LTRP Note: At Lighthouse Trails, we believe that many Christians have been seduced by “another Jesus” who has come as an angel of light, goodness, and love through books such as Jesus Calling and The Shack. The Bible warns of “seducing spirits,” but many in the church (including much of church leadership) ignore such warnings while embracing the “Jesus” of these books. After reading this letter, if you are someone, or if you know someone, who is drawn to the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling, you may e-mail us and request a copy of Warren Smith’s booklet, 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, and we will send you a copy free of charge.
Dear Lighthouse Trails,
I want to share my experience with the book Jesus Calling in hope that my account might help someone else who has been deceived as I have. I am so grateful for your work in exposing this kind of deception. Converted 51 years ago, absolutely devoted to Jesus Christ and the Bible, teaching other women the same, and yet . . .
MY DECEPTION—Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling, given to me by a Catholic friend, immediately brought me a serenity, a remarkable feeling of peace, a revelation, a fresh insight to the Gospel. I had never seen Jesus in such a freeing way! I soon was relieved of “burdens” and obligations from many biblical commands, not that they were unimportant (this Jesus assured me they were) but that this wonderfully simplified access to God would cover all those bases anyway. I had only to turn my mind over to this Jesus, the correct interpreter. He would guide me so well. I felt free from serious studying of the Word, of searching out meaning, of obeying it, because this loving Jesus would tell me about it when needed, and there was no reason to labor needlessly. Didn’t he say his burden was light? How could I have missed it?
Of course, all of God’s recorded teachings were still valid to me, but because there are so many of them to think about and coordinate, this “One-size-fits-all” approach was refreshingly simple. There were Scriptures included with each teaching that I could always refer to, but they were appropriately in more subdued print indicating his assurance that I didn’t have to read them unless I particularly wanted to. Either way was OK. He would bring them all together for me anyway, and I could shift my focus away from what my flesh was often wrestling with, those corrections from Scripture. I no longer felt scriptural warnings, including the need to repent, because it was now unnecessary. I wasn’t obligated to study for myself, but could rely on what he personally translated to me. He would let me know the real meaning when it was needed, so I could relax and take it easy in that regard. My only job was to clear my mind and let him fill it with his words. At last, I had come fully into my Mary role, sitting at his feet! By just letting him have constant and exclusive control of my thinking (well, it was my goal, at least), I could be sure that I was meeting all his requirements in this wonderfully simplified way. I realized that my previous struggles against sin were now really a matter of giving him a blank slate, of relinquishing my thoughts. How “light” my load became!
Feeling blessed beyond measure and thinking, “Why me, Lord, what have I done to deserve this goodness,” I entered into a state of great humility, knowing that as unworthy as I was, I had been included in an exclusive, blessed group, encasing me in love. At the same time, this feeling of love set up a longing in me that others would come in also, so I bought more copies of Jesus Calling to give away, spreading the good news to dear friends and more. Humility and love—I had both!
MY DELIVERANCE—Surprisingly, and to my great disappointment, my godly daughter was horrified when I introduced this to her because as she read it, superficial and unscriptural qualities jumped out at her immediately. It frightened and sickened her that there was now a chasm between us. She kindly and firmly resisted my attempts to get her into the circle, and her son joined in earnest prayer for me. She frantically searched the Internet for a book to convince me that Jesus Calling was dangerously wrong and found Warren Smith’s Another Jesus Calling which she asked me to read immediately. I patiently laid it aside, meaning to “get to it” when I could. God then led another godly daughter to sit up late reading Mr. Smith’s book and to share its contents next morning with her mom.
Apparently, prayers had gotten me ready for this encounter because what followed could only be described as divine intervention. As I listened in astonishment, my eyes were immediately and completely opened to the truth of this enormous, beguiling, occultic deception, and suddenly, it all became so clear. God, full of mercy, was rescuing this foolish, gullible, female from the lure of a false Jesus. Truly, I had been deceived by a spirit disguised as an angel of light, one who had presented himself as so sweet, peaceful, and loving that I had been his willing victim. I will be forever grateful to Warren Smith and a praying, persevering family for my deliverance.
E. H., an 80-something great-grandmother
(photo from the cover of “Another Jesus” Calling; used with permission from Mountain Stream Press)