Back in my bible school days, I found employment as a librarian just so I had some spending money.

And as all librarians have to do, I spent most of my time putting books back on the shelves and reorganizing the books when students didn’t put them back in the correct place.

The job wasn’t overly exciting, but it did have its moments.

One of those moments was when I found this book.

You don’t even have to read this book to know what it is about.

Judge this book by the cover and you’ll probably get it right.

This author whole heartedly beileves that rock and roll music is of the devil and that it has no place in the Christian church or community.

While this is an old book, there are still some people that believe that today.

They may be the minority, but they are out there.

I believe that the majority of Christians do not think this way any more. Music has changed and evolved over the decades. It is not so much the style that is in question, but the content. And that is a totally fine discussion. Talk about content of music all you want, because for me, I love rock and roll.
That was what I listened to when I was growing up, rock and roll, punk, some heavy metal was thrown into the mix when I had a really bad day. All of it Christian, but rock and roll. And it was only a part of my musical pallet.  The trusted country, folk and gospel where still there for me to listen to as well.
When I saw that anti rock and roll book, it didn’t make me angry or upset, but rather firmed my resolve about rock and roll music. I love it because of the wild rhythm guitars, the pounding bass line and the mad crashing and smashing of drums. I love it because the sound of it often expressed something that I couldn’t put into words. But I also loved rock and roll music because it was redeemed.
I am no historian. Rock and Rock could have been started as a part of the demonic culture. Rhythm guitars, bass and drums could have been used in the church of Satan, but it isn’t that way any more.
Rock and Roll has been changed. It was been covered in grace and now used for the glory of God. Rock and Roll has been redeemed.
A man named Larry Norman once said,
Why should the devil have all the good music?
And he was absolutely right.
Why can’t this hard rhythm style of guitar playing be used to further the Kingdom of God?
Why can’t the pounding bass line be an anthem for the Children of the King?
Why can’t the mad smashing and crashing of the drums be glorifying to the God that created music?
And since the days of Larry Norman, rock and roll has been used for God.
A lot of Larry Norman’s music would later be played by the hugely influential Christian Band, DC Talk.
From there, the rock and roll bands started to sprout up everywhere.
Just to name a few of my personal favorites there is: Relient K, Hawk Nelson, RED, Underoath, Emery. These are all bands that come into existence because someone thought that rock and roll was worth redeeming. That it was something that could be redeemed. That rock and roll was something that could be used for the glory of God.
Now, shift gears with me.
What about yoga?
Can yoga be redeemed?
Is there a place in the church for yoga like there is for rock and roll?
Photo: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS
Photo: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS
I know some Christians that will immediately jump up from their seats on reading this and say, “NO! Yoga cannot be redeemed.”
“Yoga is a demonic practice that has no place in the Church of God!”
Now for those that do not know, yoga does have its origins in non-Christ based religions, namely Buddhism and Hinduism.
People often throw around Scripture like 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (NIV) and say this is how we are living that out.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
And on some level I understand and agree with them that we shouldn’t be practicing this sort of thing in our churches.
But what about redemption?
Is yoga so evil, so full of Satan that there is nothing good in it?
Is it so far gone that Jesus could not turn it around and use it for our good and His glory?
Because it happened with rock and roll, why not yoga?
To me, it is very interesting this thing called redemption. Christians experience it, we live it out, having been stained by sin until Jesus washed us clean. Christians teach it, that everything in the world will one day be renewed, bad will become good. Everything will be redeemed back to the one Saviour and Creator God.
But our practice is questionable when it comes to redemption.
Some churches just cannot forgive or believe that a sinner can be changed by the love and power of Christ.
Some Christians will preach redemption is the only way, that grace and love should be on our lips and in our actions. But when they step down from the podium, damnation and vengeance are the things that they live  out.
That shouldn’t be the case. We are supposed to be a people marked by our love (John 13:35).
We are supposed to be a people that reflect the life of Christ, a life that was all about the redemption of the bad, the changing into good by love and grace.
We did it for rock and roll.
Can we do it for yoga?
Are we supposed to?
Now, I offer no rule, no decision because I am still working through this notion of redemption towards yoga. So I’m looking for some input.
What do you believe?
No redemption for yoga – why and how do you support that?
Yes redemption for yoga – why and what does that look like?
Let me know in the comment section below.
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16 thoughts on “Can This Be Redeemed Too?

  1. God created music to worship and glorify Him , We were also created to worship and glorify Him so for that reason I beleive those things can receive redemption ,But did God create yoga ? Or is it just another one of satans little ploys to try to equal himself with God, and 1 more thought was there redemption on the burning altar cuz God didn’t hold back there ??

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  2. Remember that its all about our heart in the things we do. I have a hard time with yoga as well cause yoga is about filling yourself when as Christians we empty ourselves. If you practice yoga to the extent as just yoga for stretching and not idolizing it then I believe its ok. We must be careful and guard our hearts and show the love of Christ that’s within us.

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  3. Good thoughts Pepperoni.
    Maybe I’ll change the angle of the question.

    God created the body. Using it, exercising and taking care of it are ways, not exclusive ways mind you, of glorifying God.

    Could we use yoga, an exercise, to glorify God?

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  4. Sorry Tabea, I don’t know the name of the book or author.
    However, there are other books out there about the same topic.
    Lucifer Rising: A Book of Sin, Devil Worship, and Rock ‘n Roll is one that you could pick up.
    Or try this link. The article has several resources listed at the end of the post that may be helpful to you.

    https://wfmu.org/LCD/18/antirock.html

    And be sure to share your paper. I’m interested to see what you have to say.

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  5. I often struggled with this conflict as well. And I like your analogy to Rock n’ Roll music and the church which makes me laugh because I see the same thing occurring these days with rap music and the extremely talented Christian rap artists in the music scene.

    But I do think what is often overlooked with Christians who do yoga is that this IS NOT an “art form” like a musical genre (i.e. rock n’roll, rap) that is being redeemed for Christ. Instead, this is ANOTHER religions’s “spiritual practice” that we are trying to redeem for Christ. For what it’s worth, Yoga has and always will be a “Hindu spiritual practice” with a unique and powerful system/sequence of physical poses, breathing exercises and meditation that allow us to “unite” or yoke with our God-consciousness (or as some say the Hindu god , Brahman). This is what yoga was originally intended for and as someone who used to do it regularly, it’s very powerful in creating a state of “relaxation” or better yet, an altered state of consciousness. That its purpose which isn’t completely aligned with how the bible tells us to meditate and “connect” with Him.

    Some Christians have tried to redeem this and say “Well I can pray/focus on God while doing yoga, etc” or “I can just do the stretching” which is true. But at the same time, I would rather see it called something else like “Christian stretching and meditation” rather than Christian Yoga. When you call something yoga, it IS yoga and has the power to confuse people. If you’re praying to God while doing yoga, than really you’re just stretching, breathing and meditating on Him…you’re NOT doing yoga so call it something else :)

    I don’t need to yoga to get to an altered state of consciousness to connect more fully with my God, which is why I no longer do it. I no longer participate in yoga-like practices that call for passively “emptying my mind” but instead focus on actively “renewing my mind”. Again, the system of yoga traditionally goes against our Christian beliefs but I don’t believe stretching, breathing and meditating are in and of themselves bad. If we want to redeem the postures and breathing, I’m all for it but it shouldn’t use the same name or systems of movements as yoga since again we’re just creating confusion and “stealing” from another religion’s way of worshiping their god. Just my thoughts ;)

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  6. In reply to Daniella Dee,

    Rock n’ Roll, or any musical genre, is more than an art form. As a guitarist myself, I can tell you that there is a huge physicality to playing music. I ring out the same chords, bend the same notes, and sing in the same keys as many other musicians. This can all have the appearance that I’m in a rock band, but I can assure you that appearances are deceiving!

    Judging by your comment, it appears you just have an issue with the name; which I all in favour of calling it something else. But I might suggest that you start calling the days of the week something else as well. For example tomorrow is Thursday. The English word Thursday is named after the Norse god of thunder, Thor. Thursday literally means “Thor’s day” in Old English. Thor is represented riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer. Now, are you worshiping Thor by using the term Thursday? Just a thought.;)

    In your last paragraph you mention “systems of movement”. I am curious what you mean by this? If you mean for instance, a Christian can’t do a ‘downward dog’, then I think this is problematic. I believe God created the human body, not satan. I should be able to stretch in any way that God designed my body to stretch. Telling a person to ‘avoid the appearance’ of a certain movement, I believe, is to give to much credit to satan. An example of this is my wife. She had scoliosis and has to regularly stretch to manage the constant back pain. Her doctors have given her a booklet of stretches and excises to help her mobility. One of those exercises looked EXACTLY like the common yoga position downward facing dog. Should my wife tell her doctor she can’t form that position because satan has corrupted it forever? Or can she stretch her body in the way God created her too?

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  7. Hey Paul, thanks for the response. I think you may have misunderstood me slightly. I agree, we have the freedom to stretch in any way we like without fear of condemnation. For example, I stretch everyday and do plenty of downward dogs and upward facing dogs positions. I’m not doing yoga, I’m just stretching :)

    So it’s not what the movement looks like but rather the intent behind it. However, if I willingly join a yoga class, then I’m not just “stretching” anymore but rather participating in the practice of something that has a different purpose and intent. The series and sequences of movements of a yoga class (from start to finish) are meant to get you to a level of complete relaxation and a deep state of meditation for the purpose of “yoking” with your God-consciousness (as I mentioned before). That’s where the Hindus nailed it. They created a “series” of movements in conjunction with breathing techniques and meditative cues that will lead people in this practice of self-submission,clearing your mind and body and mentally “checking out”. My problem with that remains if you’re “checking out” then who or what is “checking in”? That’s the power of yoga and the spiritual danger behind it. So again Christians can try to redeem that and pray to God instead (which I have no issue with if they’re doing it with a clear heart and conscience), but overall it can be confusing and problematic for believers who don’t have a strong relationship with Christ. If you haven’t done yoga then I can understand where this point can be missed but I will definitely defend yoga as a powerful way to “clear out your mind” and “check out”. However, unfortunately those practices just don’t line up with God’s word for how we are supposed to use our bodies and connect with him so why are we taking from another religion and using it for our own purposes?

    And you’re absolutely right, even though I call tomorrow Thursday, it doesn’t mean I’m worshiping Thor. And if I do something that “looks” like yoga, it doesn’t mean I’m worshiping a Hindu god. But if I willingly choose to participate in the yoga practice, then I’m doing yoga as it was originally intended by the Hindus …there’s no way around it.. I can’t call something yoga and instead do pilates or foam rolling. So that’s where my suggestion would be. If you want to use movements that look like yoga and breathing exercises, there’s no problem there. But if you’re calling it yoga, it’s always (at least in my opinion) going to be confused with the original Hindu practice which was never meant and STILL doesn’t glorify our God. Like your post mentioned, we have to be mindful of those “weaker in the faith” and that’s where I was going with not calling something “yoga” or associating the name with it. As Christians who do yoga-like stretching we’re not worshiping a Hindu god so why not call it something else (or come up with something Christian based like the creator of WholyFit?). Anyway, I hope that’s clearer!

    I think about it this way — if I stick my middle finger up at you, it has a bad meaning right? But what if I try to change it’s meaning and say “No, no, please don’t misunderstand. When I stick my middle finger up at you, it’s my way of saying I love you and Hello!”…I think no matter how hard you try, each time I stuck my middle finger up at you, you would be confused LOL…That’s how I see things when Christians try to do yoga exactly like the Hindus and just change the names or words to be more Christian friendly. I understand the intention and by no means am I passing judgement…but I do feel it just creates confusion because yoga IS a Hindu spiritual practice in eyes of many people. It’s even confusing to me (as a a believer and former yoga practitioner) to call something Holy or Christian yoga. As always, I welcome your thoughts :)

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  8. Thanks Daniella for your thoughtful and courteous reply!

    I have a funny story about the about the middle finger thing. When I was living in England I gave a friend of mine a causal “peace sign”(or what I thought was) one day as a parting expression. He didn’t think I meant peace, but rather all the implications of the middle finger. I discovered that day that the middle finger also included the index finger as well in English culture. I could try to convince my friend that I meant “peace” but they suggested that I don’t keep up that action while living in England. Now back here in Canada, I can give people the peace sign all I want. ;)

    Perhaps that is a good metaphor for our discussion? We need to be sensitive to the culture. I am all for creating and calling ‘yoga’ something different to help clear up confusion. I think that is wise on your part to suggest that. I just want to be sensitive to those who “live in Canada” and so no problem calling retaining the word yoga. While it may be confusing for us “in England”, we need to practice cultural sensitivity.

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  9. That’s a very good point about culture sensitivity! As we come across people of different cultures and mindsets, it’s important to keep in mind how we can win people to Christ above all. In that case we may need to change our behavior occasionally for the sake of others as Paul brought up in 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 (and as you experienced in England lol)… In the end, if we strive to glorify God in all we do, we’ll be in good “shape” lol ;)

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