In a recent interview, Pastor Justin Peters addressed his concerns about the best-selling book by Sarah Young, Jesus Calling. Peters carefully and biblically laid out the problems with this book, which has spawned many derivatives: devotionals, teen and children’s versions, even a study Bible. The author of this book has talked about being influenced by a book written by two mystics. After she read their book, she decided to follow their example and sit, pen in hand, waiting to hear and record what God was “telling” her in audible words. Beware-beware-beware those who claim audible words from God today……this is NOT how God speaks to his people.
Posted by Christine Pack
Justin Peters also does a great job of explaining the theological implications of the term “the sufficiency of Scripture.” He also explains that many professing Christians today know enough to recognize that they should affirm this concept, but they then turn around and deny it by their actions (i.e., chasing after mystical, extra-biblical “words from God,” such as those in this book by Sarah Young).
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” Hebrews 1:1-2
In looking through Jesus Calling myself, the more appalled I am that this book is sweeping through the evangelical church. What Sarah Young describes, about taking pen in hand and waited for God to speak to her, is an occultic activity called “automatic writing.” I learned to do this years ago before I was a Christian, and it’s a very, very dark practice that opens the practitioner up to all sorts of spiritual evil and wickedness. And one thing I almost hesitate to mention, because I know how creepy it’s going to sound, is that the messages supposedly given by the “Jesus” of the book Jesus Calling are eerily similar to messages I remember writing down from “spirit guides” I learned to contact through occultic means so many years ago. I almost can’t emphasize that enough: the messages are very similar.
I remember very well that “voice,” with its message of easygoing love, with soothing exhortations to simply rest in the presence of God, to love others, to be at peace and know that God loves you. But this “voice,” the one that is emanating from the pages of Jesus Calling, is NOT the authoritative voice of the God of the Bible. Yes, God does reveal through his word that born again believers are loved by him and reconciled to him, but his is a holy, purifying love. Believers are continually exhorted to holiness and purity, to put off sin and put on Christ, to be on guard for false teaching and false teachers, to study the Bible to show themselves approved, and of course, the gospel message is everywhere in the Bible. That is the overarching theme: man is sinful and without hope, and yet God, in his mercy, made a way for man to be reconciled to himself. This is not a small thing, this is the main thing. And yet, in Jesus Calling, there is nothing of God’s pure holiness, his wrath against sin, man’s inability to save himself, and thus his desperate need for a Savior, nothing of the Cross, and no call for repentance. That is a serious problem. After looking through this book, I am more convinced than ever that Sarah Young has indeed made contact with the spiritual realm with this book. Only, it’s not the Jesus of the Bible she’s talking to.
“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14)
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12)
It could be, as some have suggested, that this book was the result of an over-active imagination. I do think that is a possibility. However, because Young engaged in an occultic practice, and because she has clearly said that knowing God from the pages of the Bible was not “enough” for her, I am inclined to believe that she has gotten more than she bargained for, spiritually speaking. It appears that Young has gotten in touch with the demonic realm, all the while assuming (mistakenly so) that it is the true Jesus of the Bible communicating with her, when in all likelihood she is being toyed with by demonic beings.
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