To Lighthouse Trails:
Last year I ordered at least 10 copies of “Another Jesus” Calling to give to others who had greatly enjoyed Jesus Calling or to others who have shared my concern about the book. Both of my daughters in their mid-twenties began reading Jesus Calling a few years ago, but praise the Lord, they both abandoned the book because, like me, they found it “off.”
I gave “Another Jesus” Calling to a couple of missionary wives when they came to our church. I found it interesting that even though they are in other countries, they have been concerned about Jesus Calling and that while home on deputation, they have seen the wide use of the book.
I gave a copy of “Another Jesus” Calling to two friends at church, as well as my pastor. I asked each of them to read the book, and if they didn’t want to keep it, give it back. . . . I had not heard back from my pastor at all until yesterday. . . .
I want you to know upfront that our [pastor] . . . has through the years done series on the Emergent Church and why it is wrong. . . . He is spot on with most of his teaching, and there is nothing on your “what we believe” statement page that our church could not agree with. So, it saddened me when I got this note from him about “Another Jesus” Calling:
So sorry it has taken me so long to get this book back to you. While I can appreciate the author’s perspective and background (I had read Johanna Michaelson’s book [Beautiful Side of Evil] years ago along a similar vein), I do believe he is reacting because of his past occult involvements and is not balanced in his thinking. I believe he is missing what the Scripture calls “the communion of the Holy Spirit.”
You know I am a teacher who is naturally skeptical. But I have read Jesus Calling and Sarah Young’s other works with my antennae on full, and I have found absolutely nothing that is contrary to Scripture. If she ever does come out with something that does contradict the Bible, I would be the first to denounce it. But, as I said, I’ve found nothing that is not validated by the Word of God. I also know a number of people who have been enormously ministered to and comforted through very difficult trials, and without fail, their walk with the Lord has been strengthened, not hindered in any way. It is important to test the fruit of a person’s teachings/writings. I appreciate you sharing it with me! Blessings, Pastor ____
I am so confused. How can some people I know are strong Christians not see the red flags, but some of us, like me [whom I do not consider the paragon of Bible study], can see? My daughters, who were raised under this pastor’s teachings of deep Bible study and classes devoted to studying the Bible in context and testing what you read, have both expressed concern for this book. I attribute their being skeptical directly to our pastor’s teaching! My pastor has been very staunch in preaching against false teachers/emergent, so this review has taken us by surprise.
Anyway, I don’t know what I am expecting or asking of you by sending you this e-mail. If you want to reply somehow, that would be nice, but if you don’t feel led to respond, I’ll understand.
Sincerely, Sally [not real name]
Thank you for sharing some of your situation. The fact that your pastor says he found ” absolutely nothing that is contrary to Scripture” in Jesus Calling speaks volumes. First, he must not have read “Another Jesus” Calling from cover to cover or at least not with a non-biased attitude. There are numerous documentation points (see links below) listed in “Another Jesus” Calling that clearly show Jesus Calling has many things about it that are contrary to Scripture. E.g.: The fact that Sarah Young says Jesus Calling was inspired by a channeled New Age book, God Calling, is absolutely contrary to Scripture. The fact that Sarah Young uses multiple New Age terms (such as co-creation, a term not even hinted at in the Bible as being a legitimate concept), is contrary to Scripture. The fact that Sarah Young’s “Jesus” speaks of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph in such a derogatory manner is contrary to Scripture. And so on and so forth.
Sally, your pastor’s answer would lead us to suspect that Jesus Calling isn’t the only “new” spirituality book he thinks is OK. We believe that for someone to say what he did is evidence that he is on a road to deception. Further, for your pastor to say that Warren Smith is missing “the communion of the Holy Ghost” (2 Corinthians 13:14) is without warrant. Warren does believe in the “communion” of the Holy Spirit and nothing in “Another Jesus” Calling would suggest anything different. If we take your pastor’s reasoning further, then anyone who challenges or tests the spirit (as the Bible tells us to do) is not having “communion” with the Holy Spirit. This is similar to hyper-charismatic teachers who say we should not question what they say are the works of the Holy Spirit. Surely your pastor knows there is the legitimate work (and communion) of the Holy Spirit and then there are the works of false spirits (Satan and his demons), and as Bereans, we are instructed in Scripture to carefully and diligently determine which is which. Warren Smith examined Jesus Calling, weighed it against Scripture, and found it to be seriously lacking in biblical integrity. We are sorry your pastor does not see this, and we are sorry for your church, which is going to bear the brunt of your pastor’s negligence. We don’t mean to sound harsh, Sally, but we don’t know how else to say it.
On a final note, regarding your pastor’s comment, “[Warren Smith] is reacting because of his past occult involvements and is not balanced in his thinking,” this is ridiculous reasoning. That would be like saying that for a former alcoholic to warn those using and abusing alcohol means he is not balanced in his thinking because of his past involvement with it. It is because of Warren’s past involvement with the occult that he is qualified to spot it and warn against it. Sadly, there are too many pastors out there who share your pastor’s reasonings when it comes to spiritual deception. And thus, we find the church in its present condition.
Thanks again for sharing,
Editors at Lighthouse Trails
Documentation on Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith: