Can a Christian Have Alternative Beliefs?

Can a Christian Have Alternative Beliefs?

Can a Christian Have Alternative Beliefs?
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While some may think alternative beliefs go against a Christian belief system, the reality of it is that one has nothing to do with the other.

Alternative beliefs and alternative medicine do not compete against Christianity; they are merely an alternative way of thinking.

There is some confusion amongst Christians with traditional versus alternative beliefs, and this confusion may prevent Christians from exploring other ways of thinking.

While therapies like acupuncture may have originated in Taoism philosophy, many modern-day medicines have their roots in non-Christian beliefs.

For example, numerology readings and Christianity are not necessarily mutually exclusive.  Many traditional medicines originated in ancient Greek and Roman cultures, which were actually just as non-Christian as Taoism.

The idea that just because something did not originate in Christianity and that it is inherently wrong is just not biblically supportable. Christians use many technologies and inventions that were based on non-Christian systems, but that does not mean that they do not maintain a strong faith.

You Are Free to Choose

Christians can explore alternative therapies and alternative beliefs as they choose and still maintain their strong sense of faith. There is a fine line between what is actually considered an alternative belief and what is not, so it is not fair to say that Christians cannot explore some of these.

Some people might consider chiropractic care alternative medicine, while others do not. Does this mean that a Christian cannot visit a chiropractor?

I hope not because the chiropractic field does good work and helps people who suffer from ailments like chronic pain. The belief system of the inventor or originator should not be a deciding factor as to if someone chooses an alternative therapy or not.

The deciding factor should, in fact, be one's health. Some might consider a gluten-free diet an alternative therapy, but if someone is allergic to gluten and just happens to be a Christian, does that mean he or she cannot visit an alternative provider and seek care?

I should hope not. What if a Christian wants to visit an herbalist or a naturopath or seek an opinion from an Ayurvedic physician?

They should have the same rights as anyone else, and they should be able to seek the treatment they want from a caring alternative provider. 

Therapies such as reiki and massage therapy have been around for hundreds of years, and they have helped many people in countless ways. The ultimate deciding factor should be someone's health, not someone's faith.

Complete Mind and Body

What about mind-body exercises such as yoga and tai-chi? Should Christians refrain from those as well? I would be concerned if they did because yoga and tai-chi are incredible forms of exercise that help people.

Research has shown that tai chi may have some health benefits, as some studies show favourable effects on balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.

Studies also show that tai-chi may reduce the risk of falls in elderly patients and those recovering from heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and even multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's.

Tai-chi may also be beneficial for stress relief and mental health with one study showing that regular practice increased psychological well-being and reduced stress, depression and anxiety while also enhancing mood.

Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. Most Westernised yoga classes focus on things like physical poses, also known as asanas. There are many styles and types of yoga available today.

Most forms of yoga include some breathing techniques and possibly even some kind of meditative technique. While some forms of yoga focus purely on relaxation, others focus on things like core strength, muscle toning, balance and flexibility, all of which Christians and other believers alike could benefit from.

Typically yoga involves positioning, stretching and strengthening of the body and the mind, and yoga is an incredible stress-reducing exercise. Yoga is not only for strengthening the physical body, but it may also focus on a meditative benefit for the mind and spirit.

Yoga might also be helpful in decreasing depression, anxiety, insomnia and pain, things all of us could use some help with from time to time.

Who Can Realistically Say They Have All The Answers?

Although it comes down to an individual choice, Christians should not feel like they are betraying their faith when they explore an alternative method. Modern medicine does not have all the answers, and there are many reasons people seek alternative providers.

I don't believe it would offend Jesus if one of his disciples wanted to try a massage or seek an alternative method for chronic pain, just because they were Christian. Just as the church and the school are separate entities, so should the church and medicine; whether that medicine is traditional or alternative should not matter.

Christians should feel very comfortable seeking any alternative treatment they wish to try because no one is asking them to give up their faith. I believe there is room for everyone at the alternative table, and we can all learn something from one another.

Each of us should feel free to explore any method that we wish to explore in pursuit of our optimal health and wellness. I believe Jesus and most Christians would agree.

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