Program Description: Tom continues his discussion with Gaylene Goodroad, author of My Life in "The Way" and former second-degree black belt sensei nidan. Is it true, as the saying goes, that "nobody fools Chuck Norris"? Or has he been deceived by the Eastern philosophies of his profession?
Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael. It’s great to have you along. In today’s program, Tom continues his conversation with Gaylene Goodroad, author of an excellent little booklet titled My Life in “The Way”, addressing the spiritual content of martial arts. Now, along with his guest, here’s TBC executive director Tom McMahon.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Well, I’m returning with our guest Gaylene Goodroad, and she earned two degrees, black belt degrees, in karate do, and… But more than that, as I listened to Gaylene give her testimony and the presentation that she gave, she’s really studied this stuff. And, Gaylene, welcome back to Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Gaylene: Thanks for having me back, Tom.
Tom: The thing I was impressed with, and maybe because I didn’t get into judo in college as kind of a fly-by-night thing, I – this is a sport, and I loved every aspect of it, but also studied it. And as I mentioned last week, I wanted to move up. I only reached second – well, the last brown belt degree, because I felt that gave me an edge when I was fighting, you know, in tournaments around the country, but also – you mentioned last week the katas. In judo, and perhaps it’s the same in karate, when you’re going for your advanced belt, you have to do the forms – that’s what kata is: you have to go – it’s not a fighting technique and so on, it’s just a demonstration that you can handle the forms in the way that’s prescribed, and that was too dull for me, okay? [laughs] I wanted to get on…
Gaylene: It’s because you didn’t get with the program, Tom. [laughs]
Tom: No, I wanted to get on the mat with somebody! I didn’t want to go out and dance, you know? I mean, no disrespect out there, but that was kind of my mentality. But then, as I mentioned, as I began to see other people using something that we weren’t trained in, you know, in the gym at Ohio State University – you know, the development of ki, the development…we didn’t meditate. We didn’t do any of those things, but as you mentioned, it’s out there. And if you’re going to advance, you don’t do it on your own terms, just as I didn’t advance because I wanted it on my own terms. You have to go with the program, and the program goes from the physical side to the spiritual side. And last week – for those interested, you could listen to the program – I gave an example of that.
So now, this all comes down to people desiring it, but the great influence today is with our children. Speak about that a bit.
Gaylene: Well, there’s such a draw. I mean, some of the things we discussed last week and just…I mean, it’s everywhere. Media – we’re a media-driven society. I mean, the martial arts have permeated – they’ve proliferated the way of the East. I’m thinking of even some of the movies like The Matrix, The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise, we have all the Karate Kid movies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and then when I was growing up, there was David Carradine on Kung Fu.
Gaylene: It came on television every week. Well, all of these images, all of the – of course, you go into the stores now and they’ve got the toys and video games, and there are animated versions of all of this – all of these things are very alluring. They’re very, very seductive. Probably the most popular purveyor of the “force” – and even when I say that, “May the force be with you,” everyone’s already thinking of Star Wars. Who doesn’t love Grand Master Yoda, or you know, the great Jedi knight Luke Skywalker, or even the fearsome Darth Vader, who was a disciple of Yoda, and then of course he goes over to the dark side of the force? You notice the yin and yang of the way here? The do, the way? Well, all of these things – there’s nothing new under the sun. This is the sci-fi version of, you know, the Japanese katana, for example – the light saber. All of these movies, films, games, toys, on and on, they reinforce the Eastern belief systems that are totally incompatible with biblical Christianity, but they’re very seductive. And then the visual aspect of all this makes all of it even more compelling. You know, once that deception is planted in the brain through the visual images or even the audible stuff – you know, the background of the video games – it becomes very, very difficult to erase all of this. So for someone asking me – I am asked this a lot, and not just for the children, but adults, too – “Well, what’s the problem?” My advice is not to have any child involved in organized martial arts whatsoever.
Gaylene: I mean, we talked about, “Okay, I want to develop self-esteem, self-confidence…” Well, you can develop all of that without, you know, taking a karate class.
Gaylene: In fact…
Tom: Yeah, but…
Gaylene: …what I’d also like to admonish is we’re not supposed to be focused on self, anyway.
Tom: There you go. So that’s…
Gaylene: [laughs] We’re to deny self.
Tom: Well, as we’ve talked about this together prior to this interview, self is at the heart of it.
Gaylene: Exactly right.
Tom: Self-deification is at the heart of the Eastern worldview.
Gaylene: Self-cultivation. It’s all done by…
Tom: Without a doubt. Yeah.
Gaylene: …by self. “I did it myself. I did it my way.”
Tom: So the reason, you know, one of the reasons the Scripture talks about deny self is because self will get us in trouble. It’s the fallen man, self is. So we deny self. We have the mind of Christ. We cling to Christ. He is our all. So it isn’t a matter of – you know, as the Eastern way would present it, or even in yoga and so on, you’re never going to extinguish self, but you have to turn self over to Christ.
Gaylene: Total surrender.
Tom: It’s not self-esteem, it’s our love for Christ. It’s submission to Him, and that…what we’ve been talking about last week, and we’ll talk more about it this week is that is – to exalt self is a fulfillment of the lie that Satan...well, Satan fell for himself as Lucifer in heaven: “I will be as the Most High.” There’s self-exaltation. And then he brought it to the earth and seduced Eve with it, too, that she could be as God. And then we have the Antichrist at the end, setting himself up in the temple of God to be worshipped as God. It’s all self-deification. That’s what this is about, and although people may not see it at this point, especially when they get involved with a martial art or something like that that begins, and say, “Oh, no, it’s just techniques. It’s just that.” But I hope our listeners are getting the gist of this, that is – if they’re not aware of it – if they’ve not been informed, I hope they’ll take what we’re saying here to heart.
Gaylene: Yes, because all of these things that we talked about last week, you sign a child up to be in a martial arts course, they’re – just think about it as being initiated into the ways of the East. It’s an initiation process that begins very tame. It might be even a lot of fun, something that, you know, “Oh, well, I just like to be with my friends. I like to kick things and hit things.” Well, that’s how it starts out, but it progresses from there, and that’s my concern. I think you mentioned, too, and I can’t remember if I heard this right, but you asked about the self-defense aspect of it: “What do you think about self defense?” Well, I wanted to touch on this for just a second.
Gaylene: I think all of us, whether we’re old or young, we need to develop some common sense about some of these things. Now, you know, you’re a parent, a grandparent; I’m a parent – not a grandparent yet – but instinctively as parents and grandparents, we teach our children how to defend against personal harm every day. You know, we teach them not to talk to strangers, don’t take gifts from people you don’t know, we remind them, “Hey, let me know where you are throughout the day. Leave me your phone number. How can I reach you in case something comes up?” I mean, all the time; we’re a connected society. We teach our children, smaller children, about the buddy system. You know, “Don’t go any place – don’t go to the playground all by yourself. You need to be with a buddy.” We teach our teens about avoiding chat rooms on the internet; you know, “Don’t sext,” and on and on and on it goes. And this is just good common sense for children and adults.
Now, when I was leading self defense seminars for women – and I did do this, as well, a long time ago, but I did conduct a few of them – this is the gist of my teaching: I didn’t teach them kicking and punching techniques – a few, but that wasn’t by and large what I taught them; I showed women how to be careful. You know, how to maybe use their car keys to distract a would-be mugger, or maybe how to aim their knee at a vulnerable location at just the right time, or how to roll under the car in case someone tried to grab them into the car. I mean, all of this is just common sense, self defense tactics, and it all had one purpose: to avoid becoming the victim of bodily harm. The idea was to be able to flee from harm, not to master an Eastern religious philosophy. And I think ultimately as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we should instinctively flee to Him to defend us and protect us from whatever it is that comes against us, because He is able. You know, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” I think this is the gist of what we should teach our children.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Gaylene, with regard to those who are in positions where they may be in harm’s way – a police officer, for example, or training among our troops or something – what would be the caution there, or how would you say they ought to go about defending themselves, because they’re going to be in harm’s way?
Gaylene: Well, it’s interesting: my husband is a retired army infantry officer…
Gaylene: …and he would tell me about self-defense techniques that they would learn as part of their training. All of that’s, you know, good and well. I think that’s a little different, because some of those things are very specific.
Gaylene: They’re to the point, they’re very short and specific, and you don’t have the years and years of the initiate training that I discussed earlier. So all that I think’s very appropriate. Now, where you draw the line, I think, is something that every believer has to wrestle with. I mean, we could even ring in the question of, “Should I learn how to use a gun or not?”
Gaylene: Well, that’s an individual choice, and all of that, you know, bring it before the throne room and ask the Lord what He would have you do. But mostly, by and large, police officers do have certain training. I even – thinking back, this was a number of years ago – a few of the guys that I taught with in the dojo were policemen…
Gaylene: …and we would go to schools and give demonstrations, and again, some of the demonstrations we gave were very tame. They were very sincere, very directed, very common sensical. They didn’t involve going into the seiza position and then learning how to meditate and all of this stuff.
Tom: Right. To add to that, because I’ve been asked this question, you know, as I speak at conferences and it comes up in a Q and A – whether that’s the topic or not – and with regard to going back to parents and their children, you know, there’s something that you refer to in your book My Life in “The Way”, and it has to do with bushido. Even before, let’s say before somebody might get into the more advanced techniques, which are obviously spiritual, there’s a spirit about fighting. There’s a spirit – call it the bushido. It’s a militant spirit that, aside from all of these different spiritual aspects, it can infect young people. I mean, I think they can get it through video games, through…go ahead.
Gaylene: I have seen this, Tom. I’m so glad that you brought this up. I don’t know how many times we try to engrain in especially the young students that we would teach that, you know, we are to be humble. We are not to – you know, we are to defend and not attack and that sort of thing, but ultimately, you know, especially young boys, they have that drive in them, and they want to beat somebody up.
Gaylene: They want to use what they’ve learned to hurt somebody, and big boys, too. Big girls, also. I mean, some of the tournaments – I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the mixed martial arts tournaments that they have, but it’s bloody. It’s messy. It’s violent, and that’s another aspect even over and above the overt far Eastern religious influences is that violent aspect which is also, to a Christian, should disturb us…
Gaylene: …as a something that we want to be a part of.
Tom: Right. Well, last week we talked about this power, this energy. It has different terminology: tai chi, chi or ki energy, prana, we talked about kundalini – in other words, the martial arts zeroes in on the type of energy which empowers them to do some things that you cannot explain according to physics. I mentioned to you, Gaylene, when we talked last week that I studied aikido. And again, I wasn’t a believer, but I wanted – my wife and I moved out to California and we – I found a dojo that was teaching aikido, because I’d already seen it demonstrated at different tournaments. You know, as I mentioned last week, you’d have one aikido master taking on four or five of the top performers, the top fighters, the top judo players, and throwing them around like they were nothing. I thought, “What is going on here?”
Now, just to give you an example, personal example, when you step out on a mat – now, remember, I’ve had probably six years of studying judo – when you step out on a mat and the master says, “All right, I want four of you to come out here and pick me up.” And you can’t do it! You honestly – and you know the physics involved here – but you can’t do it. Now, that’s just one example. But this told me there’s something else going on here, okay? This is not – and the guy may have weighed 110 pounds, and we couldn’t touch him. We couldn’t lift him off the mat. Is this ki energy?
Gaylene: This is occult power. This is why they call it the serpent power, the kundalini, and that’s why Christians should run from this. We shouldn’t have any part in it, because as you said, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, and I’ve heard other stories about other famous karate masters that were able to do superhuman things that you can go on the internet, on Youtube, and see some of these things in action. These are not of God.
Tom: Yeah, and they’re not fake.
Gaylene: They’re of the occult world.
Tom: I’m not saying that some people don’t fake it, you know. That’s the problem with…
Gaylene: Oh, yeah. There are hucksters in just about every profession.
Tom: Yeah, right, because when the power goes away, you know, that’s part of the problem in Shamanism or, you know, in some of these other methodologies. Well, even the word-faith people, okay? But that’s a whole other deal.
Gaylene: That’s a whole other…
Tom: Yeah. But coming back to this, you know – we’ve got about ten minutes left, and I want to talk about somebody – not to pick on him, but certainly there is an icon in this country that is probably, from my perspective, and you can speak to it yourself, has done more to introduce Eastern mysticism, done more to introduce Zen among the populace – not just esoterically and so on – and this would be Chuck Norris. Now, if you’re not familiar with Chuck Norris, then I don’t know where you’ve been, okay? In terms of TV, in terms of movies, he may be America’s chief icon regarding the martial arts. He professes to be a Christian; he bills himself as a conservative American who’s written a book with his remedy for getting the US out of its liberal downward spiral. He incredibly – well, I’m just saying this, folks, [don’t] get on me for it – he receives a doctorate, an honorary doctorate, from Liberty University. Now, Gaylene, why does this shock me? Could you fill in some of that?
Gaylene: Well, Tom, I get this a lot: when I have spoken out against the martial arts, inevitably somebody will come up to me and say, “Well, what about Chuck Norris? He’s a Christian. He’s a good guy. Look at all the great things he’s done. Surely there’s nothing wrong with the martial arts.” But there is. In reality, Chuck Norris is a practicing Buddhist, and this is by his own testimony. In 1988, Chuck Norris wrote his first autobiography. He entitled it The Secret of Inner Strength, and then he later said this is his secular autobiography, because there’s nothing remotely Christian in this book. In fact, Norris divulges that the secret inner strength that comes from the title of his book is actually a mastery of visualization techniques, and this is how Chuck says that he became the martial arts champion that he is today: using the occult method of visualization. And in that first autobiography, he even cited Napoleon Hill and, of course, as I learned, Napoleon Hill learned his formulas for visualization from unseen visitors on the astral plane calling themselves the Venerable Brotherhood of ancient India.
Gaylene: Now, I learned this about Napoleon Hill from Dave Hunt in his book The Occult Invasion!
Tom: Right. Mm-hmm.
Gaylene: Now, in 2004, Chuck wrote his second autobiography. It’s called Against All Odds, and this is the one he calls his Christian autobiography. But what’s disturbing to me is it’s really – there’s nothing new in this book. Rather than recanting the occult visualization methods that he goes on and on about in the first autobiography, in the second one he just affirms all of them. Now, this is where I really became concerned: in between Chuck’s two autobiographies, it would be in 1997, Chuck authored another book which he called The Secret Power Within. Now, given the fact that Chuck says he converted to Christianity some time in 1952, some might think that the secret power within that he’s referring to is the Holy Spirit of God, but it’s not. And in the book, Chuck explains that the power and manipulation of this ki force – this serpent power, kundalini – is the same occult power used in sorcery and witchcraft. And in my booklet, I share an excerpt from Chuck’s book in which he describes, you know, a relationship he developed with a Buddhist monk who taught him not only how to harness and wield the ki force energy, but he also led Chuck into an altered state of consciousness which is an event that Chuck himself says was a turning point in his life and career. And then, sadly, all of this – and in the book, Chuck says that his life mission wasn’t all the karate things he’s done, but to teach the martial arts of the way, of the East, to American children. And I think it was in 1992 he started his Kickstart Kids Foundation, and he had a lot of help from George Bush, Sr., and Chuck was able to get his own martial arts program into the public school system in Texas. And now his goal is to spread that program nationwide, and I find this extremely disturbing.
Tom: Well, we can’t judge Chuck’s heart…
Tom: …but this is evidence that he’s introducing occultism; he’s introducing something that is antithetical to the very Christianity that he professes to believe in. You know, you can’t mix the two. You’ve been saying that, but it’s very clear, Gaylene, that this is Eastern mysticism now trying to be integrated within Christianity. It’s kind of like psychotherapy, you know? You’re going to say that they both – that can work with biblical Christianity. No! Both of them are about self. One is about denying self; that’s biblical Christianity. That’s Christ: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through me.” That is the way, the only way that leads to eternal life. And to introduce these ideas, which he must understand it – he’s studied this stuff longer than I have…
Oh, and by the way, we also, Dave and I also mentioned Napoleon Hill in The Seduction of Christianity, and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich with peace of mind – all of these things, these ascended masters…
Gaylene, I know that you’re not making this stuff up. This is a fact, and when you – somebody like Chuck, when you point out the value of somebody who is obviously an occultist, you’re going to have at least sad, tragic confusion, but at worst, opening the door to the demonic realm.
Gaylene: And when his reach from movies to TV and so on – I think he’s an eighth degree black belt in his own system that he named Chun Kuk Do, the universal way! Well, I read that as the broad way, for the way of the East!
Gaylene: And you’re exactly right. I couldn’t have said that better.
Tom: Well, we’re seeing this happen, folks. That’s why you need to be a Berean. Certainly you search the Scriptures if somebody’s promoting something that they claim to be biblical, you need to search that out. But you also need to check out what somebody’s promoting – not just because of their image or because of what you think, you need to – if somebody’s promoting something that you have a check in your spirit about, you need to look into it and then remove yourself from it, because it is the broad path, as Gaylene said, as the Scriptures say, and it leads to destruction. Remember, twice in Proverbs: “There’s a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” and that death is separation from truth. It’s really a drifting away from God, even if you’re a believer. It’s going to affect the relationship. It may not affect your salvation, but it certainly will affect your relationship with Him.
Gaylene, we’ve got about a minute. Do you have quick counsel for those who claim to be biblical Christians, yet they participate in this?
Gaylene: I think they need to admit to the Lord that they’ve been deceived and just simply stop. Now, some have asked me how I was able to resign from my sensei-ship. I renounced both of my black belts, and I have second degrees – second dans in both of the black belts. After training as long as I did, and my answer might surprise you, it was John:14:6 that stopped me dead in my tracks: Jesus said, “I am the way, the only way.” The Scripture showed me that the true way was my true life’s path, and it is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the narrow way; He is the door. I believed it then, I believe it now. There’s no other way. Once this was set in my mind, leaving behind the way of the East was really kind of easy. It lifted a burden. Of course, I prayed since then asking the Lord to cleanse my mind of some of the things that we’ve talked about today, but it’s been a process.
Gaylene: The point is my life is now surrendered to Christ and not to self. The only regret I have is teaching so many people, including little children, the false way of the East. I can never, ever undo what I did, but I can use my past experience and the love of the Scriptures to warn others about the martial arts, and that’s why I’m so glad to be with you today, Tom. Thank you for having me.
Tom: Gaylene Goodroad. Her book is My – booklet, actually – My Life in “The Way”, and it’s an eBook – you make it available, Gaylene, on your website. Could you just give us the address for your website?
Gaylene: Sure. It’s mylifeintheway.blogspot.com, and there’s a link on the webpage. You just click it and it’ll take you straight to the PDF.
Tom: Okay. And if you have trouble with, you just call The Berean Call and we will get the booklet to you or tell you how you can get it.
Again, Gaylene, God bless you, and thank you so much for your insight in how the Lord is using you to bring the truth to people.
Gaylene: Thanks so much, Tom. It was really great to be with you.
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800-937-6638, or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope you can join us again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.