By Chris Lawson of Spiritual Research Network
Video Length (14:27)
Expressing biblical and pastoral concerns over Rick Warren's Saddleback Church "Holy Yoga" classes (Brooke Boon) and a North Coast Calvary Chapel (NCCC) pastor who has expressed the following in his own words:
"Here's an illustration: Think of yoga. Tremendous stretching exercises offered through yoga. Can some people take it too far into a kind of new age meditation? Of course, but when I do yoga, it's simply to keep myself limber and my back from experiencing pain. Well, in like manner, [NCCC small group leader - name withheld] is not promoting a mystical, new age, opening one's mind to demonic influence. He is simply helping people slow down and listen to God speaking to them through His Word and prayer. I also talked to our Young Adults pastor and he implements this concept in the Young Adults gathering periodically...So the bottom line is, any practice can unfortunately be abused and used for ungodly purposes. But rest assured, it's being used faithfully to the Word of God here, through our church." - Jim Doyle, Pastor, Small Groups & The Connections Ministries (Letter on file: Thu, February 16, 2012 11:13:22 AM)
NOTE: The above quote was used for the Small Group pastors' justification of implementing The Apprentice Series, a contemplative spirituality curriculum by James Bryan Smith. NCCC no longer hosts The Apprentice Series.
Do note also that this 'Calvary Chapel & Purpose Driven Pastors Doing Yoga?' video is NOT meant to mislead people or imply that North Coast Calvary Chapel pastors host or provide yoga classes through the NCCC church or facility, or anywhere for that matter. Rick Warren's church on the other hand, does! To date, Saddleback Community Church still continues to promote "Holy Yoga" classes through their church websites. For instance, see the "yoga" search results here on the main Saddleback Church website: saddleback.com/search?q=yoga .
The Bible is clear that Christians are to "separate" from pagan forms of worship (Romans 16; 2 Corinthians 6; 1 Timothy 4; etc.). Trying to Christianize practices such as yoga, or strip them from their occult origins and mix them with the Christian lifestyle is no exception.
In India, Christians flee Yoga with its occult worldview and practices in order to come to Christ. However, for many in the USA, Canada and Britain, it is just the opposite, they seem to be forgetting Christ's commands and seeking to integrate Yoga into their Christian worldview and lifestyle. What shall it be, Christ, or Christoga; Yahweh, or YahwehYoga; Jesus Christ, or gurus, swami's and avatar's?
When I spoke at a pastors conference in South India, pastors were weeping because of the foolishness of American Christians doing "Yoga" for exercise; they simply could not believe what I had told them about this during my teaching session on the subject of biblical discernment. They wept as they told me that they fled from the demonic power that fuels Yoga and its occult worldview, philosophy and practices. They surrendered to Jesus Christ for salvation whilst escaping the world of idolatry and spiritual bondage to the demonic realm. Who would have ever thought that Christian pastors would be found doing Yoga? It is simply beyond belief, but then again, I have been told by some Christians, "I just want my Yoga!"
(Text updated January 30, 2015)