Posts Tagged ‘“another jesus” calling’

Christian Leaders Finally Beginning to Speak Out About Jesus Calling, Saying: “WE LOVE IT!!”

jesus-callingFor three years, Lighthouse Trails has been warning believers about Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. It was October 25th 2013 that we announced going to press with Warren B. Smith’s book “Another Jesus” Calling. Since then, we have published three booklets by Warren on the topic as well as several articles. We also sent his booklet 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book to over 100 Christian leaders earlier this year. Interestingly, in these past few years, we’ve heard virtually no public comments by Christian leaders about Jesus Calling – for or against. We wondered, “Do they like the book and are too afraid to say so?” or “Do they NOT like the book and are too afraid to say so?” Afraid that if they stated their true feelings about the book – whether for or against – they would take heat from either their followers who love the book or from discernment ministries who warn about the book. Well, apparently, all that doesn’t matter anymore because leaders are starting to speak up about Jesus Calling – and the ones who are, LOVE IT!

On a fairly new Thomas Nelson web page, the mega publisher of Jesus Calling has posted a number of “Endorsements” for Jesus Calling by Christian and other religious and secular leaders. The list of endorsers includes: Max Lucado, Roma Downey, Josh Warren (CEO, Purpose Driven Communications), Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker author), Melinda Gates (Bill Gates’ wife), Rev. James Martin, SJ (a Jesuit priest), best-selling author Shauna Niequist, O.S. Hawkins (author of The Joshua Code and The Jesus Code), Dr. Jack Graham, singer Sheila Walsch, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Lee (speaker for “There’s Hope in America television series), Kathy Lee Gifford, country singer Charlie Daniels, singer Reba McEntire, James Robison (who works closely with Beth Moore), Mike Gallagher (from Salem Radio Network), veteran Christian singer Phil Keaggy, and numerous other evangelical, Catholic, and secular personalities.

Based on our research, we believe Thomas Nelson posted this sometime in May 2016, just two months after Lighthouse Trails mailed out the booklet on Jesus Calling to Christian leaders. While perhaps unrelated, we find it interesting that this promo by Thomas Nelson came out just a couple months after we sent out the warning to the leaders. Of the leaders who are endorsing Jesus Calling, these are the ones who received a copy of 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book: Dr. Jack Graham, Max Lucado, James Robison, Sheila Walsch, and Rick Warren (Saddleback).

It is also interesting to note that most of the Christian leaders who have endorsed Jesus Calling are also advocates for contemplative spirituality and/or the road to Rome.

Here are a few of the endorsements:

Max Lucado: “It would be hard to overstate the impact of the writings of Sarah Young. She is a stream in the desert. Her words quench our thirst.”

Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker): “I believe that God honors bold prayers and is often just waiting to be invited to intervene in our lives with answered prayers, miracles, and fulfilled dreams. That’s why I love Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling.

Roma Downey (a favorite of David Jeremiah): “I love my daily devotional, Jesus Calling. It’s a blessing in my day to read.”

Dr. Jack Graham: I have personally read Jesus Calling regularly and have been blessed beyond measure. I am grateful to God for this devotional masterpiece, which will speak life into generations to come.”

Sheila Walsch: “Sometimes God places His hand on a project and takes it deep into the hearts of young and old, rich or poor, for it crosses every human barrier. Jesus Calling is such a gift.”

Josh Warren (CEO, Purpose Driven Communications): “Very rarely do books come along that hit you right between the eyes. Jesus Calling is one of those books. I can’t tell you how many times the devotion of the day is exactly what I needed to face that day. My relationship with Jesus has changed because of this book. My love for Him and His people is deeper, more real, more transparent, and I have a better grasp of the journey of His calling.”

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NEW BOOKLET TRACT: 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, click here.

rp_BKT-WS-10-RS-3-lg.jpgBy Warren B. Smith

10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

On November 12, 2015, Religion News Service posted an article titledJesus Calling and the Policing of Theology.”1 It was a quick response to an article that reformed pastor and popular blogger Tim Challies had posted just the day before.2 The author of the RNS article, Laura Turner (a regular contributor for Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog), used her superficial criticism of Sarah Young’s best-selling book, Jesus Calling, as a smokescreen to actually express her disapproval of people who were issuing serious warnings about Young’s book. In a strange stab at free speech, Turner stated that “theology policing is a job best left to the Holy Spirit, and then to people who we know.” But in her effort to undermine Young’s critics by redefining spiritual discernment as “theology policing,” she does the very thing she accuses others of doing. Her entire article is a thinly disguised attempt to “police” those who don’t agree with her own take on Jesus Calling. After minimizing and marginalizing most of the issues that have been raised about Jesus Calling, Turner concludes that Young’s book is “a net positive” and “has been a tool through which many people have gotten closer to God.”

In her obvious endeavor to whitewash the many problems found in Jesus Calling, Turner is especially upset with Tim Challies. She goes out of her way to single him out and take him to task for describing Jesus Calling as a “dangerous” book. But in her rush to isolate and discredit Challies, she overlooks the fact that he is not alone in coming to that conclusion. There are many of us who completely agree.

Not Careful About What We Read?

The Bible exhorts believers to be workmen who are not ashamed of what they believe because they are “rightly dividing the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Scripture further instructs us to “search the scriptures” to see if the things being presented in a book like Jesus Calling are really “so” (Acts 17:11). Yet Laura Turner writes, “Should we be careful about what we read? I’m not convinced.” But in taking this attitude, she does her readers a great disfavor. While everyone should be free to read what they want to read, what they read should be read very carefully with great discernment—particularly with books that bring alleged “messages” from Jesus Christ Himself. Turner’s article overlooks every warning in the Bible about the danger of being deceived by false Christs and false teachings. While the apostle Paul expressed his “fear” that the Corinthian church could be deceived by false Christs (2 Corinthians 11:3-4), the true Jesus Christ warned that before His return, many would be deceived by false Christs (Matthew 24:3-5).

Free and Open Exchange

In an effort to support her position, Turner ironically links to an article that actually supports the complete freedom of expression that she attempts to discourage in her own article. The article she links to was excerpted from a book written by her “friend,” Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior. Prior frames her piece with numerous and pertinent quotes from John Milton’s 1644 anti-censorship tract, Areopagitica. She writes that “Milton argued passionately in this treatise that the best way to counteract falsehood is not by suppressing it, but by countering it with the truth.” Prior states that the crux of Milton’s argument is that “truth is stronger than falsehood; falsehood prevails through the suppression of countering ideas, but truth triumphs in a free and open exchange that allows truth to shine.”3 Exactly! It is in this “free and open exchange” that Laura Turner has the right to say whatever she wants about Jesus Calling, but so does everyone else—even if they don’t happen to be “people who we know” and even if what they are saying and believing is that Jesus Calling is a “dangerous” book. The following are ten scriptural reasons explaining why so many of us believe that Jesus Calling is, in fact, a dangerous book.

10 Scriptural Reasons

(1) New Age Book Described as “a Treasure”
(Matthew 6:21)

In 2004, in one of her rare, carefully staged interviews, Sarah Young was asked by the Christian Broadcasting Network “How did you learn to ‘dialogue’ with God?” She answered that it was from reading the book God Calling:

My journey began with a devotional book (God Calling) written in the 1930s by two women who practiced waiting in God’s Presence, writing the messages they received as they “listened.”4 (parenthesis hers)

Also, in the original introduction to Jesus Calling that stood from 2004-2013, Young specifically praised God Calling as “a treasure to me.”5 However, The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs published by Christian publisher Harvest House, describes God Calling as a channeled New Age book that was spiritually dictated by a deceptive spirit pretending to be the real Jesus Christ.6 In their lengthy Encyclopedia chapter on channeling and spiritual dictation, Christian authors/apologists John Weldon and John Ankerberg explain that channeling is a form of New Age “mediumship” which the Bible clearly defines as a “forbidden” practice (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).7 Under a subheading titled “Impersonations of Christianity,” the authors describe God Calling as a New Age book “replete with denials of biblical teaching”8 that “subtly encourages psychic development and spiritistic inspiration under the guise of Christ’s personal guidance . . . and often misinterprets Scripture.”9

Removing God Calling

Soon after Sarah Young’s endorsement of this New Age book was widely publicized in 2013,10 all references to God Calling were completely removed from all subsequent printings of Jesus Calling. Like the missing 18 ½ minutes from Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes, God Calling suddenly disappeared from Young’s book. There was no explanation, no apology, no anything. But what was even more disturbing than their obvious damage control, was that Young and her publisher expressed absolutely no concern for the countless people who had already read or were currently reading God Calling because of Young’s previous endorsement. Nor was there any expressed concern that—thanks to Young—God Calling had been resurrected from semi-obscurity and had become a best-selling book in its own right. It was being printed in multiple editions by multiple publishers and was frequently featured alongside Jesus Calling in Christian bookstores and other retail outlets.

Young’s Silence

To this day, Sarah Young has yet to publicly renounce, much less even acknowledge, her previous involvement with and endorsement of God Calling. The Bible says we are to admit our mistakes—not cover them up (Psalm 32:5). And this is especially true when millions of people have been affected by those mistakes. We are to reprove and expose books like God Calling—not just edit them away without any explanation (Ephesians 5:11). Scripture makes it clear that in regard to issues like God Calling, we are to let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no” and that it is “evil” to try and avoid the matter by refusing to clarify one’s position (Matthew 5:37).

The Bible Warns About What We Treasure

The fact remains that Sarah Young has stated that she was inspired by God Calling to receive her own messages from “Jesus” and described the channeled New Age book as “a treasure to me.” Until she clearly specifies otherwise, we can only assume that where her treasure is, her heart is also.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)

(2) Changing Jesus Calling
(Proverbs 24:21)

The removal of any mention of God Calling from Jesus Calling was not an isolated incident. It was obviously part of a concerted plan to evade some of the questions being raised about the legitimacy of Young’s book. For example, in all the post-2013 printings of Jesus Calling, what Young had originally described as “messages” she received from “God” were suddenly being presented as her own “writings” and “devotions.” This change in wording seemed to remove any suggestion that Young was doing the same kind of channeling that is described in God Calling. Yet Young made it clear in her original introduction to Jesus Calling that this was exactly what she was doing.

“Be a Channel”

Young writes that “Jesus” told her he was “training” her “to be a channel of My loving Presence.”11 Young made it clear in her original introduction that Jesus Calling was comprised of the “messages” and “directives” she claimed to “receive” from “God.” She wrote:

I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him. The more difficult my life circumstances, the more I need these encouraging directives from my Creator.12 (emphasis added)

In regard to spiritualism and someone being “a channel,” Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word “channel” as follows—“to serve as a medium for (a spirit).”13 The word “directive” is defined as “a general instruction or order issued authoritatively.”14 And this is what Sarah Young originally said she was doing—being “a channel” for “personal messages” and “encouraging directives” from a spiritual “Presence” that presented itself as “Jesus.” After receiving these “messages” and “directives,” Young arranged them in the form of a daily devotional like God Calling. But just as her original references to God Calling were edited out of all the new printings of Jesus Calling, so were all of her previous references to “messages” and “directives.” This convenient “now you see it, now you don’t” editing eliminated the entire paragraph indented and footnoted above. Thus, the original “personal messages” and “directives” she “received” from “listening to God” became her own “writings” and “devotions” she had “gleaned” from “being still” in her “quiet moments.” In the two paragraphs that follow, note how the words in her original introduction were replaced by the words in her new printings. What has been cut and pasted and inserted into her new introduction gives entirely new meaning to her “listening” process—a process that, if not for the creative editing, is identical to the occult listening process described in God Calling.

From the Original Introduction to Jesus Calling

This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The messages that follow address that felt need.15 (emphasis added)

From the New Introduction to Jesus Calling

This practice of being still in God’s Presence has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the writings I have gleaned from these quiet moments. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The devotions that follow address that felt need.16 (emphasis added)

However, in Young’s Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, the word “messages”—at least as of January 2016—had yet to be removed from the children’s edition. And it is in this original kid’s version that Young makes it clear that her “devotions” are, in fact, “messages” that she claims to have personally “received” from “Jesus.” In the introduction, she writes:

The devotions in this book are some of the messages I have received.17 (emphasis added)

The Bible Warns About Ungodly Change

The 2014 booklet, Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control For a False Christ, documents some of the subtle—and not so subtle—changes that have been made to the original text of Jesus Calling by Young and her team of Thomas Nelson editors.18 It is almost unheard of that an author and a publisher would go to the seemingly unethical lengths they have to completely change the original meaning of their text—and to do so with absolutely no explanation or apology to their readers. The Bible warns us to stay away from those who are given to this kind of manipulation and change.

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? (Proverbs 24:21-22)

3) Serving Two Masters
(Matthew 6:24)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” frequently contradicts the true Jesus of the Bible. For example, in two separate messages—January 28th and October 15th—her “Jesus” states that the “last words” he spoke after his resurrection and before his final ascent to heaven were “I am with you always.” But these were not His last words. These particular words were spoken on the Mount of Galilee as recorded in Matthew 28:16-20. His last words were actually spoken from the Mount of Olives as recorded in Acts 1:7-12 when He told His disciples they would be His “witnesses.” It was after speaking these words that the Bible records He was “taken up” and ascended into heaven.

After these unbiblical statements in the original Jesus Calling were publicized in 2013,19 Sarah Young’s “Jesus” changed the wording of his two statements in a special Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition published in 2014.20 Compare the original January 28th and October 15th “messages” that had been in Jesus Calling since 2004, with the replacement words that were inserted into the 10th anniversary edition in 2014. Notice how the two phrases “These were the last words I spoke” and “My final statement” have been removed and “after My resurrection” has been inserted in their place.

January 28th Statement in the Original 2004 Edition of Jesus Calling

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.21 (emphasis added)

January 28th Replacement Statement in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. I spoke these words to My disciples after My resurrection. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.22 (emphasis added)

October 15th Statement in the Original 2004 Edition of Jesus Calling

TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. My final statement just before I ascended into heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.23 (emphasis added)

October 15th Replacement Statement in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling

TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. After My resurrection, I assured My followers: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.24 (emphasis added)

The Bible Warns About Serving Two Masters

The author and her publisher might say that Young must have heard it wrong because Jesus never contradicts Himself. But if that were the case, Young would have had to hear it wrong on two separate occasions because this factually incorrect teaching is found in two separate “messages” that have distinctly different wording. Sarah Young is serving two different masters—the false Christ “Jesus” who delivers unbiblical messages like the two cited above and the Bible’s Christ Jesus who she purports to be following. But the two cannot be treated as if they are the same Jesus. They can’t be the same because the true Jesus does not contradict Himself and therefore has no need to correct Himself as her “Jesus” does. If Sarah Young and her readers continue to listen and hold fast to the false Christ of Jesus Calling and his teachings, it may be only a matter of time before this other “Jesus” gets them to despise the true Christ and His teachings.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

4) Author of Confusion
(1 Corinthians 14:33)

The special 2014 Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition attempts to rectify the factually incorrect January 28th and October 15th “messages.” However, the original unbiblical statements about Jesus’ “last words” and “final statement” can still be found in all the twenty or so other varied editions of Jesus Calling as of January 19th, 2016. This includes the new Jesus Calling: Morning and Evening edition published in October 2015—published nearly a year after the corrected 10th anniversary edition.25

The Bible Warns That Confusion is Not From God

If all the changes, contradictions, corrections, and inconsistencies found in the various and sundry editions of Jesus Calling seem to be confusing—that is because they are confusing, and yet God’s Word tells us:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

5) The Voice of a Stranger
(John 10:4-5)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” says he wants to be the “boss” so he can “control your mind,” “reprogram your thinking,” and “take full possession” as he seeks to “invade more and more areas of your life.” Pray for wisdom and then ask yourself—do the following statements sound like something the true Jesus Christ would really say?

Approach this day with awareness of who is boss.26

Let Me control your mind.27

My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession.28

Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking.29

While you relax in My Presence, I am molding your mind and cleansing your heart.30

Your relationship with Me is meant to be vibrant and challenging, as I invade more and more areas of your life.31 (emphasis added in all the above quotes)

The Bible Warns About the Voice of a Stranger

If truth be known, it is more likely that the Devil and his evil spirits are the ones who want to “control your mind,” “take full possession,” “reprogram your thinking,” and “invade more and more areas of your life.” The true Jesus stated that His sheep know His voice and do not follow the voice of a stranger. The voice of Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is that of a stranger.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (John 10:4-5)

6) Flattering Words
(1 Thessalonians 2:3-5)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” uses flattery to seduce undiscerning readers of Jesus Calling. The true Jesus Christ never used gratuitous flattery in relating to others. Pray again for wisdom and ask yourself if the following statements sound like something the real Jesus Christ would say to His followers:

When you trustingly whisper My Name, My aching ears are soothed.32

When you walk through a day in trusting dependence on Me, My aching heart is soothed.33

I am aching to hold you in My everlasting arms, to enfold you in My Love.34

When you seek My Face in response to My Love-call, both of us are blessed.35

As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-call to you.36

Feel your face tingle as you bask in My Love-Light.37

Look into My Face and feel the warmth of My Love-Light shining upon you.38

When your Joy in Me meets My Joy in you, there are fireworks of heavenly ecstasy.39

The Bible Warns About Flattery

The Bible states that “a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Proverbs 26:28). Scripture warns of those who speak with “flattering lips” (Psalm 12:2) and that we are to have nothing to do with them (Proverbs 20:19). The prophet Daniel warned three separate times about flattery in regard to the ultimate false Christ—Antichrist. Daniel said that Antichrist would “come in peaceably” and that he would “corrupt” and “obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21, 32, 34).

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness. (1Thessalonians 2:3-5)

7) A Lot of Leaven
(Galatians 5:9)

The New Age/New Spirituality/New Worldview teaches that we are all “One” and “we are all God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. For example, prominent New Age/New Spirituality leader Neale Donald Walsch also claims to have had conversations with God. In fact, his Conversations with God books have been frequent New York Times best-sellers. Walsch writes that “God” told him that “Oneness”—“God in everyone and everything”—is the “Foundational Truth” of a “New Spirituality” that can save the world. In regard to this heretical New Spirituality, Walsch writes:

[W]e see God in everyone and everything. Including our divine selves.40

Oneness is the message. It is the Foundational Truth of the New Spirituality.41

The true Jesus Christ never taught that God was “in everyone and everything.” However, the July 8th “message” from Sarah Young’s “Jesus” presents this same false teaching that God is “in” everything—that God is “in all.” Her “Jesus” states:

I am above all, as well as in all.42 (emphasis added)

The true Jesus Christ teaches that God—in the Person of the Holy Spirit—is sent to indwell all those who truly believe and follow Him (John 14:23). But He never taught, nor would He ever teach, that He is “in” everyone and everything—that He is “in all.” Psalm 39:5 makes it abundantly clear that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Some of the many other Bible verses that refute this false teaching that God is “in all” include Ezekiel 28:2, Galatians 6:3, Psalm 9:20, Isaiah 31:3, Romans 1:21-23, 25 and John 2:24-25.

The Bible Warns About Leaven

The Bible warns that “a little leaven, leavens the whole lump,” and there is more than a little leaven in Sarah Young’s book. However, this particular God “in all” leaven that is in Jesus Calling and other “Christian” books—if left unchecked—could eventually shift the church to a New Age/New Worldview and into complete apostasy. Scripture exhorts us:

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

8) Not Testing the Spirits
(1 John 4:1)

There is no indication that Sarah Young ever applied the biblical “test of the spirits” to see if the “Jesus” she claims to be getting “messages” from is the real Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1). Young references nearly a thousand Scripture verses in Jesus Calling, but the 1 John 4:1 test cannot be found. What is found is a completely unbiblical test suggested by her “Jesus.” He is quoted in the March 3rd “message” of Jesus Calling as saying—“You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not.”43 But instead of directing her to 1 John 4:1 and what the Bible teaches about trying and testing the spirits, he says—“Ask My Spirit to give you this discernment.” This advice is not only unscriptural, it defies common sense. If the “Jesus” Sarah Young is listening to is a deceptive spirit pretending to be “Jesus,” you obviously don’t ask a deceptive spirit to give you discernment. If she followed his advice—which she seems to do on all other accounts—instead of biblically testing the spirit, she would already be trusting the deceptive spirit she should be testing. Thus, this suggestion by Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is self-defeating as it immediately protects a false Christ from being detected. The fact that Young’s “Jesus” teaches this unbiblical test is further proof that Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is not to be trusted.

The Bible Warns to “Try the Spirits”

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)

9) Adding to God’s Word
(Proverbs 30:5-6)

In the original August 23rd “message” in Jesus Calling, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” attempts to give a new distorted description of Abraham. He states that Abraham, in regard to his son Isaac, was guilty of “son-worship,” “undisciplined emotions,” and “idolatry.” Many believers rightfully recoiled at these bizarre extra-biblical remarks. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that what Young’s “Jesus” is saying is in any way true. After these defamatory and derogatory references to Abraham were widely publicized in 2013,44 the whole Abraham and Isaac scenario was completely removed from all subsequent printings of Jesus Calling. The italicized words below show how “Abraham and Isaac” were edited out and “Joseph and Jacob” were cut and pasted into that otherwise same paragraph.

August 23rd “Message” in the Original Edition (2004-2013)

ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.45 (emphasis added)

August 23rd Replacement Message (2014-Present)

ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself. Joseph and his father, Jacob, suffered terribly because Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and treated him with special favor. So Joseph’s brothers hated him and plotted against him. Ultimately, I used that situation for good, but both father and son had to endure years of suffering and separation from one another.

I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love, so beware of making a beloved child your idol.46 (emphasis added; bold is emphasis in original)

This toned-down replacement “message” from Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is yet another example of how Young and her publisher have had her “Jesus” change his original “message” in an obvious attempt to escape legitimate criticism.

The Bible Warns Not to Add to God’s Word

The original “message” depicting Abraham as a son-worshiper and idolater was a prime example of how adding to God’s Word can end up twisting and changing God’s Word. The Bible is sufficient unto itself as we are “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are clearly admonished not to add to God’s Word:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

10) Laughing at the Future (Luke 6:25)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” contradicts the warnings of the true Jesus Christ in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and the whole Book of Revelation when he states—“The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future!”47 In contrast, in the Bible, the true Jesus makes it clear that the future is no laughing matter. He goes to great lengths to describe the serious events that will transpire at the end of time. He tells His disciples to “be not troubled” by these future happenings, but He does not tell them to laugh at these events or to take them lightly. Rather He tells them to “watch” and “be ready” and to “not be deceived” by the false Christs and false prophets that will come in His name (Matthew 24:3-5, 24, 42, 44).

The Bible Warns About Inappropriate Laughter

The Bible says there is a “time to weep, and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

The real Jesus makes it clear that the future is not something to laugh at or laugh about. Rather, He warns of the increased hatred and persecution of Christians that will be taking place—that we may even be killed for our faith. Only a false Christ would tell us to laugh at the future.

Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6:25)

Conclusion

For the above ten—and for many other scriptural reasons—it has become increasingly evident to growing numbers of believers that Jesus Calling is a deceptive and dangerous book. To those like Laura Turner (author of the Religion News Service article) who condone books like Jesus Calling as “a net positive,” former Moody Memorial Church pastor Dr. Harry Ironside argued just the opposite. He reminds us there is no such thing as “a net positive” with books like Jesus Calling. He warned that when “truth” is “mixed with error,” it “is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous.” He said that “God hates such a mixture!” and it must be exposed and repudiated. He further warned that “to condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word” and “treacherous” to those “for whom Christ died.”

Error is like leaven, of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.48

In 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, the apostle Paul was able to honestly say—“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” Unfortunately, Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson cannot say the same. Through unethical editing practices, they have, in essence, made a mockery of the truth (Jeremiah 9:3). By evading legitimate questions regarding their best-selling book, they have fallen victim to covetousness and greed, coveting what was best for continued book sales but not what was best for the church (Luke 12:15). In short, they pleased themselves—not God (Galatians 1:10). With feigned words and clever editing, they have made merchandise of their trusting readers.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. (2 Peter 2:3)

Jesus warned that great deception would characterize the last days and that the deception would come in His Name. The “Jesus” of Jesus Calling is not the true Christ. He is actually one of the false Christs that the real Jesus warned us to watch out for. For that reason—and that reason alone—Jesus Calling is a dangerous book.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

To order copies of 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, click here.

Endnotes
1. Laura Turner, “Jesus Calling and the Policing of Theology” (Religion News Service, November 12, 2015; http://lauraturner.religionnews.com/2015/11/12/jesus-calling-and-the-policing-of-theology/).
2. Tim Challies, “10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling” (November 11, 2015, http://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling).
3. Karen Swallow Prior, “Promiscuous Reading” (Posted at The Well, an InterVarsity online outreach to women, http://thewell.intervarsity.org/arts-books-media/promiscuous-reading).
4. “Q&A with Sarah Young, Author Profile” (The Christian Broadcasting Network, http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/books/jesuscallingqa.aspx).
5. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. Xl (12 13 14 15 16 RRD 52 51 50 49 48).
6. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), pp. 79-112.
7. Ibid., p. 80.
8. Ibid., p. 103.
9. Ibid., p. 104.
10. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer (Eureka, MT; Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013), pp. 24-26, 52-53.
11. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 94.
12. Ibid., p. Xll.
13. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary: Third College Edition (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1988), p. 234.
14. Ibid., p. 389.
15. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. Xlll.
16. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, 10th Anniversary Edition (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Inc, 2004, 2011, 2014), p. xviii, (14 15 16 17 18 DSC 5 4 3 2 1).
17. Sarah Young, Adapted by Tama Fortner, Edited by Kris Bearss, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids (Nashville, TN; Tommy Nelson, 2010), pp. vii-viii, (13 14 15 16 17 RRD 5 4 3 2 1).
18. Warren B. Smith, Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control for a False Christ (Eureka, MT; Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2014).
19. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling, op. cit., pp. 59-61 (“Jesus Contradicts Himself?”).
20. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., pp. 29, 302.
21. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 29.
22. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 29.
23. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 302.
24. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 302.
25. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Morning & Evening (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2015), pp. 56, 596.
26. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 21.
27. Ibid., p. 116.
28. Ibid., p. 326.
29. Ibid., p. 200.
30. Ibid., p. 329.
31. Ibid., p. 50.
32. Ibid., p. 203.
33. Ibid., p. 182.
34. Ibid., p. 377.
35. Ibid., p. 239.
36. Ibid., p. 216.
37. Ibid., p. 262.
38. Ibid., p. 278.
39. Ibid., p. 199.
40. Neale Donald Walsch, Happier than God: Turn Ordinary Life into an Extraordinary Experience (Ashland, OR: Emnin Books, 2008), p. 207.
41. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2004), p. 167.
42. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 199.
43. Ibid., p. 66.
44. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling, op. cit., pp. 76-79 (“Abraham Guilty of ‘Idolatry’ & ‘Son-Worship’?”).
45. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 246.
46. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 246.
47. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 16.
48. Dr. Harry Ironside, “Exposing Error: Is it Worthwhile?” (TBC Extra, April 2008, posted on The Berean Call website, (http://www.thebereancall.org/content/tbc-extra-30).

To order copies of 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, click here.

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Lighthouse Trails Responds to Comments About Article on Jesus Calling’s Christmas “Message”

After Lighthouse Trails posted Herescope’s article “‘Merry Christmas’ from Sarah Young’s False Christ!” this past weekend on Facebook about the 12/25 Christmas “message” found in Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling, some people on Facebook left comments (some harsh, some angry) that begged for further explanation. Thus, our editors felt compelled to respond.

In his already published booklet Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control for a False Christ, Warren B. Smith illustrates some of the many passages that have been completely removed or significantly altered in recent editions of Jesus Calling. One of the changes reported by Smith is in regard to Young’s controversial Christmas “devotion.”

Smith’s original concern, as expressed in his 2013 book, “Another Jesus” Calling, was that the joy of the Gospel message was being overshadowed by some of the dark comments made by Sarah Young’s “Jesus” in that Christmas “devotion.” Apparently, Sarah Young and her publisher Thomas Nelson agreed. In their special 10th anniversary edition of Jesus Calling published in 2014, they completely removed one of the most severe comments “Jesus” made about the night of His birth. However, for whatever reason, they did not make the change in all their other editions. This is typical of the way Young and her team of editors have published numerous and varying editions of Jesus Calling as they continually put words in and out of “Jesus’” mouth in an apparent attempt to curb the mounting criticism of Sarah Young’s book.

Here is an excerpt from Warren B. Smith’s booklet Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control for a False Christ regarding the recent change in the 10th anniversary of Jesus Calling concerning the Christmas “devotion.” We hope those reading this will prayerfully consider these things in view of Scripture:

 Christmas Nativity Star Of Bethlehem“Jesus” complains about the night of his birth
Creating considerable controversy and confusion, the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling said he was born “under appalling conditions” in a “filthy stable” and that the night of his birth “was a dark night” for him. To many readers, this did not sound like the voice of their Savior—it sounded like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5) and that Satan—not Jesus—would be the one describing the night of Jesus’ birth as “that dark night for Me.”

The Damage Control
Compare the original December 25th message with the one that has replaced it in the 10th anniversary edition of  Jesus Calling. Notice how the controversial statement—“That was a dark night for Me”—was deleted and quietly replaced by the less controversial statement—“There was nothing glorious about that setting.”

December 25th Sentence in the Original Edition  
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.25 (bold added to highlight what was deleted))

December 25th Replacement Sentence
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. There was nothing glorious about that setting, though angels lit up the sky proclaiming, “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.26 (bold added to highlight what was added)

Jesus Corrects Himself Again?
The complaints made by Sarah Young’s “Jesus” don’t square with Scripture inspired by the true Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us “to be content” in whatever circumstances we find ourselves (Philippians 4:11). Obviously succumbing to the mounting criticism regarding the “dark night for Me” remark, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” corrects himself—again—with no apology or explanation. (excerpt from Warren B. Smith’s booklet Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control for a False Christ)

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“Thinking of giving Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling to friends and family for Christmas? – ‘Merry Christmas’ from Sarah Young’s False Christ!”

By Herescope
(Discernment Ministries Group)

Thinking of giving Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling to friends and family for Christmas? 

You might think twice . . . .

Author Warren B. Smith elaborates on the strange December 25th “message” that is presented as the Christmas Day “devotion” in Jesus Calling. In his book “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer, Smith suggests that Young’s “Jesus” sounds more like the Grinch who stole Christmas than the man from Galilee; more like a stranger than a savior.

The following excerpt is one of the “20 Concerns” Smith presents in his 2013 excellent book “Another Jesus” Calling:

The Dark  Night of Jesus’ Birth?

In Jesus Calling, [Sarah Young’s] “Jesus” states that he was born in a “filthy stable” “under the most appalling conditions.” He says that the night of his birth was a “dark night” for him.

IN WHAT CAN only be described as the ultimate revisionist description of the night of Jesus’ birth, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” openly bemoans what he describes as that “dark night for Me.” He states in Jesus Calling:

Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds. (emphasis added)

This doesn’t sound like the voice of our Savior—it sounds instead like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5). And when you really think about it, wouldn’t it be more likely that Satan—not Jesus—would be the one to describe the night of Jesus’ birth as that “dark night for me”?  To continue reading, click here.

 

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Jesus Calling— “Co-creating” with God

used with permission from bigstockphoto.com

used with permission from bigstockphoto.com

By Warren B. Smith

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” mentions a key New Age term: co-creation. Many people do not realize that co-creation is a New Age evolutionary concept that teaches that man as God co-creates with God because man is God also. But man is not God.

Co-creation is a New Age concept that entails the necessity of man recognizing that he is God and then acting as God to co-create a positive future. The means to accomplishing this has been laid out by the New Age “Christ” in top New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard’s book The Revelation—which essentially rewrites the Holy Bible’s book of Revelation. The New Age “Christ” has a plan and is promising the world that Armageddon is avoidable and that world peace is possible if everyone collaborates and co-creates with him. He and humanity together can thus save the world. Speaking through Hubbard in The Revelation, the New Age “Christ” uses the terms co-create, co-creation, co-creative, co-creator, and co-creatorship over 100 times. Co-creation is the key to his counterfeit plan of salvation for planet Earth.

Webster’s New World Dictionary’s sole definition of a collaborationist is “a person who cooperates with an enemy invader.”1 And the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling uses the terms collaborate, collaborating, or collaboration at least ten times. For example, he states:

This is a very practical way of collaborating with Me. I, the Creator of the universe, have deigned to co-create with you.2 (emphasis added)

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” plays into this ultimate New Age collaboration when he talks of humanity collaborating and co-creating with him. Again, co-creation is the key to the spirit world’s counterfeit plan of salvation for planet Earth. Occult/New Age author Neale Donald Walsch has been taking spiritual dictation from his New Age “God” for many years now. “God”—speaking through Walsch—has proclaimed that “The era of the Single Savior” is to be replaced with “co-creation”:

Yet let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.3 (emphasis added)

And Hubbard’s New Age “Christ” states:

Here we are, now poised either on the brink of destruction greater than the world has ever seen—a destruction which will cripple planet Earth forever and release only the few to go on—or on the threshold of global co-creation wherein each person on Earth will be attracted to participate in his or her own evolution to godliness.4 (emphasis added)

In “Reimagining” God, Tamara Hartzell underscores the connection between co-creation, meditation, and contemplative prayer by quoting the following from Hubbard’s book The Revelation:

We too shall all be changed. . . . the next stage of evolution, the shift from creature to co-creative human. . . .

We draw from all great avatars and paths, but we know that our challenge is to be the co-creative human ourselves. There is no outside person or power that can do this for us. Each of us chooses the disciplines and practices that are most compatible with our temperament. We become faithful to those practices, whether they be meditation, yoga, prayer, contemplation—whatever inner work works, we do faithfully.5

Hartzell also points out the striking similarities of the dictated messages given to both Young and Hubbard by their Presence:

[I]n Jesus Calling, Young’s “Presence” of “Jesus” that wants to “reprogram your thinking” looks for “an awakened soul” in order “to co-create with you.” Young’s “Presence” that also says, “I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light,” wants you to “[l]earn to tune in to My living Presence by seeking Me in silence,” “[a]ttune yourself to My voice,” and “do not relinquish your attentiveness to Me.” Likewise, in The Revelation, Hubbard’s “Christ presence” that refers to “humanity awakening” as “co-creators with Christ” wants you to: “Create the cocoon of light. Materialize my body of light in your mind’s eye.” And also: “Keep your attention on me at all times. Practice continually tuning in.”6

Speaking through Hubbard in The Revelation, the New Age “Christ” states:

At the moment of cosmic contact, I will appear to you both through inner experience and through external communication in your mass media—the nervous system of the world.

You will all feel, hear, and see my presence at one instant in time, each in your own way.7 (emphasis added)

This New Age “Christ” further elaborates on this co-creative process by describing the moment of experiencing his presence as the Quantum Instant. He also describes the judgment that will come with it, which will be based on people’s willingness to co-create the future with him. He states:

At the time of the Quantum Instant there will be a judgment of the quick and the dead. That is, there will be an evolutionary selection process based on your qualifications for co-creative power.8 (emphasis added)
Those of you who happen to be alive at the time of the actual Quantum Instant, will be changed while still alive. . . .
Your co-creative system will turn on. It is being prepared now.9 (emphasis added)

There is a definite overlap of terms as the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling uses this same co-creative term to describe how he will transform people’s lives. And Hartzell explains why both Sarah Young’s “Christ” and Barbara Marx Hubbard’s “Christ” contradict Scripture when they talk of man co-creating with God:

It is Jesus Christ of Nazareth—and He alone is Christ—that is one with God. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). And it is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Who alone is Christ, that is the Father’s (“co-”) Creator. God’s Word also tells us: “God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). Man is neither one with God nor God’s “co-creator.” Man never has been and never will be a “natural Christ.”10

This is an excerpt from Warren B. Smith’s book, “Another Jesus” Calling.

Endnotes:

1. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster., Inc 1988, Third College Ed.), p. 273.
2. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. 362.
3. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
4.arbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), p. 174.
5. Ibid., pp. 312-313.
6. Tamara Hartzell, “Reimagining” God: Turning the Light off to Look for “Truth” in the Corner of a Dark Round Room, Volume 2, (North Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, an Amazon company, 2013), pp. 408-409.
7. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 245.
8. Ibid., p. 111.
9. Ibid., p. 197.
10. Tamara Hartzell, “Reimagining” God, op. cit., p. 406.

Related Articles:

Would Jesus Magnify His Presence Above the Word of God?

Letter to the Editor: Her Pastor: “Warren B. Smith Not in Communion With Holy Spirit Because of “Another Jesus” Calling” | LT: “Church Will Bear Brunt of Pastor’s Negligence”

The New Age Implications of “Jesus Calling”

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Would Jesus Magnify His Presence Above the Word of God?

jesus-callingBy Warren B. Smith
(from his book “Another Jesus” Calling)

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” promotes the experience of his presence above God’s Word.

Psalm 138:2 tells us:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (emphasis added)

Because God has magnified His Word above His name, this lets us know we will never experience His presence in any way that is not totally consistent with the truth of His Word. Thus, we can know that any presence that comes calling and claims the name of “Jesus” as its own but does not line up in every way with God’s Word is not the presence of God. God will never put His name or experiencing His presence above His Word.

The true Jesus Christ tells us:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

God is always present with us—a presence that will never be magnified above His Word. If we choose to put experiencing God’s presence above His Word, we are leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to the visits of a counterfeit presence.

For the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling, experiencing His presence is everything. This is his invitation:

Open yourself to My loving Presence, so that I may fill you with My fullness. I want you to experience how wide and long and high and deep is My Love for you, so that you can know My Love that surpasses knowledge. This vast ocean of Love cannot be measured or explained, but it can be experienced.1

Taste and see that I am good. This command contains an invitation to experience My living Presence. It also contains a promise. The more you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness.2

It is not surprising that a counterfeit presence will emphasize its own presence above the Word of God because the Word of God is where we find the truth of God. And this false Christ uses Psalm 34:8 which says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good,” to make the case for “tasting” his presence. But as we see in Psalm 119:103-104, we are to “taste” the Word of God:

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (emphasis added)

Also, we are told in the next verse of this Psalm:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

It is God’s Word that is the light of our path—a light in which we can clearly see that a presence is counterfeit. It is for good reason that God will never put His name or experiencing His presence above the light of His Word. But in Jesus Calling, “Jesus” goes out of his way to promote the experience of his presence—an experience that lets the “Light” of his presence “soak into you” as a substitute for the revealing light of God’s Word:

My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a Light for your path.3 (emphasis added)

Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me. Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings.4 (emphasis added)

It is in the revealing light of God’s Word that the true Jesus Christ warns:

Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. (Luke 11:35)

However, the “Jesus” that comes calling as an “abiding Presence” wants to “soak” you with the light that is dark. And he says:

My abiding Presence is the best road map available.5 (emphasis added)

Begin each day anticipating problems, asking Me to equip you for whatever difficulties you will encounter. The best equipping is My living Presence.6 (emphasis added)

You need the certainty of My loving Presence in order to weather the storms of life. During times of severe testing, even the best theology can fail you if it isn’t accompanied by experiential knowledge of Me.7 (emphasis added)

But Scripture tells us:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

As mentioned, the word “Presence” is found more than 365 times in Jesus Calling. And in both God Calling [the occultic book that inspired Sarah Young to write Jesus Calling] and Jesus Calling, “Jesus” states that experiencing his presence will unlock secret teachings, new revelations, and future things to come. The “Jesus” of God Calling states:

For you, My children, I will unlock the secret treasures hidden from so many.8 (emphasis added)

You must ponder on these truths I give you. They are not surface facts, but the secrets of My Kingdom, the hidden pearls of rare price.9 (emphasis added)

And the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling states:

Instead, I will lead you along fresh trails of adventure, revealing to you things you did not know. Stay in communication with Me. Follow My guiding Presence.10 (emphasis added)

As you follow Me, I lead you along paths of newness: ways you have never imagined.11 (emphasis added)

Sarah Young wanted “more” than what was communicated in God’s Word—and “more” is exactly what she got. It would seem that “a word from God” became more important than the Word of God. This yearning for “more” is what helped open her up to experiencing a presence that is only too glad to give her its new revelations and new truths. She writes in Jesus Calling:

The following year, I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.12 (emphasis added)

The presence that came calling on Sarah Young is extending an invitation to the readers of Jesus Calling to experience his presence as well—an invitation that is depicted in the book cover’s inviting hand. Keep in mind that another invitation is also taking place. If we choose to sit “with pen in hand” waiting to hear “more” than God’s inspired Holy Word, we, too, have an inviting hand. But what presence are we actually inviting into our lives?

If one becomes dependent on a subjective presence rather than the objective Holy Bible, deception is inevitable. That is why it is crucial to compare what is taught by anyone or anything to the revealing light of God’s Word. Test the spirits of any presence that may appear in your devotions and quiet times.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

Endnotes:

1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. 234.
2. Ibid., p. 187.
3. Ibid., p. 233.
4. Ibid., p. 3.
5. Ibid., p. 13.
6. Ibid., p.135.
7. Ibid,. p. 352.
8. Two Listeners; Edited by A. J. Russell, God Calling (Grand Rapids, MI: A Spire Book published by Jove Publications Inc., for Fleming H. Revell, 2005), p. 43.
9. Ibid., p. 21.
10. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 314.
11. Ibid., p. 189.
12. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., pp. XI-XII.

Related Articles:

The 2nd Coming of the “Presence”

The Passion of the Presence and the Purpose of the Passion (and Francis Chan and John Piper’s Involvement with IHOP)

The Present of “His Presence” (and Should We Practice “His Presence”?)

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Letter to the Editor: Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) Handing Out Jesus Calling And Saying, “There are no wrong answers.”

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I had a conversation with your office the week of January 15, 2015 voicing my concerns and experiences with BSF [Bible Study Fellowship]. I have been a faithful attendee for six years.

I have had some concerns about BSF in the last several years. These include but are not limited to:

1) The use of the NIV Bible with the use of commentaries forbidden.

2) There are no wrong answers, my leader this year continually stated “it is all good.”

3) Having a class in the host church library and seeing the shelves laden with the current “Christian” Best sellers.

4) The mention of the Message Bible by two leaders. At one of our fellowships leader’s home she was asked to recommend which Bible to buy by a group member. The leader pulled out a stack of Bibles, including the Message, and explained that “it is a modern translation.”

5) The lecture leader at a fellowship three years ago telling us “seasoned” ladies not to get frustrated and leave because the format of the notes was going to change to bring in the younger people. There has been a noticeable change with what I would call a “dumbing down” of the notes.

6) People in the groups I have become acquainted with are clearly involved in wrong teaching, such as The Daniel Plan, Joyce Meyers, Purpose driven and seeker sensitive churches. BSF has started a lecture teaching of “How to get involved in your church.” Of note, we are not taught to seek a true Bible-preaching church but rather to “get involved in your church.”

7) Two years ago in class, a member voiced the belief that there is opportunity after death to make a decision for Christ, no question or correction by the leader followed the statement. There are “no wrong answers.”

Then the incident that drove me to quit BSF occurred in December of 2014. At the end of our small group meeting, our leader handed out gifts to each lady. I was astonished to see we were all given the Jesus Calling Devotional. I had read several of Warren B. Smith’s books so I was aware of the New Age making its way into the church. I was greatly troubled by this for two reasons:

1) There is to be no discussion of any outside books,

2) and the New Age contemplative prayer of the author, Sarah Young. To say the least, I was greatly troubled.

I e-mailed Warren Smith, and he suggested I read his book regarding this book and also go on Lighthouse Trails’ research website. I ordered and read the book, “Another Jesus” Calling. During the Christmas break, I sent an e-mail to my BSF group voicing confusion and concern. I received a reply that my e-mail had been forwarded to the lecture leader.

In January of 2015, my small group leader called me to inquire if I was coming to class the next day and attend class fellowship. I told her I would not be returning because I was deeply troubled by her giving out the book. She voiced surprise because she had been given the book several years ago by a mentor and never questioned it. I have sent her booklets I had purchased about the book as well as about the Message Bible. She was clearly bothered by my response and did concede that she had done no research on[Jesus Calling] and was wrong to give them out.

Later in the month, I received an e-mail from the BSF secretary that the lecture leader wishes to talk to me after the class on the first week of February. This response came approximately six weeks after my e-mail voicing my concern. I did meet with the lecture leader who was supportive and voiced that what my leader had done was wrong and it caused many discussions in the leaders group. She told me they needed me because of my wisdom and discernment. I struggled with making a decision to return or not. Finally on February 23, while listening to a Christian discernment radio discussion centered on Christians coming together for a joint reason, one of the pastors said “If you are not believing the same thing, you are not in fellowship. You are partaking in false unity.” Finally I could put words to my struggle.

As I have prayed and studied the BSF format, an old movie came to mind. The movie is the 1970s Stepford Wives. Like that movie, we are taught not to question anything because there are no wrong answers. I know from my own personal study that there were wrong answers given. We are told to get involved in our churches, not question if the churches we are involved in are teaching truth.

I will not return to class, but it is with great sadness that I see the church, the Body of Christ, being deceived. 1 Corinthians 5:6: “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” I am grateful for the ministry of Lighthouse Trails. It is dangerous out here in the “Christian world.”

Forgive me for going on and on, I feel I need to share some of my history. I was raised Catholic, went to college, and got my MSW degree, just as Warren Smith has. I worked as a counselor; my last job was as a “Christian Counselor.” I was fired from that position in 2009, because of “lack of respect for management.” I did not realize at the time it was the hand of God. Since then, I have had to seriously repent of committing spiritual adultery. Psychology is man’s way to fix the exterior of man. I now strive to walk in God’s truth. I see the church has embraced the things of the world.

Thank you for your ministry. I am committed to pray for you daily. May God bless you as you seek to bring us the Truth. I just finished rereading my Jan-Feb newsletter. Thank you.

A sister in Christ,

D.M.

Related Articles:

Is BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) Heading in the Contemplative Direction?  

Bible Study Fellowship Women Respond to Lighthouse Trails Article

 

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