"Reiki" energy healing is spiritually dangerous
On August 5, 2002, WSYX Channel 6, a local Columbus, Ohio TV station, did a report about Reiki (pronounced ray'-kee) Energy Healing. From a purely secular perspective, the report was fair and balanced. Reiki Masters were given the opportunity explain why they felt Reiki is a legitimate healing process. A secular psychologist was also interviewed who advised people to avoid Reiki for a variety of secular reasons. However, the report did not acknowledge the overtly spiritual, occult aspects of this practice.
I sent information to the reporter concerning the spiritual/religious concerns about Reiki the day before the report was to air. She told me that she received the information too late to be able to act on it. I sent her an e-mail right after the report aired asking that a follow-up report be done that presents the opposing view from a spiritual perspective. It appears that will not happen.
Some in the media think they are being neutral by avoiding the Christian response to these various occult practices. But God tells us that there is no neutral ground. We are either with God, or are supporting Satan against Him. Consider this Bible verse:
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (Commentary)
I also asked her to see if they can place a link on the WSYX web site to another site that contains an excellent opposing view to Reiki on spiritual grounds. She said she would ask that it be done, but that the final decision was not hers. That link was never added. However, the mailing address and phone number of one of the Reiki masters that appeared in the report was listed on their web site. The link I recommended that WSYX put on their web site was this one:
Other links include:
Those who judge the authenticity and/or safeness of a particular practice based only on their experiences and gut instincts are frequently misled into participating in spiritually dangerous occult and cult practices and doctrines. That can sometimes lead them into direct contact with spiritual powers they cannot control and do not properly understand. When evaluating anything that could potentially involve spirit contacts, or that strays into any area of religious doctrines, it is important to compare it to Bible doctrines. The Bible refers to this as testing the spirits.
When this kind of occult or cult information is presented without this important Biblical opposing view, it often can have the effect of creating curiosity about the practices in individuals who had little or no prior interest. Those who do investigate it further normally don't take the time to seek the opposing views from a spiritual perspective. Because such people often lack a solid Bible foundation on occult/cult issues, they are easily misled by "experiences" that appear to be authentic (see people who are vulnerable to cults for more information). In fact, in the case of Reiki, it probably does have real physical benefits in some cases. The issue isn't whether or not it works. The real issues from a spiritual perspective are:
- Where does the power really come from that causes it to work? One of the Reiki masters interviewed in the report said it was an "ancient mystery". It's no mystery to those who have studied God's Word, the Bible, to see what it has to say about such practices.
- What spiritual doctrines are participants likely to be introduced to that have the potential to be spiritually harmful? Reiki's new age philosophies run contrary to many of the central doctrines of the Bible and are therefore spiritual poison.
Those who judge the authenticity and/or safeness of a particular practice based only on their experiences and gut instincts are frequently misled into participating in spiritually dangerous occult and cult practices and doctrines. That can sometimes lead them into direct contact with spiritual powers they cannot control and do not properly understand. When evaluating anything that could potentially involve spirit contacts, or that strays into any area of religious doctrines, it is important to compare it to Bible doctrines. The Bible refers to this as testing the spirits. The consequences of being misled can have eternal ramifications in the next life, and serious spiritual (sometimes even physical) consequences in this life.
After talking with this reporter, based on what she shared with me, it appeared that she may have had good intentions. It seems that one of the primary reasons the opposing religious/spiritual view was not presented was due to the fact that she was unfamiliar with the fact that Reiki is an occult practice that has significant religious ramifications. She said that prior to doing this report, she had never heard of it. She said that in the future, she would try to be more aware of the religious and spiritual aspects of similar issues. This lack of awareness about the spiritual aspects of this and other new age topics is not unique to this reporter. Based on what I have observed in the media over the past 30 years or so, it is widespread.
Not getting comments from Christian experts on the topic also seems to have something to do with the fact that a decision was made by one or more persons at the station to avoid doing that because they didn't want to look like they were favoring one religion over another (i.e. Christianity over Jewish religion). I explained to the reporter that the report already favored one religious view over all others because of it's one-sided presentation of new age spiritual philosophies (the report and promo's for it even referred to it as a "new age" practice several times).
I would ask that the media please understand that they are playing with dangerous spiritual fire when they stray into topics that deal with the occult or cults. In such cases, it's best to get opinions from Christian experts about the practice before doing the story. If those Christian opinions will not be a part of the story, then please don't do the story at all.
Here's a list of spiritually dangerous topics that require a Christian response if they are to be addressed in a fair and balanced manner in media reports. This is not a complete list, but it does contain some of the most common new age, occult and cult practices and doctrines that have overt spiritual, religious dimensions to them. The link that follows this list contains much more comprehensive lists.
astral projection (testimony of someone who used to practice it)
contacting the dead by any means
divination (predicting the future through dream interpretation)
energy healing of any kind (i.e. Reiki)
haunted houses and other structures
healing techniques (new age)
human/spirit contacts (of any kind)
hypnotism (especially when used to regress to alleged past lives)
magic cards (like Tarot cards)
near death experiences
New Age (anything calling itself this)
positive thinking philosophies (often rooted in eastern mysticism)
role playing games like Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons
spells (casting, conjuring)
tea cup reading
transcendental meditation (TM)
vampires (a/k/a vampyres)
For more information about cults and occult practices, see our Cults and Modern-Day False Prophets link.
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