Missouri megachurch pastor John Lindell has warned his 10,000-member congregation not to participate in yoga, saying that positions associated with exercise and meditation activity were designed to “open you up to demonic power.”
Lindell, the pastor of the James River Church in Ozark, gave a sermon titled “Pursuing the Paranormal” on the Sunday before Halloween in which he spoke out against “demonic influences” such as paganism, witchery, sorcery, fortune-telling, astrology and elements of Eastern mysticism such as yoga.
“I am doing this because it seems that our culture is becoming increasingly obsessed with all things paranormal,” the Assemblies of God pastor said at the beginning of the sermon.
“According to a Gallup poll, three-in-four Americans believe in the paranormal and in a recent Pew poll, 40 percent of Christians believe in psychics, 29 percent of Christians believe in reincarnation and 26 percent of Christians believe in astrology. … The entertainment industry has taken note by responding to a plethora of video games, television shows and movies.”
“It seems the paranormal has become the new normal,” he added. “It’s not just haunted houses and witches at Halloween but it has worked its way into everyday life through things like Eastern mysticism and Mother Earth practices and philosophies.”
Lindell said that one of the most pressing signs of today’s “post-Christian” society is the mainstream acceptance of yoga by not only the culture but Christians and Christian organizations as well.
He argued that no matter what practitioners do during yoga, that the physical practice of Yoga cannot be separated from its “Hindu roots.”
Lindell admitted that it may seem strange to many that he is talking about yoga in a sermon about paranormal influences.
“That alone really for me is an indication of how far our society has drifted into a post-Christian culture,” he stressed. “Earlier, it would have been a given that yoga is a form of Eastern mysticism that Christians should absolutely avoid but that is no longer the case. Yoga it seems is everywhere. For example, if you go to the local [YMCA] and you click on the ‘Healthy Living’ link, you will find no less than 31 references to yoga.”
Lindell warned that Christians should “stay away from Yoga because of its demonic roots.”
“Participating at any level is potentiative the opening of your life, your home, your situation to the demonic,” he warned.
Lindell explained that there are three main components of yoga to achieve the goal to raising and expanding “consciousness for the purpose of experiencing peace, energy and divine presence.” One of those elements is different body positions.
“Every single body position has a meaning,” Lindell said. “Let me say this, yoga positions were not designed by your local fitness instructor. They were designed and they were created with demonic intent to open you open you up to demonic power. Because Hinduism is demonic.”
“Every false religion is demonic. Hinduism is not a mild, gentile, pacifist religion. Anybody who says that has not visited India,” Lindell continued. “Neither is Buddhism. We may have a sanitized view of it in our Western culture but it is not pacifist. It is demonic. It is idle worship.”