When I penned this piece in 2010, my aim was to inform professing Christians, who had convinced themselves that it’s okay to practice “Christian yoga,” that it is not okay at all. At that point yoga, which has its roots in Hinduism, had taken the Christian community by storm, as you will see in my piece, Christian Yoga? C’mon! But the important thing for readers to understand is that pagan practices such as yoga cannot be christianized, nor should God’s people adopt a pagan practice and attach a Christian title to it acceptable to the Christian community. When God says no, He means No! (2 Cor 6:14)
By Marsha West
Seems everyone’s practicing yoga meditation these days. Physicians recommend it to their patients which means it’s beneficial…right? Meditation is said to relieve stress, anxiety, hypertension, acne and post-nasal drip, so go for it! Just tighten those abdominal muscles, inhale deeply and chant Maaaaaaaaa all in one breath and your concerns will drift away like a feather floating on the wind…
But what if you’re a Christian? Should you practice the same sorts of things as Buddhist, Hindu’s and New Agers?
Listen to what the Bible says:
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Josh.1:8).
Firstly, meditating day and night does not mean to stay awake for 24 hours a day. Secondly, Christian meditation is very different from Eastern meditation. Followers of Jesus Christ are not to sit in the lotus pose in an altered state of consciousness seeking the “God within” like pagans do. The Bible teaches that when Christians meditate our minds are to be fully engaged. We are never to go into a trance-state.
What does meditation involve? “The word ‘meditation’ in Hebrew means basically to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart it is called musing or meditation. So meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it.”
Before you dive into God’s Word take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind and to reveal truth to you. As you read, stop to ponder what God has spoken through the words on the page. Always, always, always consider the context. In Charles Spurgeon’s sermon “Pray Without Ceasing,” he says there are four important questions to be asked:
What do these words imply? Secondly, What do they actually mean? Thirdly, How shall we obey them? And, fourthly, Why should WE especially obey them?