Something I read the other day reminded me of how important it is for us as Christians to be extremely careful about what we participate in or endorse. Practices which we may think are harmless and even beneficial often are not. It pays for us to not be ignorant in these matters!
In the United States, there has been an increasing influx of eastern thought and religion. Many Christians are ignorant of what these religions really teach and that these "innocent" practices should never be indulged in.
There are others here at CB who have far more knowledge than I in this area. Indeed, we have members who have first hand knowledge of these things. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to address this issue.
I found an interesting article at Beliefnet.com which you might want to check out in regards to Taoism for example. Other religions which you are not intimately acquainted with can be checked out there as well. Beliefnet.com is not a Christian website. It simply posts the beliefs of different religions practiced around the world.
Here are just a few highlights as to why Taoism and it's practices should be rejected by Christians. I am not saying one should not reach out to Taoists. I am saying that a Christian has no business participating in their practices.
Taoist do not recognize the Incarnation. They do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Belief in God. Beliefnet states:
The supreme being/ultimate truth is beyond words or any conceptual understanding. When asked to name it, it is referred to as Tao or the Way. The Power of the Way is referred to as Te. Although Tao and Te are similar to other practices' ideas of God, Taoists seldom refer to God.
Their text is not the Word of God.
The main texts of Taoism are the "Tao-te Ching" (The Book of the Way and Its Power) by Lao Tzu and "Inner Chapters" by Chuang Tzu. What follows focuses on the so-called Philosophical-Spiritual Taoism. An indigenous tradition that incorporates more divination and alchemy also exists.
Taoists believe there is no such thing as a being who is all good or all evil. If God does exist, then he is evil as well as good. If satan exists, he is good as well as evil. This is a complete contradiction of Christianity which states that God is holy.
Taoism rejects the need for salvation.
As I stated earlier, we as Christians do need to reach out to the world and that of course means everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe. However, that does not mean we have to embrace their practices. In fact, we are sternly warned throughout the Bible against doing such things.
We must never forget the enemy is very deceptive. While he knows you might not just up and reject Christianity, he does know that he can contaminate your life with things not pleasing to God... one little bit at a time.
We need to be careful and keep our eyes open. We need to carefully consider the warnings of those over us in the Lord or Christians who are more knowledgeable than us in a certain area. If it is brought to our attention that something might not be right, we would do well to not readily dismiss it. Rather, we need to exercise prudence and bring it before God.
*Quotes taken from: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2001/06/What-Taoists-Believe.aspx
Dabbling in other belief systems out of mere curiosity can indeed be dangerous and wisdom suggests that there are places that we should not go. So many different beliefs are far different under the surface than they appear at first glance and the enemy puts great reliance on our natural curiousity in order to reel in the unsuspecting. Thank you for this reminder to be ever vigilant.
Sister K, yes many Eastern religions have entered many places and many belief without their knowledge. Christians should beware that their belief are totally different in principles and practise from the ways of God. Having practised Taoism since young to the age of 30 before I became a Christian,I notice that they believe in doing good works for their promotion into their next life , ie reincarnation, to a higher form of life. They believe in the yin and the yang and the energy "qi ".
Taosim is all over Singapore, the largest group of citizen being Chinese mainly believed in Taosim, especially the older ones. They worship many deities even their dead ancestors to help them in different aspects of their life. Taosim is also practised in China for thousand of years and though communist for many years, they have been practised quietly by the people and now they just mushroom openly in China.
Be careful of anything Chinese because they are closely intertwined with Taoism. Sadly even as a Chinese, I have to mention this. Any Christian who wants to do evangelism in that part of the world must familiar themselves with this belief because they exist in China for more than 5000 years. So many Chinese traditions and customs are closely linked to this belief and one cannot know whether the Chinese way and belief is purely Chinese or is it Taoist?
Anyone interested in this matter can read one of my blog called:[blog=]beware of objects detestable to the lord[/blog]. If anyone can't go through this link, go to my profile and search. In this blog, I also mentioned the use of 'dragon' by Chinese and it is a form of anti-christ. You can also read this blog which I pointed out 7 ways that is different, called:[blog=]seven ways of god that differ from the ways of the world[/blog].
Anyway, thanks for sharing on this topic.
From Hwa Silverpen
I forgot to point out that divination which is mentioned in the Beliefnet article as a part of Taoism is witchcraft and while some may argue that alchemy is "science", many believe that the transformation of things into gold definitely falls into the category of witchcraft as well. We need to be careful what we endorse and embrace.
thank you for your blog and all of the comments that followed.it's great to always come on here and learn something and you wont hear on t.v which i dont watch much of anyway and dont miss. be blessed.
Good blog post because it opens up the dialogue on the whole subject of false religions and their danger. As we approach the coming of our Lord, deception will increase. Some will give heed to seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1). Only by knowing the truth can we identify error. Also, the Spirit guides us in all truth. Now more than ever we must be vigilant.
Thank you for all of your comments. While I used one example here, the bottom line is, we must be very careful of what we get involved with. I believe this is true in all areas of our lives. For example, people often blindly endorse a politician without bothering to truly examine their platform.
I remember telling my son that you must not only know what you believe; you must know why you believe it.
As Christians we have the responsibility to be guarded in regards to what we allow to come into our hearts and minds. I guess what I am trying to say is we need to constantly hold up things to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to reveal to us what is pleasing to God and what isn't. Then, once we do so, we need to be committed to listening to what the Holy Spirit says.
I'm simply not sure why Christians would want to get involved in any way with other religions. god clearly states "Thou shall worship No Other Gods". I believe that is quite clear and I fully believe God means it! I am not willing to test Him on this -so I'll just stay clear of other religions.
Great post K