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Yoga Comes From Demons Says @PastorMark


Yoga comes from demons? That’s what Mark Driscoll says. And between you and me, I bet he’d actually know.

Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic. If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you’re signing up for a little demon class. (SOURCE)

But I’m curious: Does this mean that demons actually do yoga?!

"I'm very flexible. Mark knows." -Demon

We know that Mark likes to exercise. Remember?! He likes to get into a cage and beat up on his boys and other people’s boys.

"I could teach Mark a think or two about cage fighting." -Demon

According to the Seattle Times, the whole “yoga” conversation was started because…

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., warned Christians that yoga is contradictory to Christianity.

So does this mean curry is demonic? Because Hindus love curry. And how about Slumdog Millionaire? It starred Hindus. And did demons start India? Because LOTS of Hindus live in India…

And I wonder if the AT&T customer service person I talked to on Thursday was a demon?! He sounded Hindu.

I’ll say it again: Mark, you’re a fundamentalist.

The more I hear from the so-called “New Calvinists,” the more they sound exactly like the pastors and teachers I grew up with (just minus the Calvinism).

Sent to me by @tigerljily.



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sharideth

posted October 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm


i’m going to bend and stretch for jesus. none of those demonic 3-point head stands for me.



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Brandon Smith

posted October 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm


I’ve actually stated that I thought Mark was a fundamentalist, too. Even though, he bashes fundamentalism himself. It’s quite confusing.



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Adam Shields

posted October 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm


Didn’t Mohler write a blog post about Yoga being demonic last week too. Is there a “Make Christians Look Stupid” topic list floating around that I don’t know about?



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    Chris

    posted October 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm


    Does there have to be? I thought they were doing a pretty good job of it themselves.



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Justin Sytsma

posted October 9, 2010 at 3:09 pm


This is no different than the fundies in the mid 20th century saying that drum beats were demonic. NO different.



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Sara at Keeth Ink

posted October 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm


So, what kind of exercise is Christian? P90x? I mean, if we’re gonna get on this train, let’s take it all the way…

Signed,
A Christian and really big fan of Bryan Kest’s yoga videos



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    KatR

    posted October 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm


    Actually, I’m pretty sure P90x has a yoga component. So its also from Saaaaaaaatan.



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alm517

posted October 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm


I went to a concert on the 24th where a hindu ( pictured left) performed and sang Hindu music, but he’s white and from South Carolina. I’m confused. Did I participate in demonism? He sure seemed nice, and hugged me, and was really kind, and sang some songs that despite being Hindu were not inconsistent with what Christianity teaches. Is the demonic influence negated because he was white and from the Bible belt or do the dreads put him in some sort of limbo? HELP! I’m afraid of the spiritual implications!

Sorry, the above was ridiculous, both my post and what Driscoll said. Yoga is exercise. The concert I went to had beautiful music created by one of the kindest artists that I have ever met, who even though he is only human, seems to truly live what he sings and is respectful of all people. Driscoll is ridiculous and is pretty fundie despite the drinking.



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Casey Case

posted October 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm


Agreed. Wrote about the same thing earlier this week. Click my name for the link.



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Jenn

posted October 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm


Well thanks Pastor Mark but I have to disagree I cannot see how when I am in a shoulder stand that I am engaging with a demon. I do know what I am doing – aside from being mindful of my health, I also am calming my brain and spending the 90 minutes of quiet praying. We are a society that is so go, go, go and filled with a cacophony of sound and images – setting aside time to calm our brains will open our hearts to a quiet time with God.



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Nick

posted October 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm


Matthew,

If you’re going to throw rocks at a guy, at least use the substantial quote from the story instead of setting up straw men.

“Driscoll, in a Q&A session with church members in February, issued a similar warning, calling yoga a form of pantheism. “There’s not creator and creation,” he said. “All is collapsed into what we call oneism. The result is that you don’t go out to God, you go into self. It’s not about connecting to God through the mediatorship of Jesus. It’s about connecting to the universe through meditation. It’s absolute paganism.”

At least deal with the substance of the issue.

Nick



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted October 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm


    Nick.

    This post is hardly throwing rocks. And I did use the best quote. The rest of it was bs, too, and not nearly as interesting.

    Oh… and he set up the “straw”… it was his stupid quote. So get it right.



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      steveT

      posted October 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm


      mpt~

      SO interesting to me, what each of us perceives as “throwing rocks”….or “straw men”….or whatever. sometimes it feels as if we all walk fine lines on some of this….but at times, following Jesus is very simply, risky business. being a christian these days, seldom seems like it is. thanks for being willing to stick your neck our again, pal….even knowing a verbal boot may be headed smack in the middle of it.

      ~steveT



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Amy Courts

posted October 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm


I do yoga. And admittedly, sometimes the ways they tell me to bend remind me of ‘The Exorcist.’ And I’ll be honest: I think that’s totally cool. I want to be that flexible. All the better to fight the demons when they join my class.



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Amy Courts

posted October 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm


PS: On a more serious note, I find it ironic that David, among many others in Scripture, practiced (and spoke of) “Being still” and “meditating on the Word of God.” But I guess you can’t be thinking/focusing along those lines when recovering from making your body a pretzel.



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Phil

posted October 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm


I think you will find if you read both of Albert Mohlers commentaries on Yoga – first the one picked up by newspapers, and then Mohlers rebuttal to the constant stream of abusive e-mails he got, he is saying you can’t practice TRUE yoga, without meditating on Hindu Gods or focusing ‘energies’ to obtain a particular position.

He (Mohler) is NOT saying you can’t put yourself in a downward facing dog position and call you’re self Christian, he is simply saying that isn’t Yoga.

Also – pretty sure it says in the Bible, ‘anything that is not of God is evil’…that pretty much makes the spray against Mark null and void.

Personally, I find Pilate’s a lot more beneficial then Yoga.



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    Jamie

    posted October 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm


    Pilates vs Yoga: I vote yoga. But then, I’m a yoga alliance certified yoga instructor…and a Christian. Be afraid!



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    Jenn

    posted October 9, 2010 at 7:40 pm


    That maybe so. While I haven’t deeply considered Hinduism’s scriptures, as stated by B, below, I do believe that the truth of God is present within their teachings, as truth originates in God. Namaste, one of the many chants/Sanskrit words used within a practice, can be interpreted as the spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you or the god in me recognizes the god in you. For me I think that is one of our social problems, we ignore the presence of God in everyone we see. We ignore their Creator and His view of them. I understand Mr. Driscoll’s desire to draw hard lines in a society that permits everything but I am not sure what this line does. It says we believe Hinduism is not only wrong, but it’s “evil,” and we are not prepared to engage and understand with their faith then how can we be a witness and for that matter why would they want to hear our views.

    Also as noted by another commenter we ignore the meditative rhythm of life demonstrated by Christ – call it yoga, call it what you would like but His ministry shows the power of spending time focusing on the Father in quiet vs. focusing vocally on the world like the leaders of the Church he spoke against. If it takes being in trikonasana to get my brain off of my grocery list and on to praising God then so be it.



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      Erik Scottberg

      posted October 9, 2010 at 9:06 pm


      Earlier today Driscoll linked to some research (http://pewforum.org/Other-Beliefs-and-Practices/Many-Americans-Mix-Multiple-Faiths.aspx) about American’s beliefs. The section on “Eastern or New Age Beliefs” is pretty insightful into the conversation here.

      According to this research, one fourth of “Christians” in America don’t seem to understand the difference between their faith and eastern religions. I think that’s a problem (call me a fundamentalist if you want). I agree that all truth is God’s truth, but if we keep blurring the lines between belief systems and don’t understand the differences between them, then we end up with something not Christian.

      Call me crazy, but I think meditation (in the sense of Hinduism and “true” yoga) and Christ going out by himself to pray are completely different. While they both might deal with “getting away” and “slowing down”, the purpose and end goal of each are nowhere near the same.

      With that said, I did P90X once and I didn’t see any demons during the Yoga part. I don’t think Yoga in that context is a problem….it’s fancy stretching. But “true” Yoga, as Phil suggests above, is something different.

      I’m not sure I go all the way with him, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Driscoll calling the practice out when there’s a good chance 1/4 of his congregants don’t understand the difference between Christianity and Hinduism.



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        Rick Garner

        posted October 9, 2010 at 10:19 pm


        Erik, great comment and it frames the issue pretty well. Just like this post in Yoga Journal – http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2681 – there’s mysticism in yoga. Maybe not in all classes or instructors but clearly some elements of yoga are New Age.

        While we may disagree with Driscoll and Mohler and call them fundamentalist or extreme, many making comments on this post are too quick to dismiss the observation. This isn’t about stretching or exercising. We all know that’s healthy for the body. But New Age and other religions are dangerous territories in which to wander.

        Jesus said that the only way to God the Father was through Him. Be sarcastic and have all the fun you like but some yoga classes focus on a form of spirituality that is far from directed at Christ.



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        Phil

        posted October 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm


        Nice post Eric, got it bang on.

        @Jamie – I’d still do Pilates :P



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    Dianna

    posted October 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm


    Mohler also writes that Yoga’s form of meditation consists of reciting nonsense syllables in order to calm the mind, which is a complete misreading of what Yogic meditation is. It is certainly not nonsense syllables – oftentimes it’s Sanskrit. It’s akin to reciting the liturgy in Latin in a Catholic church; it may not be our primary language and it may not make immediate sense to us, but that does not mean it has no meaning. I’ve read both Mohler’s article and rebuttal, and it seems he is asking something of his audience he did not do himself. He bases his impression of yoga based off of one book that he read, and failed to do any research into the matter himself – maybe even, y’know, attending a class? He then whines in his rebuttal when no one gives him a Biblical case for yoga, when he never gave us a Biblical case against it. Seriously, re-read his article: All he says is that “this is not Christ,” without defining why stillness, calmness and concentrating on getting the noise out of your head would be un-Christlike. He never gives us the Biblical case that he demands of his readers.

    To wit, I’ve always had a lot of trouble praying. I would write in my journal, but so often the motion of my hand was just that – a motion, and I often wasn’t really concentrating on what I was saying. I would write something down just to say I’d done my prayers for the day. Last night, however, I decided to try actual, yogic meditation. I sat down on my floor in the dark in a meditative position, concentrated on simply relaxing every part of me and being perfectly still. And I had the first actual conversation with God that I’ve had in a long time. After a little while, I didn’t even realize that I was actually praying out loud, something I’ve *never* been comfortable doing. And it’s something I couldn’t have done if I hadn’t taken some principles from yoga (the concentrating on breathing, the attempts to make my mind as blank and empty as possible, the concentrating on “nonsense syllables”) and used them purposefully.

    To suggest that one cannot find ways of connecting with God in yogic practice shows a lack of understanding of the practice, and a narrow vision of one’s own faith.



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    VorJack

    posted October 10, 2010 at 9:05 am


    he is saying you can’t practice TRUE yoga, without meditating on Hindu Gods or focusing ‘energies’ to obtain a particular position.

    So in addition to telling us what TRUE Christianity is, he’s also going to tell us what TRUE Hinduism and TRUE Yoga are?

    I’d be interested in seeing that. Hinduism is probably the oldest religion still surviving, and it’s also the most diverse. Scholars go through contortions trying to define it. Not all Hindus who practice Yoga are polytheistic or believe in supernatural energies. Many Jainists practice yoga, and they’re usually non-theistic.



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    kerrin

    posted November 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm


    “He (Mohler) is NOT saying you can’t put yourself in a downward facing dog position and call you’re self Christian, he is simply saying that isn’t Yoga.”

    Who made Mohler an expert on Yoga, and what constitutes true Yoga or not true Yoga? Is he an expert in everything now? How much does he really know about the Yoga practice? Did he know that the Buddha practed Yoga? And, ah, Buddha was not into meditating on “Hindu Gods”…

    Bikram Choudhury a master of Hatha Yoga, began practicing at age 5, developed his Yoga workout, and he calls his practice “Yoga”—it includes no “meditating on Hindu Gods.” I think he qualifies to comment on what “Yoga” is before Mr. Mohler.

    Also – pretty sure it says in the Bible, ‘anything that is not of God is evil’…that pretty much makes the spray against Mark null and void.

    That’s a whole lot of evil that was created by God then… seriously, perhaps Mark and Mohler are wrong? Is everything they say gospel truth?



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Andrew the poet!

posted October 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm


It’s yogurt.



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Leanne

posted October 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm


If we Christians spent as much time loving people as we do fearing things, we might actually see God’s Kingdom come.



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    Chris

    posted October 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm


    This is Brilliance speaking.



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    Rocco Capra

    posted October 11, 2010 at 10:32 am


    Best comment so far!



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    Jon

    posted October 14, 2010 at 9:24 am


    Yeah, I guess we should abandon careful study and discernment. Sounds easier to me.



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b

posted October 9, 2010 at 6:42 pm


I read the article and I see that the theology behind Yoga as originally intended is against that of the Bible – but the way Driscoll has framed it seems to exclude the possibility of Yoga being redeemed. Surely the power of the Holy Spirit means that Yoga can be redeemed and the physical aspects practiced and the Spiritual side changed to reveal the truth of God’s work through Jesus rather than denying it – or just left out entirely – I was encouraged by Jenn who said it gave her 90 minutes of prayer time – awesome! I find it hard to get 9 minutes sometimes.

Just the same way we use Music and even Language to praise God, while others use it to curse Him. Isn’t it not so much labelling an item as definitively “of Satan” but rather redeeming all things to be restored to the use they were originally created for by God. Driscoll seems to want to remove that option and never allow anyone to become mature, discerning, redemptive followers of Jesus.



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sharideth

posted October 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm


christians steal lots of what we do from paganism. hope mark driscoll doesn’t put any christmas trees either.

yoga is only exercise to most people.



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    Rocco Capra

    posted October 11, 2010 at 10:38 am


    Ha, someone finally mentioned this! Christmas and Easter are two big “Christianized” Pagan rituals.

    Mark needs to do some research, maybe read “Pagan Christianity” (and other books) and find out just how pagan everything he does on Sunday morning actually is!!

    Lastly, can’t wait to start my first Yoga class tonight!



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Noelle

posted October 9, 2010 at 7:40 pm


Whatever. Dodgeball is demonic.



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Gina

posted October 9, 2010 at 9:22 pm


Awesome post! Gave me a good laugh. :) Still snickering.



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Mary

posted October 10, 2010 at 9:31 am


You know, when I did the P90X Yoga DVD, I was in so much pain I was tempted to use the name of the Lord in vain.

I think this is proof.



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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted October 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm


classic case of letting the glory of being high up in religion get to your head and turn you into a judging fundamentalist machine.



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Jennifer

posted October 11, 2010 at 8:34 am


Blech.



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Thomas

posted October 11, 2010 at 10:34 am


If we christians ____ as much as we ____ then we might actually see God’s Kingdom come. (i like that, it works for anything)



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KL

posted October 11, 2010 at 12:52 pm


I just don’t see the benefit of labeling others, and then leaving them in that box. We are all more complicated than that, aren’t we? We all make mistakes, and that just underlines the fact that any good in us comes from Christ and Christ alone. I think Mark Driscoll would be the first to admit that he makes mistakes and can be wrong. The more he’s shown to be a sinful, imperfect person, the more we are reminded to put all our faith in Christ alone.
I think it’s important to point out when church leaders are mistaken. We need to be questioning things that don’t seem to add up. That’s why God gives the gifts of wisdom and discernment to all different members of the body, and not just the leaders. However, I don’t think it benefits us as a body of believers to label others and then write them off as such. Do we see the hearts of men as clearly as God does? No. We people judge on outward appreances.
Mark has clearly been wrong, and made plenty of mistakes. But God has used him, inspite of his weakness, to reach others. I have experienced this first hand. My point is not about defending Mark, but about being careful to not attach labels to each other. Let’s instead praise God that we don’t have to be perfect and have the correct answers all the time. He has made a way for us that covers all our ugliness.



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    KL

    posted October 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm


    Please read my above comment as coming from someone who really appreciates you and your blog, and not someone who was just offended by a random blogger.



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Megan

posted October 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm


So this was most definitely not the point of your article, but I’m pretty sure the AT&T person I talked to on the phone this week was a demon, too – it’s spiritual warfare, under the guise of uverse!!



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Marty

posted October 13, 2010 at 5:08 pm


I’m actually working on a new piece of art based on this new revelation from Driscoll. I’ll share when I’m done with it.



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Eddie

posted October 18, 2010 at 9:19 am


The Driscoll bashing is sad. Especially when seeing posts on this site that laud those who show nothing of a Christian lifestyle. You praise McLaren because he asks a ton of questions and tries to analyze the scripture yet gives no absolutes, but when Driscoll preaches absolute truth, he’s considered some primitive fundamentalist.



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