Yoga and the Harman's Psychic "Science"
Christian Research Service (CRS) prepared a fact sheet today about the introduction of Yoga into a Southern Baptist Church (9/28/05). Yet at the same time the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has provided materials that are in total opposition to the New Age, yoga and yoga techniques. One such SBC position paper warns:
"Many New Agers teach that our sensation of existing as finite creatures is an illusion. Humanity has forgotten that it is divine. As a result, people need to become enlightened about their true divinity in order to experientially become one with the All. Exercises intended to transform consciousness can help one attain enlightenment. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, past-life regression, soul travel, and channeling spiritual guides may help one achieve enlightenment" ("New Age," SBC Interfaith Evangelism BELIEF BULLETIN," p. 2, click HERE for complete article, bold print added).
To illustrate the psychic nature of Yoga, Christian apologist Bud Press of CRS looked up a working definition of Yoga on the Internet. Note the use of the term "science" in this definition. And notice the many references to the mind in a spiritual sense. Yoga isn't just about physical exercise!
"The Center for Yoga and Health Inc. is available to all for the purpose of awakening consciousness through physical, mental or spiritual development. The Center offers varied levels of yoga instruction. Yoga is a highly evolved set of esoteric exercises, described as 'a science and art of living and being'. Yoga does not require certain metaphysical notions; it is a universal art that flourishes whenever an individual is committed to higher values. Yoga is dedicated to discovering the sacredness in life. A continued yoga practice allows the individual to out distance the ego mind, and attain a path to inner joy and outer harmony. All classes are based on Hatha Yoga (yoga of physical application, and Jnana Yoga (yoga of knowledge. All classes include four of the eight limbs of yoga:
Asana (physical postures)
Dhyana (a meditative state)."
[Source for above: http://www.centerforyogaandhealth.com/; bold print theirs]
The CRS Fact Sheet quotes from a Southern Baptist Convention "Resolution On The New Age Movement, dated June ,1988," [http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=785], which opposed the rise of the New Age Movement and encouraged "our Convention agencies, local associations, pastors, and church staffs to warn and educate our Baptist constituency of the deception and critical dangers of this movement." (To see the full CRS Fact Sheet go to http://www.christianresearchservice.com/CRSFactSheetYoga.htm.) How things have changed!
Why has Yoga made such inroads into evangelicalism? Perhaps because of the groundwork laid at the 1979 Consultation by Willis Harman, who proposed that the discipline of rational science be opened up to explore the realms of the occult. Harman's work with the Institute of Noetic Sciences was not listed in the "Program Personnel" of An Evangelical Agenda: 1984 and beyond. Did the organizers of the Consultation intentionally omit Harman's potentially controversial activities in the New Age and New World Order? Even the official description of the Institute of Noetic Sciences should set off red flags for Christian believers:
"Promotes research and education on the noetic sciences and the subject of human consciousness. (Noetic sciences encompass diverse ways of knowing including intellectual, sensate, and intuitive). Seeks to broaden knowledge of the nature and abilities of the mind and consciousness and to apply that knowledge toward the enhancement of human well-being and the quality of life. Encourages scientific research into the mind-body relationship; provides network of communication and discourse between scientists and scholars." (Encyclopedia of Associations, 36th Ed., 2000)
Harman's address, expounding on "A Utopian Perspective on the Future," forged that network between Theosophists and Evangelicals. Make no mistake about it -- Harman essentially proposed a new classification of "science" which would include the spiritual. As yesterday's post reveals, this especially included things of the "mind." The "mind" does not mean the brain when Harman is referring to it, but rather things of the spirit!
Not everything "spiritual" or "scientific" is TRUTH. Particularly, when it pertains to the mind. New Age writer and researcher Constance Cumbey warned believers as early as 1983 about the dangers of the New Age infiltrating the church:
"New Agers often receive what they believe to be an experience of overpowering beauty and glory. Because of the immensity of the experience they assume they have come in contact with the Lord. God recognized our vulnerability in this area and for this reason wisely commanded his people not to get involved in occult practices. Deception has been Satan's game since the Garden of Eden and our times are no exception. We are told that the antichrist will come with great signs and wonders -- great enough to deceive the elect "if it were possible." Those dabbling in New Age psychotechnologies, including all too often clergy who ignore clear Bible doctrine, have received some of the end-time deception well in advance of the coming grand finale'. (The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, p. 174)
Pertaining to the mind, 2 Cor. 10:5 admonishes believers, "But casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Philippians 2:5 exhorts, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
[Post revised 10/4/05]
To be continued. . . .