As we continue our look around the bookstore, we notice various titles that are man centered and self-driven but contain very little well-grounded theology. Our eyes stumble upon the daily devotionals and we see one that could be promising…. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Upon opening the book, we are greatly disappointed in what we are reading. Instead of a book rooted in scripture with the commands of Christ, we find a book full of heretical statements, pointed once again at exulting man.
Daily devotionals were originally created to allow a person to spend a few minutes reading scripture and commentary, while meditating on the word of God. Sadly, many of the devotionals today have taken our dependency off of God and turned it towards ourselves. We are heralded as the hero in the Bible stories, conquering Goliath, or mastering the lions. We are told we hold this power to overcome all situations. These devotionals are nothing more than motivational boosts for the reader rather than what Biblical devotionals were intended for: speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and show us our pride and arrogance. Jesus Calling fits nicely in today’s culture, with its aim at motivating women. Now hear me out, motivation is not a bad thing. We all need it. We need something to drive us, but this book plays on a system that is more occult than Christian. As we examine this book, we will address some of the glaring issues and false teachings.
Topic one: She claims that her works are directly from God which completely undermines all of scripture. This very claim should warn Christians to not read her work. The author uses a unique method to convey her “conversations” with God, and claims she needed to just sit and “listen” to God. With a pen in the hand she writes down whatever comes to mind. This is actually similar of an occult practice called “automatic writing” where people would empty themselves of thought and try to come in contact with a spirit, and write what they hear. Positioning herself around this concept that she can hear Jesus speak is a bold and arrogant claim, and seemingly overriding the authority of the Bible. Making such a claim shows to Sarah, that the words spoken by Christ in the New Testament were not enough for her or her audience. A line from her book, “but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day.” This quote shows how far removed from the Bible she is. A verse I relied heavily on in my previous article fits the bill here, “ All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Topic two: Sarah’s sources of inspiration are not derived from the Bible, instead other sources are her influence. Her primary source comes from “God Calling” which uses the above mentioned “automatic writing” to pen their words. While Sarah doesn’t come out to say her writings are of this fashion, it is quickly evident they are and she’s deceiving her readers. This method of writing is not endorsed by God when it comes to delivering His message. Any time God is endorsing a message, He makes His presence known and, in all authority, gives exploit instruction on what to write down. We do not see anywhere in scripture where He says to listen and write what you think He is saying. Which leads to a problem as well as a grave question… Is Sarah Young’s writings Inspired by Christ, or just nonsense that she has penned on paper? She comes out at the beginning of the book and states: “I knew my writings were not inspired— as only Scripture is— but they were helping me grow closer to God…The Bible is the only infallible, inerrant Word of God,” If her writings are not inspired, how could she be quoting Jesus? When comparing her writings on Jesus, they are always a lesser revelation and lack biblical support. Her devotional never speaks of sin, repentance, or self-denial as is the theme of popular “evangelical” books today.
Topic three: She feminizes Jesus. Take this quote from her book, “I AM ALL AROUND YOU, hovering over you even as you seek My Face. I am nearer than you dare believe, closer than the air you breathe. If My children could only recognize My Presence, they would never feel lonely again.” While this has some notion towards the omnipresence of God, this, along with other quotes, makes it appear that Jesus wants to cuddle under a fire and drink hot cocoa with you… These generic statements are riddled with New Age philosophy as that movement is designed to be welcoming, and all inclusive. This book does not dictate the Biblical Christ, who’s truth is a double-edged sword. Following Jesus means we will be hated by the world, and even lose family, friends and be persecuted along the way. Jesus Calling indicates none of that, instead delivers just what the readers want…a fluffy, feel good Jesus. It is a narrow gate and the way is hard that leads to life. Jesus Calling indicates none of that. Instead, it delivers just what the readers want: a fluffy, feel good Jesus who never calls them to repentance.
Topic four: She strays far from the bible. Traditional theological books, devotionals included all rely heavily upon the word of God for guidance. This book seldom speaks of the sin in our lives, and how to kill it, nor does it talk about repentance. Michael Horton says, “In terms of content, the message is reducible to one point: Trust me more in daily dependence and you’ll enjoy my presence.” Her creation of this new image of Christ shows with how far she’s walked away from the Biblical Jesus. Another quote from her book, “When your Joy in Me meets My Joy in you, there are fireworks of heavenly ecstasy.” This is an absolute heretical and blasphemous statement. This is insulting to the ruler of the universe that He has been reduced to a feminized romantic “god” in this book.
There have been many who have stepped up and spoken out against this heretical book, and I’ve only briefly touched on a few of the glaring issues. You could pull almost any quote out of this book and find fault in it. As these types of books fill the bookstore, one must wonder about the current condition of the American Church. We need to keep speaking up and out about this content, exposing the deception, and keep preaching the gospel. This is the only way that Christ’s true sheep will hear His voice.
Written by Alex @reformed_lifestyle