This is written in response to Jen’s comment in About:
“Do you have an opinion about Chinese Traditional Medicine and acupuncture\pressure? Do you see that there are some methodologies and philosophies of healing that Christians cannot touch?
I think it would be hard to find a Christian who does not hold any taboos when in comes to natural healing, and many other things for that matter. Because I have been called to use God’s healing power, both in Spirit and in nature, it has been a big part of my journey to explore and challenge the taboos I have held as a christian.
The bible is silent on many issues Christians are very loudly opposed to. And usually, with time, these change, because they are predominantly cultural/ignorance rather than true spiritual issues. It was once heresy to think the world was round and not the center of the universe. It was heresy to read the bible in the “common” language. Many a Christian doctor in the 1800’s mocked at germs/pathogens being the cause of multitudes of deaths after operations and plague diseases, but Avicenna, an Islamic doctor in the 1000 AD knew the truth. How many millions of lives have been cut short by christian taboos that have nothing to do with truth? It took brave souls to break with these and follow their beliefs and state their arguments, confident that God was with them.
The apostle Paul was such a person. He fought against early christian taboos that required gentile believers to adopt Jewish customs such as circumcision, food laws etc. His calling was to define the essence of the Christian faith which would ideally be expressed uniquely through many cultures (however the reality is that western Christian cultural taboos destroyed many beautiful and harmless cultural variants when missionaries came). He teaches that a Christian is one who has accepted that Christs sacrifice alone is enough to cleanse from the guilt of sin. That the indwelling of the Holy Spirit now afforded to the believer, enables a new “law” of love and freedom to replace the “old” law of written rules. The letter kills, but the Spirit brings life.
But does this mean we can do whatever we like? If there are no rules, then is not everything permissible? “Everything is permissible for me”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”-but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Cor 6:12 , “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. 1Cor 10:23
Ultimately the way to look at it is ask yourself:
- Do I regard it as sinful? Rom 14:23 “But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats (or practices Chinese medicine. etc), because his eating (or practicing Chinese medicine .etc) is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” It is not for me to tell you or anyone else what is right and wrong on issues in which the bible is silent. It is for you to know through asking the Holy Spirit which resides in you, who is your teacher in this life. I will tell you what I believe, and as Paul states in v14 “As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food (medicine/) is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. &v22, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” God has given you a mind and keen intellect and immense resources in which to ponder your position. This site is where I have chosen to explore mine.
- Is it beneficial to me? There is no harm in exploration. King Solomon “devoted (himself) to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven”. Ultimately if it works, if it does you good, body and soul that’s a good indicator. But if you think what you are doing is sinful, chances are you will have some kind of guilt inspired reaction which will cloud your judgment as to its benefit. So, don’t progress to point 2, unless you are settled enough that God is not against you exploring alternative medicine.
- Does it master me? Will it bring you into bondage?
- Is it constructive?
- Will it hurt others faith? This is the most challenging of all the questions.