Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form”(Colossians 2:8-9). I have written on numerous occasions regarding the fact that we live in an age of remarkable theological and biblical confusion. This should come as no surprise as Jesus said on the Mount of Olives that deception would be one of the primary signs we are living in the last days. He said this three times in Matthew 24. If He says something once, it’s important. But to say it three times means it is seriously important. “See to it that no one misleads you” (Matt. 24:4). “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many” (24:11). “For false Christs and false prophets will arise…” (24:24).
False theologies, religions, and other belief systems have been around since sin entered the world. Some of these belief systems are so well package that even some in the Church are deceived. A recent article appearing in USA Today drives this point home: “More U.S. Christians mix in 'Eastern,' New Age beliefs.” Did you know that many theologically conservative churches offer “Christian” Yoga classes to their membership? Or how about this—a Bible professor at a Christian university in Minnesota says there just might be “common ground” with Buddhism and Christianity when it comes to “meditation.” I doubt the kind of meditation he has in mind is that found in the Scriptures. Eastern religions with their practice of meditation and self-revelation are considered to be exemplary and valuable in today’s society. Yoga and other meditative practices are heralded for their “positive” physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. But what many believers fail to realize is you can’t take something pagan and dress it up in Christian lingo and make it “holy.” In other words, there is no such thing as Christian Yoga. There are several reasons I could offer in support of this, but suffice it to say, Yoga is thoroughly Hindu and cannot be divorced from it or its pagan gods. Yoga postures are designed to form one's body into the likeness of man, animals, birds, insects, snakes, fish, and many more--all of which are revered as gods in Hinduism. Therefore, the words of Christ and Paul serve as a strong warning to believers: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception.” Elsewhere, Paul writes, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God (your body) with idols?” (2 Cor. 6:14-16). These are all rhetorical questions, meaning the answer is obvious—NOTHING! Christianity has nothing in common with this garbage! Therefore, if you are thinking about doing “Christian” Yoga, don’t. If you are already involved with it, stop! Repent of your sin and ask for and receive God’s forgiveness. Run from “the elementary principles of the world,” and pursue a pure devotion to Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).
Many Christians have been duped into thinking there is nothing wrong with Yoga and other Eastern meditative practices, all of which are designed to put the practitioner into an altered state of consciousness. According to one apologist, “believers who think they’re just exercising are being swept into a [false religious system].” Authentic Christians are to stand against such evil. We do this by running to the Word of God and resting in and believing His warnings and promises. Regardless of how physically, emotionally, and spiritually positive something might seem on the surface, if the Word of God says it’s evil, then it’s evil and is to be shunned and avoided. All pagan practices are inherently evil. “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them… Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:11, 15-16).
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