Tag Archives: hinduism

The Bias of First

The Bias of First

A Sermon on Seeking God

Text: Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1. Bias of Temperament.

Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Matthew 6:25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Ephesians 5:16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

2. Bias of Ego

Acts 10. Peter on the rooftop.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate *said to Him, “What is truth?”
And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and *said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.

3. Bias of Comfort.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
1 Peter 2:21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”
Luke 22:42 “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Anush

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A Christian And Yoga

A Christian and Yoga

Being an Indian theologian in America, I have received several questions over the years about how a Christian should respond to yoga as seen in American culture.

I honestly don’t know the details of yoga in America so I won’t give a yes-no answer. Instead I will list a few biblical guidelines and let the reader decide the right approach. If I go by the abject failure of Starbucks’ dishwater-esque chai tea to reflect actual Indian chai, I am almost confident that American yoga’s separation from the original Indian yoga should be measured not in meters, but in lightyears.

1. Hindu Yoga is part of what is called as the Jnaya Marga – the way to salvation (Moksha) through knowledge. It involves deep inward meditation while the devotee tries to focus on certain body parts (the navel, for example). The goal is to come to an awareness of the spirit of a person and then, by extension, think about Brahma, the ethereal, non-being essence of the universe. Hindu Yoga is more of a demure, passive, mind-focusing with “less” involvement of demonic/spiritual influence than other Hindu rituals.

2. Christian meditation is similar to Hindu yoga ONLY in relation to its physical posture of silence. Christian Meditation, unlike yoga, is focused outside of oneself – usually on God and the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to impress on our hearts His truth. In the recent past I have been more and more cognizant of the general lack of meditation in contemporary Christendom and have personally thoroughly enjoyed its benefits.

3. There are many rituals and objects that are used in animistic, polytheistic and pantheistic cultures that invoke demon spirits’ involvement. It is prudent to stay away from anything to do with the devil or demons regardless of how spiritually “strong” one is. Humans are no match for demons and they will hit us where we are weak. My family  is involved in drug and alcohol addiction recovery in several Indian cities and many times see first hand the consequences of demonic and spiritual influences in addition to the physical, physiological and chemical effects of substance abuse.

4. Paul’s directive about food sacrificed to idols. (Romans 8). The basic premise is that an idol is nothing compared to the eternal God and therefore anything related to that idol is essentially nothing. This command is true if there is no direct demonic influence.

Now, the reader is welcome to decide the approach to American yoga.

Anush.

anushdoc@hotmail.com

The Prayer Against

Whenever there is a tragedy today, one of the rallying calls is for prayers for the victims of the tragedy. So we see prayer for Paris, prayer for Orlando, prayer for whatever with its various hashtags and links. However, I think that we are called not only to pray for something but also against something else. Just as we pray for good, it is equally important to pray against evil.

In the Christian study on spiritual warfare, the whole premise is not built on fighting for something but rather on fighting against something – precisely, evil. (Ephesians chapter 6).

It is extremely important to pray for good – for people to follow that which is good, for people to follow God and obey him. At the same time it is also important to pray against evil, against evil doers in particular. It is especially critical when it comes to evildoers that have control or influence over many others.

In this light in recent times, I have prayed against specific people that are major influencers in the world today and are unapologetic perpetrators of evil.
Therefore, specific prayers can be prayed against the evil empire ISIS, against its leaders and beheaders in particular, against Syria president Bashar al-Assad, Hungarian financier George Soros that has for decades pushed his evil agenda on world powers, Planned Parenthood and its murder of millions of defenseless unborn under the guise of women’s health etc.

We can also pray for specific policies that are more evil in design even though it may originate from people that are not necessarily evil. And example of this class may be Vladimir Putin and his policy of global expansion by annexation.

Another category would be anyone who is in direct opposition to the Christian faith and message. For example, Indian president Narendra Modi and his clandestine overtures to persecute Christians and the related Hindu fascism in India, persecution of Christians in Communist North Korea and China and the Islamic Middle East.

The prayer for good is important, the prayer against evil is a necessary complement.