Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Re: Aikido and being Christian
I suppose if people are going to weigh in on what the Christian perspective is on things like meditation and ki power I, as a long-time Christian, should, too.
Let's see...I've already gone over the "ki" thing, so maybe I'll say something about meditation. Hmmm, well, the Bible commands those who would know God better and live righteously to meditate on scripture (Ps. 1; Josh. 1:8). The word "meditation", as it is used in scripture, carries the meaning of rumination or pondering - like what a cow does with its cud. Christians are to chew and chew again the meat of a verse in order to eke out of it every last bit of spiritual nourishment. Meditation, for the Christian, is not an emptying of the mind, but a filling of it with that to which one wishes to be conformed. Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he (a man) thinks in his heart so is he..." This is the purpose, in part, of meditation in the Christian faith: to allow the truths of the Word of God opportunity to saturate the mind and thus shape behaviour. Every ad agency in North America understands and uses this "principle of conformity".
Emptying the mind after the manner of Zen meditation is considered dangerous by many Christians because it creates an inner spiritual and mental vacuum. The Bible clearly teaches that there are spiritual agents, good and bad, at work constantly in our lives and world. It also teaches that these agents are always looking for avenues into our lives. Evil spirits seek opportunity to enter a life and destroy it while God's Spirit seeks to enter a person's life to preserve and bless it. Christ taught of a man who was freed of demons. The demons, Christ says, roamed about looking for a new residence but, finding none, returned to their former habitation. They discover the man "empty" so they resume their occupancy, bringing more of their kind this time, and the "last state of that man was worse than the first". (Matt. 12:43-45) Mind-emptying meditation, for the Christian, is, then, a means of making oneself more susceptible to, and perhaps even inviting, the influence of evil spiritual agents. Of course, if you aren't a Bible-believing Christian this is going to sound like alot of foolishness. That's okay. I'm not trying to defend my faith here; I'm just trying to explain it.
By the way, for anyone who is interested in a well-reasoned, scholarly, defense of the Christian faith read, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh MacDowell. At the very least, this book could help clear up alot of the ignorance I see handed around on this thread concerning the nature of the Christian faith.
As far as the compatibility of Christianity with Omoto-kyo (or any other faith for that matter) goes, it is non-existent. Jesus said quite unequivocally that he was "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and that no man could come to (God) the Father but by him. (Jn. 14:6) In other words, no one finds God through any other means than Jesus. The "all streams empty into the ocean" philosophy is antithetical to this teaching of Jesus. Now, I know that many of you are going to get up in arms about this, but, remember, I'm not telling you what you should believe, here, only what the message of the Bible is. Attempting to meld Omoto-kyo and Christian beliefs together results in a very contemporary postmodern philosophy, but also a very contradictory and illogical one.
I practice Aikido, the martial art, not Aikido, the religion. I value the philosphy of Aikido only so far as it coincides with my Christian faith.
Take it easy!