Yoga At Eastern Nazarene College: More Spiritual Deception

Yoga at ENCWith its weekly yoga class right on campus, in fact right in Munro Parlor, named after the first dean of the college, Eastern Nazarene College continues to commit serious error in identifying itself as a “Christian” school. I have written much in the past about my alma mater and its embrace of false teachers, its support of professors who promote evolution and open theism, its compromise with homosexual activism, and its ecumenicalism. The school is yet again reaching out into the world and bringing in not only what is a worldly practice, but a practice that teaches pagan spirituality, delves into dangerous use of mysticism, and leaves a Christian open to spiritual deception. Instead of following the biblical command to “be not conformed to the world”, the school continues to reject almost every sound biblical principle taught in Scripture.

The poster advertising the class shows the silhouette of a young female in the familiar Lotus pose used by those who practice Eastern meditation. It is a very common pose, and it also has a spiritual meaning, as does all other yoga poses. It is a frequently used pose for meditation and prayanama (breathing exercises). Breath is believed to be the purifying power in our bodies, and the objective of deep, slow breathing is meant to purify and energize our bodies, according to yoga tradition. But contrary to the arguments of many who have “Christianized” yoga, you cannot separate the physical from the spiritual aspects of this practice. It is pagan eastern mysticism, and its goal is not simply physical exercise, but to bring the yoga practitioner to the point of a deep spiritual experience and connection. But that kind of connection is not with the God of the Bible. (See Yoga Uncoiled by Caryl Matrisciana

The word yoga means “union.” The goal is eventually to unite yourself with the infinite Brahman, which is the Hindu concept of God. That concept is expressed as the belief in “pantheism”, that everything is God. Because everything is God, therefore there is no difference between man and God. The origins of yoga are clearly anti-Christian, and its emphasis is on teaching a person to focus on one’s self rather than focusing on God.

So one of the goals of yoga is to teach you spirituality, or help you find your spirituality. It teaches that there is a divine light within each of us. All of the yoga postures represent a specific spiritual meaning, and although I will not go into details of these postures, you can research for yourself and find out that yoga is far more than physical exercise, and why it is to be avoided by all Christians.

Several years ago my wife and I met with the president of ENC, Dr. Corlis McGee, as well as the school chaplain and the provost. Although we had a cordial conversation with them, we were miles apart in our beliefs. It is certainly no surprise to me that yoga is now allowed on the campus. We had gone there to voice our objections to the scheduling of Tony Campolo to speak to the students at chapel services. Dr. Campolo is an advocate of contemplative mysticism, and he confirmed our concerns when he spoke the next month, unashamedly promoting mantra prayers (centering prayer) and occultic Celtic spirituality. As I looked around and noticed several pastors in attendance, I wondered whether any of them had any idea of the harm this man was potentially causing to students listening to him.

Lack of discernment in the Christian colleges today is no longer a rare thing, but a common occurrence. There is not one Nazarene Christian college, and very few other Christian colleges, that has not been affected in one way or another by these false teachings and the ecumenical philosophy that is plaguing these schools. It would be much better for a Christian student to attend a secular college, than to attend and support a Christian school today in name only.

While proclaiming faithfulness to the truth of Scripture, schools such as Eastern Nazarene College have become nothing but havens for compromise. ENC proudly proclaims the statement, attributed to Bertha Munro herself, that “There is no conflict between the best in education and the best in our Christian faith.” And in doing so, they have no problem allowing evolutionists to confuse the minds of their students, and allowing other doctrines of demons to be taught to the students. Instead of strengthening the students’ faith with the truth of Scripture, they promote the liberal mentality of “let them come to their own conclusions” by exposing them to all sorts of false teaching.

We are told by Paul in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Yoga is a worldly practice that does not reflect the mind of God. Practicing Eastern pagan meditation is not part of God’s “perfect will.” The practicing of yoga will leave the Christian wide open to deception from satan. (Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8) Instead, all that we do, we should do for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

In a post from last October on his blog, Pastor Douglas Graham of Cedarville Church of the Nazarene states:

“Yoga is based on idolatry and worldly thinking. It often involves a Hindu chant and emptying the mind. As Christians we are to fill our mind with the Word of God.”

“As a Christian I’d rather not join with a false god (Brahma) or ideas steeped in idolatry in order to be whole. Even Hindus know that yoga is not a practice of Christianity. I’d rather place my faith in the Gospel of Christ than to put my body in weird positions. I’m not saying someone isn’t a Christian if they do yoga. I’m using Biblical discernment and I hope Christians would do the same.”

If yoga is truly okay for Christians, then why not also use Ouija boards, Tarot cards, Astrology signs and symbols? Like yoga, they all have a philosophy and idea behind them that makes it a problem for Christians to justify. Yet somehow yoga has passed the smell test at many “Christian” colleges and churches, and is now practiced by many undiscerning Christians, encouraged by pastors and other leaders who are also blind to the truth.

But such is the sad state of the “Christian” college today. Many Nazarenes, including myself, do not recommend that parents send their children to any Nazarene college at the moment, including attending the seminary, which also promotes contemplative spirituality and occultic Celtic “Christianity.” I sent an email to President McGee on March 27, asking her to explain why this is being allowed, and if the school is approving of this practice. I have not yet received a response.

I urge anyone who is concerned about this to write to Dr. McGee as well. Her email address is

For further information and research:

Yoga Uncoiled by Caryl Matrisciana

21 responses to “Yoga At Eastern Nazarene College: More Spiritual Deception

  1. I have Neurofibromatosis (NF1). I have to deal with chronic and acute pain everyday. Doctors, nurses, family members, and coworkers keep telling me I should do yoga because IT WILL alleviate my pain. Of course I haven’t, nor will I do yoga. I try to deal with the pain and wish there was a cure for all. I have prayed for healing, but maybe this is from the LORD to keep me humble and to stay close to Him. My point, I have enough trails and temptations that I have to face and overcome everyday. Why do I want to open myself up to the dangers of bowing down to foreign gods and worshippng creation rather than the Creator?

  2. Manny, I pulled up ENC’s website and read their information about the Yoga class started as a physical exercise by Johnathan Bohall, who is in the process of becoming licensed as a yoga instructor. Yoga is by all practical purposes a mind-body alternative practice using both mental and physical masteries to achieve harmony of body and mind. The danger of Christians practicing yoga, they must deny what yoga represents and fail to see the conflicts between the Christian commitment and the embrace of yoga and its teaching. The truth is yoga is a spiritual discipline used for achieving consciousness of the false divine.

    Paul in his letter to Timothy warned against the danger of “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:5)” Having a form of godliness implies that the persons described are those professed religious worshipers of God in outward form only. The indication is a person may go far and advance high in an external profession of piety and religion, and yet have no more than a form of godliness.

    Personally, I do not believe that any Christian School should allow this form of idolatry to be practiced regardless how innocent it is packaged. Is our Christian witness not more valuable than to have it tainted by allowing ungodly practices to take place? What message does this send to the lost?

  3. THIS yoga is as much a spiritual exercise as TAEBO was in the 90’s. In fact if you wanted to you could create Christian yoga, call it Choga, where you meditate on God’s word (Joshua 1:8). In fact I did yoga for much of my senior year at ENC, it’s part of the P90x workout program, and I did a lot of prayer and meditation during this time.

  4. Yes, but the point is that yoga is a pagan practice that Christians should stay away from.

  5. Many things were pagan practices before Christianity got involved, many things to do with Easter and Christmas are two big things that still remain till this day.

  6. Many things were pagan practices before Christianity got involved, many things to do with Easter and Christmas are two big things that still remain till this day.

  7. Francis Schaeffer said, “Just because you put God’s name on something, it doesn’t mean he approves.” He used the story of the two calves in Exodus. Yahweh specifically said not to make any graven images. Aaron formed to calves, inscribed the Tetragrammaton on them and said here are your gods. When God says to come out from the inhabitants of the land and do not mix with them, he did not mean that it is okay to do those things IF you invoke his NAME. It is time to stop this nonsense and get serious about holiness.

  8. It seems to me that celebrating the resurrection of Christ, and celebrating the birth of our Savior, is far different than trying to “Christianize” a practice from a false religion.

  9. It appears as though this blog would like us to take a pharisaical approach to holiness, instead of focusing on going out into the world and having a relational approach to holiness – Christlikeness. It appears as though this blog wants things to be black and white, issues and lives are rarely black and white. For example if I logically take what is said in this post and apply a binary law to my life where everything I deem a “pagan practice” I need to never again decorate a Christmas tree, I better not give my kids an Easter basket or an Easter egg hunt (all pagan practices). The church building itself and many practices we use today as Christians were once pagan. The cross was a pagan symbol until Christ died upon it for our sins so that we may be free in him. I would argue the power of Christ can make ANYTHING HOLY. There is misdirected energy in this blog post, preaching to people who already agree with the author. Go out to this yoga class, show Christ to them, and maybe you’ll see Christ in them as well. I’m not writing this post to discourage you, I am imploring you in love to maybe temper your anger, disgust, and criticism, or our Church will lose out.

  10. This blog takes a BIBLICAL approach to holiness. Its main purpose has been to warn Christians about false teachings, including those of Tom Oord which I warned ENC about a few years ago. It has nothing to do with being “pharisaical.” I realize that not everything is black and white. But I would assume that if one is open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, one will understand that God will NOT go about the business of making a pagan practice “holy.” I do not subscribe to the wild theories of folks like Dan Boone, who has stated that much of the Psalms was borrowed from the pagans. God does not need to inspire David with things borrowed from pagans.

    I love to exercise. But I would strongly encourage the Christian to avoid anything that has the appearance of evil, including yoga.

    Now, I know fellow Christians who do the Easter egg thing and all that, and they may even try to have my kids join in. But I have taught my children to celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday- and not to think of it being anything else but that. If those folks, including some in my family ask me, I will tell them why I don’t do the Easter egg and bunny thing.

    The issue of the yoga problem at ENC is only a small part. We have had for the last five years some of the following, as examples:

    1. False teachers such as Tony Campolo, who promotes mysticism, mantra prayers, and does not even have a genuine testimony of salvation.
    2. One of the biggest promoters of the lie of evolution, Karl Giberson, who only recently left the school.
    3. Promotion of the emergent movement, with books by such false teachers as Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and many more being sold in the college bookstore.
    4. Listing Roman Catholic Churches in the church directory. Not good unless you believe that the RCC preaches a true Gospel, which it does not.
    5. A relaxing of standards by allowing clubs such as the LGBT support group and now the yoga club to be held on campus.
    6. Allowing professors like Tim Oord to lecture to the students. Oord denies the existence of Adam (in response to a question I asked), teaches evolution, and that God does NOT know the future, and that God makes mistakes.

    This and more has all led me and others to strongly recommend that any Christian avoid sending their child to ENC or any of the other Nazarene universities or seminary. They all promote contemplative spirituality in one way or another, and have slowly introduced the lie that the Bible cannot be completely trusted in all that it teaches.

    They would be better off at a secular school, where they would know the enemy more clearly than if they were at ENC.

    If the “church”, meaning the formal institution loses out, that would be a good thing. The real Church is composed of those who are obeying God and not bowing the knee to Baal.

  11. Thanks for the response. Just to clarify I was not trying to argue that ANYTHING would be made holy, only that the power is there, I don’t think you would disagree. Also part of biblical holiness involves relationships, one is not exempt from that. I respect your approach and if it is one based on prayer and unconditional love for others than I cannot disagree with its usefulness to the Kingdom. However, I would disagree with many of the positions that are taken in these posts and who your audience should be. Accepting evolution as the means by which God created being one of those issues. I know too much about His creation to disregard that as a means by which He created, and I do not take the Bible to be a document at all interested in the science of creation. Maybe sometime we can dialog about that and I can learn more about your position. I digress from the main point of the post, so I thank you for this short but informative conversation. I will think about and consider some of the things you have mentioned and I hope you will consider the point of view from a millennial aged Christian who prays daily to be more Christ like.

  12. Thanks for your response as well. I could never accept evolution as a means of God’s creative process, because the logic of it flies in the face of what the Bible teaches in Genesis. The Genesis is written as fact, therefore I accept it as fact.

    Evolution AND the Biblical creation account cannot live in harmony. Evolution disagrees with Romans which teaches that Adam’s disobedience is what brought sin into the world, and through Adam’s sin, death came. That is what I posed to Tom Oord that day at ENC, and he responded by saying we would have to agree to disagree.

    That is one of the many dangers we are facing in our Christian schools today, when they allow someone to teach a lie to the students, and to contradict God’s easy to understand account of how we came to be. That is why so many Nazarenes and other Christians will never embrace evolution, because it is by it’s own definition, anti-God and anti-Bible.

  13. Yes it depends on how you interpret Genesis whether it is literal scientific fact, or a way to convey certain messages to a people who did not understand the world around them yet. I find it acceptable to not treat Genesis as a literal story, and take away from it the same themes as one who would take it literally. It does not have to be anti-God, one could have the view of evolution where it was how God made his creation, through the laws of physics. There does not have to be a real life “Adam” for Adam to be important. We can know about sin and that God is creator and all other lessons from Genesis, without Adam being more than a metaphorical tool. That is how many Christians who accept evolution view Genesis. What do you define as being anti-God and anti-Bible? Because I don’t see that logic, metaphorical stories are tools of language that were used even by Jesus ie parables. Maybe my question is why does Adam need to exist in a single person form for Genesis to matter to you, just as much as the good Samaritan?

  14. What is defined as anti-God and anti-Bible, is what whatever contradicts what God has written as truth and historical fact. I wonder what else you might not accept as fact?

    You asked “Maybe my question is why does Adam need to exist in a single person form for Genesis to matter to you, just as much as the good Samaritan?” The story of Adam is NOT a parable, that is the difference!

    If you reject Adam as a real person, you have to reject the entire historical account of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and everything else that follows. How do you do that? I reject the idea that Adam is a metaphor only; the plain reading of Genesis shows it is written as history, not allegory. Scripture says: “So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” 1 Cor 15:45. Is that a lie written in Scripture?

    Jonah’s story, was that allegory? What about the flood that covered the whole earth? Was that allegory?
    Did the walls of Jericho truly come down at the sound of the trumpets? Shall we reject the genealogy of Jesus in Luke, where he begins it with Adam? Did Balaam’s donkey really talk? Should we really believe the incredible account of Moses and the plagues in Egypt? What about the pillar of fire in the desert to guide the people? What about the manna from heaven? Surely, that could not have happened as written? It is too incredible. Did Peter, James and John really meet up with Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop? Why should I believe that? I could give example after example of what I could easily tell someone, “hey, that’s is just allegory to prove a point.”

    My point is this, how do you or anyone else come to decide what is allegory or not?

    I don’t think you and I believe in the same Bible. There’s no point in this argument. I believe the creation account because everything else falls apart if it is not true.

    “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Romans 3:4

    As far as yoga, here is a warning from the Old Testament:

    “You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs.” Isaiah 2:6

  15. Phil, for me the First verse in the Old Testament is without doubt one of the most essential verses found in the Bible. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1: 1). When labelled an allegory as some have, there would be little need for the rest of the Old or New Testament. When choosing to ignore this verse you may as well ignore the rest of the sacred book. Genesis chapters one through three are the most important chapters in God’s Holy Word. Without it, humankind would wander all his days in darkness, never knowing where he came from, nor could believe where he was bound for, or how to get there. The creation chapters of Genesis without faith defy all of man’s wisdom and leaves humanity with questions without logical answers.

    For this reason, man in his own genius has proffered his own theory of creation, apart from God. Men like Charles Darwin offered “evolution” to explain our universe rather than accept the Genesis account. Evolution is a human substitute solution explaining creation lacking adequate proof to substantiate its claims. Darwin’s faith began to crumble when he began to doubt the story of creation as taught in Genesis. He began to accept theories of men like Charles Lyell, who believed that everything in nature came about by accident rather than by divine means. The more Darwin embraced teachings of men like ‘Lyell’ the more he began to question the Bible. In his writings at age forty, Darwin gave up on Christianity and in 1880; he wrote that he no longer believed in the Bible as a divine revelation of God, or in the Son of God. Many like Darwin (evolutionist) today are criticizing its truths.

    When Adam and Eve were both created they were perfect suggests they were mutually alike, physically and spiritually. They were also compatible meaning companionable to each other in their relationship, which was a monogamous relation. It is crucial and equally interesting, Eve, was not fashioned like Adam, but formed from Adams rib? Neither Adam nor Eve evolved over a period-of-time, as some presume. Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, and Eve created from a rib equal to Adam in all aspects. Eve’s creation as Adams helper was a separate life form following the creation of Adam. The Hebrew for helper is Kenegdo signifying the same physical resemblance of each other for mutual companionship. Only a Creator God is capable of such a miraculous act Genesis 2: 18 – 22.

  16. Lige, Your argument is based on the assumption that evolution is equal to atheism, or that it leads to atheism. I do not share this assumption. Also you appear to believe that evolution was a conspiracy to replace creationism. It was not the case, it was based on observations of the natural world and the scientific method, there was no such conspiracy.

    Manny, I would like to respond to you but to do so adequately would take time that I can’t spend currently. Maybe if we ever cross paths we can speak more about this. I pray that the Lord blesses you and your family. Take care.

  17. Thank you, we are not too far away from each other and I am sure we will see each other again.

    However, I could never be persuaded to change my trust in the Bible’s account and switch over to man’s account. We should never give in to the verification of the Bible from man’s worldview. It should always be based on God’s view.

  18. Could you tell me where I can find information on Dan Bohi about his bankruptcies and lawsuits? Also I thought I had Reformed Nazarenes on my Facebook but can’t find your group now..I do have ” Concerned Nazarenes” on my Facebook..what is the difference between your two groups?

    Reformed Nazarene wrote:

    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ reformednazarene posted: “With its weekly yoga class right on campus, in fact right in Munro Parlor, named after the first dean of the college, Eastern Nazarene College continues to commit serious error in identifying itself as a “Christian” school. I have written much in the past”

  19. Hi Betty,

    I will try to get the source for you to find out about Bohi’s information.
    As far as our group, it is mainly Concerned Nazarenes on Facebook. Reformed Nazarene is just my blog, but there is no group with that name. There is another group on FaceBook which we also founded, called Concerned Christians.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s