In the body of Christ, there can sometimes be confusion as to what is acceptable. This one thing can cause rifts in believers’ relationships with other believers. This one particular thing I want to explore is meditation. What exactly is meditation and should Christians be doing it? What does God’s Word tell us about meditation?
And as always, in order to enlighten each other and help each other on this walk, feedback is always welcome either as a comment, Tweet, G+, or email!
What is meditation?
From Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries the term means to “murmur(in pleasure or anger), to ponder, to speak to study”.
So the bible does tell us to meditate.
This is true. The bible speaks on meditation and so it is clearly not just an Eastern religious thing. Now what is the divide over whether you should practice yoga while holding onto Christian beliefs?
I am truly unsure and had to do some pondering and some Googling myself.
So what did I find out?
Okay, listen up believers. I want to relieve stress just like the next person, but what I am about to present to you I advise you to look to your Word and the Holy Spirit for extra help and confirmation.
Yoga and Christianity are not alike. Yoga’s original intent was so that the Atman (you, individual) can get closer to the Brahman(god-whatever god that may be). Western civilization has marketed this concept to promote better physical health and this in turn makes yoga look profitable and I doubt that was the intent either. (See: “Dangerous Meditations”)
Another problem with Christians practicing yoga, is that there is a mantra you must chant, or most yogic instructors will tell you “it is a clearing of the mind”. The bible is against this. Look at Psalms 1.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or sit in the seat of mockers or stand in the way of sinners. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law he meditates day and night (NIV).
Obviously, while meditating, you should be pondering or musing over something. How about God’s laws? How about His promises to you? How about love? These are perfectly good things to ponder over as you relax and get into the Lord’s presence. I enjoy soaking music and if you do not know what that is, here is an awesome article to help get you started. “Soaking Worship Music: A Fresh Beat”
So, is yoga or any other new age technique to relax, dangerous?
Dangerous is such a harsh word. As I have mentioned before, I am all for destress-ifying. I think we all need to get our spirits renewed, however I do believe in respecting what things are for. Personally, I don’t want to use religion to cash in on anything and I certainly don’t want to disobey the Lord God. Yoga was intended to become one with god. Period. This is a pantheistic thought, not a Christian thought.
The most dangerous thing is the clearing of one’s mind. This offers free room for all kinds of maladies and according to Professor Douglas Groothuis, “even yoga instructors warn that their form of meditation may open a person to all kinds of spiritual maladies” (“Dangerous Meditations” Christianitytoday.com)
If you want to know how to meditate according to the bible, here is a pdf document-“How to Meditate on God’s Word” by Don Krow, just to get you started.
Need some scriptures to understand this post more?
2 Corinthians 11:14
*To encourage you, just know that we are all on this walk together and our goal is to become like Christ. He told us none is good but the Father. How humbling is that? So let us humble ourselves as we seek out only what the Holy Spirit will have us to know. We have all fallen short and we all make mistakes and it is quite impossible to know everything. Until next time, peace-SHALOM!