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FENG SHUI AND CHRISTIANITY
(c)2001 by Michael Riversong
Walls are a necessary part of our human living environment. Most people gladly acknowledge that. But some walls are not necessarily useful. In the case of modern Feng Shui, certain walls are actually keeping many good people from improving their environments.
It has been said that Feng Shui improves the world, one building at a time. Improving the living environment should be part of good stewardship of our resources. (Luke 12:42-48) In fact, certain improvements can go a long way towards making many essential functions of Christianity, such as family life, evangelism and Bible study, much better for all of us.
One of the best disciplines ever developed for improving environments was Feng Shui. Many Christians have seen Feng Shui as a mysterious Eastern cult, and thus have understandably built a wall against it. This cuts us off from gaining any benefits from this discipline. Many contemporary Feng Shui practitioners, especially in America, have made this worse than it should be, by emphasizing mysticism and spiritual practice in their writings and promotions.
We should look carefully at the ancient roots of Feng Shui. It was not always a mystical body of knowledge. Mysticism, in fact, implies that something is unknowable. As Christians, we are familiar enough with mysteries, and our mysteries are acceptable to us in varying degrees. But mysteries emanating from another culture are, of course, something that we rightly should exercise great caution with when we encounter them.
Feng Shui actually began with a series of scientific observations, probably shortly after the Flood. These were then broken down into mathematical patterns, which eventually evolved into a book known as the I Ching, or Book of Changes. The I Ching has been an authoritative reference for all Chinese scientists ever since. However, about 2,500 years ago, mystics gradually began to use the book for their own purposes. Over the following centuries, due to various historical factors, science as such became de-emphasized in China, and mysticism became more important. Eventually, the I Ching became the property of fortune tellers. Such use of that mathematically based volume is a disservice to all people. It has become a tool of divination, which of course is not acceptable within Christian practice. (Ezek. 13:20-23);(Acts 16:16-18)
Ways to improve environments, bringing them into natural and beneficial harmony with residents and workers, also evolved from the fundamental observations which are included in the I Ching and related volumes. That's what became Feng Shui, literally the science of Wind and Water. These methods, which originally were fairly clear and always based on natural principles embodied in God's creation, eventually became mixed up with various superstitions, astrology, and even native Chinese demonology.
Now, because we have the opportunity, we can go back and unravel this complex discipline, and do our best to extract from it the actual scientific principles which can be helpful to us in meeting our environmental needs. Whenever any Feng Shui technique is presented, a responsible Christian can look at it, and ask, "what observable scientific principle is behind this technique?" Much the same thing was done with the derivation of modern chemistry from the ancient schools of alchemy. Magical, demonic, and superstitious practices were thrown out, and wise use of the underlying scientific principles discovered by the ancient practitioners has given numerous benefits to our modern society.
Therefore, Feng Shui can legitimately be used by Christians to improve environments, within the guidelines given here. We can use it to make our necessary walls more protective and generally beneficial. And we can in good conscience eliminate the wall between scientifically based Feng Shui and our religion. (Rom. 16:25-27)Back to Design Ecology Home Page