In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17.6).
The yoga teacher sits in a lotus position atop a polished wooden platform. Behind her, verdant woods are visible through panoramic windows. Gentle music tinkles from overhead speakers. Two dozen students in spandex outfits, most of them women, settle onto purple and blue mats to begin the class with ujjayi, a breathing exercise. Their instructor, Cindy Senarighi, recommends today’s mantra. ” ‘Yahweh’ is a great breath prayer,” she says. ” The Jesus Prayer also works. Now lift your arms in praise to the Lord“ (Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, “Stretching for Jesus”, Time, September 5, 2005).
Does this bother you at all, Christian? There is a growing trend of Christian yoga. It is not the problem but merely a symptom of the problem. Christians are learning how to avoid and be devoid of convictions. They are able to listen to Hindu chants to Sheva without feeling queazy and then pray to Jesus. Some reading this may even be thinking that I am being ridiculous to question Christian yoga.
What they might find interesting is that even a Hindu professor of yoga philosophy (Subhas Tiwari) thought it absurd to claim there is such a thing as Christian yoga…for he says, “Yoga is Hinduism.”
The issue we are seeing more and more in the church is the downgrading of theology and doctrine and the exaltation of personal experience of God – as if he is some nebulous aura to be tapped into for spiritual nirvana. Not only this, but how many times do we here in small group Bible studies the kind of fluff a Buddhist mystic would tout? I felt God moving through my body leading me to this place etc.
I do not want to diminish the need for personal experience…I want to guard against a cotton-candy-like faith that is sweet on the tongue but as a meal will rot your teeth and leave you hungry. Why will we go to broken faiths that hold no water when we have the Christ? Answer: because we do not know what and who we have!
What is needed now is a robust, rock-solid faith that stands in the face of hypocrisy and tenderly chides hollow worship. What we need are Christians who know what the Bible says…who know that Jesus commanded more than superficial love of people. What he commanded is that we obey all that he commanded. This will require more than a syncretism of faiths. It requires knowing doctrine that is solid and meaty. It requires a diligence and a pursuit of truth that no other faith and practice can offer.