Last night I attended the 40th Anniversary Dinner for the Institute for Creation Research, and the featured speaker was Dr. Albert Mohler, the fellow recently (and condescendingly, where not outright scornfully) profiled by Christianity Astray, a Magazine of Evangelical Conviction. In his opening remarks, Mohler briefly recapped the current braying by evangelical jackasses about his recently published remarks on yoga and Christianity.
If you’ve got time and want to know why evangelical Protestantism is the milk-toasty, wishy-washy, know-nothing waste of time that it is, Mohler’s latest blog spells it out for you.
Listening to his remarks last night (he gave an overview of post-modern intellectual chaos and its newly murderous posture toward religion, Christianity, and Jesus himself), I thought, “I’ve got to check what he has said on his blog about this yoga business.” And, when I did so this morning, I further thought: “As with evangelicals and yoga, so with evangelicals and egalitarianism.” The latter is the term of art for baptized feminism, a modern incarnation of several of the moral horrors Paul catalogs in 1 Timothy 1:9-11.
So, what has yoga got to do with religious feminism as evangelicals embrace it today?
Very little, if you’re looking at yoga vis-a-vis religious feminism. But, if you ask “Why do evangelicals embrace yoga so enthusiastically?” you will find that Mohler’s answer to that question serves just as well to answer this question: “Why do evangelicals embrace religious feminism so enthusiastically?” Both errors are consequences of a deeper error: the spiritual lust among modern evangelicals to cook up their own religion beginning with evangelical soup stock, to which they add a little of this and a little of that from whatever strikes their fancy on the world’s spice shelf.
Mohler lists many things he’s learned from his encounter with evangelicals’ enthusiasm for yoga. Read through his catalog and substitute “egalitarianism” for “yoga” throughout, and everything Mohler says is still true — except it applies to religious feminism rather than yoga.
Below are Mohler’s comments followed by the way egalitarians mimick those who think yoga and Christianity are compatible …
Mohler: “Evidently, the statistics reported by the yoga community are right. This is a female dominated field of activity. More than 90 percent of the protest communications come from women.”
Religious feminism, like secular feminism, is a female dominated field. Yes, there are a few men who are out in front of the monstrous regiment of women who are the primary political power in religious feminism, but they’ve just gotten themselves in front of the mob. The dirty little secret of most Protestant churches is this: the men in leadership are window dressing. It’s the women (and, often, just a handful of them) who rule the ecclesiastical roof. And by far the majority of men who sit in evangelical pews are happy for the sisters to clamp the bit in their teeth and to tear off down the road. Less work for them, dontcha know.
Mohler: “[A well-known local female evangelical yoga instructor] insists that yoga ‘enhances a person’s spirituality’ without any recognition that this is not what biblical Christianity is all about. But, she prayed before deciding ‘to mix yoga and Christianity,’ so everything must be just fine.”
Religious feminists are nothing if not pragmatic about what rings their chimes. What the Bible teaches has little weight against what “enhances a person’s spirituality.” Read any egalitarian forum, and note how many times you hear “God told me this or that, or “it makes the gospel so relevent to me,” and similar sentiments.
Mohler reproduces a quote from this local, evangelical woman yoga instructor: “I don’t like to look at religion from a law standpoint but a relationship standpoint, a relationship with Jesus Christ specifically.” Note, please, that the truth isn’t what’s important! Rather, it’s how the woman likes to look at religion that’s important. This is essentially the egalitarian point of view on anything in the Bible: they pick and choose what they like, or twist what they need, to conform to their modern feminist point of view.
Mohler: “There is no embarrassment on the part of these hundreds of email writers that they are replacing biblical Christianity with a religion of their own invention. “
Again, one must not question the egalitarians’ enthusiasm for their remade version of Christianity. It’s the enlightened (and, therefore, the only defensible) version of Christian religion; and they do, indeed, have no sense for how out of line with historic Christianity their new-made religion really is. Those very few who have not averted their eyes to 2,000 years of Christian faith and practice (e.g. Mary Daly) end up rejecting Christianity as hopeless and beyond fixing.
Mohler: “I have heard from a myriad of Christians who insist that their practice of yoga involves absolutely no meditation, no spiritual direction, no inward concentration, and no thought element.”
To which Mohler answers, “… you are not practicing yoga, you are simply performing a physical exercise.” The same sort of double-think operates with religious feminists within evangelicalism. They loudly insist that they are not feminists. Feminists, they insist, are those radical, bra-burning types, not the spiritual, loving, Jesus-worshiping folks that egalitarians claim to be.
But egalitarians say such things because they are blithely ignorant of how thoroughly patriarchal the Bible is, and how patriarchal the Church that grew from the Bible has been for 20 centuries.
Long before her death on January 3 of this year, Mary Daly was far more honest with the facts of the Christian faith, far more honest than the religious feminists who fill the pews of evangelical churches today. Mary Daly jettisoned the Christian faith as well as monotheism because she understood (and preached it in her classroom!) that feminism is diametrically opposed to the truth claims of the Bible – its claims about men, women, the relationship between the two, and God’s relationship to both.
Mohler: “I have heard from a myriad of souls who have called me insane, incompetent, stupid, vile, fundamentalist, and perverted. Some others are best left unrepeated.”
It would be tedious and defiling to rehearse here the similar slanders distributed by egalitarians against complementarians or, especially, against those who candidly confess, teach, and defend the patriarchy of the Bible. Just read any of their blogs or forums to find out.
Worthy of special note, however, is the strategy of groups like Christians for Biblical Equality or the Egalitarian Christian Alliance to smear those who embrace Biblical patriarchy are promoters of violence against women and children.
Mohler: “… I have been treated to arguments like these. From a ‘devoted Southern Baptist church member who resents your ignorance’: I get much more out of yoga and meditation than I ever get out of a sermon in church. From ‘a Christian who goes to church every service’: My favorite image I use in yoga is that of Jesus assuming a perfect yoga position in the garden of Gethsemane as he prays. And, to cap it all off: How do we know that the apostles and early Christian guys did not use yoga to commune with Jesus after he left?”
Again, I run across statements like these in the forums of self-styled evangelical feminists. Note the self-referential cast of these sorts of statements. Note also the manifest ignorance of what the Bible presents. Jesus doing yoga in Gethsemane??? Is that any more outrageous than Jesus being a feminist? Paul being an egalitarian?
[This blog is cross-posted to my blog for St. Athanasius Anglican Church]