Too many people think they can live a so-called Christian life with one foot in God’s camp and one foot in the camp of demons. Whether from ignorance or hubris, the church has been largely compromised over the years. This has resulted in a Christian faith that accepts non-Biblical practices as though they come from God. Instead they come straight from the demonic realm and have dangerous consequences.
Where should the guidance, of what we as purported Christ-followers, come from? The obvious answer is God’s Word. Why is it then that so many people think it’s a good idea to follow practices advocated by many that derive from sources outside of the Bible?
What am I talking about? How about yoga? Many Christians practice yoga; some churches even encourage it through holding various classes that teach it. Yet where does yoga originate? It comes from Hinduism. And what is the problem with Hinduism? Its practitioners worship some 33 million gods. Might that be an issue? It is said – rightly – that there is no Hinduism without yoga, and no yoga without Hinduism. Why? The term yoga incorporates the meaning of yoking. When one practices yoga, the person yokes with the gods that the various poses simulate. If you’re yoking with other gods, that means you’ve determined that the God of the Bible isn’t sufficient, and you’re following them instead of Him.
Scripture is replete with account after account of the Israelites turning from God to worship foreign deities. When the people did this, what was the result? They suffered severe consequences. Instead of trusting and believing in God for all their needs, they placed their faith in other gods, thinking they would give victory in battle or provision in time of need. If you know the Bible, you know that never turned out well.
Following other gods means that one is engaging with the demonic realm. The world of evil spirits is a demanding one. It requires someone to sin to partake of it. The demons demand worship; they require offerings made to them. Their intent is to devour you and keep you from their mortal Enemy – the Lord God Almighty. When one follows a demonic god, he must sacrifice to it; ultimately the devotee of demonic practices yokes with a god that isn’t God. The end result is eternal damnation.
Consider what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:20-22:
No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
Whether eating, drinking, or practicing poses that honor other gods, one is sacrificing to them. Paul is very clear as to the separation we must maintain. He also reminds us of the consequences of spurning God.
Yoga is, unfortunately, simply one of many ungodly practices that have come into the church. A terrific resource to learn more is Christian Answers for the New Age:
http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles.html. Here you will see discussions of things like enneagrams, labyrinths, mindfulness, and the book Jesus Calling, among numerous others, all of which are embraced by far too many Christians, to the detriment of their faith.
Perhaps a mature Christian can engage in these things and not be affected. Paul implies that in 1 Corinthians 10:23:
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
But, why would you do them? The other issue is the impact on immature believers. Do the practices of one person influence another? They can. If the mature Christian is doing yoga and speaks of it, whether knowing it has demonic roots or doing so in ignorance, how might that impact the person hearing, especially one new to the faith, or having come out of a New Age lifestyle?
Paul wants us to flee from our old life with its pagan ways. That was the problem at Corinth. The people only knew what they had lived. It was a completely anti-God existence.
Why should we tempt the gods, i.e. entice demons to come our way because of the things we do that are attached to them? When the voice in Revelation 18:4 cries out to those in Babylon before its destruction:
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
… is the call only to those who might be in a literal city? Or might the plea be for any who continue in the demonic ways practiced in the Babylonian world system? Knowing God’s heart from the rest of Scripture, I think this may also be an aspect of what is conveyed.
God wants us to live holy and righteous lives. That means obedience to Him alone and not even flirting with anything demonic in nature. Do we really need yoga or any of these other New Age ideas as part of how we live? Is God sufficient or not? Are we delivered by Christ from everything the world offers, or are we still attached?
We do well to think on these things and make sure our focus is only on the Lord.