If Rob Bell is a Christian, why was he teaching Eastern meditation and breathing methods here?
Listen to mp3 of Rob Bell here:
Is this what a Christian pastor would be training disciples of Jesus Christ in?
Read the following quotes from this Rob Bell recording and decide:
Take one hand, place it upon your belly. Take one hand, place it upon your chest. (long breath) Let’s breathe for a moment, shall we? Nice big deep breaths. Let’s get this temperature up a few degrees in the next couple minutes. (long breaths) A fully relaxed person, free from narcotics, will generally take, in a fully relaxed state, 4 to 6 breaths a minute. Most statistics show (breath) that most people breathe somewhere around 16 to 20 times a minute throughout the course of an average day. Now to breathe properly, perfect healthy breathing, would come from our belly. That’s where the breath would come in and come out. How many of you when you began breathing discovered that you were breathing mostly from your chest? Many many many many of us actually breathe from our chest. We breathe 16 to 20 times a minute from our chest. And God created us in a relaxed state to breathe somewhere below 10 times a minute from deep in our belly.
(long breaths audible)
Feel free to breathe as deep as you can without snoring. Central to the Christian tradition for thousands of years have been disciplines of meditation. Reflection…silence. And breathing. It was understood that to be a healthy person… and to be fully connected with God and to be fully centered, you would spend significant parts of your day in silence breathing, meditating, praying, allowing the Spirit of God to transform you and touch you. And the word ruah means breath, (long breath) but it also means ‘spirit.’
Now from way back when our ancestors understood that there’s something divine about our breath. There’s something sacred and holy about the very act of breathing. Namely when you’re born, if you don’t start breathing fast you’re in trouble. And when you take your last breath, you die, so in a very physiological physical sense we need our breath, but they understood that in the same way we need God. We need our connection with God to have any sort of life at all. And so in the same way that our breath… keep breathing by the way…(long breath) not that you would stop breathing…maybe I should say ‘keep breathing deeply.’ (long breath). In the same way the ancients come to understood [sic] that God would actually dwell inside of people. It’s one of the reasons they used ruah and pneuma the way they did, is that they believed that the God who made everything actually lived and dwelled inside of people. Later writers began to refer to people who were aware of this as ‘templ
es.’ And their gathering would be the ‘temple of God’ meaning God lives and dwells in and in the midst of his people. (long breath)
(20:30 – 21:16 silence while people are supposed to be doing this)
I wonder sometimes, when we feel as though God is far, God is thinking “I gave you breathing, I can’t get closer.” Cuz from the very beginning, breath, the breath that every single one of us is taking all the time, was a physical reminder of God. Same word — spirit … breath. Is God as close as breathing? Is there a bit of a problem when somebody says “I don’t need God to live”? Is God as close as breath? Notice this from how much we breathe. We generally inhale… those of you are like “I didn’t inhale.” Yeah you do. Each day we inhale about 14,000 liters of air which is around 26,000 breaths, which is around 150 bathtubs full if that gives you an idea how much… (blowing. .. long breath). Next slide…
In Yoga, one of the central tenets of Yoga is your breath needs to remain the same regardless of the pose. So whether you’re making the letter Q with your… whatever…or you’re just… in Yoga one of the things you learn right away is no matter how difficult the pose is, especially if you happen to have somebody from the Grand Rapids Ballet on the mat next to you, who can see their own back…um… this way… umm…
(25:10) it’s not how flexible you are, it’s not whether you can do the poses, it’s not how much you can bend yourself, it’s can you keep your breath (breathes in and out) consistent (breathes out) through whatever you are doing. And the Yoga Masters say this is how it is when you follow Jesus and surrender to God. Is it’s your breath being consistent. It’s your connection with God regardless of the pose you find yourself in. That’s integrating the divine into the daily. (breath)
And so that whatever you’re going through, you never lose (breathes in and out) consistent … deep… breathing.
It says that in the book of Thessalonians, it says that God’s intention is that we would be saved through the sanctifying work…of the pneuma. Now the word sanctifying, big… big word…it means cleaning… purifying… it’s the housecleaning that God’s Spirit wants to do, what the Spirit does is the Spirit allows us to see the dirt. The sin, the brokenness. (breath) This is what the Spirit does … the Spirit makes us aware of things that need to go, of things that need to get passed, things that need to be eliminated. Things that we need to get rid of.
Are you furious with somebody, and you’re plotting revenge? We need to breathe that out. (blowing) next slide. The question this raises for me is what do I need to breathe out. (breath) What are you worried about. What do you need to, right now, “here God, I’m gonna breathe that out.” What has you confused and totally turned around? “God (breathes) I’m gonna breathe that out.” Is there hate anger lust envy greed, are you coveting something, if I only had that thing that that person has, then I’d be ok… and you just need to…(breath, blowing) exhale it. (breath) Are you carrying around problems that you shouldn’t, because somewhere you bought the lie that as Ann Lamott says, “you’re the flight attendant to the world.” And you need to say that is their problem not mine….
(breathes 30:53 -31:02)
Let’s take a moment and on your sheet of paper, ask yourself is there anything you need to breathe out?
(31:08 – 31:44 silence to consider this question)
God did not make you to carry that around, whatever it is. God did not make you to have to live with that. So we breathe it out.
Central to the Christian tradition for thousands of years has been reflection, meditation, breathing, has been this awareness that if I don’t stop on a regular basis and ask questions about the crap that I’m carrying around, and I don’t get rid of it…my life will just end up a mess. When was the last time you took time to breathe?
(breathes) (33:47-34:01 silence)
…God, we are fragile frail clods of dirt. (blows) and we need you to breathe into us hope, and truth, and love, and courage. Perhaps for many of us the world has become an ugly place and we need you to breathe in some beauty. We ask you to be with us in our breathing. To help us breathe out so that we can breathe in….And now my brothers and sisters may you breathe, and may you breathe deeply, and may it change your life. Peace be with you, see you next week.
Are Bell’s teachings in this recording based on biblical Christianity or Eastern spirituality? If he is speaking by the authority of the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord, why is he talking about what the Yoga Masters teach?
Was Rob Bell serious when he talked about the breath, the poses, and finding God like the Yoga Masters? Have Christians who are still listening to Rob Bell lost their minds?
Tibetian Yoga Masters 1/3
ROB BELL, YOGA MASTERS AND JESUS?