Can Christians go to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners for help? 基督徒可以看中医吗?

A Christian’s reflection

Preface

Why is it even questioned if Christians can get involved in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)? How did the question arise? Before we start contemplating on this, we need to agree with the following statements: first, the ʟᴏʀᴅ forbids believers in Christ to get involved in any forms of false religion very solemnly; and second, we must obey the commandments of the ʟᴏʀᴅ. Thus, the remaining questions are: what is in the category of “false religion”? Does TCM count to be one of them? Finally, what is the definition of getting involved?

I. What is in the category of “false religion”?

False religion, as this term itself indicates, refers to every religious belief that contradicts the Christian faith. “Closely related to the occult is false religion. Often the two are inseparably intertwined. Both promise what appeals to us all–peace, power, knowledge, access to God. They claim to direct us to the light, but they actually entice us into darkness… Many different doors lead into the realm of the supernatural. But there is only one door that leads to the supernatural realm of God. That door is Jesus. Those who go through any other door can enter a supernatural realm–but it is the realm of Satan, not of the one true God.” (Derek Prince, They shall expel demons, pg. 166)

Cupping is a therapy used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to supposedly remove stagnation and stimulate the flow of qi (chi).

II. Does TCM count to be one of them?

First, you might be puzzled, how can a medical treatment be in any relation with false religion? “Since the time Huangdi Neijing (also called Neijing) was written to this day, TCM never abandon the idea of combining philosophical thinking with clinical medicine.” On the other hand, “The main stream of Western medicine… has gradually deserted the philosophic part in Hippocrates medicine, and founded itself on scientific methods like positivism and experimentalism, and thus formed modern medicine that pursues logic of evidence-based knowledge and sophisticated methods.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 33)

Until this day, TCM is still inseparable with the philosophical thinking behind its practice, which includes the theory of yin yang wu xing, etc. Practitioners of TCM did not put away those theories after they were invented and thus set the medical practice apart; instead, these theories are the basics of the operation of TCM. In history of TCM, there indeed were fluctuations on the degree of the usage of the theories, and also different practitioners may explain them differently. And yet, surely TCM has never separate itself completely from these theories. TCM never discard the framework of its philosophical thinking.

And so, do theories behind TCM belong to the category of false religion? First, concerning Neijing, the classic scripture of TCM, “Neijing is a book containing medical knowledge accumulated between the period of warring states and qin and han dynasty, and is consist of two parts Lingshu and Suwen, each part includes 81 volumes of writings. In short, Suwen is the origin of yin yang wu xing theory in TCM and the theory of visceral manifestation; Lingshu gives the account of meridians and acupoints, and also skills of acupuncture on various diseases. Neijing’s claim that it was written by Huangdi was not an accident, at least in the early years of the period of warring states, the theory of unity of man and nature, which is a mystical theory that can be traced back to shang dynasty, had gradually formed as a philosophy called by the name of Huangdi. The emphasis of the philosophy is that it takes ‘way of heaven’ to be the basis of its theory, and it was applied in moral principles, astronomy, calendar calculation, astrology, qi observation, geography, warcraft, medicine, qi building, becoming immortal. Yin yang, the four seasons, wu xing are the common principles of how the heaven, men and the earth are related to each other. In Lüshi Chunqiu, there are quite a lot of concepts of how beings in the same category, or having the same voice, or being in the same flow of qi, can feel and relate to each other.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 34)

As a result, the classic scripture of TCM is indeed the application of the philosophy of Huangdi in medicine. Is the philosophy of Huangdi false religion? Obviously, it is. And not only does it contain beliefs of false religion, it is also related to the occult. The two main branches of occult is divination (fortune-telling, face reading, astrology, etc.) and sorcery (often operated through objects like charms and drugs). You may find the full teaching on this in the book They shall expel demons written by Derek Prince. Back to the topic, the theory of yin yang wu xing, visceral manifestation, meridians and acupoints all have its origin in this, and they are still being practiced to this day, and thus it is fair to say that TCM is actually in the same category with divination and sorcery, which the Bible condemns.

Maybe you would ask: what about all the experience acquired from real medical practice? Are they all “polluted” because of the root of its theory in false religion? Indeed, a practitioner of TCM will definitely include his/her own clinical experience while treating the patient, not just some concepts in philosophy. As it is said here, “Although Neijing and astrology, qi observation etc. are in the same category of the philosophy of Huangdi, which is a mystical kind of philosophy, yet as a medical book, it contributes to combining theory of yin yang, the four seasons and wu xing with clinical experience, and thus demystifies these theories. Opposite to the perception of some Western medical practitioners, Neijing includes writings beyond the mystical theories, for example, in vol.15-21 of Suwen, descriptions about pulse diagnosis, observation of the patient’s complexion, signs of death are included; in vol. 31-48, various diseases such as malaria, headache, heartache, stomach-related illness and arthralgia are depicted. In these writings, there is scarcely any philosophical accounts.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 35)

However, yin yang, the four seasons and wu xing are still the philosophical framework that cannot be shaken to this day. And these theories are not another way of depicting nature, or an objective principle of nature. These are indeed false religion––trying to get into the realm of the supernatural (otherwise, how can the deduction of the five elements in the universe tell you anything about the future? This is not the natural way we acquire knowledge, but supernatural), and gain the knowledge of weather, the destiny of a nation, the state of the enemy… (depending on the topic applied). Most importantly, it is not the supernatural realm of God. No matter whether these theories are less mystical in TCM or not, as long as it keeps them as the basis of practice, TCM will always be related with false religion. And whether Christians can get involved in an activity does not depend on how much it is associated with false religion, but whether it is or isn’t linked with it. As it is said in the previous paragraphs, Christians should not get involved in TCM. 

III. What is the definition of getting involved?

To this point, if you can accept the arguments above, you might be a little worried if you are under the influence of Chinese culture. You may want to ask, “According to what you said, all the philosophies in the Chinese tradition can be counted as false religion, and I’m under the influence of this culture, how can I escape from it?” First, please remember that only when a practice is associated with false religion is it forbidden in the Bible. For example, supposed that you want to take a taxi, and your driver happens to be a dedicated believer in some form of fortune-telling, does it mean that you can’t take this ride? Of course not, because the whole process of taking a taxi has nothing to do with the personal beliefs of the driver. You wave your hand, get on the taxi, pay your bill, get off the taxi, and all these are not related to the faith of the driver. You can bring your Christian faith on and off the taxi in peace. But supposed that this driver asks you to provide your date of birth before you can get on the taxi for fortune-telling (okay this is a extreme case), then if you are a Christian, you should not consent.

It is the same with going to TCM. Maybe some people would say, “Going to TCM is one thing and believing in its philosophies is another. I don’t even know much about those theories, not to say to believe in it. Why worry so much?” First, ignorance cannot be an excuse, we should examine everything to see if it is consistent with the truth or not, otherwise we will be easily deceived by the devil. Secondly, “unbelief” is not just a matter of words, but also a matter of deeds. Take fortune-telling as an example again, Christian A also can claim, “I don’t even believe fortune-telling in the slightest way. I’m only there for fun.” And yet the actual action of going to the fortune-teller is a recognition of this activity, no matter one admits it or not. Not to mention that many Christians who go to TCM for help indeed believes it can bring some help to them.

Of course, TCM is not fortune-telling. And I agree that TCM is effective in some way, but whether Christians can do something does not depend on its effectiveness, but on whether it is consistent with the word of God. Reading the article so far, maybe you have come across this idea: what if TCM just abandon its theories and preserve the practical part? Then will it be without problem? Supposedly, yes. But remember, the premise is total abandonment of the theories related to false religion. In fact, this has been an issue since the late Qing dynasty as the Chinese intellectuals argued about abolishing TCM or not. If you want to know more about the nature of TCM, read the paragraphs below.

This is moxibustion. Sometimes used in conjunction with acupuncture. The heat generated during moxibustion supposedly helps increase the flow of vital energy (also known as “qi” or “chi”) throughout the body via certain pathways (known as “meridians”).

IV. Why TCM cannot become a scientific medical system?

First, is it possible for TCM to abandon its theories completely, and preserve the practical part alone? If theory and practice can be spilt like this, isn’t it all together too simple? Indeed, some medical treatment found in TCM can be explained from the viewpoint of modern medicine. For instance, “The book Scientific principles in traditional Chinese medicine written by Hua Chen, the theory of visceral manifestation in traditional Chinese medicine by Song-Ming Liang, Hsiang-Lu Jong and Jun-Hsiang Chiang of Chinese University of Hong Kong are good examples. They put a lot of effort in getting resource from the academia of modern biology, trying to prove the theory of yin yan wu xing in TCM… yet attempting to prove yin yan wu xing at the microscopic level… has the problem of associating ideas and justifying TCM too easily. There is a variety of concepts in biochemistry, and indeed too many things can be borrowed from it. Purposedly taking concepts similar to TCM theories is always practicable. In some cases, the ancient Chinese obviously made a mistake, for example, by crediting decision-making to the function of the gallbladder. But it is still possible to take concepts from modern knowledge and make a possibly acceptable explanation.” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 113)

Meanwhile, it is not helpful at all to turn TCM into a scientific medical system by taking this kind of deconstructive method; using scientific terms in this way is just an attempt to show that the ancient Chinese did make sense. Yet the ancient Chinese made sense in some instances is not surprising at all, otherwise how can TCM continue to exist for thousands of years if it is not effective in any way? The question is, when theories behind TCM are occasionally effective, why is it still not possible to explain it completely with scientific system, and so that people have to search for corresponding concepts here and there?

In fact, some practitioners of TCM had already made it very clear, “Chi-Cheng Chang suggested that it is not necessary to force a way in finding equivalence of modern medicine in TCM. The TCM community should admit bravely that ‘strictly speaking, TCM is not science, which means it does not fit modern definition of science, for it cannot be described by mathematics, and it fails to be examined by experiments in the laboratory. This is objective facts, and hiding it in any way is unnecessary.’” (Au Kit Sing, When Chinese medicine meets Western medicine–history and ideas, pg. 123) Attempts of demonstrating the scientific nature of yin yang wu xing, finding the TCM viscera in the context of dissection and searching the meridians in the physical body–all of these attempts had failed. As a result, it is fair to say that even if there is new evidence showing that traditional Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping, etc. can be explained partially with scientific terms, the fact that the whole system of TCM is not able to become a scientific medical system remains quite true.

TCM indeed can have some effects, as some cases indicate, yet not being able to be transformed to modern science points to an important fact, and it is also a fact that Christians should pay attention. According to the Bible, humans are consisted of body, soul and spirit. The human body is the part that can be understood by using scientific methods, and the modern medicine is based on this. As for spirit and soul, trying to explain and control these parts with non-biblical teachings has already gone out of the scope of science and dabbled into the supernatural realm of Satan–even though this kind of theory might disguise itself with some scientific terms to talk about qi or energy, it is pseudo-science in its essence. Although being classified as medicine and offer treatment for the physical body, the fact that TCM cannot be proved completely with science suggests that it is not guaranteed that the operation of TCM stays in the natural realm.

Final prayer:

If you are convicted that involving in TCM is a sin, and that you are willing to repent and renounce it, you can say the following prayer (it is a modified version of prayer from Derek Prince Blessing or curse–you can choose).

“Lord Jesus Christ, I believe you are the Son of God, and the only way to God, that you died on the cross for my sins, and rose again from the death, that on the cross you were made a curse, with every curse that is due to me, that I might be redeemed from the curse, and enter into the blessing. Lord, I confess any sins committed by me or by my ancestors that are related to TCM and other false religion. I ask you for forgiveness. I also forgive every other person whoever harmed me or wronged me. I forgive them as you have God forgive me. I also forgive myself. I renounce all contact with the occult in any form, and I commit myself to get rid of anything related to TCM, including books, needles, other machines or tools, etc. I pray to you to open my eyes, so that I can identify the deceptive lies of Satan, help me to be alarmed and to be deceived no more. And now Lord, having received by faith your forgiveness, with authority I have as a child of God, I now release myself and those under my authority, from any curse over our lives, right now in the name of Jesus, I declare release, I claim it and receive it by faith, in the name of Jesus, amen.”

I pray to the Lord to open your eyes and give you a discerning heart, so that with the word of God in mind, you will be deceived no more. Please remember, do not seek to understand false religion or the occult completely just because you are worried that you will be deceived. Knowing too many details can be harmful too, and at the same time, these things are endless. I would suggest you to focus on God’s word, as for these concepts of false religion and the occult, it is enough to know it briefly and resist it. Hold no interest in knowing unnecessary details. God bless you all. 

— Written by Jannie Lai


基督徒可以看中医吗?(title)

一个基督徒的省思(subtitle)

前言(preface)

为什麽基督徒会不能看中医?为什麽会有这种问题?思考此问题前,首先我们必须同意两点:一,耶和华明确禁止基督徒与异教学说有任何牵连;二,基督徒须遵守耶和华的诫命。因此,剩下的问题就是:什麽是「异教学说」?中医是异教学说吗?「牵连」的定义是什麽?

I. 什麽是「异教学说」?

异教学说(false religion,直译为「假宗教」)顾名思义,指的是一切非基督信仰的宗教学说。「这些宗教承诺能带给人平安、力量、知识,且让人可以亲近神,宣称能带人走向光明,实际上却使我们堕入黑暗之中……许多不同的门都可以通往超自然的灵界,但只有一扇门能将人引到上帝超自然的境界当中。那门就是耶稣。凡从任何其他门进入的人,也可以进到超自然的境界中——但那是撒旦的地盘,不是属神的境界。」(叶光明:《赶鬼与释放》第14章〈什麽是秘术?〉)

II. 中医是异教学说吗?

首先,也许你会疑惑,医术跟异教学说怎麽会有关联呢?「中医学从《黄帝内经》(简称《内经》)至今,一直不曾放弃思辨哲学与临床医学的双线并行。」而相对的,「西方医学发展的主流……是逐步剥落古典医学的哲学思辨部分,转而以『实证精神』(positivism)及『实验精神』(experimentalism)为本的科学方法,建立现代医学,它追求的是客观证据严谨的逻辑,信服的是精密的方法。」(区结成:《当中医遇上西医——历史与省思》,页33)。

至今,中国传统医学与其背后的哲学思辨,包含阴阳五行等学说,都是密不可分的。这些哲学思辨不只是一套发明出来后,便束之高阁、与行医无关的理论,而是中医在实践上的基础。在中医发展史上,阴阳五行等究竟多大程度、以及如何被行医者使用,确实有些历时性的变化。但可以确知的是,中医从未与这些哲学思辨完全脱钩;在中医的思维中,这些思考的框架从未完全见弃。

那麽,这些中医背后的哲学思辨,是否属于异教学说?就以中医的经典《内经》而论,「《内经》是战国到秦汉数百年间集合的医学着作,由《灵枢》、《素问》各81卷组成。简单地说,《素问》是中医五行与脏腑学说的源头;《灵枢》论述经络与腧穴的概念,以及多种杂病的行针之法,是为中医针灸学的理论雏形。《内经》假託黄帝之名成书,并非偶然。至少在战国前期,源自商代的『天人合一』神祕感应思想,已逐渐形成为『黄帝之学』,特点是以『天道』作为思想的依据,范围包括道德伦理、天象、曆算、星占、望气、地理、兵法、医方、养气、神仙之类;而以阴阳、四时、五行作为『天、地、人』的共同法则,《吕氏春秋》中便有不少天地万物『同类』、『同声』、『同气』感应的说法(卷十三〈应同〉篇)。」(区结成:《当中医遇上西医》,页34)

由此可见,中医经典《内经》实为黄帝之学在医术方面的应用。黄帝之学是异教学说吗?很明显地,是的,且不只是异教学说,当中还包含祕术(occult)的成分;祕术的两大支是占卜(算命、看相、占星, etc.)和巫术(符咒、药物, etc. 为其常用工具),详细的说明可参考叶光明《赶鬼与释放》,于此不赘言。中医的阴阳五行、脏象学说、经络腧穴的概念都源于此,且至今仍奉行不辍,至此已可断言中医实与《圣经》所禁止的占卜、巫术同属一类。

也许你会问,那麽临床上那些诊治的经验,难道就因此全都「汙染」了吗?医者要行医,确实必然带入临床上的经验,不可能只是谈玄论理,如此段所言:「虽然《内经》与星占术、望气术之类同属有神祕感应色彩的『黄帝之学』,但作为医经,它的贡献却在于把阴阳、四时、五行的思想结合临床经验,令这些学说『非神秘化』。与一些西医的想像相反,《内经》并非只有玄之又玄的五行哲学,例如《素问》第15至21篇论述脉诊、色诊、问诊、死亡徵兆;第31至48篇描述各种病类如疟病、厥病、腹中病、痹病等。这些篇章几乎完全没有思辨色彩。」(区结成:《当中医遇上西医》,页35)

然而说到底,阴阳、四时、五行便是中医至今无法撼动的框架。这些学说不是什麽描述自然的另一种方式,或是一种客观的自然律。这些就是异教学说——尝试探入超自然的领域(否则木火土金水的推演,怎能告诉你未来的事?这不是一般普通的知识习得,而是超自然的),取得关于天气、国势、敌情……(看运用在什麽领域)的知识,却不是经由神之道而获得的。无论中医领域中,这些学术的色彩是否相对淡薄,只要中医未将此根刨去,便永远与异教学说脱不了关係。基督徒能否涉入某一活动的重点,不在于当中异教成分的多寡,而在于有无异教成分。如前述所言,中医显然有此成分,因此基督徒本不当牵连其中。

III. 「牵连」的定义是什麽?

看到这裡,若你能接受前面所言,可能会有点担心:这麽说来,中国传统的思想全都是异教思想啊,我就活在这个文化的影响当中,那到底什麽才可以做?首先,请记得一点,只有当某种实践与异教思想(或学说、理论)产生关联时,这种实践才被视为《圣经》禁止的行为。举例来说,如果你去坐计程车好了,假设这位司机笃信命理的学说,那是否表示你不能坐他开计程车呢?不,因为乘坐的整套实践流程,与司机所信是什麽无关;你招手,上车,付钱,下车等等,不必牵涉到司机的个人信仰。你可以带着你的基督信仰平安上车、平安下车。但假设今天这位司机要求你,如果想上车,就必须提供自己的出生年月日,好让他帮你算算吉凶(假设有这麽荒谬的事),那麽你若是基督徒,就不该接受。

看中医也是同一个道理。或许有些人会说:我看归看,中医裡面的哲学思辨、宇宙观什麽的,我根本不懂,也不信啊,有什麽关係。首先,无知不能当作一个藉口,各样的事,我们总要察验合于真理与否,否则便会容易受到撒旦的欺骗。再者,「不信」并非口头上的表达而已,更是行为上的表述。再以命理为例,某甲基督徒亦可说:「我根本不信算命的那一套,我只是去算好玩的。」然而,某甲实际「去算命」的行为,便是对算命的一种肯定,无论其承认与否。更何况,许多寻求中医的基督徒,内心是真的肯定中医可以带来帮助。

当然,中医不是算命。我也同意中医能带出某些疗效,但基督徒能够从事某件事与否,并不只在于是否有效果,更在于是否合乎神的话语,合乎《圣经》的教导。读到这裡,也许你会有个想法:那……如果中医全面放弃了哲学思辨方面的学说,留下方法就好,看中医是不是就不会有问题了?就这个假设性的问题而言,我可以说「是的」,但前提就是此问题中所言「全面放弃」。事实上,这个问题自民初中医的存废之争开始,就已经存在了。

若你想了解更多中医本质性的问题,欢迎继续往下读。

馀论:中医为何无法「科学化」?

首先,中医是否能够全面放弃哲学思辨方面的学说,而留下所谓的方法就好?若理论与实践能这样切割,那未免也太方便了。的确,中医裡某些医治的方法,确实可以用现今西医的科学观点进行解释。比如,「陈华的《中医的科学原理》、香港中文大学梁颂名、荣向路、江润祥着作的《中医脏腑概说》是良好的示范。他们在现代生物科学世界努力撷取丰富的素材,努力印证中医的阴阳五行学说……然而,在微观世界印证阴阳五行学……太过容易宽鬆地联想类比和自我合理化。生物化学的世界包罗万有,裡边有近乎无穷的微观素材可供借取,要刻意寻找选用近似中医学说的地方,总会言之成理。在某些地方,古人认识上有明显的错误,例如说『胆主决断』,但仍然可以用现代知识素材勉为其难作解释。」(区结成:《当中医遇上西医》,页113)

同时,此种支离的方式其实也无助于中医与现代科学的体系接轨,只是用了一些科学的语言企图证明「古人说得有理」罢了。古人某些地方说得有理,这并不让人意外,否则毫无疗效的医学怎可能延续千年之久?问题是,为何古人的学说有些道理,却无法全然以科学解释,而必须东拼西凑找些微观的素材?

事实上,已有中医明确表态:「张其成认为,不必勉强把中西医学概念直接对等。中医界应该敢于承认,『中医并不是严格意义上的科学,即不是现代自然科学意义上的科学,因为它不能用数学描述,不能通过实验室检验。这是客观事实,没必要遮遮掩掩。』」(区结成:《当中医遇上西医》,页123)试图证明阴阳五行的科学性质、寻找中医脏腑的解剖对应、以及寻找经络的实体,最终都宣告失败。可以说,无论是否有什麽最新的研究发现中医调製的草药、针灸、拔罐等等,某部分可以用科学的语言描述证明,事实上中医的整套体系架构,就是无法科学化。

中医确实可以有疗效,但无法科学化指向的是一个重要的事实,也是基督徒会关注的事实——根据《圣经》,人是由身(body)、魂(soul)、灵(spirit)三个部分组成。人的身体是可用科学方法理解剖析的部分,现代西方医学即奠基于此。而试图在《圣经》的教导以外去解释、操控魂与灵的(气、能量等等,是常见用词),即便使用了科学的术语,实质上已成了伪科学,因为科学的顶端本是这个物理世界,所有试图以科学涉入灵界探讨的,便是循着错误的「门」踏入撒旦的地界了。作为医学的中医,在医治与解释人的身体时,无法全面科学化,其实就意味着中医涉入的,本不只是这个物理世界而已。

结束祷告(final prayer)

若你确信从前涉入中医是个错误,愿意悔改并宣告放弃继续与中医有所牵连,脱离涉入异教所带来的咒诅,你可以唸出以下的祷告(此段祷词参考叶光明《你可以选择祝福或咒诅》):

「亲爱的主耶稣,我相信你是神的儿子,是到父那裏去的唯一道路。我相信你在十字架上为我的罪而死,并且从死裡復活。我相信你在十字架上成为咒诅,是和我身上的一切咒诅一起,使得我能从咒诅中被救赎,并且进入祝福。主,我向你坦诚我涉入中医、跟异教学说有所牵连的罪,我请求你原谅我。我也原谅所有曾经伤害过我或向我犯罪的人(可以唸出他们的名字)。我原谅他们,如同神原谅我那样。我也原谅我自己。我宣告要和任何形式的迷信、巫术切断关联,并且我承诺要清除一切与此有关的物品,包括中医的书籍、针灸的针、所有的器具。求你也持续打开我的眼,叫我看穿撒旦欺哄人的谎言,帮助我警醒,不再受骗。现在,主啊,我已经凭着信心接受了你的赦免,凭着作为你的儿女所拥有的权柄,我如今将我和在我权下的人,从生命中跟中医有关的咒诅释放出来。就是现在,我奉耶稣的名宣告释放。我宣告,并且凭信心领受,奉耶稣的名,阿们。」

我求神继续打开你的眼,叫你有辨别是非的能力,能秉持着神的话语作为原则,不再受骗。也请记得,不要因为担心自己无法分辨,反而一直去读那些异教或是巫术的书,试图了解它们,那可能也是个陷阱,同时也是永远没完没了的事。专注在神的话语上,对于异教或巫术的词彙或概念,知道并抵挡即可,不要挪移帐棚跑去鑽研。愿上帝祝福你。


基督徒可以看中醫嗎?(title)

一個基督徒的省思(subtitle)

前言(preface)

為什麼基督徒會不能看中醫?為什麼會有這種問題?思考此問題前,首先我們必須同意兩點:一,耶和華明確禁止基督徒與異教學說有任何牽連;二,基督徒須遵守耶和華的誡命。因此,剩下的問題就是:什麼是「異教學說」?中醫是異教學說嗎?「牽連」的定義是什麼?

I. 什麼是「異教學說」?

異教學說(false religion,直譯為「假宗教」)顧名思義,指的是一切非基督信仰的宗教學說。「這些宗教承諾能帶給人平安、力量、知識,且讓人可以親近神,宣稱能帶人走向光明,實際上卻使我們墮入黑暗之中……許多不同的門都可以通往超自然的靈界,但只有一扇門能將人引到上帝超自然的境界當中。那門就是耶穌。凡從任何其他門進入的人,也可以進到超自然的境界中——但那是撒旦的地盤,不是屬神的境界。」(葉光明:《趕鬼與釋放》第14章〈什麼是秘術?〉)

II. 中醫是異教學說嗎?

首先,也許你會疑惑,醫術跟異教學說怎麼會有關聯呢?「中醫學從《黃帝內經》(簡稱《內經》)至今,一直不曾放棄思辨哲學與臨床醫學的雙線並行。」而相對的,「西方醫學發展的主流……是逐步剝落古典醫學的哲學思辨部分,轉而以『實證精神』(positivism)及『實驗精神』(experimentalism)為本的科學方法,建立現代醫學,它追求的是客觀證據嚴謹的邏輯,信服的是精密的方法。」(區結成:《當中醫遇上西醫——歷史與省思》,頁33)。

至今,中國傳統醫學與其背後的哲學思辨,包含陰陽五行等學說,都是密不可分的。這些哲學思辨不只是一套發明出來後,便束之高閣、與行醫無關的理論,而是中醫在實踐上的基礎。在中醫發展史上,陰陽五行等究竟多大程度、以及如何被行醫者使用,確實有些歷時性的變化。但可以確知的是,中醫從未與這些哲學思辨完全脫鉤;在中醫的思維中,這些思考的框架從未完全見棄。

那麼,這些中醫背後的哲學思辨,是否屬於異教學說?就以中醫的經典《內經》而論,「《內經》是戰國到秦漢數百年間集合的醫學著作,由《靈樞》、《素問》各81卷組成。簡單地說,《素問》是中醫五行臟腑學說的源頭;《靈樞》論述經絡腧穴的概念,以及多種雜病的行針之法,是為中醫針灸學的理論雛形。《內經》假託黃帝之名成書,並非偶然。至少在戰國前期,源自商代的『天人合一』神祕感應思想,已逐漸形成為『黃帝之學』,特點是以『天道』作為思想的依據,範圍包括道德倫理、天象、曆算、星占、望氣、地理、兵法、醫方、養氣、神仙之類;而以陰陽、四時、五行作為『天、地、人』的共同法則,《呂氏春秋》中便有不少天地萬物『同類』、『同聲』、『同氣』感應的說法(卷十三〈應同〉篇)。」(區結成:《當中醫遇上西醫》,頁34)

由此可見,中醫經典《內經》實為黃帝之學在醫術方面的應用。黃帝之學是異教學說嗎?很明顯地,是的,且不只是異教學說,當中還包含祕術(occult)的成分;祕術的兩大支是占卜(算命、看相、占星, etc.)和巫術(符咒、藥物, etc. 為其常用工具),詳細的說明可參考葉光明《趕鬼與釋放》,於此不贅言。中醫的陰陽五行、臟象學說、經絡腧穴的概念都源於此,且至今仍奉行不輟,至此已可斷言中醫實與《聖經》所禁止的占卜、巫術同屬一類。

也許你會問,那麼臨床上那些診治的經驗,難道就因此全都「污染」了嗎?醫者要行醫,確實必然帶入臨床上的經驗,不可能只是談玄論理,如此段所言:「雖然《內經》與星占術、望氣術之類同屬有神祕感應色彩的『黃帝之學』,但作為醫經,它的貢獻卻在於把陰陽、四時、五行的思想結合臨床經驗,令這些學說『非神秘化』。與一些西醫的想像相反,《內經》並非只有玄之又玄的五行哲學,例如《素問》第15至21篇論述脈診、色診、問診、死亡徵兆;第31至48篇描述各種病類如瘧病、厥病、腹中病、痹病等。這些篇章幾乎完全沒有思辨色彩。」(區結成:《當中醫遇上西醫》,頁35)

然而說到底,陰陽、四時、五行便是中醫至今無法撼動的框架。這些學說不是什麼描述自然的另一種方式,或是一種客觀的自然律。這些就是異教學說——嘗試探入超自然的領域(否則木火土金水的推演,怎能告訴你未來的事?這不是一般普通的知識習得,而是超自然的),取得關於天氣、國勢、敵情……(看運用在什麼領域)的知識,卻不是經由神之道而獲得的。無論中醫領域中,這些學術的色彩是否相對淡薄,只要中醫未將此根刨去,便永遠與異教學說脫不了關係。基督徒能否涉入某一活動的重點,不在於當中異教成分的多寡,而在於有無異教成分。如前述所言,中醫顯然有此成分,因此基督徒本不當牽連其中。

III. 「牽連」的定義是什麼?

看到這裡,若你能接受前面所言,可能會有點擔心:這麼說來,中國傳統的思想全都是異教思想啊,我就活在這個文化的影響當中,那到底什麼才可以做?首先,請記得一點,只有當某種實踐與異教思想(或學說、理論)產生關聯時,這種實踐才被視為《聖經》禁止的行為。舉例來說,如果你去坐計程車好了,假設這位司機篤信命理的學說,那是否表示你不能坐他開計程車呢?不,因為乘坐的整套實踐流程,與司機所信是什麼無關;你招手,上車,付錢,下車等等,不必牽涉到司機的個人信仰。你可以帶著你的基督信仰平安上車、平安下車。但假設今天這位司機要求你,如果想上車,就必須提供自己的出生年月日,好讓他幫你算算吉凶(假設有這麼荒謬的事),那麼你若是基督徒,就不該接受。

看中醫也是同一個道理。或許有些人會說:我看歸看,中醫裡面的哲學思辨、宇宙觀什麼的,我根本不懂,也不信啊,有什麼關係。首先,無知不能當作一個藉口,各樣的事,我們總要察驗合於真理與否,否則便會容易受到撒旦的欺騙。再者,「不信」並非口頭上的表達而已,更是行為上的表述。再以命理為例,某甲基督徒亦可說:「我根本不信算命的那一套,我只是去算好玩的。」然而,某甲實際「去算命」的行為,便是對算命的一種肯定,無論其承認與否。更何況,許多尋求中醫的基督徒,內心是真的肯定中醫可以帶來幫助。

當然,中醫不是算命。我也同意中醫能帶出某些療效,但基督徒能夠從事某件事與否,並不只在於是否有效果,更在於是否合乎神的話語,合乎《聖經》的教導。讀到這裡,也許你會有個想法:那……如果中醫全面放棄了哲學思辨方面的學說,留下方法就好,看中醫是不是就不會有問題了?就這個假設性的問題而言,我可以說「是的」,但前提就是此問題中所言「全面放棄」。事實上,這個問題自民初中醫的存廢之爭開始,就已經存在了。若你想了解更多中醫本質性的問題,歡迎繼續往下讀。

餘論:中醫為何無法「科學化」?

首先,中醫是否能夠全面放棄哲學思辨方面的學說,而留下所謂的方法就好?若理論與實踐能這樣切割,那未免也太方便了。的確,中醫裡某些醫治的方法,確實可以用現今西醫的科學觀點進行解釋。比如,「陳華的《中醫的科學原理》、香港中文大學梁頌名、榮向路、江潤祥著作的《中醫臟腑概說》是良好的示範。他們在現代生物科學世界努力擷取豐富的素材,努力印證中醫的陰陽五行學說……然而,在微觀世界印證陰陽五行學……太過容易寬鬆地聯想類比和自我合理化。生物化學的世界包羅萬有,裡邊有近乎無窮的微觀素材可供借取,要刻意尋找選用近似中醫學說的地方,總會言之成理。在某些地方,古人認識上有明顯的錯誤,例如說『膽主決斷』,但仍然可以用現代知識素材勉為其難作解釋。」(區結成:《當中醫遇上西醫》,頁113)

同時,此種支離的方式其實也無助於中醫與現代科學的體系接軌,只是用了一些科學的語言企圖證明「古人說得有理」罷了。古人某些地方說得有理,這並不讓人意外,否則毫無療效的醫學怎可能延續千年之久?問題是,為何古人的學說有些道理,卻無法全然以科學解釋,而必須東拼西湊找些微觀的素材?

事實上,已有中醫明確表態:「張其成認為,不必勉強把中西醫學概念直接對等。中醫界應該敢於承認,『中醫並不是嚴格意義上的科學,即不是現代自然科學意義上的科學,因為它不能用數學描述,不能通過實驗室檢驗。這是客觀事實,沒必要遮遮掩掩。』」(區結成:《當中醫遇上西醫》,頁123)試圖證明陰陽五行的科學性質、尋找中醫臟腑的解剖對應、以及尋找經絡的實體,最終都宣告失敗。可以說,無論是否有什麼最新的研究發現中醫調製的草藥、針灸、拔罐等等,某部分可以用科學的語言描述證明,事實上中醫的整套體系架構,就是無法科學化。

中醫確實可以有療效,但無法科學化指向的是一個重要的事實,也是基督徒會關注的事實——根據《聖經》,人是由身(body)、魂(soul)、靈(spirit)三個部分組成。人的身體是可用科學方法理解剖析的部分,現代西方醫學即奠基於此。而試圖在《聖經》的教導以外去解釋、操控魂與靈的(氣、能量等等,是常見用詞),即便使用了科學的術語,實質上已成了偽科學,因為科學的頂端本是這個物理世界,所有試圖以科學涉入靈界探討的,便是循著錯誤的「門」踏入撒旦的地界了。作為醫學的中醫,在醫治與解釋人的身體時,無法全面科學化,其實就意味著中醫涉入的,本不只是這個物理世界而已。

結束禱告(final prayer)

若你確信從前涉入中醫是個錯誤,願意悔改並宣告放棄繼續與中醫有所牽連,脫離涉入異教所帶來的咒詛,你可以唸出以下的禱告(此段禱詞參考葉光明《你可以選擇祝福或咒詛》):

「親愛的主耶穌,我相信你是神的兒子,是到父那裏去的唯一道路。我相信你在十字架上為我的罪而死,並且從死裡復活。我相信你在十字架上成為咒詛,是和我身上的一切咒詛一起,使得我能從咒詛中被救贖,並且進入祝福。主,我向你坦誠我涉入中醫、跟異教學說有所牽連的罪,我請求你原諒我。我也原諒所有曾經傷害過我或向我犯罪的人(可以唸出他們的名字)。我原諒他們,如同神原諒我那樣。我也原諒我自己。我宣告要和任何形式的迷信、巫術切斷關聯,並且我承諾要清除一切與此有關的物品,包括中醫的書籍、針灸的針、所有的器具。求你也持續打開我的眼,叫我看穿撒旦欺哄人的謊言,幫助我警醒,不再受騙。現在,主啊,我已經憑著信心接受了你的赦免,憑著作為你的兒女所擁有的權柄,我如今將我和在我權下的人,從生命中跟中醫有關的咒詛釋放出來。就是現在,我奉耶穌的名宣告釋放。我宣告,並且憑信心領受,奉耶穌的名,阿們。」

我求神繼續打開你的眼,叫你有辨別是非的能力,能秉持著神的話語作為原則,不再受騙。也請記得,不要因為擔心自己無法分辨,反而一直去讀那些異教或是巫術的書,試圖了解它們,那可能也是個陷阱,同時也是永遠沒完沒了的事。專注在神的話語上,對於異教或巫術的詞彙或概念,知道並抵擋即可,不要挪移帳棚跑去鑽研。願上帝祝福你。

For more related content, you may want to read New Age Medicine Exposed.

4 thoughts on “Can Christians go to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners for help? 基督徒可以看中医吗?

  1. Joy B

    I have some questions I have been wondering about.
    One is I know types of massage are
    Satanic, but are all
    Types? I get massages now for my work injury and have thought to myself maybe I should
    Go back to school to become a massage therapist, but would want to avoid all types of satanic activities. If I can’t then reconsider what to pursue as a career. I know Reiki and crystal healing etc are satanic. Right now I get massages that are more western I believe. Are all forms of massage evil? Are all
    From a
    Of eastern massage evil? Also I have heard from a woman is in Asian religion that psychology comes from either Hindu or Buddhism. But I can’t find anything on the internet confirming this. I’ve questioned if psychology is possibly occultic…I know some
    Types of parts are but is all
    Of it? I know the Bible talks about worldly/demonic va heavenly wisdom and wondering if psychology related to that? I don’t know if anyone has any idea or can answer any or all of these questions I’ve asked…if they have any answers and experience etc. I would really appreciate it if anyone has any answers for me. I tend to be pretty discerning about occultic things, but I have areas obviously that I probably
    am
    I’m the dark on.

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    1. controversialchristian1

      Interesting comment, and I know where you are coming from.

      If you had a sprained shoulder or aching muscles and your husband or a properly trained medical professional massaged your shoulder to ease the pain and get the stiffness out, I guess this is fine. Reiki and many other esoteric practises are indeed spiritually dodgy and should be completely avoided by a Christian.

      God wants us to love Him, so pray that He guides you to the truth of this and other situations. He doesn’t want to trip us up, He loves it when we want to know His will.

      God bless.

      Like

    2. Hello Joy. Thank you for stopping by.

      I wouldn’t get involved in Massage Therapy or anything related to it. You can read #24 (demonic door openers section) on the Demonic Doorways page https://jesustruthdeliverance.com/demonic-doorways-and-signs-of-demonization/

      You can read a former New Ager’s take on Massage Therapy https://jesustruthdeliverance.com/2017/08/13/massage-therapy-and-massage-are-not-the-same/.

      Getting just a regular massage is of course is fine, but when it involves anything new agey like “energy” healing or spirit guides, then run.

      Like

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