Christians and Yoga

As I was surfing the net today, I stumbled across this page.

Well, if Yoga is out because of its Hindu roots, what else should Christians not practice or use?  Wedding rings (thought to be Egyptian in origin), perhaps?  Engagement rings (thought to be Greek in origin)?  How about Christians rename the days of the week?  Anything else you can think of?

HT: Lisa Robinson via Theologica

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12 thoughts on “Christians and Yoga

  1. Christmas trees
    Easter eggs
    Actually, nearly all the Christmas and Easter traditions
    Some of modern medicine has its roots in Middle Eastern culture–particularly Islamic culture
    Tea, Coffee and Chocolate
    Martial Arts (obviously)
    Knitting
    Rice
    And tons of food preparation styles such as stir fry and fermentation just to name two

    • I’m so glad someone picked up where I was going with this.

      Yeah, try telling them that Christmas trees have their roots in the Germanic pagan Yule festival…that the Christmas tree didn’t get Christianized until St. Boniface in the 7th century.

      What gets me is the legalism of some of the commenters on the post I linked to…but it’s probably a selective legalism as they probably eat pork and shellfish.

  2. They probably also eat cheese burgers and engange in financial investments that receive interest and deal with institutions that charge interest on loans–even to poor people. I suppose they think that’s all well and good, but through a little deep breathing in there and we’re all in trouble!

  3. I have to wonder if you have issues with Christians doing transcendental meditation or being influenced by Eckhart Tolle? It is kind of like a Christian band covering a secular song, it does not make it Christian when someone sings Cindy Lauper’s “Time After Time” or The Byrds “Turn, Turn Turn”. I think the analogy fails when you the Christmas Tree was brought in. This seems like replacing a pagan tradition with a Christian one, versus meditation/yoga when one is doing the exact same thing as a Hindu. And to have Doug Paggit defend it is not helping the case either. I’d be curious to see the reaction you’d get if you left a comment at the blog where you found this.

    • Todd,

      This seems like replacing a pagan tradition with a Christian one, versus meditation/yoga when one is doing the exact same thing as a Hindu.

      Let’s look at this for a minute. So what if doing yoga is doing the exact same thing as a Hindu. I’m sure Hindus also drive and eat and blog. That doesn’t make them Christian or me Hindu.

      What it sounds like to me is you’re implying, and correct me if I’m wrong, that participation in an activity implies, on some level, subscription to that belief.

  4. Indeed, a secular song does not automoatically become a Christian song just because it is sung by a Christian band. However, conversely, singing a secular song does not negate a group’s Christianity either.
    To clarify my reason for bringing up the Christmas tree: The tradition of the Christmas tree was adopted and repurposed for the Christian celebration of the Festival of the Incarnation. The pagan practice was not replaced. It was, in a manner of speaking, reborn 🙂 I made mention of it in response to Craig’s statements because many Christians are unaware of the non-Christian roots of a good number of our common practices.
    Craig—confrontation? you? Never!

  5. What it sounds like to me is you’re implying, and correct me if I’m wrong, that participation in an activity implies, on some level, subscription to that belief.

    In the particular case of yoga or other practices explicitly associated with Eastern mysticism I think it would be difficult not to subscribe to the operating belief system behind it. This seems akin to recommending meditation for Christians as well. Both are not good ideas.

    • Ok. Let’s apply that logic to Christianity. Obviously everyone who is at worship on Sunday participates in worship (ie. going through the motions), but does the act of participation mean they necessarily subscribe to the beliefs of Christianity? I would argue no, it doesn’t.

  6. Craig :
    Ok. Let’s apply that logic to Christianity. Obviously everyone who is at worship on Sunday participates in worship (ie. going through the motions), but does the act of participation mean they necessarily subscribe to the beliefs of Christianity? I would argue no, it doesn’t.

    Subscribe might be to strong a word, but it would be difficult not to be influenced by the belief system from which the practice originated.

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