Hot Off The Press- Southern Baptist 'Kids' Bowing To Yoga
New article from my friend and brother in the Lord Bud Press.
Southern Baptist 'Kids' Bowing To Yoga
The Facts, the Dangers, the Photos, the Warnings
by Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service
August 16, 2007
Introduction: Across the Western world, professing Christians are participating in New Age practices such as contemplative spirituality, labyrinth, and Yoga--all of which is preparing the way for something darker and more sinister.
And history is riddled with professing Christians who, for whatever reason, turned their backs on Jesus Christ, became apostates, and worked overtime to destroy Christianity.
Concerned, loving parents go to great extremes to protect their children from alcohol and drugs. They teach their children at an early age to Look both ways before crossing the street and Don't talk to strangers! However, in many cases, these same parents fail to monitor their children before and during church-related activities (such as Vacation Bible School, out-of-town retreats, and church recreational programs). And, because the activity is tagged as a "Christian" function and is sponsored by their church, they assume everything is on the up-and-up.
While wholesome church-related activities and programs for children do exist, forces of darkness are working overtime to deceive and victimize their kids, turning them away from the true and living God at an early age. After all, is there a better way to preserve the future of paganism than to indoctrinate children?
Fact: Children who are introduced to so-called "Christian Yoga" stand the chance of further involvement (future guru). A worst-case scenario is total rejection of the One who loves them the most--Jesus Christ.
While this is not an exhaustive work, this article examines certain aspects of Hinduism and Yoga that many Christians are not aware of. It was written specifically for professing Christian parents whose children are practicing Yoga.
Yoga is big business here in the U.S. and throughout the Western world, and Yoga instructors across the nation are cashing in on it.
Yoga books, Yoga DVDs, Yoga music, Yoga CDs, Yoga calendars, Yoga jewelry, Yoga pants, Yoga shirts, Yoga shoes, Yoga posters, Yoga mats, Yoga bags, Yoga kits, Yoga eye pillows, Yoga soda-pop, Yoga food and, Yoga classes designed for all shapes, sizes, and age-groups.
Yes, Yoga is big business. All bases are covered. No stone has been left unturned. As of this writing, a Google search on the word "Yoga" netted over 74 million hits. A search on "Yoga for children" netted over 2 million hits.
The numbers are sure to increase, and innocent, impressionable children are a part of an agenda to preserve the future of Yoga and the New Age Movement.
The dynamics of Yoga
According to the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, a Hindu guru is,
a personal spiritual teacher. In ancient India, knowledge of the Vedas was transmitted through oral teaching from guru to pupil. The rise of the bhakti movement further increased the importance of gurus, who were often looked on as living embodiments of spiritual truth and were identified with the deity. They prescribed spiritual disciplines to their devotees, who followed their dictates in a tradition of willing service and obedience. Men or women may be gurus, though generally only men have established lineages.
The initiate guided by a guru may practice Yoga (a 'methodic exertion' of body and mind) in order to attain, through mortification, concentration, and meditation, a higher state of consciousness and thereby find supreme knowledge, achieve spiritual autonomy, and realize oneness with the Highest (or however the ultimate goal is conceived) (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-261544/Hinduism, emp. theirs).
And then there is Hatha Yoga, which some say is just a "form of exercise" that has nothing to do with religion or spirituality. However,
The purpose of Hatha Yoga is to locate and activate the chakras (centers of energy), thereby raising the kundalini (dominant spiritual power)...Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures and exercises (asanas), controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation...It is through the forging a powerful depth of concentration and mastery of the body and mind, Hatha Yoga practices seek to still the mental waters and allow for apprehension of oneself as that which one always was, Brahman. Hatha Yoga is essentially a manual for scientifically taking one's body through stages of control to a point at which one-pointed focus on the unmanifested brahman is possible: it is said to take its practicer to the peaks of Raja Yoga ("Hatha Yoga," http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/practices/hatha_yoga.htm ).
While the word "Yoga" means union with the universal consciousness, the word "Yogi" refers to "one who has attained Yoga, or union of the two bodies, but used commonly to refer to anyone who practices Yoga techniques on a committed basis" ("Yoga A to Z," American Yoga Association ).
Note how the following refers to children as "natural" and "blossoming" yogis:
In Hatha Yoga most of the poses are modeled after animals and objects found in nature. This is why Yoga appeals to a child's imagination and sense of adventure. Children are naturally strong and flexible and know how to live each moment to the fullest. That makes children natural yogis ( http://www.yogayoungsters.org/index.html ).
Planting the seed of yoga will vary with the child, the environment and the teacher. It is important not to be fixated on the outcome, but to persist with the process patiently ( http://www.yogamites.com.au/ ).
Little Lotus Yoga's mission is to share the gift of yoga with all the "blossoming yogis" in our community by offering classes from womb (prenatal yoga) to bloom (teen yoga). Each class is different introducing many poses, breathing and relaxation techniques ( http://www.littlelotusyoga.com/aboutus.html ).
In this class, 4-9 year old children become hopping frogs, slithering snakes, barking dogs and even a twisting, turning rollercoaster as they are introduced to Yoga poses through fun pretend play!
( http://www.wonderscope.org/ds_yoga.php ).
Yoga for children is justified, say the instructors, due to the increase of stress produced by the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced world.
"Children today are under a lot of stress," writes Yoga teacher and therapist Lisa Orkin. "Homework, pressure to compete with other children, endless after-school activities, over-scheduling -- it all adds up. And just like their parents, kids today are turning to Yoga to help them relax" ("Yoga Helps Kids Find Balance In Their Lives," http://www.yogasite.com/yoga%20kids.htm ).
To assist stressed-out children in relaxation and stress-reduction, Angel Bear Yoga™ incorporates "imagery, animal poses, and entertainment into the practice of yoga. Unlike other children's yoga programs, Angel Bear Yoga™ attaches a symbolic character building lesson to each pose, shows how all things in nature reflect back to character, follows an adventuresome storyline, and truly nurtures your child's spirit" ( http://www.angelbearyoga.com/about.php ).
Speaking of animal poses, Yoga Youngsters, one of the many Yoga programs geared specifically for children, describes the Cobra Pose, one of the poses children learn to perform during class:
1. Lie down on the ground, face down.
2. Bring the palms of your hands on the floor, along side your chest.
3. Start straightening the arms as your chest lifts, coming into your full cobra position.
4. You may slither around or hiss like a snake.
And what is the true meaning behind the Cobra Pose? The answer is found in one of India's annual festivals, Naga Panchami.
Bowing to snakes
Nagapanchami is a festival dedicated to the snake-God. It is the festival when snakes, the symbols of energy and prosperity are worshipped. This festival is observed in August. It is celebrated with more fervour especially in the rural areas...In urban areas where snake pits are rare images of the deity are worshipped. Small clay images of the cobra are installed for being worshipped...Worship of the snake Naga on Nagapanchami day is not associated with any other Gods. Naga is a deity in his own right and is worshipped as such. This indicates that apart from all mythologies which have eulogized and deified this reptile, his worship during Nagapanchami owes its origin to some other reason (Festivals of India, http://tinyurl.com/yrwwy9 ).
Each snake is worshipped on a particular day at different times of the year. Besides Vishnu, snakes are also commonly associated with Shiva. He wears a serpent across his chest, as his sacred thread Upanayanam Coiled serpents adorn his hair, neck and arms. For this reason, snakes widely worshipped by Shaivas everywhere and particularly in south India, where Shiva is more popular than Vishnu ("Snake Worship," http://www.gurjari.net/ico/Mystica/html/snake_worship.htm ).
Here are a few photos and captions from the 2006 Naga Panchami festival celebration:
· "A snake charmer entertaining devotees infront of a temple on the occasion of Nag Panchami festival in Allahabad on July 30, 2006" (HERE).
· "Devotees worshipping the statue of snake god at Shiv temple in Patna" (HERE).
· "A devotee offers milk to a statue of the snake god in Kathmandu" (HERE).
· "A woman holds a snake to show her devotion and respect and to seek blessings in Kathmandu" (HERE).
"Lord Shiva" (also referred to as Siva), plays a principal part in the Naga Panchami festival, is considered the third member of the Hindu trinity, and is said to be the "Destroyer God" who wears "a cobra snake coiled round his neck" ( http://www.csuohio.edu/hindu/Shiva.htm ).
Photos of Shiva with his pet cobra:
· Temple shrine to Shiva (HERE).
· Huge statue of Shiva (HERE).
· Art rendering of Shiva meditating (HERE).
Shiva and Yoga are, so to say, joined at the hip:
Shiva is called the Original Yogi. As the aspect of the Divine that is responsible for change and positive transformation, Shiva embodies the very essence of all authentic Yoga practice ( http://www.awakenwithyoga.us/ ).
"I am that God (Siva) who sets everything in motion and who, absorbed in Yoga and enjoying the highest bliss, is always dancing. He who knows that knows Yoga. Kurma Purana (2:4:33)" ("The Religious Science of Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism," http://tinyurl.com/2mppga, emp. theirs).
Take a look at this brief YouTube video of children performing a Cobra Pose
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRxmrJ61OyI ). If your child is participating in Yoga classes, chances are he or she is bowing to snakes without knowing the true meaning behind it.
Thus, in Yoga, the King Cobra--one of the world's most poisonous snakes--is just one of the gods revered and worshipped in the Hindu religion; hence the Cobra Pose, as demonstrated in these photos HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Yoga in the church
From a Christian standpoint, what does hissing, slithering around on the floor, and imitating a snake have to do with nurturing a child's spirit?
Dave Hunt writes:
And how is it that yoga, which comes from serpent-worshiping Hinduism, has become so popular with hundreds of thousands who call themselves Christians, as well as in many churches? This is true not only in liberal denominations but also in many churches that claim to adhere to the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Who could deny the contradiction? (Yoga and The Body of Christ, 2006, p. 98)
To a degree, a Christian church should serve as an extension of a Christian home, in that children should be made to feel safe, secure, and free from worldly things, including paganistic religions that are wrought with demonic activity. Yet, Yoga is within the Christian church because of ignorance, or compromise or, because there are wolves in the pulpit (as the apostle Paul warned about in Acts 20:27-31).
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2-3).
The serpent (Lucifer/Satan), made his presence known in the garden of Eden thousands of years ago (Genesis chapter 3). The apostle Paul's fear and concern for the spiritual welfare of the Corinthian church was justified. Yet 2,000 years later, the serpent continues to hiss, slither, contradict, and deceive.
Many professing Christians who practice Yoga maintain they do not worship the Hindu gods or revere the animals and insects found within the Yoga postures. However, like it or not, every professing Christian who practices Yoga is mingling with Hinduism, has learned the Yoga postures from Yoga sources, and is serving the idols produced by Hinduism. Of this God informs and warns:
But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them (Psalm 106:35-36).
Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals, and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger (Judges 2:11-12).
Think about it.
Yoga: dangerous and demonic
In light of Yoga's popularity and "benefits," one must wonder how pioneer children survived without it. No doubt, their lives were filled with stress, disease, hunger, and hardship. Moreover, how did this Baptist congregation cope with the rigors of life in the late 1800's without Yoga?
Although Yoga is touted as a simple, innocent, wholesome form of exercise, in reality, the long-term effects could be devastating to the mental, physical, and spiritual welfare of both adults and children. Oddly enough, experienced Yoga practitioners deliver their own warnings as to the mental and physical dangers of practicing Yoga:
Gopi Krishna: "In Hatha yoga the breathing exercises are more strenuous, attended by some abnormal positions of the chin, the diaphragm, the tongue, and other parts of the body to prevent expulsion or inhalation of air into the lungs in order to induce a state of suspended breathing. This can have drastic effects on the nervous system and the brain, and it is obvious that such a discipline can be very dangerous. Even in India, only those prepared to face death dare to undergo the extreme discipline of Hatha yoga" ("The True Aim of Yoga," Psychic, January-February 1973, p. 13).
Swami Prabhavananda: "Now we come to breathing exercises. Let me caution you: they can be very dangerous. Unless properly done, there is a good chance of injuring the brain. And those who practice such breathing without proper supervision can suffer a disease which no known science or doctor can cure. It is impossible even for a medical person to diagnose such an illness. I know of one individual who complained to me of constantly experiencing headaches; and though he had gone to a number of doctors, they were unable to do anything for him" ("YOGA-TRUE AND FALSE").
Note that in the same article Swami Prabhavananda writes:
"Shortly before I left India to come to the United States, a young boy of perhaps sixteen or seventeen years of age joined our monastery to practice hatha yoga. When I returned to India after an absence of thirteen years, I visited one of our centers. While sitting on the porch talking to a swami, I happened to notice this young person in the distance. He was acting very strangely. He would prostrate fully on the ground, rise to full height, then repeat the performance—over and over again. The swami said that he had lost his mind."
Sri Chinmoy: "To practice pranayama without real guidance is very dangerous. I know of three persons who have died from it..." (Great Masters and the Cosmic Gods, Agni Press, 1977).
Mary Paffard: "There is nothing safe about yoga. I found myself saying this recently, in response to a metaphorical definition a student presented to me that implied that yoga equals safety. Refuge, yes, and retreat, from time to time. But there is really nothing safe about yoga at all. The best we can say is that yoga is a process of stepping deeper and deeper into the unknown, a way of finding relationship with 'the essential groundlessness of existence,' as Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron puts it. This willingness to boogie with the scary and uncharted is what draws me to work with people as wacky as Barbara Benagh and my longtime yoga buddy Rodney Yee" ("THE DANGERS OF YOGA," Ohio Yoga, http://www.ohioyoga.com/dangers.html ).
Yoga Synergy, a form of Hatha Yoga developed by Sri T. Krishnamacharya, maintains:
"There are many reports in the literature of yogic control of autonomic functions via the use of advanced breathing control. Experienced Hatha yoga practitioners are able to perform a variety of advanced breathing techniques, such as very slow deep breathing. However, these advanced breathing techniques are not suitable for beginner yoga practitioners, as they are potentially dangerous" ( http://www.yogasynergy.com.au/articles.html ).
At yogaforbliss.com, where an individual may learn to "Connect with your inner self," Hatha Yoga,
...holds its own place as an independent subject which was initially compiled into a system by the great yogi Swami Svatmarama who wrote the extensive manual entitled 'Hatha Yoga Pradipika' around 1350 AD. Since then Hatha Yoga has evolved into many branches under the hands of many teachers and students who have taken the original form and molded it into specific systems. Not all these systems of Hatha Yoga can be considered good and some of them are downright pretentious and non-traditional and some even dangerous ("What is Hatha Yoga?" http://www.yogaforbliss.com/wihy.html ).
Since Yoga is dangerous for adults, imagine how dangerous it is for innocent, impressionable children. The American Yoga Association advises that,
Yoga exercises are not recommended for children under 16 because their bodies’ nervous and glandular systems are still growing, and the effect of Yoga exercises on these systems may interfere with natural growth. Two of my great teachers, Rama and Lakshmanjoo, advised me of the dangers that Yoga asans may pose for young children ("General Yoga Information," http://www.americanyogaassociation.org/general.html#WhoCanPractice ).
Christian parents who allow their children to participate in Yoga classes assume that since Yoga is part of their church recreational program, then it must be valid. In other words, My pastor and Yoga instructor say it's okay, so it must be okay, they say.
But it isn't okay! In his August 2007 book, FAITH UNDONE, Roger Oakland, founder of Understand the Times International, asks,
Can a Christian incorporate Hindu spiritual practices in order to get closer to the Jesus of the Bible? I have a strong suspicion the 'Hindu gods' have an agenda to introduce unsuspecting yoga practitioners to a different Jesus" (Lighthouse Trails Publishing, p. 96).
And this "agenda" is precisely what the apostle Paul warned about in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4: there is a different, counterfeit "Jesus" roaming around looking for acceptance within the Christian church. And the nature of the counterfeit is to oppress, possess, and destroy:
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).
Therefore, longtime Yoga practitioners admit that Yoga is dangerous to the physical welfare of children. But what about the spiritual dangers?
Shiva is a complex god with many roles and powers. In his destroyer role, he often haunts cemeteries, wearing a headdress of snakes and a necklace of skulls. A band of terrifying demons, hungering for blood, accompanies him ( http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Sa-Sp/Shiva.html ).
How then do we understand Lord Shiva and his distribution of mercy? Many powerful demons such as Ravan, Banasura, Vrikasura, and Sudakshina worshiped Shiva. By all appearances it seems that each of these demons were very dear to him and received his mercy. Shiva even went so far as to fight against Lord Krishna on behalf of his devotees Banasura and Sudakshina. Certainly those were signs of his mercy! Or were they? (Madhavananda das, "Mercy and Cheating").
In his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam (4.2.2), His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes Shiva as being guru for both the demons and the devotees... (Ibid.).
Demonic activity runs rampant throughout Hinduism. And what is the goal of Yoga? Self-realization. Within Hinduism, there is no need to worship the God of the Bible, because you are "God":
Honor your Self, Worship your Self, Meditate on your Self, God dwells within you as you (Swami Muktananda, 1908-1982).
But God disagrees and sets the record straight:
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God (Isaiah 43:10-12).
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God (Isaiah 44:6. See also Revelation chapter 1).
Southern Baptist Convention "kids" bowing to Yoga
Hinduism and Yoga are an integral part of the New Age Movement. In June 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention warned its membership of the "deception and critical dangers" of the New Age Movement:
WHEREAS, 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.
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 14-16, 1988, acknowledge the New Age movement's aim to become a one-world religion is diametrically contrary to both New Testament Christianity and our American heritage; and
Be it finally RESOLVED, 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 ( SBC Resolution on the New Age Movement ).
But despite the warning by the SBC against Yoga, numerous SBC churches are promoting the practice, even with children. For instance, Salem Avenue Baptist Church of Rolla, Missouri has incorporated Yoga into its recreational program.
Salem Avenue is listed on the SBC ChurchSearch page at http://www.sbc.net/churchsearch/church.asp?ID=4442%2D65401 ).
According to Salem Avenue's July 18, 2007 newsletter, the Messenger, Yoga classes are offered on a regular basis on Monday nights at 6pm
( http://www.salemavebaptistchurch.org/files/active/0/July%2018,%202007%20newsletter.pdf, page 2).
In Salem Avenue's August 16, 2006 Messenger, Yoga is promoted at least five times, and includes the following advertisement on page 2:
Heather (Payne) Perdue
a licensed Yoga instructor
will be teaching a free Yoga class on
Monday evenings at 6:00 in our
Fellowship Hall. Men and Women are
encouraged to come and learn the benefits
of Yoga to your health.
Wear loose clothing, bring a mat or towel
and be prepared to stretch!
While additional Messenger newsletters advertise and promote Yoga, Salem Avenue's website includes the following photos of kids bowing to Yoga, along with their instructor, Heather (Payne) Perdue:
In its June 1999 "Resolution on Christian Schools," the SBC urged its membership to get involved and uphold bible-based programs for children:
Be it finally RESOLVED, that we urge churches to enter into and vigorously support education programs for children and youth that will provide biblically-based education
( http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=314 ).
The SBC's June 1992 "Resolution On Christian Witness And Voluntary Associations" calls upon its membership to avoid "any association which conflicts with clear biblical teaching," including "mystical knowledge":
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the 135th session of the Southern Baptist Convention, call upon all Christians to maintain personal purity in all activities, associations, or memberships; avoiding any association which conflicts with clear biblical teaching, including those teachings concerning the taking of oaths, the secrecy of activities, mystical knowledge, or racial discrimination; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We affirm that biblical doctrine is to be open and public knowledge and that the Christian faith is to be a clear and public expression of the truth that Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation, that the Bible is our infallible guide, and that salvation comes by the Gospel of grace and not by works; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists to refrain from participation or membership in organizations with teachings, oaths, or mystical knowledge which are contrary to the Bible and to the public expression of our faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which must be above all reproach (emp. added).
While other resolutions warn against secular humanism (June 1981, June 1984) and Transcendental Meditation (June 1976), Yoga continues to grow in Southern Baptist churches. As stated before, unless resolutions of this type are taken seriously, they are powerless and aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow black and white,
All are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
The Bible teaches that children are a precious gift from God (Psalm 127:3). They are to be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)--not the demonic-ridden practices and disciplines of a pagan religion.
In the Old Testament, we see the protective hand of God on the baby Moses and young David (Exodus chapter 2; 1 Samuel chapter 17). In the New Testament, Jesus healed a synagogue official's daughter, raised Jairus' daughter from the dead, and rebuked a demon from a father's son and healed him (Matthew 9:18-25; Luke 8:40-56; Luke 9:37-42).
In Matthew 9:13-15, Jesus demonstrated His love for children and desire to bless them:
Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.
Children mimic their parents and adults, and comprehend far more than they are given credit for. For example, if a child is raised in a household where profanity is the norm, they will cuss like a sailor, take God's name in vain, and think nothing of it (Exodus 20:7). Likewise, if a child is raised in a household where Yoga or other forms of the New Age Movement is the norm, then it should come to no surprise if the child wholeheartedly accepts New Age teachings in the future.
While there are those who are quick to portray Jesus holding a lamb with one hand and gesturing a peace sign with the other, Jesus was crystal clear on the fate of those who cause the innocent to stumble:
It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble (Luke 17:1-2).
The word "stumble" (Greek-skandalizô), means to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away (see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible).
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, enticing a child to turn away from the true and living God to a false god carries serious consequences. Fine-tuned deception is at an all-time high. Parents should cover all bases, leave no stone unturned, and do everything in their power to protect the emotional, physical, and spiritual welfare of their children.
Jesus Christ is the Master de-stresser. Who needs Yoga when Jesus is readily available to soothe the soul?
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
Warnings from God
God's holy word supersedes any and all resolutions, position papers, and statements formulated by man, and is the ultimate authority in all matters of the Christian faith:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
And it is by God's word that mankind will be judged:
He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day (John 12:48).
Nowhere in Scripture--from Genesis to Revelation--does God advocate, encourage, promote, or support the believer's involvement with Yoga or any other pagan religious practice. Yoga is a cult of self-worship, and self-worship is idolatry:
So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged
bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth. And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven (Deuteronomy 4:15-19).
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth (Deuteronomy 5:8).
Let there be no strange god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god (Psalm 81:9).
But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them (Psalm 106:35-36).
Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man (Acts 17:29).
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14).
Little children, guard yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1:21-25).
Christian parents are to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, not a pagan religious practice:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Children are the freshest from the hands of God. God commands Christians to guard and protect their children. This is serious business. Lives are at stake. And because there is a real heaven and a real hell, Christians need to take it seriously.
-- Special thanks to Deborah Dombrowski of Lighthouse Trails Research and Steve Muse
of Eastern Regional Watch Ministries for their valuable assistance in the writing of this article.
Related articles and materials:
God is Jealous for His People (Commentary by Steve Muse)
Yoga: Just Exercise or a Hindu Religion?
Christian Yoga: Rooted in Hindu Occultism (PDF)
Christian Yoga: Innocent Activity or Dancing With the Devil?
LifeWay Removes Brooke Boon's Book, Holy Yoga
LifeWay's Fitness Expert Promotes Yoga
LifeWay Removes Yoga Meditation Music: But Continues Promoting Yoga
FAITH UNDONE by Roger Oakland
For Many Shall Come In My Name by Ray Yungen
Yoga and The Body of Christ by Dave Hunt
Yoga Uncoiled: from east to west (DVD) by Caryl Matrisciana
For additional information, refer to Christian Research Service's "Christian Yoga?" page at http://www.christianresearchservice.com/ChristianYoga.htm
Bud Press is the Director of Christian Research Service and a Christian Investigative Researcher. Christian Research Service is a discernment ministry that provides information, documentation and referral on a wide variety of issues to the body of Christ and the Christian news media worldwide.