Michelle Obama has Added Yoga to the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is calling on Christians to avoid Yoga and its spiritual attachments. He explains that the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern Religions is not a Christian pathway to God.
“That’s just not Christianity and I’m really surprised by the depth of the commitment to Yoga found on the part of many who identify as Christian,” Mohler said in responding to a media inquiry after publishing an article on the subject.
The Yoga Journal estimates the number of Yoga fans in the United States at 15.8 million or about 7 percent of the population.
In his article published online in September, Mohler said Christians who practice Yoga “must either deny the reality of what Yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of Yoga.” He insists: “The body is not a ‘vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine.”
A member of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, who operates a studio that mixes Yoga and Christianity told msnbc.com that Yoga brought her closer to her Christian faith. “It opened my spirit, it renewed my spirituality.”
In the education arena, Yoga is referred to as “transpersonal education.” The New Age Masquerade: The Hidden Agenda in Your Child’s Classroom, by Eric Buehrer, published in 1990 quoted New Age practitioner Marilyn Ferguson as stating from a survey that more individuals practicing New Age Occultism were involved in education than in any other single category of work. “Tens of thousands of classroom teachers, educational consultants and psychologists, counselors, administrators, researchers, and faculty members in colleges of education have been among the millions engaged in personal transformation,” she said.
“Transpersonal education involves what Ferguson calls an understanding of mind and body integration which is, in reality, a fancy name for yoga. She reveals that it relies heavily on the use of altered and expanded consciousness.
“This, again, is merely occultism – reaching the higher self, becoming one with the universe, projecting into the astral plane,” stressed Eric Buehrer.
Ferguson quoted Dr. Beverly Galyean, a former Los Angeles public schools’ consultant for a program called “confluent education” explaining how schools can slip yoga and other occult programs into the regular curriculum.
“If your district wants discipline, tell them about programs that operate on the principle of internal control … Perhaps hyperactivity is a problem at your school. Use natural methods for calming over-active energies (such as) yoga… Learn how to lead focusing activities, group meditations, and relaxing techniques. The crises facing most school districts can be the springboard for your own humanistic experiments.”
“New Age educators see occult activity as the ultimate in good education,” writes Buehrer, “But New Agers go beyond occult activities and move into occult encounters.”
Ferguson explains that “intuition is enhanced by occult means. Altered states of consciousness are taken seriously: Centering exercises, meditation, relaxation, and fantasy are used to keep the intuitive pathways open and the whole brain learning. Students are encouraged to ‘tune in,’ imagine, identify the special feeling of peak experiences. There are techniques to encourage body awareness: breathing, relaxation, yoga, movement and biofeedback.”
With their mission accomplished in public education, New Age practitioners have now selected the Christian Church as their primary missionary field. A house divided against itself cannot stand. At least one church leader has identified the problem. It is yet to be seen whether Southern Baptists and the Christian Church as a whole will deal with it biblically.