Warren B. Smith of Lighthouse Trails, himself a convert to Christ after heavy involvement in New Age philosophy and practice, wrote Another Jesus Calling: How False Christs Are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer. For the most part, the book successfully critiques Sarah Young’s popular but heretical book Jesus Calling. I wanted to better equip myself to address Young’s false teaching, so I approached Smith’s book with great eagerness.
In one respect, Another Jesus Calling disappointed me, largely because it lacked focus and repeated many points unnecessarily. Smith went off on tangents about other New Age teachers, leaving me a bit frustrated. I wanted to read about Sarah Young’s book, not about teachers that don’t even claim to be Christians. At points, I almost literally felt my eyes glaze over as I waded through passages about Smith’s pre-Christian experiences with meditation and self-deification. Although his comparisons of Jesus Calling to New Age ideas were necessary to Smith’s thesis, he prolonged them so much that they ended up distracting me.
In short, Smith’s writing skills need work.
Having voiced my problems with Another Jesus Calling, allow me to say that the book did supply many helpful examples of how Sarah Young presents a false Christianity that actually leads readers into New Age beliefs. In Chapter 2, for instance, Smith lists several terms that Young repeatedly employs throughout her book.
So much of God Calling is permeated with metaphysical/New Age terminology and thinking. The following is just a sampling of the occult/New Age terms that continually jump out at the reader—Universal Spirit, Supreme Being, Divine Powers, Great Divine Heart, Divine Forces, Spirit Forces, God-Power,spiritual plane, channels, Spirit-consciousness, heart-consciousness, Spirit Sounds, Spirit-communication, Divine Mind, Secret of Prosperity, Law of Supply, Law of Discipleship, Sonship, spiritual level, path of initiation, order out of chaos, soul-balance, oneness, and many others.
As Smith points out, none of these terms is Biblical. Yet Young claims that she has written down words that Jesus spoke directly to her. I join Smith in finding it curious that Jesus would choose New Age vernacular over the terminology He used in His Word. These phrases should alert Christian readers that there’s something dreadfully wrong with Young’s writing.
Smith demonstrates (using the King James Version) that Sarah Young’s counterfeit Jesus contrasts with the true Jesus by elevating his presence over Scripture.
The true Jesus Christ tells us: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
God is always present with us—a presence that will never be magnified above His Word. If we choose to put experiencing God’s presence above His Word, we are leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to the visits of a counterfeit presence.
For the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling, experiencing His presence is everything. This is his invitation:
Open yourself to My loving Presence, so that I may fill you with My fullness. I want you to experience how wide and long and high and deep is My Love for you, so that you can know My Love that surpasses knowledge. This vast ocean of Love cannot be measured or explained, but it can be experienced.
Taste and see that I am good. This command contains an invitation to experience My living Presence. It also contains a promise. The more you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness.
Notice that Sarah Young’s Jesus never encourages people to look for Him in the Word of God? For Young, Scripture lacks sufficiency to give us everything we need for living godly lives (1 Timothy 3:15-16, 2 Peter 1:3-4). In addition, the emphasis on experiencing his presence allows people to imagine him any way they want. The true Jesus gives us His Word, expecting us to discern Who He is from what is written.
If you want good writing, Another Jesus Calling will probably disappoint you. But if you need evidence that Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling contradicts Scripture, I highly recommend that you read Smith’s book and carefully consider his points. Please make sure that you listen to the Jesus of the Bible rather than a New Age imposter.
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