By Chris Lawson

Spiritual Research Network

Calvary Chapel & Purpose Driven Pastors Doing Yoga? (11:12) from Chris Lawson on Vimeo.

Not only do we cover Yoga and contemplative prayer in The Submerging Church, but we also highly recommend Caryl Matrisciana’s video “Yoga Uncoiled: From East to West” which provides an in-depth look into Yoga and its origins. You can learn more and order the DVD at


  1. WOW, my previous comment (not approved yet) was written while only 1/4 into the video. I advocated normal stretching, non-participation in classes in order to have non-participation in mysticism. My previous comments focused on individual activity, not group classes at a church using the bible to replace eastern monism. Yeah, this is demonic garbage that has infested the churches. Calvary Chapel is no fortress of holiness.

    If a christian wants to do poses and call it merely exercise, that’s a confusing message for non-believers. See my previous, lengthy, meandering comment for a recommendation of what to do for stretching.

  2. If I were to do yoga-type stretches (in yoga, they’re “poses”), they would be only for the stretch. I would have to separate my stretching from the “practice” involving the spiritual belief. The easiest way to do this is be selective when attending a class, or not to use a class at all, but to look up the _stretches_ on YouTube, for example. One (I) must refuse to participate in the _practice_ side which goes beyond stretches. Additionally, one, like me, would have to be doing other non-yoga-related stretches. That leaves a particular yoga stretch to be useful, but incidental in a stretching routine. At that point, away from an instructor who pushes any mystical practice, one is merely stretching and happens to use yoga stretches as PART of overall stretching, not exclusively. Next, I must stay divorced from any meditation and mind clearing or chanting, not even saying “nameste” as the greeting. This is where class attendance is a major issue.

    So, without the mystical side, one is not actually practicing yoga proper. With only the stretches, one should use an overall stretching routine for health with only incidental uses of stretches that happen to be used in yoga. There are a few stretches, very few, that I’ve seen used in yoga where you might have come up with that stretch just moving yourself around. That does not make the stretch itself demonic. Other yoga stretches are good for assessing physical capabilities, but are better replaced with different stretches. It would be foolish in terms of communication with others and lame in terms of one’s own exercise to use only yoga poses as stretches while telling fellow Christians “Oh, I skip the meditation.” Seriously, if you can skip the meditation, then only a sprinkling of yoga-like stretches would enter a good stretching routine. Some yoga poses are ineffective for tight people because they do too much as once and thus don’t allow good focus on areas of the body that need attention one at a time.

    Sorry for rambling and shifting my phrasing a few times, but I’m typing fast and in a hurry. 🙂 Thanks,

    Mike, CPT-NASM

  3. It is interesting that C S Lewis foresaw the convergence of Eastern Religion with the power centers of our society:

  4. I attend NCCC and there is no yoga practiced there. There has never been yoga in any home groups or anywhere at NCCC. Hope this clears this up.

  5. Ok everyone. Call NCCC Carlsbad and you will know that there is no yoga going on at this wonderful church. I don’t know where Mr Lawson got this info but he needs to check first though he is correct about yoga having NO place amongst Christians . Bless you all.

  6. Thank you Mr Lawson for boldly speaking out about this Christianized yoga. I have witnessed all sorts of wierd things ‘coming in’ the church. It greives the holy spirit. Prayerfully and with love the truth is revealed. Hopefully there will be repentent hearts and these practices will stop. Isn’t this revealed truth just to lead to repentance not punishment anyway. ? God bless

  7. I agree with a man named Craig who wrote about accountability. I too attend NCCC and must agree with statements on yoga. It is a Hindu form of worship. Every posture is worship. If you love yoga..I pray biblical self discipline dominates your ‘need and want’ to do this .All have free will. Pray about this, it is not for Christians.

  8. Without names this is just gossip!

  9. Thanks Chris for bringing awarness to this issue, I dont feel at all that you are trying to bash Calvary Chapel(s) I just came across your website by accident and thank God that I did. Our Church recently introduced G-12 vision and imediately I felt something is not right. A guest pastor by the name of Rich Witmer is promoting it and I was so disturbed in the manner in which he conveyed his message. There were small red flags going up but that is more than enough for me to discern that this is not good. I prayed on this is issue and ask God to guide me.

  10. what are the cc fellowships doing this?

  11. it was not a blanketed statement.
    by the way, I am one of the Jesus Movement believers. i feel betrayed by those who once taught us the best. i am grieved to no end. i am shocked and it is very scarey to see parts of calvary chapel going in these strange directions. we are in the falling away explained in II thess 2.

  12. Derek, that info you said, happend several years ago. About changing their names from Calvary Chapel to something else. Him being “concerned” about the emergent church coming into calvary chapel. i have the parsons to parsons letter he wrote, back in 2005 i think it was. several years have past and now who knows, because his picture was taken with rick warren in the studio of kwve for pastors perspective. you seem to want to defend Calvary Chapel. how about defending the faith. the faith once delivered to the saints. it is more honorable to stand by the scriptures and defend truth than to stand by a once thriving on fire wonderful movement that now is going in a very bad direction. some of them are, not all…it is way better to warn the flock than to keep quiet for ANY reason. remember the philadelphia church was one of love, needed no rebuke…its out of love we warn our brothers and sisters. the old testament is FULL of examples of Israel and how she did good but then did bad and how God dealt with her. that is still our example. and scripture to back this up is…Eze 33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, [that] he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. and…Eze 3:21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous [man], that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

  13. saw it at cc here in the southeast , pastor said from pulpit that his wife has yoga instructor come to their home to instruct her privately with her stretching, pastor asked to join them…he believes it’s exercise.

    • i did yoga in 1970, i was a born again christian with no fellowship..I can tell u it is very very spiritual in the bad sense of the word…not a good mix for a christian..they will see, when they start to lose their mind.

    • that is just awful !! that is the church of laodicea. they are blind and dont know it.

  14. Derek Chamberlain

    With the Emergent Church movement growing Pastor Chuck Smith is concerned with it coming into the Calvary Church movement and is being vocal about not letting it in. He is addressing it and asking those that may be allowing it to come back or remove the Calvary Chapel name from my understanding.

  15. Dear Joe

    It really concerns me that you would allow Chris Lawson to make general statements about so called CC Pastors who are practicing Yoga. As someone who’s been involved with CC for 20 years and knows hundreds of CC Pastors I can assure you that I know of none who are practicing yoga or would even contemplate it. If Chris Lawson has proof of such things he should be man enough to name the names of such persons so they can be publicly exposed. It really disappoints me that you and your ministry would be involved in maligning the CC movement. Those of us who love the CC movement would like to see the “rotten apples” rooted out much more than you or Chris Lawson. FYI I already wrote Mr. Lawson over a month ago and got no reply? so much for accountability in ministries that pretend to hold others accountable!

  16. Sheila Shaver

    Somebody needs to report these Calvary Chapel pastors to Calvary Chapel’s head office so they can remove them or the Calvary titles from their buildings. They have done it before.

    Also, I am not surprised with Rick Warren’s churches since he likes to do whatever fits his agenda (ie Chrislam).

    This is very sad, and only illustrates how we need to test the spirits, seek the scriptures, and pray Maranatha!

  17. I’m so thankful for this ministry, but I am disheartened whenever I hear a blanketed statement about Calvary Chapel. Calvary Chapel is not one church or even a handful of churches. Just because a few churches within the movement are making an err in judgement, does not mean ALL Calvary chapels are making the same mistakes. Did the person who discovered this make contact with these churches to lovingly point out their err? I know it’s hard to believe but Yoga is a topic that many christians are ignorant about. I appreciate the warning, but discernment should first and foremost be about bringing people back to sound doctrine and practice, and that includes the leadership of the churches involved here. I attend a Calvary Chapel and it’s offensive and untrue to lump us all in with the apostate teachings of the emergent church.

    • Amber, this was not presented as a “blanketed statement” about all Calvary Chapel churches, nor do we feel it was communicated this way in the piece. There are many great Calvary Chapel churches out there and we praise God for them. The piece pointed out “pastors” who are allowing this into their churches. Pastors are stewards of God’s word and shepherds of their flock. We should not expect this from pastors. If you have more questions, feel free to contact Chris Lawson at Spiritual Research Network, as we are only communicating our position, and do not want to speak for Chris. God bless.

      • Derek Chamberlain

        You are saying it is not a blanket statement but the title starts off Calvary Chapel not some or a few or precisely which ones

  18. We have heard only positive comments about Reality Church in L.A. A few people who used to attend our church in Simi Valley now attend Reality and the reports are always good. We pray your son remains strong in the Lord and is a light at Pepperdine. God bless.

    (This response is from Good Fight Ministries, the operator of this site. If you’d like to reach Chris directly, please visit his website at

  19. Hi Chris, Thanks for the warning clearly defined. I remember when the emergent church was first gaining ground several years ago. I thought to myself, “I need to watch this and warn my sons.” They were much younger then, but my oldest is a freshman in college this year at Pepperdine University. He encounters every stripe and as a young media production major is seeking to be discerning particularly as he seeks out fellowship on campus. He is currently attending RealityLA for church and believes that they are biblically sound. I would appreciate your input if you know otherwise. God bless you for standing up and taking on these issues. Sandy Hutchinson