Tag Archives: meditation

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

Worship

What is worship? How can one truly worship? How is it different than praise and prayer? These questions are answered in this session.

Worship

Definition: It is the activity of directly glorifying God in his presence with our deepest being.

What happens in Worship?

1. Direct ______________
Isaiah 43:6–7 Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, 7 Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
Ephesians 1:11-12 we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
Revelation 22:8–9 And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.”
Ezekiel 44:15 But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,” declares the Lord God.

2. Personal __________________
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

3. Enemies ___________________
2 Chronicles 20:22 When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.

4. Coming into God’s ______________
Hebrews 10:19, 22 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, … let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 12:28–29 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

How to come into His presence

1. _________________
Habakkuk 2:20 But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him

2. ___________________
1 Peter 2:5 – you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

2 Chronicles 5:13–14 in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

3. _______________ of God.
Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God… Exodus 3:6
When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” Judges 6:22
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Habakkuk 3:16
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown Ezekiel 1:27
My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you, Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:5-6
I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless…. I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people … Daniel 10:7-8, 9:20
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. Revelation 1:17
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” Luke 5:8

John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.