The important theological question of our time


I found this interesting: Yogatta be kidding me

…”Christians who practice yoga are embracing, or at minimum flirting with, a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a ‘post-Christian, spiritually polyglot’ reality.”

Then others…took it a step further, calling Yoga “absolute paganism”: “Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic… If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you’re signing up for a little demon class.”

…Shawn Groves [in] “Death of Discernment”…made some great points about many things that we do that have some pagan roots. Things like tortillas, Halloween… even paper and Thursday (the day of the week).

Maybe it’s just me, but I found the controversy not only slightly silly, but having the capacity of making Christians collectively look silly – which I suppose is better than them looking venal. Surely, many Christians know of the non-Christian history of Christmas trees, Easter eggs, wedding rings, funeral flowers and Odin’s day, I mean Wednesday, without having to give them up. (Actually, I’d give up Wednesday for an extra Saturnday.)

Image from Christian Yoga magazine.

0 thoughts on “The important theological question of our time”

  1. Any social group, be it religious, political, or what have you, will be plagued by purists and ideologues, and rarely to the benefit of the activity.

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  2. I think most non-Christians rolled their eyes, maybe even snickered, when they read about this “controversy”. I think many of us thought, “there they go again!” as we thought how achingly silly—or even stupid—their behaviour was, precisely because of all the things with pagan roots that we all take for granted.

    But I think you touched on an important point, how this sort of thing reflects on ordinary Christians, too, just as the bad stuff done by fundamentalists does. While you’re right that it’s better to be thought of as silly rather than venal, I think the larger point is that these sorts of things make Christianity—or religion in general—seem silly, at best.

    I’d love to see you expand on that point, maybe even look at how mainstream Christians can get attention (and differentiation) when overshadowed by the loud—and often flaky, as in this example—fundamentalists.

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  3. I saw that story and thought, “Oh brother, here we go again.” Yes, yoga is rooted in Eastern religion. No, doing the activity of yoga probably won’t damn your soul to hell.

    I read something about this a while ago and it stemmed from the possibility that the meditation of yoga might be substituted in place of prayer. The point being that one could turn to meditation instead of prayer for comfort.

    Of course, the real reason for doing yoga all lies in the heart of the individual. I prefer to look at it as a great way to strengthen/relax the body and mind…having no connection whatsoever to my soul.

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  4. It seems to me that when many talk about doing Yoga they are merely talking about meditating, or perhaps practicing various meditative practices but not necessarily doing so within the metaphysical framework from which Yoga emerged.

    Somewhat in agreement with those who speak of the need for discernment when embarking upon various spiritual practices, I would say that spiritual realities are no less distinct and bounded than physical realities. I say this as a contrast to the typically pragmatic and functionally agnostic cast of mind that dominates many people’s attitudes towards spiritual realities. By agnostic I don’t mean the denial of spiritual reality, but rather the idea that what is spiritual is uncertain, and that our conception of the spiritual doesn’t really matter as it’s all just projections onto the unknown. This cast of mind tends to think that what really matters is just being open to spiritual realities, whatever it may be.

    I think that engaging spiritual realities is every bit as consequential as engaging physical realities, and that just as doing some physical things bring physical benefit (eating healthy food, regularly exercising) and doing other physical things are harmful (partaking of narcotics, living a sedentary life) so it is with spiritual realities. I’ll admit, the spiritual landscape is not as obvious as the physical landscape. Moreover, I don’t think it is correct to think in terms of a strict dualism, as I think that what is spiritual is deeply embedded in the physical, and vice-versa. All this is to say that discernment is needed, and that we shouldn’t just assume that all spiritual practices from the various religions are equally beneficial. There is a place for people to be critical about such matters.

    All this said, I often don’t find myself agreeing with the appraisals of fundamentalists regarding what is good and what is bad, however, sometimes I do.

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