A recent essay by the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., warned Christians that yoga is contradictory to Christianity. Pastor Mark Discroll went even further.
"Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic," Driscoll said. "If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you're signing up for a little demon class."
Mohler received heavy criticism for his article calling yoga "contradictory" to Christianity. He responded to all the letters, emails and rebutal editorials by pointing out the following:
(1). Not one protest against his article contained a "theological" argument.
(2). More than 90% of the protests came from women.
(3). Those who protested are replacing Christianity with a religion of their own invention.
(4). Women who argue for yoga have no reference to "biblical Christianity."
(5). The evangelical world is in "worse shape" than he ever thought.
Even a casual attempt at research would have caused both Mohler and Driscoll to find websites such as Holy Yoga, which places their doctrinal statement on the front page. Under a detailed confession regarding the person of Jesus Christ, Holy Yoga is as theologically orthodox, if not more, than the Abstract of Principles of Southern Theological Seminary.
There are two main issues with Mohler's and Driscoll's comments about yoga. First, the spirit in which the comments are conveyed seems haughty. It sounds as if Mohler and Driscoll are saying those who oppose their statements against yoga are theologically incompetent. One of the tell-tales signs of spiritual arrogancy and an unhealthy debate is for one side to act as if the other side has no ability to counter one's arguments. Second, Mohler and Driscoll seem to be confusing a cultural bias with a theological argument. Instead of investigating what Christians who practice yoga actually believe, there is an assumption that Christians who practice yoga can't believe correctly.
One of these days we will realize that culture evolves, civilization's habits change, and peoples' perspectives alter over time. It used to be that culture considered fat people rich, prosperous and educated because people with access to an abundance of food became fat and were the elite of soceity. Now, culture often discriminates against fat people, believing them to be inferior to the elite of society. Those kind of judgments are wrong. In my opinion we Southern Baptists should be very careful about judging a fellow believer who practices yoga by assuming they aren't theologically sound. It would akin to judging a fat Southern Baptist pastor as theologically unsound before we ask him what he believes.
The best way to discover whether or not Christians who practice yoga are involved in a "dangerous" practice or participating in a "demon class" is to ask the yoga participants what they believe about Jesus Christ. Any judgment against Christians practicing yoga before this happens is at best premature or at worst reveals some sort of cultural bias.