Lighthouse Trails Research Letter to the Editor Reveals Salvation Army Pushing Yoga, Meditation, and Mystic Henri Nouwen
I am enclosing some magazine articles put out by the Salvation Army during the summer of 2022. One of them is from Peer magazine that is for teenagers and college-age kids. The article from that magazine is about [the Catholic contemplative mystic] Henri Nouwen. Theother article, “Meditation in Movement,” is from SAconnectsand is an article about so-called “Christian Yoga.”
Thank you for your blog and many resources. I have read a number of your books and articles. God bless you all.
Photo above rom the Salvation Army magazine article on Yoga; used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act for the purpose of critique and dissemination of information for the educational and review purposes.
L.T. Comments: In the SAconnects article on Yoga, it states:
YogaFaith combines traditional yoga exercises with prayer and worship, allowing for a new way to connect with Christ.
In March of 2020,Erin Morgan was in Atlanta, Ga., to complete 100 hours of face–to–face training needed to become a certified yoga instructor. She had already finished the required 100 hours of online training. Now, she looked forward to bringing YogaFaith, a yoga practice that exclusively incorporates Bible scripture meditation, to The Salvation Army.
We realize some reading this post may be thinking, “What’s wrong with that?” After all, it’s Christian Yoga, not Hindu Yoga. For those who feel that way, we ask you to please do your homework on this issue. You can start by reading Ray Yungen’s report, “YOGA: Exercise or Religion—Does it Matter?” and Chris Lawson’s report, “YOGA and Christianity – Are They Compatible?” In these reports is ample documentation to show that all Yoga (whether it’s called Christian or not) is rooted in Hinduism and the New Age. We actually corresponded once with a Hindu professor who refuted (in both a magazine article and an e-mail to us) the whole notion of “Christian Yoga.” He stated:
The simple, immutable fact is that yoga originated from the Vedic or Hindu culture. Its techniques were not adopted by Hinduism, but originated from it. . . . Efforts to separate yoga from its spiritual center reveal ignorance of the goal of yoga. . . . If this attempt to co-opt yoga into their (Christians) own tradition continues, in several decades of incessantly spinning the untruth as truth through re-labelings such as “Christian yoga,” who will know that yoga is–or was–part of Hindu culture? (source)
In another article, we quoted a Hindu Yogi, a Vedavisharada trained in the traditional gurukural system, who said there is no such thing as Christian Yoga.
To think that one can do the Yoga exercises without any repercussions is not only faulty reasoning – it is dangerous reasoning. Yoga exercises (i.e., the positions) were developed to receive the Kundalini power (which is actually demonic power). Please read Yungen’s and Lawson’s reports.
Regarding the article in the Salvation Army’s publication Peer (for teens and college students) that promotes Henri Nouwen, it is equally troubling. As Lighthouse Trails has documented for over twenty years, Nouwen was an interspiritual (i.e., believing that all paths lead to God) mystic who was very influenced by Buddhist and New Age beliefs. For example, in his book, The Way of the Heart, Nouwen said, “The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart . . . This way of simple prayer . . . opens us to God’s active presence.” This “repetition of a single word” is an Eastern-style meditation practice that does not lead to “God’s active presence” but is an occultic activity. Nouwen also said (in the last book he wrote – Sabbatical Journey): “Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God” (p. 51).
Tragically, because the majority of Christian leaders and pastors have refused to address the issue of contemplative spirituality (which, in essence, is New Age spirituality), organizations like the Salvation Army have opened their doors to demonic activity without any resistance or challenge by the church at large. What a disservice Christian leaders and pastors have done to the church!
Given that the “fruit” of contemplative spirituality/meditation and Yoga is panentheism and interspirituality (the very antithesis of biblical Christianity and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ), the future for Salvation Army as a truly Christian organization looks bleak.
No one can deny that the Salvation Army has done some very humanitarian works for needy people for many years. But as the late Harry Ironside stated,
Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died. (From his article “Should Christians Expose Error?”)
How ironic that Salvation Army is part of “the holiness movement,” yet right under their very noses, they are participating in a very unholy practice.
“Salvation Army Lies, Tries To Cover Up Critical Race Guide” (The Federalist)
Further Instances in Salvation Army Regarding Contemplative Spirituality (these are taken from the Peer magazine website, geared to teach young people):
TSA Commissioner, David Hudson Reads In the Name of Jesus by Nouwen every Year (LT note: It’s in that book that Nouwen says that Christian leaders must move “from the moral to the mystical” (pp. 31-32).
Teaching “Spiritual Disciplines” via heavy-weight meditation advocates Richard Foster and Adele Ahlberg Calhoun by TSA Major Lesa, Secretary for Spiritual Life Development in the USA Central Territory.