhism is another major religious tenet and was dominant in China from the middle of the fourth to the end of the eight century
(Jung, 1998). Buddhist doctrine is tied to the Four Noble Truths: (1) life is painful; (2) pain originates from desire; (3) for pain to
end, desire must end as well; and (4) the path to end of pain is righteous living (Lee, 1995). The ultimate state is Nirvana, which is a
peaceful state, absent of desire (Jung, 1998). Life is viewed as a cycle; each state is tied to another (Lee, 1995).



Chinese Cultural Belief Systems and Worldviews

A cultural group's worldview can be defined as how the group perceives their relationship to nature, other people, society, and
institutions (English, 1984). This orientation toward life can assist in understanding why they behave and think as they do.

SNIP
[Chinese] Family
members are expected to convene at the gravesite on the third day after the funeral and burn money and food.
SNIP
The Western model also prescribes that death severs all ties between the living and the dead (Shapiro, 1995). Contrasting this, the
Chinese believe that the dead, although no longer residing on earth, continue to live in another world, and their spirits are with the
living. If the deceased is not properly buried, if the burial site is not the best, and if proper respect and offerings are not properly
accorded at the time of and after the burial, a hungry ghost will return to plague the living members of the family (Ryan, 1986;
Braun & Nichols, 1997). Some families seek a fortune teller for consultation about the best burial site and date since the spirit of the
deceased will be more at peace if the final resting place has good soil and facing in an auspicious direction (Lee, 1995). Even though
some of the funeral customs have been modified by Chinese immigrant and Chinese American families, many still burn incest and
paper money and clothes to guarantee that the deceased soul is taken care of in the next life (Klass & Goss, 1998). In part, the
mutual dependence between the spirit and living is reflected in ancestor worship (Lee, 1995).
SNIP
Focus groups participants mentioned that the Chinese do not like to discuss
death because it is associated with evil and bad luck.
SNIP
The Chinese also believe that the relationship between the dead and the living is continuous. Although the deceased is no longer on
earth, they are alive in the after-life. The spirits of the deceased continue to live on, and the responsibility, of the living family
members is to provide care. This is a part of the concept of filial piety. Failure to provide for the deceased will bring bad luck not only
to the immediate family but also to the entire family clan. Participants in all the groups consistently mentioned that the spirits
continue to remain on earth.
SNIP
When a child does die, the family considers the death very shameful and will condemn themselves, believing that the gods
have not blessed them.
SNIP
The burning of paper money and material possessions ensures that the deceased is taken care of in
the next world.
SNIP
The driver of the hearse will pass around the home
and proceed to the front door and unlock the door. The Chinese perform this ritual for two reasons: First, if any evil spirits have
remained in the home of the deceased, it offers them an opportunity to leave. Second, it is important for the spirit of the deceased
to know how to find his/her way back home.
SNIP
But there is also the spiritual aspect of it. If you don t do it
or do it properly, you are going to get bad luck because somebody is going
to be angry." (LH, Pastors Focus Group)

InTheBlack
07-18-2004, 12:17 AM
*****************

FIFTH, SOME STATISTICS

http://www2.uta.edu/ssw/johnston/Socw%206331%20-%20Family%20Theories/PowerPoint/Asian-American%20Families.ppt

The term “Asian Pacific American,” applies to 43 etAshnic groups, including 28 Asian groups and 15 Pacific Islander groups.
This population has increased from less than 1 million in the United States in 1960 to over 7 million by 2000, and represents the fastest growing ethnic community in the United States today.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census the six largest Asian American groups are:
Chinese 23%
Pilipino 19%
Japanese 12%
Asian Indian 11%
Korean 11%
Vietnamese 9%
Thai >2


over half of Asian Americans are foreign born.

Among Chinese Americans, the most popular religions include Buddhism, ancestor worship, and Christianity.

Over 70% of Korean Americans are Protestants.

Philipinos, under past Spanish influence, are heavily Catholic.

Japanese Americans follow Shintoism, Buddhism (especially the Zen sect), and Christianity

**********
SOME EVANGELISM STATISTICS:

http://www.joshuaproject.net/globalregion.php

The largest least-reached group is the Japanese, with over 120,000,000 individuals.

Region (click name
for details)
# of
Countries
Population
#
Peoples-by-Country
# Least-Reached
Peoples-by-Country
% Peoples
Least-Reached
Population in
Least-Reached
% Population
in
Least-Reached

Southeast Asia
11
543,875,510
1,784
608
34.1 %
285,734,331
52.5 %
*************

BTW, MY USE OF THE TERM "ORIENTAL" SEEMS TO BE POLITICALLY INCORRECT:
http://www.uidaho.edu/LS/AACC/SENSITIV.HTM

InTheBlack
07-18-2004, 12:34 AM
The part of the world under discussion- the Orient, Southeast Asia, whatever you want to call it -- has a culture which is _fundamentally_ contrary to God's will. Which is not to say that the _people_ are evil. But they are under a tremendously strong spiritual bondage. Nothing in that culture, nothing in their everyday experience, points people to Jesus Christ.

The "easternizing" of American/Western culture is a bad thing, because it opens minds to a culture which is under strong bondage. Our culture has enough sin without adding the particular sins of another culture to the mix.

If you read Frazier's _The Golden Bough_ you can get an idea of how the same sort of beliefs used to be part of Western culture.

Beorn
07-18-2004, 10:51 AM
Greetings people!

I have only one thing to say about this:

Psalm 138, verses 1-3: (TEV)

(1)I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I sing praise to You before the gods.
(2)I face Your holy Temple, bow down and praise Your name because of Your constant love and faithfulness,
because You have shown that Your name and Your commands are supreme.
(3)You answered me when I called to You;
with Your strength You strengthened me.

Now, if that doesn't say meditation on The Word, and Kiai with the Lord as your savior, what could?

But then again, I was raised by a Presbyterian minister who served as a Navy SEAL during Vietnam, so I might be a bit prejudiced...

Dr. Snubnose
07-18-2004, 04:17 PM
Marclark, The gentlemen of who you speak was referred to as Tamo by the Chinese. If and I say If he ever really existed he came to Shaolin Temple around 520 AD. He did not build the temple, but the temple was built around 320 AD for a Famous Chinese Philisopher named Batzu, Martial Arts existed in the temple long before Tamo ever came there and he is really credited with the creation of two sets of exercise, one called Bone and Marrow Washing exercise, and the other a set of Dynamic Tension execises for strenght. Some give him credit as being the Father of Shaolin Kung Fu, others do not. Yes it is true that all martial arts out there can trace their beginnings back to Shaolin Kung Fu in one way or the other. Shaolin Kung Fu is truly the mother and father of all martial arts. I remember the series Kung Fu with David Carridine, btw he didn't know any Kung Fu during the shooting of the show. Actually the more Kung Fu we taught him the less accurate he looked on TV. It was a great show filled mostly with chinese philisophical vinettas, He was portrayed in the show as being a Northern Shaolin Monk from the first temple in the North, but the time line was all wrong because by the 1860's that temple had long been destroy.

czeska
07-22-2004, 11:24 AM
Nothing in that culture, nothing in their everyday experience, points people to Jesus Christ.

The "easternizing" of American/Western culture is a bad thing, because it opens minds to a culture which is under strong bondage. Our culture has enough sin without adding the particular sins of another culture to the mix.

Hi InTheBlack,
If I may interject, I agree with the second paragraph, but disagree with the first. Please allow me to respectfully explain.

Ancient Chinese culture, pre-Buddhism, was mono-theistic. Gradually, ancestor worship was introduced, then later Buddhism was introduced from India. (I don't consider Confucianism or Daoism (Taoism) to be religions, but that's another discussion)

The Temple of Heaven (Tien Tang) in Beijing is an interesting illustration of traditional Chinese concepts that most likely pre-date Buddhism's introduction into China (first century A.D.). The first thing most visitors notice is that it has three tiers to its roof. Then, inside it's completely round. And there are no statues or idols inside. And there's a theme of threes to the physical decorations and layout.

It was used by emperors to offer yearly sacrifices to heaven on behalf of the people. This was not a ceremony that elevated the emperor to heavenly status, it was a ceremony that clearly established heaven's rule over the emperor, and his being subject to heaven's authority.

There are remarkable similarities to biblical accounts of temple sacrifices. Given that Chinese have such an ancient historical heritage, it would be logical that early generations who were not far removed from Noah would have passed on some understanding of the God of Noah, which must have included the concept of sacrificial atonement for sins and promise of blessings.

If there is truth in the world, then there is only one source of truth, and that is God. It's ironic that many people associate Buddhism with China, when in fact it was introduced from India. I believe that the truth of a Creator God and the concept of the promise of forgiveness and redemption can be found in ancient Chinese culture. Human culture is constantly changing, and over time Chinese culture developed in such a way as to confuse the original truth it was founded in, but traces of it can be found even today.

Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

- czeska

Gabriel Suarez
07-22-2004, 12:03 PM
A different perspective


Now let me point out first that I have nothing at all against Asian cultures or Asian fighting systems. What I do have issue with is the mistaken belief that only the Asian cultures or the Asian fighting systems are worthy of our modern study.

There were and are a great deal of notable and effective Western European fighting disciplines. To discount them because they are not Asian is stupid. It depends on the focus and the intent of the exercise.

For example, I'd rather be good at street boxing and street ground fighting than in Olympic Sport Tae Kwon Do. Similarly a man who is good at Savate (true street savate) will be better at a fight than a man who studies Tai chi for health.

Let's remember a few things.

The Greeks conquered the known world.
The Romans did likewise.
Next came the Spanish.
Then the British and French.
Finally the Americans.

This was not done because we had guns as neither the Greeks, Roman, or Spaniards had modern guns. That the spanish had firearms does not discount the fighting ability of the Spanish warrior of ages past. Westerners like to fight, they are good at it, and do not philosophize about killing. Thus when you study the spanish knife with a master of that system he is not trying to convert you to Catholicism, but rather just teaching you to fight with a knife. Same goes for the other western systems.

The prevalence of Asian systems in the USA is due to several factors. One is that some of them are very well taught by great teachers (just as many are partial arts taught by dance instructors in a fight suit). Two is marketing and media. When was the last action movie about the savate expert of the spaniard knife expert, or the Irish wrestler saving the world? Compare that to Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Lee.

There is nothing wrong with Asian fighting arts. I pay the teacher to teach me. I don't want to adopt his culture, learn his language, or get a new passport. I alreday have a religion and a set of values. I want to learn how to fight effectively. If he can't teach me that, I go somewhere else.

Dr. Snubnose
07-22-2004, 10:33 PM
"Similarly a man who is good at Savate (true street savate) will be better at a fight than a man who studies Tai chi for health."
Gabe,
I agree.........but what about a man who studies Tai Chi for Combat? One must remember that Tai Chi Chuan was first a Martial Art. Through the practice they found out that there were great Medicinal benefits. Tai Chi was also practiced for spiritual cultivation...but one must remember that It was developed as a Martial Art. Studying Tai Chi for health is not the same as studying Tai Chi Chuan for combat.

Dale Fricke
07-23-2004, 10:31 AM
Wow!!! this is a very interesting thread, To you brothers that are using the word to make your point well done, :D all I can say is if it is not of God then it’s of satan. All other religions are a very cleaver plan of satan to keep us from Heaven. :mad: Ladies and Gentlemen it is a battle for souls, it is that simple witch team are you on. I do not care about the doctrines of man what does God’s word say (John 14:6) Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (1 Corinthians 6:12) All things are lawful to me, but not all things profit. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.


Gabe is right. Study to fight yes but do not have anything to do with any other Way, Truth and Life!!! :D
DEF
out

Grey Matter
07-26-2004, 05:51 PM
I'd rather have Christ on my side than all the dark beings worshipped by the mumbo jumbo crowd.

Right On! I love this forum.