Posts Tagged ‘Warren B. Smith’
Lighthouse Trails authors Warren B. Smith and Roger Oakland will be speaking at the following conference in Southern California on February 5th and 6th. There is no charge for this conference. Also speaking will be Paul Smith and Xavier Reis
THE REMAINING AND ONGOING DANGERS
OF THE EMERGENT CHURCH MOVEMENT
Day One – Feb 5th
7p – Warren Smith
8p – Xavier Ries
Q&A after each session
Day Two – Feb 6th
8:45a – Roger Oakland
10:15a – Warren Smith
11:30a – Paul Smith
12:30p – Lunch Break
1:15p – Xavier Ries
2:15p – Warren Smith
3:30 – Conference End
Q&A after each session
– Collective Solution
– Emerging, Emergent, E. Village
– New Age False Doctrine
– Contemplative Prayer
– Authors and teachers of
– 20 point checklist that reveals
– How to defend against this
– Plus much more!
Cost: No Charge/Love Offering
WHEN: Friday, February 5th: 7pm – 9pm
Saturday, February 6th: 8:45am – 3:30pm
Hosanna Christian Fellowhship
16705 Bellflower Blvd. Bellflower, CA
Please call or e-mail Hosanna Christian Fellowship with questions or for pre-registration (registration not mandatory):
(562) 925 – 5093
Note: This is not a Lighthouse Trails event. It is sponsored and hosted by an unaffiliated group.
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.
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 titled “Jesus 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”
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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.
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.
In order of date posted.
1/A Special Letter from Caryl Matrisciana – Reflections on Sorrow by Caryl Matrisciana
I’m so grateful to Jesus Christ for having walked the sorrows of this life and given us His example of how godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow can be faced through the empowerment of His Holy Spirit, which is freely given to believers as His Gift of Grace (2 Corinthians 1:5-6; Hebrews 2:10;). The apostle Paul distinguishes two sorts of sorrow: “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). The one is that sorrow for sin [that is] wrought by God [and] leads to repentance, while the other is a sorrow about worldly objects which, when separated from the fear of God, tends to death, temporal and eternal. (Unger Bible Dictionary)
In 2014, Rick Warren (called “America’s Pastor) was interviewed by Catholic T.V. network host Raymond Arroyo. The interview took place at the Saddleback Church campus and was posted on YouTube by EWTN in April of 2014. Because I had written previously in 2013 about Rick Warren’s connections to Rome and to the Catholic convert Tony Blair (former prime minister of Britain), I was very aware that Rick Warren was heading down the path toward Rome. But not until I saw this interview did I realize just how far he has gone in that direction.
3/The Unacknowledged War and the Wearing Down of the Saints by Cedric Fisher
In the wake of a brutal execution of Christians at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon in October 2015, the Obama administration announced the appointment of a new czar position to supposedly battle domestic terrorism.
4/Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection by Ray Yungen
n 2013, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected Pope Francis the First. This new pope immediately began causing ripples in the Catholic Church with his statements on certain issues. He also caused many to take notice of his unpapal lifestyle such as living in a guesthouse with twelve others rather than living in the papal apartments like previous popes. He projects a down-to-earth image that denotes compassion and trust. He has been called the people’s pope, someone who is your friend, someone you can trust. But there are certain things about Pope Francis’ coming on the scene that are being ignored by the media and most people.
Our Spiritual Adversary would have everyone believe that we are all “one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Using every promotional means possible—including a creative and ingenious perversion of quantum physics—he is attempting to convince the world and the church that while Jesus was Christ, so is everyone. And while Jesus was God, so is everyone else. To underscore this heretical New Age doctrine of God and Christ “in” everyone, he would have us further believe that nothing of any significance happened on the Cross of Calvary.
Contemplative prayer, which Priscilla Shirer refers to as her “brand new way” and Beth Moore says is essential in really knowing God, is in reality an ancient prayer practice that is essentially the same as New Age or Eastern meditation though disguised with Christian terminology. Those who participate and enter the contemplative silence, as it is called, open themselves to great deception.
7/“For God So Loved the World . . . That Whosoever!” by Harry Ironside
Why do so many people think this is the greatest text in the Bible? There are other wonderful texts that dwell on the love of God, that show how men are delivered from judgment, that tell us how we may obtain everlasting life; but no other one verse, as far as I can see, gives us all these precious truths so clearly and so distinctly. So true is this that when the Gospel is carried into heathen lands, and missionaries want to give a synopsis of the Gospel to a pagan people, all they find it necessary to do, if they are going to a people that have a written language, is to translate and print this verse, and it tells out the story that they are so anxious for the people to hear.
Why would our country, so richly blessed by God, embrace the occult? What caused this drastic change in values? How could it have happened so seemingly fast?! Actually, the entire Western world had already been “softened up” by the 1960s when the rising rebellion against God erupted into public view.
9/D is for Deception: The Language of the “New” Christianity by Kevin Reeves
A number of years ago, a book written by emerging-church leaders Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet was released. The book was called A is for Abductive: the language of the emerging church. Going through the alphabet, the authors identified many terms they hoped would be picked up by the younger generation, thus creating a unique emerging spiritual atmosphere. They called it a “primer with a mission.” That mission that McLaren, Sweet, and other like-minded change agents embrace has been successful in bringing in a new kind of “Christianity. . . .”
Have you heard the rumor going around—that God can be found “only in the silence”? Don’t buy it. Please understand. I love quiet. I drive for hours with the radio off, sit in the porch swing and listen to the birds, and lie on Gram’s quilt in the dark to watch the stars. I insist on quiet for Bible and prayer time.
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity by Kevin Reeves and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails 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 D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity, click here.
By Kevin Reeves
and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails
A number of years ago, a book written by emerging-church leaders Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet was released. The book was called A is for Abductive: the language of the emerging church. Going through the alphabet, the authors identified many terms they hoped would be picked up by the younger generation, thus creating a unique emerging spiritual atmosphere. They called it a “primer with a mission.”1 That mission that McLaren, Sweet, and other like-minded change agents embrace has been successful in bringing in a new kind of “Christianity,” which is not biblical Christianity but rather a “New” Christianity now permeating the halls of Christian colleges, seminaries, evangelical churches, small groups, ministries, and organizations. We have compiled in this booklet common terms and their basic meanings to help uncover the true meaning behind some of the deceptive language of the “New” Christianity (i.e., the New Spirituality).
What Does That Mean?
Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. (Isaiah 5:13)
A great deal of confusion resides in today’s church. In the West, particularly, discernment among Christians is at an alarmingly low ebb. Even genuine believers in Christ have been led astray from the primacy of the Bible and swept up into an ecumenical, interspiritual environment which marks so much of our current Christian practice. Formerly solid Christian fellowships have been torn loose from scriptural moorings and now float on an endless sea of experiential religion. Anecdotal preaching has replaced time-honored biblical exposition; feelings take priority over the Scriptures; pulpit charisma rules congregations steeped in modern culture.
For Christians who understand the times in which we live and who are committed to defending the faith and warning others of spiritual deception, much of the difficulty in doing so resides in the fact that the terminology used by New Christianity/New Spirituality leaders and authors is either completely new to the biblical Christian or the terms are the same but definitions have changed.
Ignorance of the schemes of the devil is no virtue. It is incumbent upon us to “[s]tudy to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), and in being properly equipped, to speak truth to the erring Christian and help him return to the real “ancient paths” (Jeremiah 18:15) that God laid out from the foundation of the world.
Each of the definitions of the following terms are short and in no way fully explain the complexities often involved. But we hope this glossary will help you to better understand the nature of the enemy’s deceptive plans to distinguish scriptural truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Language of the New Spirituality
Absence of Thought: The mental state sought after by those practicing contemplative prayer or meditation. By repeating a word or phrase or concentrating on the breath or an object, the mind goes into an altered state of consciousness and all thought becomes absent.
Alchemy: One of the terms used in the popular book, Jesus Calling, it is an ancient mystical art of the occult. Webster’s definition uses the words mystical and syncretist religion and astrology to describe alchemy.
Alignment: Spiritually speaking, bringing one’s will into conformity with the vision and goals of a religious organization or church.2
Alpha: It is the goal of meditators to reach the alpha state where the mind is in a kind of neutral trance or hypnotic slumber.
Altered State of Consciousness: A meditative or drug-induced non-ordinary state of mind. In a religious context, a state where the seeker is drawn out of his normal thinking processes into “self-realization” or contact with what he considers the divine or divine wisdom.
Ancient Disciplines (see also Spiritual Disciplines): This is not talking about ancient as in Bible days but rather is referring to Desert Fathers (monks and hermits) who drew from pagan religions and began practicing an eastern-style meditation.
Ancient Future: see Vintage Faith
Ancient Wisdom: The supposed laws of the universe that, when mastered, enable one to control one’s own reality. Another word for metaphysics or occultism.
Aquarius/Aquarian Age: Sign of the Zodiac represented by the water carrier or the Earth Age associated with this astrological sign. The term New Age refers to the coming Aquarian age, which is in the process of replacing the Pisces Age. According to astrologers, every 2,000 years constitutes an age. New Agers predict this Aquarian age will be a time of utopia, when man will come into a fuller knowledge of his supposed inherent divinity.
As Above, So Below: This term is seen as the key to unlocking all occultic practice as described in the New Age book, As Above, So Below. Signifies that God is “in” everything and man is divine. Used in Eugene Peterson’s book The Message “Bible” in the Lord’s Prayer. (Warren B. Smith explains this term in further detail in Deceived on Purpose).
At-one-ment (replaces atonement): This term has nothing to do with the atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross; rather it is the concept that every human being and all creation is at one with each other. We are all connected together because “God” is flowing through everything and everyone.
Automatic Writing: When one enters an altered state of consciousness through a meditative practice, he or she acts as a conduit for supernatural entities or spirit guides (actually demons or familiar spirits), allowing those entities to “dictate,” via pen and paper. The act of writing down what those entities communicate.
Awakening: New Spirituality proponents say man is waking up to the realization that he is God, that divinity is within him. Thomas Merton spoke of man realizing what is already there (“God”). New Spirituality leader Leonard Sweet put this on the cover of his book Nudge— Awakening Each Other to the God Who’s Already There. Richard Foster told researcher Ray Yungen once that Thomas Merton “tried to awaken God’s people” (meaning through mysticism).
Be Still: Taken from Psalm 46:10—“Be Still and Know That I Am God.” Those promoting contemplative prayer use this phrase as part of their meditative exercises, claiming that the verse is a mandate in Scripture to practice the “silence,” when in fact, the Scripture, when taken in context, means to trust in the Lord. It has nothing to do with going into a meditative state by shutting down thought processes.
Breath Prayer: Practice consisting of picking a single word or short phrase and repeating it in conjunction with the breath. Rick Warren encourages the use of breath prayers in his highly popular book, The Purpose Driven Life.
Catalyst: Taking pastors and leaders to a “new level” (i.e., leaving the old ways and moving into “new” innovative methods and ideas). Emphasizing that everything must change and must change quickly and dramatically.
Centering/Centering Prayer: Another term for meditation (going deep within your center). A type of meditation being promoted in many mainline churches under the guise of biblical prayer, but which is actually Buddhist or Hindu in origin. Larry Crabb tells readers in his book, The Papa Prayer, that he has been greatly benefited from centering prayer. Sadly, Christian leaders such as Erwin Lutzer, James Kennedy and Jerry Falwell endorsed Crabb’s book.
Chakras: Believed by New Agers to be seven energy centers in man, aligned along the spine, which open up during the kundalini effect in meditation.
Channeling (see also Automatic Writing): Altered state of consciousness whereby the channeler opens himself up to inhabitation by spirits, often the supposed spirits of the dead or “ancient masters” who convey hidden mysteries. Acting as a medium.
Christ-Consciousness: Taught by New Agers to be the state of awareness, reached in meditation, in which one realizes one’s own divinity and oneness with God, thereby becoming a “christ” or enlightened being.
Christ Follower: While there is nothing inadvertently wrong with this term, New Christianity/New Spirituality proponents have captured the term to say a “Christian” is a dogmatic, preachy, uncaring, irrelevant person whereas a Christ follower doesn’t preach or carry around a Bible (which they say makes unbelievers/unchurched uncomfortable) but rather becomes integrated into the culture, absorbing the culture. Whereas a Christian is set apart, the Christ follower focuses on relationships, community, and social justice, they say. It is the idea that you can go for Jesus, but you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church (for more on the term Christ follower, see http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4810).
Christian Formation: See Spiritual Formation
“Christian” Yoga: Some claim that Yoga can be neutralized by performing a Christian rendition of it. But even Hindu yogis say there is no such thing as “Christian” yoga because the exercises cannot be separated from the religious aspects. Yoga is the heartbeat of Hinduism.
Civility: Basically, no one is to challenge or question another’s beliefs. All are valid.
Cloud of Unknowing: An ancient primer on contemplative prayer written by an anonymous monk. It instructs: “Take just a little word, of one syllable rather than of two . . . With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought under the cloud of forgetting.”
Co-Creator/Co-Creation: According to New Spirituality/emerging church advocates, man is a co-creator with God because man is equal, in abilities and nature, to God.
Colonialism: A derogatory term used by New Spirituality advocates to describe those who are still clinging to the “old time religion,” which is seen as outdated, archaic, irrelevant, and unsuccessful.
Common Ground: Using the dialectic process, an agreement among people that “ameliorates the extremes,” thus effectually dispensing with tolerance for diversity.3 In practice, it is arriving at agreement through compromise. A one-world religion will be achieved through this means.
Contemplative Prayer: Going beyond thought by the use of repeated prayer words or phrases. Similar to centering prayer in that it encourages a clearing of the mind of conscious thought in order to create a spiritual receptivity to God or the divine.
Contextual Theology: The belief that the Bible, in and of itself, is not free-standing—other factors (culture, ethnicity, history) must be taken into consideration, and with those factors, the message of the Bible must be adjusted to fit.
Convergent: A coming together or unifying of ideas. The boundaries that distinguish different beliefs are eradicated.
Conversation (or Conversation Journey): New Christianity followers reject the idea that truth is unchangeable or that we can have certainty in knowing truth; thus, we have “conversations” that are always seeking answers but never finding. To be certain of anything is arrogant, they say. This ongoing conversation journey is inclusive of all beliefs and ideas; nothing is rejected.
Cosmic Christ: All world religions will eventually be bound together by the “Cosmic Christ” principle, which is another term for the higher self; thus, the Cosmic Christ is the “Christ” within every human being. The Catholic Church now has in its Catechism the concept that we are all Christs.
Creative Visualization: Imaging in the mind, during meditation especially, a desired object or occurrence, then expecting its physical fulfillment. In simple terms, it is a practice that supposedly creates one’s own reality. Though pagan in origin, this practice has its “Christian” counterpart in various aspects of the charismatic/Pentecostal church, most notably in Word of Faith, in which faith proclamations are enjoined with visualizing the desired result.
Critical Mass: While a scientific term, when speaking of populations of people it is referring to “an explosion in global consciousness capable of ‘touching’ or transforming all of humankind.”4 The idea is that when a certain critical number of people all share the same awareness, then change can come to all people’s thinking because of the critical mass (as in an atomic explosion). A critical mass does not have to be a majority if it is a powerful enough mass, but unity is essential and so is meditation.
Cultural Architect: An emerging church/progressive Christianity term for pastor or leader with the idea that these cultural architects differ from their pastor counterparts in that they are in touch with the culture and are relevant.
Daniel Plan: Saddleback Church’s fifty-two week spiritual and physical health and wellness program. For the program, Warren enlisted the assistance of three physicians with New Age/holistic medicine beliefs and teachings (Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hymen).
Dark Night of the Soul: Term coined by John of the Cross, describing a time of intense inner crisis in which the seeker feels far from God. It is highly typical of contemplatives to use this idea of spiritual dryness or emptiness to convince followers they need something more in their relationship with God. Contemplatives insist that the “old ways” don’t work anymore.
De-Construction: Undoing the old traditional Christianity. In A is for Abductive, McLaren says it is “disassembling anything that has acquired a pat and patent set of meanings [i.e., doctrine] for the purpose of reassembling in new ways [i.e., emerging/New Spirituality]” (p. 95).
Desert Fathers: A group of ancient Christian monks living in wilderness areas of the Middle East who practiced contemplative prayer, borrowing meditation techniques from Hindu and Buddhist sources. You will often find references to the Desert Fathers in contemplative-promoting books.
Dominionism: The belief that God’s people will rise up as overcomers and put Satan and his minions under their (not Christ’s) feet. According to Dominionists, Christ cannot return until this is accomplished. The rapture is discounted as a myth, with the declaration that Christ will return, not for His people, but rather already in them (no physical return). The overcomers will then present to Christ a faultless world where He will then rule.
Ecstasy: The hoped-for outcome of contemplative prayer or meditation wherein the seeker is carried out of himself into a oneness with the Divine. People say they experience an ecstasy compared to nothing they have ever known before. They feel a sense of unity with all of life and are convinced of their own immortality. Such experiences keep them returning for more. One is not going to believe he or she is God if one doesn’t feel like God.
Ecumenism: The merging of the various Christian denominations and doctrinal persuasions resulting in a dilution of biblical faith.
Emergent: The term emergent was first used by the group (Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Mark Driscoll, etc.) originally called Young Leaders Network. When they left Leadership Network to go on their own, they became Emergent. Today the terms emergent and emerging are often used interchangeably.
Emerging Church: Postmodern congregations that follow a loose set of doctrines promoting a redefinition of Christianity and incorporating into their fellowships some or all of the following: Roman Catholic mysticism and contemplative prayer, eastern meditation techniques, pagan religious practices such as walking the labyrinth, Lectio Divina, mantra, etc. Highly ecumenical. The focus is on social justice and cultural relevancy rather than the Gospel and the Word of God. Emphasis is on a social gospel as opposed to a personal Gospel.
Eucharist: The small wafer administered during the Communion portion of the Catholic Mass. When consecrated by the priest, the wafer supposedly becomes the literal body of Christ. Some emerging and evangelical churches are turning their communion services into modifications of the Catholic Eucharistic mass.
Fractal: Directly related to what are being called the “new sciences” of “Chaos Theory” and “Fractal Theory.” Linked with the occult phrase “as above, so below.” Mentioned in William Paul Young’s book, The Shack.
Fresh: New Spirituality advocates say we need to see God in new “fresh” ways. Rick Warren says this in The Purpose Driven Life. Occultist Alice Bailey says the path to God will be based on “a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life.”5
Fusion: A common term within New Spirituality to describe a fusing together of ideas, beliefs, and people.
Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan: Initiative originating with Saddleback Church’s pastor Rick Warren, where social justice “deeds” take precedence over doctrine and beliefs.
God’s Dream: A crossover term used by both the New Age and the church and oftentimes connotes desire for world peace. When people of all faiths move past “doctrinal idiosyncrasies” and “transcend divisive dogmas,” they can attain “God’s Dream” for world peace.
Ground of All Being: New Ager Marilyn Ferguson wrote that God is within everyone and everything. God is described as the universal “ground of all being.”
Higher Self: Supposed God-self within each human being. New Agers seek to connect, through meditation, with their higher self. Also called the Christ-Self or True-Self. Brennan Manning helped to bring this term into the evangelical church.
Holy Laughter: Considered by proponents to be a sign of “revival,” holy laughter is uncontrollable laughter, often spontaneous and mass-manifested, erupting in response to “the anointing” or the supposed manifest presence of God.
Ignatius Exercises: Meditative exercises named after Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Catholic Jesuit Order.
Immanence: The New Age belief that God is in everyone.
Incarnational: A term used to describe an emerging “progressive” kind of evangelism that focuses on the needs of people but downplays the importance of sharing the Gospel message (as that can offend).
Individualism: New Spirituality advocates resent individualism, saying that is the old way of viewing things. Now we must be collective, unified. Individual relationships with Jesus Christ are to be replaced with communities in which social justice is the focus.
Interspirituality: The premise that divinity (God) is in all things, and the presence of God is in all religions; a connecting together of all things, and through mysticism (i.e., meditation), this state of divinity can be recognized. Consequently, a premise based on and upheld by an experience that occurs during a self-hypnotic trance linking one to an unseen world rather than to the sound doctrine of the Bible. Wayne Teasdale, a lay monk who coined the term interspirituality, says that interspirituality is “the spiritual common ground which exists among the world’s religions.”
Jesus Prayer: A popular version of this prayer, often used in contemplative meditation, is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” often abbreviated to “Jesus.”
Kingdom Now: A teaching that Christians should be walking consistently in supernatural power and establishing Christ’s kingdom on earth. Much overlap exists between Kingdom Now, Dominionism, and Latter Rain theology.
Kingdom of God: New Spirituality believes the kingdom of God can be brought to earth through humanity becoming one. When they use this term, they don’t mean it in the sense the Bible uses it but rather it is a kingdom based on the unity of all mankind and man realizing his divinity. There is no Cross in this kingdom.
Kundalini: Powerful energy associated with the chakras and brought on through meditation. Hindu in origin, kundalini manifestations include uncontrollable shaking, writhing, convulsions, trance states, a sensation of fire or electricity on or in the body, swooning, etc.
Labyrinth: An ancient pattern, often constructed of rocks or cement, wherein a circular pathway leads to a central point. Originating in Greek mythology, labyrinths are gaining a strong following among practitioners of contemplative prayer and are becoming a visible part of church landscaping and architecture. Seekers of any faith are encouraged to walk the labyrinth’s pathways and pray for an individual experience with God. Read Carl Teichrib’s booklet The Labyrinth Journey for a complete explanation.
Lectio Divina: Means “sacred reading.” This contemplative prayer practice is gaining popularity within the evangelical/Protestant camp. It often involves taking a single word or small phrase from Scripture and repeating the words over and over in order to “hear from God.” Basically, Scripture is being misused as a tool for meditation.
Making History: Another way of saying things must change.
Mantra: Word or words repeated either silently or out loud in order to induce an altered state of consciousness. A way to turn off thoughts and enter the “silence.”
Maturity: A term used by all contemplatives, such as Richard Foster and Rick Warren, to describe the outcome of someone who is a regular practitioner of contemplative prayer. The traditional view of God, they say, is somewhat immature or childish, and the contemplative view of God is mature. In other words, the mystical view of God will give true maturity as opposed to a more juvenile or childish view of God.
Meditation: The meditation most of us are familiar with involves a deep, continuous thinking about something. But New Age meditation does just the opposite. It involves ridding oneself of all thoughts in order to still the mind by putting it in the equivalent of pause or neutral. A comparison would be that of turning a fast-moving stream into a still pond. When meditation is employed by damming the free flow of thinking, it holds back active thought and causes a shift in consciousness. This condition is not to be confused with daydreaming, where the mind dwells on a subject. New Age meditation works as a holding mechanism until the mind becomes thoughtless, empty, and silent.
Meditation and Contemplation (Biblical): A normal thinking process of reflecting on the things of God and biblical precepts.
Metaphysical: Beyond the physical realm or pertaining to the supernatural.
Mindfulness: A Buddhist term from bapasana. It’s the practice of meditation. Gives the classic Buddhist spiritual enlightenment. Now it is being used in virtually every area of human endeavor: stress reduction, education, medicine, post-traumatic stress, and stress in the workplace.
Missional (also Missional Church): Replacing the term missions; it strives to improve society through social justice. De-emphasizes evangelism to the lost. Emphasizes being relevant and connected to the culture.
Mysticism: A direct experience with the supernatural realm.
Namaste: A greeting that occurs at the end of each Yoga session—meaning the god in me greets the god in you.
New Age: In a religious context, an all-encompassing spirituality, sourced in ancient pagan practices that defies specific “doctrinal” definitions. It is geared toward New Age religion, which can incorporate teachings and practices from virtually any other religion or non-religion such as Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Wicca, astrology, alchemy, veganism, homeopathic medicine, tarot cards, crystal gazing, etc.
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR): Teaches that there are apostles and prophets today in the church who are equal to or greater than the apostles and prophets who wrote the Bible and that to come into the fullness of Christ, the church needs to submit to them. Teachings include varying degrees of Latter Rain, Five-Fold Ministry, Dominion, and Kingdom Now theologies.6
New Reformation: The emerging church says there is a “new” reformation every 500 years, and we are due for one now. Whereas the last reformation was a breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church, this one will be a uniting of all belief systems. The late emerging church leader Phyllis Tickle said once that Brian McLaren is the next Luther.7
New Thought: Movement that tries to merge classic occult concepts with Christian terminology. Two examples are Christian Science and Unity church.
Non-dualism: Ray Yungen says Satan is trying to eradicate the gap between good and evil. In the New Spirituality, there is no “dualism” (good and bad, right and wrong, etc.).
Nonphysical Guides: Spirit guides or as the Bible refers, familiar spirits and demons.
Occult: Means “hidden” and refers to spiritual practices utilized to contact the supernatural realm. The practice of metaphysics throughout history.
Oneness: God is in everyone and everything.
Oneness Blessing: An effort to bring the Oneness Blessing to millions of people around the world with the hope of changing people’s consciousness and thus the state of the planet. This Oneness experience takes place when a Oneness Blessing giver places his or her hands on a person’s head (although it can also be bestowed through eye contact or even simple intention), and a sense of awakening into oneness is imparted.8
Organic Church: Often called a house church or simple church movement; different from “going to church.” The organic church sees itself as new, vibrant, and unique, not like the “outdated” traditional church.
Palms Down, Palms Up: A contemplative exercise wherein with eyes closed, one puts his palms up to receive from God and his palms downward to get rid of the bad within him.
Panentheism: God is in all things. God is both personal and is also in all of creation. It is a universal view that believes God is in all people and that someday all of God’s creation will be saved and be one with him. There is a physical dimension but God is true essence and real identity.
Pantheism: God is all things. The universe and all life are connected in a sum. This sum is the total reality of God. Thus, man, animals, plants, and all physical matter are seen as equal. The assumption is “all is one,” therefore, all is deity.
Paradigm Shift: See Shift
Postmodernism: A fluid term indicating a worldview in direct opposition to the morals, logic, and societal expression of the modern world from the Enlightenment through the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Truth is viewed as a social construct and is not objective or absolute. In the emerging church, it is marked by a disdain for both solid biblical exegesis and rational theological discourse, and an embracing of individual experience, desires, or thought processes over objective truth. In the emerging mind, one is always seeking but never finding. Doubt is heralded whereas certainty is considered arrogant.
Practicing the Presence of God: Taken from the ancient monk Brother Lawrence’s book by the same name, today the phrase is used in conjunction with practicing contemplative prayer. God’s presence is no longer based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for the born-again believer but focuses on “practicing” God’s presence through meditative exercises such as Lectio Divina or centering prayer.
Prayer of the Heart: Another term for contemplative prayer. A move from doctrine to the mystical. Henri Nouwen stated: “The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart.”9
Prayer Path: See Labyrinth
Progressive: A term used to replace the term emerging or emergent, meaning a type of advanced Christian who has shed the old stale ways of traditional biblical Christianity.
Quantum Spirituality: When man overcomes his physical boundaries and limitations and becomes a fully realized being, awakened to the consciousness that he is God (also Quantum Leap).
Red-letter Christians: A term promoted by Tony Campolo and other “progressive” emerging figures who say they follow the red letters of Jesus in the Bible. They focus primarily on Christ’s words of love and forgiveness but disregard His words about judgment, sin, and evil.
Reiki: Spiritual energy channeled by one attuned to the Reiki power. Literally, translated god energy.
Replacement Theology: The belief that the Christian church has replaced Israel, and Israel no longer has any significance from a biblically prophetic point of view. God’s promise of an eternal covenant with Israel was not eternal after all, according to this view. See Mike Oppenheimer’s booklet Israel: Replacing What God Has Not.
Re-words (re-jesus, re-imagine, re-think, re-form, re-invent, re-imagine): Words used to suggest that traditional historical Christianity is outdated and must be re-created.
Sacred Space: Either a physical spot where one goes to engage in a mystical practice or the actual silence (state of being) during the mystical experience.
Scripture Engagement: When used, often includes Lectio Divina. Biblegateway.com, a popular online Bible resource, is promoting Lectio Divina through “Scriptural Engagement.”
Seeker-friendly: When a church puts more emphasis on making unbelievers comfortable in church and less emphasis on discipling believers. Regular members are often encouraged to leave their Bibles at home so “seekers” are not made to feel uncomfortable.
Self-centered: In the eyes of the New Age/New Spirituality teachers, anyone who is not focused on bringing about global unity and world peace through interspirituality is self-centered. “Self-centered” people do not believe that all humans are connected to each other with a god-energy in each person. To say that God is separate from man is “self-centered.” Rick Warren uses this term numerous times in his book The Purpose Driven Life in the context of unity and peace.
Self-realization: Full contact with the higher self, resulting in knowing oneself to be God. The “enlightenment” that occurs, often during meditation, wherein the practitioner becomes aware of his divinity or his connection with the divine.
Servant Leadership: Today, there is much talk about teaching people to become good leaders. In reality, what is happening is people are being taught to be “good” followers who do not exercise discernment. The term (and the concept) is used to further encourage people to accept the teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality.
Shift: The idea that the church needs a radically different view of approaching and experiencing God.
Silence, the: Absence of normal thought. Common in Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian contemplative practice and is supposedly a state, often reached through meditation, where the practitioner can be in touch with his higher self, the universe, or the divine.
Slaughterhouse Religion: The belief that a loving God would never send his son to a violent “slaughterhouse” death for the sake of others. It rejects the view of substitutionary atonement (see Faith Undone for an entire chapter on this).
Soaking or Soaking Prayer: A method commonly seen in charismatic revival meetings. The participant receives the particular anointing present, normally through the laying on of hands, and “soaks” in the supposed presence of God. Manifestations associated with soaking prayer can include slain in the spirit, uncontrollable shaking or laughter, being encompassed by a sense of heaviness, spontaneous visions, altered states of consciousness, etc.
Social Justice (and Social Gospel): Shifts the emphasis from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ to more earthly endeavors like environment, empowerment, employment, entitlements, equality, and esteem-building programs promoted by global elites to benefit or punish selected people groups as needed for its “sustainable development”—an agenda more in keeping with that of a community organizer than a follower of Christ.10
Soul Care: Another term for “spiritual direction” with the purpose of finding the divinity that is within each person through contemplative meditation.
Source: An overlapping word used in both the New Age and the church as a substitute for God.
Spiritual Disciplines: The supposed disciplines used in Spiritual Formation for the purpose of becoming more christ-like. Can include fasting, prayer, good deeds, and always includes the “discipline” of contemplative prayer (e.g., solitude and silence). The Desert Fathers practiced extensively self-denial and disciplines, which as Paul indicates in Colossians 2:20-23 only provide “a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility.”
Spiritual Director: One who promotes or mentors people in the spiritual disciplines. Often ministering in Christian retreat centers or employed by Christian colleges.
Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer has entered the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality being promoted. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement. In spiritual formation, it is believed that if you practice certain disciplines, you will become more christ-like.
Superconsciousness: Basically, the New Age concept of how one connects with God. The word conscious means awareness and super mean larger or greater. This realm that exists is not known by the ordinary five senses, so when one gets in touch with it, he is achieving ultimate awareness. This is also the realm of familiar spirits. This term is used in the third Harry Potter book in conjunction with meditation and the inner eye (from the chakras).
Synergy: Working together in unity to bring about the spiritual evolution of man.
Taize: Taize is an ecumenical interspiritual community in France. Taize worship is a prayer service consisting of meditative singing and periods of silence in order to reach a contemplative state.
Tantra (aka: tantric sex): Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences.
Thin Places: This term originated with Celtic spirituality (i.e., contemplative) and is in line with panentheism. Thin places imply that God is in all things, and the gap between God, evil, man, and the universe thins out and ultimately disappears in meditation.
Transformational: From the contemplative point of view, one experiences transformation from practicing the contemplative silence. This transformation is actually a change in consciousness brought on by entering altered states through meditation. Focus becomes interspiritual and universalistic.
Tribal: Used to explain that everyone is in a different tribe (religious belief system), and all tribes are legitimate; we need to embrace each other’s tribes.
True Self: Deceptively used by both the New Age and by many in the church to define your “inner divinity,” your “divine self,” which they say can be reached through meditation.
Ultimate Reality: Buddhist concept of God. Spiritual presence in all things.
Universalism: The belief that all humanity has or will ultimately have a positive connection and relationship with God. A universalist belief system, or universalism, states that every human being will be reunited with God, whether they believe in Jesus Christ or not. Universalist belief also embraces the idea that every human being has divinity or God within them.
Vintage Faith or Vintage Christianity: A spirituality that goes back to former practices, but not as far back as the apostles’ and Jesus’ teachings in the Bible. They say we need only look back to Catholicism and early century monks and mystics.
To order copies of D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity, click here.
1. http://www.brianmclaren.net/emc/archives/0310243564_samptxt.pdf, p. 17.
5. Alice Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ, p. 150.
6. Sandy Simpson, the New Apostolic Reformation, November 2011: http://www.echozoe.com/archives/2494.
8. Caryl Matrisciana, “The Oneness Blessing—Pathway to Global Awakening”: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=201.
9. Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1991), p. 81.
10. Paul Proctor, “Social Justice Is Not Christian Charity, http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=4193.
Editor’s Note: We want to thank Lighthouse Trails authors Warren B. Smith, Ray Yungen, and Roger Oakland for their permission to use definitions on some terms from their books for the purpose of this glossary.
For more information on the “New” Christianity/New Spirituality, we encourage you to read Faith Undone, A Time of Departing, A “Wonderful” Deception, “Another Jesus” Calling and other Lighthouse Trails books and booklets. Visit www.lighthousetrails.com.
To order copies of D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity, click here.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Thankfulness is our attempt as believers to express the inexpressible—the amazing gratitude we feel for the amazing grace bestowed upon us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He not only saved us from our sins (1 John 2:2), He promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). We are also assured that He who began “a good work” in us will be faithful to “perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
A day for Thanksgiving was set aside as a holiday so that we, as a nation, could collectively give thanks to God for all of His blessings—to express our gratitude for His love and protection and provision. In years past, hymns like Come Ye Thankful People Come were commonly sung in churches and classrooms as Thanksgiving day approached—young and old alike openly giving thanks to God for His abundant supply and bounty:
Come, ye thankful people come; Raise the song of harvest home,
All is safely gathered in, Ere the winter storms begin.
God, our Maker, doth provide, For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple come; Raise the song of harvest home.
God’s people are called to be a thankful people because we have so much to be thankful for. Another hymn of gratitude, Now Thank We All Our God, expresses our thanks for all the “wondrous things” God has done and for His “countless gifts of love”:
Now thank we all our God, With hearts and hands and voices,
Who, wondrous things hath done, In whom this world rejoices;
Who, from our mothers’ arms, Hath blessed us on our way,
With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.
135 References in the KJV Bible
In the King James Bible, for example, there are 135 separate verses that refer to the act of giving thanks. Scripture makes it clear that thankfulness is pleasing to God and is part of the way we praise and worship Him (Psalm 116:12-19). We should never take things for granted because we know that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).
Jesus stressed the importance of thankfulness when He singled out the only one of the ten healed lepers who glorified God and gave thanks for his healing:
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17:15-19)
Jonah was released from the fish’s belly after praying and giving thanks to the Lord:
When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:7-10)
King David, though continually attacked by his enemies, was always thanking God for His goodness and mercy and deliverance:
He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore. (Psalm 18:48-50)
Daniel’s response to the King Darius’ edict forbidding prayer to anyone other than the King was to continue his practice of openly praying and giving thanks to his God. Scripture records that Daniel was delivered from certain death in the lion’s den because he unashamedly “believed in his God” (Daniel 6:10;23). His refusal to compromise served as a witness not only to the King but to all those who have read this account in the Bible:
Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:9-10)
Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. (Daniel 6:23)
As already referenced, Scripture is replete with verses pertaining to giving thanks to God for His abiding presence in our lives. Much too frequently we neglect to give thanks to the One True God to Whom we have so much to be grateful for. The Bible is very specific about the many whys and wherefores of giving thanks to God.
Why We Give Thanks
Because God Gives Us Our Daily Bread
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God. (2 Corinthians 9:10-12)
And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. (Matthew 15:36-38)
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1Timothy 4:4-5)
Because God is Good
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1Chronicles 16:34)
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. (Ezra 3:11)
Because Thankfulness is Good
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. (Psalm 92:1)
Because Thankfulness is the Will of God
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thessalonians 5:18)
Because God is Holy
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (Psalm 30:4)
Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. (Psalm 97:12)
Because God’s Name is Holy
Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise. (Psalm 106:47)
And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. (1Chronicles 16:35)
Because God’s Word is Holy
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1Thessalonians 2:13)
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
Because of God’s Grace
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:14-15)
Because God Gave Us the Gift of Jesus Christ
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Because Jesus Christ Shed His Blood For Our Sins
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)
Because God Lifts Us Above our Enemies
It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me, And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. (2 Samuel 22:48-50)
He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. (Psalm 18:48-49)
Because God Delivered Us From the Powers of Darkness
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:10-14)
Because God Causes Us to Triumph in Christ
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Because God Gives Us the Victory Through Jesus Christ
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)
Because God’s Mercy Endures Forever
Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 106:1)
O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 136:2)
O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 136:3)
O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalm 136:26)
How We Give Thanks
Through Jesus Christ
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:8)
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1Timothy 2:5-6)
With the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. (Psalm 107:21-22)
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalm 116:17)
By Praising and Giving Thanks to His Name
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:13-16)
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God. (Psalm 147:7)
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalm 69:30)
It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD. (2 Chronicles 5:13)
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3)
By Walking In Love and Thankfulness
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:1-4)
By Declaring His Works
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. (Psalm 26:7)
Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. (1 Chronicles 16:8-9)
By Thanking God For Fellow Believers
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. (Colossians 1:1-3)
But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-15)
By Thanking God For All Men
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Timothy 2:1-4)
By Giving Thanks in Everything
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thessalonians 5:18)
By Giving Thanks in Whatever We Do
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:15-17)
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)
Who Gives Thanks
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 7:11-12)
The 24 Elders in Heaven
And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (Revelation 11:16-17)
All His People
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5)
When We Give Thanks
When We Eat or Don’t Eat
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (Romans 14:6)
When We Take Communion
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:17-19)
When We Have Suffered Wrongfully
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (1 Peter 2:19-20)
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalm 50:14-15)
After God Intervenes
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. (Luke 17:15-16)
Morning and Evening
And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even. (1 Chronicles 23:30)
At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. (Psalm 119:62)
While We Live
For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? (Psalm 6:5)
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (Psalm 30:10-12)
So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will show forth thy praise to all generations. (Psalm 79:13)
We Praise God With Our Thankfulness
The Bible says that by offering the sacrifice of praise to God we give thanks to Him (Hebrews 13:13-16). Thus by praising God, we thank Him for his love, protection, presence, and provision. Paul and Silas gave thanks to God by praising Him—even after they were beaten and thrown in the jail (Acts 16:23-25). Pursuant to their thankful praise, the prison walls confining them were shaken. Free to escape, they witnessed to the jailer and his whole household who were all saved and baptized that same day (Acts 16:30-34).
With God’s help we can learn to give thanks in everything. There is a saying that wherever you go, there you are. The Bible tells believers that wherever they go, God is there with them. Because God is always with us, He will help us and enable us to do things that we otherwise could not do on our own—like giving thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and thanking Him for all things (Ephesians 5:20).
Lord, I want to be thankful “in everything” because Scripture tells me that is your will for my life. But I am often unable to be thankful due to forgetfulness, selfishness, and my own shortcomings. May Your Holy Spirit remind me to be thankful in everything, now, always, and for evermore. Please help me to remember that all things work together for good to them who are called according to your purpose. Thank You for all that you have done and will continue to do in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Being Thankful Through It All is also available in booklet form.
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:
“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)
“Thinking of giving Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling to friends and family for Christmas? – ‘Merry Christmas’ from Sarah Young’s False Christ!”
(Discernment Ministries Group)
Thinking of giving Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling to friends and family for Christmas?
You might think twice . . . .
Author Warren B. Smith elaborates on the strange December 25th “message” that is presented as the Christmas Day “devotion” in Jesus Calling. In his book “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer, Smith suggests that Young’s “Jesus” sounds more like the Grinch who stole Christmas than the man from Galilee; more like a stranger than a savior.
The following excerpt is one of the “20 Concerns” Smith presents in his 2013 excellent book “Another Jesus” Calling:
In Jesus Calling, [Sarah Young’s] “Jesus” states that he was born in a “filthy stable” “under the most appalling conditions.” He says that the night of his birth was a “dark night” for him.
IN WHAT CAN only be described as the ultimate revisionist description of the night of Jesus’ birth, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” openly bemoans what he describes as that “dark night for Me.” He states in Jesus Calling:
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds. (emphasis added)
This doesn’t sound like the voice of our Savior—it sounds instead like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5). And when you really think about it, wouldn’t it be more likely that Satan—not Jesus—would be the one to describe the night of Jesus’ birth as that “dark night for me”? To continue reading, click here.