Sorry but I don’t see your point. How can I be worshiping a “false deity” when I don’t even believe it exists? And,as someone pointed out. Protestants accuse us of worshiping Mary. Yet we know that even when we pray to her and salute her, “Hail, Mary”, “Salve Regina” we are not giving her the same intention that we reserve for God. Intention is the key.
And how would have lighting one grain of incense been worshipping a god that the martyrs did not even believe in?
I have no idea. Perhaps for them it was more about being forced to do this specific act as a sign of affirming faith in that specific god. As you said, we burn incense today with no qualms. It is not the burning of incense (nor the poses) that is the problem. It is the context.
That was something they were being ordered to do, in order to show worship to a false god.
No one is being forced to do stretching exercises to show worship to a false god.
Americans do yoga exercise for the most part.
Indian Hindu experts who say yoga requires all aspects, exercise and spiritual, are speaking about a broad fundamentalists perspective, much like a Christian Fundamentalists will say you can be Christian and Catholic.
Such is not the case however,
Yoga exercise combined with Christian medication are beneficial physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Allan Finger is a Yoga Master, and doesn’t push his spirituality, but teaches the exercises. Whatever spirituality you combine with it, us up to you.
I do yoga exercise from Yoga Zone by Allan Finger and have been doing so off and on, for 20 years.
I also do Centering Prayer, which is also attacked in CAF.
But, I don’t let fundamentalist Catholics dissuade me from what God has called me to.
Thanks. The youtube one looks great. I will consider other too, but that’s quite a bit beyond my budget. I have a different calling, but thanks for the thought. I don’t have the health for such an active or regular endeavour, I’ll consider suggesting it, but other people do Pilates so not sure it’s appropriate as it’s a small parish. Thanks for your help though. Also those are all American companies so doubt they’d help us across the pond. It has not come over here yet as far as I am aware. But thanks anyway
Some of the traditions which flow into New Age are: ancient Egyptian occult practices, Cabbalism, early Christian gnosticism, Sufism, the lore of the Druids, Celtic Christianity, mediaeval alchemy, Renaissance hermeticism, Zen Buddhism, Yoga and so on.
Read the entire document:
6.2. Practical steps
First of all, it is worth saying once again that not everyone or everything in the broad sweep of New Age is linked to the theories of the movement in the same ways. Likewise, the label itself is often misapplied or extended to phenomena which can be categorised in other ways. The term New Age has even been abused to demonise people and practices. It is essential to see whether phenomena linked to this movement, however loosely, reflect or conflict with a Christian vision of God, the human person and the world. The mere use of the term New Age in itself means little, if anything. The relationship of the person, group, practice or commodity to the central tenets of Christianity is what counts.
The following questions may be the easiest key to evaluating some of the central elements of New Age thought and practice from a Christian standpoint. “New Age” refers to the ideas which circulate about God, the human being and the world, the people with whom Christians may have conversations on religious matters, the publicity material for meditation groups, therapies and the like, explicit statements on religion and so on. Some of these questions applied to people and ideas not explicitly labelled New Age would reveal further unnamed or unacknowledged links with the whole New Age atmosphere.
- Is God a being with whom we have a relationship or something to be used or a force to be harnessed?
- Is there just one Jesus Christ, or are there thousands of Christs?
religion which inhibits access to its esoteric essence.
- The human being: is there one universal being or are there many individuals?
- Do we save ourselves or is salvation a free gift from God?
- Do we invent truth or do we embrace it?
- Prayer and meditation: are we talking to ourselves or to God?
- Are we tempted to deny sin or do we accept that there is such a thing?
- Are we encouraged to reject or accept suffering and death?
- Is social commitment something shirked or positively sought after?
- Is our future in the stars or do we help to construct it?
Yep. And while I didn’t know that it was worship of the sun god at the time, once I learned the truth, I stopped doing all forms of yoga, repented and found better ways to occupy my time.
You left out Catholicism as well as New Agers use a mock version of the Catholic Mass and Rosary Beads.
How can one worship anything without knowing it?
Worship of the sun god ?
The “Sun Salutation” is not worship, but a series of postures done in a flow. It’s merely the title of the series.
Also, some would have a problem with St Francis of Assisi when he spoke about Brother Sun and Sister Moon, had his name not been revealed first.
What you are asking is how can they worship without intent? Intent has to be present in order to worship. However, when they were asked to light incense or to eat pork they understood that they were asking to do worship of a false god. It didn’t matter that they didn’t believe in this false god. What mattered is that they viewed it as worship. The intent would have been worship. Anyone can baptize even an atheist if they have the right intention they don’t have to believe just have the intention the same here . So you may view it as just a little piece of incense or just a little piece of pork because that’s all you’re intent would be but to them it was an act of worshipping a false god . What you have to be careful about is not to fall into superstition. To believe that taking a certain physical stance despite your intention is automatic worship borders on Superstition if not being superstition.
Oh it is superstition. We even use yoga mudras or hand gestures in our liturgy.
It’s also an unnecessary phobia towards everything non-Christian or non-Catholic. i.e. decorating eggs, maypoles etc. Our pagan ancestors were human beings without the benefit of public revelation, not monsters. And unlike the birth of protestantism, there was no rebellion involved. Paganism came out of a human need to understand and make order of the surrounding universe, and also to build a system of morality that was imperfect to varying degrees, but nonetheless superior to an absence of faith. Movements such as Buddhism, Hinduism, or Confucianism came about for similar reasons.
All of the bodily arts in the East have some religious connection, tai chi, karate, kung fu, etc. Before the secularization of the world, most things in life were organically connected between spirituality, state, and everyday life. It wasn’t easy to sever one from the other. I can of course see plenty of reasons why this could be hazardous for an unformed Catholic, but then again, almost everything is if you don’t have a firm rooting.
To the best of my knowledge, Christian Asians don’t generally shun from things such as yoga or kung fu. Those things are not what we would call intrinsic evils. Intrinsic evil means that it is evil in of itself (such as abortion).
On another thread I posted this applicable scripture from First Corinthians:
8 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.[a]
4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
I like the link above to Michelle Arnold of Catholic Answers. It seems balanced.
I think yoga is very attractive and appealing as a stretching exercise. I love that its so peaceful. Everyone does it. And its done everywhere. So many places to choose. There are really cool yoga clothes to wear and nice yoga accessories that are affordable,and you can do it in your own living room. How awesome is that? And. I have never met a person I did not like who does yoga. It’s just plain appealing.
However, a Catholic priest who does real exorcisms will tell you to stay away from yoga because there are demons that are attached to it, and when you practice in a territory they claim as their own, you invite them into your life. And they aren’t nice guests. They stick around much longer than the customary three day limit that normal guests have.
I believe that we fight not against flesh and blood, but powers and principalities. This is the great Age of Disobedience in which yoga has become popular - at the same time churches are emptying, and you cannot say the word “Christmas” without offending anyone, and lots else is rapidly going wrong in this culture that happens to be the same one that is enthusiastically embracing and uplifting yoga. And if you dare question yoga, everyone will be offended and mock you for being phobic and ridiculous.
I don’t care. Call me names. Scoff all you want. Even though yoga looks really nice, I know the devil wears sheep’s clothing. I know the ways of the evil one are to take a good and truthful thing (such as simple, peaceful calm, stretching exercises) and then inflict it with just enough falsehood to infect the entire thing. I also know that a priest who performs exorcisms is a holy one, and is in good standing with the church, and with God Himself - otherwise he would be very short-lived in his profession. So I am going to go with that.
The thread has seemed pretty mellow. I don’t think anybody is going to scoff at you. And I don’t think anybody is going to tell you that you have to do yoga.
But, in my opinion, it is not a good attitude, because everything that isn’t intrinsically evil is - at minimum - acceptable in some contexts. And whether something is or isn’t intrinsically evil isn’t something Christians (or at least Catholics) have to wonder about, because the Church gives very clear teachings about dogma or non-negotiables. So, while that exorcist is entitled to his opinion, I am making a semi-educated guess that if anybody involved in yoga ended up with demon problems, they were involved in something more than a morning yoga session. I’m not 0.001% concerned that I am ever going to run into demons by doing yoga. I am concerned that I’m going to run into demons by trying to follow God’s will, but that is unavoidable.
We no longer regard everything outside of the faith as automatically being evil. We acknowledge legitimate differences where they exist, and agree where we are able to agree. India has sin just like everybody has sin, but just because something came out of India, or another part of Asia, or Africa, doesn’t mean that it is intrinsically evil. It just means that their culture didn’t develop with the benefit of public revelation.
So yeah, there’s not really any objective basis to call yoga bad no matter what. I think it’s better and more engaging than traditional stretching which is why it became popular. People might use it who have heterodox beliefs, but people also drink beer who have heterodox beliefs.
I think you’re giving the devil far more credit than he deserves.
I used to be totally into it- practiced it for years, but then I woke up one morning…
Now don’t go bringing beer into this!