During a conversation with a Hindu friend of the family, she claimed to ‘feel’ God, to experience God through nature. This is a classic Hindu belief, that God is in everything – the trees, even a fly as she had stated. This is called panentheism. The belief that God is a kind of essence that is in all things. This belief blurs the distinction between the glorious Creator and His creation. Another similar belief is pantheism, which claims that everything is God.
I was talking to the Hindu friend about how I discovered the difference between ‘religion’ and ‘relationship’ – that we can know God personally by faith in Jesus Christ, being born again by the Spirit of God. This is what led to the dear lady’s enthusiastic declarations that she is increasing in the knowledge of God through nature. I then took the opportunity to explain that God as the Creator is distinct from His creation.
On the one hand, Hindus will in general talk about ‘God’ (known as Brahma) yet this ‘God’ is presented in a variety of forms and characters. At the same time, God is somehow an essence permeating all things, so that you can actually attain to Godhood yourself, the ‘Ultimate Reality’ called Brahman. Hence, practitioners of Hinduism who choose a strict yoga path, may be seeking to realise this oneness with ‘God’. advaita.org.uk/teachers/knower_brahma
As followers of Christ Jesus, we are taught to be careful of the philosophies of man:-
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ: Colossians 2:8.
There is a subtle deception, enticing Christians into changing their mindset from the true Christ to other philosophies. Just check out the popularity of yoga in the Western world! If you look around, you will even find that some churches have adopted yoga and seek to ‘Christianise’ it. I mention yoga because it has roots in Hindu spirituality, therefore any Christian who practices yoga will find themselves entering into confusion about who Jesus is, sooner or later. At least one person comes to mind, who I won’t name here, but this person wrote a book about his life story from Islam to becoming a follower of Christ. He then moved to the USA, and at some point on his life’s journey, stopped going to church, became a yoga practitioner and vegetarian, and in one of his later interviews, when questioned about his Christian faith, he talked about a ‘Christ-consciousness’ in the abstract way of a ‘new age’ guru, rather than the previous clear testimony of faith he once professed. You might debate about whether he truly was a believer if you wish, but his written testimony of finding faith in Christ Jesus was quite clear. My personal view is that he failed to keep God’s word the Bible as his written authority, coupled with failing to keep in accountable relationship with mature believers in the Church, and he was introduced to yoga by someone when satan may have seen a weakness in his life.
This is something for us as believers in Christ Jesus to be cautious about and take heed to. Feelings and philosophies can lead us astray from the faith. We are taught to delight in God’s word, to meditate on His commands, and to walk by the Spirit of God.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.Roman’s 8:14
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;Psalm 1:1-2
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
For more on why Christians should not practice yoga, see this:-
/www.youtube.com/holyyoga part 2