Christianity and the Martial Arts - The Bible and Secular History
The Bible with Secular History
The mainstay of our series is the Bible. The backup is secular history. So, it would seem a few words about these, and the authors position on each, is in order.
The Bible and secular history are "all" we have to set certain time frames regarding man’s journey here on Earth, from one eternity to the next. These will be our references in this study. However, the adherents to each have their own manner of viewing certain of these time frames which does cause some conflicts. We, believers, remain confident and unyielding in two areas.
First, the Bible is inerrant and unchanging. The Bible has already presented history, past present and future, in an "outline" form which has proven correct over and over.
Second, secular history is still being written. Man corrects this history as needed to meet supposed "facts" not in concert with the Bible.
Now, in the midst of this "great debate," we find ourselves dealing with a very minor item of history, the history of the martial arts.
There are many facts, both Biblical and secular, which will be utilized to present a better history of the martial arts. None will conflict with the Bible.
As we begin, we must recognize the worldly perspective of the origin of the martial arts is tied to the secular historian theories supplemented by archeologist’s "findings." This causes most folks to believe the martial arts were "created" in the Far East and carried in all directions from there by the trade routes. This is one of those unsupported theories. Yet, it actually conflicts with both the Bible and secular history.
We will examine this error to a greater extent in the following Hubs. But for now, we need only look at "sciences" long held statement (though it has been revised since my youth) "Mankind began in the Fertile Crescent." The Bible agrees with this position. The Crescent is Mesopotamia. Moving backward in time from a central figure and without living this area we have the nativity of Abram/Abraham, Genesis 11:26-28; the land of the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1-4; the migration of the son’s of Noah, Genesis 10:1-32.
Even non-believers would have to ask themselves, "If the martial arts are from the Far East, how and why did these war-like creatures from Mesopotamia, with no "supposed" fighting skills, travel to the Far East after the Flood, develop a system of warrior skills and then come back to the Middle East to establish civilized communities?" Of course, the alternative is mankind originated in the Far East. This position is not even presented by most "scientists" any longer. But more importantly, it violates the statements of the Bible.
All events of Genesis 2:8 through Genesis 11:9 take place in the Middle East, Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent. Though we cannot be sure where Eden was or where the Ark was built, we do find enough substance in the Bible and a certain agreements by secular history to take this position. Again, secular history believes the Crescent is where the first societies began.
Secular history is sometimes helpful in apologetics. It continually proves the Bible to be correct, in spite of itself. With this most basic of Biblical statements presented in the above verses, and the support of secular history, we can be sure of the origin of the martial art. It was the Middle East, the "land of the Bible."
The Bible versus secular history
Why do we have discrepancies between the two? The Bible examines and states needed historical accounts to establish the tenets of God’s love, judgement, purpose and plan of salvation for a lost world. It may be a history book; it may be a law book; it may be a book of poetry. But its main purpose is to bring man back to God.
It is, therefore, important to remember, when using the Bible for a secular styled study, "The Bible is a spiritual book, not a history book." It was not written in scientific language. It was written to man in general to better understand God. It was "transmitted" by God to men who transcribed His words into the language and culture of the writer of the time.
The Bible fully addresses all that is necessary for man to know of God. This is its main purpose and it is complete in its purpose. It does address the rest of related history in a recapitulating manner, but not in depth and not always chronological order.
Secular history, on the other hand, is the biography of mankind. It is incomplete and ever changing.
The Bible is the unchanging Word of God. Though, today and at other times, it has been set to print according to how man viewed it, translated it and dealt with it from day to day, from culture to culture, this does not change its immutability of the originally delivered Word. Regardless of how it has been rewritten, translated, viewed or believed, it remains an inspired book in its original form, unchanging and without error.
History changes from time to time based on the "new" findings of the quasi-sciences such as archaeology, geology and paleontology. Yet even their findings can be useful in the study of God’s Word.
The Bible plus secular history
Without the findings of these "sciences," history would still contain certain inaccuracies which had been accepted "proofs" that the Bible was inaccurate. But thanks to these "scientists" continuous efforts toward proving their foundational premise, (evolution as opposed to creation being a foundational pillar) they continually prove creation as opposed to evolution.
But,whether a person is a spirit minded or carnal minded, history has been useful in bringing people to the knowledge of God. History can and will be useful in this study. We will use the true and proven facts of history in a proper manner for our purposes.
We, like secular history, will also "suppose and theorize" to fill in certain gaps. But, unlike secular history, we will state it when an hypotheses is generated rather than purport them as undeniable or unsupportable fact.
Last, we must remember that the Bible was not written as a text book of war or the occult. Yet, each of these is referenced, directly and indirectly, throughout the Bible. They are each important to understanding many of the judgments of God.
Our combining of the two, the Bible and history, is not a depreciation of the incontrovertible truth of the Bible. On the contrary this amalgamation will show the instability of written history and the benevolence of God.