Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Can Good Fruit Come From Bad Seed?

Just a little (very quick) research I did as part of a discussion on a Christian forum. Chiropractic seems to have become one of those widely accepted therapeutic practices that even Christians have no problem with.
But should we so easily accept its legitimacy and submit ourselves to it? I first had concerns about this in the mid-80s when I become interested in the widening influence of new age thought within the church.

In general reading about alternative therapies compatible with the “new age movement” I came across information about the origins of chiropractic.
I no longer have that 25 year old reference material, but in response to the forum discussion I took a look at Wikipedia and found the following information.

Daniel David Palmer or D.D. Palmer (March 7, 1845 – October 20, 1913) was the founder of chiropractic. Palmer was born in Pickering, near Toronto, Canada. While working as a magnetic healer in Davenport, Iowa, United States he encountered a janitor, Harvey Lillard, whose hearing was impaired. It was reported Palmer successfully restored the man's hearing.

Palmer founded a school based on his work that would become the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1897. He regarded chiropractic as partly religious in nature.

D.D. Palmer was a man with subjective and personal religious beliefs. As an active spiritist, he said he "received chiropractic from the other world" from a deceased medical physician named Dr. Jim Atkinson.

D.D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s, and his son B.J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century. It has two main groups: "straights", now the minority, emphasize vitalism, innate intelligence and spinal adjustments, and consider vertebral subluxations to be the cause of all disease; "mixers", the majority, are more open to mainstream views and conventional medical techniques, such as exercise, massage, and ice therapy.

Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease results from some imbalance in the vital energies that distinguish living from non-living matter. In the Western tradition founded by Hippocrates, these vital forces were associated with the four temperaments and humours; Eastern traditions posited similar forces such as qi and prana.

Many involved with present day chiropractic try to distance themselves from the origins of their practice. But can anything good emerge from such a false foundation?  Can good fruit be produced by bad seed?


Onesimus said...

Can the occult origins of Chiropractic be denied?


According to [Palmer's son] B.J. Palmer, "Father often attended the annual Mississippi Valley Spiritualists Camp Meeting at Clinton, Iowa... That is where he first received messages from Dr. Jim Atkinson on the principles of chiropractic." Such messages were normally received during seances, but Palmer claimed to have received them through "inspiration".

In his book, The Chiropractor (published posthumously, 1914), Palmer described the situation:

"The knowledge and philosophy given me by Dr. Jim Atkinson, an intelligent spiritual being, together with explanations of phenomena, principles resolved from causes, effects, powers, laws and utility, appealed to my reason. The method by which I obtained an explanation of certain physical phenomena, from an intelligence in the spiritual world, is known in biblical language as inspiration. In a great measure The Chiropractor’s Adjuster was written under such spiritual promptings."

SLW said...

I've wondered about the same thing for years. So many Christians have no problem with Chiropractic, but so many of the techniques used seem like little more than witchcraft.

Onesimus said...


I know a lot of Christians are having trouble accepting this information - some of them being qualified chiropracters.

It seems that modern chiropractic has tried to distance itself from those origins by turning to more accepted "scientific" reasoning about the nervous system's connection to the spine. But to me the evidence regarding origins speaks loudly and can not be covered up with a little "scientific" change of window dressing.

Onesimus said...

I think I’m in shock. I really can’t believe how so many people are treating this issue. It’s yet another illustration of the casual approach Christians have to spiritual realities.

I’ve mentioned this casual attitude with regard to prophecy – and now I’m seeing the same complacency demonstrated towards this topic.
It seems Christians just don’t care, or they think it doesn’t matter at all, that people are submitting themselves to practices that originate from a spiritualist’s interaction with a dead doctor!

Anonymous said...

I have to say something because this issue hit home a little for me. This is what I think, people who are really seeking the truth will find it. If your really committed to following Yeshua without compromise, then your more able to acccept the more difficult reality concering the origins of things we may partisapate in or have an attatchment to. If you really what to know, then Yahwah will show you and when he does, then you have to make a choice, that also involves being a watchman and sounding an alarm. Most people don't want to hear the truth even those who have been " christians for years". I say they are asleep. Some are very mean and ugly when you try and wake them up. Some will come around and wake up, see the light, others won't, but don't give up. Keep sounding the alarm.
Shalom & Blessings

Onesimus said...

Thanks for the wisdom and encouragement jayjaycf.