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Lisafer

Missouri Megachurch Pastor Calls Yoga "Demonic"

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Lisafer

https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2018/11/12/james-river-pastor-yoga-has-demonic-roots-springfield-yogis/1897249002/

Apparently this preacher gave a sermon right before Halloween in which he lumped a lot of practices together as "demonic," including Ouija boards, Wicca, and yoga. He's not the first one, of course--yoga has been regarded with suspicion by fundies before--but it's just so...behind the times. Apparently, if you meditate and "empty your mind," demons will jump right in. 

Most of the outrage from locals seems to be from Christians who practice yoga: I haven't seen anybody point out how absolutely bigoted and rude it is to call Hinduism "demonic." Not cool. But then again, the non-Christian community here is pretty small. 

To add a layer of hilarity, James River offers a "Bodyflow" exercise class, which is yoga-based. But they play Christian music during the class, so it's totes okay! 

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SecularMusic

This isn't new. Growing up my  pastor said yoga was demonic and that if you practiced it you would open up doorways for Hindu demons to enter your body. He also took issue with the ohmmmm sound people make during certain poses and with the namaste said at the end of class.

i love to take yoga when I have the chance but I still just whisper namaste bc of the years of brainwashing . 

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Lisafer
13 minutes ago, SecularMusic said:

This isn't new. Growing up my  pastor said yoga was demonic and that if you practiced it you would open up doorways for Hindu demons to enter your body. He also took issue with the ohmmmm sound people make during certain poses and with the namaste said at the end of class.

i love to take yoga when I have the chance but I still just whisper namaste bc of the years of brainwashing . 

Fortunately, from reading the Rodrigues threads, I know that demons are found in the center of the earth and in green bean cans, not in yoga poses!

Joking aside, this megachurch is regarded with dislike by quite a few people in this area. Being Assemblies, it's really big on tithing, and the size of their buildings and parking lots reflect that. 

Maybe somebody should tell this guy about the Pagan origins of Christmas trees. When he drags a fresh spruce indoors, tiny demons might be clinging to the branches!

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Briefly

I'm actually thinking of looking into Yoga.  I have back issues and both knees hate me.  I don't know if I'm brave enough to go to an actual class!  Self-image issues, I'm a little overweight.  One of these days, I might actually get around to it.  And no, I'm not worried that it will be evil or demonic!  What did surprise me is that I mentioned it to Mr. Briefly and he said I should.  He still has some beliefs that come from our short attempt at a fundy lifestyle.

My boss's daughter in law teaches yoga to teens.  She specifically calls her Christian, which I think she probably is a Christian but not an overpowering one.  I think she may have used the word Christian in her class info just so that people don't freak out about that.

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Lisafer
6 minutes ago, Briefly said:

I'm actually thinking of looking into Yoga.  I have back issues and both knees hate me.  I don't know if I'm brave enough to go to an actual class!  Self-image issues, I'm a little overweight.  One of these days, I might actually get around to it.  And no, I'm not worried that it will be evil or demonic!  What did surprise me is that I mentioned it to Mr. Briefly and he said I should.  He still has some beliefs that come from our short attempt at a fundy lifestyle.

My boss's daughter in law teaches yoga to teens.  She specifically calls her Christian, which I think she probably is a Christian but not an overpowering one.  I think she may have used the word Christian in her class info just so that people don't freak out about that.

I think in a beginning yoga class, you'll find all sorts of body shapes! Maybe go observe a class first and see if you feel more comfortable. 

Sometimes I get attacked by a gas demon when I exercise...you can recognize them by the smell of sulfur...:laughing-jumpingpurple:

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Rachel333

I grew up hearing that yoga is demonic as well. To be fair, though, they see demons everywhere so yoga isn't really special in that way. :pb_lol:

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PumaLover

I wanted to take a yoga class back in college for my PE requirement but my fundie ex wouldn't let me. That was before I even married him! I still don't know why I didn't run far far away from him.

The fear of the gas monster is what keeps me from trying yoga now. But I am getting a paddle board so maybe next summer I'll try paddle board yoga!

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MadameOvary

This is something I've never understood. Doesn't being scared of Hindu demons mean you actually believe in Hindu demons? Surely being Christian you believe in Christian god and everything else is superstitious make-believe, i.e. fiction? Or is it just that being generally conservative is a result of being generally fearful of anything outside your particular bubble? Although, I have noticed a similar thought pattern in otherwise intelligent and rational friends who are atheists: many seem to think something bad happens if a child is baptised. Whereas I would think if you don't believe in it then surely the only thing that happens is the baby's head getting a little bit wet.

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adidas
11 minutes ago, MadameOvary said:

Surely being Christian you believe in Christian god and everything else is superstitious make-believe, i.e. fiction? 

IMO. No, not at all. 

Christians believe that the spirits are either the embodiment of all that is good in the world, like the Holy Spirit, or completely evil, like the fallen angel Satan. As delegates of Satan, all demons are sent out to torment and tempt believers away from the path of faith

Link: (I only cut a tiny bit of it, it’s a really interesting read):

https://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/demons-exorcism-spirit-world_n_6064260

A link from a Christian POV - not to proselytse but to give info from the Christian perspective (though there will be some who disagree):

https://www.crossway.org/articles/why-we-should-not-fear-satan-and-demons/

 

 

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MadameOvary

Thank you @adidas that is very interesting. I guess this is one of those things where our experience shapes our understanding and we use words differently. I consider myself as having been brought up as a Christian, in a secular mainly protestant European country, with church-going parents whose circle of friends was probably 50% theologians - and I mean people with rigorously academic degrees with deep knowledge of exegetics, old Greek etc. And I was never lead to believe that demons or "the devil" were anything more than a) a name used to describe a spiritual experience, not actual beings, and/or b) a handy way to scare simple people off lingering symbols of earlier religions - think illiterate folks in the Middle Ages etc.

Of course as a linguist I consider all of religion to be primarily language - real in a sense that while language is symbolic, we use it to describe real experience. So personally I am not an atheist but nor am I a believer in any literal sense. I don't know if this makes sense to anybody... I am curious though and would really like to understand better what makes people take things so literally. This is the thing about human psychology that really makes me wonder. It seems to me that so many bad things happen in the world as a result of people taking things literally when they really shouldn't.

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Palimpsest
2 hours ago, adidas said:

Link: (I only cut a tiny bit of it, it’s a really interesting read):

https://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/demons-exorcism-spirit-world_n_6064260

That article is fascinating.

2 hours ago, adidas said:

A link from a Christian POV - not to proselytse but to give info from the Christian perspective (though there will be some who disagree):

https://www.crossway.org/articles/why-we-should-not-fear-satan-and-demons/

Well, I'll disagree with this bit. 😜

Quote

 The United States has rapidly accelerated toward these conditions over the last decades, as witnessed by increases in false religion and idolatry, sexual immorality and perversions, drug use, occultic activity, interest in Satanism, godlessness, shamelessness over sin, lawlessness, devaluation of human life, and societal attempts to suppress biblical truth.

The Boyer sisters had to disavow their practice of  Ashtanga yoga after someone tipped them off that it was demonic.  http://b-well.co/2018/01/09/our-workout-routines-advice/

Quote

(Update: I will no longer be practicing Yoga. Please see comments below to learn our new perspective on Yoga. Links are provided for you to read the surprising and eye-opening history of yoga and its connection to the evil pagan religion of Hinduism)

They'd been inviting demonic attacks for several years with Daddy's full permission.

19 hours ago, Briefly said:

I'm actually thinking of looking into Yoga.  I have back issues and both knees hate me.  I don't know if I'm brave enough to go to an actual class!  Self-image issues, I'm a little overweight.  One of these days, I might actually get around to it.  And no, I'm not worried that it will be evil or demonic!  What did surprise me is that I mentioned it to Mr. Briefly and he said I should.  He still has some beliefs that come from our short attempt at a fundy lifestyle.

My boss's daughter in law teaches yoga to teens.  She specifically calls her Christian, which I think she probably is a Christian but not an overpowering one.  I think she may have used the word Christian in her class info just so that people don't freak out about that.

Oh, definitely give it a try.  I credit yoga for keeping my joints quite flexible and helping with pain control.  There will be plenty of people of different ages and shapes in most introductory classes.  Do observe a class and talk to the teacher first about your knees and back so she can modify poses for you as necessary. 

And there is even a Christian version called Praisemoves where you can chant scripture and pray to the Christian God.  But Praisemoves aren't yoga.  As Rufus is my witness, those aren't yoga poses, they just look exactly like them!

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clueliss

This sounds like something I probably heard from Joe Schimmel at Good Fight Miniseries before I reformed from my evangelical/findie light ways.  By the eay i just found a facebook page for Good Fight Ministries.  

https://www.facebook.com/pastorjoeschimmel/

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smittykins
On 11/15/2018 at 7:49 AM, Palimpsest said:

And there is even a Christian version called Praisemoves where you can chant scripture and pray to the Christian God.  But Praisemoves aren't yoga.  As Rufus is my witness, those aren't yoga poses, they just look exactly like them!

Plus  they have a kids' program--fitness and character education all in one!

Edited by smittykins

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louisa05

Yoga isn't demonic. 

But it isn't a cure all. The teachers in general do not have the knowledge necessary to treat joint and muscle injuries--unless you consider 2-4 hours of anatomy sufficient (not 2-4 credit hours--just two clock hours). Chakras are not real. Yoga cannot end your grief or cure your mental or physical illness. 

It's pure woo. 

When I was in physical therapy for a knee injury four years ago, the therapist told me that they see more people now coming in with injuries from yoga and also struggle with patients who insist that they should not do what the PT asks them to do as their yoga teacher told them something different. 

Yoga injuries are increasingly common: 

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-sweat/yip-tool-for-yoga-injuries/

Even yoga teachers (the responsible ones) are noting that there is an injury problem: 

http://www.miamiyoga.com/ashtanga-yoga-causing-epidemic-lower-back-knee-injuries/

And mindfulness, often taught as part of yoga, is not the utopia producing panacea it is being sold as: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5353526/

www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/why-mindfulness-may-not-be-as-effective-as-experts-claim-20180222-h0whvh.html

I understand that many posters are on the yoga train. But it is not all good. There are serious problems with it being sold as a part of health care for physical and mental issues. Not the least of which is poorly trained teachers who are often overly confident in their abilities. I personally know two yoga teachers. One speaks of herself as if she is a licensed health care practitioner and often utters the words "in my medical opinion". The second considers herself a "mental health practitioner". Neither have any training in any medical field whatsoever. One has a B.A. in English. The other has an associate's degree as a paralegal. Neither have any real training in personal or sports training, any actual background in anatomy and physiology (other than from yoga teacher training--which one now does herself), any college level background in psychology....nothing. Your elementary school P.E. teacher had more training in  anatomy and physiology, sports training and such than yoga teachers have if they have not come to it from a related field. 

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Lisafer
4 hours ago, louisa05 said:

Yoga isn't demonic. 

But it isn't a cure all. The teachers in general do not have the knowledge necessary to treat joint and muscle injuries--unless you consider 2-4 hours of anatomy sufficient (not 2-4 credit hours--just two clock hours). Chakras are not real. Yoga cannot end your grief or cure your mental or physical illness. 

It's pure woo. 

 

As with anything, there are untrained and unexperienced practitioners out there. I don't think anybody here claimed that yoga was a cure-all; some posters pointed out the benefits they had received from practicing the asanas. 

As for chakras, they are an integral part of some ancient religions. Nobody has to believe in them, but to some people they are as real as anything else in the world. I have a great respect for healing traditions of other parts of the world, having found from personal experience that Western allopathic medicine can't always "cure what ails you," and that MDs don't always know what they're doing either. 

You do have a point, in that we should be careful to vet our yoga teachers before taking classes.

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