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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teaching Gospel Through Martial Arts

From: Rankinledger

Broken boards, broken glass and bent rebar steel are the tools being used by a local martial arts group to spread the gospel.

"Namido Fire Team" is the name of the group which is made up of local martial arts teachers. Alex "Buddy" Cooper III leads the team. He said the team tries to reach out to those who might not attend a conventional church service.

At a recent demonstration Cooper said, "We preached God's word and broke boards. We had a couple of guys lay on glass while others piled on top of them. One soul was brought to Jesus when he witnessed one of our guys bend rebar with his bare throat."

Like other members of the team, Cooper has been practicing martial arts for years. Traveling at their own expense the team travels all over the southeast taking the gospel to where they are invited to speak.

"There are many physical parallels to a person's spiritual walk. You have to have discipline to follow Christ and read your Bible and pray and it takes discipline to train in the area of martial arts. These demonstrations give us a window to people that is free from all religion and it seems people are more apt to listen," said Cooper.

The children's pastor at Cornerstone Church in Pearl is on the team. Pastor Brian Means said he uses his talent to help mentor kids and show them the love of Christ. Means holds classes at the church and charges only $25 dollars a month which is donated to the church. However he has given lessons for free for kids who couldn't afford to pay.

"I have been using Christian Martial Arts as a ministry tool for several years now. It is a great way to mentor kids who don't have any structure or caring adults in their lives. It gives them an outlet and keeps them off the streets so they don't get involved in drugs or crime," said Means.

Michael Frazier is the associate pastor of the Morton Church of God. He travels with the team and said it is easy to see art imitating life through the demonstrations.

"We come in and speak on the spiritual warfare that is outlined in the Bible.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

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