Oct 19, 2010 -
Here's what we posed this week to the Texas Faith panel:
The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler, caused a stir with a recent column decrying the practice of yoga by Christians. He did a follow-up, not backing down, but noting the fierce reaction to his original piece.
Mohler wrote the column after reading Stefanie Syman's book The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in
, which describes how yoga has been adapted and secularized here. America
Mohler concluded the column this way: "Christians who practice yoga are embracing, or at minimum flirting with, a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a `post-Christian, spiritually polyglot' reality. Should any Christian willingly risk that?"
If you agree with Mohler, why? If you don't, do you see anything objectionable about how a Hindu spiritual practice has morphed into something quite commercial and secular in this country - including "power yoga" and "hot yoga"? Are there cautions you would give to Westerners who want to borrow from non-Western religious traditions?
Or should everyone, including Al Mohler, just limber up and chill out?
After the jump, you'll find the panelists' responses:
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism,Mohler seems to be threatened by the popularity of yoga, a beautiful practice to bring composure to oneself. He is obsessed with the idea that yoga is a bait to lure his congregation away into "a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a `post-Christian, spiritually polyglot' reality", and then he asks, "Should any Christian willingly risk that?" How mistaken can one be? Yoga is not a mutually exclusive practice, nor is it a religion; it is indeed a catalyst in achieving the union of mind and body that is central to all spirituality.
A similar call was made in
The insecurity of self-proclaimed guardians of faith is exhibited by their desire to keep a tighter leash on their followers without realizing that humans are born to be free.
When you are scattered with too many things in a given moment, you take a break, have a cup of coffee, go for a walk, meditate or make a list. This act of refreshing oneself is called yoga, getting your act together, bringing your body and mind together to function well.
Yoga is neither Christian nor Hindu; it is a beautiful gift that originated in
Other opinions at - http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/10/texas-faith-should-non-hindus.html