This from Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll, who in a long, rambling directive to his flock, says,
Giving sound teaching on yoga is important because there is increasing adoption of yoga by our culture, with over 15.8 million people practicing yoga and nearly every store you go into selling all kinds of yoga products. It’s gone mainstream. As such, Christians are also adopting it as a healthy aspect of exercise and lifestyle—complete with things like “Holy Yoga,” which is an oxymoron. Saying yoga can be Christian because you do it for Jesus is a bit like going into a mosque, going through the worship practices, and then saying you’re not a Muslim because you’re doing it for Jesus. They don’t mix.He said about Christians trying to inject Christian beliefs into yoga that "you cannot redeem such a thing... (it is) unchristian, against scripture, and thus demonic in nature."
So, I wonder where you draw the line? If you do a "downward dog" pose to stretch before a run, are the demons ready to pounce? Does the lotus position somehow invite Satan to attack me because my feet are asleep, so I won't be able to run away? (At least that's what always happens to me when I go into the lotus position.) Is my wife's yoga mat infused with Demonic Energy? What will happen if our cat sleeps on the yoga mat? Will he become possessed by evil spirits? (Actually, possession by evil spirits might actually be an improvement on this cat's current personality.)
What I find astounding about all of this is not that some wingnut has made a bizarre pronouncement. That, after all, is what wingnuts do. What I find amazing is that people still continue to attend his church and believe what he has to say afterwards. If in my classroom, I started claiming that the Earth's mantle was composed of cherry pie filling, and that lava is red because of the cherry juice, my credibility would be compromised, to put it mildly. But this guy can babble away about how practicing yoga is inviting demonic possession, and his congregation just kind of sits there nodding and mumbling "Amen, brother," instead of guffawing directly in his face and walking out, which is what I would do.
I guess that's the power of personality. Driscoll is fairly well known as a charismatic speaker, and his views are labeled in virtually every source I looked at as "controversial." And, of course, some people are easily led and don't question what they're told by an authority figure. You put all of those things together, and you have a recipe for belief in crazy stuff, which to me is seriously scary. Maybe all we have here is a group of worshipers who have been convinced to stop watching Lilias, Yoga, and You, and will have to find some other way to work out -- but in another context, this same human tendency creates a Jim Jones, a Mark Koresh, an Al Qaeda. The only difference is scale and content.