This absolutely floored me. Read it, and come right back.
It’s ironic that a nation whose past greatness was tied by a former queen to its dependence on the Bible and missionary fervor now does everything it can to hobble those who still dare to believe. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” ~ 1 John 3:13
I could sum up what I have to say with this sentence: “Praise God, and pass the ammunition!” “Praise God,” in that these men are standing up for their faith and not willing to compromise with something as popular and seemingly harmless as the practice of yoga. “Pass the ammunition,” in that I could not abide someone telling me what I can and cannot say, and what my church can and cannot believe, specifically concerning controlling what goes on within its own doors. I have a hard time fathoming how some outside group could have any sway over what a church does or believes, despite it already happening in Canada and in the US (Pennsylvania, in particular)…free speech is being curtailed out of an alleged concern for discrimination.
There are several (fisked) points I’d like to make on this article.
Along with other faith bodies, HCUK debated and contributed to the Equality Act before it became law. In these debates it was agreed unanimously from an interfaith perspective that the hire of religious premises should not restrict multi-cultural events without good reason, and that faiths themselves should participate in such activities.
“Other faith bodies”? This is why most Protestant churches tend to be autonomous. For instance, check out this excerpt from my church’s consitution and by-laws (predominantly drafted by myself):
This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, drawing its direction directly from the Holy Bible and the Spirit-led will of the members. However, it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation that are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical and deemed proper, this church will cooperate with and support the local association, the state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
I don’t care what other churches, ecclesiastical bodies, and particularly other religions have to say about anything. Even so, I believe the church leaders gave ample reason for refusing to allow or participate in this particular “multi-cultural event”. That’s a load of hog-wash.
HCUK General Secretary Anil Bhanot said: “[b]These priests[/b] might appear to be advising Christians not to practice yoga because they believe it is based on a ‘sham’ and a ‘false philosophy’ but what in effect they mean is that Hinduism is a false religion.
I keep seeing references to “priests” here, but there’s only one here: the vicar of St. James’, Tim Jones. The other is a Baptist pastor. Silly Hindus: learning some discrimination might actually be good for you!
HCUK’s spokesperson on Yoga, Amarjeet-singh Bhamra added: “Yoga is one of the oldest known medical systems enshrined in the Atharva Veda, the most ancient Hindu book on wisdom, and it is now at the forefront of holistic and integrated medicine in the West.
“It is very disappointing that such medieval-like irrational prejudice is still allowed to flourish in the Christian Church in 21st Century multicultural Britain.”
“Hinduism is an ancient religion that is the source of many different theologies, philosophies and sciences,” adds Anil Bhanot. “Many Hindus believe the source of all music can be found within one of our most ancient scriptures, the Saam Veda. It will be interesting to see, now they have been apprised of this, whether those church leaders who reject yoga will now announce a ban on all music on their premises too.”
Yoga is not, nor has it ever been, a medical system! EVER! This is a very popular, though outright, lie that you hear all the time. Yoga, in all its forms, is a path to Eastern religious enlightenment…a means of preparing for the next life in an effort to achieve nirvana and escape the pains of this world. Essentially, it prepares one for their death. Many venerated Hindu scriptures warn (about Hatha Yoga in particular; the first practitioner of which being Shiva the destroyer) that it is a very dangerous tool. The reason is that the mind and body are opened through the act of yoga to the occult, paving the way for strong demonic influences that are decidedly NOT in the best interest of anyone…particularly the ignorant Western practitioner.
The motions and breathing may well have some work-out value, but if you’re going to exercise, you should use a program that is designed for it without including religious overtones and teachings as part of it. The spokesperson even supports this by mentioning holistic medicine: the reason it is included in it in the first place is specifically because of its spiritual connection! It’s also amusing that in promoting it as a medical system that they simultaneously promote their own religious writings, using one to give the other more credibility and vice versa.
“Medieval-like irrational prejudice”, eh? That’s a politically-correct smear of Christian faith, folks. It’s like calling a guy of German descent who disagrees with you “Nazi-like” in a debate, and we all know what that does to the stability of one’s argument. Belief that one thing is exclusively right is the modern man’s anathama, and it is nowhere more exemplified than in Hinduism, whose theology is endlessly pluralistic. In fact, rejecting something as patently false is the only blasphemy in that illogical religion. The appeal here is not to Christians to modify their stance, but for the government to force them to.
The last thing said here is the pinnacle of foolishness. Yes, Hinduism is an ancient religion. While I’m sure the religion has spawned other spiritual or philosophical pursuits, I seriously challenge the assertation that it is the source of any valid science (Transcendental Meditation is NOT a valid science, sorry guys). But that’s another subject altogether. So, the Saam Veda is the source of all music because many Hindus believe this, and the hypothetic is raised whether they’ll stop music at the church. The gist of the whole debate is over what the CHRISTIAN CHURCH LEADERS believe, not what HINDUs believe! It is irrelevant that they think yoga should be practiced in those churches. It is irrelevant if they believe that writing started with Hinduism and that everyone that disagrees should be illiterate.
The central issue is that the Christian men are not being allowed to follow their consciences and say what they believe to be true. Christians believe all men should turn to Jesus Christ as the exclusive mediator between man and God. Based on that authority, will Hindus willingly and en masse shed their heathen, animistic beliefs and submit to the God of the Bible? Didn’t think so.
However, it is with great admiration and respect that I applaud these two men for standing up for the faith. Tim Jones, in particular; it’s good that there are Catholics out there who stand up for what’s right despite the ecumenism of modern Catholicism with opposing religions. And I congratulate Bro. Simon Farrar for standing up (as every Baptist should) and proclaiming the Gospel regardless…remembering that “the LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6 KJV)