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May 2015 Letters

Q: I strongly disagree with the advice you gave the man who wants to go to the swimming pool even though he is tempted by immodesty. Jesus said we should avoid all ‘near occasions of sin.’

A: I respectfully disagree. The man isn’t trying to avoid immodesty. He’s trying to avoid the anxiety he experiences in the natural activity of swimming in a pool. No sin is connected with anxiety or with inaccurate judgments associated with anxiety, and I won’t confirm your perception that there is. To do so would only encourage even more anxiety.

Q: I do yoga because it is helpful exercise. Is it a sin? I’ve received conflicting advice and don’t know what to do.

A: It is by no stretch of the imagination a sin. Yes, yoga is an essential spiritual practice in some traditions, but it is also, as you rightly observed, a form of exercise. There is no conflict between yoga and your faith. Engage in your yoga practice with a clear conscience. Be at peace.

Published in2015 MaySA Mailbox