I was amused to read this today: “A Southern Baptist leader who is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments is getting plenty of pushback from enthusiasts who defend the ancient practice.”
That’s the first paragraph of an AP article entitled, “Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity,” in which Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler says “the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God.”
Wow! To read of the “push back” you would think he said not only that yoga is not a Christian pathway to God, but something like Jesus is the only way to God! Even a bunch of Christians are saying, “hey, back off preacher man!” We like our yoga! And we listen to Christian music while we do it.
Now I love yoga. It relaxes me. But the real reason I love it is because I know its roots, and I know that regardless how watered down it gets as merely a form of excercise in western fitness clubs, it is still inextricably associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Or it’s not yoga. It’s just excercise.
But Christians want to play with “yoga.” And this is fine with me, because the “meditative practices” of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism please me. These religions have no place for God, but instead practice yoga, which means ”union” in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit. Yes, that’s what yoga is really about, and I heartily approve of its practice.
I especially approve of its practice among Christians, even when watered-down and “injected with Christian themes” as practiced by one person mentioned in the AP article. This person found that it “opened [her] spirit, and renewed [her] spirituality.”
Maybe. Maybe not. But here’s why I approve regardless: because I make my biggest advances when Christians play around the edges. I know that if I can get them to practice even the appearance of evil, I’ve got them in a dangerous place. Sometimes I capture them, sometimes I don’t. But as long as they fail to abstain from all appearance of evil I have a chance.
No yoga for Christians? Now isn’t that stretching things a bit? What can it hurt?
Ha ha ha ha ha.