I just came across this little story about Yoga and a Church in England where:
Although the Baptist church originally granted Louise Woodcock’s Yum Yum Yoga class for toddlers use of its hall for a children’s group activity, the Rev. Simon Farrar withdrew his consent after discovering it was for yoga, according to London’s The Times newspaper.
The story goes on:
The Rev. Tim Jones, vicar of St James’, has supported Silver Street’s decision, noting that yoga “has its roots in Hinduism and attempts to use exercises and relaxation techniques to put a person into a calm frame of mind – in touch with some kind of impersonal spiritual reality.
“The philosophy of yoga cannot be separated from the practice of it, and any teacher of yoga, even to toddlers, must subscribe to the philosophy,” the Anglican priest asserted.
“Yoga may appear harmless or even beneficial, but it is encouraging people to think that there is a way to wholeness of body and mind through human techniques – whereas the only true way to wholeness is by faith in God through Jesus Christ.”
Said the Yoga instructor:
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, yoga instructor Woodock has defended her classes, saying that they had no religious content at all, and only involved music and movement.
“I explained to the church that my yoga is a completely nonreligious activity. Some types of adult yoga are based on Hindu and Buddhist meditation but it’s not a part of the religion and there is no dogma involved,” she said.
“This is a class for mums and children, which has yoga-inspired moves – but as soon as I mentioned the word yoga, the church staff completely changed their attitude. They have completely misunderstood and are being narrow minded.”
Who said being broad-minded was a good thing? I wonder what really happens when Christians open up their minds to all sorts of philosophies and religious ideas and spirits that make their way around the world? The irony is this:
After a church’s ban on yoga classes sparked an uproar in the United Kingdom, a Roman Catholic priest and school principal in India weighed in, claiming that the British clergy who described yoga as a “sham,” a “false philosophy” and “unchristian” are ignorant about the practice.
“They know nothing about yoga,” commented Father John Ferreira, the principal of St. Peter’s College in Agra, one of India’s oldest educational institutions.
Imagine that! A Roman Catholic Priest living in India is angry with a Baptist Church in England for banning Yoga! I wonder, really wonder, who is being fooled here? I point you once again to Scripture: Do not be unequally yoked together with unbeliever (or their ideas!) The Baptist has this one right. There is no room in the Church or the Church building for Yoga. You cannot separate Yoga from the philosophies that under-gird it any more than you can separate Darwinism from the atheism that under-girds it.
Soli Deo Gloria
PS–What does a priest in India care what a Baptist church is doing?
PPS–I wonder if it is really the Baptist who doesn’t understand the practice of Yoga and its philosophy? I wonder if, perhaps, it is actually the Roman Catholic?