A few months ago, I published a video on Twitter of a man named Curtis Chang who made the asinine argument that getting the COVID vaXX was just like Jesus saving people—the vaccine “redeemed an abortion” the same way Jesus redeems sinners. That was literally his argument. Chang, a contributor at the pro-evolution BioLogos organization and the author of several books, including The Anxiety Opportunity: How Worry Is the Doorway to Your Best Self, has joined forces with former SBC ERLC head, Russell Moore, and progressive grifter, David French, to create a curriculum for churches to teach congregants about politics.
But another video of Chang has surfaced which is equally as distressing and quite frankly, heretical as the “redeem an abortion” video. In this clip, being interviewed by Russell Moore, he equates new age breathing techniques with the presence of the Holy Spirit, and twists the Scriptures, stating this practice came from Jesus.
Chang’s ridiculous assertion concerning the practice of mindful breath and its connection to Christian beliefs reveals a profound misunderstanding of these biblical teachings as he suggests that “mindful breathing” exercises, which are most often associated with Eastern mystic religions, actually find their origin in the actions of Jesus and the descriptions of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
Chang draws on Jesus’s act of breathing on his disciples in John 20:22 and equates this with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily breathing. However, to stretch this unique act into a generalized practice for all Christians is to twist the Scriptures and misrepresent what was a specific, symbolic act. Jesus’s breathing on His disciples was not a prescription for a mystical breathing exercise but a unique impartation of the Holy Spirit to the apostles—an event unparalleled in Scripture.
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Chang also attempts to connect these new age exercises to Genesis’s description of “Ruach Elohim,” the breath of God. The breath of God in Genesis refers to God’s creative power and life-giving essence, not a human breathing practice. This context is important and any attempt to apply it as a spiritual exercise reflects a superficial and distorted reading of the biblical text.
And the notion that mindful breathing can remind us of the presence of the Holy Spirit, as Chang claims, not only lacks biblical support but blurs the lines between Christian faith and other religious traditions. Everybody breathes, not just Christians. The Bible never teaches or implies that our own physical breath is a manifestation or reminder of the Holy Spirit. Such a view reduces the reality of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling to a mere human exercise, a concept foreign to the Scriptures.
Chang’s views on mindful breath reflect a willingness to accommodate and appropriate ideas outside of traditional Christian beliefs without sufficient scrutiny. In attempting to anchor these practices in the Bible, he risks twisting the Scriptures to his own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). The belief that mindful breath is a Christ-centered practice is not only biblically unfounded but a twisted interpretation that diverts from historic, orthodox, biblical Christianity. In our pursuit of understanding God’s Word, we must remain true to the text and avoid novel interpretations that dilute or distort the truths it contains.