I was sat on the train this morning and for some reason Reiki and Christianity popped in my head. Maybe I had read a comment about Reiki on twitter or something but I can't remember. I was sat there thinking to myself. Can you be a Christian and practice Reiki?
I literally know nothing about this practice so I decided to look into it and I found that there is a huge amount of discussion on the subject. FOR and AGAINST.
I will present direct from two websites their arguments for and against.
What is Reiki?
Taken from www.reiki.org
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words - Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."
And from www.wikipedia.com
Reiki (霊気?, English pronunciation: /ˈreɪkiː/) is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing as a form of complementary and alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional bodies. Through the use of this technique, practitioners believe that they are transferring healing energy in the form of ki through the palms.
There are two main branches of Reiki, commonly referred to as Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki. Within both Traditional and Westernised forms of Reiki, there are three forms of degrees, commonly referred to as the First, Second, and Master/Teacher degree. According to Reiki practitioners and Masters, at First Degree, a Reiki practitioner is able to heal himself and others, at Second Degree is able to heal others distantly (commonly called distant healing) with the use of specialised symbols, and at Master level (specifically Master/Teacher level) is able to teach and attune others to Reiki.
Christians FOR Reiki
On a discussion board at healing.about.com there are many for and against views on the subject of Christianity and Reiki. I shall pick a couple out but if you would like to read more please click the link above.
"Those who are claiming that Reiki cannot be reconciled with Christian faith are ignorant either of Christianity or of Reiki. They are perfectly reconciled, as Reiki is merely a manipulation of chi–like acupuncture. Chi is not spirit; it is physical energy, like sound waves or electrical waves. Working with Chi is deeply calming, and after a Reiki treatment people have a sense of relaxed well-being. But again, this is not spiritual, it is the same reponse the body has to a long massage or a yin yoga class.
Many people use a collection of healthy physical practices to support a balanced life, and to do so honors the temple of God that is your body. In that way, everything we do to take care of our health is righteous.
I am a devoted Christian who practices both Reiki and Yoga. I devote these practices to the Kingdom of God and put them, along with every other aspect of my life, under the guidance and rule of my Lord Jesus Christ. If you are interested in Reiki, I suggest you do the same."
Lezlie Cebulski, ND, EFT-ADV says:
"I am a Christian, naturopath, and EFT practitioner. If you read the book of Acts, you will see that the apostles, through the power of the Holy Spirit, healed and comforted many people. The Holy Spirit does not require people to lay hands on others to heal, but there have been many great Christian faith healers who have healed and comforted others by praying for the Spirit and laying on hands. I have personally done it and could physically feel my fingers and hands tingling.
Unless the healer is Christian and asking God for the Holy Spirit, I would not want a Reiki healer working on me. I don’t know where he/she is getting spiritual power. There is a spiritual world, unseen. It is important to understand the source of the practiioner’s power. If he/she doesn’t know where/who/what the source is, it isn’t a good idea.
With that being stated, I think most Christians are missing the best of what holistic care has to offer. We are electromagnetic/electrical physical beings. Not enough understanding is out there regarding how much our emotional and spiritual life impacts our health–and our health impacts our spiritual and emotional life.
We are 100% spirit, 100% mind, 100% body at the same time, like the Trinity. This is the essential concept in holistic care. Unfortunately, there a many whackos who branch out to “animal spirit guides” and other silly concepts which understandably frighten Christians.
There is nothing inherently evil about understanding meridians, chakras. They are only words to describe the energy centers and how energy flows through our bodies. Blockages of physical, emotional, spiritual energies do occur & they create disease. A Christian holistic practitioner can help educate the client by the use of Christian Emotional Freedom Technique, herbs and supplements for the body, and prayer which focuses on worship of God and burdens for other people."
Christians AGAINST Reiki
"There is absolutely no way to reconcile reiki with Christianity. The Holy Spirit is not a puppet to be channeled for our amusement. Anyone who tells you otherwise is doing the devil’s business."
"It does sound confusing, doesn’t it!
Sadly, this is because followers of Jesus like myself (and back through the centuries), didn’t trust what we read about Jesus and his power and compassion to heal. So unfortunately, we made excuses for our lack of faith and healing was largely absent from the church.
Meanwhile, others became adept at harnessing healing from other sources – other spirits.
God, the creator, heals through His Spirit (referred to above as the Holy Spirit). This miraculous healing power is available to be used to serve others by those who love God, and therefore love and follow the example of his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that his followers would be able to heal, because he gives them that authority (ie ‘in my name’).
So, ask yourself, do you want to go to someone for healing where the ‘energy’, or the ‘power’ comes from an unknown spirit, or do you want to receive healing from the ultimate spiritual source, God, the creator?
Many followers of Jesus will now offer healing prayer – sometimes in a church, sometimes in another setting – it will nearly always be completely free of charge."
"It would be one thing if the Reiki practitioner was giving glory to God for the healing that takes place…but unless s/he is a Christian Reiki Practitioner (and even then I’m not sure), that is not the case. The “glory” goes to the self, to the power of words, to the skill of the practitioner who is able to “align the chakras” through energy manipulation.
The jury is still out for me. I’m starting to lean toward Reiki being irreconcilable with following Jesus…but I’m not sure.
I experienced my first Reiki session this week and the results were phenomenal…physically. Spiritually, however, I feel completely separated from my God. I’ve been miserable emotionally and almost obsessed with going back to get more Reiki done! To me, those side-effects are a huge red flag that I should stay away from Reiki.
Even though I tried to force Reiki to align with my faith by praying to Jesus through the experience and thanking God for the opportunity for healing, I continue to feel like I’m being warned…that it’s dabbling in something that I don’t want to allow into my life.
By the way, classic medicine does not purport to include contacting any type of “spirit” or “energy force”. In essence, the debate here is about our spiritual health so the two really cannot be compared."
So, there are some good points on the above website compelling me to be FOR reiki and then compelling me to be AGAINST it. (There are many websites you can find with a simple google search that are FOR or AGAINST.)
I think I know where I stand now (I may share my view in another post) but at the end of the day, this particular blog post is really only being written to make you aware that there is a huge amount of debate in this area between Christians.
Next Monday we will feature an interview with a friend of Pastor Baz who is an ex Reiki practitioner who became a Christian.
I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts and theories as to whether Reiki can be Christian or not?