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Monday, November 17, 2008

Who's Laughing Now?

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

September 9, 2008

But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and

served their idols, which became a snare to them (Psalm 106:35-36).

Years ago, many parents laughed when their children were introduced to Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, relaxation, and visualization techniques in the secular schools and YMCA. Many school teachers and principles shrugged their shoulders and thought the techniques would help develop calmer, better behaved students.

On the job-site, professing Christians participated in company-sponsored "Stress Reduction" seminars. They laughed under their breath and refused to speak out against it--for fear of losing their jobs. Now, many companies across the nation offer Yoga, Tai Chi, Reiki, and other New Age practices as regular motivational courses for employees.

Despite the complaints and concerns, many bookstore managers and officials within the "Christian bookstore" industry laughed and continued to advertise and promote books written by New Age authors. The "bottom line" (money) was more important than the spiritual welfare of the innocent and unwary.

With the husband off to work, a professing Christian woman turned to a video tape and spent and hour-per-day practicing Yoga. She laughed when her three year old child watched and imitated her moves.

Across the nation, and in many parts of the world, certified Yoga instructors cashed in on the booming Christian exercise craze and introduced churches and denominations to "Christian Yoga." The postures were the same as Yoga, they said, but it had nothing to do with Hinduism. They laughed all the way to the bank.

During a church-sponsored "Christian Yoga" class, an instructor began bowing to the "god" within her students, and offered the Hindu Sanskrit salutation, Namaste. The students laughed, rolled their eyes, and bowed to the instructor.

Along with Hatha Yoga, a church offered a Labyrinth walk, a Buddhist Teachings and Meditation group, and Yoga for children. During the children's Yoga class, the adults smiled and laughed when their toddlers tried to perform the Yoga postures.

Average church members laughed when New Age techniques and practices were introduced during church-sponsored retreats, outings, and seminars. They sang the praises of books written by New Age authors, and passed the books around like tea and crumpets at a social event. Those who refused to laugh were encouraged to leave and find another church.

Christian colleges and universities weren't immune to the New Age Movement. Many presidents and faculty members openly welcomed Kundalini Yoga and other New Age practices as an on-and-off campus course. Students laughed as they performed the Cobra pose, the Scorpion pose, and the Corpse pose in their classes, gyms and dorms.  

Many pastors across the land laughed, compromised, and turned a deaf-ear to the "Stress Management" and "Christian Yoga" courses being taught in their own churches. It is just a harmless form of exercise, they said. However, some pastors stopped laughing when they noticed a change-for-the-worse in the attitude and spirituality of some of their members.

In his spare time, one pastor practiced Yoga. Along with regular Yoga classes, the pastor's church offered a gentle form of Tai Chi. The pastor's congregation expressed an ever-present joy over his open-mindedness.

Across the world, professing Christians laughed when they were warned about the spiritual, mental, and physical dangers of practicing Yoga and its demon inspired postures. In their stubborn pride they continued to purchase New Age materials and promote New Age practices to untold numbers of men, women, and children.

Years ago, many laughed and brushed-off the New Age Movement as a mere fad that would eventually fade away. But behind the scenes, it slithered into every strata of our society--homes, elementary and high schools, bookstores, jobs, colleges, universities, churches, and pulpits.

But 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul refused to laugh when confronted with the New Age Movement of his day. Under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul provided the following remedy:

Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing

(Acts 19:18-20).

God expressly forbids the practice of New Age techniques and the promotion of New Age materials.

Who's laughing now?

Related reading:

Christian Yoga?

SBC, Yoga, and the New Age Movement

--This article first appeared as a post on the DiscernIt blog, and has been revised.

© Christian Research Service 2008

21 Readers Commented:

  1. Anonymous19:58


  2. Anonymous00:49

    Although I have never practiced yoga (simply because I am not interested in it), but a lot of people I know do. Most of them say it is a way to relax, destress and take your mind off of your troubles. When I ask them if they have tried reading the Word of God they just look at me like I am crazy. I guess now I know why LOL The best way I have found to relax, sooth my spirit and calm my mind is GOD's WORD! It is the best medicine in the world. Blessings! Love you!

  3. Godbless you sis Valerie

  4. That is how the devil has been deceiving christians with all forms of lies all in the name of living well and being healthy.

    I suddenly wonder what happens to living holy!

    Bless you sis, i have been a stranger lately, lol!

  5. Godbless you sis Bola for making such an excellent point

  6. Hi. Thanks for this post. I was shaking my head at work today -- there's not much else I can do in an environment of people who don't know the LORD. Anyway, one co-worker got up to stretch, and started doing some funky posturing. He laughed when he saw me giving him an odd look, and he announced that it was a yoga movement.

    Then, I learned recently that my pregnant co-worker is taking a yoga Lamaze class...

    Everyone is really taking this thing so lightly. But why would you assume that something based on Eastern philosophy is harmless? I know of no Eastern philosophies that acknowledge our LORD and SAVIOR Jesus Christ of Nazareth... nor do any of them even acknowledge GOD, our CREATOR.

  7. Channelofhealing,

    A Christian's famous last words "I'm strong enough not to fall for _______." Then they fall. We think to highly of ourselves.

    Berean Wife

  8. Lavria you sure said it, . . Godbless you my dear it is really a terrible thing to witness but it is happening inour very eyes so we ask Who is laughing now?

  9. Godbless you Mightily in Jesus Name Berean Wife

  10. Hello Hanna,

    You are right this is no laughing manner. Thanks for consistently bringing forth the truth sis. i agree with valerie, that rest and relaxation can be obtained by meditating upon God's Word.

    Tamela :)

  11. Hello Hanna, thank you for posting this article, I could not agree with it is so true, especially knowing that I was there. I will admit, I practiced kungfu, yoga and tai chi. Many of my instructors were in fact hungry for money.
    Now talking why I did it and why I continue to do it. It is for physical reasons and body health, we have arthritis in family and those exercises do help as I am starting to feel it. Not martial arts like kung fu, but I was young and competative. Hanna, to me these are two different things, and I don't mix God with the new age relaxation techniques. I still think, or more so I strongly believe that prayer is superior in all, even physical health...and I have seen it.
    Thanks for your post, it was very interesting. Anna :)

  12. Yes sis Tamela Godbless you for your sincere comments

  13. Glad you now know dear Anna, that we must draw a line btw these things
    Love you so much and our Mattehw is growing so big


  14. May God continue to help you reach out to others for Christ with great success ! He Is and at the door and the night comes soon! Let us all continue to reach out while there is still time, my friend!

    Thanks once again for this honor.

  15. Godbless You Sir in Jesus Mighty Name Amen

  16. Thanks Hanna, you are absolutely right. And one must know the reasons too. I really think that the prayer is the superior from all other relaxation/healing techniques out there people claim to be....Thanks for your comment, and yes Matthew is growing fast, poor thing is teething. You know he is such a good baby. When in pain he cries, but soon as the pain stops he gives this big smile that brakes your heart....Have a good night Hanna, and hope things are working out for you, God Bless.
    Anna :)

  17. Thank you so very much. Again you have blessed and humbled me.

  18. Thats is so sweet Anna, You must be so happy about all that is happening in our baby MAtthews life . . . am so happy for you too


  19. thanks for this awards,i am indeed grateful.Will have it up soon.Things are still hectic around here,but by the grace of God almighty,it shall be well.



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