Many Christians are quite particular about where their information comes from. They are also rightfully suspicious of alternative medicine. ChristianAcupuncture is a site created by a Christian for Christians about Oriental Medicine. It is my purpose to deal specifically with the concerns of Christians, their questions about OM, and I also want to help you find Christian practitioners to see so that you feel and are safe. For the basics of this website, read this short summary.
If the idea is confusing to you, here are the basics:
- God and Christian faith come first in importance and priority. Healing and medicine come after that.
- The Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God, our premiere source of truth as Christians.
- The Bible provides both two types of guidance: direct/literal, and inferred/principle-based.
- The Bible does not mention acupuncture or Chinese medicine explicitly, so we must use the second type, i.e. apply Biblical principles to it.
- To apply Biblical principles to something, we must not only know Biblical principles, but also know the nature of the thing to which we apply it.
- The nature of acupuncture and Chinese medicine (CM) is disputed – Some Christians say it is occult; some acupuncturists and patients say it is inherently new age, Buddhist, or Taoist; others say it is a medicine that has been influenced by those spiritual/philosophical beliefs; still others say that it is a medical system which, much like Western medicine, can be validated scientifically and needn’t be tied to a particular religion, or to any religion at all.
- When the nature of something is unclear, a key to resolving the confusion to to choose the correct sources of information on the topic.
- Given the foregoing ideas, we need to hear and consider the perspectives of historians, anthropologists, theologians, and scientists.
- We must also consider the bias of those who speak- what are their beliefs, and do they have an investment in one view of Chinese medicine winning over another – and weigh that bias against their testimony and evidence.
- Such perspectives can be found on this website and on www.PulseMed.org. See the list of resources below for you to read and consider yourself.
- David Jeremiah (see below), Focus on the Family’s Physician Research Council, and James Dobson advise that the most important thing in considering these medicines is to choose the right practitioner. I’ve dealt with that on this website as well.
- Anthropology and History: For a modern perspective on Chinese medicine and its recent history, see Volker Scheid’s Chinese Medicine in Contemporary China. Scheid is an acupuncturist and has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. I am not aware of his religious beliefs.
- Anthropology and History: For the history of Chinese medicine, Dr. Paul U. Unschuld is the pre-eminent authority. Unschuld is a historian and anthropologist who does not practice acupuncture, and does not appear to like or dislike it. He is the director of the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Munich (with degrees in Chinese studies, pharmacology, public health, and political sciences). He has written numerous books on the topic (the best ones for these topics are links): Medicine in China: A History of Ideas, Chinese Medicine, Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text, Nan-Ching: The Classic of Difficult Issues (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care), Forgotten Traditions of Ancient Chinese Medicine: A Chinese View from the Eighteenth Century, Medicine in China: Historical Artifacts and Images, Introductory Readings in Classical Chinese Medicine: Sixty Texts With Vocabulary and Translation, a Guide to Research AIDS and a General Glossary, and Medicine in China: A History of Pharmaceutics (Comparative Studies in Health Systems and Medical Care)
- History and Science: Donald E. Kendall, OMD, PhD, LAc, surveys the history of and the research on acupuncture in his Dao of Chinese Medicine. Kendall is an acupuncturist with a bacclaureate in Physicis and a Ph.D. in Psychophysiology who appears to be Taoist in his beliefs (thus his book’s title), but whose book does much to advance the scientific basis of acupuncture, and for the most part leaves out spiritual ideas.
- Science: The World Health Organization has released a summary review of all the randomized controlled trials on acupuncture, stating which diseases it treats, and how much evidence there is for each one.
- Science: I have reviewed a number of scientific studies on acupuncture on PulseMed.org. I am a Christian and an acupuncturist, I believe that acupuncture is inherently medical and non-religious. I have made every effort to remain objective in my Christian review of Chinese Medicine. I would like to find out it is compatible with Christianity, but I also am willing to move on if that turned out to be incorrect.
- Theology: David Jeremiah, a famous, well loved and well respected Christian (Baptist) minister and Bible teacher, whose radio program ‘Turning Point’ (broadcast archives) can be heard on radio stations all over the U.S., did a series of messages about New Age from July 17th through July 19th, 2002 (I’m inquiring as I write this about which one of their several CD’s on New Age contains the acupuncture information), and acupuncture was one of the few things he covered of which he approved – in this case because of the scientific evidence. (I believe he covered it under the rubric of New Age only because it is considered that by some, and because many acupuncturists are ‘New Agey’.) I do not know that Dr. Jeremiah has ever had acupuncture. The tenor of his life and messages is to put Biblical truth first.