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Acupuncture and the Bible


 

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain..." -Jeremiah 10:2,3

Holistic healing

Many people mistakenly accept the body-mind connection of holism because we know that our attitudes often affect our health or recovery from illness. However, attitudes and the contemporary mystical holistic view are two separate things. The holistic view of the body and of health is based in monism, that all is one and one is all, and that a universal force (referred to as chi or qi) connects us and flows through the body. Holism today assumes that all illness is an imbalance of or blockage of the chi and/or the yin-yang forces in the body, and thus the state of one's health is a reflection of this energy/spiritual imbalance or blockage.

Acupuncture

Most holistic healers believe that illness is a spiritual condition, and they use methods based in occultism and Eastern religious views. Acupuncture originates in the belief that the yin-yang forces flow along invisible pathways in the body called meridians, and that illness results from an imbalance in these forces, or the blockage of these forces. Inserting the needles at certain points is supposed to allow a balanced flow of the body's yin and yang energies. Although there are theories that acupuncture works either because the placement of the needles sends signals to the brain which release endorphins or because the needles block a pain signal to the brain, these theories have not been proven. Even if these theories prove correct, then the conclusion would be that it is not acupuncture that is working, since acupuncture is based on the idea that relief is coming from the flowing of chi and balancing of yin and yang. What would be working is relief of pain through endorphins and the blockage of pain signals. This is not the theory of traditional acupuncture. This relief would have nothing to do with chi, meridians, or yin and yang, but rather with biology and a proper understanding of the body. At best, acupuncture relieves limited amounts of pain temporarily. No physical or medical model exists yet to explain acupuncture.

Evil is not a force

If opposites are always merging into and becoming each other, then there is no absolute good or evil. However, in I John 1:5, it states, "This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." Evil is not a force; it is a rejection of or rebellion against the good. Evil is the work of Satan, who has no truth in him (John 8:44), and those who choose to deny or reject God. Evil and good are not equal because God is sovereign and "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work," (I John 3:8). God allows Satan to operate for now; but Satan was defeated when Jesus died for us on the cross, allowing deliverance from Satan’s power through trusting Christ (For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, Colossians 1:13,14). Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10).

Qi

Tai Chi, often called a "moving meditation," is based in Taoism. One of the purposes of Tai Chi is to facilitate "the flow of qi through the body," (Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, p. 599). The qi (also spelled chi, ki or ji) is an Eastern name for the universal energy supposedly flowing through the body. A fact sheet on the meaning of the 108 moves in Tai Chi, put out by the Taoist Tai Chi Society in the U.S., states that the 36 major and minor yang channels in the body are the "Celestial Deities" while the yin elements in the body are the "72 Terrestrial Deities." The combined total is 108, a "number divined by Chang San Feng himself" (Chang, an 11th century Taoist monk, is considered the founder of Tai Chi). The statement goes on to say that "the full 108 symbolizes the harmonious balance of yin and yang and therefore lead to health. The union of all yin and yang elements represent the return to the holistic and undifferentiated state of the Tao." The term undifferentiated means there are no distinctions; all is one.

The Christian Response

Christians should be discerning about practices such as acupuncture that have as yet no medical basis and "exercises" like Tai Chi that are designed based on spiritual beliefs hostile to Christ's claim to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). The fact that such a treatment may work is not a good enough reason for using it. Many things in the occult and mystical world seem to work. The standard for Christians in adopting a spiritually based idea or practice is not whether it works. We are admonished to "not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..." (1 John 4:1a). These words should be taken to heart in regards to many other holistic and alternative treatments as well. The Tao claims to be the way but offers an undifferentiated whole where there are ultimately no distinctions between yin and yang, or between good and evil. Harmony is based on balancing yin and yang. However, true peace comes only through trusting Christ (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7). There is a Person, Jesus, not a principle or a philosophy, Who said He is the Way (John 14:6), the Way to God and to eternal life (John 5:24; 6:40).