Saturday, June 5, 2010
There are some debates surrounding this topic.
How are Christians to respond? Should take part in the "pagan" activity?
I am in Bible College. I have gotten into numerous arguments.
I think yoga is wonderful thing. I will state that up front-- to be clear.
First, I will explain my background. I have been following Christ for about a year and a half now. Before becoming a Christian, I had some health issues. I did not take care of my body-- struggling with an eating disorder that was combined with obsession with physical fitness. My struggle with this is a daily one of sorts that continues today.
It is a long story about how the Lord saved me from myself and slavery to sin. Perhaps another day.
Though it is still a daily struggle against my flesh, I do believe God healed me from my sickness. This healing began with recognizing that my security and identity is found in Jesus Christ alone. In a fleshly sense, I began to overcome by developing healthy eating and exercising habits. This is when I began doing yoga.
Yoga is a healing practice. It rounds out our bodies so that they can work the way they are supposed to. It did, in fact, originate in the Hindu religion. That controversy brings me to my second point.
1 Corinthians 8
Back in the day, most of the meat sold in the market place was the leftovers from the animal sacrifices to pagan gods and goddesses. Some believers bought it, others did not. Today, some believers' consciences free them to do yoga, other's do not because of its hindu origins. Here is what Paul has to say concerning the pagan origins of both the meat years ago and yoga today:
"'an idol has no real existence,' and that 'there is no God but one.' For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-- as indeed there are many 'gods' and many 'lords'-- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things through whom we exist." (v 4-6)
Yes, yoga has hindu origins. There is no getting around that. But by involving yourself in a yoga routine, you do not sell your soul to the devil. This is why: God created yoga. Yoga did not originate in ancient hindu culture and cause the Lord to gasp and fall into a state of panic.
"However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do." (v 7-8)
It comes down to this: conscience. If my conscience allows me to do yoga, I am free in Christ to do that. But if I know that my sister in Christ does not feel right about doing yoga, I wouldn't invite her to accompany me to my yoga class.
"But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak." (v 9)
In summary, yoga is a matter of conscience. That is my basic belief. I do have many, many more things to say about the subject. Yoga can be destructive if not done in a God-glorifying manner. I will write more on that idea later.