I’m currently looking into a series of things that I believe are affecting Christians today. Many discussions on Yoga, Enneagram etc have greatly helped. I’d like to know what is the Christian stance on Qi/Chi and things like acupuncture as well as on the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I’m also interested in knowing what is the stance on essential oils which is the new trend. I do believe that God is the final power over my life so I’m interested in knowing more about these things that seem to remove the power of God and place it on self/an object
@Leticia, appreciate the question as these are all concerns of mine as well! Your question is very broad with four different topics and to address each topic well would require much space and time. I wanted to share some principles that I keep in mind for discerning whether something is compatible with Christianity or not and then direct you to a few helpful resources for each of these areas. I dont know extensively about these areas but I have had to look into them some because of my own church experiences.
Some points to consider
Origins of the practice –The Bible strictly forbids seeking advice from mediums, necromancers and astrologers. If a practice is found to have origins in information channeled through spirits, is based on astrology/other forbidden elements, or has been used to connect with spiritual entities, then we could be putting ourselves in a snare by adopting those practices. (Lev 19:31, Lev 20:6, Deu 12:29, Deu 18:12, Is 47:13-14, Jer 27:9, Ps 1:1-6, Rom 6:16).
Focused on self? – While Christ may be mentioned, the real focus may be self-fulfillment – health, wealth, victory, all fully realized in this temporal life. Basically the order is reversed – instead of man serving God according to His will, it ends up being about satisfaction of man’s will. (Mt 6:19-20, Mt 16:25, John 6:63, Rom 8:5, Gal 5:17, 2 Tim 4:3-4)
Non biblical view of Christ? –In some of these practices, Christ is considered to have attained divinity through certain practices, there is a blurring of lines between ‘self’ and ‘Christ in us’ leading to an exalted view of self as little gods/creators, a tendency for the pantheistic view “All is divine". All spiritual power is attributed to Christ even when power is attained through practices outside of the Bible (1 John 4: 1-2, Mt 15:8, 1 John 2:4-5, 1 Cor 4:6, 2 Cor 11:4, 2 Cor 11:13-15)
Marcia Montenegro, a former professional astrologer for 8 years and teacher of astrology, a former practitioner for many years of Eastern-type meditation has some well researched responses to these kind of concerns.
Qi/Ki – It is possible to confuse Qi/Ki force to the breath of God. The reason Qi cant be from God is because God’s force is not impersonal and cannot be manipulated by techniques. The creation is distinct from the Creator according to biblical understanding unlike the concept of Qi that is supposed to animate everything in the universe. Also, Qi is considered to be a life-force energy, that is scientifically unquantifiable, that is activated by teachers in a student through a ritual.
Acupuncture: For this I would just like to direct your attention to a previous discussion on Connect. This too is based on the principle of Qi and its efficacy is scientifically questionable.
The Secret: Marcia Montenegro again has a good article on this.
The following quote from "The Secret " reveals the conflict with Christianity, where we see the identification of self as God rather than submitting of our requests to God.
You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing Itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet.
Essential oils: A couple quotes from the linked article on this from Christian Medical Fellowship.
The popular idea of aromatherapy as a relaxing massage using pleasant, fragrant oils is very different from the holistic aromatherapy
Many aromatherapists associate holistic aromatherapy with the theories of life force, vital energy, meridians and chakras, all of which are rooted in Taoist, Hindu and other eastern philosophies and religions.
See the entire article here:
I would stay away from any use of essential oils that are about balancing energies / frequencies/ vibrations as that is based on the theory of chakras/life force that have a spiritual element not of Christ. We must also guard against turning our churches into marketplaces (John 2:13-22).
I know I have been very brief on each topic but hopefully the links will help you get a better understanding. May the Lord grant you wisdom and understanding in these issues. I hope this gives you a starting point in your search for answers.
@Lakshmismehta thank you for such an insightful response. It has been very helpful. We should earnestly pray for churches today because many things creep in disguised as good.
@Leticia, That’s encouraging to hear. Thank you! I agree with you. If deception is going to come to church as prophesied in scripture, its wrappings will have to look good to attract the churchgoer. What looks like love for example can be dangerous if it doesnt advance truth and thus can bring deception. Love manifested through the fruits of the Holy Spirit exalts the words of Jesus. John 15:9-10. God bless you with wisdom and strength as you strive to be faithful to truth in your conversations with family and friends.