I believe in God the Father Almighty. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate and buried [for our sins]; the third day he rose from the dead [for our justification]; he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Spirit; the holy Church [the body of Christ]; the forgiveness of sins [by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone]; the resurrection of the flesh.
Except for Article Five, this entire formulation was taken from the Statement of Faith that was drawn up in 1943 by the National Association of Evangelicals.
Many people feel that christians should refrain from participation in martial arts due to a perceived unseverable tie with oriental religions. After converting to Christianity, I also avoided the martial arts because of the integration of oriental thought into the styles that I had studied or was familiar with. This avoidance persisted for many years because I thought that the marriage of oriental religion and philosophy with the martial arts was a universal, unchangeable condition. However, beginning in the mid 1990's, I began to encounter many martial artists with obvious genuine professions of faith in Jesus Christ. While it is true that there are elements attached to the martial arts that a christian should have no traffic with, I am convinced that it is possible for an individual to engage in various martial arts and at the same time not compromise christian values.
There are many reasons for someone to participate in the martial arts: self-defense, health, art, personal fulfillment, discipline, etc., but often what attracts an individual is the traditional eastern philosophy. Many feel that our modern western society has become void with nothing to offer in this respect, but I must disagree. Western Civilization also has a rich martial arts philosophy of it's own, for which we do not have to dig too far into our past to discover, it is called Chivalry. The generation of my grandparents was familiar with it (go back and watch some old Earl Flynn movies), but it seems to have faded away in many segments of our society over the past few decades. Some may remember being taught to open a door for a lady or to show respect for seniors by standing when they enter the room, but Chivalry entails much more than just those simple elements of common courtesy. I offer some information below in an effort to introduce you, the reader, to the values inherent in the Chivalric Ideal.
Site URL: http://wlamkin.tripod.com/