Meditation, Yoga, and Other Paths to Hell


But not Mormonism (more on that in a second).

The intersection of Christianity, world religions, and common sense has always produced the occasional fender-bender, but recently we seem to be running the red lights altogether.

As a long-time practitioner of Centering Prayer, I am frequently questioned about the ‘Christian-ness’ of the practice. Dom Keating has gone to great lengths in his writings to place Centering Prayer in its proper place in the Christian tradition. I encourage those with concerns to check out the writings of Keating, Menninger, and Pennington. David Frenette is contributing some recent work that is worth checking out. You can find all of them here.

And now this, from the AP:

ENCINITAS, CALIF. –  A group of parents is bent out of shape by free yoga classes at schools in this San Diego County beachside community, fearing they are indoctrinating youngsters in eastern religion.

“There’s a deep concern that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote Ashtanga yoga and Hinduism, a religion system of beliefs and practices,” the parents’ attorney, Dean Broyles, told the North County Times.

In an Oct. 12 email to district Superintendent Tim Baird, Broyles called the yoga program unconstitutional and said he may take unspecified legal action unless the classes stop.

The lessons are funded by a $533,000, three-year grant from the Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Asthanga yoga. Some schools began classes last month and others will begin holding them in January.

The classes involve traditional eastern breathing techniques and poses. The district chooses teachers and sets the curriculum while the foundation trains the teachers.

The district has removed any religious content from the twice-weekly classes, Baird said.

Our church offers the popular exercise program Zumba twice weekly. To this point, we have not had any requests for additional Latino services or ministries.

What is far more troubling is the recent decision by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to remove Mormonism from its list of cults. CT has a brief roundup here. Meditative practices in the church and yoga in the schools pale in comparison to the pandering to a political party exhibited by the BGEA.

While I believe that the gospel is to be protected (the gospel does not need protecting, it needs proclaiming, but you get my point), I also believe that Eastern religions have much to offer us in the way of practice. Science and the medical field are both seeing the positive effects of meditation and yoga-type practices.

Common sense was apparently killed in the collision.

About pastoroftheprez

Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Kings Mountain, NC.
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