CINAM (sin´am) was started in 1989 out of concern about the proliferation and promotion of “alternative” practices within evangelical Christian churches.

The initial process began with researching and gathering information about iridology, “muscle testing,” herbs, and a variety of practices and products which were being enthusiastically promoted -- usually as being “from God.”

Given that truth is central to Christianity, it was surprising to see claims of special revelation and God’s endorsements. Misinformation and misrepresentation were common. Christians needed more discernment and the skepticism of the Bereans (Acts 17:11). It also became clear that there was a need for reliable objective information presented in a language and form which would make sense to the evangelical Christian community. This information had to be based on current scientific information, and include an examination of the spiritual/philosophical frame of reference and world view from which the “alternative” practices arose.

In the beginning Christians Investigating New Age Medicine -- CINAM -- focused on that seemingly narrow concentration. But with time what was once “fringe” became more widespread. In the years following CINAM’s creation it became clear that the problem was impacting not only the church, but the general health consumer, public policy, and educational institutions. Basic rules of good science, discernment, and even common sense were being abandoned in the quest for relief, or “optimal health,” or expediency.

The acceptance of all things “holistic” “alternative” and/or “complementary,” and the sometimes blatant, often subtle, insinuation of Eastern and occult spirituality into the health market place continued to grow. CINAM’s focus necessarily widened to include the general public, the media, health care institutions, higher education and sections of the medical profession. The issues also widened as changes in the cultural and political climate not only contributed to, but hastened the largely uncritical acceptance of practices and products of the “alternative.” Current Issues in Alternative Medicine thus became more descriptive of CINAM’s scope.

It is our desire and goal to provide information and tools to help people evaluate and understand the plethora of conflicting information being presented about so called “alternative” practices and products.

In the process of “taking responsibility for our health” -- a frequent mantra today -- it is critical that accurate, well-documented information inclusive of both current scientific principles and research, and spiritual and socio-cultural issues be considered.

It is our hope that these pages will provide helpful and enlightening information for not only Christians but all health consumers who want to know more about the issues “alternative” medicine raises and how to think more wisely about their choices. ©2002 All rights reserved




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