Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yoga is not Christian

I consider myself a Christianized Pagan Spiritualist. I believe in a Creator/God/Goddess. I believe it's way beyond our mortal understanding. I don't believe we're an accident of space and time. Things are too orderly and connected, which begs the question if there is order, who ordered it that way?

I have studied all the major religions of the world both on my own, in groups and in college. I've seen a lot of copying between the holy books of the various religions. Is it plagiarism if each group is getting the same messages, stories from their Prophets and their Gods? Is it more likely there are universal truths?

I ask this because today I read an article about a Southern Baptist Minister who is against Yoga. This minister says yoga isn't Christian. He says that stretching and meditating is not a Christian pathway to God. I could have sworn that God connected to you through your soul and mind.(Matthew 22:36-40) Didn't Isaac meditate? (Genesis 24:63) Didn't God directly tell Joshua to meditate daily on the laws He had given Moses? (Joshua 1:8) Isn't prayer another form of meditation? (Ephesians 6:18)

I believe my body, mind and spirit were given to me by my Creator, whoever that Creator is. I believe that being a creation of a Divine power, that there is within me, a way to connect back to my Creator. The ways I have felt most alive, most connected to something greater than myself is when I have sat quietly in nature and listened, and when I have stretched slowly, breathed deeply, gone deep into my thoughts, and let the quiet within spread throughout my stretching body to slowly become one with this creative life force.

I strongly disagree with this Pastor. Yoga and meditation are pathways to connect to God. You say they're not Christian because they are rooted firmly in other religions: Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism. So are you saying taking what works from another religion is bad for Christians, even though their own Bible and Christian faith direct them to pray, to meditate, to do so with their whole body, mind and spirit? Isn't it more important that you connect to God than the method you choose to get there? Or is this more about control? You connect to God in the manner I tell you. You can only get to God through me. This sounds a lot like the argument between Luther and the early Catholic Church. You see how well that worked for the Catholics? This direction of the Pastor to abandon the practice of yoga seems silly to me and I am glad that so many Christians have publicly and personally disagreed with him.


Anonymous said...

For some reason those Southern Baptist, think they have the corner on all things God. Have had a couple of occasions to set thru, some stuffy Southern Baptist services. Every body has their own little twist and turn on stuff. Where do they come up with this stuff. And think you read, correctly. The Bible does not mention Yoga. Just like that band of idiots, that have been protesting military funerals. Because they think God is punishing the county because of gays. And the Jackrabbit, from Florida that was going to burn the Koran. That stuff makes me crazy.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

From what I read, Jesus was bringing the Good News from God. His message was one of love and acceptance, not hate and control.

Anonymous said...

That is pretty much it in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

First, your comment that the "Universe", God/Goddess/Creator is a concept or perhaps a myriad of intertwining concepts that none of us will truly fathom, resonates with me. And yet, for me at least, when I decided to let go of the only way I had been taught to approach Universal Consciousness, it gave me great comfort to discover that I had so much material through which I could sift to help me determime how best to absorb the concept or concepts of God/Goddess/Creator.
I think Frodo said it best, "it's the old wound, it's never really healed". That very human stain, has left many of us dis"colored" and for the time being, they may only be able to see their way. To ever say that there's only on way or only a few prescribed ways to commune with God/Goddess/Creator is, to me, kind of like saying golf is a good walk, wasted.
Judgment or pre-judgment is a foul weapon indeed, let us sheath it and not use it unless the glint from that blade be used to cause the unsuspecting agents of darkness (wherever they may be) to cower and consider their ignornace with renewed sight.

tshsmom said...

I, too, believe that all religions are linked. How do we know that Jesus didn't appear to different cultures in different forms that each culture could understand in their own way?
I believe that Jesus was sent to straighten us out about salvation. Humans were trying to make it way to complicated with all their religious rules. He said:"He who believes and is baptized shall be saved." It's as simple as that.
And YES, Jesus was about love and acceptance. It's a shame that religions have ruined the simplicity!

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Anon 12:41, very nicely articulated. Okay, I'm stumped, Brenda? Kelly? Who?

Tshsmom, have you read _The Expected One_ by Kathleen McGowan? You would love this book, after about the first 30 pages. A friend gave it to me and it took me a bit to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down. I don't often read anything of a religious theme, but this one was different enough, with information I hadn't heard before about Mary Magdalene that just hooked me. Glad to see you popping back in. Is there a new post in the offing?

tshsmom said...

I'll put that book on my list!
No post yet. L's birthday today, so we're just hanging out together, watching movies, and TALKING! *gasp*

Larena said...

Love the open minds that come here, K. I have blended my beliefs over the years and truely believe " it is not so important whom you believe in, the importance is, that you BELIEVE.
Great post.

tweetey30 said...

I believe in a higher being also but dont always believe you have to go into a church to believe what is in front of you. but you are right praying is a part of meditation.. Sometime I should ask that pastor we were seeing for a while what he thinks.. he is an Apostalic pastor. I think I spelled that

Anonymous said...

hey there, As a Christian and child of God, we have His Spirit within us. We connect to Him through His Spirit. You don't have to try so hard by doing physical exercises or human efforts to connect to God. Once you know Jesus, He always there inside and beside you. His is a Creator, Father, Guidance and Friend of us. No other god can do this. Maybe you don't understand what I'm saying but you can seek Jesus for the answer. By the way, Christian don't reject other people or races but we believe one God (Jesus) and not other form of gods. We are not selfish and it just that, we believe one the only true God. As for tweetey, you dont have believe whoever it is but God is real. When you are encounter with God, you will know who you believe and trust. Things does not judge base on what you think but truth. study more bible and ask revelation from God. Bible does not just only words or stories. It's alive and deeper. It's your guide and answer of our life. Bible does not happen for story only. God bless

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