poison treeGot a black magic woman Got a black magic woman I got a black magic woman Got me so blind I can’t see That she’s a black magic woman She’s tryin’ to make a devil out of me [“Black Magic Woman” Peter Green]

God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With love and strength for each new day He will make a way…. He will make a way [“God Will Make A Way” Don Moen]

Ever heard of Feng Shui? No? Perhaps you should. Here is an excerpt from one on line ad for its services.

“Looking for Love? Want more Money? Need Powerful friends? This ancient Chinese art can dramatically improve your wealth, prosperity and happiness, by harmonizing and maximizing positive energy in your home, office and garden. Many wealthy individuals and Hollywood stars achieve phenomenal results by using the proven power of Feng Shui. What was once the secret of the Chinese Emperor is now available to people everywhere.”

Hey, who doesn’t want love and money? And I could do with one or two more powerful friends.

So what is Feng Shui anyway? Basically Feng Shui just means “wind” and “water” in Cantonese Chinese. Together, the words represent an ancient Chinese system of manipulating your physical surroundings in ways that puts one in harmony with existing “natural” forces so that you avoid bad luck and reap good fortune.

Here is one simple write up on feng shui:

“Pronounced ‘fung shway,’ feng shui literally means ‘wind and water.’ Its roots are 5,000 years old. Feng shui seeks to promote prosperity, good health, and general well being by examining how energy, qi, pronounced ‘chee,’ flows through a particular room, house, building, or garden.”

Feng Shui has always been around in Asia and is as popular as ever if not more. And it is gaining popularity in the West. In today’s economic climate we can all use a little help! So why should Christians stay away from it? Because it is another replay of Genesis 3.

The heart of the serpent’s pitch to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 was that if they ate of the fruit from the tree of good and evil, they would be like gods. They would have direct knowledge of what is right and wrong. Therefore they wouldn’t need God anymore. Oh yes, and they wouldn’t die from this act of betrayal and disobedience.

If you only had the right gnosis, the right knowledge, you could figure out life for yourself. You could make your own Eden. You wouldn’t need God.

And if you don’t need God then why bother with morality? If there is no God revealing to us what is right and wrong, we will decide for ourselves. We will make up the rules as we go along. But we know what happened to Adam and Eve in the end. We are their offspring.

Which is why God is so hard on occult practices (Deuteronomy 18:9-13). Will such practices open us to spiritual attack and bondage? Yes. Are human sacrifices detestable? Yes. But the greatest danger from all these occult practices was that they represented ways of ordering your life that depended on knowledge, whether knowledge of the right spells, knowledge of the future, knowledge from the “dead” etc.

Such practices invited you to trust in knowledge apart from God. You were invited to trust in knowledge and not in God. Basically you remained in control of your life. You acquire the right knowledge to master life. You bow to no one.

In contrast, God’s invitation is for us to enter into a loving relationship with Him. It is a relationship of trust which is also expressed in obedience. God gives us rules and guidelines because He loves us. He knows what will harm us and kill us. And what will help us experience fullness of life. Therefore He tells us what to avoid. And what to embrace.

Within His parameters we have freedom to express our creativity. Note how few rules Adam and Eve were given in the garden. But God remains God. And we remain His blessed creation.

Therefore any system that promises to meet our deepest needs apart from God represents another Eden type temptation. You don’t really need God. All you need is Feng Shui etc. …fill in the blanks.

So Feng Shui is a no no for Christians. God knows our needs. He calls us to trust Him for them. And to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6: 25-34).

Unfortunately Feng Shui is popping everywhere. Many companies are now implementing Feng Shui practices. Even multinational companies. If we own the company or if we are senior management we might have some say as to the fact that we do not welcome such practices in the office. But if you are just an employee, you have much less clout.

Still we can and should pray against the adoption of such practices. And if there is avenue for feedback we can gently tell the bosses that such practices have no real scientific basis and cost a lot of money! (Do you know how much a Feng Shui geomancer is paid for a gig?)

But even if your office adopts Feng Shui practices in the end, it is not necessarily a sign that you should leave. We should pray and trust our victorious Lord to protect and to bless us. And if we remain we can continue to speak and model the truth. Of course we need to ask the Lord what to do on a case by case basis. Sometimes He may say that it is time to move on.

But we need to be clear in our own minds that wind and water are just that, wind and water. They are part of God’s creation. Nothing more.

We do not put our trust in them no mater how they are arranged. Our hope and trust is in the Creator of heaven and earth. In Him and Him alone we find true life.

Your brother, Soo-Inn Tan