There is No Sanctified Divination
There are many voices out there today insisting that yoga can be "sanctified." So the new kid on the block, and a scary one, is "Christian yoga." It's more evidence that the East has seduced the West but why not? With the lack of discernment today, people are flocking to "experiences" and some Christians get excited about having a "closer walk with God" through any gimmick that comes to their neighborhood.
I maintain that "Christian yoga" is an oxymoron, yet one Christian who teaches yoga says, "We wanted to open doors to the people who might be afraid of it. We care about calling it Christian because we wanted them to feel OK about it."
So along with popular videos like "Outstretched for Jesus" comes a Thomas Nelson book, "Yoga for Christians: A Christ-Centered Approach to Physical and Spiritual Health Through Yoga." What is the spiritual help all about? Hindu gods are at play here. You can see this Nelson book for yourself if you don't believe it. http://www.olivetreeviews.org/topics/spiritual_deception.shtml And by the way, promoters of this will not come on air to give their rock solid conclusions why Christians should all buy into this mysticism.
Author Dave Hunt has written "Yoga and the Body of Christ" soundly denouncing this practice. While the promoters of Christian yoga insist it will get a person closer to God, Hunt rightly insists that it is a spiritually dangerous practice designed to expose people to demonic influence. Hunt says, "Many practitioners view its teachings as a means of seeking higher states of consciousness, being, and 'enlightenment . . .' " Hunt says, "Don't get into things that were designed for self-realization and to help you realize that 'you are God.' " He insists there is no way to modify yoga and make it acceptable for Christians.
The word yoga means union, the union of the physical self with the spiritual self, a tricky concept to grasp. Yoga is one of the six fundamental systems of Indian thought. So if you want to get closer to Krishna or Buddha, go ahead, but you won't get closer to the God of the Bible by altering your consciousness and stretching.
Isaiah 2:6 says, "For you have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with influence from the east, and they are soothsayers like the Philistines. . . "
So what do you say when your nice neighbor or relative or friend who loves God, reads the Bible, and talks and walks the faith becomes a devotee of "Christian yoga?" "Christianity Today" featured a story months ago about a Christian yoga devotee who says she "breathes in Christ and out stress. Holy Spirit in, fear out. God the Father in, carbon dioxide out." She is so thankful that someone pried open her naive evangelical mind to the wonders of yoga. She concludes, "Give me five minutes of yoga and my mind immediately goes to the metaphor of God's Spirit being omnipresent and as necessary as air." She would be in the category of those who say yoga doesn't belong to Hinduism but to "world spirituality."
So tell your friend or relative that they should be seeing red flags rather than exploring just another new and trendy experience. They are at risk spiritually for sure and no "spiritual spin" on the practice will sanctify it. Yoga is the joining of the individual spirit with the universal spirit and we don't worship a "universal spirit"; rather, the one true God, author of the Bible who calls all of this "divination."
And there is no "holy divination."
Please take time to read the many articles at the "Spiritual Deception" link on my Web site which is above and takes you to the information discussed here.
I highly recommend a book I carry on my Web site under "Our Products." It is written by former New Ager Brian Flynn and is titled, "Running Against the Wind: The Transformation of a New Age Medium and His Warning to the Church." He covers the topic of yoga extensively. Also my video/DVD, "Mysticism: An Equal Opportunity Deceiver." Due to staff limitations at this time, WE WILL ONLY SHIP TO U.S. ADDRESSES: http://www.olivetreeviews.org/catalog.shtml
RADIO THIS WEEKEND: An expert on this issue who is also a Christian will tell her experience with yoga and Dr. Thomas Ice will discuss Bible prophecy related issues. All three programs from my subbing for my home station drive-time team are now posted to "radio archives" at the Web site. Many of you suggest you are not computer-literate enough to listen, but it is as easy as one click and they play as though they were on the radio. Three years or programming is posted there. See our podcasting information. Listen live Saturdays 9 to 11 AM CDT with a complete rebroadcast Sunday from 12 to 2 PM at www.kkms.com. Click on "Listen Live" and if you have problems, just hold down the Ctrl key as you click "Listen Live." See the Web site for other cities and listening options.
Awaiting His return, Jan Markell
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA