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relleuMffeJ.com » Blog Archive » Can Yoga be Christian?

Can Yoga be Christian?

   Posted by: jmueller   in Media, Miscellany

I recently had lunch with a friend that told me that a close relative of his is practicing Yoga.  This relative is a Christian, and feels that it is alright to practice Yoga, as well.

I thought I would compile some of the things that I know of that address this issue, as it seems to be so prevalent, today.  I have even seen churches advertise that they have Yoga courses.

I think that the main question here is this:  What is Yoga?  In answering this, I feel that we can then determine whether it is right to practice this as a Christian.

The Elder Council of my church addressed this very issue just a few years ago.  Here is an excerpt of that.  It is only an excerpt, as I do not want to expose the people that this was addressed to or about.

Here is the excerpt:

Second, and more importantly, the Elders have a biblical responsibility to watch over the flock, uphold the truth of scripture, and guard against anything which sets itself against the glory of God.  Several passages from the Bible are instructive here.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 5:20-21 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

The Elders of Grosse Pointe Baptist Church want you to know that we have your best interests in mind and because of this we do NOT endorse Christian “Yoga”.  “Yoga”, by definition, is a “school of Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle” Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Yoga” as “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of the activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”

To claim that “Yoga” is not linked to any particular religion is false.

Without question, we know that God teaches us that healthy minds and healthy bodies are a gift from Him to be used for His glory.  (See Rom. 12:2; I Cor. 6:19-20).  If you want to exercise, we encourage you to do so.  But why would Christians want to borrow an expression from a false religion, from pantheism (god is everything, your everything is god), when we believe there’s only one true God–the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ)!  Many promote Christian Yoga as a harmless exercise, but the word Yoga carries with it a very specific meaning.  We cannot endorse Christian Yoga any more than we can endorse Christian Astrology, Christian Goddess Worship, Christian Kabbalah, Christian New Age, Christian Shamanism, Christian Reincarnation, Christian Tai Chi, Christian Wicca, Christian Witchcraft, or Christian Zen Buddhism. 

I think this explains very well what the Christian position should be in regard to Yoga.  There have also been several items from prominent Evangelical Christian Theologians.  Here are the links to them.

The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga? by Dr. Albert Mohler

Albert Mohler – ‘Thinking In Public – Yoga’

Feel free to watch the video on this page, but I would also encourage you to go this video on YouTube.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 at 10:06 pm and is filed under Media, Miscellany. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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