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Yoga – A Christian Perspective

By Caryl Matrisciana

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" wrote the wisest of all men King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Yoga’s proposition today is no different to its original intention by Lord Shiva, the triune deity of Hinduism, the religion of India. At its core is the contemplative prayer (meditation) of Yoga consciousness that teaches one can be mentally, physically and spiritually “yoked” in the “inner self” with the outer “universal consciousness” known as Brahman, believed to be God and a divine energy. The conjured, self-invoked altered state of yoga consciousness is designed to bring “enlightenment”, an awareness of one’s god-self and the ability “self” has to control everlasting death (known as reincarnation).
The hope of all types of Yoga, (which in their very essence embrace Kundalini power) affirm that one will be “like God” and not die, the same spiritual lies offered by Kundalini (known in India as serpent wisdom) to Eve in the Garden if Eden.

The Bible recounts: “The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5

Today, the cunning Kundalini (The great dragon…that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. Rev 12: 8-9) continues his strategy through yoga. First, he undermines God’s Authority by tricking us into using our own reasoning, thereby introducing doubt and confusion, “did God REALLY say?”

He continues to add to (or subtracts from) God’s Word. God had said earlier, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” But, Kundalini added to God’s Words making Him appear stingy, “you must not eat from ANY tree…”?

As Eve’s mind came under Kundalini’s treachery, (Jesus said Satan is “the father of Lies”, John 8:44) she too added words to God’s, “you must not touch it” further twisting the generous characteristics of God’s loving provision and care-taking.
“You shall not die” and “you shall be as god” remain the kernel doctrines of Hinduism’s reincarnation and self-deification. (for more information see DVD Yoga Uncoiled: From East to West)


CAN “THE WILES OF THE DEVIL” BE CHRISTIANISED?

Paul told the Ephesians to “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6: 11-13)
Many Christians attempt to “Christianize” Yoga/Hinduism while others claim physical Yoga can be separated from spiritual Yoga, but was Eve’s physical eating of the fruit from the tree able to be separated from her spiritual downfall?

While the word “Yoga” isn’t mentioned in Scripture, the idea of “yoking” oneself to pagan gods and concepts is forbidden as is adulating self’s desire above God’s will. Our bodies were created to be “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God which is our spiritual act of worship" (Romans 12:1) and “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4: 23). How do we know what truth is? Jesus claimed, “I am the truth. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:16)

To participate in Hinduism’s “postures” to get into God’s presence, or redefine other manipulations with Christian terminology are corrupt offerings to the LORD and an attempt to arrive by “another way”. In Genesis 4 we read God favored Abel’s worship because he sought to obey God ‘s desires, but Cain’s offering was rejected because it wasn’t according to God’s request. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
Sin crouches as Satan and his powers: rulers of darkness and wicked hosts, continually attempt to trap us into self-justification, self-achievement, self-glory or self-focus which is today’s religion of humanism. But Jesus Christ is also at the door, available to help us master crouching sins, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." (Rev 3:20)

Yoga, humanism, et all, crouch at the door but God gives us power in Jesus to “master” sin. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans. 12:2)
God said thousands of years ago: “Watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-18).

Graven images are indigenous to the religion of Hinduism. Devout Hindus’ manufacture and worship graven images. Yoga postures are designed to form one’s body into the likeness of animals, birds, insects, snakes, fish and many more-all of which are understood to be deities within Hinduism as is man himself. (Yoga postures: www.santosha.com/asanas/) For more info see GODS OF THE NEW AGE authored by Caryl Matrisciana. (Further info on Yoga/NewAge and more visit www.Christianresearchservice.com)

YOGA: AN EXERCISE FOR DEATH PACKAGED AS “GOOD HEALTH”
Yoga is both a spiritual and physical technique designed to restore “a spiritual connection” from the sinner, who is separated from God, to become “as God”, and attempts to by pass the judgment of sin which is spiritual death. (“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". Rom 6:23)
Hinduism teaches death can be procrastinated and controlled over “time” with “good deeds”. Good deeds are “knowledge” and “discipline”, and the realization that “self” and “powers of the universe” are part of divinity. Paul warned the outcome of self-seeking results in “shameful lusts” and leads to deception: they “changed the truth into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator”. (Rom.1:25)

At Hinduism’s foundation is the belief in evolution, a theory that uses extensions of time, “billions of years”, (eons of time) to develop new forms. In its spiritual application, emerging into “higher” forms is yoga’s means to reduce “death cycles” (reincarnation) and advance “rebirths” into better future lives. (In other words, it is hoped one returns in the next reincarnated life as a more advanced life form than the last life, whether as a “higher” animal or “better” human).

No matter how arduous, yoga’s “self-actualization” disciplines are, there is no assurance of “shortening” death or “bettering” the next life but there is “an experience” through altered states which the Bible calls at best a “powerful delusion” (2 Thes. 2:11) and at worst demon possessed as spiritual “connections” are made through kundalini (serpent) power.

The actuality of death snatching us in a moment is as certain as the reality of life which also began in a moment. The Bible says God created everything in a moment with no “extended” time needed for evolution’s theory. God, Who is outside of time, created time for man: days and nights, seasons, and even the Sabbath. The Authority of God’s Word made invisible visible and is a witness to Him, His Presence and His Power.
“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they (the suppressers of truth, the wicked and godless) are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20)

Death, due to sin, is mankind’s inevitable conclusion, and without belief in Jesus Christ Hell will be man’s spiritual eternity. But God’s gracious gift is the choice of spending eternity with Him. Jesus offers power to live a righteous life and forgives all confessed sin: “Whoever believes on Jesus Christ shall be saved”. This confession of faith brings immediate eternal assurance through an act of the will, with a contrite heart, not by works that we should boast.

In that confession, we never “become as God”, but through His Grace are adopted in a moment as “sons of God” (Gal 3.26.) We are instructed to “abide in Christ” Who is our Head and we, the church, are His Body. “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Col 1:18-19).

THE “WHOLENESS” OF YOGA CAN’T BE DIVIDED UP
Yoga is a spiritual discipline of body, mind and soul teaching that the spiritual condition of death and separation from God can be remedied by man’s capability through self-hypnosis and mental gymnastics.
Hinduism, similar to all eastern mysticism sees body, mind and soul as a “whole oneness” and each person as a part of the “wholeness of life, nature and the cosmos” .
The physical postures of Yoga are specifically intended to bring an experience of “oneness” of body with the mind and soul, and the “oneness of self” with the “oneness of the universe” resulting in a type of death state as “self” merges with everything thus becoming nothing. The Bible describes this dark state of “void” as the empty place before He created life: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep..” (Gen 1: 2).

The material world is taught to be illusion (Maya) and creation of one’s own reality in the mind is “higher reality” which the Bible describes as “powerful delusion”. It says, “In latter times men will follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron." (1Tim 4:1-3)
God created each creature with distinction and after its own kind. (Gen 1: 21 & 24). He breathed His Spirit (spiritual life) into ONLY man who is uniquely made in God’s image and likeness with His eternal morals and values of Truth, Love, etc. Animals don’t have this unique “spiritual relationship” only animal instinct and animal behavior.

Eastern Mysticism, including Hinduism, doesn’t teach a high view of man but elevates nature and “forces” (demonic beings). This low view of man results in the demise of morals and traditional values of family and Church life. The promotion of abortion and euthanasia, etc is rationalized. After all, if society permits the killing of an animal for self convenience, why not kill a baby in the womb, or an elderly person who no longer contributes to society for self convenience?

Spiritual evolutionism teaches that animals (so-called “extinct species”) must be “protected” to “sustain” the environment (in India there are Rat Temples to preserve rodents) and promotes vegetarianism as a higher choice of food. Paul warns Timothy, “In the last days…. (those who abandon the faith) will order (people) to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected…” (1 Tim 4: 3-5). As society moves away from God’s opinions and His blessings, in opposition it will demand its own spirituality. (For more see “The Evolution Conspiracy” BOOK)

If Christians desire physical exercise they should pursue it through fitness programs designed to exercise the body and not lean on Yoga’s spiritual disciplines (combined with body postures) which claim to shorten reincarnation cycles and offer god-consciousness. – the yoking to such pagan teachings are forbidden in the Bible.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Tim 4: 8.

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Yoga uncoiledYOGA UNCOLIED:From East To West

A LOOK INTO THE PRACTICE OF YOGA IN THE CHURCH

Many believe they can practice yoga postures, breathing, and focusing techniques devoid of yoga's spirituality, not realizing that yoga is an inherent part of Hindu philosophy which teaches man and nature are one with divinity.

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