Martial arts program troubling
Re “Respect, peace and gospel grown at church-based dojo” (News, March). We were dismayed to see the article about North Kildonan MB Church having martial arts as part of the church programming. It seems a strange turn of events for an Anabaptist peace-promoting church to take up martial arts.
But much more troubling is Christians not recognizing that martial arts is rooted in an eastern worldview that isn’t Christian. Taoist and Buddhist worldviews subtly pervade even a “Christian” form of martial arts. It’s much like “Christian” yoga, which is another popular activity churches are embracing and hosting. To bring martial arts and yoga into our churches as good exercise and outreach is a serious concern.
Bill Rudge, a former Karate for Christ leader, explains it this way: “Many who initially begin martial arts training for self-defense, physical discipline, exercise and health benefits, or for sports competition, eventually become involved in practices and philosophies that are diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity. In all styles of the martial arts, there is an underlying philosophy that eventually conflicts with Scripture. These disciplines have an alluring effect that tends to lead a person little by little into Eastern religious and occult philosophy and practice.”
Ken and Carolee Neufeld
Hoorah for outdoor baptisms
Re “Let’s go down to the water: Four churches celebrate Easter baptisms in the Pacific” (Features, June). I appreciated the article about outdoor baptisms. As a teenager, I was baptized in Swift Current Creek in southern Saskatchewan. Now, as a senior, I look back at this as a very precious time in my life.
We had no baptismal tanks, so after giving our testimonies in the church one Sunday morning in early June, we drove to the creek some miles away. I remember there were many visitors who came and asked questions. Upon arriving at the site, all the baptismal candidates went into a tent set up beside the water to change into suitable white clothing for the baptism. I remember the water being rather cold! The pastor was in the water, as well as a deacon who helped us balance in the current.
My baptism was very meaningful to me, and I was happy to see strangers present. There, I made a strong commitment to serve my Lord in missions. I’ve now worked 37 years with Child Evangelism Fellowship teaching Bible in Manitoba schools.
Herald scope too narrow
Having read the Herald since its inception, I’m finding it difficult to understand the current language increasingly being used by writers, especially church leaders. I don’t ever recall reading an explanation of the meaning of C2C (I may have missed it), although it seems to be used in the context of church growth/planting, a theme that MBs appear to be singularly obsessed with – to the exclusion of many other aspects of our faith. Additionally, the word “missional” appears in almost every context. Having looked it up in all my dictionaries, I’m none the wiser, as it cannot be found. I don’t know if it’s a noun, verb, adjective, adverb or…well, you get my point. I find myself drawing heavily on other church magazines for a more well-rounded dialogue on issues of faith, spirituality, peace, service and justice.
Letters to the editor
Mennonite Brethren Herald welcomes your letters of 150–200 words on issues relevant to the Mennonite Brethren church, especially in response to material published in the Herald. Please include name, address and phone number, and keep your letters courteous and about one subject only. We will edit letters for length and clarity. We will not publish letters sent anonymously, although we may withhold names from publication at the request of the letter writer and at our discretion. Publication is subject to space limitations. Letters also appear online. Because the Letters column is a free forum for discussion, it should be understood that letters represent the position of the letter writer, not necessarily the position of the Herald or the Mennonite Brethren church. Send letters to: Letters, MB Herald, 1310 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Man. R3M 3Z6, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.