10 Scriptural reasons Jesus Calling is a dangerous book

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 7.16.56 PMDo you get flustrated trying to explain to your church friends why the book Jesus Calling is one we should be avoiding? My friend Warren B. Smith has just put together a new Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract to help.  It’s a 16-page explanation that you can hand out at your women’s Bible study, or stuff into the pamphlet stand at your church’s visitor center – or my favorite, stick ’em in the wiper blades of ministry leaders while they’re distracted at the next staff meeting! (just a thought.)

By the way, “flustrated” isn’t a typo; it’s a favorite word that my friend Julie came up with quite by accident. Very fitting when trying to share problematic red flags without going to God’s Word and using Scripture. We should never attempt to do that!

Here’s Warren’s 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, reprinted with permission:


And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

On November 12, 2015, Religion News Service posted an article titledJesus Calling and the Policing of Theology.”1 It was a quick response to an article that reformed pastor and popular blogger Tim Challies had posted just the day before.2 The author of the RNS article, Laura Turner (a regular contributor for Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog), used her superficial criticism of Sarah Young’s best-selling book, Jesus Calling, as a smokescreen to actually express her disapproval of people who were issuing serious warnings about Young’s book. In a strange stab at free speech, Turner stated that “theology policing is a job best left to the Holy Spirit, and then to people who we know.” But in her effort to undermine Young’s critics by redefining spiritual discernment as “theology policing,” she does the very thing she accuses others of doing. Her entire article is a thinly disguised attempt to “police” those who don’t agree with her own take on Jesus Calling. After minimizing and marginalizing most of the issues that have been raised about Jesus Calling, Turner concludes that Young’s book is “a net positive” and “has been a tool through which many people have gotten closer to God.”

In her obvious endeavor to whitewash the many problems found in Jesus Calling, Turner is especially upset with Tim Challies. She goes out of her way to single him out and take him to task for describing Jesus Calling as a “dangerous” book. But in her rush to isolate and discredit Challies, she overlooks the fact that he is not alone in coming to that conclusion. There are many of us who completely agree.

Not Careful About What We Read?

The Bible exhorts believers to be workmen who are not ashamed of what they believe because they are “rightly dividing the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Scripture further instructs us to “search the scriptures” to see if the things being presented in a book like Jesus Calling are really “so” (Acts 17:11). Yet Laura Turner writes, “Should we be careful about what we read? I’m not convinced.” But in taking this attitude, she does her readers a great disfavor. While everyone should be free to read what they want to read, what they read should be read very carefully with great discernment—particularly with books that bring alleged “messages” from Jesus Christ Himself. Turner’s article overlooks every warning in the Bible about the danger of being deceived by false Christs and false teachings. While the apostle Paul expressed his “fear” that the Corinthian church could be deceived by false Christs (2 Corinthians 11:3-4), the true Jesus Christ warned that before His return, many would be deceived by false Christs (Matthew 24:3-5).

Free and Open Exchange

In an effort to support her position, Turner ironically links to an article that actually supports the complete freedom of expression that she attempts to discourage in her own article. The article she links to was excerpted from a book written by her “friend,” Liberty University English professor Karen Swallow Prior. Prior frames her piece with numerous and pertinent quotes from John Milton’s 1644 anti-censorship tract, Areopagitica. She writes that “Milton argued passionately in this treatise that the best way to counteract falsehood is not by suppressing it, but by countering it with the truth.” Prior states that the crux of Milton’s argument is that “truth is stronger than falsehood; falsehood prevails through the suppression of countering ideas, but truth triumphs in a free and open exchange that allows truth to shine.”3 Exactly! It is in this “free and open exchange” that Laura Turner has the right to say whatever she wants about Jesus Calling, but so does everyone else—even if they don’t happen to be “people who we know” and even if what they are saying and believing is that Jesus Calling is a “dangerous” book. The following are ten scriptural reasons explaining why so many of us believe that Jesus Calling is, in fact, a dangerous book.

10 Scriptural Reasons:

(1) New Age Book Described as “a Treasure”
(Matthew 6:21)

In 2004, in one of her rare, carefully staged interviews, Sarah Young was asked by the Christian Broadcasting Network “How did you learn to ‘dialogue’ with God?” She answered that it was from reading the book God Calling:

My journey began with a devotional book (God Calling) written in the 1930s by two women who practiced waiting in God’s Presence, writing the messages they received as they “listened.”4 (parenthesis hers)

Also, in the original introduction to Jesus Calling that stood from 2004-2013, Young specifically praised God Calling as “a treasure to me.”5 However, The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs published by Christian publisher Harvest House, describes God Calling as a channeled New Age book that was spiritually dictated by a deceptive spirit pretending to be the real Jesus Christ.6 In their lengthy Encyclopedia chapter on channeling and spiritual dictation, Christian authors/apologists John Weldon and John Ankerberg explain that channeling is a form of New Age “mediumship” which the Bible clearly defines as a “forbidden” practice (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).7 Under a subheading titled “Impersonations of Christianity,” the authors describe God Calling as a New Age book “replete with denials of biblical teaching”8 that “subtly encourages psychic development and spiritistic inspiration under the guise of Christ’s personal guidance . . . and often misinterprets Scripture.”9

Removing God Calling

Soon after Sarah Young’s endorsement of this New Age book was widely publicized in 2013,10 all references to God Calling were completely removed from all subsequent printings of Jesus Calling. Like the missing 18 ½ minutes from Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes, God Calling suddenly disappeared from Young’s book. There was no explanation, no apology, no anything. But what was even more disturbing than their obvious damage control, was that Young and her publisher expressed absolutely no concern for the countless people who had already read or were currently reading God Calling because of Young’s previous endorsement. Nor was there any expressed concern that—thanks to Young—God Calling had been resurrected from semi-obscurity and had become a best-selling book in its own right. It was being printed in multiple editions by multiple publishers and was frequently featured alongside Jesus Calling in Christian bookstores and other retail outlets.

Young’s Silence

To this day, Sarah Young has yet to publicly renounce, much less even acknowledge, her previous involvement with and endorsement of God Calling. The Bible says we are to admit our mistakes—not cover them up (Psalm 32:5). And this is especially true when millions of people have been affected by those mistakes. We are to reprove and expose books like God Calling—not just edit them away without any explanation (Ephesians 5:11). Scripture makes it clear that in regard to issues like God Calling, we are to let our “yes” be “yes” and our “no” be “no” and that it is “evil” to try and avoid the matter by refusing to clarify one’s position (Matthew 5:37).

The Bible Warns About What We Treasure

The fact remains that Sarah Young has stated that she was inspired by God Calling to receive her own messages from “Jesus” and described the channeled New Age book as “a treasure to me.” Until she clearly specifies otherwise, we can only assume that where her treasure is, her heart is also.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)

(2) Changing Jesus Calling
(Proverbs 24:21)

The removal of any mention of God Calling from Jesus Calling was not an isolated incident. It was obviously part of a concerted plan to evade some of the questions being raised about the legitimacy of Young’s book. For example, in all the post-2013 printings of Jesus Calling, what Young had originally described as “messages” she received from “God” were suddenly being presented as her own “writings” and “devotions.” This change in wording seemed to remove any suggestion that Young was doing the same kind of channeling that is described in God Calling. Yet Young made it clear in her original introduction to Jesus Calling that this was exactly what she was doing.

“Be a Channel”

Young writes that “Jesus” told her he was “training” her “to be a channel of My loving Presence.”11 Young made it clear in her original introduction that Jesus Calling was comprised of the “messages” and “directives” she claimed to “receive” from “God.” She wrote:

I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him. The more difficult my life circumstances, the more I need these encouraging directives from my Creator.12 (emphasis added)

In regard to spiritualism and someone being “a channel,” Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word “channel” as follows—“to serve as a medium for (a spirit).”13 The word “directive” is defined as “a general instruction or order issued authoritatively.”14 And this is what Sarah Young originally said she was doing—being “a channel” for “personal messages” and “encouraging directives” from a spiritual “Presence” that presented itself as “Jesus.” After receiving these “messages” and “directives,” Young arranged them in the form of a daily devotional like God Calling. But just as her original references to God Calling were edited out of all the new printings of Jesus Calling, so were all of her previous references to “messages” and “directives.” This convenient “now you see it, now you don’t” editing eliminated the entire paragraph indented and footnoted above. Thus, the original “personal messages” and “directives” she “received” from “listening to God” became her own “writings” and “devotions” she had “gleaned” from “being still” in her “quiet moments.” In the two paragraphs that follow, note how the words in her original introduction were replaced by the words in her new printings. What has been cut and pasted and inserted into her new introduction gives entirely new meaning to her “listening” process—a process that, if not for the creative editing, is identical to the occult listening process described in God Calling.

From the Original Introduction to Jesus Calling

This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The messages that follow address that felt need.15 (emphasis added)

From the New Introduction to Jesus Calling

This practice of being still in God’s Presence has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the writings I have gleaned from these quiet moments. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The devotions that follow address that felt need.16 (emphasis added)

However, in Young’s Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, the word “messages”—at least as of January 2016—had yet to be removed from the children’s edition. And it is in this original kid’s version that Young makes it clear that her “devotions” are, in fact, “messages” that she claims to have personally “received” from “Jesus.” In the introduction, she writes:

The devotions in this book are some of the messages I have received.17 (emphasis added)

The Bible Warns About Ungodly Change

The 2014 booklet, Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control For a False Christ, documents some of the subtle—and not so subtle—changes that have been made to the original text of Jesus Calling by Young and her team of Thomas Nelson editors.18 It is almost unheard of that an author and a publisher would go to the seemingly unethical lengths they have to completely change the original meaning of their text—and to do so with absolutely no explanation or apology to their readers. The Bible warns us to stay away from those who are given to this kind of manipulation and change.

My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both? (Proverbs 24:21-22)

3) Serving Two Masters
(Matthew 6:24)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” frequently contradicts the true Jesus of the Bible. For example, in two separate messages—January 28th and October 15th—her “Jesus” states that the “last words” he spoke after his resurrection and before his final ascent to heaven were “I am with you always.” But these were not His last words. These particular words were spoken on the Mount of Galilee as recorded in Matthew 28:16-20. His last words were actually spoken from the Mount of Olives as recorded in Acts 1:7-12 when He told His disciples they would be His “witnesses.” It was after speaking these words that the Bible records He was “taken up” and ascended into heaven.

After these unbiblical statements in the original Jesus Calling were publicized in 2013,19 Sarah Young’s “Jesus” changed the wording of his two statements in a special Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition published in 2014.20 Compare the original January 28th and October 15th “messages” that had been in Jesus Calling since 2004, with the replacement words that were inserted into the 10th anniversary edition in 2014. Notice how the two phrases “These were the last words I spoke” and “My final statement” have been removed and “after My resurrection” has been inserted in their place.

January 28th Statement in the Original 2004 Edition of Jesus Calling

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.21 (emphasis added)

January 28th Replacement Statement in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling

I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. I spoke these words to My disciples after My resurrection. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.22 (emphasis added)

October 15th Statement in the Original 2004 Edition of Jesus Calling

TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. My final statement just before I ascended into heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.23 (emphasis added)

October 15th Replacement Statement in the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling

TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. After My resurrection, I assured My followers: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.24 (emphasis added)

The Bible Warns About Serving Two Masters

The author and her publisher might say that Young must have heard it wrong because Jesus never contradicts Himself. But if that were the case, Young would have had to hear it wrong on two separate occasions because this factually incorrect teaching is found in two separate “messages” that have distinctly different wording. Sarah Young is serving two different masters—the false Christ “Jesus” who delivers unbiblical messages like the two cited above and the Bible’s Christ Jesus who she purports to be following. But the two cannot be treated as if they are the same Jesus. They can’t be the same because the true Jesus does not contradict Himself and therefore has no need to correct Himself as her “Jesus” does. If Sarah Young and her readers continue to listen and hold fast to the false Christ of Jesus Calling and his teachings, it may be only a matter of time before this other “Jesus” gets them to despise the true Christ and His teachings.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

4) Author of Confusion
(1 Corinthians 14:33)

The special 2014 Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition attempts to rectify the factually incorrect January 28th and October 15th “messages.” However, the original unbiblical statements about Jesus’ “last words” and “final statement” can still be found in all the twenty or so other varied editions of Jesus Calling as of January 19th, 2016. This includes the new Jesus Calling: Morning and Evening edition published in October 2015—published nearly a year after the corrected 10th anniversary edition.25

The Bible Warns That Confusion is Not From God

If all the changes, contradictions, corrections, and inconsistencies found in the various and sundry editions of Jesus Calling seem to be confusing—that is because they are confusing, and yet God’s Word tells us:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

5) The Voice of a Stranger
(John 10:4-5)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” says he wants to be the “boss” so he can “control your mind,” “reprogram your thinking,” and “take full possession” as he seeks to “invade more and more areas of your life.” Pray for wisdom and then ask yourself—do the following statements sound like something the true Jesus Christ would really say?

Approach this day with awareness of who is boss.26

Let Me control your mind.27

My main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession.28

Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking.29

While you relax in My Presence, I am molding your mind and cleansing your heart.30

Your relationship with Me is meant to be vibrant and challenging, as I invade more and more areas of your life.31 (emphasis added in all the above quotes)

The Bible Warns About the Voice of a Stranger

If truth be known, it is more likely that the Devil and his evil spirits are the ones who want to “control your mind,” “take full possession,” “reprogram your thinking,” and “invade more and more areas of your life.” The true Jesus stated that His sheep know His voice and do not follow the voice of a stranger. The voice of Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is that of a stranger.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (John 10:4-5)

6) Flattering Words
(1 Thessalonians 2:3-5)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” uses flattery to seduce undiscerning readers of Jesus Calling. The true Jesus Christ never used gratuitous flattery in relating to others. Pray again for wisdom and ask yourself if the following statements sound like something the real Jesus Christ would say to His followers:

When you trustingly whisper My Name, My aching ears are soothed.32

When you walk through a day in trusting dependence on Me, My aching heart is soothed.33

I am aching to hold you in My everlasting arms, to enfold you in My Love.34

When you seek My Face in response to My Love-call, both of us are blessed.35

As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-call to you.36

Feel your face tingle as you bask in My Love-Light.37

Look into My Face and feel the warmth of My Love-Light shining upon you.38

When your Joy in Me meets My Joy in you, there are fireworks of heavenly ecstasy.39

The Bible Warns About Flattery

The Bible states that “a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Proverbs 26:28). Scripture warns of those who speak with “flattering lips” (Psalm 12:2) and that we are to have nothing to do with them (Proverbs 20:19). The prophet Daniel warned three separate times about flattery in regard to the ultimate false Christ—Antichrist. Daniel said that Antichrist would “come in peaceably” and that he would “corrupt” and “obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21, 32, 34).

For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness. (1Thessalonians 2:3-5)

7) A Lot of Leaven
(Galatians 5:9)

The New Age/New Spirituality/New Worldview teaches that we are all “One” and “we are all God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. For example, prominent New Age/New Spirituality leader Neale Donald Walsch also claims to have had conversations with God. In fact, his Conversations with God books have been frequent New York Times best-sellers. Walsch writes that “God” told him that “Oneness”—“God in everyone and everything”—is the “Foundational Truth” of a “New Spirituality” that can save the world. In regard to this heretical New Spirituality, Walsch writes:

[W]e see God in everyone and everything. Including our divine selves.40

Oneness is the message. It is the Foundational Truth of the New Spirituality.41

The true Jesus Christ never taught that God was “in everyone and everything.” However, the July 8th “message” from Sarah Young’s “Jesus” presents this same false teaching that God is “in” everything—that God is “in all.” Her “Jesus” states:

I am above all, as well as in all.42 (emphasis added)

The true Jesus Christ teaches that God—in the Person of the Holy Spirit—is sent to indwell all those who truly believe and follow Him (John 14:23). But He never taught, nor would He ever teach, that He is “in” everyone and everything—that He is “in all.” Psalm 39:5 makes it abundantly clear that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Some of the many other Bible verses that refute this false teaching that God is “in all” include Ezekiel 28:2, Galatians 6:3, Psalm 9:20, Isaiah 31:3, Romans 1:21-23, 25 and John 2:24-25.

The Bible Warns About Leaven

The Bible warns that “a little leaven, leavens the whole lump,” and there is more than a little leaven in Sarah Young’s book. However, this particular God “in all” leaven that is in Jesus Calling and other “Christian” books—if left unchecked—could eventually shift the church to a New Age/New Worldview and into complete apostasy. Scripture exhorts us:

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

8) Not Testing the Spirits
(1 John 4:1)

There is no indication that Sarah Young ever applied the biblical “test of the spirits” to see if the “Jesus” she claims to be getting “messages” from is the real Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1). Young references nearly a thousand Scripture verses in Jesus Calling, but the 1 John 4:1 test cannot be found. What is found is a completely unbiblical test suggested by her “Jesus.” He is quoted in the March 3rd “message” of Jesus Calling as saying—“You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not.”43 But instead of directing her to 1 John 4:1 and what the Bible teaches about trying and testing the spirits, he says—“Ask My Spirit to give you this discernment.” This advice is not only unscriptural, it defies common sense. If the “Jesus” Sarah Young is listening to is a deceptive spirit pretending to be “Jesus,” you obviously don’t ask a deceptive spirit to give you discernment. If she followed his advice—which she seems to do on all other accounts—instead of biblically testing the spirit, she would already be trusting the deceptive spirit she should be testing. Thus, this suggestion by Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is self-defeating as it immediately protects a false Christ from being detected. The fact that Young’s “Jesus” teaches this unbiblical test is further proof that Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is not to be trusted.

The Bible Warns to “Try the Spirits”

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)

9) Adding to God’s Word
(Proverbs 30:5-6)

In the original August 23rd “message” in Jesus Calling, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” attempts to give a new distorted description of Abraham. He states that Abraham, in regard to his son Isaac, was guilty of “son-worship,” “undisciplined emotions,” and “idolatry.” Many believers rightfully recoiled at these bizarre extra-biblical remarks. There is nothing in the Bible to suggest that what Young’s “Jesus” is saying is in any way true. After these defamatory and derogatory references to Abraham were widely publicized in 2013,44 the whole Abraham and Isaac scenario was completely removed from all subsequent printings of Jesus Calling. The italicized words below show how “Abraham and Isaac” were edited out and “Joseph and Jacob” were cut and pasted into that otherwise same paragraph.

August 23rd “Message” in the Original Edition (2004-2013)

ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.45 (emphasis added)

August 23rd Replacement Message (2014-Present)

ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself. Joseph and his father, Jacob, suffered terribly because Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and treated him with special favor. So Joseph’s brothers hated him and plotted against him. Ultimately, I used that situation for good, but both father and son had to endure years of suffering and separation from one another.

I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love, so beware of making a beloved child your idol.46 (emphasis added; bold is emphasis in original)

This toned-down replacement “message” from Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is yet another example of how Young and her publisher have had her “Jesus” change his original “message” in an obvious attempt to escape legitimate criticism.

The Bible Warns Not to Add to God’s Word

The original “message” depicting Abraham as a son-worshiper and idolater was a prime example of how adding to God’s Word can end up twisting and changing God’s Word. The Bible is sufficient unto itself as we are “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are clearly admonished not to add to God’s Word:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

10) Laughing at the Future (Luke 6:25)

Sarah Young’s “Jesus” contradicts the warnings of the true Jesus Christ in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and the whole Book of Revelation when he states—“The future is a phantom, seeking to spook you. Laugh at the future!”47 In contrast, in the Bible, the true Jesus makes it clear that the future is no laughing matter. He goes to great lengths to describe the serious events that will transpire at the end of time. He tells His disciples to “be not troubled” by these future happenings, but He does not tell them to laugh at these events or to take them lightly. Rather He tells them to “watch” and “be ready” and to “not be deceived” by the false Christs and false prophets that will come in His name (Matthew 24:3-5, 24, 42, 44).

The Bible Warns About Inappropriate Laughter

The Bible says there is a “time to weep, and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

The real Jesus makes it clear that the future is not something to laugh at or laugh about. Rather, He warns of the increased hatred and persecution of Christians that will be taking place—that we may even be killed for our faith. Only a false Christ would tell us to laugh at the future.

Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. (Luke 6:25)


For the above ten—and for many other scriptural reasons—it has become increasingly evident to growing numbers of believers that Jesus Calling is a deceptive and dangerous book. To those like Laura Turner (author of the Religion News Service article) who condone books like Jesus Calling as “a net positive,” former Moody Memorial Church pastor Dr. Harry Ironside argued just the opposite. He reminds us there is no such thing as “a net positive” with books like Jesus Calling. He warned that when “truth” is “mixed with error,” it “is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous.” He said that “God hates such a mixture!” and it must be exposed and repudiated. He further warned that “to condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word” and “treacherous” to those “for whom Christ died.”

Error is like leaven, of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.48

In 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, the apostle Paul was able to honestly say—“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” Unfortunately, Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson cannot say the same. Through unethical editing practices, they have, in essence, made a mockery of the truth (Jeremiah 9:3). By evading legitimate questions regarding their best-selling book, they have fallen victim to covetousness and greed, coveting what was best for continued book sales but not what was best for the church (Luke 12:15). In short, they pleased themselves—not God (Galatians 1:10). With feigned words and clever editing, they have made merchandise of their trusting readers.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you. (2 Peter 2:3)

Jesus warned that great deception would characterize the last days and that the deception would come in His Name. The “Jesus” of Jesus Calling is not the true Christ. He is actually one of the false Christs that the real Jesus warned us to watch out for. For that reason—and that reason alone—Jesus Calling is a dangerous book.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

To order copies of 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, click here.

1. Laura Turner, “Jesus Calling and the Policing of Theology” (Religion News Service, November 12, 2015; http://lauraturner.religionnews.com/2015/11/12/jesus-calling-and-the-policing-of-theology/).
2. Tim Challies, “10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling” (November 11, 2015, http://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling).
3. Karen Swallow Prior, “Promiscuous Reading” (Posted at The Well, an InterVarsity online outreach to women, http://thewell.intervarsity.org/arts-books-media/promiscuous-reading).
4. “Q&A with Sarah Young, Author Profile” (The Christian Broadcasting Network, http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/books/jesuscallingqa.aspx).
5. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. Xl (12 13 14 15 16 RRD 52 51 50 49 48).
6. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), pp. 79-112.
7. Ibid., p. 80.
8. Ibid., p. 103.
9. Ibid., p. 104.
10. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer (Eureka, MT; Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013), pp. 24-26, 52-53.
11. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 94.
12. Ibid., p. Xll.
13. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary: Third College Edition (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1988), p. 234.
14. Ibid., p. 389.
15. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. Xlll.
16. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, 10th Anniversary Edition (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Inc, 2004, 2011, 2014), p. xviii, (14 15 16 17 18 DSC 5 4 3 2 1).
17. Sarah Young, Adapted by Tama Fortner, Edited by Kris Bearss, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids (Nashville, TN; Tommy Nelson, 2010), pp. vii-viii, (13 14 15 16 17 RRD 5 4 3 2 1).
18. Warren B. Smith, Changing Jesus Calling: Damage Control for a False Christ (Eureka, MT; Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2014).
19. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling, op. cit., pp. 59-61 (“Jesus Contradicts Himself?”).
20. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., pp. 29, 302.
21. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 29.
22. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 29.
23. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 302.
24. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 302.
25. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Morning & Evening (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2015), pp. 56, 596.
26. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 21.
27. Ibid., p. 116.
28. Ibid., p. 326.
29. Ibid., p. 200.
30. Ibid., p. 329.
31. Ibid., p. 50.
32. Ibid., p. 203.
33. Ibid., p. 182.
34. Ibid., p. 377.
35. Ibid., p. 239.
36. Ibid., p. 216.
37. Ibid., p. 262.
38. Ibid., p. 278.
39. Ibid., p. 199.
40. Neale Donald Walsch, Happier than God: Turn Ordinary Life into an Extraordinary Experience (Ashland, OR: Emnin Books, 2008), p. 207.
41. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2004), p. 167.
42. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 199.
43. Ibid., p. 66.
44. Warren B. Smith, “Another Jesus” Calling, op. cit., pp. 76-79 (“Abraham Guilty of ‘Idolatry’ & ‘Son-Worship’?”).
45. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 246.
46. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 246.
47. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 16.
48. Dr. Harry Ironside, “Exposing Error: Is it Worthwhile?” (TBC Extra, April 2008, posted on The Berean Call website, (http://www.thebereancall.org/content/tbc-extra-30).

To order copies of 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, click here.

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9 Responses to 10 Scriptural reasons Jesus Calling is a dangerous book

  1. Ed Dingess January 26, 2016 at 6:30 am #

    Once again, people who swallow “Jesus Calling” hook line and sinker demonstrate that they are completely ignorant of biblical Christianity and make me wonder if there is any genuine faith to be found in their life. Leaders have to stop leading people to believe that God is still speaking to us apart from Scripture. Pastors and professors who are conservative evangelical have to open their eyes to the danger involved in these so-called encounters. It is a tiny step from claiming that God told me to go to this church to the ideas expressed in the “Jesus Calling.” Heaven help us!

  2. Friend January 26, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    I would like to provide some encouragement with regard to this issue. By the Grace of God, there are women in our church who stopped reading this garbage, because God gave us the courage to hand out Mr. Smith’s booklet. To God be the Glory. Others are being warned by word of mouth of the dangers and they are tossing out the book. In turn, they are telling their family members to do the same. There seems to be an increase in seducing spirits preying on women, and they are working through supposed believers. It does cause me to wonder. We can only pray for Sara Young, rebuke her, and warn her with scripture.

    Now we have ‘the circle maker’ garbage to deal with… Christians should boycott these publishers, write letters to them, alert them of their folly. NO ONE should be supporting these publishers. Are Christians so dissatisfied with reading God’s Word, that they have to go to these un-biblical teachings? A sign of the times, I suppose. Be on guard, be watching, be ready…as our dear Lord and Savior Jesus warns us to be.

  3. Darrel January 26, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Thank you, Amy, for posting this well written article (tract) by Warren Smith.

    The phrase: “practice the presence of God” has been around far too long, and is the father of many misconceptions about God that end up in blasphemous lies. The proponents of this nonsense love to quote Psa. 46:10 (“Be still and know that I am God”) which they claim gives them a ‘carte blanche’ for any and all of they fantasies they concoct to make them of a special sort-spiritually superior-in the eyes of their peers. But the rest of that very verse teaches the exact opposite: “I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” “I” meaning God and not the self-appointed “messenger” or “spokesperson” for God. Young’s book takes the reader of it down that same old tired road, a quick and simple method to the joys of heaven, never mind the fact that none of her methods or conclusions are to be found in the Word. There is an underlying, disgusting, repugnant, and stealth sexual undertone to much of what she says is from “Jesus” (See #6 above).

    We have few biblical examples of men/women in the actual “Presence of God” but ALL of them describe the person in a most humbled state, perhaps even realizing their own sins more than the glory of God. There is no account of any of these people going about bragging about their “encounter with God”, no account of any of these people encouraging others to seek a similar “experience”, and no account of these people degrading others for not have a similar experience (but this is another of the ‘undertones’ of all those who push their listeners to seek the same nonsense). We do find accounts of Peter and Paul giving a brief summary of their experiences but neither lent itself to bragging, only what was necessary at the time for their hearers. Peter, James and John obeyed Christ and kept their mouth shut after seeing Him in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration.

    To the Youngs, Moores, Caines, et al of the religious world if you do not seek and experience what they teach then you are defective spiritually, in disobedience, should be on everyone’s ‘prayer list’ and if you oppose them in any way you become a rank heretic in their sight (I welcome the label). The writers of such books as this one are making the case for the return of book burning parties. This book is beyond ‘dangerous’ and is actually poisonous, especially to those new in the faith.

  4. DeLancey February 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    A very interesting read. My only question is about Point #10. In Proverbs 31:25, the Wife of Nobel Character can “laugh at the days to come.” Is she disobeying Jesus?

  5. Don January 28, 2017 at 1:50 pm #

    To answer your question in Point #5 – Yes, those all sound like statements Jesus would say.

  6. Liz March 30, 2020 at 10:04 am #

    I received a copy from a friend but another friend warned me about the book. I believed her, and have not read it. Now I want to get rid of it but don’t know what to do with it. Bury it?

  7. Jan October 25, 2020 at 11:16 am #

    I think Berean Research owes Sarah Young an apology and a retraction. The Bible instructs us to spur one another on not tear down our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    In the introduction of Jesus Calling, Sarah Young, writes, and I quote, “Of course, I knew my writings were not inspired-as only Scripture is”. “The Bible is the only Infallible, inerrant Word of God, and I endeavor to keep my writings consistent with that unchanging standard. I have written from the perspective of Jesus speaking, to help readers feel more personally connected with Him…”

    Maybe when doing research for the truth they should start with the actual source from which they are researching actually comes. Because of this I do not consider Berean Research a credible source for truth.


    • Amy S. November 13, 2020 at 8:43 am #

      Jan, her voices were inspired by two New Age writers who wrote God Calling. Furthermore, the voice of SY’s “Jesus” is counterfeit, and many dear souls are lead to believe that Jesus actually would speak like this, outside of Scripture. Sarah Young is no sister in Christ, and it is she that owes the Bride of Christ a huge apology and retraction. She needs to repent, and I pray for her soul’s sake that she does.

      • Jana Walczuk July 3, 2021 at 12:34 pm #

        Amen Amy…..it’s like the writer above didn’t pay honest attention to what was said

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