Christian…Yoga?

religion-hinduism.gifThe Denver Post recently ran a story about a woman who has written a book entitled “Yoga for Christians.” Author Susan Bordenkircher is described as a certified fitness instructor and a devout Methodist. She claims that using Yoga as a tool of Christian worship is just fine despite Yoga’s Hindu origins.

“The difference,” she said, “lies in the intention: shifting the focus from self to God with yogic postures, ‘breathing in the Holy Spirit, for instance.'”

First of all, the Holy Spirit indwells a believer at the point of conversion. This is something God does, not man. We can’t “breathe in the Holy Spirit” any more than we can order God around. And second, Jesus Christ Himself gave us instructions on how to pray and worship. Our goal should be a biblical worship not a blended Christian-Hindu one.

Bordenkircher also points out the physical benefits of Yoga and says “integrating health” is “critical to our effective godly service.”

This is a justification for embracing false teachings?

Look, stretching exercises are good. There’s nothing wrong with working out and staying physically fit. But Yoga is more than physical fitness. It is physical fitness with a firm foundation in spiritual teachings. To attempt to incorporate Yoga into Christianity is to deliberately inject certain aspects of a false religion. And, when considering the numerous and stern warnings against false teachings contained in Scripture, it is a wonder that any Bible-believing Christian would even consider Yoga as part of their faith.

And yet this subject has been a point of contention among those professing to be believers for a few years now. The magazine Christianity Today even published a couple of articles (one for Yoga and one against Yoga) on this matter.

I guess I just don’t understand why a believer in Jesus Christ would feel the need to go outside the authority of Scripture to find methods or techniques to aid their worship. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ not sufficient?

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About Chip
Chip is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN. He served more than five years on the staff of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana as Director of Communications and Public Relations, editor of the Indiana Baptist newsjournal, and regular contributor to the Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention. He currently earns his living as a writer. He serves his local church as a teacher and deacon and his local Baptist Association as a Seminary Extension instructor and supply preacher.

2 Responses to Christian…Yoga?

  1. tikkiro says:

    Hah – I know the answer to this one – it’s because we’re so incredibly smart and capable of ensuring nothing bad befalls us no matter what we do because God won’t let it happen to US!! I’ve spoken about this particular topic to a lot of my very solid (otherwise) Christian friends (mostly women I might add!), and found most touting out the same rhetoric – so long as you only do the exercises and don’t use the stuff behind it, you’re okay – or they don’t see any harm in it regardless as it’s just SO good for the body, and you can worship God in whatever way you choose – just reminds me of everything else these days about the Christian faith – it’s no longer really about God, but about us – what we want, what we feel, what we think etc etc, and that’s where WE go so wrong!! Even our very church worship music is all about us – “I want to know Jesus”, “I love you Lord” “Make me an instrument of your peace” etc – very few songs ever truly put God in His rightful place and praise HIM alone!! He meant it when He said He won’t share His Glory with any other, and especially not us – his fallen creation! But this is the Age of Apostasy and the Church is working very hard to ensure it succeeds!!

  2. Pingback: Nooma “Breathe”: A Review « Thideology

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