by John Quek
1 November 2009
The FENG SHIU master was murmuring, with eyes closed and joss sticks in hand, inaudible words whilst facing towards a newly erected altar and with many others watching him from behind. The owner of the new project was seen eager in wanting to plunge the backhoe into the ground for the ground breaking ceremony after the offering of prayers to the god(s) to protect and at the same time to bestow prosperity and success onto the owner.
When the offering was done, the smiling faces left the site and converged to an air conditioned conference room for a reception and for exchanges of pleasantries. The master asked the owner and others in the cooled place whether they saw the “moustache man in black suit” standing beside the altar. Most were puzzled but assured and nodded as if they did.
Even before this event took place, this consultation on the direction, the angle and what not for the new tower had already been discussed and translated into the drawing boards. Many well “thought” ideas from the geomancy aspects had to be incorporated as instructed by the client.
FENG SHUI is what this is all about. “FENG SHUI is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both heaven (astronomy) and earth (geography) to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. [Tina Marie (2007-2009). “Feng Shui Diaries“. Esoteric Feng Shui]. Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water” – [Field, Stephen L.. “The Zangshu, or Book of Burial.” WIKIPEDIA ENCYCLOPEDIA]
Masters of FENG SHUI are highly sought after nowadays to help shape the lives of believers of this practice. It is believed that having the right Feng Shui will fulfill one’s needs; it promises good health, brings harmony to relationships, generates wealth, guarantees security. To sum it, one will never fall short of “prosperity” and “success”.
To ensure these trappings of life, many staunchly adhere to the manuals. These are observed without questioning when some even defy logic such as placing frog figurines at ‘strategic ‘corners.
“The theories of yin and yang, as well as the five feng shui elements, are some of the basic aspects of a feng shui analysis that come from Taoism” – [Michael Yip – the world of Feng Shui]
Early missionaries to China were bombarded with these many mystical beliefs. Most foreigners were skeptics about Feng Shui and would criticize it as “recondite science of geomancy along with astrology as yet another superstitio absurdissima of the heathens: “What could be more absurd than their imagining that the safety of a family, honors, and their entire existence must depend upon such trifles as a door being opened from one side or another, as rain falling into a courtyard from the right or from the left, a window opened here or there, or one roof being higher than another?” [China in the Sixteenth Century: The Journals of Matteo Ricci”, Random House, New York, 1953]
Should Christians subscribe to such thoughts of geomancy or question the opinions or instructions of FENG SHUI masters? Would there be any need to study on how our front entrance, our bed rooms, kitchen, living room are facing and to which angle of the Feng Shui compass must the seat in our office be placed to order to receive the best qi and thereby improving of chances of wealth and health.
So how do Christians view this? Should a Christian take part in this practice?
From the scripture, one would be able to deduce that it is inconsistent with God’s given laws and to believe in Feng Shui is tantamount to creating an idol or a practice in sorcery. Deut 5:8-9 states, “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God”
Furthermore, we should also be warned of the consequences of betraying God. Hosea showed the children of God what harm it may do when they took to idol worship, “They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God – Hosea 4:12”. Hosea reminded them that this was an act of sin. Dependence on ungodly practices will take us away from our God and the more we depend on men’s crafty creations, the further we will be from the One who created us in the first place and sin separates us from the Living God with hell’s gate opening wide awaiting for such a one who practices the use of FENG SHUI idols.
Impatience often gets the better of us. We grow impatient when our petitions to God have yet to come our way. Many a times we resort to reason [for ourselves] what is acceptable and not acceptable to God. We are often a reflection of Aaron and the children of God in the days of old. In the case of Aaron and the Israelites, they saw no flaw in replacing God with a golden calf. Why? They were tired of waiting; it was Moses’ fault as he took too long to return from the mountain to reveal to them God’s instructions. In Exodus 32:30, Moses pointedly chastised the Israelites, particularly Aaron the leader that they had sinned.
Just like Aaron and his fellow sinners, many are swayed to create our own FENG SHUI god so that we can be prosperous and successful. In Deut 27:15 the Bible admonished these “creators”, for “Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol–a thing detestable to the LORD, the work of the craftsman’s hands–and sets it up in secret.”
Isaiah in Isa 44:10-11 further tells us that there is NO PROFIT in making such idols, “Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing? He and his kind will be put to shame; craftsmen are nothing but men”
How else can we understand God if He has already proclaimed the laws that we are to meditate day and night and yet we turn to the reasoning of men to make us prosperous and successful?
Joshua 1:6-8 tells us how one can be successful and prosperous, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”
Similar scriptures encourage us to dwell on the word continuously in order for God to prosper us Ps 1:2-3 – “His delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season. And its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers”.
Similarly, if we walk in all the way that God has commanded us, we may live and prosper and prolong our days (Deut 5:33). The Bible counsels Man to “Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do” Deut 29:9.
Our disobedience will not bring us success or prosperity as can be seen in the example in 2 Chron 24:20 “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: `Why do you disobey the LORD’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'”
The answer to whether a Christian should dabble in FENG SHUI madness or be engaged in such unwholesome and mystical practices which defy God’s clear instructions amidst numerous warnings for thousands of years is – STAY AWAY! How could one who is God dependent in all things be at the same time dependent on the blessings of FENG SHUI? You can only serve one – Matt 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
There are enough scriptures for Christians to depend on when it comes to knowing where the blessings are going to come from and on whom we should depend. Prosperity and success indeed is for God to decide and to whom it should be bestowed. Let’s stay focus with God as the Provider and Finisher of our faith.