Posts Tagged ‘sarah young’

Letter to the Editor: Received Flyer on Sarah Young’s Newest Book

To Lighthouse Trails:

The Prophecy Conference in Appleton Wisconsin was excellent. Thank you for recommending that we attend. We could only attend Friday’s sessions but it was well worth going. Coming home with our new copy of the expanded second edition of Another Jesus Calling, we were met with a brochure from Family Christian in our mailbox. On page six, we found a prebuy offer for Sarah Young’s new book called Jesus Always. It’s another 365 day devotional with new revelations from Sarah’s “Jesus.” We were shocked. Why we were shocked, I don’t know at this point. It’s obvious that these attacks on the Body of Christ are now unrelenting. It seems that facts, reason, and truth simply don’t matter any more. And so the delusion grows ever stronger for those who refuse to receive a love of the truth.

Thank you again and again for fighting the good fight. It was a blessing to be able to thank Warren Smith in person. He is such a dear brother in Christ. We continue to pray for you all.

P.M.

P.S. One more thing about Jesus Always, it looks like they are trying to get around the criticism of Jesus Calling by saying that Jesus Always was written “as if Jesus is speaking directly to you.”   But if you check out the first two pages of the book on Amazon, it sure sounds like the author is putting words in Jesus’ mouth.

Oh, and just so you know, if you prebuy a copy of Jesus Always from Family Christian, you will receive free Jesus Always Greeting Cards.  Just so you know….

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** 100th BOOKLET FROM LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS! ** Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?

BKT-SWEET-sEditor’s Introduction Note: It is very fitting that our 100th Booklet is about emerging-church leader Leonard Sweet. Many of you may not know who he is or know very little about him, but his influence in the church has been significant. He is a prolific author who has been writing popular books since the 1990s, has worked closely with many Christian leaders such as Rick Warren, and has been very involved in teaching college-age evangelical students.

Sweet is currently organizing and co-hosting an event in Germany taking place in October called Luther 2017. Sweet has brought on board with him at the event Christian figures including Dr. George Wood, head of the Assemblies of God denomination, Dr. Gustavo Crocker, one of the General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene, Dr. Jo Anne Lyons, head of the Wesleyan denomination, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and several other major Christian leaders from around the world.

Important to note is Sweet’s newest book, Jesus Speaks, published by the same publisher (Thomas Nelson) as Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling and released this past summer. Jesus Speaks is touted by Sweet and co-author Frank Viola as “the practical sequel” to Jesus Calling that “gives you the practical steps to have your own ‘Jesus Calling’ experience.” As Warren B. Smith has documented in his book “Another Jesus” Calling, the Jesus in Jesus Calling is a false Christ.

And so the great deception happening in the church today continues. Popular proclaiming Christians introducing believers and unbelievers alike to false Christs and a “more magnificent way of seeing Christ” but, sadly, a way that does not point people to the true Jesus Christ at all. Once you read this booklet below, you will understand the direction Leonard Sweet is taking the church and why this cannot be ignored.

NEW BOOKLET: Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ? by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?

By Warren B. Smith

To survive in postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth.1
—Leonard Sweet

Who is Leonard Sweet?

Leonard Sweet is an ordained Methodist minister who is presently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is also a visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. On his various websites, he is described as a “scholar of American culture” who has authored over 60 books and 200 articles and has published over 1500 sermons. A “Phi Beta Kappa graduate,” he is a “frequent speaker at national and international conferences, state conventions, pastor’s schools, retreats” and “serves as a consultant to many of America’s denominational leaders and agencies.” Descriptive terms such as “distinguished,” “most influential,” “widely quoted,” “highly sought after,” and “the Picasso of Preaching” give visitors to his website the distinct impression that this is a man they should definitely pay attention to. And many people are doing just that.

Day-to-day believers may or may not be familiar with Leonard Sweet, but many in Christian leadership are very familiar with this self-described “semiotician.” According to his website, a semiotician is someone who “sees things the rest of us do not see and dreams possibilities that are beyond most of our imagining.” And as a “cultural futurist” and “Christ follower,” he seems to be very comfortable assuming the role of a postmodern prophet who provides hip observations of what is and what will be. His mission is to help the church become more culturally relevant in the 21st century. However, as he attempts to walk the narrow line between the Gospel and the world, he frequently walks over that line into the false teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality. When he does, legitimate questions need to be raised about what he is doing.

In June 2010, Sweet became the object of a swirling controversy, and his name suddenly disappeared from the list of scheduled speakers at a National Worship Conference taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The controversy centered around the New Age implications of many of the quotes and teachings found in his 1991 book Quantum Spirituality: A Post Modern Apologetic. Prior to the conference, a number of people were starting to ask pertinent questions about Sweet and what he was teaching. In my 2009 book A “Wonderful” Deception, I wrote three chapters on Leonard Sweet and the obvious New Age implications of what he was teaching. In the first chapter on Sweet, I described some of my initial impressions regarding this man, and in particular, his book Quantum Spirituality:

Highly intellectual and well-read, Leonard Sweet almost dares you to keep up with him as he charges through the spiritual marketplace. Operating at lightning speed and quoting from countless books and articles, he will impress many readers with his quick wit and spiritual insights. However, as he treacherously dives into New Age waters and challenges his readers to go there with him, serious problems arise within his “postmodern apologetic.”

In reading Quantum Spirituality, I recalled the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus warned that you can’t serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Leonard Sweet may be a professing evangelical Christian, but he also simultaneously praises New Age authors and their teachings.2

Sweet’s “Response” to Critics

Keenly aware of the controversy he has created, Sweet has a statement prominently posted on his present home website titled—“A Response to Recent Misunderstandings.” While his attempt to explain himself might satisfy the uninformed reader, his “Response” does not address the specifics of what he has written and is actually teaching. His simplistic denunciation of the New Age is unconvincing. His statement that the “New Age rhymes with sewage” and his encouraging the use of a “daily ritual of starting the day by standing in front of a mirror and saying: “God is God and I am not” do not speak to the fact that he has never even addressed, much less renounced, the specific New Age teachings that he was otherwise appearing to deny and disparage. And his stating “back when the New Age was a movement” completely misses the fact that the New Age movement never went away. Those of us who came out of New Age teachings and have been observing the New Age over the past several decades know that contrary to Sweet’s claims, the New Age movement has actually grown exponentially and is now mainstream and an inherent part of our culture. Due to its continued wide-spread growth and influence, the New Age threat to the church (and the world) is larger than ever before. But now it is just hiding in plain sight behind the facade of other names like “New Spirituality,” “New Worldview,” or in Sweet’s case—the “New Light” teachings of a “Quantum Spirituality.” But by any other name a rose is still a rose and the New Age is still the New Age.

Because Sweet’s “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings” left so many unanswered questions and because of his continued influence in the church, it seems imperative that thoughtful Christians take a deeper look at what Leonard Sweet is really teaching. For starters, here are five immediate concerns to consider.

FIVE IMMEDIATE CONCERNS

1) Leonard Sweet teaches the New Age doctrine of “Immanence” that would have the church believe God is “in” everyone and everything

In her 1948 book The Reappearance of the Christ, New Age matriarch Alice Bailey and her spirit guide Djwhal Khul describe how the path to their New Age God will be based on an “immanent” God that is “within every form of life”:

. . . a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life. These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest.3 (emphasis added)

Likewise, in his 1980 book, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, New Age channeler Benjamin Creme, states that the New World Religion will be based on the proposition that “Christ” is “immanent”—“in man and all creation”:

But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.4 (emphasis added)

In Leonard Sweet’s 1999 book SoulTsunami—with its front cover endorsement by Rick Warren—Sweet introduces this same New Age idea of God not only being transcendent but also immanent. He writes:

To survive in postmodern culture, one has to learn to speak out of both sides of the mouth. It should not be hard, since Christianity has always insisted on having things both ways. Isn’t it based on the impossible possibility of Jesus being “beyond us, yet ourselves” (poet Wallace Stevens)? Biblical theological is not circular with a fixed center, but elliptical, revolving around the double foci of God’s immanence and God’s transcendence.5 (emphasis added)

Sweet clearly spells out what he means by “immanence” in his 1991 book Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic. As a self-described “radical,” he presents his “radical doctrine” that God is immanently embodied “in” His creation. He writes:

Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation. . . . But a spirituality that is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian.6 (emphasis added)

But Sweet’s “radical” panentheistic doctrine is a key New Age teaching—as is so much of what he wrote in Quantum Spirituality. In his “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings,” Sweet tries to dispel questions about Quantum Spirituality by saying, “Would I write the same book today? No. Would I say the same things differently? Yes. I started working on the book in my late 20s. I hope I’m older and wiser now.” But when it comes to the New Age implications of what he is teaching, he is not any wiser in regard to his previously stated New Age doctrine. In several subsequent books, Sweet reintroduces his New Age doctrine of immanence—that God is immanently embodied “in” His creation. For example, in his 1999 book Soul Tsunami, Sweet writes:

Postmodern evangelism is first of all telling people how special they are, how much God loves them, how unique each and every one of them is. The fourth-century theologian Athanasius said in one of his letters that God became one of us “that he might deify us in Himself.” Similarly, elsewhere he wrote that Christ “was made man that we might be made God.”7

In Sweet’s 2010 book Nudge: Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There, he expresses in different words what he wrote in Quantum Spirituality about the “embodiment of God in the very substance of creation”:

An incarnational God means that God-stuff is found in the matter of the universe.8

In this same book he also wrote, “Nudgers help people discover their inner Jesus.”9 But God is not “in” everyone and everything. Jesus is not “in” everyone and everything. Sweet may seem to denounce the New Age, but what he is teaching is New Age. This is dangerous and unbiblical leaven. The apostle Paul lamented that it only took “a little leaven” to lure the Galatians away from the Gospel they once knew so well.

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)

God states in the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The New Age “God” who is “in” everyone and everything is another “God” and therefore a false God. Contrary to Leonard Sweet’s teaching in Quantum Spirituality, God is not embodied in His creation. Contrary to his teaching in Nudge, “God-stuff” is not found in the matter of the universe, and everyone does not have an “inner Jesus.” Scripture is very clear. Man is not God because God is not “in” everyone and everything. In Jeremiah 16:20, God warned: “Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” In Matthew 23:12, Jesus warned, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” For further scriptural references on why God is not “in” everyone and everything and how this false teaching has entered both the world and the church, see my booklet Be Still and Know that You Are Not God.

2) Leonard Sweet describes the “Father” of the New Age Movement” as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice”

Sweet describes heretical Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin—the “Father of the New Age Movement—as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”10 In her best-selling New Age classic, The Aquarian Conspiracy, author Marilyn Ferguson describes Teilhard de Chardin as “the individual most often named as a profound influence by the Aquarian Conspirators who responded to a survey.”11 He is also the most frequently referenced New Age leader in her book. The Teilhard quote “This soul can only be a conspiracy of individuals” is found on the very first page of her book and inspired her to title her book The Aquarian Conspiracy. Ferguson wrote that “Teilhard prophesied the phenomenon central to this book: a conspiracy of men and women whose new perspective would trigger a critical contagion of change.”12

Evident in his posted “Response,” Sweet appears to be baffled by everyone’s concern about some of the things he is writing. He seems to take any criticism as a personal attack. But this criticism, if you will, is not about him personally, it is about what he is teaching. Jesus didn’t say “Get behind me Satan” to Peter because he thought Peter was Satan. He said “Get behind me Satan” because of what Peter was saying. And because Sweet describes the “Father of the New Age movement” as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice,” I believe the Lord would tell Leonard Sweet the same thing today. This should become especially evident when you read the following unbiblical statements made by Teilhard de Chardin in his book Christianity and Evolution:

What I am proposing to do is to narrow that gap between pantheism and Christianity by bringing out what one might call the Christian soul of pantheism or the pantheistic aspect of Christianity.13 (emphasis added)

The cross still stands . . . But this is on one condition, and one only, that it expand itself to the dimensions of a New Age, and cease to present itself to us as primarily (or even exclusively) the sign of a victory over sin.14

I can be saved only by becoming one with the universe.15

I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await, is the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution.16

[I]f a Christ is to be completely acceptable as an object of worship, he must be presented as the saviour of the idea and reality of evolution.17

A general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who fundamentally satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived.18

Teilhard Again?

Sweet’s affection for Teilhard de Chardin surfaced again in his 1999 book Aqua Church. After quoting a strong Bible-based stanza from the hymn “Jesus Savior Pilot Me,” Sweet follows it with a very revealing quote from Teilhard de Chardin. Teilhard stated that those who “see” Christ as he does understand Christ in “a much more magnificent way” than all those who went before him:

Christ is in the Church in the same way as the sun is before our eyes. We see the same sun as our fathers saw, and yet we understand it in a much more magnificent way.19

Really? Teilhard and his followers understand Christ in a much more magnificent way than their “fathers”? More than all the martyrs? More than the original disciples? This seems to indicate that Teilhard and Sweet and their “semiotic” emergent postmodern “Christ followers” are “seeing” something about Christ that the rest of the church does not see. Would Sweet have the church believe that Chardin’s seemingly updated New Age “Christ” is the real Christ? Is the “semiotic” Sweet trying to show us that if we adopt the New Age teachings of Teilhard, we, too, will “see” Christ in a “much more magnificent way” than the Christians who came before us? Sadly, it would seem that this is so.

Sweet seems to believe that with new understandings from quantum physics, a New Age/New Gospel/New Spirituality/Quantum Spirituality would enable Christians to see Christ in a much deeper and “more magnificent way.” The church would finally understand that the science of quantum physics proves that God is an energy force that interpenetrates and embodies His creation. Therefore, we are all “connected” because we are all “God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Sweet argues that Christians of the past weren’t ready to deal with things like quantum physics, quantum wavelengths, and the New Age implications of a Quantum Spirituality that would totally transform their faith and challenge everything they thought they knew about being a Christian. In his 2016 book Jesus Speaks, Leonard Sweet writes:

The Holy Spirit brings Jesus’ voice to life through history, theology, science, and social experience. Jesus told the disciples, “I have much more to say to you” (John 16:12). In other words, Jesus was saying, “You can’t handle everything I have to say to you right now. Some of my truth has a wavelength, and it needs time, maybe even centuries, to play itself out.20

But this implies that God’s Word is incomplete and insufficient and therefore in need of new revelation. This is simply not true. Besides, when Jesus said “I have much more to say to you, He was talking to His disciples—not to the church today. It is also important to notice how Sweet conveniently squeezed “wavelength” into his interpretation of Jesus’ words to set up his Quantum Spirituality. But Jesus wasn’t withholding spiritual insights that would have to be delivered to His people two thousand years later. This kind of false teaching is an inherent part of the New Age deception. The fact is Jesus has already given us everything we need to know in His Holy Bible.

Jesus warned of false prophets who would come in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). And there would be those who honor Him with their lips, but their hearts would be far from Him (Matthew 15:8). He also warned of those who serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Psalm 144:11 warns of vain men who deceive with the “right hand of falsehood.” In Psalm 12:2, David warned of those who speak with a “double heart.” In James 1:8, James taught that “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. In 1 Timothy 3:8, Paul referred to these same men as “double-tongued.” For Leonard Sweet to exalt the “Father of the New age movement”—Teilhard de Chardin—and suggest that Teilhard’s way of seeing Christ is a “much more magnificent way” than our forefathers is to fall prey to our Adversary’s deceptive devices. One thing is for sure: The New Age movement hasn’t gone away—it has entered the church through men like Teilhard de Chardin and those like Sweet who exalt him as “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”

(3) Leonard Sweet Praises New Age leaders as his “Heroes” and “Role Models”

While some Leonard Sweet defenders argue that his postmodern “New Light” apologetic flies right over the heads of “Old Light” “fundamentalist” types, the facts tell a different story. But what one learns in reading Quantum Spirituality is that Sweet wants to transform biblical Christianity into a Quantum Spirituality that is, in reality, a New Age/New Spirituality. Without any apology, Sweet writes that he is part of a “New Light” movement, and he describes those he especially admires as “New Light leaders.” But many of Sweet’s “New Light leaders” are New Age leaders who are in the process of overturning biblical Christianity through obliging New Age sympathizers like Leonard Sweet.

Sweet’s New Age “role models and heroes”

In the acknowledgments section of Quantum Spirituality, Leonard Sweet expresses his deep gratitude and admiration to various “New Light leaders” whom he openly praises as “the most creative religious leaders in America today.” But many of these “New Light leaders” are New Age leaders. Included in this group are a number of men I was very familiar with from my years in the New Age—among them are Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, and M. Scott Peck. Sweet describes these three men—along with numerous other New Age figures cited—as “extraordinary” and “great” New Light leaders. He goes so far as to say that they are his “personal role models” and “heroes” of “the true nature of the postmodern apologetic.” Sweet writes:

They are my personal role models (in an earlier day one could get away with “heroes”) of the true nature of the postmodern apologetic. More than anyone else, they have been my teachers on how to translate, without compromising content, the gospel into the indigenous context of the postmodern vernacular.21

But many of the men and women Leonard Sweet cited have compromised the “content” of the Gospel by translating it into the “postmodern vernacular” of a New Age/New Spirituality. For example, Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, and M. Scott Peck have all played leading roles in the initial establishment and popularization of today’s New Age/New Spirituality movement. But rather than commending these New Age/New Light leaders, a self-professing Christian leader like Sweet should be warning the church about them. A brief look at these three “New Light” leaders and their teachings will make this very clear.

Willis Harman (1918-1997)

Willis Harman is listed as one of the most influential Aquarian/New Age conspirators in Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy. Harman was a social scientist/futurist with the Stanford Research Institute and one of the chief architects of New Age thinking. He wrote the book Global Mind Change:The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think. A review by The San Francisco Chronicle on the front cover of the book reads: “There never has been a more lucid interpretation of New Age consciousness and what it promises for the future than the works of Willis Harman.”22

Matthew Fox (1940- )

Another one of Sweet’s self-described “role models” and “heroes” is Matthew Fox, a former Catholic priest who was dismissed from the Catholic church for openly professing heretical New Age teachings—teachings that include those of his revered mentor, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Fox, like Teilhard, teaches that all of creation is the “Cosmic Christ”—therefore the Cosmic Christ is “in” everyone and everything. In his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Fox writes: “Divinity is found in all creatures.”23 and “We are all royal persons, creative, godly, divine, persons of beauty and of grace. We are all Cosmic Christs, ‘other Christs.’ But what good is this if we don’t know it.”24 Leonard Sweet actually credits Fox in a footnote in Quantum Spirituality for inspiring Sweet’s own description of the “cosmic body of Christ” and actually refers readers of Quantum Spirituality to Fox’s New Age book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.25

M. Scott Peck (1936-2005)

M. Scott Peck, the late psychiatrist and best-selling author of The Road Less Traveled, is another one of the “role models” and “heroes” that Leonard Sweet cites in his book Quantum Spirituality. The Road Less Traveled was on the New York Times best-seller list for over ten years. In a subsection of his book titled “The Evolution of Consciousness,” Peck describes God as being “intimately associated with us—so intimately that He is part of us.”26 He also writes:

If you want to know the closest place to look for grace, it is within yourself. If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside you . . . .To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us. We were part of God all the time.27

When Matthew Fox’s The Coming of the Cosmic Christ was published in 1988, the lead endorsement on the back of Fox’s book was written by M. Scott Peck. Peck and Fox were obviously in New Age agreement. Peck, like Fox and Sweet, describes Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in glowing terms. He describes Teilhard as “[p]erhaps the greatest prophet” of the “mystical,”  evolutionary leap that will take mankind toward “global consciousness” and “world community.”28 And it is this mystical New Age Christ of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Willis Harman, Matthew Fox, M. Scott Peck, and Leonard Sweet that challenges biblical Christianity today.

4) Leonard Sweet thanks New Age Leader David Spangler for helping him develop his Quantum Spirituality’s “new cell understanding of new light leadership”

If we want to possess a magic crystal for our New Age work, we need look no further than our own bodies and the cells that make them up.29—David Spangler, 1991

I am grateful to David Spangler for his help in formulating this “new cell” understanding of New Light leadership.30—Leonard Sweet, 1991

In his “A Response to Recent Misunderstandings,” Leonard Sweet states: “Because I quote someone does not mean I agree with everything that person ever wrote.” He goes on to say that “Some of the quotes I chose were meant to provide contrasting positions to my argument, some to buttress my argument, some even to mock my argument. The key consideration to whether I quoted someone was not ‘Do I agree with them?’ but ‘Does this quote energize the conversation?’ ‘Guilt by association’ is intellectually disreputable and injurious to the whole body of Christ.” But there is a big difference between “guilt by association” and “guilt by promotion.” Leonard Sweet is praising, thanking, and glorifying many of these New Age leaders—hardly guilt by association, especially when Sweet writes:

I believe these are among the most creative religious leaders in America today. These are the ones carving out new channels for new ideas to flow. In a way this book was written to guide myself through their channels and chart their progress. The book’s best ideas come from them.31

Ironically, one of the “channels” guiding him was an actual New Age channeler—David Spangler. A pioneering spokesperson for the New Age, Spangler has written numerous books over the years. His book The Revelation: The Birth of the New Age is a compilation of channeled transmissions that he received from his disembodied spirit-guide “John.” At one point in the book, Spangler documents what “John” prophesied about “the energies of the cosmic Christ” and “Oneness”:

As the energies of the Cosmic Christ become increasingly manifest within the etheric life of Earth, many individuals will begin to respond with the realization that the Christ dwells within them. They will feel his presence moving within and through them and will begin to awaken to their heritage of Christhood and Oneness with God, the Beloved.32

In a postmodern-day consultation that bears more than a casual resemblance to King Saul’s consult with the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28), Leonard Sweet acknowledges in Quantum Spirituality that he was privately corresponding with New Age channeler David Spangler. Sweet even thanks Spangler for assisting him in forming his “new cell understanding” of “New Light leadership.”33 But as believers we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” Rather than thanking them, we are to reprove and expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

(5) Misapplication of Quantum Physics: Trying to Draw Spiritual Truth From Physical Theory

Leonard Sweet—just like New Age leaders—tries to use Quantum Physics to prove that God indwells his creation.

The coming together of the new biology and the new physics is providing the basic metaphors for this new global civilization that esteems and encourages whole-brain experiences, full-life expectations, personalized expressions, and a globalized consciousness.34—Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami

When we experience such a quantum of transformation, we may simultaneously feel that the whole of the New Age is happening right now, that we are on the verge of overnight transformation—the fabled quantum leap into a new state of being.35—David Spangler, Reimagination of the World

We have the epitome of a great science . . . quantum physics . . . Everyone is God.36—New Age Channeler J.Z. Knight, What the Bleep Do We Know

In his book The Tao of Physics: An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, New Age physicist Fritjof Capra describes the union of mysticism and the new physics. He wrote “this kind of new spirituality is now being developed by many groups and movements, both within and outside the churches.”37 As an example of how this “new spirituality” is moving into the church, he actually cites one of Leonard Sweet’s “role models” and “heroes”—Matthew Fox.38

When Sweet refers to the new biology and the new physics as metaphors, he stretches these “metaphors” to the position of being actual fact. From his understanding of quantum physics, he asserts that all things are composed of energy and that this quantum energy must be God, hence God is embodied in all things. Yet, this metaphor falls on its face when we learn from Paul’s writings that God and creation are two separate things as is illustrated in chapter one of Romans: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Paul further exposes the error of spiritualizing physical creation showing that all things are not God, nor are they even spiritual. As he points out, the “earthy” is only temporary and will be done away with:

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption . . . There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . .  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. . . . Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15:42, 44, 48, 50)

Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren’s “New Spirituality”

In their 1995 joint presentation The Tides of Change, Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren had a quantum conversation as they discussed “waves,” “quantum metaphors,” “revival,” and what they were calling—even back then—a “New Spirituality.” Sweet told Warren:

Yeah, this is a wave period. I really love that metaphor of the wave and the wavelength. First of all, it is a quantum metaphor. It brings us out of the Newtonian world into this new science.39

Quantum waves, quantum wavelengths, quantum metaphors—all leading to a universal Quantum “God” and the Quantum New Age “Christ” of a New Spirituality, a New Worldview, and ultimately a New World Religion—a New World Religion that will be based on New Age teachings that have been labeled scientific but are, in reality, “science falsely so called”:

Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:19-21)

Conclusion

Teilhard de Chardin, Leonard Sweet, and an ever-growing band of New Age sympathizers would have us believe that all those who preceded us in the faith were unable to “see” the big picture, because, after all, they didn’t have access to all the new scientific discoveries that we have today—scientific information that would have helped them gain the new spiritual understandings that Leonard Sweet claims to have acquired.

In that vein, Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and other Christian leaders are now teaching that God is in the process of bringing a new “Reformation”40 and a “great spiritual awakening” to the church. Sweet writes: “God is birthing the greatest spiritual awakening in the history of the church.”41 Yet this new reformation and great awakening Sweet heralds, is falsely founded on his hybridized New Age Christianity with its “radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.”42 Ironically, while Sweet—as previously mentioned—encourages “a daily ritual” of standing in front of a mirror affirming “God is God and I am not,” he at the same time tells people that, as a part of creation, God is embodied in them. He also encourages people to be “nudgers.” He says “nudgers are not smudgers of the divine in people.”43 “Nudgers help people discover their “inner Jesus.”44

When the true Christ was asked what will be the sign of his coming and the end of the world, He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.”(Matthew 24:4)—that many false prophets would arise and deceive many (Matthew 24:11). He specifically warned us to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing. He said we would know them by their fruits.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matthew 7:15-16)

We must exhort one another daily. We must continue to preach the Word and not fall prey to those who would diminish the Word with their worldly wisdom, clever stories, metaphors, and false teachings. The Bible and our Lord Jesus Christ always have been and always will be sufficient for all our needs.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Regarding Leonard Sweet’s “radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation,” Jesus warns:

Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.45 (Matthew 15: 7-9)

To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

Endnotes
1. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), p. 28.
2. Warren B. Smith, A “Wonderful” Deception: The Further New Age Implications of the Emerging Purpose Driven Movement (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2009), p. 106.
3. Alice A, Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing Company, Lucis Press, Ltd., 1948), 1996, p. 150.
4. Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England; The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88.
5. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 28.
6. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic (Dayton, OH: Whaleprints for SpiritVenture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994), p. 125.
7. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 304.
8. Leonard Sweet, Nudge:Awakening Each Other to the God Who Is Already There (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010), p. 157.
9. Ibid., p. 40.
10. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 106.
11. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980), p. 50.
12. Ibid., p. 25.
13. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, Inc., 1971), p. 56.
14. Ibid,. pp. 219-220.
15. Ibid,. p. 128.
16. Ibid,. p. 95.
17. Ibid,. p. 78.
18. Ibid,. p. 130.
19. Leonard Sweet, Aqua Church: Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church in Today’s Fluid Culture (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, Inc., 1999), p. 39.
20. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, Jesus Speaks: Learning to Recognize & Respond to the Lord’s Voice (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2016), p. 85.
21. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. viii.
22. Willis Harman, Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think (New York, NY: Warner Books, 1988), front cover.
23. Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ: The Healing of Mother Earth and the Birth of a Global Renaissance (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988), p. 154.
24. Ibid., p. 137.
25. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op cit., pp. 124, 324.
26. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 281.
27. Ibid.
28. M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1988), pp. 205-206.
29. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture (Santa Fe, NM: Bear & Company Publishing, 1991), p. 62.
30. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 312.
31. Ibid., p. ix.
32. David Spangler, The Revelation: Birth of A New Age (Elgin, IL: Lorian Press, 1976), p. 177.
33. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 312.
34. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 121.
35. David Spangler and William Irwin Thompson, Reimagination of the World, op. cit., p. 126.
36. What the Bleep Do We Know (DVD) (20th Century Fox, 2004, http://www.whatthebleep.com), transcribed by author.
37. Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics: An Explanation of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism (Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999), p. 341.
38. Ibid.
39. The Tides of Change (A 1995 audio presentation with Leonard Sweet and Rick Warren that was part of an ongoing series called “Choice Voices for Christian Leadership,” distributed by Abington Press). On file with publisher.
40. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 17.
41. Ibid., p. 34.
42. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 125.
43. Leonard Sweet, Nudge, op. cit., p. 31.
44. Ibid., p. 40.
45. Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p 125.

To order copies of Leonard Sweet—A More Magnificent Way of Seeing Christ?, click here. 

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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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2015 YEAR IN REVIEW – PART 6 – TOP 10 ARTICLES FROM LIKE-MINDED MINISTRIES & WRITERS

See also Part 1 Year in Review | See also Part 2 Year in Review | See also Part 3 Year in Review | See Also Part 4 Year in Review | See also Part 5 Year in Review

2015 review banner - annual review or summary of the recent yearListed in order of when we posted them.

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

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.

2/Eye Witness Account at Parliament of the World’s Religions 2015 Reveals Growing Animosity Toward Biblical Christians by Lynette Irwin

The 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions was held October 15-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They estimated over fourteen thousand people attended this New Age (now called “interfaith”) convention at the cost of $500/person. This convention was well advertised for over a year. Many booths from differing faiths, political interfaith organizations, and seminaries were anxiously handing out their free literature and books to attendee’s as they walked through.

3/Fox News Contributor Kirsten Powers Exits Evangelicalism to Embrace Catholicism – Timothy Keller & Other Evangelical Leaders Partly to Blame by L. Putnam

Kirsten Powers, Fox News’ pundit, happily announced on October 9, 2015 to “The Five” on “One More Thing” that the next day she would become Catholic.  Immediately, Powers was “high fived” by Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Eric Bolling.

4/Singing for Pope Francis in an Ecumenical Setting  by The Berean Call

CHRISTIAN SONGWRITER DARLENE ZSCHECH IS SINGING FOR POPE FRANCIS IN ST PETER’S SQUARE – PART She will appear alongside fellow worship leader Don Moen and classical tenor Andrea Bocelli at the “Voices in Prayer” event held by Catholic charismatic group ‘Renewal in the Spirit.’ Thousands are expected to gather in St Peter’s Square for the event, which will include prayer for persecuted Christians. . . . “This is a celebration of unity and peace in the Renewal of the Holy Spirit. Amazing days for the Body of Christ”, she wrote.

5/Pope Francis: An Apocalyptic Figure? by Jan Markell

I am cautious about “pinning the tail” on the Antichrist and the False Prophet.  We cannot know ahead of time who these personalities are; however, Pope Francis comes close to “filling the bill” on the False Prophet. Or he may be but a “type” of that man just like there are many “types” of the Antichrist throughout history. I think the devil has always had a candidate for the Antichrist waiting in the wings as he doesn’t know when the final generation is.

6/U.S. Supreme Court Ruling—Zivitovsky vs Kerry—Another Turn Against Israel by Bill Randles

The US Supreme Court recently gave a ruling (Zivotovsky vs. Kerry), which would prevent any U.S. passport holder born in Jerusalem to declare they were also born in Israel. This, in spite of a 2002 law passed by the Congress of the United States allowing Jerusalem born U.S. passport holders to declare Israel as their nation of origin. The 2002 Passport law has never been implemented because U.S. politicians have been afraid to be seen taking sides against the “Palestinians” on the issue.

7/BOOK REVIEW ON ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, DEEP AND WIDE by Gary Gilley

Endorsed by everyone from Rick Warren and Bill Hybels to Dave Ramsey, Steven Furtick and Jeff Foxworthy, Deep and Wide reveals Andy Stanley’s “secret sauce” (p. 17) which he believes makes his church not only great but a model others should adopt. Stanley’s goal has been to create a church that unchurched men, women and children love to attend (p. 11) and by all accounts he has succeeded. The first of five sections tells the story of the birth of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, first as an extension of his father’s (Charles) church, then as a split, in which several thousand people eventually left the mother church to join Andy’s. Andy knows this is not the best way to start a church, but is honest and transparent enough to admit that this is what happened. Conflicts with his famous father were inevitable and Andy chronicles those as well.

8/A Response to “Red Letter Christians” and Tony Campolo’s “Going the Jesus Way” by Erik

I saw the article, on Tony Campolo:Christians Should Vote for Hilary.” It was quite revealing. Well on his website (redletterchristians.org), he wrote a short article called, “Going the Jesus Way” (http://www.redletterchristians.org/going-the-jesus-way/). He describes what the “Red Letter Christians” are all about. It’s off the mark to say the least. So I sent a response to this article and was wondering if you would be willing to look it over and consider it for a potential posting.

9/Crisis in the Church: “The New Inclusive Mennonites and the “Same Sex Conversation”by Menno-Lite

Why has the same sex conversation come to the forefront in so many Mennonite churches? Is there an organized force at work? Will your church and college soon be joining the new inclusive Mennonites? The following information may be a surprise for many Bible believing Mennonites. Please read carefully and prayerfully. The Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, Minneapolis, MN (www.bmclgbt.org) are Brethren and Mennonites who say they “do not subscribe to formal creeds or doctrines developed by a church hierarchy: our only written authority is the Bible.

10/ From a Former Young Life Leader: Watered-Down Gospel, Contemplative Authors, & Emergent Leanings (Anonymous)

It has been nearly five years since I resigned from working for a popular, global youth ministry. Because of its popularity, it has been difficult for me to discuss my experience and found few who want to hear the reality. I want to share my story in hope of helping someone else who might be struggling, as I did. My husband and I discovered Young Life in our late twenties when we moved to a smaller town. After going through the “40 Days of Purpose” book with our church, we were determined to find a place of service where our gifts could be used for God.

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2015 YEAR IN REVIEW – PART 4 – TOP 10 ARTICLES BY LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS EDITORS

Listed in order of date they were posted.

See also Part 1 Year in Review | See also Part 2 Year in Review | See also Part 3 Year in Review

1/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.

2/New Spirituality Teacher Says “The Jig is Up” to Those Who Believe in “the Blood of the Lamb” Every now and then something come along that presents our case in such a succinct and obvious way that we are compelled to share it with our readers with the hope it will leave no question as to how serious the present situation is with regard to Christianity in the Western world. Religious author Diana Butler Bass, who was one of the speakers at the recent Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, has written a book titled Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.

3/NEW MOVIE, CAPTIVE: The Stories Behind the Story and Another Plug for The Purpose Driven Movement On September 18th, a new movie will hit the theaters, Captive. The film is the story about Ashley Smith, the young woman who was held captive by an escaped murderer and how she convinced him to give himself up. When the incident happened in 2005, it came out in news reports that the woman had read excerpts from The Purpose Driven Life to her captor.

4/Southern Baptist Leaders Call for a “Great Awakening” in US—But SBC Continues Promoting the Anti-Gospel New Spirituality  The second piece of evidence is with LifeWay Resources (the SBC resource arm), which continues to present to Southern Baptist members a deluge of contemplative/emerging/New Spirituality promoting books. Here is a short list of the many examples that are on the LifeWay Resources website

5/Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Pastor, Brian Brodersen, Says Sometimes It’s OK to Attend a Homosexual Wedding  According to an article titled “Can I Attend My LGBT Friend’s Wedding?” written by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa’s senior pastor Brian Brodersen, it is sometimes OK to attend a LTGB (Lesbian, Transgender, Gay, Bisexual) wedding. He says it’s not OK to attend the wedding if the two people getting “married” proclaim to be believers in Christ, but if they don’t claim to be believers then it may be OK.

6/Dr. Oz Accused of Medical “Quackery” While His New Age/Spiritual “Quackery” Goes Unaddressed by Rick Warren and the Church  Major secular and Christian news media sources are reporting on an effort by 10 doctors to oust celebrity doctor, Dr. Mehmet Oz, from his faculty position at Columbia University for what the doctors are calling “egregious lack of integrity” and promoting “quack treatments.” The ten doctors wrote a letter to New York’s Columbia University, calling Dr. Oz a quack and an endangerment to his followers for advice he gives about diet and health-related issues.

7/Christian Pastors and Leaders – Exchanging the Word of God for a “New” Way of Doing Things  The church of today is very much astir. Everywhere we turn,  embellishments are being added to Christianity as if to improve it. The old ways do not seem to satisfy anymore. A great influx of new teachings and practices have exchanged the God of old as depicted in the pages of the Bible with a deity much more palatable to the post-modern mind. Brennan Manning illustrates this when he stated in one of his books, “ . . . the god who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ.

8/How to Deal with Those Who Teach False Doctrine – According to Scripture While we don’t believe the New Testament condones cruel or hateful behavior to anyone, we do see a consistent pattern in Scripture that does not look lightly upon those who are teaching heretical doctrines or practices.  Let us heed the whole counsel of God, which we believe tells us to remain humble and in an attitude of grace (knowing that we are no better than anyone else in that it is only by the grace of God that we can see these spiritual things), but also tells us to speak courageously, with confidence, honesty, and strength.

9/Contemporary Christian Musical Artists Say: We Will Stand “United”——With New Age Sympathizer Roma Downey? On January 21st, about 30 of contemporary Christian music’s most well-known singers from the last four decades will be joining New Age sympathizer and devout Roman Catholic Roma Downey for a special live online concert called “We Will Stand.” The concert is being presented by CCM United and has a motto of “One Message, Many Voices.’” According to an article titled “We Are United: The Story Behind ‘The Greatest Night In Contemporary Christian Music,’” there could be over a million viewers with a potential reach globally of 40 million.

10/Elephant in the Room: Rodney Howard-Browne and America’s “Great Awakening”  Howard-Browne’s “revival” activities were brought to our attention when we were informed that the “Holy Ghost Bartender” had organized and hosted a star-studded two-week “Celebrate America” event over the 4th of July last summer (2014) in Washington D.C.

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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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Let’s Call it Like it Is: Jesus Calling Presents a “New Age” False Christ

A lot of self-proclaiming Christians really really love the book Jesus Calling (over 12 million of them have bought the book so far). And no wonder, virtually no major Christian leader or Christian major media has been warning about it. In fact, most of them have been completely silent about it. Lesser knowns who have critiqued it often leave out the New Age aspects, which is like leaving out the wind when talking about a tornado.

One person who has been trying to warn Christians for the last two years is former New Age follower Warren B. Smith. His book “Another Jesus” Calling and his two booklets following the book lay it out clear and simple: the Jesus of Jesus Calling is a false christ; actually it’s a New Age christ, and that means that the “Jesus” who is calling millions of people through Sarah Young’s book is not the Jesus of the Bible. Below is a re-post of Warren’s 2014 booklet The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling. While some have taken Warren’s findings and regurgitated them into a bland pablum, Warren simply calls it like it is.

Jesus Calling: The New Age Implications (December 2014)

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailBy Warren B. Smith

New Age Implications of Jesus Calling: Ten Important Examples

1) The New Age Book God Calling
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sarah Young said she was inspired to receive “messages” from “Jesus” after reading the book God Calling. She stated:

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.” About a year after I started reading this book, I began to wonder if I too could receive messages during my times of communing with God. . . . So I decided to “listen” to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I sensed He was saying.2

Unfortunately, Sarah Young and her Thomas Nelson editors missed the fact that God Calling is a channeled New Age book. The “messages” received by the two women appear to be legitimate to the undiscerning reader because they are presented in the form of a daily devotional. Ironically, God Calling could have been titled Jesus Calling because its messages were reputedly dictated by “The Living Christ Himself.”3 It is worth noting that Jesus Calling is similarly titled and similarly presents its reputed “messages” from “Jesus” in the form of a daily devotional.

In The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs published by Harvest House Christian publishers, authors John Weldon and John Ankerberg provide ample evidence as to why God Calling is a channeled New Age book. In their chapter on channeling—under the subheading of “Impersonations of Christianity”—the two respected apologists describe God Calling as a book “replete with denials of biblical teaching”4 as it “subtly encourages psychic development and spiritistic inspiration under the guise of Christ’s personal guidance . . . and often misinterprets Scripture.”5 Citing a number of passages in God Calling that are unbiblical and have New Age implications, the two authors explain that channeling is a form of occult mediumship and according to the Bible “is a practice forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).”6 Yet Sarah Young stated it was God Calling that inspired her to receive her own “messages” from “Jesus.” In her original introduction to Jesus Calling, Young went out of her way to praise God Calling as “a treasure to me.”7 Sadly, her lofty endorsement greatly popularized this New Age book within mainstream Christianity. As a result, God Calling is now commonly found in great numbers in various editions in both secular and Christian bookstores. In fact, it is often shelved alongside Jesus Calling.

Note: Young’s only response to criticism of God Calling has been to quietly remove all her previous references to God Calling from the new editions of Jesus Calling. No explanations. No apologies. No anything. Like the missing 18½ minutes from Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes, God Calling has disappeared from the pages of Young’s book.

2) Channeled “Messages” from “Jesus”
Ruth Graham, writing about Jesus Calling in The Daily Beast—a popular online news organization formerly associated with Newsweek magazine—reported that Thomas Nelson had specifically requested that she not use the word “channeling” to describe how Sarah Young was receiving her “messages” from “Jesus.” Graham wrote:

Thomas Nelson specifically requested I not use the word “channeling” to describe Young’s first-person writing in the voice of Jesus—the word has New Age connotations—but it’s hard to avoid it in describing the book’s rhetorical approach.8

In Jesus Calling, Young writes that “Jesus” told her “to be a channel of My loving Presence.”9 Obliging his request, her book is filled with channeled “messages” and “directives” she claims to have received from God. In her original introduction, 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.10 (emphasis added)

Regarding this type of spiritualism, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word “channel” as follows: “to serve as a medium for (a spirit).”11 It defines the word “directive” as “a general instruction or order issued authoritatively.”12 And by Sarah Young’s own description in her original introduction, this is exactly what she is doing—being “a channel” for “encouraging directives” from a spiritual “Presence” that presents itself as “Jesus.” After receiving these “messages” and “directives,” she arranged them in the form of a daily devotional—just like God Calling.

Note: The paragraph cited above—where Young originally described how she has “continued to receive personal messages from God” and “encouraging directives” from her “Creator”—has been completely removed from the new editions of Jesus Calling.13

3) Visualization
Sarah Young engaged in the occult/New Age practice of “visualization” when she “pictured” her family “encircled by God’s protective Presence.”

One morning as I prayed, I visualized God protecting each of us. I pictured first our daughter, then our son, and then Steve encircled by God’s protective Presence, which looked like golden light. When I prayed for myself, I was suddenly enveloped in brilliant light and profound peace. I lost all sense of time as I experienced God’s Presence in this powerful way.14 (emphasis added)

In the same Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs that described God Calling as a channeled New Age book, a specific chapter on visualization warns about the spiritual dangers of this New Age practice:

“Visualization” and “guided imagery” have long been recognized by sorcerers of all kinds as the most powerful and effective methodology for contacting the spirit world in order to acquire supernatural power, knowledge, and healing. Such methods are neither taught nor practiced in the Bible as helps to faith or prayer.15

Sarah Young just assumed that the “light” she visualized enveloping her family and herself was from God. But one cannot assume anything in regards to spiritual experiences and spiritual encounters—especially after engaging in the occult practice of visualization. Because “many false prophets are gone out into the world,” we are told to “try the spirits” to see “whether they are of God (1 John 4:1). The apostle Paul warned of deceptive “seducing spirits” (1 Timothy 4:1) and how Satan can come as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Also, Jesus specifically warned us to beware of a light that appears to be light but is actually darkness (Luke 11:35).

Note: Recent editions of Jesus Calling have attempted to subtly demystify Sarah Young’s mystical New Age “prayer” process. The phrase “looked like golden light” and the trance-like sentence “I lost all sense of time as I experienced God’s Presence in this powerful way” have both been deleted from recent editions of Jesus Calling.16 However, even with these deletions, Young—at least for now—continues to include her visualized prayer in the newer editions of Jesus Calling.

4) Meditation
Jesus Calling readers are led to equate Sarah Young’s contemplative prayer process with biblical meditation. But to “make your mind like a still pool of water” as you passively wait “to receive whatever thoughts” Young’s “Jesus” may “drop into it” is much more akin to Eastern/New Age meditation. Biblical meditation, if you will, is an active attentiveness and thinking upon Scripture. Eastern/New Age meditation is more subjective and open to spiritual suggestion. In his August 5th message, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” promotes this New Age form of meditation and contemplative prayer:

Make your mind like a still pool of water, ready to receive whatever thoughts I drop into it.17

Stilling and quieting one’s mind may seem to be peaceful and godly, but passively stilling the mind (i.e., putting the mind in neutral) can provide an opening for seducing spirits to communicate with an undiscerning meditator—all in the name of “Jesus,” “God,” and the “Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:27, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Corinthians 11:4). Sarah Young describes how she receives these “thoughts” as “messages” and “directives” as she meditates on “Jesus”:

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.18 (emphasis added)

But this kind of spiritual activity is not scriptural, and it is not biblical meditation. This is Eastern/New Age meditation. This type of meditation is what New Age channelers do to make contact with the spirit world.

Note: It bears repeating that the above paragraph containing the words “meditate,” “messages,” and “directives” has been deleted from recent editions of Jesus Calling.

5) New Age Terminology
Throughout Jesus Calling, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” casually introduces New Age terminology in his channeled messages. Not that long ago terms like co-create,19 divine alchemy,20 Love-Light,21 Light-bearer,22 supernatural plane,23 living channel,24 paradigm shift,25 true self,26 ultimate reality,27 universal presence,28 etc., were sure indicators of someone’s metaphysical/New Age orientation. But now these terms are commonly found in “Christian” books like Jesus Calling and are rapidly becoming part of the everyday language of the church.

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” also makes indirect reference to two of the mega best-selling New Age books of the last thirty years—Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled. Young’s “Jesus” invites her millions of readers to “go out on a limb” with him and to take “a road less traveled”:

Be willing to go out on a limb with Me.29

You, however, have been called to take a “road less traveled.”30

Note: Obviously, these two phrases can be used in other contexts. However, the true Jesus Christ is quite aware of these groundbreaking New Age books, and it defies reason that He would make any reference—direct or indirect—to these hugely popular metaphysical books. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). And He is not going to introduce anything that might stumble someone—like nonchalantly referring to two New Age books that have already stumbled the millions of people who have read them and been influenced by them. (1 Corinthians 8:9).

6) Divine Alchemy
Regarding other overlapping New Age terminology in Jesus Calling, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” states:

I can glean Joy out of sorrow, Peace out of adversity. Only a Friend who is also the King of kings could accomplish this divine alchemy.31

However, the term “divine alchemy” is an ancient, mystical, occult/New Age term that raises multiple spiritual concerns. The word “occult” is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as follows:

. . . designating or of certain alleged mystic arts, such as magic, alchemy, astrology, etc.32 (emphasis added)

The Oxford Classical Dictionary underscores the fact that the “art” of alchemy has serious New Age implications. The very first sentence of the definition states:

Alchemy in antiquity was a mixture of chemical, metallurgical, and glass technology, Greek philosophy, mystical and syncretist religion, and astrology.33 (emphasis added)

The same Oxford Dictionary explains the occult/New Age underpinnings of alchemy itself:

The art is distinguished from the pure science of chemistry by its mixture of mystical and magical elements with the technology . . . Alchemy in late antiquity was born of the confluence of three streams: (1) technology . . . (2) theory . . . (3) occult religion.34 (emphasis added)

By Googling divine alchemy on the Internet, one will see countless references to the occult. The term divine alchemy is frequently found in the teachings of New Age leaders such as Marianne Williamson. She uses the term divine alchemy to reference the same practice of meditation Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is advocating. She writes:

Meditation is time spent with God in silence and quiet listening. It is the time during which the Holy Spirit has a chance to enter into our minds and perform His divine alchemy.35 (emphasis added)

The Oxford Classical Dictionary describes the origin of alchemy and how it is linked to other occult sciences:

The inventor was said to be Hermes [Trismegistus], and alchemy is linked with other occult sciences in the Hermetic literature of the first three centuries A.D., along with neo-Pythagorean, Neoplatonic, and Gnostic ideas.36

Note: Once again, it is inconceivable that the true Jesus Christ would ever use a term like divine alchemy that is so highly identified with the occult. This is yet one more troublesome New Age aspect to Jesus Calling and one more reason to question the validity of Sarah Young’s “Jesus.”

7) Co-creation
Sarah Young’s “Jesus” also introduces the key New Age concept of “co-creation.” This is a New Age evolutionary concept that falsely teaches that because man is God, he can therefore co-create with God. But man is not God.

The New Age “Christ” has a plan. He is promising the world that Armageddon can be avoided and world peace can be achieved if everyone collaborates and “co-creates” with him. Speaking through top New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard in her book The Revelation, the New Age “Christ” uses the terms co-create, co-creation, co-creative, co-creator, and co-creatorship over 100 times. This is because co-creation is a key element in the New Age Christ’s counterfeit plan of salvation for Planet Earth. At one point Hubbard’s “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.37 (emphasis added)

New Age author Neale Donald Walsch has been taking spiritual dictation from his New Age “God” for many years now. Soon after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, “God,” speaking through Walsch, proclaimed that “the era of the Single Savior is over.” He said:

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.38 (emphasis added)

In Jesus Calling, Young’s “Jesus” introduces the idea of co-creation in conjunction with the term “collaborating.” Webster’s New World Dictionary’s sole definition of a collaborationist is “a person who cooperates with an enemy invader.”39 Sarah Young’s “Jesus” plays right into this New Age collaboration when he talks of humanity collaborating and co-creating with him:

This is a very practical way of collaborating with Me. I, the Creator of the universe, have deigned to co-create with you.40 (emphasis added)

Co-creation is a crucial New Age concept that entails the necessity of man recognizing he is God and then acting as God to affirm, visualize, envision, and to ultimately co-create with God a positive peaceful future. Thus, there is a definite overlap of terms as Sarah Young’s “Jesus” similarly teaches that humanity can partner with God through the co-creation process. Barbara Marx Hubbard’s New Age “Christ” refers to a future world peace that can be visualized and co-created by mankind. This co-created world peace is referred to as the “alternative to Armageddon.”41 But the prophet Jeremiah warned about a peace that seems to heal but is, in reality, no peace at all (Jeremiah 8:11).

Note: This “alternative to Armageddon” peace process is described by New Age leaders as an important part of God’s Dream for the world. Not surprisingly, “God’s Dream” is another New Age concept that is introduced in Jesus Calling.

8) God’s Dream
Consistent with many of the other New Age implications contained in her channeled messages, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” introduces the New Age idea of “God’s Dream” in Jesus Calling when he states:

I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach.42

In Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, the January 6th message/devotion is titled—and has “Jesus” telling the children—“Dare to Dream My Dream.”43

“God’s Dream” is a Deceptive Scheme
The term “God’s Dream” is yet another part of the overlapping New Age language streaming into the church. God’s Dream is a vague, loosely defined New Age metaphor that attempts to unify different religions and faith groups in an unbiblical effort to attain world peace. However, the true Jesus Christ warned that deception and the coming of Antichrist—not a “God’s Dream” peace movement—will be what actually precedes His ultimate and glorious return (Matthew 24:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). The prophet Daniel warned that Antichrist will “destroy wonderfully” and “by peace he shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:24-25). In the future, what may appear to be a “wonderful” worldwide revival and a “wonderful” world peace will actually be a false revival and a false peace—the kind of peace that Daniel said will be associated with the coming of Antichrist, not the true Christ.

The New Age concept of God’s Dream was introduced at least as far back as 1916 by New Age theosophists in their Theosophical Path Magazine.44 Since then it has been used by numerous New Age sympathizers that include Oprah Winfrey,45 Wayne Dyer,46 former United Nations Indian guru Sri Chinmoy,47 and African bishop Desmond Tutu.48 The concept of God’s Dream was introduced into the church in the 1970s by former Crystal Cathedral pastor Robert Schuller49 and later adopted by Rick Warren,50 Brian McLaren,51 Joel Osteen,52 Bruce Wilkinson,53 Leonard Sweet,54 and many other Christian figures. The overlap factor is very apparent when comparing statements made by Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, and Sarah Young’s “Jesus” :

Oprah Winfrey: God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself.55

Joel Osteen: God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own.56

Sarah Young’s “Jesus”: Dream your biggest, most incredible dream—and then know that I am able to do far more than that, far more than you can ever ask or imagine. Allow Me to fill your mind with My dreams for you.57

Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and Leonard Sweet all used the God’s Dream metaphor to stress the urgency of achieving world peace—but at what compromised New Age cost?

Rick Warren: This weekend, I’ll begin a series of five messages on God’s dream to use you globally—to literally use YOU to help change the world! I’ll unvail our Global P.E.A.C.E. plan, and how God has uniquely prepared you for this moment of destiny.58

Brian McLaren: That in itself is an act of peacemaking, because we’re seeking to align our wills with God’s will, our dreams with God’s dream.59

Leonard Sweet: The time to save God’s Dream is now. The People to save God’s Dream are you.60

“God’s Dream” is a False Dream
“God’s Dream” may seem to be inspirational and have a godly feel to it, but there is nothing in Scripture to even hint, much less substantiate, the New Age concept of God’s Dream. God doesn’t dream in any way, shape, manner, or form. God’s Dream is definitely one of those crossover terms like “co-creation” and “divine alchemy” that attempt to “shift” everything into a New Age context and towards the universal acceptance of a New Age/New Worldview. Sarah Young’s “Jesus” plays right into this clever conditioning when he introduces the concept of God’s Dream in Jesus Calling and in no less than three of Sarah Young’s other books.61 The prophet Jeremiah warned about those who prophesy and present false dreams like God’s Dream:

Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)

Note: Because so many Christian leaders have adopted the concept of God’s Dream, it has become a popularly accepted “Christian” term and is now virtually indistinguishable from its New Age origins.

9) God “in” Everything
The New Age teaches we are all “One” and we are all “God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. This belief is referred to as panentheism and is the foundational teaching of the New Age movement. In my 2004 book Deceived on Purpose, I describe how long-time New Age evangelist Benjamin Creme, speaking on behalf of the false Christ Maitreya, presents the concept of “God in everything” as the bottom line teaching of the coming New World Religion. Creme said:

But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.62 (emphasis added)

But the true Jesus Christ never taught that God was a universal Presence that is “in man and all creation.” He did not teach that God is “in” everything. Yet the July 8th “message” that Sarah Young said she received from her “Jesus” definitely presents this false New Age teaching:

I am above all, as well as in all . . . 63

The true Jesus Christ knows that the foundational false teaching of the New Age/New Worldview is the concept of immanence—God “in all.” The true Christ teaches that God—in the Person of the Holy Spirit—is sent to indwell those who believe and follow Him (John 14:23). But He would never teach that God is “in man and all creation” or “in all” as Sarah Young’s “Jesus” states in Jesus Calling.

Note: Many Scriptures refute this idea that God is “in” all—Ezekiel 28:2, Galatians 6:3, Psalm 9:20, Isaiah 31:3, John 2:24-25, etc. Psalm 39:5 makes it very clear that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Man is not God or a part of God because God is not universally “in” everything—God is not “in all.”

10) Sarah Young’s New Agey Mystical Moonlight Conversion
In the original introduction to Jesus Calling, Sarah Young described how it was a walk in “God’s glorious creation” that led to her mystical moonlight conversion—that her “heart” was “converted” to “Jesus” when she “felt” “enveloped” by the “warm mist” of His “Presence.” Her account is reminiscent of how many of us fell prey to deceptive spiritual experiences rather than heeding warnings from the Word of God about “another Jesus,” “another gospel,” and “another spirit.” (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7; 1 Timothy 4:1). Note how Young clearly transitions right from “it was God’s glorious creation that helped me open my heart to Him” into her walk in the “snowy mountains” with its “cold moonlit beauty.” It is a continuous flow from one paragraph to the next. Young wrote:

It was the intellectual integrity of Francis Schaeffer’s teaching that had drawn me to that pristine place. Though the quest that had taken me there was a search for truth, it was God’s glorious creation that helped me open my heart to Him.

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me. I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.” This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus. As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe.64 [emphasis added to indicate what has been removed from the most recent editions of Jesus Calling].

But after nine years of publishing the mystical conversion account above, this original account has been suddenly replaced by a different, more traditional conversion account that Young now claims to have had prior to her moonlight walk. Instead of “God’s glorious creation” transitioning into her mystical moonlight conversion, now it’s her new conversion account that transitions into her considerably toned down walk in the moonlight. The new account reads:

Shortly after I settled into the home I shared with other students, I met a gifted counselor who had come from the Swiss branch of L’Abri to talk with some of us. I went into the room where she was waiting, and she told me to close the door. Before I even had time to sit down, she asked her first question: “Are you a Christian?” I answered that I wasn’t sure; I wanted to be a Christian, but I didn’t really understand why I needed Jesus. I thought that knowing God might be enough. Her second question was: “What can you not forgive yourself for?” This question brought me face-to-face with my sinfulness, and immediately I understood my need for Jesus—to save me from my many sins. Later, when I was alone, I asked Him to forgive all my sins and to be my Savior-God.

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. After a while, I came into an open area and I stopped walking. Time seemed to stand still as I gazed around me in wonder—soaking in the beauty of this place. Suddenly I became aware of a lovely Presence with me, and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.” This experience of Jesus’ Presence was far more personal than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe—the One who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6 NKJV)65

This new conversion account immediately begs the question of why Young didn’t include this recent conversion account in her original writing. For nine years she described how her “heart” was “converted” in the “cold moonlit beauty” of “God’s glorious creation.” Now we are being told that her heart was converted previous to her walk in the moonlight after talking with a L’Abri counselor. The skeptical reader might see the author attempting to do some quick damage control—especially in light of the fact that a number of the controversial statements from her original conversion account have been completely deleted from the most recent editions of Jesus Calling. Gone is the original statement that transitioned to her mystical conversion—“it was God’s glorious creation that helped me open my heart to Him.” Gone is the “warm mist” that “enveloped” her. Gone is the “utterance” that was “totally uncharacteristic of me.” Gone is her being “shocked” to hear herself “speaking so tenderly to Jesus.” Gone is her realization that her “response” was that of “a converted heart.” Gone is “at that moment I knew I belonged to Him.” More succinctly—gone is her whole mystical moonlight conversion and gone are the New Age implications of what she actually experienced. Also gone for many of us is any real credibility for an author and publisher who are trying to edit their problems away without any explanation or apology to anyone—much less the millions of readers who read her original version.

CONCLUSION
It seems a bit disingenuous for Thomas Nelson Vice President Laura Minchew to deny the various New Age implications of Jesus Calling—even as they are deleting much of the very material that substantiates the New Age implications charge. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Same with the New Age. Like an octopus that shoots ink at its perceived adversaries to cloud the waters, Minchew’s attempt to intimidate critics and to dispel legitimate criticism is not credible. Laura Minchew, Sarah Young, and Thomas Nelson editors must know this or they wouldn’t be removing so much controversial material from their new editions of Jesus Calling.

When the author and her Thomas Nelson team choose to protect their multi-million dollar Jesus Calling industry rather than the truth, they betray the countless readers who have put their trust in Sarah Young’s “Jesus.” Nevertheless, some will still say—“but there is so much truth and so much Scripture, and I was so encouraged by Sarah Young’s book.” Or, “Hey, so what if they changed things. They were just trying to make it right—so what’s the problem? But it is a sad day when avowed Christians find themselves encouraged by a deceptive mix of truth and New Age error. And when an author and a publisher make significant changes to spiritually controversial material, they should provide some kind of explanation as to why those changes were made.

This much is for sure. The true Christ doesn’t mix truth with New Age teachings. This is what a false Christ does. When asked by His disciples what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the world, the true Jesus Christ said that deception would be the sign—that many would come in His name and pretend to be Him (Matthew 24:3-5). And while this might be hard for some people to accept, His warning specifically applies to false Christs like Sarah Young’s “Jesus.”

To order copies of The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling, click here.

Endnotes
1. Jim Fletcher, “Top Christian Bestseller Accused of Heresy” (World Net Daily, http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/top-christian-bestseller-accused-of-heresy).
2. Q&A with Sarah Young, Author Profile (The Christian Broadcasting Network http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/books/jesuscallingqa.aspx).
3. 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. 5.
4. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), p. 103.
5. Ibid., p. 104.
6. Ibid., p. 80.
7. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2004), pp. Xl-XII, Printing 12 13 14 15 RRD 49 48 47 46.
8. Ruth Graham, “The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of” (The Daily Beast, 02/23/14), http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/23/the-strange-saga-of-jesus-calling-the-evangelical-bestseller-you-ve-never-heard-of.html).
9. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 94.
10. Ibid., p. Xll.
11. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary: Third College Edition (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1988), p. 234.
12. Ibid., p. 389.
13. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling; 10th Anniversary Edition (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Inc, 2004, 2011, 2014), Printing 14 15 16 17 18 DSC 5 4 3 2 1.
14. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., pp. X-Xl.
15. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, op. cit., p. 578. Quoted from Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon, The Seduction of Christianity: Spiritual Discernment in the Last Days (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1985), p. 123.
16. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit.
17. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 228.
18. Ibid., p. Xll.
19. Ibid., p. 362.
20. Ibid., p. 260.
21. Ibid., p. 139.
22. Ibid., p. 214.
23. Ibid., p. 241.
24. Ibid., p. 303.
25. Ibid., p. 85.
26. Ibid., p. 381.
27. Ibid., p. 209.
28. Ibid., p. 5.
29. Ibid., p. 360.
30. Ibid., p. 313.
31. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 260.
32. Webster’s New World Dictionary; Third College Edition, op. cit., p. 937.
33. Edited by N.G.L. Hammond and H.H.Scullard, The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 1970), p. 36.
34. Ibid., pp. 36-37.
35. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. 281.
36. Edited by N.G.L. Hammond and H.H. Scullard, The Oxford Classical Dictionary, op. cit., p. 37.
37. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), p. 174.
38. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
39. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary; Third College Edition, op. cit., p. 273.
40. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 362.
41. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 264.
42. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 6.
43. Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids (Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 2010), p. 7.
44. Katherine Tingley, Editor, Theosophical Path Magazine, Volume X, February 1916, p. 159.
45. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
46.Wayne Dyer, You’ll See it When You Believe It: The Way to Your Personal Transformation (New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins, First Quill Ed., 2001), p. 108.
47. Sri Chinmoy; late resident Indian guru at the United Nations (http://www.yogaofsrichinmoy.com/god_the_author_all_good/mangod).
48. Desmond Tutu, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speech” (March 18, 2004, Bender Arena at American University, http://wwwl.media,american.edu/speeches/desmondtutu.htm).
49. Robert H. Schuller, Your Church Has Real Possibilities (Glendale, CA: Regal Books Division, G/L Publications, 1974), pp. 176-179.
50. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “GOD’S DREAM FOR YOU—AND THE WORLD!”; Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2004), pp. 131-142.
51. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W. Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006), p. 161.
52. Joel Osteen, “God’s Dream for Your Life”—Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday” (http://devotion.wedaretobelieve.com/2014/07/gods-dream-for-your-life-joel-osteen.html).
53. Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2003), p. 77.
54. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), p. 34.
55. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
56. Joel Osteen, “God’s Dream for Your Life-Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday,”
57. Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, op. cit. p. 7.
58. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “GOD’S DREAM FOR YOU—AND THE WORLD!”; op. cit.
59. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, op cit., p. 161.
60. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 34.
61. Sarah Young, Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007), pp. 68-69; Sarah Young: Jesus Lives: Seeing His Love in Your Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009), p. 124; Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, op. cit., p. 7.
62. a) Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England: The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88, Cited from Deceived on Purpose (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2nd ed., 2004), p. 156. b) Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul, The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter 6—“The New World Religion” (Caux, Switzerland: Netnews Association and/or its suppliers, 2002), http://netnews.org), http://web.archive.org/web/20070220093122/http://laluni.helloyou.ws/netnews/bk/reappearance/reap1025.html).
63. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 199.
64. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (original introduction), op. cit., pp. Vll-Vlll.
65. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (revised introduction), (10th Anniversary Edition), op. cit., p. xiv.

Editor’s Note: Our attempts to speak with Sarah Young about the problematic issues in Jesus Calling have been to no avail. Thomas Nelson has repeatedly stated that she is not available for interviews.

To order copies of The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling, click here.

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