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Wed Mar 12, 2014
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Eastern Healing, Alternative Medicine, and Christian Faith, Part 4
In order to properly discern particulars in Eastern and alternative healing practices that may be misleading and deceptive, one must realize that there are many forms of anti-theism in the matrix of these practices and teachings. Once elements of these false theories can be properly identified and discarded, there may be some valuable usable parts that are in perfect harmony with biblical healing. God gives us discernment and wisdom when we ask for it, and now is a good time to ask for it. All of the following theories are pagan in nature and none of the philosophical views are Christian whatsoever. The goal here is that by understanding the foundational philosophies of these theories that are anti-God, Christians can discern where these philosophies have crept in to some healing practices. We can then carefully weed out the bad elements in order not to allow other gods in under the guise of Christian faith. There are many anti-theistic theories, but I will only briefly discuss those that are relevant to our topic.
What Is Theism?
Before we discuss anti-theistic theories, we must know what theism is all about. Christianity is theistic, meaning that we believe in one God existing in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Lewis Sperry Chafer defines it well: "Theism means a belief in God and in its naturalistic form is a rational philosophy regarding God which is restricted to the one divine Essence. Biblical theism believes that Essence, according to revelation, subsists in three Persons. As a rationalistic philosophy, naturalistic theism is sustained by the traditional arguments already considered, and may be distinguished from certain antitheistic theories." (Systematic Theology) Atheism: An open and positive denial of the existence of God. Chafer writes, "To the atheist the material universe is only an accident and all its marvels of coordination and development are fortuitous. He knows no cause for anything, even his own existence. He has no hope for himself in time or eternity. When he denies the existence of God it is by an assumption of knowledge which transcends the limitations which his negative creed allows." (Systematic Theology) Agnosticism: Not knowing whether God exists. "The term agnostic comes from the Greek gnosis, meaning "knowledge," accompanied by the a prefix. Therefore, an agnostic means one who lacks knowledge of God. Hence, an agnostic is one who says we cannot know that God even exists. The term, first coined by Thomas Huxley, covers varying degrees of skepticism. Agnostics are followers of pragmatism; their belief in something has to be scientifically verifiable, and because God is not scientifically verifiable, they leave Him out of their discussion." (Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology) Animism: The theory that everything has a soul, including physical objects of nature and the heavens. For the Animist, God is not a person, just as for the Hindu, god is the Energy, the Force, the Power, the Universal Mind, the Absolute, the Unknown, the Divine Being: not a "he" but an "it." It is not somebody but something. This "god" is powerful, able to get wonderful things for you if you use magic and worship this Force or Energy. To be continued.