Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Beware of Jesus Calling

Many are raving about the book called 
Jesus Calling. For some reason, Sarah Young’s words never seemed right to me so I decided to research the book for myself. John MacArthur had this to say about the book, “Scripture has true spiritual power to save and sanctify those who listen and obey it, but human writings masquerading as divine prophecy—such as Jesus Calling—have no such power.  Nevertheless, many people today are enticed by the idea that God is speaking supernaturally through these frauds. In order to help your friends, you should gently point out the superior authority of Scripture and refer them to passages such as 2 Peter 1:16–21, 2 Timothy 3:16, Jude 3, and Psalm 19:7–11." Another good resource is John MacArthur’s two-part series, The Sufficiency of Scripture.

Justin Peters, speaking at John MacArthur’s church said, “Sarah Young writes, 'During 1992 I began reading God Calling, a devotional book by two anonymous listeners. These women practice waiting quietly in God’s presence, pencils and papers in hand, recording the messages they receive from Him.'  This was her inspiration, reading this book God Calling, written by these two anonymous female mystics. They claim to tune in just to the right frequency; they tune in to God’s frequency and God began speaking to them and they were writing down what He said.  Does that sound familiar what happened about two thousand years ago with the Apostles?  Sarah Young says, ‘I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.’

"You see, the Bible was just no longer enough. The Bible wasn’t enough. In theory, theologically conservative evangelical Christians, whatever that term means nowadays, but in theory we have won the battle over the inerrancy of God’s Word.  But where the battle is raging today is over the sufficiency of God’s Word. And you know what?  We’re losing that battle…big time.

"Sarah Young says, 'I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.' 'Houston, we have a problem.' So Sarah Young tuned in, she got to just the right frequency and Jesus began calling Sarah Young. And with pen in hand, writing down what He said. Dear Ones, if that is indeed what is happening, then Sarah Young is writing Scripture. She’s writing Scripture and when you read this devotional book, and it is light years ahead of any other devotional book on the market; I mean light years ahead.  It’s written in the first person for Jesus. 'I, Jesus, will do these things. I am such-and-such, I know this.' She writes in the first person for Jesus. When you read it, it’s a very warm, fuzzy, emotional effeminate Jesus. Ladies are eaten up with this. There’s a shocking lack of discernment in the church today; shocking lack of discernment. 

Beth Moore also claims that God speaks to her and even going so far as saying, 'Now Beth, you write this down.' Dear friends, that is profoundly dangerous; it’s profoundly dangerous. All these people going around saying God spoke to me; let me tell you what He had to say.  God spoke to me and told me to tell you that you need to do this.  You need to do such-and-such. 'Pastor, God spoke to me and he told me our church needs to go this way.'

Friends, Jesus is the final speaking of God; the final speaking of God. Everything that God has to say to us, He has said in His Son Jesus Christ. And we have a perfect, inerrant, infallible, all-sufficient record of that in His Word. Jesus is the final speaking of God. Dear ones, if you want to hear God speak to you, there’s one way I can guarantee you that you will hear God speak, read your Bible. If you want to hear God speak to you audibly, read it out loud. I promise you, I promise you, you’ll hear Him speak.” 

Tim Challies, a book reviewer wrote this: “James Montgomery Boice once said that the real battle in our times would not be the inerrancy or infallibility of Scripture, but its sufficiency—are we going to rely on the Bible or will we continually long for other revelation? In Jesus Calling we see this so clearly. Young teaches that though the Bible is inerrant and infallible, it is insufficient. It was not enough for her and, implicitly, she teaches that it cannot be enough for us. After all, it was not reading Scripture that proved her most important spiritual discipline, but this listening, this receiving of messages from the Lord. It is not Scripture she brings to us, not primarily anyway, but these messages from Jesus.”

The Word is clear about those who add to the Words of God. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Revelation 22:18, 19). In fairness, Young claims not to be adding to the Word of God, and defends the completeness of the scriptures. She believes herself to be showing believers what Jesus has said to her, and that they too can have a closer communion with Jesus where He will speak to them; just as many seek to achieve in Contemplative Prayer. 

The reason God doesn't allow women to be leaders in the church and preachers or teachers to men is recording in 1 Timothy 2:14, "
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." All of the great theologians of the past were men for a reason. Many things that Sarah writes sound good and biblical but one must be concerned with not only why and where she got the inspiration for her book, but also does Jesus intend for believers to be hearing His Words through one who claims not to be an apostle or prophet? As David Pawson wrote, "Eve, as typical woman, was more liable to be misled and therefore more likely to mislead...Sentimental theology and situational ethics ('unconditional love') are eroding our understanding of a God and a gospel of righteousness, to say nothing of judgement to come. Yet it is only against this backcloth that the beauty and brightness of God's glorious 'agape' love can be truly appreciated."

We must be very careful what we are filling our minds with. I encourage you to get most of your learning from reading and studying the Bible, then listening to godly men who teach the Scripture accurately such as John MacArthur, Michael Pearl, Charles Swindoll, and John Piper. If you want to listen to solid female Bible teachers, I encourage you to listen to Nancy Campbell, Elisabeth Elliott and Nancy Leigh DeMoss who don't fail to teach the most important things that God commands older women to teach. If all Christian women were only listening to women like these who clearly teach Titus 2:3-5, there would be very few divorces and a LOT more babies with mothers at home caring for their children. It is of little benefit to know the Word of God thoroughly but to ignore God's clear admonitions of loving and obeying your husband, loving your children enough to be a keeper at home, with training and disciplining them in the ways of the Lord.

If you are looking for good devotionals, I recommend Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening. Ken and I read it almost every morning and it convicts, challenges and encourages us in our walk with Jesus. However, we always read the Bible, the pure Word of God, afterwards!

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; 
continue in them: 
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, 
and them that hear thee.
1 Timothy 4:16