Singing bowls have varying opinions among Christians. Some see them as neutral tools, as sound and its effects are part of God’s creation and not inherently opposed while others worry about their association with non-Christian practices or potential distraction from worship. Christians should use them in a way that aligns with their faith and doesn’t detract from their worship of God.
Singing bowls, a type of bell known for their rich tones and vibrational qualities, are often used in meditation, music, relaxation, and personal well-being practices. Composed traditionally of seven metals, each representing a different planet, they were believed to have diverse applications, including as food bowls and measuring devices.
While the usage of singing bowls is primarily associated with Buddhist tradition and other Eastern spiritual practices. Their unique sound and vibrational qualities gained popularity in Western cultures primarily in the 20th century, expanding their use to music therapy, relaxation, and wellness programs. Today, they are globally recognized tools for spiritual practices and wellness, transcending cultural and religious boundaries.
It is interesting to explore what the Christian Bible might say about such objects, given the widespread utilization of singing bowls in various spiritual and therapeutic contexts today.
Neutrality of Tools:
Sound is indeed a part of God’s creation and is not inherently pagan or opposed to Christian doctrine. While specific practices or rituals may be associated with other religious traditions, the use of sound and its effects, such as those produced by a Tibetan singing bowl, can be seen as neutral in and of themselves.
The healing properties of sound, light, and other natural phenomena are increasingly recognized by science and can be seen as part of the broader tapestry of God’s creation.
Many Christians believe that every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), and this can include the beneficial effects of sound, light, medicine, and other therapies.
Lack of Direct Reference:
It is essential to clarify from the outset that the Bible does not specifically mention singing bowls. Therefore, any exploration of this topic requires a more general examination of biblical principles regarding worship, idolatry, and the use of objects in spiritual practices.
Creation and Responsible Stewardship:
The Bible also teaches that God created everything, and everything created by God is inherently good. However, mankind is tasked with stewarding creation responsibly and ethically. 1 Timothy 4:4-5 states:
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”1 Timothy 4:4-5
The Bible also teaches that God created everything, and everything created by God is inherently good. However, mankind is tasked with stewarding creation responsibly and ethically
Aligning with Faith:
Healing and well-being can be understood as coming ultimately from God, whether through direct divine intervention or through the means He has provided in the natural world. It is always crucial, however, for each believer to approach such matters with discernment and consideration of their personal faith and convictions, ensuring that their practices align with their understanding of Christian teachings and values.
Avoidance of Idolatry:
The Bible explicitly warns against idolatry, emphasizing the worship of God alone. Any object, practice, or belief that replaces or obstructs the worship of God is strictly prohibited, as stated :
“You shall have no other gods before me… You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…Exodus 20:3-5
Views on Instrumental Music in Worship:
The use of instrumental music in worship varies among Christian denominations. Many churches embrace instrumental music as a valuable component of worship that enhances the worship experience and helps in expressing praise to God. However, some Christian groups, such as certain congregations within the Churches of Christ, opt for a cappella worship (vocal music only), based on their interpretation of New Testament teachings and practices.
It is crucial to focus on the intention behind their use and ensure alignment with Christian faith and values. While the Bible does not explicitly reference singing bowls, applying biblical principles of worship, idolatry, creation, and stewardship can guide Christians in making informed decisions about using such tools. If the use of singing bowls enhances relaxation, well-being, or prayer life without compromising faith or conscience, it becomes a matter of personal discretion, always ensuring that such practices do not detract from the worship of God or morph into forms of idolatry.