[…] The ticking went on unceasingly; and it seemed to this saint that the sound of the ticking was the ceaseless repetition of the words – ever, never; ever, never. Ever to be in hell, never to be in heaven; ever to be shut off from the presence of God, never to enjoy the beatific vision; ever to be eaten with flames, gnawed by vermin, goaded with burning spikes, never to be free from those pains; ever to have the conscience upbraid one, the memory enrage, the mind filled with darkness and despair, never to escape; ever to curse and revile the foul demons who gloat fiendishly over the misery of their dupes, never to behold the shining raiment of the blessed spirits; ever to cry out of the abyss of fire to God for an instant, a single instant, of respite from such awful agony, never to receive, even for an instant, God’s pardon; ever to suffer, never to enjoy; ever to be damned, never to be saved; ever, never; ever, never. […]
Some people just aren’t cut out for yoga. Particularly Christians—at least from the perspective of Dr. R. Albert Mohler. In a recent blog post, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary warns Christians about “flirting” with this religiously-influenced exercise of Indian origin. His main beef is that it “threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a ‘post-Christian, spiritually polyglot’ reality”:
When Christians 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. The contradictions are not few, nor are they peripheral.
There is nothing wrong with physical exercise, and yoga positions in themselves are not the main issue. But these positions are teaching postures with a spiritual purpose. Consider this — if you have to meditate intensely in order to achieve or to maintain a physical posture, it is no longer merely a physical posture.
On Tuesday, Mohler’s words were displayed on Kentucky’s Courier-Journal website and they caused quite a ruckus. One commenter writes, “I’m sorry, but this is idiotic. I’m a lifelong Southern Baptist, but this is too far outside the boundaries of reason.” Another says, “Just a reminder that Dr. Mohler does not speak for all Christians. He may think he does, though.” Coming to his defense, another commenter writes:
I don’t think his point is that you cannot stretch or exercise in Yoga-like ways, but that true Yoga – specifically the type of meditation – goes against principles taught in the Bible. So a Christ follower needs to be aware that they may be playing with fire so to speak. This is truth. You may agree or disagree but at least Mohler doesn’t water down the Biblical truth to cater to the wave of universalism sweeping this nation.
Title of the photograph: Brooklyn Heights
Photographer: Chris Horner (Ann Arbor, MI USA)