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Qigong and Christianity

Category: Date: 5 August 2022 Comments: 0

Qigong and Christianity 

Qigong and Christianity - A woman in sports attire practicing qigong surrounded in the park by nature

In this blog, we will discuss one controversial issue which is qigong and Christianity. We know that Christianity is a religion that mainly centers its belief on the life of Jesus Christ. Can Christians do qigong? Is qigong a religion? and is it a sin for Christians to do qigong? Let’s find it out.

What Is Qigong?

Qigong is the art of cultivating energy. It is a practice that is a balance of movement and meditation to reach the best condition of the body.  

 

Movement and Specific Postures

Qigong uses movement and postures to align the body to the natural alignment. These movements and postures help correct imbalances and allow the body to connect to the energy sources. The movements in qigong also help release toxins stored in the body, for example in the fascial network and the organs. This allows qi to flow more freely in the body and remove blockages and stagnation. 

 

Breathing Exercises

Breath is another important component of qigong. In the body, breath holds the qi (energy) and it guides the qi to flow in the energy channels of the body. In qigong we align our movements with our breath. Proper breathing techniques in qigong allows us to store or emit qi depending on what the body needs to reach maximum health and vitality. 

 

Meditation 

We also use meditation in qigong. In meditation we use our intention to become more deeply aware of qi. Meditation also helps us to reach a balanced state of mind and body. Through this we can focus our energy and harmonize the energy in our body.

 

Qigong is Cultivating Energy 

All these components help cultivate qi or energy in the body to help the body reach its best condition. 

Now, knowing what qigong is, now let’s dig into some of the debates connecting qigong and Christianity. Why is this an issue? 

 

Debates on Qigong and Christianity

  • Arguments in favor of Qigong and Christianity 

1. Qigong Is Not a Religion

The first argument that is in favor of qigong and Christianity is that qigong is not a religion. Qigong has some influences coming from philosophies and religions such as Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. However, these influences are natural cultural and traditional influences since qigong came from China. Any practices are naturally influenced by its natural culture, beliefs and traditions. 

 2. Qigong Is Now Used for Health Purposes

It is true that the roots of qigong began relating to spiritual practices. As shamanic tribes use it to connect to the spirits of nature for healing purposes. However, in the modern days, qigong is focusing more on health and vitality.

Because of the events during the post cultural revolution,  qigong began to focus more on the mind-body connection.  Qigong veered away from its spiritual contexts and aspects. Now, qigong is mostly looked into as a practice or discipline to promote health and longevity. 

3. Doing Qigong Cultivates the Creation of God 

The Bible says, “God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female.”

It is said in the bible, that God created humans, both male and female through its own image and likeness. So if the creation of humankind was done by God giving humanity “qi” or “life source”, then if we cultivate our health and vitality, through practices like qigong, we become stewards of God’s intention to bring life to humanity. 

  • The Arguments Against Christians Practicing Qigong

1. Qigong is sorcery and witchcraft

Some argue that using qigong is sorcery and witchcraft as it works on energy. Some who don’t know what qigong is may believe that doing qigong is like being a medium of “spirits” or other energy sources. They argue that working with qi is working on magic or casting spells, and thus, it is a sin when one practices qigong.  

They cite this verse in the Bible:

Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.

Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you.”

2. Doing Qigong Manipulates the Holy Spirit in an Unholy Practice 

They also argue the term “life source” as similar to the Holy Spirit and so using qigong to cultivate “life source” is unholy because qigong is not a holy practice that is part of the tradition of Christianity. 

For Christians maintaining holiness and using holy practices that are within the guidelines of Christian tradition is important. Therefore, practices which influences fundamental forces are not very acceptable. 

Understanding Misconceptions and Misunderstandings Between Qigong and Christianity

All of these arguments are valid as they do come on different perspectives, however, let’s dig in further to understand some misconceptions and misunderstandings.

Qigong is not a Supernatural Activitiy 

In qigong when we say “connecting to energy” or “connecting to the universe”, it does not mean connecting to something supernatural or forces that are out of the ordinary. Qi in translation is a term that means energy which pertains to the natural occurring energy to facilitate functions in nature, including both human functions and the natural functions of nature.

These functions of energy is not different with the western science standpoints, although they are viewed in a different perspective and explained in different contexts. For example, in qigong we say “balancing the qi”, this is similar to homeostasis. As well as, Life source or “Jing” is similar to DNA and epigenetics

Qi has nothing to do with esoteric or supernatural forces. However, in the modern world, energy is sometimes conditioned to associate with the metaphysical or supernatural. 

Qigong is not Witchcraft or Sorcery

When we say witchcraft or sorcery we use supernatural forces beyond the human body to create extraordinary outcome. Qigong does not use magic to manipulate energy. It uses natural body alignments and movements to help generate energy in the energy channels found in the body. There is nothing out of the ordinary about it, in fact it is a natural way of healing the body by realigning to its true nature. 

Qi is NOT Similar to the Holy Spirit 

The bible verse, John 3:8  says,

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit”

In this verse it is believed the the wind is the Holy Spirit. The line saying, The wind blows where it chooses” tells us that the Holy Spirit has its own freewill and blesses those who are born with it.

However, qi and life source is is the energy naturally found in all living things, in nature, and all of creation. This means that the qi and life source is different from the Holy Spirit, because qi and life source is not a spirit that can choose where it exists.

This means that in qigong we are not working on manipulating the Holy Spirit. 

Qigong is not a religion 

Qigong is not a religion but a practice. Doing qigong we do not praise or worship anyone. We don’t create gods or icons above us when we do qigong. Qigong allows us to harmonize with everything within us and outside of us. In Christianity, it may be referred to as “the creation of God. If God created everything, including the stars, planets, universe, soil, human, animals and all things, doing qigong allows one to connect with all the creation that God himself has given and created for human kind. This, therefore, strengthens the connection of human and God. Committing idolatry is different from finding different ways to enhance one’s connection to nature, otherwise known as the creation of God. 

What Does the Bible Say About Qigong and Christianity?

The bible does not say anything directly about qigong. However, the teachings in the bible focus a lot on absolute loyalty to God and doing praises, holy works, and practices for God.

Many Christians who want to practice qigong question if it is against their religion to practice qigong. Why so? For Christians there are some actions that may be considered as sinful. One of the sinful acts for Christians is idolatry or the sin of worshipping other gods. 

A bible verse from Exodus 20: 2-6 says:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

One of the 10 commandments also says: 

“I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me, you shall not make for yourself an idol”

These state that it is a sin for Christians to worship other gods or to create any image or icons to worship, and it commands absolute loyalty to God. Christians have the call to worship God above all else, going against this is a sin against God. 

However, is qigong worshiping another god? No. Because qigong is not a religion but a practice and does not worship any gods. 

Can a Christian Practice Qigong?

Qigong is a Practice and Discipline

Qigong is a natural practice and discipline which has been around for over 5000 years as a natural way to connect with nature. As human beings it is natural for us to explore and question the beginning of all things and that is why it is most natural for human beings to create practices to connect with the creation, and therefore with the creator of all things.

Qigong is one of the practices that is a natural process of human beings to find and connect with God through connecting with nature and all natural elements of creation within and without. 

Learning other Perspectives 

There is nothing wrong in learning other practices from different cultures, as this is similar to other academic learning. Learning ancient eastern medical or movement practices is just as similar to learning modern western medical or movement practices if you see it from an academic point of view.

Qigong is an Experience of  Learning 

Qigong is a practice that does not imply anything beyond one’s experiences. So, being a Christian should not be a problem when practicing qiqong, and vice versa, doing qigong should not be a problem about being Christian. Doing qigong as a Christian is an experience of learning, it is about gaining knowledges, experiences, and practices that are healthy to help reach the best quality of health, vitality, and living. 

How can we Settle the Debates on Qigong and Christianity?

Even though we have learned that qigong is not a religion, instead it is a practice. We still cannot invalidate arguments of some Christians against practicing qigong.

So how can we find the settlement between qigong and Christianity? How can Christians who want to practice qigong be able to do it, without going against the religion. 

All Beliefs are Valid  

All beliefs are valid, even though there are strong points that qigong is a safe and healthy practice for all, we cannot just push aside others beliefs, especially when it comes to one’s religion. So we must still respect other people perspective without judgement. 

Ask your Leaders for Guidance

If you are a Christian and you are questioning if it is okay for you to practice qigong. It is best to ask one of your pastors or head pastors for guidance and clarity. If your pastor or head pastor has no idea what qigong is, maybe it will be helpful to give them a background of it. Upon reading this blog, I hope that this will be helpful for you to talk about qigong to your pastor or head pastor.

Qigong and Christianity 

There is nothing wrong with practicing something as long as you know what it means and how to properly use it. Healthy practices to gain health and vitality is a good way to steward the life we have been given. No matter what belief you have, respecting each other and their practices will lead is impportant and will lead to a more peaceful life.

No one is above one, no one more right than the other. It is all about respecting perspectives and cultures. As long as your practice does not hurt anyone and even more so, if it is beneficial to you and to your community, then there should be nothing wrong with pursuing it.  





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