Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Christian Yoga

I just read this article on Christian Yoga for the first time, and I am sitting here shaking my head. I said to the Lord, “What’s wrong with us? Is not Your Word enough anymore? Then, I wondered why have all this junk crept into the Church. One thing I believe is it has come from some of the things people watch and listen to. We are often weaned on television, movies, and music these days, and I believe some of it has an erosion effect on our minds. If we watch and listen to enough new age and worldly junk-- we will lose sight of what is right and acceptable in our lives as believers. And worse, we got a horde of people preaching new age concepts in the church--including many of the new apostles and prophets. We have to watch out for the supposed Christian things too! This stuff should not be in our lives—at all!

ROMANS 12:1-2
1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This article came out a couple of years ago (2006). My sister who sometimes preach in nursing homes, almost fell for this stuff. Satan never comes in ringing bells with a beanie cap making whirly noises on his head. He comes in with reasonings, rationalizations, and a sense of fleshy peace. I Thessalonians 5: 22 warns us to “abstain from all appearance of evil.” Too often, we shove the voice of God aside; when we experience the first “check” in our spirit that something is wrong. You know, why not get out and exercise, read the Word of God, engage in prayer, but we should not pull in false religious practices and attempt to integrate and re-define them with the Lord Jesus Christ! There were times (O.T.) when Israel would go up both to the high places worshiping false gods, and then attempt to keep the Lords ordinances. Playing both sides of the field did not keep judgment from coming upon them. This stuff has never been acceptable to Him and never will be. The article below:


A new wave of Christian yoga

As Susan Bordenkircher sees it, Christians for too long have kept yoga on the mat.

In her new book, “Yoga for Christians,” the certified group fitness instructor and a devout Methodist argues Christians should change their posture and stretch their concept of worship to embrace yoga.

Long controversial in some Christian circles, yoga is fast gaining adherents through the new wave of “Christian yoga” across the nation.

“What we are attempting to do with a Christ-centered practice is fill the heart and mind with God, becoming ’single-minded’ as Scripture calls it,” Bordenkircher says. “With our focus off ourselves and on God, we are creating an atmosphere in which God can work.”

Critics contend that with yoga something else is at work. In 2003, the Roman Catholic Church reaffirmed its stance against Eastern practices such as yoga, which it had condemned in 1989, warning that yoga “can degenerate into a cult of the body.”

As yoga has become more mainstream, Christian alternatives have emerged. Christian author Laurette Willis has received the most ink with her PraiseMoves philosophy. It keeps yogic-like postures but scraps mantras for scriptural recitation.

Bordenkircher, however, doesn’t shrink from the yogic label, noting that “Christ-centered yoga is definitely not just a repackaging of traditional yoga. Yes, the postures are the same, the breathing the same, etc., because it is yoga.”

The difference, she says, lies in the intention: shifting the focus from self to God with yogic postures (”breathing in” the Holy Spirit, for instance), integrating health as critical to effective godly service, and slowing down enough “from our fast-paced lives to actually hear God’s voice.”

That appeal has moved churches, such as Longwood Hills Congregational Church in Seminole County, Fla., to host yoga classes. Two years ago, Babetta Popoff rolled out twice-weekly “A Heart at Peace Christian Yoga” there. Classes average a dozen seekers, but Popoff occasionally receives disapproving e-mails that insist yoga has no place in church.

Popoff strongly disagrees.

“As Christians, we are given many examples in the Bible of those who took time to quiet themselves in prayer and meditation in order to reconnect with God: Isaac, Moses, David and even Jesus,” Popoff says. Yoga allows you to “reconnect with your body and your faith and find rest for your soul.”

Regardless of the spin, Sannyasin Arumugaswami, managing editor of Hinduism Today, says Hinduism is the soul of yoga “based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. … A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs.”

That yoga would compromise her Christian worldview worried Bordenkircher when she first explored yoga, but she fast fell in love with the practice. In 2001, Bordenkircher, who lives in Alabama, developed her “Outstretched in Worship” classes, which grew into a video series. And now she has the book.

“My goal has been to demystify the practice and reclaim it for Christ as just another way he can begin to heal us from the inside out,” she says.