You open your Bible, intrigued by this concept of “chi” that people are talking about. As a Christian, you know that the Bible is the ultimate authority on spiritual matters. You wonder, does the Bible have anything to say about chi?
Chi (pronounced “chee”) is an ancient Eastern concept that refers to the natural energy or life force that flows through all living things. In Chinese philosophy and medicine, chi is believed to permeate the body and affect health and well-being. Manipulating or cultivating chi through practices like acupuncture, tai chi, or qigong is said to balance energy, reduce stress, and promote healing.
Outside of Eastern traditions, the idea of chi has become popular in New Age spirituality. Some claim it is an impersonal spiritual force that connects all things, while others equate it to the Holy Spirit or supernatural power. Can practices based on chi be compatible with Christianity? What does the Bible say that might address this?
As we search the Scriptures, we find that the Bible does not directly mention the concept of chi. However, it does have much to say about the true source of life, spiritual power, and divine energy. By examining key biblical principles, we can gain insight into how to evaluate ideas like chi from a Christian perspective.
- The Bible does not directly address chi, but provides principles to analyze spiritual ideas.
- Scripture teaches God is the sole source of life and power.
- The Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual power and gifts.
- Christians should test spiritual practices against Scripture.
- Idolatry, mysticism, and syncretism are warned against.
- Health comes from submitting to God’s will, not manipulating energy.
Examining these biblical perspectives helps us understand God’s revelation about the spiritual nature of life. While chi is an ambiguous concept with variations in meaning, the Bible provides clear truths for evaluation.
The Source of Life
One foundational biblical principle is that God is the sole giver and sustainer of life. Scripture teaches that in the beginning, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). It is the breath of God that animates His creation with existence and life energy.
The book of Job says, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). Psalm 104:29-30 says God takes away life by withdrawing His breath, then renews the earth by sending His Spirit to create new life. From beginning to end, Scripture is clear that the vital energy that pulses through the universe originates from God Himself.
As believers, we know that true spiritual life is found in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6) and “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). This eternal life comes from God’s grace, not anything we can manipulate or generate ourselves.
So while chi is seen as an impersonal force, the Bible reveals that God is the personal author of all life. Our life and breath come directly from Him as a gift, not an energy we tap into ourselves.
The Source of Power
Along with life, the Bible also attributes all genuine spiritual power to God. Paul writes that “ours is the God of miracles and wonders! His mighty power was demonstrated at the Cross!” (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2:4-5 NLT). God’s greatest display of power came through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, which provides the basis for our salvation.
Jesus explained that He carried out His miraculous works through the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28). After His ascension, that same Spirit came upon the believers at Pentecost, giving them boldness, divine gifts, and spiritual authority (Acts 2:1-4). The book of Acts records how the Spirit enabled the apostles to perform healings, exorcisms, and other wonders as signs of God’s power at work through them.
While some compare chi to the Holy Spirit, the Bible shows the Spirit is not some impersonal force. The Spirit is the third person of the Trinity – fully God, eternally existent with the Father and Son. He is sovereign and purposeful in how and when He empowers people with spiritual gifts. These gifts are distributed “individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:11) so that believers can fulfill their God-given callings and bring glory to Christ.
So Scripture makes it clear that true spiritual power comes from the Holy Spirit, not an amorphous source within ourselves. His power cannot be manipulated or controlled, only humbly received through faith as it ultimately belongs to God.
Evaluating Spiritual Practices
When faced with unfamiliar spiritual concepts and practices, Christians should evaluate them carefully in light of what Scripture teaches. The Bible warns believers to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). Paul teaches that we should “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
So how can we “test” the idea of chi according to the principles and standards of God’s Word? First, we must check that it does not reflect theological error or contradict biblical truths. Does it claim to be a source of life apart from God? Does it present itself as an alternate spiritual power besides the Holy Spirit? Does it advocate manipulating or channeling energy in unbiblical ways?
We should also consider whether practices connected to chi promote worldviews that compromise Christian beliefs. For example, much of Eastern philosophy sees chi as evidence that humans have divine potential and can attain enlightenment without God. Such idolatrous attitudes stand in conflict with Scripture’s teaching that we are created beings who depend fully on Christ’s redemption.
Additionally, we must determine if these practices reflect mysticism and folk religions that Scripture condemns. Paul warns against getting caught up in baseless speculation that draws people away from Christ (Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:1). Techniques meant to channel energy or harness spiritual forces often derive from superstition, not Godly wisdom.
As believers, we should avoid any practice that blends different religious beliefs into an incompatible “blend of Christianity with mysticism and Eastern pagan religions” [syncretism] (Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion, 98). So while chi itself may be neutral, we must carefully consider if its connections lead to unbiblical worldviews, mysticism, or idolatry.
Divine Healing vs. Holistic Health
Physical health is another aspect of life that has been linked to the concept of chi. In traditional Chinese medicine, balancing chi through acupuncture, herbs, diet, and exercise is seen as key to wellness and disease prevention. Can a chi-based approach then be harmonized with a biblical view of health?
Scripture presents God as our healer and the ultimate authority on health practices. Exodus 15:26 states, “I am the Lord who heals you.” God gave laws to Israel on diet, hygiene, and sanitation that protected public health long before modern medicine (Leviticus 13-15; Deuteronomy 23:12-14). Proverbs chapters 3-4 encourage healthy living through wisdom, prudence, and discretion.
While holistic health practices can have benefits, the Bible warns against viewing health as being entirely within our control. James 4:13-16 cautions against leaving God out of our plans and arrogantly assuming outcomes rest solely on our wisdom and effort. We should avoid thinking we can manipulate wellness through techniques that supposedly harness impersonal spiritual forces inside us.
Scripture also instructs us to pray for healing, with the assurance that “the prayer of faith will save the sick” (James 5:14-15). Throughout Christ’s ministry and the early Church, miraculous physical healings demonstrated God’s power and authenticated the gospel message (Acts 3:1-10; 5:12-16). God still performs supernatural healings today in response to prayer that relies on His will.
So the Bible presents divine healing as an act of God in response to faith, not tapping into metaphysical energies or perfectly balancing body systems. Holistic health practices may have benefits, but true and complete healing comes according to God’s will as we submit to Christ spiritually and physically.
Living by the Spirit
Christians fully accept there are aspects of God’s person, creation, and spiritual reality that remain mysteries to us during this earthly life. The Eastern concept of chi points to the deep, unsearchable wisdom of our Creator. However, as seekers of biblical truth, we test the spirits and interpret such concepts through the light of Holy Scripture.
Based on the principles we’ve explored from God’s Word, here are some key truths for evaluating ideas like chi:
- Life originates from God’s breath, not an impersonal force.
- True spiritual power comes through the Holy Spirit, not innate human energy.
- Techniques for manipulating energy can derive from idolatry and mysticism.
- Divine healing is an act of God’s will, not redirecting chi.
- Health results from following biblical wisdom, while acknowledging God’s sovereignty.
Rather than focusing on tapping into spiritual forces within us, believers can be assured that God’s Spirit already lives inside all who place their faith in Christ (Romans 8:9-11). Scripture encourages us to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) and to walk in step with the Spirit each day, aligning our thoughts and actions with His guidance (Galatians 5:16-25). This brings spiritual life, power, healing, and health as we yield to God’s Word and will.
The Bible does not explicitly confirm or deny the existence of chi as it is understood in Eastern religions and New Age spirituality. However, by thoroughly examining Scripture, we gain clear direction for evaluating spiritual ideas like chi in light of God’s truth. The testimony of God’s Word provides the framework for interpreting life’s mysteries through the light of Christ. While chi remains an elusive concept open to interpretation, we have confidence that the Bible equips us with trustworthy principles for testing the spirits and living by the Spirit.