07 April 2010

Can Yoga Be Christian?

As I've addressed in previous posts such as No Such Thing as "Christian" Yoga, the dangerous infiltration of this Hindu practice into our churches is aiding in the rapid decline of formerly evangelical churches. Many Christians view it as "just exercise" and think that by playing Christian music in the background they are transforming this pagan practice into something which God smiles upon. But, as I've asked before, would you, as a Christian, use a Ouija board so long as Christian music was playing softly through your stereo speakers? Practicing yoga is just as dangerous as utilizing a Ouija board, if not more so due to its more subtle deception. This topic seems to crop up every six months or so and each time it does, I hear self-professing Christians affirm that yoga can be a Christian practice. Forgive me, but tossing a few Bible verses in while you seek to "be one" with God is not Christian, it's New Age and it is a tool of Satan. Many are being deceived by this seemingly innocent "exercise." Over at Apprising Ministries, Pastor Ken Silva addresses the issue:
But this question doesn’t come to us from an Emergent Church website, which we’re already accustomed to seeing. No, the question is posed by Todd Rhodes of :
MMI: Can Yoga Be Christian? http://bit.ly/afQpYz (Online source)
The link takes us to Rhodes’ short post Can Yoga Be Christian? at his Monday Morning Insight. Rhodes explains that he’s quoting “part of an article published yesterday in the LA Times.” It reads in part:
Christian pop music played quietly in the background as instructor Bryan Brock led a recent yoga class at the nondenominational Church at Rocky Peak in Chatsworth.  Incorporating prayer and readings from the Bible, Brock urged his class of about 20 students to find strength in their connection to their creator through yoga’s deep, controlled breathing.
“The goal of Christian yoga is to open ourselves up to God,” he said. “It allows us to blur the line between the physical and the spiritual.” (Online source
Rhodes himself then adds:
The instructor then recited the Lord’s Prayer while his students moved slowly through a series of postures known as the sun salutation. Such hybrid classes, which combine yoga practice with elements of Christianity or Judaism, appear to be growing in popularity across Southern California and elsewhere.  (Online source
Now I have my differences with Todd, but I will say that I don’t believe he’s advocating yoga; yet. Rhodes finishes by asking his readers a couple of questions to stimulate discussion from: “Is Yoga able to be redeemed? Would you offer a ‘Christian’ Yoga class in your church?”
Apprising Ministries offers this as another indication of how far the corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which is perpetrated as so-called Spiritual Formation (SF) by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin SBC minister Dallas Willard, will eventually penetrate into pretending to be Protestant mainstream evangelicalism.
Evangelicalism lost faith in the all-suffiency of God’s Word in the Bible i.e. Sola Scriptura. As a result it made the tragic mistake of embracing the pragmatism of the Church Growth Movement from which extends Leadership Network who would launch both the Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven and the Emerging Church; each man-centered, but with different focal points.
Those of us who know what Yoga is will tell you that it cannot be disassociated with the Hindu religion; and therefore, has no place in the life of the Christian. Consider the following from The Hindu Americam Foundation:
Yoga, from the word “yuj” (Sanskrit, “to yoke” or “to unite”), refers to spiritual practices that are essential to the understanding and practice of Hinduism… The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) concludes from its research that Yoga, as an integral part of Hindu philosophy, is not simply physical exercise in the form of various asanas and pranayama, but is in fact a Hindu way of life.
The ubiquitous use of the word “Yoga” to describe what in fact is simply an asana exercise is not only misleading, but has lead to and is fueling a problematic delinking of Yoga and Hinduism,… (Online source)
Within the Emerging Church, and its new hybrid form of Progressive Christianity aka Emergence Christianity, we already see practices of other religions being adopted; and with man-centered pragmatism also ruling the day in the broader of mainstream evangelicalism, it’s simply a matter of time before you’ll see ”Christian” yoga offered in an evangelical church near you.
The Christian Research Institute has some fantastic articles on Yoga and its implications. You can find those here.

1 comment:

  1. There is no such thing as "Christian" Yoga. my son Steve was a missionary to India for several years and met and married a wonderful Indian girl. She grew up in a Christian home but was surrounded with Hindu gods pictured everywhere outside and the temples were so evil...When she found out our college for a time had pilate yoga she was beside herself. Indian Christians would see that as a form of devil worship in that the movements etc. are dedicated to pagan gods and practices. Another example of discernment being "buried."

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