interspirituality

Mingling

beaker and bottle of poisonPsalm 106:35, 36 says that God’s people “mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.”

About the fact that the Israelites adopted pagan customs (“learned their works,” King James Version), the classic Matthew Henry commentary (originally published in 1706!) says, “That which is rotten will sooner corrupt that which is sound than be cured or made sound by it. When they mingled with them, and learned some of their works that seemed innocent diversions and entertainments, yet they thought they would never join with them in their worship; but by degrees they learned that too.”

Their poor example is given to make us wiser. We can’t justify “mingling” Buddhist/Hindu/New Age practice with Christianity. It won’t do to adopt the “good parts,” vowing to eschew the “nasty parts.”

I’d done a Facebook post in 2015 titled “Christianize It?” saying this:

[ In the realms of health, exercise, worship, counseling, and spiritual tools, Christians are using practices rooted in the occult/New Age/Buddhism/Hinduism. It’s OK, we’re told, because those aspects have been removed; the practices have been Christianized. Hmm…Let’s imagine a scene in which the prophet Elijah is conversing with God: “Lord, our leaders have introduced some new practices among your people that…What?…Yes, we did get them from the Canaanite religions but…Now wait, Lord Almighty, ‘detestable’ is a pretty strong word. Besides, we’ve cleaned up most of the Canaanite-ishness. [rumble of thunder?] You know, dear Lord, you need to lighten up. After all, some of your most famous leaders endorse these things. Why, I even wrote a best seller myself, so. . .” ]

I wanted readers to cringe at the idea of the Lord hearing that from one of his devotees. But after I posted that, people started questioning: “Well, what about Christianized holidays like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas?”

It’s fine to have a conversation about those things. But my questioners were missing the point. And so I responded to those with:

[ I’m side-stepping that conversation now because we must tend to more urgent matters. If I celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on April 10, March 29, or whenever, I’m still worshipping Jesus. The issue at hand is about Christians who right this minute are unwittingly performing forbidden pagan/occult RITUALS that honor other gods, that invite demons in and put themselves and others in grave danger. (Repeat: rituals / invite demons in.) We are woefully behind in grasping that these things are actually happening—quite likely in your own churches. I’ve not found a church that isn’t at least under the influence of these practices, if not actively participating. ]

I urge readers to fast-track their awareness by doing more research. And to attempt to see things from the Lord’s perspective.

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6 thoughts on “Mingling

  1. “Christian Yoga”? If it’s nothing to do with Buddhism/Hinduism then why not call it stretching/exercise? Why does my little town’s United Church of Christ have a banner outside with a Taoist Yin/Yang symbol on it along with a rainbow? Why is a local ELCA church doing Breath Prayers and claiming it’s for hearing from God? Why does the ELCA church in my town have a lesbian pastor?

    1. Thank you, C, for being on alert! Yes, there can be no such thing as Christian yoga (because Christianity’s foundational view of God is at odds with yoga’s Hindu view). Of course, if the program a person is enrolled in is actual yoga, then it needs to be called yoga in order not to be misleading. But we can do any number of exercises that aren’t yoga. (Like, how about the exercise of cleaning out the garage and giving items to the family down the street? = )

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