Emotional Freedom Technique?

Should Christians employ acupuncture, yoga, and other “alternative medicine” treatments whose theoretical foundations come out of Eastern or New Age religions?  All of those energy meridians, chakras, and the like are far removed from a Christian worldview, much less the worldview of modern science. And yet they seem to “work” for many people, as if there might be an innocently secular physiological explanation.  (Notice how being “secular” in the sense of non-religious can be a good thing from a Christian perspective, much better than “pagan” or “teaching a false religion.”)

I bring this up because a reader wrote me about a kind of psychological acupuncture technique that is going around called the “Emotional Freedom Technique.”  Here is what she said:

Do you think that the Emotional Freedom Technique, psychological acupressure based on energy meridians, is dangerous for Christians? It appears to be successful with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] patients. It involves simple tapping with fingertips to input kinetic energy into specific meridians while you think of a specific problem and make a positive statement. It seems harmless enough, yet is close to the Word Faith, name it and claim it, positive confession movement.

She says a number of Christian therapists are using it.

She referred me to this website:  EFT | Dr. Mercola’s Emotional Freedom Technique.

What you do is tap your body at various points–yes, you do it yourself, which will make you look very silly if you do it in public.  And while you are hitting yourself, you say the following:  “Even though I have this [name your problem],  I deeply and completely accept myself.”

Now this strikes me as ludicrous.  And with the telling yourself how much you accept yourself, it can’t be completely physical.  I consider it on the order of that great new wonder drug called “placebo.”

But what’s the attraction for Christians?  They don’t believe in energy meridians, do they?  If so, on what basis?  Taoism?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • trotk

    Not that I am necessarily a defender of eastern medicine, but I genuinely think that the rejection of the qi or chakra has far more to do with our secular and scientific perspective than it does with Christianity. This much Dr. Veith acknowledges above.

    But I disagree with the idea that the secular perspective is better than the pagan. One says there are no gods and the other says all is god, or there are many gods, or something similar – can you really call one of these perspectives better?

    Can you prove from the Bible that the qi doesn’t exist? Is it not possible that this is merely a bastardized and distorted pagan understanding of the soul? Can you prove from the Bible that it can’t be manipulated? Can you prove from the Bible that all manipulation of the soul is wrong?

    Like I said, I am not defending eastern medicine, and tend to regard it as a placebo, more than anything else, but I do believe that the rejection of it has more to do with secularism than anything inherent to Christianity.

  • trotk

    Not that I am necessarily a defender of eastern medicine, but I genuinely think that the rejection of the qi or chakra has far more to do with our secular and scientific perspective than it does with Christianity. This much Dr. Veith acknowledges above.

    But I disagree with the idea that the secular perspective is better than the pagan. One says there are no gods and the other says all is god, or there are many gods, or something similar – can you really call one of these perspectives better?

    Can you prove from the Bible that the qi doesn’t exist? Is it not possible that this is merely a bastardized and distorted pagan understanding of the soul? Can you prove from the Bible that it can’t be manipulated? Can you prove from the Bible that all manipulation of the soul is wrong?

    Like I said, I am not defending eastern medicine, and tend to regard it as a placebo, more than anything else, but I do believe that the rejection of it has more to do with secularism than anything inherent to Christianity.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Hmm. I think the rejection of these things has to do with reason, logic, evidence, experiment, control groups, etc. etc.

    Show me the evidence…..

    If you have to “simply believe it”, then it is religion, and cannot be used as therapy / medical science. Then it becomes a religious debate, plain and simple.

    BTW, I know, from very real personal experience, what PTSD is, and how difficult the journey out of it might be. I also know that it takes a long time, with ups and downs. But you have to walk the journey, with ups and downs. “Imagining it away” is bogus, and clears the way for a life time of suffering. There is much more I can say on the matter, but I will say this. A proper, medically trained psychologist, without hocus pocus, but with an appreciation of your faith or a Christian themselves is the only way.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Hmm. I think the rejection of these things has to do with reason, logic, evidence, experiment, control groups, etc. etc.

    Show me the evidence…..

    If you have to “simply believe it”, then it is religion, and cannot be used as therapy / medical science. Then it becomes a religious debate, plain and simple.

    BTW, I know, from very real personal experience, what PTSD is, and how difficult the journey out of it might be. I also know that it takes a long time, with ups and downs. But you have to walk the journey, with ups and downs. “Imagining it away” is bogus, and clears the way for a life time of suffering. There is much more I can say on the matter, but I will say this. A proper, medically trained psychologist, without hocus pocus, but with an appreciation of your faith or a Christian themselves is the only way.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    I’ve often wondered about this myself. I practiced Qi Gong back in college when I had pretty much wandered off from the faith, and I cannot deny that it was effective. I had stopped the practice because of this very question.

    If there is an unknown physiological basis, it’s probably acceptable to manipulate despite its Eastern origins. Even if there is a “spiritual” basis for it’s effectiveness which merely has to do with the mechanics of human non-physical make-up (as opposed to communing with other spirits), it could still be acceptable. Christians don’t believe in Qi or chakras or meridians because A) we’re Western and B) the Bible doesn’t concern itself with them. Nevertheless, if they actually exist, they could be innocent regardless.

    The big question is how do you really tell one way or another? This gets into the murky realm of metaphysics where we don’t have a scientific method to discern these things. And while the Bible tells us all we need to know about salvation, it doesn’t exhaustively explore temporal health and well-being. How do you really tell if these things dangerous or not?

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    I’ve often wondered about this myself. I practiced Qi Gong back in college when I had pretty much wandered off from the faith, and I cannot deny that it was effective. I had stopped the practice because of this very question.

    If there is an unknown physiological basis, it’s probably acceptable to manipulate despite its Eastern origins. Even if there is a “spiritual” basis for it’s effectiveness which merely has to do with the mechanics of human non-physical make-up (as opposed to communing with other spirits), it could still be acceptable. Christians don’t believe in Qi or chakras or meridians because A) we’re Western and B) the Bible doesn’t concern itself with them. Nevertheless, if they actually exist, they could be innocent regardless.

    The big question is how do you really tell one way or another? This gets into the murky realm of metaphysics where we don’t have a scientific method to discern these things. And while the Bible tells us all we need to know about salvation, it doesn’t exhaustively explore temporal health and well-being. How do you really tell if these things dangerous or not?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, I have to add, there is a difference between practing techniques that have benefits, such as any disciplined martial art, and the “spiritual explanatians” and all that stuff. There is no denial that methodical physical exercise is good for you. I practiced Tai Chi for a while, and would do so again I had the opportunity (and time – more importantly :) ).

    But I certainly do not believe in life forces etc – but such ideas could be useful visualisation techniques in helping you concentrate to master the techniqies of the martial art. Nothing more than that, though.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Of course, I have to add, there is a difference between practing techniques that have benefits, such as any disciplined martial art, and the “spiritual explanatians” and all that stuff. There is no denial that methodical physical exercise is good for you. I practiced Tai Chi for a while, and would do so again I had the opportunity (and time – more importantly :) ).

    But I certainly do not believe in life forces etc – but such ideas could be useful visualisation techniques in helping you concentrate to master the techniqies of the martial art. Nothing more than that, though.

  • trotk

    Klasie -

    Reason says that there is more to a human than what can be experimented on. You are falling into the trap of the modern atheists, who regard reason and logic as things that only materialists use. You do this by lumping reason and logic with evidence and experiment. The history of philosophy disagrees with this enormously. There are truths and ideas that reason argues for and proves for which material evidence does not exist.

    It might be a religious question, but it might also just be a rational question. For example, is the mind simply the brain, because that is the part that can be tested empirically? Is believing that the brain doesn’t fully explain the mind religious? Not necessarily.

  • trotk

    Klasie -

    Reason says that there is more to a human than what can be experimented on. You are falling into the trap of the modern atheists, who regard reason and logic as things that only materialists use. You do this by lumping reason and logic with evidence and experiment. The history of philosophy disagrees with this enormously. There are truths and ideas that reason argues for and proves for which material evidence does not exist.

    It might be a religious question, but it might also just be a rational question. For example, is the mind simply the brain, because that is the part that can be tested empirically? Is believing that the brain doesn’t fully explain the mind religious? Not necessarily.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Trotk – so you are going to base a therapy on a hunch? On make-belief?

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough though. Of course there are things we do not understand yet. There are things we might never understand – sure. But to claim things, and explain things, without evidence, and reason etc., has to be an act of faith, which is by definition a religous act. So then we call it what it is, a Religious rite, which is perfectly fine – I’m no ruddy secularist. But let’s not muddy our defintions, shall we.?

    And in this case, that religious rite falls entirely within the realm of eastern mysticism……

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Trotk – so you are going to base a therapy on a hunch? On make-belief?

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough though. Of course there are things we do not understand yet. There are things we might never understand – sure. But to claim things, and explain things, without evidence, and reason etc., has to be an act of faith, which is by definition a religous act. So then we call it what it is, a Religious rite, which is perfectly fine – I’m no ruddy secularist. But let’s not muddy our defintions, shall we.?

    And in this case, that religious rite falls entirely within the realm of eastern mysticism……

  • Tom Hering

    Matt @ 3, when it comes to things that fall under the general heading of “paranormal,” and to the question of whether these things are a danger to Christians, you won’t find anything better to read than Whom Shall We Fear? by Toby Travis. (It originally appeared in Global Journal of Classical Theology, edited by John Warwick Montgomery, and published by Patrick Henry College.)

  • Tom Hering

    Matt @ 3, when it comes to things that fall under the general heading of “paranormal,” and to the question of whether these things are a danger to Christians, you won’t find anything better to read than Whom Shall We Fear? by Toby Travis. (It originally appeared in Global Journal of Classical Theology, edited by John Warwick Montgomery, and published by Patrick Henry College.)

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, looks like the link doesn’t work like it ought to. Just google the title and author to find a .pdf file of the article.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, looks like the link doesn’t work like it ought to. Just google the title and author to find a .pdf file of the article.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Broken link, Tom (@7).

    But in case someone wonders – I do not intent to impart either disrespect (to eastern mysticism in its original forms) or fear by my classification of these techniques thus. By this I mean I am not throwing insults at say Buddhists – but I am amused at the “Christianization” of these techniques, and even more so at the attempts, often made, at “scientifying” these techniques (btw, what is it with eveybody wearing these damned magnetic bracelet thingies?).

    But Fear? Bleh. I grew up amongst people who saw a demon behind every bush, and chillin’ tales of things that happened with folks that meddled in these “awful heathen stuff”, and watched demonic movies like, hm, “Karate Kid” Ohhh.! Ahhh! Yaaaaawwwwn…..

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Broken link, Tom (@7).

    But in case someone wonders – I do not intent to impart either disrespect (to eastern mysticism in its original forms) or fear by my classification of these techniques thus. By this I mean I am not throwing insults at say Buddhists – but I am amused at the “Christianization” of these techniques, and even more so at the attempts, often made, at “scientifying” these techniques (btw, what is it with eveybody wearing these damned magnetic bracelet thingies?).

    But Fear? Bleh. I grew up amongst people who saw a demon behind every bush, and chillin’ tales of things that happened with folks that meddled in these “awful heathen stuff”, and watched demonic movies like, hm, “Karate Kid” Ohhh.! Ahhh! Yaaaaawwwwn…..

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And I took to long to post…. quick work, Tom!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And I took to long to post…. quick work, Tom!

  • Pete

    “Even though I have this [name your problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”

    Interesting. If I have, say, Strep throat, I take the antibiotic and get better. Sorta scientific, secular and pragmatic. Not to mention empiric. I could take the antibiotic and also say the rosary or do Hindu chants or acknowledge Allah or be agnostic/atheist and likely get the same result – independent of the religious attachment. My worldview doesn’t really impact much on the “antibiotic for Strep” treatment. But this “deep and complete acceptance” of myself seems to inject a religious component into the treatment offered above. Sunday mornings I typically stand with a passel of my fellow Lutherans and we verbalize how we consider ourselves to be “poor miserable sinners” – i.e. sorta low on the “deep and complete acceptance of ourselves” scale. As the Divine Service progresses, this is fleshed out a bit and the end result actually is “deep and complete acceptance” but perhaps a bit more nuanced than the simple mantra of “I deeply and completely accept myself”. An acceptance based on imputation of Another’s righteousness. I don’t think I’m really that keen on this Emotional Freedom Technique.

  • Pete

    “Even though I have this [name your problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”

    Interesting. If I have, say, Strep throat, I take the antibiotic and get better. Sorta scientific, secular and pragmatic. Not to mention empiric. I could take the antibiotic and also say the rosary or do Hindu chants or acknowledge Allah or be agnostic/atheist and likely get the same result – independent of the religious attachment. My worldview doesn’t really impact much on the “antibiotic for Strep” treatment. But this “deep and complete acceptance” of myself seems to inject a religious component into the treatment offered above. Sunday mornings I typically stand with a passel of my fellow Lutherans and we verbalize how we consider ourselves to be “poor miserable sinners” – i.e. sorta low on the “deep and complete acceptance of ourselves” scale. As the Divine Service progresses, this is fleshed out a bit and the end result actually is “deep and complete acceptance” but perhaps a bit more nuanced than the simple mantra of “I deeply and completely accept myself”. An acceptance based on imputation of Another’s righteousness. I don’t think I’m really that keen on this Emotional Freedom Technique.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Emotional freedom includes not only the freedom to accept ourselves, but also the freedom to blame others, right? Else it’s no freedom at all.

    “The woman whom you gave to be with me, SHE gave me fruit of the tree…” But I deeply and completely accept myself.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Emotional freedom includes not only the freedom to accept ourselves, but also the freedom to blame others, right? Else it’s no freedom at all.

    “The woman whom you gave to be with me, SHE gave me fruit of the tree…” But I deeply and completely accept myself.

  • trotk

    Klasie -

    I am not going to base therapy or a medical practice on a hunch, to answer your question. Nor am I arguing for these practices, or any eastern medicine. Most of it seems to be a placebo, and nothing more.

    That said, western philosophy has given us an incredible framework that enables us to understand the relationship between reason and evidence, and I want to protest any use of the terms that acts as if they are synonyms. It is perfectly reasonable to do something on the basis of good reason in the absence of evidence. Good reason plus good evidence isn’t even necessarily better, unless you are dealing with a physically observable phenomenon. Evidence can’t evaluate plenty of things, simply by definition. Pure reason (even in the absence of evidence) does not equal faith or religion, and faith does not mean there is no reason or evidence present. This could go on and on, but your portrayal of reason and evidence as either one and the same or and extremely related isn’t accurate, and your portrayal as the absence of evidence (or even the absence of reason) as necessarily religious isn’t accurate either.

    If we lose the meaning of the terms, we lose the ability to discuss something meaningfully.

  • trotk

    Klasie -

    I am not going to base therapy or a medical practice on a hunch, to answer your question. Nor am I arguing for these practices, or any eastern medicine. Most of it seems to be a placebo, and nothing more.

    That said, western philosophy has given us an incredible framework that enables us to understand the relationship between reason and evidence, and I want to protest any use of the terms that acts as if they are synonyms. It is perfectly reasonable to do something on the basis of good reason in the absence of evidence. Good reason plus good evidence isn’t even necessarily better, unless you are dealing with a physically observable phenomenon. Evidence can’t evaluate plenty of things, simply by definition. Pure reason (even in the absence of evidence) does not equal faith or religion, and faith does not mean there is no reason or evidence present. This could go on and on, but your portrayal of reason and evidence as either one and the same or and extremely related isn’t accurate, and your portrayal as the absence of evidence (or even the absence of reason) as necessarily religious isn’t accurate either.

    If we lose the meaning of the terms, we lose the ability to discuss something meaningfully.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    trotk – ??

    We find evidence. We reason from it. We derive a theory. We test the theory. etc etc.

    How is anything I said different from this? Pure reason on its own, sans evidence, is not a great idea for medical treatment. Or any foray into the natural world. And before you say “mathematics” – that is a different question altogether.

    And the mystics do not operate from Sola Reason either, but from (generaly faulty) reason operating on psychological phenomena (possible), which they do not investigate properly, and pure speculative imagination. Just last night I was watching part of a program documenting the use of certain herbs in ancient Greece and Amazon tribes alike to induce trances for religious experiences alike – one by priests, the other by Shamans. The herbs were (are) therefore viewed as divine in nature, and their use strictly regulated. This is an example where logic, based on limited investigations, produced flawed theories.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    trotk – ??

    We find evidence. We reason from it. We derive a theory. We test the theory. etc etc.

    How is anything I said different from this? Pure reason on its own, sans evidence, is not a great idea for medical treatment. Or any foray into the natural world. And before you say “mathematics” – that is a different question altogether.

    And the mystics do not operate from Sola Reason either, but from (generaly faulty) reason operating on psychological phenomena (possible), which they do not investigate properly, and pure speculative imagination. Just last night I was watching part of a program documenting the use of certain herbs in ancient Greece and Amazon tribes alike to induce trances for religious experiences alike – one by priests, the other by Shamans. The herbs were (are) therefore viewed as divine in nature, and their use strictly regulated. This is an example where logic, based on limited investigations, produced flawed theories.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What you do is tap your body at various points–yes, you do it yourself, which will make you look very silly if you do it in public. And while you are hitting yourself, you say the following: “Even though I have this [name your problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”

    That sounds waaaaaaaay too much like the positive confession junk I hear from the word of faith teachers.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What you do is tap your body at various points–yes, you do it yourself, which will make you look very silly if you do it in public. And while you are hitting yourself, you say the following: “Even though I have this [name your problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.”

    That sounds waaaaaaaay too much like the positive confession junk I hear from the word of faith teachers.

  • Jon

    Christian Freedom. As long as I’m not making a false worship out of it.

    Naaman, the pagan commander, came to Israel for healing and got relief. Was he converted to Abraham’s faith, too?

    Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord.

    If I get healing through a Voodoo witch doctor, and I give glory to our Father in Heaven on account of it, is that a bad thing?

  • Jon

    Christian Freedom. As long as I’m not making a false worship out of it.

    Naaman, the pagan commander, came to Israel for healing and got relief. Was he converted to Abraham’s faith, too?

    Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord.

    If I get healing through a Voodoo witch doctor, and I give glory to our Father in Heaven on account of it, is that a bad thing?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Jon@16
    Depends on whether or not the glory misleads the doctor in question into thinking it is because of his false religion that the healing happened.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Jon@16
    Depends on whether or not the glory misleads the doctor in question into thinking it is because of his false religion that the healing happened.

  • Tom Hering

    Jon @ 16, bottom line: you won’t be healed by a voodoo witch doctor. You’ll at best be convinced by the witch doctor that he/she healed you. And that’s deception. And that’s not from Above. (Your illness may have passed on its own, or because of other external influences – or you may never have had what you thought you had.)

  • Tom Hering

    Jon @ 16, bottom line: you won’t be healed by a voodoo witch doctor. You’ll at best be convinced by the witch doctor that he/she healed you. And that’s deception. And that’s not from Above. (Your illness may have passed on its own, or because of other external influences – or you may never have had what you thought you had.)

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Anybody who wants lots of needles put in them is nuts.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Anybody who wants lots of needles put in them is nuts.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DrLit21C :

    …or a pincushion.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DrLit21C :

    …or a pincushion.

  • trotk

    Klasie -

    Just for clarification, I am not arguing that we base medicine on pure reason, or anything like that. In fact, my only points of disagreement with you are your seeming assumption (@2) that reason and evidence are inextricably tied, and the related implication that without evidence a belief is a religion.

    That said, I stand by the idea that western science, because of its devotion to evidence, necessarily misses anything to do with the soul, qi, mind, chakra, etc. That doesn’t make them exist, of course – it simply means that materialistic science can’t argue that they don’t exist.

    Given that science has to be silent on the issue of a non-physical part of our being that could be manipulated, it is more plausible to me to believe that it exists, because the Bible also acknowledges a soul that can be interacted with. I am not arguing for a particular eastern treatment, and obviously the claim that manipulating a qi causes a physiological change could be tested with evidence.

  • trotk

    Klasie -

    Just for clarification, I am not arguing that we base medicine on pure reason, or anything like that. In fact, my only points of disagreement with you are your seeming assumption (@2) that reason and evidence are inextricably tied, and the related implication that without evidence a belief is a religion.

    That said, I stand by the idea that western science, because of its devotion to evidence, necessarily misses anything to do with the soul, qi, mind, chakra, etc. That doesn’t make them exist, of course – it simply means that materialistic science can’t argue that they don’t exist.

    Given that science has to be silent on the issue of a non-physical part of our being that could be manipulated, it is more plausible to me to believe that it exists, because the Bible also acknowledges a soul that can be interacted with. I am not arguing for a particular eastern treatment, and obviously the claim that manipulating a qi causes a physiological change could be tested with evidence.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Given that science has to be silent on the issue of a non-physical part of our being that could be manipulated, it is more plausible to me to believe that it exists, because the Bible also acknowledges a soul that can be interacted with.

    Oh, dangerous territory. Why? If simple techniques can influence the soul, then you are in serious trouble. Because the Bible says the opposite – people can damage your body, but they cannot do anything to your soul. Not even Satan can do anything to your soul. Only your own wilfull actions can. So either the Bible is wrong, or there are other things besides your Soul & Spirit. But that brings us back to my side of the debate. You would have to simply believe them, without evidence, without revelation. Thus -faith. Thus religion. Or folk religion.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Given that science has to be silent on the issue of a non-physical part of our being that could be manipulated, it is more plausible to me to believe that it exists, because the Bible also acknowledges a soul that can be interacted with.

    Oh, dangerous territory. Why? If simple techniques can influence the soul, then you are in serious trouble. Because the Bible says the opposite – people can damage your body, but they cannot do anything to your soul. Not even Satan can do anything to your soul. Only your own wilfull actions can. So either the Bible is wrong, or there are other things besides your Soul & Spirit. But that brings us back to my side of the debate. You would have to simply believe them, without evidence, without revelation. Thus -faith. Thus religion. Or folk religion.

  • CRB

    Interesting program on Issues Etc. on related topic- 1/25: Feng Shui

  • CRB

    Interesting program on Issues Etc. on related topic- 1/25: Feng Shui

  • DonS

    Our immune systems are wondrously made, and are the key to our good health and well-being. Effective medications stimulate the immune system to do its work better.

    The data is overwhelming that our emotional and spiritual well being is very important to our physical well being. Our immune systems are attuned to our stress levels and emotional outlook — the best way to improve your health is to have a positive outlook and to minimize the stressors in your life. I think that is why placebos are so effective — we think we are doing something to address our health concerns, and that improves our outlook, which in turn revs up our own immune system. Similarly, a lot of eastern and holistic medicinal approaches work to improve outlook, and thus, results.

    I view acupuncture like chiropractic therapy. As long as it is administered absent a non-Christian spiritualism, I don’t have a problem with it. Try it — if it works for you, to help you feel better, go for it. Acupuncture has become mainstream in American medicine, because it does seem to achieve good results for many. I’m with Dr. Luther on the issue of the needles, but it’s a free country, and we Christians have a lot of freedom in Christ to experiment with different medicinal therapies.

    If the alternative therapy involves meditation, mantras, etc., or making a “positive statement”, like “I completely accept myself”, I would be extremely wary. Use that meditation time in the Word, and in prayer for your healing — it will be a lot more profitable to your soul and to your relationship with Christ, the Ultimate Healer. It is a much more positive thing to say “I am accepted by God, through Christ”, than to say “I accept myself”.

  • DonS

    Our immune systems are wondrously made, and are the key to our good health and well-being. Effective medications stimulate the immune system to do its work better.

    The data is overwhelming that our emotional and spiritual well being is very important to our physical well being. Our immune systems are attuned to our stress levels and emotional outlook — the best way to improve your health is to have a positive outlook and to minimize the stressors in your life. I think that is why placebos are so effective — we think we are doing something to address our health concerns, and that improves our outlook, which in turn revs up our own immune system. Similarly, a lot of eastern and holistic medicinal approaches work to improve outlook, and thus, results.

    I view acupuncture like chiropractic therapy. As long as it is administered absent a non-Christian spiritualism, I don’t have a problem with it. Try it — if it works for you, to help you feel better, go for it. Acupuncture has become mainstream in American medicine, because it does seem to achieve good results for many. I’m with Dr. Luther on the issue of the needles, but it’s a free country, and we Christians have a lot of freedom in Christ to experiment with different medicinal therapies.

    If the alternative therapy involves meditation, mantras, etc., or making a “positive statement”, like “I completely accept myself”, I would be extremely wary. Use that meditation time in the Word, and in prayer for your healing — it will be a lot more profitable to your soul and to your relationship with Christ, the Ultimate Healer. It is a much more positive thing to say “I am accepted by God, through Christ”, than to say “I accept myself”.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Actually, regarding Feng Shui, in his book, “A place of my own” Michael Pollan did the following experiment:

    He was looking for the ideal building site, on his property, to build his own writing studio. So he decided to follow various guide lines, and see what he came up with. One was Roman architectural guidelines, another was Feng Shui, another was some modern “scientific” architectural guidelines, and I forgot what the others where.

    Interesting result: They came all came up with near-identical results. Thus the Feng Shui proved to be a overly-spiritualised (for our Western minds, at least) version of well thought out, common sense conclusions that the Romans also agreed upon. It was of course the production of a completely different cultural milieu.

    How much of that is really religious is also a debate. You see, in Eastern cultures, there is no line between philosophy and religion, just as, in Western Culture, till the 1700′s, there was no line between philosophy and science. Thus Taoism is actually a philosophy, but can be seen as a religion, and that distinction is not necessarily sensical to the Eastern mind.

    So while my earlier criticism holds, particularly where it concerns the adaption by “therapists” of certain techniqies based on nothing really, at the same time we need to be careful discussing the methods of the East, and the manners in which they describe their own things in general. Some of it is just elaborate descriptions of common sense, as Pollan found. Others might be really “out there”.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Actually, regarding Feng Shui, in his book, “A place of my own” Michael Pollan did the following experiment:

    He was looking for the ideal building site, on his property, to build his own writing studio. So he decided to follow various guide lines, and see what he came up with. One was Roman architectural guidelines, another was Feng Shui, another was some modern “scientific” architectural guidelines, and I forgot what the others where.

    Interesting result: They came all came up with near-identical results. Thus the Feng Shui proved to be a overly-spiritualised (for our Western minds, at least) version of well thought out, common sense conclusions that the Romans also agreed upon. It was of course the production of a completely different cultural milieu.

    How much of that is really religious is also a debate. You see, in Eastern cultures, there is no line between philosophy and religion, just as, in Western Culture, till the 1700′s, there was no line between philosophy and science. Thus Taoism is actually a philosophy, but can be seen as a religion, and that distinction is not necessarily sensical to the Eastern mind.

    So while my earlier criticism holds, particularly where it concerns the adaption by “therapists” of certain techniqies based on nothing really, at the same time we need to be careful discussing the methods of the East, and the manners in which they describe their own things in general. Some of it is just elaborate descriptions of common sense, as Pollan found. Others might be really “out there”.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    That said (my comment in #25), I would hazard a guess that the majority of practioners in the West of all these alternative procedures (Feng Shui for starters) make it up as they go along, and fool a lot of idiots out of good money. As such, they actually insult the cultures of the East while they are at it.

    Hey, I have this bridge….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    That said (my comment in #25), I would hazard a guess that the majority of practioners in the West of all these alternative procedures (Feng Shui for starters) make it up as they go along, and fool a lot of idiots out of good money. As such, they actually insult the cultures of the East while they are at it.

    Hey, I have this bridge….

  • trotk

    Klasie, you jump from “manipulate” and “interact with” to “damage” rather quickly. Sure, it would be dangerous territory if I said a Christian’s soul could be harmed, but I purposefully didn’t go there.

    The New Testament seems to imply that if this stuff is anything, it couldn’t harm a Christian, although it still might not be wise for other reasons.

  • trotk

    Klasie, you jump from “manipulate” and “interact with” to “damage” rather quickly. Sure, it would be dangerous territory if I said a Christian’s soul could be harmed, but I purposefully didn’t go there.

    The New Testament seems to imply that if this stuff is anything, it couldn’t harm a Christian, although it still might not be wise for other reasons.

  • Bob

    It is a much more positive thing to say “I am accepted by God, through Christ”, than to say “I accept myself”.

    DonS,

    Agreed.

    Even simpler, in terms of self esteem:

    “Jesus Christ died for me.”

  • Bob

    It is a much more positive thing to say “I am accepted by God, through Christ”, than to say “I accept myself”.

    DonS,

    Agreed.

    Even simpler, in terms of self esteem:

    “Jesus Christ died for me.”

  • –helen

    Jon @ 16
    Was he converted to Abraham’s faith, too?

    Actually, he was. Naaman asked for a couple of donkey loads of dirt from the prophet’s yard, to stand on when he prayed to the G-d of Israel back home.
    Since he was 2nd in command back there; he was required to go with the king to their false worship. He asked the prophet if G-d would understand that he wasn’t worshipping but doing his secular duty.

  • –helen

    Jon @ 16
    Was he converted to Abraham’s faith, too?

    Actually, he was. Naaman asked for a couple of donkey loads of dirt from the prophet’s yard, to stand on when he prayed to the G-d of Israel back home.
    Since he was 2nd in command back there; he was required to go with the king to their false worship. He asked the prophet if G-d would understand that he wasn’t worshipping but doing his secular duty.

  • kerner

    Nobody here has really addressed it, but a lot of eastern disciplines, including most of their martial arts, have a philisophical/religious component to them. You also see this in mind/body control regimens like yoga and Tai Chi. I think there is something beyond placebo involved in some of these. And I suspect, without any real proof that it has something to do with techniques that control involuntary body functions that are similar to hypnosis. Thus the content of the mantra, or what ever these people call the repetition of “I completely accept myself” is less important than the fact that the person is tapping rythmically and repeating something.

    In other words, I think that many people can train their bodies and brans to react in certain ways to certain self induced stimuli. This isn’t magic, and it’s not demonology either.

    I wonder if training one’s body and brain in this way is intrinsically wrong, or whether it is simply something eastern cultures have figured out (while ascribing some pseudo-religious aspect to it that doesn’t really need to be there) that we could learn and use without the eastern superstitious mumbo-jumbo. Sort of like (yes indeed Klasie) the karate kid.

    I’m also just thinking out loud. I haven’t really decided what I think about it. Does anyone else have any thoughts?

  • kerner

    Nobody here has really addressed it, but a lot of eastern disciplines, including most of their martial arts, have a philisophical/religious component to them. You also see this in mind/body control regimens like yoga and Tai Chi. I think there is something beyond placebo involved in some of these. And I suspect, without any real proof that it has something to do with techniques that control involuntary body functions that are similar to hypnosis. Thus the content of the mantra, or what ever these people call the repetition of “I completely accept myself” is less important than the fact that the person is tapping rythmically and repeating something.

    In other words, I think that many people can train their bodies and brans to react in certain ways to certain self induced stimuli. This isn’t magic, and it’s not demonology either.

    I wonder if training one’s body and brain in this way is intrinsically wrong, or whether it is simply something eastern cultures have figured out (while ascribing some pseudo-religious aspect to it that doesn’t really need to be there) that we could learn and use without the eastern superstitious mumbo-jumbo. Sort of like (yes indeed Klasie) the karate kid.

    I’m also just thinking out loud. I haven’t really decided what I think about it. Does anyone else have any thoughts?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner – see my comment @ 25. Nothing really different between that and say an athelete practing whatever sport it is – just more complicated.

    trotk – I think you are missing my point. Two different issues here. WRT two stimuli – body interactions – see my response to Kerner here. Wrt to stimuli – soul interactions – my response to you still stand. BTW, I do not see emotions and emotional states as part of the soul – since they are intrinsically linked to biology. Feeling angry, feeling upset, feeling sad is not wrong or bad per se, since they are the emotional equivalents of something like fight / flight responses (for some), and part of your biological make-up. However, when you decide to give in to emotional feeling, and “vent” your anger, then you sin. That affects your soul. Emotions are linked to hormones, for one thing (no wonder some of the sages, when thinking emotions are linked to the soul, though women = evil :) :) – an example of what confusing these things will do to your thinking). My response to you were framed thus because you were specifically trying to link stimuli to “Soul health”, which is absolutely bogus, firstly. Secondly, I think that while everybody is generally free to do what they can, one should not label things “therapy” which has not been thoroughly vetted on a scientific basis, because one does not understand what is going on. And without any rational basis or evidence, what else is it but “folk religion” at the very least? And I’m not disparaging it by giving it that lable either, BUT I’m calling it by its proper name!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kerner – see my comment @ 25. Nothing really different between that and say an athelete practing whatever sport it is – just more complicated.

    trotk – I think you are missing my point. Two different issues here. WRT two stimuli – body interactions – see my response to Kerner here. Wrt to stimuli – soul interactions – my response to you still stand. BTW, I do not see emotions and emotional states as part of the soul – since they are intrinsically linked to biology. Feeling angry, feeling upset, feeling sad is not wrong or bad per se, since they are the emotional equivalents of something like fight / flight responses (for some), and part of your biological make-up. However, when you decide to give in to emotional feeling, and “vent” your anger, then you sin. That affects your soul. Emotions are linked to hormones, for one thing (no wonder some of the sages, when thinking emotions are linked to the soul, though women = evil :) :) – an example of what confusing these things will do to your thinking). My response to you were framed thus because you were specifically trying to link stimuli to “Soul health”, which is absolutely bogus, firstly. Secondly, I think that while everybody is generally free to do what they can, one should not label things “therapy” which has not been thoroughly vetted on a scientific basis, because one does not understand what is going on. And without any rational basis or evidence, what else is it but “folk religion” at the very least? And I’m not disparaging it by giving it that lable either, BUT I’m calling it by its proper name!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yeah, hmm. Does EFT seem a bit like hooey to me? As such, yes. The “deeply and completely accept myself” mantra is a bit much for me.

    But that doesn’t mean there’s not something to learn here, that the technique wouldn’t work, overall. I couldn’t watch the whole video — that is, I couldn’t bear to watch the whole video — but I’m not surprised to find that the tapping motion could be calming or pleasant. After all, when I want my infant daughter to calm down, I repeatedly tap her on the back.

    Touch is a frequently neglected concept in modern medicine, as is the mind or emotions, in general. I mean, modern science has done studies about the effects of our feelings or thoughts on our general health, but that doesn’t mean your doctor is actually going to talk to you about such things. Because that would take a lot of time, and doctors don’t have that. But they can write a prescription.

    It’s possible that, at some point, science will be able to accurately measure things like pain or other mental components of our health. But until it does, the scientific approach is hindered, according to its own tactics. As such, I’m not completely willing to dismiss something that claims to operate outside the realm of science. I’m not saying I necessarily believe in qi or chakras, but nor can I prove that there’s not some scientific counterpart to these concepts. Science can’t really prove that acupuncture doesn’t impact your pain levels, because science can’t measure your pain levels. At least, as far as I understand things.

    So yes, we should, as Christians, be on the lookout for any non-Christian gobbledygook that may be wrapped around useful techniques. But that doesn’t mean the techniques aren’t still useful.

    For several years, I did yoga with some friends in an environment that was completely bereft of Eastern spirituality. We’d listen to some Yo La Tengo and do stretches and core-strenthening exercises. I was in some of the best shape of my adult life when I was doing all that. I wouldn’t begrudge any other Christian doing the same.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Yeah, hmm. Does EFT seem a bit like hooey to me? As such, yes. The “deeply and completely accept myself” mantra is a bit much for me.

    But that doesn’t mean there’s not something to learn here, that the technique wouldn’t work, overall. I couldn’t watch the whole video — that is, I couldn’t bear to watch the whole video — but I’m not surprised to find that the tapping motion could be calming or pleasant. After all, when I want my infant daughter to calm down, I repeatedly tap her on the back.

    Touch is a frequently neglected concept in modern medicine, as is the mind or emotions, in general. I mean, modern science has done studies about the effects of our feelings or thoughts on our general health, but that doesn’t mean your doctor is actually going to talk to you about such things. Because that would take a lot of time, and doctors don’t have that. But they can write a prescription.

    It’s possible that, at some point, science will be able to accurately measure things like pain or other mental components of our health. But until it does, the scientific approach is hindered, according to its own tactics. As such, I’m not completely willing to dismiss something that claims to operate outside the realm of science. I’m not saying I necessarily believe in qi or chakras, but nor can I prove that there’s not some scientific counterpart to these concepts. Science can’t really prove that acupuncture doesn’t impact your pain levels, because science can’t measure your pain levels. At least, as far as I understand things.

    So yes, we should, as Christians, be on the lookout for any non-Christian gobbledygook that may be wrapped around useful techniques. But that doesn’t mean the techniques aren’t still useful.

    For several years, I did yoga with some friends in an environment that was completely bereft of Eastern spirituality. We’d listen to some Yo La Tengo and do stretches and core-strenthening exercises. I was in some of the best shape of my adult life when I was doing all that. I wouldn’t begrudge any other Christian doing the same.

  • –helen

    I had opportunity to hear Prof. Kurt Marquart about voodoo, July, 2006. He spent time (and no small amount of his own money) in Haiti assisting the Lutheran churches there.

    Prof Marquart said, “If you believe voodoo can kill you, it can kill you.” The voodoo priests live on fears like that.

    Marquart told a story about a Christian Pastor who came to a village where a voodoo priest lived. They had arranged for a hymn service in a house next door. The voodoo priest came out and said, “You cannot do that. I own that house.” So the Pastor said, “Alright, we will sing in the street.”

    The priest told the Pastor demons would attack him if he stayed in the village. But when they sang and nothing happened more people joined the Pastor in the street.
    Later, the voodoo priest said, “You can have those people, but these on this side are mine.”
    After more singing by the Christians, almost all the people were on the “Christian” side of the street.

    Voodoo is rampant in Haiti; many people attend the Roman Catholic church but also listen to the voodoo priest.

  • –helen

    I had opportunity to hear Prof. Kurt Marquart about voodoo, July, 2006. He spent time (and no small amount of his own money) in Haiti assisting the Lutheran churches there.

    Prof Marquart said, “If you believe voodoo can kill you, it can kill you.” The voodoo priests live on fears like that.

    Marquart told a story about a Christian Pastor who came to a village where a voodoo priest lived. They had arranged for a hymn service in a house next door. The voodoo priest came out and said, “You cannot do that. I own that house.” So the Pastor said, “Alright, we will sing in the street.”

    The priest told the Pastor demons would attack him if he stayed in the village. But when they sang and nothing happened more people joined the Pastor in the street.
    Later, the voodoo priest said, “You can have those people, but these on this side are mine.”
    After more singing by the Christians, almost all the people were on the “Christian” side of the street.

    Voodoo is rampant in Haiti; many people attend the Roman Catholic church but also listen to the voodoo priest.

  • kerner

    Klasie:

    You could be right, but it seems kind of materialistic to relagate all emotion to the realm of the physiological chemical reaction. If love and hate are just chemical reactions in the brain, what does that do for the concept of sin? I mean: “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt have certain chemical reactions in response to thy neighbor similar to thy flight/fight reflex”? Doesn’t that lose something in the translation? How do you hang all the law and the prophets on that?

    But your response to my earlier query makes sense. Our brains do a lot of things that we do not usually consciously think about: pump our blood, digest our food, control our body temperature, control our breathing, etc. We can consciously control our breathing when we want to without too much mental effort, but not most of the rest of them. I guess I’m suggesting that it might not be mere folk magic to try to figure out ways to control our physiological selves without completely understanding how or why a certain technique works. Science doesn’t have to understand the how and why of something right away. In the beginning of scientific inquery, usually we just identify the what.

  • kerner

    Klasie:

    You could be right, but it seems kind of materialistic to relagate all emotion to the realm of the physiological chemical reaction. If love and hate are just chemical reactions in the brain, what does that do for the concept of sin? I mean: “And the second is like unto it, thou shalt have certain chemical reactions in response to thy neighbor similar to thy flight/fight reflex”? Doesn’t that lose something in the translation? How do you hang all the law and the prophets on that?

    But your response to my earlier query makes sense. Our brains do a lot of things that we do not usually consciously think about: pump our blood, digest our food, control our body temperature, control our breathing, etc. We can consciously control our breathing when we want to without too much mental effort, but not most of the rest of them. I guess I’m suggesting that it might not be mere folk magic to try to figure out ways to control our physiological selves without completely understanding how or why a certain technique works. Science doesn’t have to understand the how and why of something right away. In the beginning of scientific inquery, usually we just identify the what.

  • Bob

    EFT, from what I know, is probably a combo of belief along with some type of grounding in Chinese something-or-other.

    Kind of reminds me what an architect said to me once when I asked him about feng shui. “Some of it is definitely interesting,” he said, “but it’s mostly bulls*it.”
    :)

  • Bob

    EFT, from what I know, is probably a combo of belief along with some type of grounding in Chinese something-or-other.

    Kind of reminds me what an architect said to me once when I asked him about feng shui. “Some of it is definitely interesting,” he said, “but it’s mostly bulls*it.”
    :)

  • kerner

    Bob:

    Yeah. But isn’t everything in (or at least of) this world mostly bulls*it?

  • kerner

    Bob:

    Yeah. But isn’t everything in (or at least of) this world mostly bulls*it?

  • Bob

    Kerner,

    Well…yeah…but no.

    How’s that for a straightforward answer?

    The usual Lutheran “paradox” answer.
    :)

  • Bob

    Kerner,

    Well…yeah…but no.

    How’s that for a straightforward answer?

    The usual Lutheran “paradox” answer.
    :)

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Thank you for pointing out that excellent article, Tom (@7).

    It doesn’t directly apply to my own experience, which was by no means miraculous, or even supernatural in Travis’ understanding of the terms. Even by my teacher’s explanation it could fall well within natural God-given limits if those limits happen to be different than those understood by scientific materialism. And while his explanation fit the facts, there could certainly be others that also do.

    I do think Travis overstates his case in places. Demonic activity could still be “magic” in a similar sense to advanced technology being called “magic.” Not miraculous, but still beyond our practical understanding and indeed perhaps up to his example of moving a book across a table.

    Nevertheless, the article’s great strength lies in how well it helps sharpen one’s understanding of the limited “where” and “how” of demonic activity as described in our only reliable source on the subject and in its reminder to consider illusion & deception first and foremost. I’ll have to give the subject some more thought.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Thank you for pointing out that excellent article, Tom (@7).

    It doesn’t directly apply to my own experience, which was by no means miraculous, or even supernatural in Travis’ understanding of the terms. Even by my teacher’s explanation it could fall well within natural God-given limits if those limits happen to be different than those understood by scientific materialism. And while his explanation fit the facts, there could certainly be others that also do.

    I do think Travis overstates his case in places. Demonic activity could still be “magic” in a similar sense to advanced technology being called “magic.” Not miraculous, but still beyond our practical understanding and indeed perhaps up to his example of moving a book across a table.

    Nevertheless, the article’s great strength lies in how well it helps sharpen one’s understanding of the limited “where” and “how” of demonic activity as described in our only reliable source on the subject and in its reminder to consider illusion & deception first and foremost. I’ll have to give the subject some more thought.

  • Michael B.

    @trotk

    “Like I said, I am not defending eastern medicine, and tend to regard it as a placebo, more than anything else, but I do believe that the rejection of it has more to do with secularism than anything inherent to Christianity.”

    Agreed. The idea that magic, sorcery, witches are just make-believe is a secularist/atheistic idea. The bible never says there’s no such thing as demons, witchcraft, magic, or sorcery.

  • Michael B.

    @trotk

    “Like I said, I am not defending eastern medicine, and tend to regard it as a placebo, more than anything else, but I do believe that the rejection of it has more to do with secularism than anything inherent to Christianity.”

    Agreed. The idea that magic, sorcery, witches are just make-believe is a secularist/atheistic idea. The bible never says there’s no such thing as demons, witchcraft, magic, or sorcery.

  • Grace

    The power of Chi does not come from God. I went to an Acupuncturist about six years ago with much trepidation. After only a few visits, I looked into what the “power of Chi” was all about – The female Acupuncturist associated herself with a Christian church, however the power she attributed to healing came from “the power of Chi” – After those few visits I never returned, my original instincts were correct.

    Most people are not aware that “Chi” is also known as “The Dragon’s breath.” This however is never pointed out when someone goes to an acupuncturist. And this should not come as a surprise to anyone. The dragon represents Satan, the devil. Chi originates in Chinese Taoism which began about 550 BC. . . . . . it’s also good to note that Judaism began 2,085 BC.

    Christian Answers for the New Age

    By Marcia Montenegro

    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 – Chi

    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.

    http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_YinYang.html

  • Grace

    The power of Chi does not come from God. I went to an Acupuncturist about six years ago with much trepidation. After only a few visits, I looked into what the “power of Chi” was all about – The female Acupuncturist associated herself with a Christian church, however the power she attributed to healing came from “the power of Chi” – After those few visits I never returned, my original instincts were correct.

    Most people are not aware that “Chi” is also known as “The Dragon’s breath.” This however is never pointed out when someone goes to an acupuncturist. And this should not come as a surprise to anyone. The dragon represents Satan, the devil. Chi originates in Chinese Taoism which began about 550 BC. . . . . . it’s also good to note that Judaism began 2,085 BC.

    Christian Answers for the New Age

    By Marcia Montenegro

    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 – Chi

    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.

    http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_YinYang.html

  • Susan

    I’ve used acupuncture before with no thought of endorsing a false religion, and I love it. To this Lutheran, it’s simply a tool which is no different than other methods of treatment in that respect. Not even the music played during a treatment bothers me; I find it relaxing and don’t tend to do anything but go to sleep.

    I’ve used it to treat sinus trouble and a pulled muscle and to better and healthier result than being given a steroid.

  • Susan

    I’ve used acupuncture before with no thought of endorsing a false religion, and I love it. To this Lutheran, it’s simply a tool which is no different than other methods of treatment in that respect. Not even the music played during a treatment bothers me; I find it relaxing and don’t tend to do anything but go to sleep.

    I’ve used it to treat sinus trouble and a pulled muscle and to better and healthier result than being given a steroid.

  • Gary

    Susan, thank you. I don’t have much confidence in acupuncture myself, but I appreciate your candor about your experience. Your position strikes me as very sensible.

    I knew when/if Grace weighed in it would be to raise alarms about about how Christians are being deceived by the Dark Side–the scary Eastern religions that are almost on level (in her view) with the occult! Nice to see she didn’t disappoint.

    Dr. Veith asked: “What’s the attraction for Christians? They don’t believe in energy meridians, do they?” The answer is clearly some do and some don’t. It’s similar to asking: “Lutherans don’t believe in Keynesian economics, do they?” And that is answered the same way, namely, some do, and some don’t.

    The Bible doesn’t come into play on the acupuncture question and therapies like it; it does more so on economic theories.

  • Gary

    Susan, thank you. I don’t have much confidence in acupuncture myself, but I appreciate your candor about your experience. Your position strikes me as very sensible.

    I knew when/if Grace weighed in it would be to raise alarms about about how Christians are being deceived by the Dark Side–the scary Eastern religions that are almost on level (in her view) with the occult! Nice to see she didn’t disappoint.

    Dr. Veith asked: “What’s the attraction for Christians? They don’t believe in energy meridians, do they?” The answer is clearly some do and some don’t. It’s similar to asking: “Lutherans don’t believe in Keynesian economics, do they?” And that is answered the same way, namely, some do, and some don’t.

    The Bible doesn’t come into play on the acupuncture question and therapies like it; it does more so on economic theories.

  • Bob

    ‘The Bible doesn’t come into play on the acupuncture question and therapies like it; it does more so on economic theories.’

    Gary,

    Can you explain this more?

    Are you thinking in terms of all the warnings in Scripture about accumulating wealth instead of having our hearts set on God? Or do you mean “economic theory” in terms of broader systems? Would be interested to get your take.

  • Bob

    ‘The Bible doesn’t come into play on the acupuncture question and therapies like it; it does more so on economic theories.’

    Gary,

    Can you explain this more?

    Are you thinking in terms of all the warnings in Scripture about accumulating wealth instead of having our hearts set on God? Or do you mean “economic theory” in terms of broader systems? Would be interested to get your take.

  • Grace

    There are a great many people who follow that which serve their purpose for the moment, but are not of God. Satan is everywhere on this earth . Not only is Satan with all power able to delude those who believe themselves brilliant with a LIE. They who believe him and not the truth, are damned.

    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    2 Thessalonians 2

  • Grace

    There are a great many people who follow that which serve their purpose for the moment, but are not of God. Satan is everywhere on this earth . Not only is Satan with all power able to delude those who believe themselves brilliant with a LIE. They who believe him and not the truth, are damned.

    9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

    10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
    2 Thessalonians 2

  • fws

    klasie @ 22

    “Because the Bible says the opposite – people can damage your body, but they cannot do anything to your soul. Not even Satan can do anything to your soul. Only your own wilfull actions can.” Emphasis added.

    Klassie, this betrays, I suggest, a lack of understanding of original sin. ALL sin is “willful” Klasie. Noone ever commits a sin unless the are fully committed to commit it body, mind, and soul.

    Original sin is simply a void of faith in the Works of Another. And also… it is a vicious faith in anything BUT the Works of Another that fills that void.

    Sin is precisely this idolatry. And Old Adam is nothing but this idolatry of misplaced faith.

    Our willful thoughts words and deeds are simply symptoms of this.

    Does this damage the soul? Of course it does. It kills the soul eternally. It is death. Eternal death. This is called “justice”. Justice is what the Law effects and works.

    How do we avoid this damage? By employing will power? Nope. Why? Our will is turned against God as Old Adam.

    And so Christ alone and faith in Him alone can be an end to sin and the deathly damage sin causes in and among us.

    And in baptismal new birth we receive new heart movements that start to will what God wills. And that Eternal Will is that Goodness and Mercy be done among men.

    And so the will of God is not that man should perish according to the Justice that is the always work of the Law. God wills that we recieve the opposite of what we deserve, which is justice.

    God desires, even among sinful men, that mercy be done. Mercy is always undeserved. It is not about our willing or not willing. It is alone about the Will of God.

    Pagans can know there is a God, and that he is loving and merciful. Only Christians in Christ alone can know and be certain that he is merciful “for me!”

  • fws

    klasie @ 22

    “Because the Bible says the opposite – people can damage your body, but they cannot do anything to your soul. Not even Satan can do anything to your soul. Only your own wilfull actions can.” Emphasis added.

    Klassie, this betrays, I suggest, a lack of understanding of original sin. ALL sin is “willful” Klasie. Noone ever commits a sin unless the are fully committed to commit it body, mind, and soul.

    Original sin is simply a void of faith in the Works of Another. And also… it is a vicious faith in anything BUT the Works of Another that fills that void.

    Sin is precisely this idolatry. And Old Adam is nothing but this idolatry of misplaced faith.

    Our willful thoughts words and deeds are simply symptoms of this.

    Does this damage the soul? Of course it does. It kills the soul eternally. It is death. Eternal death. This is called “justice”. Justice is what the Law effects and works.

    How do we avoid this damage? By employing will power? Nope. Why? Our will is turned against God as Old Adam.

    And so Christ alone and faith in Him alone can be an end to sin and the deathly damage sin causes in and among us.

    And in baptismal new birth we receive new heart movements that start to will what God wills. And that Eternal Will is that Goodness and Mercy be done among men.

    And so the will of God is not that man should perish according to the Justice that is the always work of the Law. God wills that we recieve the opposite of what we deserve, which is justice.

    God desires, even among sinful men, that mercy be done. Mercy is always undeserved. It is not about our willing or not willing. It is alone about the Will of God.

    Pagans can know there is a God, and that he is loving and merciful. Only Christians in Christ alone can know and be certain that he is merciful “for me!”

  • kerner

    fws:

    I agree that pagans can know that there is a God, or at least, “gods” but are you sure that they can know that He is loving and merciful? I’m not arguing because I haven’t really considered that issue before. But could you expand on that if you have a moment?

  • kerner

    fws:

    I agree that pagans can know that there is a God, or at least, “gods” but are you sure that they can know that He is loving and merciful? I’m not arguing because I haven’t really considered that issue before. But could you expand on that if you have a moment?

  • fws

    Kerner @ 46

    I got that from a Luther sermon that is one of my favorites of his.
    Luther observes that pagans can know that God is good and he is merciful, but what they cannot be certain of , is that he wills to be merciful to them.

    He asserts that only Christians can know this is true for them specifically and personally in Christ.Which is really to say in our baptism .

    In a similar vein, our confessions say that the crucifix is the most terrifying preachment of the Law. It only becomes sweet gospel when the heart siezes and trusts the words “given and shed FOR YOU”.

    So I see a golden thread in Lutheran Theology about the Gospel being about the comfort of a terrified conscience , and so truly Gospel, precisely when God puts that trust in our heart that he wills to be merciful specifically to us. They say “God can only become an object of love when a terrified conscience no longer feels accused.

    So while it is important for the Gospel to be that Objective Outside-of-us Gospel, it is also equally important for it to be very personally and subjectively applied. This appears to be precisely that thing that we cannot do by our own reason or strength as the small catechism so eloquently states.

    I haven´t read marked and inwardly digested all this enough yet to be able to articulate it globally, but dear Kerner, you caught onto what also interests me in all this. I am still pondering all this to be honest.

  • fws

    Kerner @ 46

    I got that from a Luther sermon that is one of my favorites of his.
    Luther observes that pagans can know that God is good and he is merciful, but what they cannot be certain of , is that he wills to be merciful to them.

    He asserts that only Christians can know this is true for them specifically and personally in Christ.Which is really to say in our baptism .

    In a similar vein, our confessions say that the crucifix is the most terrifying preachment of the Law. It only becomes sweet gospel when the heart siezes and trusts the words “given and shed FOR YOU”.

    So I see a golden thread in Lutheran Theology about the Gospel being about the comfort of a terrified conscience , and so truly Gospel, precisely when God puts that trust in our heart that he wills to be merciful specifically to us. They say “God can only become an object of love when a terrified conscience no longer feels accused.

    So while it is important for the Gospel to be that Objective Outside-of-us Gospel, it is also equally important for it to be very personally and subjectively applied. This appears to be precisely that thing that we cannot do by our own reason or strength as the small catechism so eloquently states.

    I haven´t read marked and inwardly digested all this enough yet to be able to articulate it globally, but dear Kerner, you caught onto what also interests me in all this. I am still pondering all this to be honest.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Gary @ 42,

    While the Eastern religions may not delve into the Occult proper, per se, they are still false religions nevertheless. Grace may be overreaching with her dubious connection of the dots, but a false religion is a false religion, regardless of how innocent or intellectual or philosophical they are.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Gary @ 42,

    While the Eastern religions may not delve into the Occult proper, per se, they are still false religions nevertheless. Grace may be overreaching with her dubious connection of the dots, but a false religion is a false religion, regardless of how innocent or intellectual or philosophical they are.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Frank, I’m not ignoring original sin. But I’m paraphrasingg St Paul in I Corinthians, intentionally obscurely.

    Why?

    Because there is far too much of this crap in Christian circles, namely that the “devil is in the stuff”! (Including the technique). This is not tolerating the weaker brother, this is the tyranny of those who want to make everyone weak. Superstition works in 2 ways.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Frank, I’m not ignoring original sin. But I’m paraphrasingg St Paul in I Corinthians, intentionally obscurely.

    Why?

    Because there is far too much of this crap in Christian circles, namely that the “devil is in the stuff”! (Including the technique). This is not tolerating the weaker brother, this is the tyranny of those who want to make everyone weak. Superstition works in 2 ways.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So let me see if I have this right. Acupuncture (and tai chi, among others, it would seem) is Satanic because … some people refer to the concept of “chi” as “dragon’s breath” … and “the dragon represents Satan”?

    So … is the “dragon roll” I sometimes get at my local sushi joint also Satanic, then? Because it comes from an Asian, non-Christian culture and has the word “dragon” in it, too. Maybe I’m possessed already?

    Or maybe Christians should actually be concerned with false teaching, and not just foolish games like this? Indeed, shouldn’t foolish games like this be filed under false teaching? Because every good thing we enjoy in this life — and that includes exercise (like yoga and tai chi) and food (like dragon rolls) — comes from God, and we are free in Christ to use them lovingly and wisely.

    Or you could choose to live your life in fear, worrying about discovering secret connections to Satanism that will somehow (?) have a deleterious effect on your soul — essentially a “Six Degrees of Satan” game — all the while missing the point that it is that very fear that is sinful. You know, like fear that, in accidentally doing the wrong thing, you could end up coming under the influence of Satan, all because you didn’t know that “chi” is also known as “dragon’s breath”.

    Here, let’s play a Bible game. You show me where in the Bible the practice (or notion) of acupuncture is banned, and then when it’s my turn, I’ll discuss, from a Biblical stance, people who live in fear of doing the wrong thing even though such fear is unwarranted.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    So let me see if I have this right. Acupuncture (and tai chi, among others, it would seem) is Satanic because … some people refer to the concept of “chi” as “dragon’s breath” … and “the dragon represents Satan”?

    So … is the “dragon roll” I sometimes get at my local sushi joint also Satanic, then? Because it comes from an Asian, non-Christian culture and has the word “dragon” in it, too. Maybe I’m possessed already?

    Or maybe Christians should actually be concerned with false teaching, and not just foolish games like this? Indeed, shouldn’t foolish games like this be filed under false teaching? Because every good thing we enjoy in this life — and that includes exercise (like yoga and tai chi) and food (like dragon rolls) — comes from God, and we are free in Christ to use them lovingly and wisely.

    Or you could choose to live your life in fear, worrying about discovering secret connections to Satanism that will somehow (?) have a deleterious effect on your soul — essentially a “Six Degrees of Satan” game — all the while missing the point that it is that very fear that is sinful. You know, like fear that, in accidentally doing the wrong thing, you could end up coming under the influence of Satan, all because you didn’t know that “chi” is also known as “dragon’s breath”.

    Here, let’s play a Bible game. You show me where in the Bible the practice (or notion) of acupuncture is banned, and then when it’s my turn, I’ll discuss, from a Biblical stance, people who live in fear of doing the wrong thing even though such fear is unwarranted.

  • fws

    klasie @ 49 and todd @ 50

    +1

    and I will up the ante… Lots of christians feel a need to label stuff as post modernism or new age or such and then ban any ideas there as anti christian.

    at the same time they can revere pagans like aristotle and actually bring them into the formal doctrine of the church with such pagan notions as the roman catholic version of Natural Law. And that crap is ok.

    Nope.

  • fws

    klasie @ 49 and todd @ 50

    +1

    and I will up the ante… Lots of christians feel a need to label stuff as post modernism or new age or such and then ban any ideas there as anti christian.

    at the same time they can revere pagans like aristotle and actually bring them into the formal doctrine of the church with such pagan notions as the roman catholic version of Natural Law. And that crap is ok.

    Nope.

  • Scott

    I think I’m free in the Gospel to tap myself on the head and assure myself that everything will work out (Esp. because of the Gospel).

  • Scott

    I think I’m free in the Gospel to tap myself on the head and assure myself that everything will work out (Esp. because of the Gospel).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    FWS (and Todd) – exactly. We are on the same page.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    FWS (and Todd) – exactly. We are on the same page.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    It just occurred to me that someone might still be confused by my stance at #2, and later on. Let me put it this way:

    I don’t believe in snake oil till it’s been scientifically shown to be not snake oil. Physically it might be good (but I’m not trusting till it is understood, or tested, for good reason), harmless, or harmfull. But I also do not believe that using snake oil is going to harm you spiritually – at all.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    It just occurred to me that someone might still be confused by my stance at #2, and later on. Let me put it this way:

    I don’t believe in snake oil till it’s been scientifically shown to be not snake oil. Physically it might be good (but I’m not trusting till it is understood, or tested, for good reason), harmless, or harmfull. But I also do not believe that using snake oil is going to harm you spiritually – at all.

  • fws

    agree klasie! science in medicine is a great blessing.

  • fws

    agree klasie! science in medicine is a great blessing.

  • Pingback: Emotional Freedom Techniques – a natural toddler tranquilizer? « Kindermusik with Amanda

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  • http://www.eft-suisse.ch/ Ankit

    think I could do this! I can’t seem to stay calm very long for yoga, but this i might be able to manage. I have been under a great deal of stress this week and even with that quick demonstration I felt it decrease after only one round. Will be trying this…

  • Sherrie Smith

    I know this is an old post, but what you are all missing is this: Forget the Chinese meridians and how it relates to Emotional Freedom Techniques and focus on the biology of how it actually works! It, in fact, has nothing to do with Chinese religion or medicine, but everything to do with how God created us with our cellular receptors and neuropeptides. I’m a Christian EFT practitioner and I focus on God’s forgiveness as the “tapping”, or needleless acupuncture is done. If any of you have been to a doctor lately for treatment, it is no different than going to a EFT coach to deal with the stressors of life while focusing on God’s grace. Go pick up a copy of Dr Candace Pert’s books. It will explain the physiology behind why EFT works! Dump the Chinese and bring on the western science!Blessed Easter to you all. He is Risen!


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