Friday, April 6, 2012

Tai Ch-Ch-Chi - Can Christians do Tai Chi

This is a question that i think many Christians may ask themselves, and it's one that I've wondered about myself. I've avoided it up until this point for a few reasons, mainly i wanted to make sure i was right, and that my own personal bias and experience didn't cloud the truth.

I sort of felt like i should touch on it since there are so many people who come here via search queries about Christians and Qigong.

My first encounter with tai chi or taiji was not too long ago, maybe around 2 years ago. This was after I had been restored from my wondering UFO/reincarnation/New Age relapse, and sometime before starting this blog.

In my experience of doing taiji, i never felt any "energy" or spiritual power as people do with Yoga or Qigong. Since that was the case, I thought tai chi was merely exercise or a fighting style. My thought was something like, "tai chi must be OK since it's not 'religious like Yoga.' Yoga is tied to Hindu worship, whereas tai chi, i don't see that kind of link." I learned and practiced the entire tai chi chuan short form, and the applications for self defense.

I have not practiced tai chi for quite some time by this point, mainly because i am not sure if my earlier thoughts were correct. I am not sure that I should do it, and the Bible does not include a "thou shalt not do tai chi" command. So i err on the side of caution.

In looking at tai chi, I do not have a bone to pick with China, the Chinese or Chinese culture, so long as that element of culture is not an occult practice or originated from the occult. I would (now anyways) avoid any practice which has occult ties, regardless of cultural origin. If the movements in the hokey-pokey or playing tiddlywinks had origins in a satanic/occult ritual, i wouldn't do those either. Call me paranoid, but it's better than getting demonic oppression and sleep paralysis.

Trust me on that one.

That's my personal bias and experience.

Like many mysteries in the world, there is no solid foundation for the true origins of tai chi. Google it, you'll find dozens of conflicting stories. In light of this, discerning if tai chi is OK for Christians or not is made all the more difficult.

One origin story i read in a book suggested that a wiseman had a vision of a bird trying to eat a snake, and when the bird struck the snake withdrew. From this he developed tai chi. There are many more.

Got questions has a great overview here:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Tai-Chi-Christian.html, and i unintentionally duplicate some of what they have, then go down a rabbit trail.

Without a solid origin to pin it to, we should instead look at the claims people make about tai chi, and make our best guess from there.

To start, tai chi chuan is defined as "supreme, ultimate power", or usually something similar. As a Christian, this alone should raise a flag as God, and God alone is THE Supreme Ultimate Power. And God has manifested Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.


Genesis 1:1

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.


John 1-4

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


Ephesians 1:19-21

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:


It doesn't get anymore supreme than creating the universe.

Moving on, one of the most popular claims about tai chi is that it's good for health. A number of health benefits are claimed, from stress reduction, to arthritis relief. The slow, continuous flowing movement is probably one reason why. Some even claim it can make you live longer.

http://news.health.com/2010/11/24/tai-chi-may-provide-arthritis-relief/

But how does tai chi actually affect our physical state? How can it improve our health?

Aside from the slow movements and stretching, the true power of tai chi comes from chi. Manipulating chi is the end goal of tai chi, it seems to accomplish this through the movements, breathing and presumably mental state. We've dealt with chi in the qigong article, and we'll get around to it again shortly.


"Tai chi chuan is just one of many categories of qigong, but its chief distinction lies in its martial art application."

"Admittedly, the longer and more complex the tai chi form, the more beautiful. The extended length of the longer sequences also give the practitioner more time to generate more powerful intrinsic chi energy."

"After all, tai chi is a study of health, balance and longevity, using yinian (yin-yang) to generate and manipulate the chi energy. Since chi is integral to health, longevity, healing and personal, spiritual growth, the longer one practices the tai chi form, the more effective the practitioner becomes at generating chi and benefiting from it."

http://www.chikung-unlimited.com/Tai-Chi-Chuan.html

The above connection between tai chi, and cultivating chi seems inseparable. When i learned it, we were told to make sure we maintained certain hand positions lest we "drop our chi."

Another quote.

“The same cautions as expressed with all other life energy therapies apply to Tai Chi. The religious nature and goals of Eastern therapies should not be forgotten. In attempting to introduce people to the universal energy field — and help them become unified with the Universal Consciousness — these practices can be the door to the occult realm.”

http://www.drwalt.com/blog/?p=3898



As we've discussed on a previous occasion, chi is basically believed to be an energy field, and all living things are said to possess it. I believe it's also supposed to be kind of just everywhere. Obi-Wan's explanation of the Force to Luke in Star Wars is the best example. George Lucas basically ripped it off.

It has another name as well, and that's pantheism. Chi is pantheism as much as Carl Jung's definition of the collective unconcious seems, or "universal conciousness." Both are unBiblical, and therefore not compatible with sincere Christians.

We know the idea of a collective mind connecting all of our mentalities, or an impersonal Force/energy field "binding" everything together isn't true, because Jesus Christ is the one.


Colossians 1:14-17

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.



And in Isaiah 34:4 & Revelation 6, the heavens are rolled up like a scroll, and afterwards (in Revelation) people are cowering from the Lamb, Jesus Christ.



I won't get into this "energy field" idea much more, as it's been covered in the qigong and Yoga articles i've done here, as well as what Edgar Cayce was tapping into. The summary is basically that it's a bad idea for human beings to try to tap into this energy field. Call it the Akashic records, chi, reikii or Brahma humans have no business with it. Doing so will put a person in touch with spirit beings. Spirits that are demonic. Of course the Bible tells us this.


Deuteronomy 18:10-12

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.


God didn't give us this rule for no reason, it was for our protection. He knows these demonic beings hate us, and that's why he forbade us to practice witchcraft and associate with them. Manipulating chi, whether it be through tai chi, qigong, reiiki or whatever will only open us up to satan's minions. In this respect, tai chi is essentially witchcraft.

Apart from this obvious connection to contacting the spirit world via chi, can one do the exercise without the spiritual connotations?

For a while, i really wanted to say yes. Especially since i never felt any energy, or spirit contact. But as Gaz Parker told me (when i was being stubborn in continuing tai chi) just because i didn't feel anything was no indication of the spiritual dangers i was partaking.

Looking back, i think he was right.

Allow me to speculate here. Firstly, everything we do in this life has an impact somehow in the spirit world. Just as things going on in the spirit world affect us. (Ephesians 6)

As an unbeliever, everything we did was a dead work. Good deeds (because we sought to good apart from the one who is good, God). Bad deeds. It didn't matter, unsaved we belonged to satan, and our works, good or bad, were done in rebellion against God. (http://www.guidedbiblestudies.com/001sin8.htm). (Hebrews 6:1). These dead works probably had an effect in the spirit world.

Similarly, when we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, He works through us, and our works serve to His glory. When we pray,God moves. All in the unseen spirit world. Revelation 20 outlines the final outcome of these dead works.

All that to say, doing tai chi is a dead work.

Secondly, as i corresponded with Gaz, and Chris White about starting this blog, i had an episode of sleep paralysis. Was it caused by tai chi? Perhaps. Maybe i had allowed the entities a foothold into my life through tai chi.

Having seen that tai chi is but one method to contact the spirit world, i know that i won't be doing it again. Knowing this, do you want to continue it, a dead work?



Has tai chi caused you to encounter spirits? If so, i pray in the name of Jesus Christ that you will be set free. You can be set free FOREVER by praying telling Him that you accept Him as Lord and Savior, and repent (change your mind, turn away from) of your sins. Accept what He did on the cross, that it paid for your sins, and believe He rose again. Give Him your life, and He will be with you forever.




Further reading:


Someone who says you can separate the act from the spiritual aspect: (though i don't agree with the author's logic, especially since it's not a Christian view.

http://www.dotaichi.com/Articles/ReligionandtheMartialArts.htm


And one that indicates they cannot be separated.

http://www.heavenlymanna.net/christianArticle.php?article_id=112


Natural explanation for "altered conciousness"

http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001662.cfm


A Muslim's story about tai chi and demonic encounters. I haven't read all of it, so pray up. I also don't know if the author's had any other things that would invite demons, so take this story for what it's worth.

http://www.thejinn.net/chi_jinn_my_story.htm

13 comments:

  1. I have been looking for you. I feel you and understand. Recently I had a horrible experience with a guided meditation and the Holy Spirit stopped it with a loud NO STOP THIS NOW! He led me to read the Holy Scriptures and then to read some of the ancient Vedic texts and the Bhagavad Gita. He told me that to do these things was to yoke myself to other forces adn I needed to be yoked to HIM ONLY! That is why this blog is so important. You are delving into things that the mainstream pop culture simply accepts, without understanding where Christ wants us to examine what the heck we are doing! There is PraiseMoves for kids and adults and the lady who created it was a yogini for 22 years and had a profound revelation with the Holy Spirit and became born again. Check it out because God gave us bodies and we need to respect them as our temples ofis spirit but we also need tools that are Biblically sound to do it:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, glad I could help!

      It's amazing how pop-culture it is. I see the "try these relaxation techniques" and it's typical meditatio stuff. Amazing. And the classic "lotus pose" pic is everywhere, making it look attractive. No one questions it.

      (Btw, some even question praismoves, so even that may not be...um kosher.)

      Delete
  2. I agree... Just as we could not ignore what we know about the spiritual dangers of things like yoga or meditation, simply because many people have participated in those activities without reporting any experiences of "energies" or altered states of consciousness, tai chi is no different.

    ReplyDelete
  3. tai chi & yoga had the same goal if I'm not mistaken. meditation was their goal. so it still leads to spiritual energies. ermm.. to be frank if I remember it right, most of the martial arts from china or japan leads to the work "calm", whenever we needs to "calm" we needs to "empty" our mind.. n all these leads to spiritual energies. does this means that christian needs to avoids learning china/japan martial arts?

    p/s: I do likes this blog explaination, very neat & details. Thumbs up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks skydrake.

      Personally, iwould avoid martial arts especially if the involve manipulation of energy. I would extend this to just about anything that seeks to manipulate spirit energy. I used to try developing telekinesis which is just as, if not more dangerous than martial arts. Same for hypnosis. It's not a nationality thing, but rather an avoiding satan's various names for the same thing, kind of thing.

      Delete
    2. Hi!

      I love your blog, it has helped me understand a lot of things that I wouldn't feel comfortable with asking my youth pastor.

      I have to disagree just a teeny bit with this comment, though, the part about avoiding martial arts altogether.

      I took American Freestyle Karate for nearly 4 years when I was younger. I made it to Advanced Brown Belt, which is just below black. I never felt threatened by any demons or anything; we were never taught anything about "chi" or "internal energy". In fact, I've been trying to find the belt forms on the internet, and was surprised to find that in American Freestyle, Japanese words are used (e.g. "kata" for form, symbolic descriptive titles of stances and kicks, etc.) whereas my instructors just used normal words.

      I don't know exactly how many pounds I lost during my time taking karate, but I do know I lost a LOT of fat. I was so thin in 5th grade that I had a space between my thighs and when I turned my head, you could see the tendons in my neck. I had never experienced that before. Indeed, my karate years were the healthiest, happiest years of my life!

      Of course, then the karate school closed and I hit puberty, and all those hormones started raging...I gained lots of weight, became more irritable and angry, etc. I know that's just teenage hormones and stuff, but I do think that stopping karate had something to do with it too. Martial arts are the only physical exercise or sport that I have ever excelled at.

      So basically, I think not ALL Chinese/Japanese martial arts are all demonic-y and stuff. My karate school was not a Christian organization, but it didn't teach any spiritual aspects. We said a Students' Creed at the beginning of each class, something like "I intend to defend myself and not use my skills to hurt others; I will keep a healthy mind and body", stuff like that, but no mention of true Eastern philosophies.

      So please don't tell people to totally avoid martial arts. Guys, if you really want to learn martial arts to defend yourself or get in shape, please do! But MAKE SURE of what kind of art you're getting into. Do research. Look up different martial art schools in your area. If their websites say anything about chi or spiritual energy or whatever, STAY AWAY and find a different school!

      God bless y'all,
      Emily

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the comment.

      The key is to use discernment, and seek God's will and Word in choosing a method of self defense. Obviously this includes avoiding anything with obvious demonic chi/yoga ties.

      Delete
  4. I am a Chinese Christian. I have practiced Tai Chi over 10 years. My suggestion is simple on this issue: if your relationship with God becomes worse just because you are practicing Tai Chi, stop it. You can find the answer if you are sincere in your prayer.

    As for Tai Chi with Qi energy, I believe only a handful of people in the world have the proficiency in this respect. The following articles on the Blog "From Bible to Tai Chi" can be your reference.

    http://quan-dao.blogspot.hk/search/label/From%20Bile%20to%20Tai%20Chi

    Immanuel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I certainly am less adamant on this issue than qigong, though coming out New age, I personally would rather not take chances.

      I appreciate your perspective.

      Delete
    2. Thank you. Finally someone on here with some sense.

      Delete
  5. Tai chi / demons ????...... I think not!!!!...lol

    ReplyDelete
  6. TO: no one, the reason you don't feel that there is energy coming from taiji is only because the enemy wants people to fall into the manipulation of energy that flows in meditating arts like taiji however the truth is that the only true energy that flows is your connection with God who is Jesus Christ however my personal belief is that you can take martial arts to defend yourself. the belief of taoism really is a trick from the enemy himself.

    ReplyDelete