Doug Pagitt and John MacArthur discuss Yoga on CNN
September 13, 2007 30 Comments
The practice of yoga is one which many Christians (or so-called Christians, thank you Neil) indiscriminately partake in.
Here’s the last part of the panel,
Mike Galanos (host): Let’s get back to the yoga — Doug, let’s get back to yoga real quick – as you do the postures, and this again, again I have not done yoga, but you do the postures, and they’re, one of the concerns is that it’s an offering to some of the millions of Hindu gods. Is there a part of you in the spirit that’s tweaked at all by this? Are you bothered at all. You practice yoga yourself. How do you go through with it?
Doug Pagitt: Hey, I have to confess that I’m not very good at it? Yoga, it’s really hard to hold these postures, to hold these positions. And I’ll tell you that from my own experience, and the many, many people that I know who participate in yoga, none of them have ever found themselves to be opened up to something negative or something demonic or something evil. In fact, many of us find the high benefit that comes from body mind connection, and from knowing that we are pushing, that we are stretching, that we are sending our body into an exercise. And that exercise is not wholly disconnected from our will or from our mind or from our spirit; it’s a complete practice. And I’ve never known anybody who has had anything detrimental come into their spirit because of their practice of yoga.
Mike Galanos (host): John MacArthur, real quick, want to get you in on this as well, is all yoga bad yoga for the Christian?
John MacArthur: Well, let me just respond to what I’ve been hearing. That doesn’t sound anything like Christianity. If you want a whole life, if you want your life to be what it should be, you don’t put yourself in some weird physical position, empty your mind, center on yourself and try to relieve your stress. You go to the word of God, to the gospel of Jesus Christ, you embrace in faith the sacrifice of Christ in his death and resurrection as your savior and redeemer. God comes, regenerates you, transforms your life, makes you a new creation, and you’re saved and you’re on your way to heaven, and you can live a life of peace and joy. That’s the promise of the gospel. There is no contribution made to that by any physical position or any kind of meditation.
The idea of Christianity is to fill your mind with biblical truth and focus on the God who is above you. That’s Christian worship. The idea of yoga is to fill your mind with nothing except to focus on yourself and try to find the god that is inside of you. From a Christian viewpoint, that’s a false religion. Exercise is a different issue.
Leave it to Johnny Mac not to mince words.