In an age of feel-good gospels of Christianity that teach cookie cutter salvation, the world is in need of a constant reminder that Christianity is not meant to be easy. Matt Walsh, of the Daily Wire, is just the reminder the doctor ordered. Perhaps less afraid of controversy than anyone else in conservative media today, Walsh is a tireless advocate for the Christian faith. He has shown an utter disregard for the potential fallout of plainly and bluntly stating his beliefs and remains willing to inject himself into any debate or start one himself.
One of the most recent examples of his willingness to buck the status quo and engage in a firefight over a topic which others might consider trivial was his denouncement of yoga as a form of Hindu worship, claiming Christians should have nothing to do with it. In all fairness, the ensuing hell storm of angry responses was wildly disproportionate to his actual statements. Accusations of his being “obsessed” with yoga were wildly overblown. His Tweet read,
“It’s kind of amazing to see all of the Christians who think nothing of going to a yoga class. There are so many excellent ways to get in shape that do not involve participating in Hindu worship.” He continued, “The best comparison for Yoga would be the Ouija board. Yes, you can play it ‘just for fun’ without any ill intent, but still you are participating in something that was designed to conjure spirits. Better to just play Monopoly or something. Why mess around with it.”
These terribly incendiary opinions actually led to something of a bizarre alliance, as Vox published a piece examining whether yoga was, in fact, cultural appropriation and questioning whether Christians should practice it at all. They take the scenic route, but end up at the same place.
The most telling thing about this “controversy” wasn’t the Tweet itself, nor the predictable reaction from many on the left. What was more telling was what the Tweet revealed about its author—Matt Walsh is a man who is not afraid to think outside the box, nor is he afraid to make enemies in pursuit of his beliefs and in his advancement of God’s message. Personally, I had never stopped to think about the origins of yoga and the implications that it’s practice might have on my Catholic faith. If we are to obey God’s commandment to have no gods before him, surely engaging in an activity designed to worship the pagan Hindu gods conflicts with it in some measure. This thought-prompting examination of an ultimately trivial pursuit is something that is entirely lacking in modern American life. Pastors and religious leaders have led their flocks astray following the “gospel of prosperity” or, perhaps worse, the gospel of Trumpism. Joel Osteen would never be willing to endure flack Walsh puts himself in, in the name of God’s will. Whether or not one believes that doing yoga is de facto taking part in Hindu worship, what cannot be denied is that Walsh is worthy of the respect afforded to anyone who is willing to take an extremely unpopular position and accept the Earthly consequences.
I do not always agree with Matt Walsh on substantive issues. But what cannot be denied is that he is a stand-up guy, a genuine and honest Christian, and a man of immense moral character. He is worthy of great respect, and we conservative Christians would do well to imitate him more in our daily lives. We should begin each day with a simple question: “how can I best serve God today?”
Nick Briscoe is the manager of the Reid Law Firm and a recent graduate of the University of Alabama. Nick is an astute observer of the political spectrum, especially in regards to the Conservative movement. He currently plans to attend law school in the near future.
Photo courtesy of Matt Walsh (Twitter).