A while ago, one person was very surprised when I called myself a Christian. He knew I was a theologian, but he never equated theology with a belief in Christ. He thought that theologians were just rationalists and dealt with scientific information that negated the bible, much like philosophers.
I was surprised that he had the image of a theologian as someone who didn’t believe in the salvation that comes from believing in Jesus Christ. I firmly told him that I believed in Christ and wholeheartedly call myself a Christian.
This surprised him even more because he also knew that I was a practitioner and teacher of yoga. His religious teachers taught him that “yoga was the work of the devil.” When he said this, it allowed me to initiate a great conversation about yoga and Christianity, about faith and science, about the bible and its meaning. We had a great time, mainly because he was open to the sharing of my faith life and felt respected and honored that I would understand his faith life.
From his encounters with me and from what others had said about me as someone who is loved and respected by many because of the good things that I do, he also believed that I was a good person. So we talked and talked. We both felt heard and understood, and above all, respected.
Other people have asked me how I can believe what yoga says about God and Jesus and resurrection and salvation and heaven and hell and what science says about the virgin birth and sacred mythology and yet still believe in Jesus Christ. “How can you still be Catholic?” they ask. “How can you be Christian?” they wonder.
For the next four Thursdays, from 7 – 8:30 pm, I will be discussing the mystical/spiritual dimensions of Christianity and exploring how Christianity, from that perspective, relates to the spiritual dimensions of the yoga philosophy and science. We will use the book, Mystic Christianity, as the basis of our discussion.
I invite you to come to this discussion, especially if you have encountered friends and relatives asking you the similar questions, “How can you be a Christian and practice yoga?”
I will have a number of books available at the Center for the discussion and it will be a free opportunity for you to grow in your faith.
Faith is never stagnant. If it stops growing then it becomes a deadening experience, a real burden. Most people whose original childhood faith has not grown stay away from their former religious practices. They feel offended when family and friends expect them to keep their faith strong. Or they give up questioning because they want to “be saved.”
Come to this discussion and find out that knowledge of the philosophical, spiritual, mystical traditions could enliven your faith. Certainly it has for me.