Blog Post

Does Fitness Need Religion?

AC writes: "I know a Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach who was trained by Paul Chek. Would you advise me consulting this person who is a Level 3 practitioner from the C.H.E.K. Institute?  I looked at his website and blog, and I see things that concern me. Please advise me whether he can be considered New Age or not." 

Paul Chek is a highly skilled athlete and fitness expert whose training system has a strong religious component that must be adopted by anyone who wants to teach his methods.  In this autobiography, he explains how he started out as a fighter on the U.S. Army Boxing Team and progressed into sports massage and sports injury care. He developed his own kind of healthy eating plan and was very successful, moving into ever larger training facilities where he continued to train and be trained.

But here's where his story goes off the rails. He specifically mentions training in meditation by Yogananda monks which helped him to "see life as it really is." He claims that studying disciplines such as metaphysics, Qi-Gong, Tai-Chi, Pranic Breathing gave him the ability to help others with "intuitional insights" about the causes of their diseases.

Even more concerning to me is how he gradually began to develop a belief that many ailments are caused by what he calls the "Faulty God Model", meaning a belief that God and the Church are judging people who fear they will be punished for living the life they choose for themselves. This, in turn, makes them sick. His "discovery" of this model led him to study metaphysics, comparative religion, theology, mythology, healing, psychology, etc. - what he claims are "literally shelves full of books" videos, DVDs, CDs, home study courses.

The beliefs he acquired during this self-study are intimately interwoven into his courses. For instance, Level 4 practitioners are taught that because so many ailments can be traced back to the Faulty God Model, they must receive "extensive training in basic metaphysics, comparative religion, and philosophy so that they may effectively understand many of the common reasons people don’t heal."

In other words, this program has a strong religious component that obviously requires students to adopt Chek's religious philosophy in order to correctly adhere to his fitness system.

For example, this is Chek's idea of the "Holy Trinity" - "God’s potential (Ø) and the forces of Yin & Yang create the Holy Trinity that expresses all creation. All of God’s creation is seen as the Big Idea or The One. The Two is symbolized as the forces of Yin (Eve, – ) and Yang (Adam, + ). God, as unlimited potential in the Absolute, projects spirit into matter creating consciousness."

Not exactly Christian, is it?

There doesn't seem to be any "opt out" of this portion of his system. By level 3, students are being taught all about "psychospiritual influences" as well as occult practices such as medical dowsing.

Medical dowsing is the practice of using a pendulum to search out desired information, be it the presence of water, lost objects or, in this case, the location of disease in the body. Practitioners like to say people who employ the practice have some kind of natural sensitivity to geomagnetic phenomena but this has never been substantiated by any scientific method.

Rather, as Dr. John Ankerberg explains, " . . .(I)t is a spiritistic power. Learning to dowse often involves the cultivation of mild to moderate altered states of consciousness, the development of psychic powers, and even spirit contact. As documented in dowsing literature itself or in Ben Hester’s Dowsing: An Exposé of Hidden Occult Forces (self-published), many leading dowsers freely confess that dowsing is a supernatural ability, and some also confess to having spirit guides."

As this blog on water witching/dowsing explains, dowsing is condemned in Scripture.

Dowsing proponents (usually those associated with homeopathy) like to say this practice is okay with the Church because a few French priests used it at the beginning of the last century - but that doesn't mean the Church approves of it. It just means a couple of priests used it.

Naturally, Chek's system is also infused with a belief in the existence of a universal life force (chi, chakra, meridian system) which has never been proven to exist by any scientific method known to man.

I could go on and on, but I think this is enough information for any discerning Christian who wants to achieve the best possible health for their body - without risking the health of their soul.