Guilty by association. We judge people by who they associate with. It tells us a lot about what an individual believes. If only we could just take at face-value what someone says. It is un-wise, though, to be naive in this manner. We must always be vigilant and on guard.
So, how do we discern between the real and the fake? We know that the Jesus of the Mormons is not the Jesus of the Bible. We know that the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the Jesus of the Bible. But, what about people who call themselves Christians? Can we trust that they are following the real Jesus?
The first way to discern this is to do some research on the individual and find out who they associate themselves with.
Since we have already been looking at Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, let’s continue to examine what this lady believes.
In the introduction to her book, she tells of how a devotional book, God Calling, “became a treasure to me.” 1 What is God Calling? I did a search on the internet and here is what I found:
God Calling was written by “Two Listeners”. The writers chose to stay anonymous which is why they are the “Two Listeners.” The source gives the story behind the book and I’ll spare you the details of the whole story (you can read it here), but the Two Listeners wanted to hear from God. They sat with pen and paper in hand and wrote down whatever they heard “God” telling them. However, the sentence that grabbed my attention the most was this:
“We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their Churches, books and other sources.” (Online Source)
“Had to be content with guidance from the Bible”?!!!
What kind of nonsense is this? The Bible is the whole counsel of God. The main problem is, they didn’t measure what they heard to what the Bible said. You may wonder how I have come to that conclusion. These Two Listeners never document that they compared whatever it was they were told to what the Bible says, because, well, most other people have to rely on the Bible only, so why would they have to do rely only on the Bible when they could actually hear from God Himself? They were above comparing whatever they were told with the Bible.
This is the biggest problem. The Bible is the plumb line. Everything has to be measured against it.
Aside from the absence of the need to compare everything to the Bible, God Calling has problems on several levels.
In Another Jesus Calling, Warren Smith tells us that “in the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, God Calling is cited as being an example of a channeled New Age book ‘replete with denials of biblical teaching.’ ” 2
Does this sound like a book delivered from God? New Agers would not be looking to it as an example for their beliefs if it was completely in line with the Word of God.
In his book, Warren Smith looks at 10 reasons why we should not read God Calling and 20 reasons why we should not read Jesus Calling. There is not enough time here to cover all of these, but I will highlight a few.
- “The ‘Jesus’ of God Calling said: ‘It is only the work of the Universal Spirit-My Spirit, that counts. Remember that Truth is many-sided.’ The true Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and He is not many-sided. This ‘many-sided’ false teaching opens the door to New Age Universalism. (Smith, 29.)
- “The ‘Jesus’ of God Calling teaches that God is ‘in’ everyone. New Age leaders have described this teaching as foundational to the coming New World Religion. (Smith, 31.)
- “According to the ‘Jesus’ of God Calling, ‘Man’s thoughts of me need revolutionizing.’ To accomplish this, he will introduce new truths and new revelations.” (Smith, 42.)
- “In Jesus Calling, ‘Jesus’ mentions a key New Age term: co-creation. Many people do not realize that co-creation is a New Age evolutionary concept that teaches that man as God co-creates with God because man is God also. (Smith, 94.)
- “The ‘Jesus’ of Jesus Calling states: ‘When you make that quantum leap into eternity, you will find Me awaiting you in heaven.’ The term quantum leap has been used by New Age proponents to describe the paradigm shift that will take place when humanity awakens and evolves by accepting the New Age/New Worldview that we are all ‘one’ because God is ‘in’ everyone and everything.” (Smith, 99.)
- “In Jesus Calling, ‘Jesus’ states: ‘I can glean Joy out of sorrow, Peace out of adversity. Only a Friend who is also the King of kings could accomplish this divine alchemy.’ ‘The word occult is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as follows: …designating or of certain alleged mystic arts, such as magic, alchemy, astrology, etc.’ ” (Smith, 107)
- “The foundational teaching of the New Age/New World Religion is that God is both transcendent (outside of his creation) and immanent (in man and all creation.) Therefore, God is ‘in’ everyone and all creation. The ‘Jesus’ of Jesus Calling similarly states: ‘I am above all, as well as in all. (Smith, 111.)
I could go on, but I believe we’re getting the idea. There are so many New Age implications in this book. But, you may wonder, who is Warren Smith and how would he know if there is a New Age bent in this book?
To start with, he’s done his research, but even more, he was deeply involved in the New Age for twenty years and he used God Calling during this time. (Smith, 11.)
I want to conclude with stating that I mean no unkindness toward Sarah Young. I only know we must be on guard at all times. Satan will transform himself into an angel of light. This means that whatever message he’s trying to convey will be one that appeals to the listener. None of us are above being deceived. Knowing the Bible and seeking the Holy Spirit’s wisdom is our only hope for detecting his lies.
Just as a side note, Young has written a Jesus Calling Devotional Bible in which her messages from “Jesus” are written alongside the words of the Bible where it is a “natural place” for them.3 Warren Smith, the author of Another “Jesus Calling” has written a review on it. Go here to read more about this latest book by Sarah Young.
1. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson), xi.
2. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling, How False Christs Are Entering the Church tHrough Contemplative Prayer (Eureka, MA: Lighthouse Trails Publishing), 25.