Monday, December 04, 2006

Alternative therapies

There's a debate going on within the leadership of my church at the moment. A few weeks ago, the church building was rented out to a Reiki 'healing' group.

Several years ago the church was renovated and part of the funding came from the local council, on the understanding that the building would be available for local groups to rent it out. So we have had a film society, a gardening club, various art exhibitions, etc., all using the church building.

But should a church building be rented out to an 'alternative therapy' group?

According to a leaflet from our local Reiki practitioner, Reiki therapy involves 'channeling healing power' from a spiritual source without touching the recipient. But what spiritual source?

What spiritual powers are there? Are they all good? Are any evil? How can you be sure?

The bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is not the only spiritual power, even though He may be the greatest. There are angels, there are demons, there may be other spirits out there. In the bible, these are presented as being either good or evil - either on God's side or against Him.

So what spiritual source is the Reiki practitioner tapping in to (if any).

Some claim that the founder of Reiki was himself a Christian. Was he tapping into the Holy Spirit's power? What about those who practice Reiki who aren't Christians - do that tap into the Holy Spirit or do thay have to find some other source? Are there any neutral spiritual powers?

And in addition to the questions of where the alleged power comes from, is this the sort of thing that should be allowed to be carried out in a church building?

One thought keeps coming back to me - the only thing that got Jesus so angry that He resorted to physical violence was the misuse of the house of the Lord...

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