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Longtime readers may remember me taking cheap shots at PraiseMoves, "the Christian ALTERNATIVE to yoga!"  It seems there are some Christian people who feel that practicing yoga is sacrilegious because names are related to Hinduism.

Well, here we go again.  God, I hate reruns.

Albert Mohler is the President of the Southern Baptist Seminary, and he's decided to get in on the act.  The Southern Baptists, for the uninitiated, run pretty close to Puritans, being against any remotely human behavior.  They are borderline fascist, monomaniacal, and an affront to the understanding, love, and mercy that the God they worship grants us.  Any chance to denounce sin, they will do it, even if they have to make something up.

Anyway, this guy writes online essays, and urged his Christian flock not to practice yoga.  They "must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga."  He complained about "the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine.  That's just not Christianity."  Uh, actually, it is.  What do you think prayer is?  Even Catholics who think they have to use the Virgin Mary as God's receptionist know that.

I used logic last time.  Clearly, that didn't get me anywhere, so I'm shifting gears into "sarcastic jackass."  Let's talk about what's just not Christian.


The Christmas tree comes from pagan Germany celebrations.  In fact, Christmas shouldn't even be held in December (the mention in the Bible of shepherds tending their flocks suggest something around spring or summer).  It was moved to December to muscle in on the Winter Solstice celebrations.  Nowaday, Christmas has even less to do with Christianity, becoming a gift exchange instead of a mass dedicated to the birth of Jesus.  Most of what we accept as part of Christmas was created through opportunism or marketing (Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer was created for a Montgomery Wards marketing campaign).  Yoga as currently practiced has as much to do with Hinduism as Christmas as currently practiced has to do with Christianity.

It would be one thing if there was genuine concern over mixing religions.  But this has nothing to do with what is proper in a particular religious discipline.  We're talking about an exercise program that originated in another faith, not animal sacrifices.  This is about control, about bossing around other Christians.  The problem is, when you tell people used to doing their own thing to not do their own thing and don't give them a compelling reason other than, "Because I said so," you aren't going to get anywhere.  And if you read your Bible half as often as you say, you'd see what is wrong with your actions.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2010 09:49 am (UTC)
Actually, when you tell people used to doing their own thing to not do their own thing and don't give them a compelling reason other than "Because I said so", you likely will get somewhere.. somewhere further away from that person, as you will be losing ground.

Being told to do or not to do things without good reasons is part of what caused me to leave the church to begin with, and the more I heard it, the further away I went.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Yoga... although, it becomes more interesting if it's Nude Yoga.
Oct. 10th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
And even then the Bible is only a compilation of what early church *fathers* thought should be there. But yes, the whole true message of Christ kind of gets lost.

From what I remember, researchers placed Christ's birth in July. I could go look it up but I havent finished my morning coffee yet :)
Oct. 10th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't recommend having your coffee before you search. I would recommend a pull of Southern Comfort. ;-)

A monk named Dionysus Exiguus tried to calculate the birth of Christ. Disregarding information about the shephards and their flock, he came up with March 25 of the Roman year 754, and that became "Year One". But, based on this marker, we already hit the grass. Matthew states that Jesus was born towards the end of King Herod's reign (the Bible also mentions Archelaus, his successor, so we are dealing with the actual King Herod here, not one of his sons), and based on calculations of the Roman calendar and our current one, that translates into sometime before 4 BC. In other words, Christ was born at least four years before the birth of Christ. As Cecil Adams said with a smirk, "Good trick, but this was no ordinary dude."

But wait, there's more! John the Bapist was supposedly born six months before Jesus and started preaching in the fifteenth year of Emperor Tiberius. That lands us somewhere between 27 and 29 AD. According to Luke, at the time, Jesus was "about thirty years old." Assuming that's a hard number and Luke didn't mean "28" or "32" or some other close number, that puts Jesus' birth between 4 and 1 BC, closer to the mark, but completely missing King Herod.

But wait, there's more! There is no record in surviving Roman archeology that Herod ever ordered a slaughtering of the innocent (lots of his other brutal acts are documented, but not that one). But if he had, the Bible specifically mentions that the order wasn't to kill all children, just those under the age of two. If Jesus truly was in mortal danger, that pushes his year of birth back two years, to 5-7 BC. This actually sort of squares. The wise men claimed to be following a star. Chinese astrological records indicate a supernova occured around 5 BC. According to the Bible, when the wise men visited, Jesus was about two years old at the time.

I quote one of my characters in one of the Hannah Singer stories -- "This job would be a lot easier if people read the Bible less."
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
*likes this*
But I do try to keep the Christ in CHRISTmas. :)
But, still agreeing.
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Oops! Sorry about that. Please don't misunderstand my intention, I wasn't saying everyone does or that the gift giving and stuff is wrong. I celebrate Christmas both spiritually and gift-giving as well. The point I was hoping to make was that, if this guy is going to get upset, there are far more valid targets and things he can make better than some exercise program. I wasn't trying to belittle anyone but him.
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
Oh dude, no worries. I totally get that. :D
Its all good. :P
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
My wife was raised up Baptist. Southern Baptist, to be exact. Heck my first wife was also a Southern Baptist. Probably still is, for that matter.

I've known a lot of Southern Baptists in my lifes journey and there are some who act like you claim, but the vast majority of them, the laity that is, are just folks. Going along in life, muddling along with the rest of us. Heck, I can just hear my wife laughing at the idiocy of this guys statements. Probably my ex-wife as well.

I would caution you to think twice before lumping the laity of a particular denomination in with the Leadership or a particular Leader. That's sort of like condemning all Catholics because you don't like the pope.

And my Dad and Step-Mother are Catholic...and are just folks, muddling along....

And your wrap up about proofs and the like, well...to me this is where Faith comes in. Having read the majority of the Bible at least once (I've just replaced my regular Bible, BTW) I can see some things that don't add up. Yet, the Message...that Scarlet Thread of Redemption that runs from Genesis clean through to the Maps (except in my new Bible...they put the maps in the front, but you get the idea) rings clear as a bell to me.

In closing, I wonder if that Baptist fellow wasn't just looking for some attention. Sort of like the goofball in FLA who was so keen on burning books...
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:46 am (UTC)
Re: confusing the laity.

When you're right, you're right, and you are definitely right. In fact, I've made that observation many times myself, including here in this blog. I fell into the same trap that Mohler did, letting my fury and righteousness blind me to the regular folks. You were absolutely right to call me out on it. Sorry about that, I will try and watch it in the future.

I agree about faith. You have to keep in mind that my religous beliefs are that God gave us two gifts, not one. First was His love. The second was His liberty. There is nothing wrong with seeking your own understanding, as long as that love and liberty you have been granted, you extend to others as well. This is why the authority figures in the Catholic church, with things like The Pill Kills, or the Mormons heavily pushing the anti-gay marriage amendment, make me crazy. For them, it's not about love and liberty, it's about control.

I don't discuss the details of my faith too much because I'm not sure how I would do it. They are so complex and extensive, I not only don't know where to start, but I'm not convinced people would understand. Hell, some of the stuff I believe, if someone told it to me, I'D think it was nuts. (Not that complex beliefs make me a better Christian, just a different Christian. Most people don't need the extensive study and meditation I've done, they get their answers just fine. I don't want you thinking that, just because I've stepped up my game, I view that as some sort of proof of superiority.)

Maybe my problem isn't being anti-establishment. Maybe, given all my life experiences, I just don't have enough faith in humanity. I'm not saying it's definite, but I will admit my focus may need some adjusting....
Oct. 11th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
I learned the lesson at a young age, and with a far more sensitive "observation" than you made. Maybe someday I'll write it up.

Where The Church is concerned, I always try to remember that is is made up of People. And by their Nature, they are sinners and that is why some Churches lose sight of the Gospel.

I also firmly believe that the Religious Right is neither. They make me so angry sometimes I could just....um....spit. Yeah, that's the ticket.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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