Insidious Yoga—The Devil Made Me Say Ommmm
By Lee Russ
Tuesday, March 04, 2008 at 11:16 AM
If you want to see the dangerous silliness that true, zealous, blind Biblical belief can produce, check out Can A Pagan Practice Be "Christianized?", Marsha West's passionate defense of Christianity against the deep evils of Yoga, "Christian Yoga" especially. It's not how many angels can dance on a pin nonsense; it's crazier and more foolish than that. As you read the rest of this, just imagine what this story would be like if West and her compatriots had the luxury of living in a country where their version of God and God's commandments was also the law.West commences the piece this way:
Is yoga just a way of reducing stress or is there more to it than that? I mean, everyone’s doing it so it has to be a good thing…right? The short answer is that there’s more to yoga than meets the eye. So bear with me as I explain the reasons practicing yoga “stretches traditional Christian boundaries” and why Christians should avoid yoga and seek other alternatives.And explain she does. At length. In depth. With cites to the Bible, to Religious writers and thinkers. All of which rest on the twin pillars of (a) assuming the literal truth of the Bible and (b) that she and her Christian thinker friends have, in fact, ferreted out that truth.
And the truth is:
Yoga has gotten its eight limbed arms into the “Christian West” and, amazingly, a large number of Christians are participating in what has now been termed “Christian yoga” (CY). Before you bend to the temptation to join a class, ask yourself this question: Are Christians who practice yoga going against the Bible?Ah, the old “allow me to enlighten you” trick. Yes, Ma’am, please do. Let this ignorant sinner see the centuries old light as only YOU can see it:
Many won’t like the answer, but here it is anyway: The Bible says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds but rather expose them.” Exposing evil keeps Christians from being “polluted by the world.” And yes, yoga is evil. Now, before you get your kickers in a knot and dash off an angry email, allow me to enlighten you.
New here’s the main reason Christians should avoid yoga. Christian apologists John Ankerberg and John Weldon maintain that, “The basic premise of yoga theory is the fundamental unity of all existence: God, man, and all of creation are ultimately one divine reality.” To explain the basic premise, the authors quote from an editorial in the Yoga Journal:Well, crap, we can’t have that. If that kind of understanding gets around…. how’re we ever going to keep ‘em down on the Farm of the Born Damned after they’ve seen Paree and said Ommmmmmmmm?
“We are all aware that yoga means ‘union’ and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately self and God, or higher Self. But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Family, friends, the Druze guerrilla in Lebanon, the great whale migrating north—all share the same essential [divine] nature.”
She even recruits the Pope and S. Michael Houdmann into her circle of approbation:
But Pope Benedict XVI is not at all happy about the large number of Christians practicing yoga. Recently he gave this warning: “Yoga can degenerate into the cult of the body.” S. Michael Houdmann thinks yoga is blatantly anti-Christian philosophy. “It teaches one to focus on oneself instead of on the one true God. It encourages its participants to seek the answers to life's difficult questions within their own conscience instead of in the Word of God. It also leaves one open to deception from God's enemy, who searches for victims that he can turn away from God (1 Peter 5:8).”Notice the difference in the complaints: the Pope recognizes that it “can degenerate” into a cult of body worship, while Houdmann (and West) think it is inherently evil, no “can” qualification whatsoever.
And just to show she’s not making this up, there really is a nefarious and subtle evil about, sucking the brains of good Christians into a cross-legged position, she offers this real life description of the horror encountered in a “Christian Yoga” (CY) class sponsored by…a church:
Take Parkwood Baptist Church in Annandale, Va. For example. The following occurred during a yoga class:
“Marylyn Mandeville sits crossed-legged on a mat in front of 11 of her students. Her hands are folded as if in prayer, framed by the slogan on her T-shirt: ‘Know Yoga, Know Peace.’ A gold cross rests on the Om symbol emblazoned on her shirt. ‘Namaste,’ she says to the class, bowing deeply while offering the Sanskrit salutation ‘I bow to the God within you.’" 
Incredibly, her pastor had no problem with what she was teaching. In fact, he participated in the class!
Out, cast thine self out Satan of the within! It is only the without in which we can find solace in the love of……
And yes, she does acknowledge that the Bible doesn’t mention Yoga per se, but she’s got a Christian expert who can semantically tie all this in to the Bible’s prohibition against “yoking” yourself to pagan Gods:
Listen to occult and cult expert, Caryl Matrisciana, who gives the reason God forbids His people to partake in pagan practices. She says, “While the word ‘Yoga’ isn't mentioned in the Bible, the idea of ‘yoking’ oneself to pagan gods and concepts is forbidden as is adulating self’s desire above God’s will.”Ah, but what if the self’s desire is to do God’s will? And what happened to carrying Christ in your heart , which is on the iniside of the body( except for those who wear their hearts on their sleeves)? No matter. West can spot a sneaky devil when she comes across one. And this devil is sneaky, alright. It’s trying to get you to look inward to find God when every good Christain—i.e., one who agrees with West—knows that God is above you:
As for John MacArthur, he wondered why Christians would want to “borrow a term that is part of a false religion” (that clashes with historic orthodox Christianity). MacArthur contends that Christians shouldn’t put themselves in weird physical positions, empty their minds, focus on him or herself, and try to find the “god within” as a way to relieve stress. “This is practicing a false religion,” he said rather pointedly. Then he boldly shared the gospel. He said in order to have a whole and complete life Christians must go to the Word of God, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “The idea of Christianity is to fill your mind with biblical truth and focus on the God which is above you.”Even worse, meditation essentially amounts to telling the devil to “come on in,” and it overlooks the fundamental fact that we’re as sin-filled as an Oreo is cream-filled:
What harm is there in achieving a higher state of consciousness through meditation?” queries Douglas Groothuis in his article “Dangerous Meditations.” His answer should give those who practice CY cause for concern:The devil, you say! I don’t know about you, but if I ever get caught committing a crime, I plan on using the new meditation defense: I’m not responsible, the devil snuck in while I was meditating.
“Eastern mystics claim that divine realities are utterly beyond words, thought, and personality. In order to find ‘enlightenment,’ one must extinguish one's critical capacities—something the Bible never calls us to do (Rom. 12:1-2). In fact, suspending our critical capacities through meditation opens the soul to deception and even to spiritual bondage.
“The biblical worldview is completely at odds with the pantheistic concepts driving Eastern meditation. We are not one with an impersonal absolute being that is called ‘God.’ Rather, we are estranged from the true personal God because of our ‘true moral guilt,’ as Francis Schaeffer says.
“No amount of chanting, breathing, visualizing, or physical contortions will melt away the sin that separates us from the Lord of the cosmos—however ‘peaceful’ these practices may feel.
And this is at least the second piece West has written on the dangers of Yoga. Who has time for shallow foibles and dilemmas of mankind, from starvation to religious warfare, when there’s Yoga to be battled to the death?
This is not unusual, the many facets of Xtian belief practice what is loosely akin to "raise the screens, Mister Sulu", which is, anything that might lead anyone in another direction is of Satan, plain and simple. Having been raised and then summarily excommunicated from the Pentecostal Holiness variant of Xtian thing, oh, believe me, you name it, it's outlawed: Jews, Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Islam, Zen, Buddhism, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Sufism, and these are the kinds of people that make me fucking howl when I see them saying grace....over a Big Mac!
But then, widdle people with widdle bwains do widdle shit.
Over and out.
Or, if you want to be terribly vicious, mention to them that their practice originated with pagan practices some 25,000 or more years old. Boy, like pouring chromic acid into water!
#6, would it be fair to say you're among the "enlightened" who reject much of the scientific proofs of 2,500 year old Biblical truth on the basis of not enough documentation, yet you accept that pagan practices from 25,000 years ago (that connot possibly be proven to have actually been done as you claim) are real?
thanks for this information. also read this...
It's funny that this woman took offense at someone saying "I bow to the God within you." when in Luke chapter 17:21 Jesus himself says "For behold the kingdom of God is within you." Before someone goes and writes an article they really should read the bible closely first.
I believe the connection the writer is trying to make between yoga and satan is misinformed. Yes there is something called kundalini yoga and kundalini means serpent, but if you read in John chapter 3:14 Jesus himself says "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up." We know that Jesus himself practiced meditations, could it be that in this verse he is referring to what people now call kundalini yoga?
In my time set apart with The Lord, I stretch and relax and clear my head of everything but Him. I might select a portion of scripture to meditate on, or just sit and be with Him and listen. His presence often becomes tangible. Peace ensues, I am filled with His presence and I move on to whatever I need to do.
If I wanted to do exercise it would certainly be beneficial to begin with my time with the Lord. But none of that is yoga. Yoga is different than just meditating, and it's different from relaxing or stretching or exercising or deep breathing. Yoga is a specific behavior with a specific purpose that has everything to do with uniting with gods while Christian meditation has only to do with uniting with Jesus Christ, the Son of God who, by the way, IS within IF He has been acknowledged as the Lord of one's life. He doesn't share you with other gods. "Other gods" are demons. They don't love you and have not died for you.
The serpent Moses raised up in Numbers 21:8 and its relationship to Christ (John 3:14) is indeed a symbol of Christ on the cross. A kundalini awakening is not the reception of Christ in a life, it is the inception of a false deity; a false god, a demon that yogis claim is coiled up and sleeping within a person's body.
Yoga is simply a pagan behavior. Yoga cannot be Christian. Why argue the fact? Why would admitting the truth offend you so? If you like to do yoga, but want it to be OK with your Lord Jesus Christ, take it up with Him.