Missouri pastor, John Lindell, of James River Church in Ozark, Missouri, has spoken out about yoga and has received blowback from local yoga teachers. His sermon has been covered by the press around the world including The UK Daily Mail, Newsweek, India West, Chicago Sun-Times and US News. His sermon can be found here. (Yoga discussion begins at minute 35:20)
As a matter of perspective, an article in “Hinduism Today” titled “An Open Letter to Evangelicals” prophesied in 1991 that Hindu evangelists, i.e., yoga instructors, would be trained in the United States and would spread Hinduism through yoga in U.S. churches. In the article, it states that yoga instructors “may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes.”
Although message comes late in the U.S. yoga boom, I applaud Pastor Lindell’s sermon. Now that yoga has become so entrenched in churches, the task of addressing it is much more difficult when church members have become dedicated to the practice. Research has shown that over time yoga practitioners engage in the practice more for its “spiritual benefits” rather than physical benefits. These transitions can also include changes in faith commitments. Furthermore, as stated by a local Missouri yoga instructor who has made a rebuttal video, it highlights the hypocrisy of Christians engaging in other practices with pagan roots such as Halloween, Christmas trees, Easter bunnies, etc.
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