The No Goofy Zone Discernment Ministry

The No Goofy Zone is a discernment ministry for saved born again Christians and all who are seeking the truth.We expose non-biblical trends in the church. We are making material available to advance understanding of issue's which endanger Christianity. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit.

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Former drummer for Gary Lewis and The Playboys and The Coasters. Tim has also played with Paul Baloche, Lincoln Brewster, Darlene Zscech and Hillsongs, Jeff Fenholt, SteveCamp among others. Tim founded The Simply Agape Project in 2001 to get free Christian music to the troops. Recordings have been made with Tim, and friends Alex Acuna, Abe Laboriel SR, Justo Almario,Steve Camp , Jared Ming and some wonderful Independant Christian artists.The Somebody Brave CD also features words of encouragment to the soldiers from Pastors, Moms, Dads, and Lt Col Brian Birdwell a Pentegon 9/11 survivor Tim is married to Donna Wirth and has four children Alan 25,Steven 23, Brittany 22, Bethany 21. Tim has played in numerous churchs as well as shows on TBN. Tim has also performed on JCTV on the show Generation Worship featuring worship leader Jared Ming. Tim has a book published worldwide titled "Pass The Plate And Let Us Prey" (My Search For Black and White Christianity in a Gray Nation)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hot off the Press

Another great article from my firend and brother in the Lord Bud Press.

LifeWay's Fitness Expert Promotes Yoga

New Age Movement continues to Haunt Southern Baptist Convention

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

June 29, 2007



For years, the Southern Baptist Convention (hereinafter SBC) has warned Christians about the dangers of Yoga and the New Age Movement.



The SBC has developed articles, resolutions, and Interfaith Evangelism Belief Bulletins warning against the New Age Movement and Yoga.



LifeWay Christian Stores, a division of the SBC, removed Susan Bordenkircher's Yoga for Christians and Brooke Boon's Holy Yoga from its main online bookstore.



SBC officials have spoken out against Yoga and other forms of the New Age Movement.



For decades, solid, Bible-based Christian apologists and cult-evangelists have warned the body of Christ about Yoga and the New Age Movement.



God's word, the Bible, warns about false teachers, worldly philosophies, strange doctrines, and traditions of men, and commands Christians to avoid them.



But despite the warnings, LifeWay and its own fitness expert, Branda Polk, promotes Yoga and encourages Christians to participate in Yoga classes.



Meet Branda Polk



Branda Polk is a Certified Fitness Instructor, personal trainer, wellness coach, and Pilates Instructor at Germantown Baptist Church in Germantown, Tennessee ( http://www.sbc.net/redirect.asp?url=http://www.gbconline.net ).



Polk, a professing Christian, is also the developer of and national spokesman for FIT-4 (a Christian Wellness program for LifeWay), a featured writer for LifeWay.com and the Baptist Press, and author of the book, With All My Strength: God's Design for Physical Wellness.



In her article, "Develop an Intentional Exercise Plan," Polk states that,



"Flexibility training or stretching can be performed everyday and can be as simple as bending, reaching, and stretching at home, to taking yoga or a stretching class at a fitness center" (LifeWay Christian Resources, undated).



But Polk's involvement with yoga goes quite deeper than a simple promotion. At Germantown Baptist Church, Polk is surrounded with Yoga of all shapes and sizes: "50+ Yoga, Yoga, Beginner Yoga, Mommy & Me Yoga, Yoga Flow, Evening Yoga, Yoga/Pilates Fusion, and Yoga Basics" (Germantown's YOGA & PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS).



Germantown also offers classes on Prenatal Yoga, where "Unification of the mind and body are fundamental to yoga. This focus brings relaxation and joy to the mother-to-be as she bonds with her baby."



And it was about nine years ago when Germantown first incorporated "Christian Based Yoga" into its recreational program.



Welcome to Germantown Baptist Church, where all Yoga bases are covered; where Yoga has become a way of life.



Kickin' Yoga classes up a notch



Those who desire to further their "uniquely soulful experience" with Hatha Yoga, may join "people of all faiths" and become a Certified Yoga Instructor--courtesy of Germantown Baptist Church--for a monetary fee, of course ( Yoga Certification ).



Germantown's Yoga Certification workshop, which also includes instruction on New Age "Guided Relaxation," is headed up by Becky Martin, R.Y.T. (Registered Yoga Teacher).



Martin, the founder of "Christ Centered Yoga," believes that it was "prevenient grace that led" her "to first practice yoga in a church." Her Yoga "classes, workshops and retreats are open to people of all faiths and beliefs" ( http://www.christcenteredyoga.org/about.htm ).



Martin's Yoga workshop has gained considerable notoriety, and is even advertised and promoted on the New Age Yoga Journal website

( http://www.yogajournal.com/directory/teacher.cfm?teacherID=9214 ).



So too are Germantown Baptist Church's "50+ Yoga" classes ( http://www.yogajournal.com/directory/teacher.cfm?teacherID=7417 ).



Warnings from the past: the SBC's resolve on the New Age Movement



Germantown isn't the only Southern Baptist church that has bowed to Yoga and welcomed it with open arms. Yoga and other forms of the New Age Movement have established a solid foothold within numerous Southern Baptist churches, which will be the subject of an upcoming article by Christian Research Service.



Within the past 30 years, the SBC has produced three resolutions concerning the New Age Movement. They are just as pertinent for today as the day they were introduced.



The first: Resolution on Transcendental Meditation (June, 1976), warns the SBC membership that "This movement has affinities with Hinduism and encourages practices of a religious nature..."



The second: Resolution on The New Age Movement (June, 1988), states in part that "The New Age movement has become a powerful political, philosophical, and economic force in our contemporary culture and is exerting its influence into every facet of American life," and that, "we encourage our Convention agencies, local associations, pastors, and church staffs to warn and educate our Baptist constituency of the deception and critical dangers of this movement."



The third: On The Threat Of New Age Globalism (June, 2000), states in part that "A key principle behind globalism is the philosophy of secular humanism, a foundational component of which is the belief that no religion can or does possess objective truth and that all religions are of equal worth..." (see also the SBC's June, 1981 Resolution on Secular Humanism ).



In addition, the Resolution On Southern Baptists and Ecumenism (June, 1996), resolves "That such efforts not commit Southern Baptists to any organizational or long-term relationship which would risk possible compromise of historic distinctives or the unique witness of Southern Baptists to the world..."



While the first three resolutions leave no doubt as to the "deception and critical dangers" the New Age Movement poses to Christians worldwide, secular humanism and the thrust for ecumenical unity among Christians and non-Christians are not only key factors within the New Age Movement, they are clearly defined in Scripture as doctrines of devils, philosophies of men, vain deceit, and traditions of worldly men.



But unless resolutions of this type are taken seriously, they are powerless and aren't worth the paper they are printed on.



SBC officials speak out against Yoga



Last year, while conducting research on how Yoga has worked its way into SBC churches, Christian Research Service made phone calls and wrote e-mailed letters to at least 20 officials within the SBC. The letters made a simple request for a positional statement on "Christian Yoga," and gave everyone the option to reply by e-mail or phone.



A letter was also sent to a few SBC pastors, as well as three apologists/cult-evangelists within the SBC's Cultural Evangelism Division of the North American Mission Board.



After experiencing the shuffling around from office-to office, the old duck-and-hide routine, and politically-correct excuses, the overall message was obvious: the subject of "Christian Yoga" within the SBC is a hot potato and is as important as a cheap can of soda pop at a taste-testing festival.



Nevertheless, two SBC officials did respond with specific statements that were free from excuses and political correctness.



Dr. Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, stated:



"As for my personal statement regarding this issue, I would have to state that I know little about Yoga. I do affirm exercise and physical fitness. However, the little that I know about Yoga indicates that it is aligned with an eastern philosophy and/or theology that would render the use of Yoga as unacceptable for evangelical believers. While many persons are no doubt involved in Yoga without its understanding the alignment with these philosophies and theologies, I would encourage persons to avoid participation in such activity" (August 4, 2006).



Dr. Kenyn Cureton, then Vice President for SBC Convention Relations, stated:



"Thanks for your inquiry about Christian Yoga. The Southern Baptist Convention issues position statements through its resolutions, but even those resolutions are non-binding. To my knowledge, no resolution has addressed Christian Yoga. However, one resolution sets forth the principle of how Christians should relate to activities that conflict with clear biblical teaching."



As a part of his statement, Dr. Cureton provided the SBC's June 1992 "Resolution On Christian Witness And Voluntary Associations" (click HERE ), and ended his statement with the following:



"Maintaining personal purity in all activities and avoiding any association which conflicts with clear biblical teaching' would apply to yoga with its pagan Hindu foundations, even if it is called 'Christian Yoga'" (August 11, 2006).



In his April 19, 2007 Baptist Press article, Dr. Jimmy Draper (former president of the SBC and LifeWay Christian Resources), warned that Yoga and other forms of the New Age Movement is demonic, and why Christians should avoid it:



"Our society is ripe for demonic activity. Our preoccupation and even 'flirting' with the occult invites demonic oppression. Even the seemingly innocent and careless use of occult tools is tragic. Things like the use of a Ouija board, astrological horoscopes, witchcraft, and even yoga are dangerous and provide openings for the demonic into unsuspecting lives" ("Dealing with the demonic," http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=25452 ).



Dr. Page, Dr. Cureton, and Dr. Draper are right on target. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons (1 Corinthians 10:21).



Furthermore, Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a

greeting participates in his evil deeds (2 John 1:9-10).



Yoga is only one form of the New Age Movement that is testing the metal of Christians to find their weaknesses. Once the metal loses its temper, and Yoga is welcomed into a Christian church, other forms of deception are sure to follow.



This is evident with the aggressive invasion of New Age Contemplative Spirituality, Labyrinth, and the Emerging Church movement--all of which incorporate Yoga into their venue to some degree. They work together to cause confusion, controversy, strife and, in many cases, splits in churches.



Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).



As a side note: in the past, LifeWay has been exposed numerous times for the non-Christian materials within their online Christian bookstores. As stated in the introduction above, LifeWay removed Susan Bordenkircher's Yoga for Christians and Brooke Boon's Holy Yoga from its main online bookstore.



However, as of this writing, once again LifeWay is advertising and promoting Yoga within its online bookstore: Yoga Zone; Music for Meditation. Its release date is September 1998 (nine years ago).



God only knows how many innocent Christians have been deceived and misled by the spiritually corrupt within Christian churches and Christian bookstores alone. Instead of sitting back and watching the flowing river of deception run rampant through the body of Christ, Christians should be courageous and speak-out against it.



For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).



The new religion: non-Christian Christians



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



Concerning New Age influence in the Christian church, Baptist Press reporter, Andrea Higgens, reported novelist Ann Tatlock's concerns during a Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference:



"New Age and pagan influences--such as yoga, which means literally 'yoked' to the Hindu gods, and labyrinths, which originated as a pagan tradition--are seeping into the church and being billed as Christian practices, Tatlock said, voicing the need for writers to help people understand the serious concerns about such practices" ("Writers called to convey truth amid postmodern challenges," July 17, 2006, http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?id=23643 ).



In an e-mail response to Christian Research Service, Tracye Gano, Executive Director of Prophezine Ministries, summed up the roots of Yoga and a Biblical warning for Christians in one paragraph:



"No amount of re-labeling as Christian will change the roots or intent of yoga. It is a pagan practice, born from a pagan religion and therefore is condemned by Scripture. If Scripture forbids it so should we forbid it in our lives as Christians. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 16:25, KJV)."



Tracye Gano's summation is correct. Regardless of how hard "Christian Yoga" instructors try to Christianize a pagan practice, Yoga's roots and its intentions cannot be changed, no more than a zebra can change its stripes. And what looks and smells good on the outside, may be poisonous on the inside.



It stands to reason that if Christians openly accept Yoga as harmless and valid, what about: Christian Astrology? Christian Atheists? Christian Feminism? Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Transsexual Christians? Christian Kabbalah? Christian New Age? Christian Psychic? Christian Shamanism? Christian Reincarnation? Christian Tai Chi? Christian Wicca? Christian Witchcraft? Christian Science? Christian Zen Buddhism? Christian Mormonism? Christian Jehovah's Witnesses? Christian Labyrinth? Christian Contemplative Prayer? Christian Emerging Church?



Those religious beliefs do exist. They are on the internet. They are self-proclaimed forms of Christianity, but they aren't Christian. Sun Myung Moon isn't the messiah and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il isn't God--although people bow down and worship them.



Nowadays, a person can claim to be practically anything and Christian at the same time. While there are many who maintain that Yoga can be intermingled with Christianity, Yoga is alien to the faith, foreign to Scripture, and an in-your-face form of evil. It must be rejected.



Regardless of how it is packaged, Yoga is self-worship ("Self-realization"). Self-worship is idolatry. And Scripture commands: Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14) and Little children, guard yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).



Demons on assignment



Take a careful look at the following quotes from New Age sources, and decide for yourself what it is that overshadows Yoga and those associated with it.



"Kailash, incidentally, is the abode of Shiva, the God associated with yoga, yogic powers and divine grace bestowed on mortals. Many Sai devotees believe that Baba is himself an incarnation of the Shiva-Shakti aspect of divinity" ("Master of Matter...The Divine Sport of [Sai] Baba on the sands of Chitravathi," http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/Pages/Devotees_Experiences/Master_Marvels.htm ).



And who is Sai Baba? In his own words, here is a dose of New Age reality:



"'I am God. And you too are God. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware.' This is the answer Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gives to people who query Him about His identity and divinity" ( "Who is Sri Sathya Sai Baba?" ).



And how does one become aware of their own divinity? YOGA! How? Sri Swami Sivananda explains in part that,



"Yoga is unity, identity, homogeneity, oneness and sameness with God...The aim and end of Yoga is Self-realization. Yogic methods should not be applied for mere material gains. (Sri Swami Sivananda, "Foundation of Yoga," ( http://www.dlshq.org/discourse/sep96.htm ).



Throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, God tells us that there is but one God--Father, Son, Holy Spirit--three Persons, one God. Since the God of the Bible is exclusive, all other "gods" are man-made and counterfeit. While men and women claim they are "gods" and "goddesses," in reality they are blaspheming the one and only true God of the Bible.



Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our

only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 1:3-4).



Void of the Spirit



Christian Research Service has made it a point to talk with Yoga instructors, including those who claim to be "Christian." While the "Christian" instructors maintained that Yoga is merely exercise and not a religious practice, they became annoyed, defensive, and disgruntled. And in most cases, they demonstrated the same spiritual attitude one would encounter while trying to reason with a Jehovah's Witness or loyal follower of Benny Hinn.



The same spirit encountered with the "Christian" Yoga instructors was the same spirit that has been encountered during witnessing sessions with Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and New Agers. They were void of the spirit of truth and filled with the spirit of error.



We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us; by this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6).



Professing Christians who participate in Yoga classes are being duped and deceived by mantra-chanting wolves in sheep's clothing. Make no mistake about it, "Christian Yoga" instructors are deceived and are deceiving others. They honor Jesus with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. They worship Jesus in vain, and teach the doctrines of men (Matthew 15:8-9).



An appeal to those participating in "Christian Yoga"



Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning (1 Timothy 5:20).



A pastor who purposely and intentionally allows "Christian Yoga" into his church is not only sinning, he is deceived and is deceiving others, and is more likely to allow other forms of deception to enter the church. Frankly, if a pastor has little or no discernment, the "Doctorate" or "Masters Degree" he has framed on the wall of his office isn't worth the paper it is printed on.



If your church is bowing to Yoga, and the pastor and church officials refuse to listen to your concerns and, most importantly, what God's word says, you have at least three alternatives:



1. Remain in the church and take a chance on endangering your own spiritual welfare and being conditioned to compromise.

2. Leave the church, wipe the dust from your feet, and find a solid, Bible-based pastor and church that refuses to compromise. It may cost you your position in the church, job and paycheck, friends and family. But God blesses those who stand strong for Jesus Christ and the truth of His word.

3. If you are unable to find a new church, pray and continue to study your Bible on a daily basis. Have "church" in your home once-a-week. Start a Bible study fellowship with friends and family.



The SBC and a few officials warn against Yoga and the New Age Movement. But LifeWay, Branda Polk, and others at Germantown Baptist Church are purposely and intentionally promoting Yoga. This is not only tragic, it is sin and hazardous to the mental, physical, and spiritual welfare of Christians.



If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us (1 John 1:8-10).



SBC pastors, officials, and laymen need to awaken to the fact that the New Age Movement has already established a strong foothold, and will continue to spread until something is done about it--not next month or next year--but right now.



Recommended reading:



Books:

Yoga and The Body of Christ by Dave Hunt

Idolatry In Their Hearts by Sandy Simpson & Mike Oppenheimer

The Empty Pulpit: The Church in the Last Days by Mike Oppenheimer

Pass the Plate and Let Us Prey by Tim Wirth

For Many Shall Come in My Name by Ray Yungen

A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen

The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves



Articles on "Christian Yoga" and the New Age Movement:

http://www.erwm.com/NewAge.htm

http://www.erwm.com/Yoga.htm

http://www.letusreason.org/NAMdir.htm

http://emerging-church.blogspot.com/

http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/new_age.asp

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newage.htm

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/labyrinth.htm

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/cp.htm

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/breathprayer.htm

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/ChristianYoga.htm

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/ChristianBookstores.htm

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