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
God expressly forbids the practice of New Age techniques and the promotion of New Age materials.
Who's laughing now?
--This article first appeared as a post on the DiscernIt blog, and has been revised.
© Christian Research Service 2008