In what appears to be an effort to make controversial elements disappear, significant portions of material from the original Introduction to Sarah Young’s #1 best-selling book Jesus Calling have been removed. With no apparent explanation regarding the changes, Sarah Young’s publisher, Thomas Nelson, seems to be flooding the market with the new version.
Key words, phrases, and whole paragraphs have been vastly altered and/or eliminated all together. The most notable deletion is the removal of Sarah Young’s enthusiastic endorsement of God Calling—the channeled New Age book she described in her original Introduction as a “treasure to me.” It was God Calling that inspired her to begin receiving the personal “messages” from “Jesus” that comprise her devotional Jesus Calling:
During that same year, I began reading God Calling, a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.” These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. The messages are written in first person, with “I” designating God. While I was living in Japan, someone had mailed this book to me from the U.S. I had not read it at that time, but I had held onto the book through two international moves. Six or seven years later, this little paperback became a treasure to me. It dovetailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.1
The above paragraph regarding God Calling has been completely removed from the newer Introduction to Jesus Calling: The first sentence of the original paragraph that followed this now-deleted paragraph continued to make reference to the “Two Listeners” and God Calling.
The following year, I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God.2
With some not so subtle editing, this sentence in the new Introduction now reads:
The following year, I began to wonder if I could change my prayer times from monologue to dialogue.3
The “too” in the original “I, too” phrase refers to the “Two Listeners” of God Calling. As you can see, this reference to the “Two Listeners” has now been omitted from the newer Introduction. Her reference to receiving messages has also been deleted. In fact, there are now no references to God Calling at all in this newer scrubbed version of the original Jesus Calling. They have been completely edited away by either Sarah Young or her editors or both.
When Lighthouse Trails editors learned of these changes, they e-mailed Thomas Nelson and questioned them about the alterations. After three weeks, Lighthouse Trails has still received no reply concerning these changes—other than an acknowledgement e-mail to say that Thomas Nelson received their e-mail.
If Sarah Young is repenting from having written a book that was inspired by a New Age channeled book, then a public statement by Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson needs to be issued recanting their devotion and adherence to God Calling, and the production of Jesus Calling needs to cease. There are currently over nine million copies of Jesus Calling sold (it is unknown how many had the original Introduction, but since the new Introduction version is relatively recent somewhere in the last couple of years, it is reasonable to say that the majority of the 9 million contains the recommendation of God Calling and other material now omitted). There is no way to rectify all the damage that has been done because of Jesus Calling, but zealous efforts need to be made.
As Warren B. Smith has shown in his new book “Another Jesus” Calling, Jesus Calling is significantly flawed from a biblical point of view. And it has the earmarks of being inspired by a false Christ. That means that even if Thomas Nelson scrubs certain words, phrases, and paragraphs from the book, the bottom line is that it was flawed from the beginning and will always be that way. Nothing can turn Jesus Calling into a good book. The best thing Sarah Young can do is write another book, showing her humility and sorrow for misleading so many people. Sarah Young may be very sincere and probably did not mean to cause anyone any harm, but her book is teaching people to listen to and look for something Jesus warned strongly about: “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them” (Luke 21:8).
P.S. According to the editors at Lighthouse Trails, bookstores, outlets, and the market in general are still saturated with the edition of Jesus Calling which as the original Introduction with God Calling.
1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004, ISBN 978-1-5914-5188-4, hardcover with original Introduction), p. XI
2. Ibid., pp. XI-XII.
3. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004, ISBN 978-1-5914, hardcover with newer Introduction), p. XII.