OK, I know the title of this article is very strange, but stick with me for a few moments and I think it will make sense.
Even though we follow Christ and living according to Kingdom principles, we are still co-inhabitants of this planet with unbelievers who live according to worldly principles. Withdrawing into communes, cliques, churches, etc. is the last thing we should do. Jesus tells us that we are to be salt and light in this world. He also refers to us as leaven, a small amount of which can impact a very large lump of dough.
It can be a real challenge to keep our Kingdom focus while hanging out with people whose focus is other than God. In some cases, others will simply not want to be around us when they realize that our values are so different from theirs. Or, we might need to decide that a particular environment is too ungodly and we cannot participate. In other cases, we can have meaningful relationships with unbelievers who are aware of our beliefs and accept us for who we are. One of my friends is one of these latter. She knows who I am and what my life focus is. I have had multiple opportunities to show her real love (which is, of course, Christ’s love) and that has really touched her. I maintain and invest in that relationship in hopes that she will someday yield to the Creator and choose to become His child.
We know we can expect both of these reactions (rejection or acknowledgment) from unbelievers because that is exactly what Jesus experienced. On the one hand, if we find that we have no “enemies” (people who, at the very least, don’t want to be around us) then we should seriously question how much we’re letting our light shine. On the other hand, if we have no unbelieving friends then we should seriously question our commitment to being like our Father who loves and invests time in unbelievers as well as believers.
So, back to the unusual title for this post “Jesus, Reiki and Animal Communicators”. My wife and I previously had horses and loved to trail ride. When we retired we started up a group in our area for people who love to trail ride. We had 28 members (representing ~35 people) who joined. We had a first meeting that I called “Meet and Greet”. We got a chance to meet new people, find out a bit about them and talk about planning trail rides. One of the members is a Reiki practitioner. Here is a quick overview of Reiki:
Reiki is a complementary health approach in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person, with the goal of facilitating the person’s own healing response.
Reiki is used on horses and other animals as well as people. Reiki also involves communication with “spirit guides” (a.k.a. demons), but Reiki practitioners rarely talk about this when introducing Reiki to the uninitiated.
Some people in the group mentioned that they would interested in hearing more about this. I had been exposed to Reiki believers in previous encounters with horse people. Another concept that seems to go hand-in-hand with Reiki believers is the practice of communication with animals (the practitioners are called “animal communicators”). I am convinced these people are communicating, not with animals, but with demons.
In the past, I have been reluctant to express my opinions when these topics came up, not wanting to start an argument. However, I am to the point that I can no longer be silent when these kinds of topics are brought up. If followers of Christ “yield the floor” to people who have the boldness to speak about their beliefs, then we are not being salt and light. We are, in fact, allowing false teaching to propagate unchallenged. And, we are allowing others to hear only one side of these “new” teachings. So, they have only heard one side of the coin and do not have a countering viewpoint to consider.
The point of this post is to point out that followers of Christ must engage the world in love and point others to the Word of God: Jesus Christ. Yes, this means we will be placed in uncomfortable positions where we are called on to speak up. If we claim to follow Christ, but do not find a way to be salt and light and interject Jesus’ truths into worldly situations then we have not yet grasped the full meaning of Jesus’ teachings and learned how to practice those teachings. We need to step up and do better.
And, if a topic comes up that we are not familiar with, we need to dive in and ask questions. Afterward, we should further research the topic. If we determine that the topic needs to be challenged, we should prepare ourselves, go back and speak with the person (and others who may have been present when the topic was discussed).
By the way, here’s a tip that comes directly from Jesus himself. Whenever possible, do not go into worldly situations without another believer, whether it be a spouse or a believing friend. Don’t be a lone ranger. You will be much more effective, emboldened and accountable.
So, how did the encounter with the Reiki practitioner (let’s call him “Fred”) go? After the meeting, people stayed around and talked for quite a while. I noticed Fred was managing to talk about Reiki a lot in his conversations. He didn’t talk at all about trail riding, which was the reason the group was formed. Eventually, most people left but Fred was still talking about Reiki to one person in particular. When he interjected the topic of animal communicators I could no longer remain silent. I challenged Reiki and animal communications and was well prepared to challenge him on both topics. When he determined that I was a follower of Christ, he started talking about how he believed in Christ and even quoted something that Christ said. Bad move on his part. Knowing Christ’s teachings as I do, I pointed out to him how he was misquoting and misusing Christ in an attempt to support his beliefs. Eventually, the conversation ended and Fred left (on seemingly good terms). However, the next day he withdrew his membership in the group with no explanation. I suspect his reason for joining the group was not to ride horses but to drum up business for his Reiki practice. When he saw there was going to be some resistance to that, he left.
I’m sorry Fred left the group. It would have been good to get to know him better and show him Christ’s love as we did things together with horses. However, we are not called to be “all things to all people” (as the false apostle Paul taught). We are called to follow Jesus, to be faithful to the end and to point others to him. We don’t do this by abdicating or capitulating. We also don’t do this by insensitively confronting people. But, we must find a way to love people while speaking truth to them. How they respond is up to them.