Jesus Calling: Are Sarah Young's Claims Biblical?

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If you are a Christian reading any of Sarah Young's popular books such as "Jesus Calling," you need to be aware that she is not speaking for Jesus and her claims are dangerous. #JesusCalling #GodCalling

I have been asked to give my perspective on the extremely popular book Jesus Calling written by Sarah Young. 

I have chosen not to evaluate specific content of Young's books although I give a brief summary at the end of this article. Instead, I will evaluate Young's claim that she writes the words Jesus speaks to her. 

Most Christian authors, myself included, would like to think that what we write is prompted by the Lord. I know my writing often flows from time I spend with the Lord. But Young does not simply claim inspiration. She claims to be writing down the words Jesus speaks to her, and she claims the "I" in her books is Jesus speaking.

Below, I have used Young's explanations of her method from the foreword to Jesus Calling 2004 Edition because certain facts about Young's method were deleted or amended in newer editions.

I have used excerpts instead of the full text because the foreword was quite long and contained a great deal of background on Young's life that is not directly applicable to this discussion. But I have taken care to share these excerpts in context.

In Her Own Words (underlining mine)

“During the same year (1992), I began reading God Calling, a devotional book written by two anonymous ‘listeners.’ These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. The messages are written in first person, with ‘I’ designating God…this little paperback became a treasure to me. It dovetailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.”

“The following year, I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying…”

“I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping me grow closer to God. I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him.”

“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.”

My Concerns

1. Her inspiration for her method

If you are a Christian reading any of Sarah Young's popular books such as "Jesus Calling," you need to be aware that her inspiration comes from this book that contradicts Scripture and is based on occult "channeling."   #JesusCalling #GodCalling
Even though Young's remarks about God Calling were removed from later editions, Young clearly credits God Calling as the inspiration for her method of writing. 

God Calling, published by A.J. Russell in 1935, was said to be written by two anonymous women who also claimed that what they wrote came directly from God. However, things they wrote sometimes contradicted Scripture. 

God Calling has always raised concerns in Christian circles.

Taking Young's claims about God Calling out of the foreword in editions after 2004 may have helped to avoid some of the controversy surrounding Young's methods, but it doesn't change the fact that Young was deeply influenced by this book. 

In one of her rare interviews (Bible Gateway), Young didn't even mention her "treasured" God Calling when asked what books had inspired her. She is probably aware of the controversy caused by the book, but that doesn't change the fact that she named it as the inspiration for her books and her methods of writing. 

2. “I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.”

Why did Young long for more than the words of Scripture? 

Is there something we need to know that isn’t found in Scripture? 

Is there anything that can bring us more comfort, peace, assurance, instruction, or guidance than God’s divinely inspired Word?

2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

If you are a Christian reading any of Sarah Young's popular books such as "Jesus Calling," you need to be aware that she is not speaking for Jesus and her claims are dangerous. #JesusCalling #GodCalling
Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Matthew 4:4: Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

3. "I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day....In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus' presence and peace. The messages that follow [in her book] address that felt need."

I have used bold type in the following section because of the repeated comments that have ignored this section and accused me of believing that God cannot speak beyond Scripture.

Throughout Scripture God gives His children specific guidance for their particular situations (e.g. Abraham: Genesis 12:1; Ananias: Acts 9:10-15; Cornelius: Acts 10:1-6; Peter: Acts 10:9-15; Paul: Acts 16:9-10, Acts 18:9-11, 2 Corinthians 12:1-6). 

It's appropriate for a group/church/family to seek God's guidance for specific decisions. And it's important for individuals to ask God's guidance for things that are not directly addressed in Scripture. We should pray about what job to take, which person to marry, where to live, and even about insignificant decisions in our lives. God wants to direct our thoughts and show us His specific plans and purposes for us as individuals.

If you are a Christian reading any of Sarah Young's popular books such as "Jesus Calling," you need to be aware that she is not speaking for Jesus and her claims are dangerous. #JesusCalling #GodCallingBut Young is claiming more than personal guidance. She claims that her books are meeting the felt needs of people in "many parts of the world." 

4. I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping me grow closer to God. I have continued to receive personal messages from God…”

Young seems to be making an important distinction with this statement. But it only adds to the confusion. It doesn't change her claim that she is writing messages from God. If Jesus were actually giving her messages to share with the world, why wouldn't they be on the same level as Scripture? Why would some of Christ's words be Scripture and some be less than Scripture?

In a NY Times article, Kris Bearss, who edits Young's books for Thomas Nelson, said that Young "doesn’t say that Jesus speaks to her" (source). However, that's exactly what Young says, claiming she is writing down "personal messages from God." In her interview with Bible Gateway, Young could easily have cleared up this controversy, but she never denied her claim to write the actual words of Jesus.

5. 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…”

What are the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life? This answer may vary, but everyone would agree that the most essential disciplines are Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and obedience.

But Young feels writing down the thoughts Jesus dictates to her – something never mentioned in Scripture – is a better tool for increasing intimacy with God than the disciplines mentioned in Scripture. And she says they have done more for her than reading Scripture. Young’s emphasis isn't biblical. 

Conclusion

If I were to critique the content of Jesus Calling, I would summarize by saying that it does not balance sin and grace, or encouragement and correction, in the same ways that Jesus balanced these things in Scripture. I would also say that the voice of Jesus in Young's book often sounds nothing like the Jesus in Scripture (e.g. "Softly I announce my Presence. Shimmering hues of radiance tap gently at your consciousness, seeking entrance"). This would not be a problem if Young were simply writing a book of encouragement, but she is claiming to speak for Jesus 365 days a year. 

However, as I stated at the beginning, this article is not written to critique the specific content of Young’s books. I am examining her claim to write words of Jesus not specifically found in Scripture. 

There is nothing wrong with unique and innovative ways of sharing God's truth, but to claim that the words we write are His words is a dangerous practice. A more accurate and honest title for Young's book would be: Things Sarah Young Believes God Would Like to Tell You.

Three Things Christians Must Remember if They Choose to Read Young’s Books:
If you are a Christian reading any of Sarah Young's popular books such as "Jesus Calling," you need to be aware that she is not speaking for Jesus and her claims are dangerous. #JesusCalling #GodCalling

1. Despite Young’s claims, the words in her books are hers, not Christ’s (unless she quotes Scripture).

2. Everything in her books, just as everything written by any other human author, should be tested against Scripture.

3. Neither Jesus Calling nor any other book with a human author can bring the same quality of truth, comfort, guidance, and assurance that Scripture brings to us.


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Note: While Young's newest book Jesus Always maintains the same voice and format, her introduction to the book is more acceptable. I'm sure she has changed her explanations based on criticism. But readers still need to be careful to understand the three points above when they read a book written in the voice of Jesus.

Young not only makes this claim to speak words of Christ in the foreword of her book, but she permits it in every description of her book on major publishing sites.

Excerpts from publishing sites:

Thomas Nelson website
“In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart.”  

Amazon Book description
"After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her…written from Jesus' point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling."    

Christian Book Distributors
“Then she decided to start listening for what Jesus might be saying to her in her daily journey… These 365 days of readings share the words and scriptures Jesus laid on her heart to share. As you read these words of inspiration and encouragement you'll be brought closer to Jesus' presence, experiencing His love and peace.”

Some other articles expressing concerns about Jesus Calling:   

Got Questions: Jesus Calling
Developing Discernment in Devotional Reading
10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling
The Strange Saga of Jesus Calling
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: A False Jesus?
When I published this article in May 2018, I thought the above articles were the best resources available; but in June 2018 Randy Alcorn published an article that may just be the best one I've read: Some Concerns About Jesus Calling.

Bible Love Notes

50 comments:

  1. Really? I'm not critiquing but if I was I would say... How disingenuous. The whole point of this article is not to critique but to criticize. I think none of us has the right to judge, make comment or question what happens between Sarah Young or anyone, for that matter, and God. I don't believe I am alone in having many times wished to hear personally from God. Not to replace scripture but to enhance, expand and clarify. So, the fact that Ms. Young found writing down what she believes Jesus says to her helpful is not as scandalous or unbiblical as the author intimates. Ms. Young never advocates replacing Bible study with any other method of communing with God. She never advocates, nor says that her writings are as comforting, truthful or assuring as the Bible is. In fact she never compares her writing to the Bible at all. She does, however, use scripture to illustrate the connection of what she writes to the truths, principles and themes of the Bible. Everyday I hear pastors, and even lay persons say, "God told me to tell you" or "Jesus laid it on my heart to share with you" so how is this different from what Ms. Young does with her book? Just because these others don't relay their message in the first person does not mean that what they are doing is not the same as what Ms. Young is doing, relaying a message that she believes was given to her from Jesus. I think that this article finds fault where there is none, I believe it is unkind, unnecessary and unchristian; I think it is, to quote another popular writer, Much Ado About Nothing.

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    1. Hi Unknown,

      It's a popular belief that we are not supposed to judge anyone or anything, but it's not Scriptural. I encourage you to read the long list of Scriptures in my article titled "How, Who, and What to Judge According to Scripture."
      https://biblelovenotes.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-who-and-what-to-judge-according-to.html

      However, if you do feel it is wrong to judge, then I am wondering why you have judged me and my article saying they are "critical," "unkind," "disingenuous," and "unchristian." Is that not judging?

      If you read this article carefully, you will find that I disagree with Young's methods and claims, but I have not called her names or judged her character.

      You have explained Young's methods as you see them, but your explanations are different than Young's explanations.

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    2. Many people are encouraged by reading this devotional. Did you find content that was blasphemous or sinful?

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    3. Hi Patty,
      Many false things encourage people. Being encouraged is not a sign of truth.

      It is a dangerous thing to trust another person to speak the words of Jesus unless they are quoting Scripture.

      Is Sarah Young's claim to speak for Jesus blasphemous? I think it is.

      And since her books are written on this false premise, I don't want to read them, and I will recommend that other Christians not read them. But, if they do read them, they need to understand that they are not the words of Christ - they are Sarah Young's words.



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    4. Well, I understand your point. It would have been better if Sarah Young had said, "I believe Jesus said to me..." or even just "Jesus said to me..." since He told us that his sheep hear his voice. I'm glad that He communicates with us directly!

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    5. Hi Patty,
      Jesus definitely guides and directs us personally and He helps us makes decisions and He encourages us.

      But Sarah Young isn't simply claiming that Jesus does these things. She is claiming that she is writing down His actual words and they aren't simply to guide and encourage her. She is selling them in book form as if they are meant for everyone. That's not the same as receiving personal guidance.

      It would be enough for her to say "I believe Jesus said to me" if she was talking about her personal life. But she is claiming that Jesus is telling her things to direct your life and my life, and that's a dangerous thing. That's how many cults start. And most of them start using part of the Gospel, but not the full Gospel, Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.


      In addition, her message is lopsided and that's one reason it's so encouraging. It's not the full Gospel, it's part of the Gospel.

      Scripture tells us that Jesus was hated and those who love Jesus will be hated:

      John 15:18:“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
      Matthew 10:22: And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
      1 John 3:13: Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

      The Jesus that Sarah Young proclaims would not be hated by anyone because "he" only shares half the message.

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  2. Wow! Thank you very much! I have a good friend that reads those books faithfully and I have another friend that writes poetry, saying Jesus wakes her up at 2 or 3 (etc.) in the morning and speaks these poems to her and she writes them down.I always secretly wondered about the last friend mentioned and the poetry, but I dint want to offend her, so I've kept quiet. Thank you very much!

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    1. God can speak to us in dreams and visions so I'm sure he can wake us up in the night by putting something on our hearts and I don't see anything wrong in writing it down. Aren't we encouraged to write down what God says to us? Ok it might just be for the one it was spoken to rather than other people but I don't think there's anything wrong in sharing it with people and saying "I believe God told me this last night it really encouraged me"

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    2. Hi Welshlady,

      Did you even read the full article before commenting, Welshlady?

      What Sarah Young is doing doesn't resemble the "dreams and visions" described in Scripture in any way, shape, or form.

      Her method isn't Scriptural, but it is a method used by cult leaders and false teachers. I'm not saying that Sarah Young is either of those things, but I am saying that it is dangerous to trust someone who claims to speak in God's voice 365 days a year unless they are quoting Scripture.

      I don't claim to speak Jesus's words, nor would I dare to write using His voice, but I feel like He laid it on my heart to warn people of Young's dangerous method, and that's what I'm doing.

      And your comment and many of the others have confirmed what I knew when I wrote this article: some folks will listen to this warning and some will ignore it.





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  3. Excellent blog and conclusions! This is a topic with which I have also been concerned, and have even written a book expressing my thoughts from a biblical perspective, "Snatched from the Jaws of the Lion." My unique background and experience as the daughter and granddaughter of spiritists, allowed me to identify the issues you wrote about regarding Sarah Young’s writings. As a young Christian from a pagan background, I too struggled to discern truth and now am passionate about communicating that truth to others. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. Someone in my life is very into Jesus calling. I had always had a caution in my heart about the title of God Calling and Jesus Calling. It's very dangerous to read books anyway, other than the Bible (even some translations of the Bible are scary) but the seductively sweet luring of the underlying message of her book is deceptive. It makes you think that these are the divinely inspired Words of God. If she merely used scripture with the same attitude, it could be taken out of context too. The enemy is so cunning! We have to be vigilant! Thank you for being like Ezekiel, a watch"woman" for the flock of Jesus Christ. Bless you sister!

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  5. Thank you for tackling some of these hard topics and for being willing to share truth no matter the "flack" you may receive. Truth is truth and God's Word speaks for itself.

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  6. Thank you for bravely stating these unpopular concerns!

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  7. Thank you. One must stay in the Word (Bible), to know the truth. Thank you for speaking. God bless you!

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  8. Excellent article. And very fair and balanced perspective on a very important issue. No matter how one views Scripture, claiming to write the words of God or Jesus is claiming words that are on par with Scripture.

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  9. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NLT
    Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. [20] Do not scoff at prophecies, [21] but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. [22] Stay away from every kind of evil.

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  10. I have never read her book & I didn't think you were being judgmental, just discerning her claims against scripture truths.

    On a similar note, My Mom signs the 'trinity's' name on her paintings by using 3 dots. This bothers me for some reason that I can't quite articulate - like it's forgery on some level - but not with bad intentions by my Mom. I just don't 'feel' right about it in my heart.

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  11. I will not say God did say he pour his spirit out on all. I trust God words. I do feel that there more information out there it have been hide from the world when Christ when back to be with the Father, They killed many people that Love Jesus some group do not want is to come out I hope I live to see more one day.

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  12. ‭ Didn’t Jesus Himself say “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” There is another scripture which implies God reveals things to us beyond what we find in the Bible. That scripture is found here: ““This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”
    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭33:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    https://www.bible.com/111/jer.33.2-3.niv

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    1. Hi Vickbo,
      I assume you read the entire article above and you know that Young got her inspiration from a book that taught errors about God. And you have read that she gets more out of the words she writes down than she gets out of any other Christian discipline (i.e. reading Scripture itself). And you have read that she thinks she is writing the actual words of Christ, not just being guided and directed by the Lord. And you have read that what she writes does not have the same balance and message as the Words of Christ Scripture. And you confess that you believe Young's words are Christ's words, words telling you "great and unsearchable things you do not know."

      Joseph Smith and other cult leaders have made the same claims as Young and perhaps they took this Scripture in Jeremiah out of context as you are doing in order to justify their claims. If you believe that Young and others can tell us things we don't know about God, then you are putting yourself in a dangerous position.

      Let me share another Scripture passage from Jeremiah to balance the Scripture you've given:
      Jeremiah 23:16: This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD."

      And one from the New Testament as well:
      2 Timothy 4:3-3: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

      My purpose in this article is to warn people to trust Scripture above all else.

      The book of Revelation ends with this strong warning against anyone who would add to or take away from the words of Revelation:
      "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book."

      If God feels that way about 1 book in Scripture, He certainly feels that way about Scripture in general. Even though Young claims her words are not on the level of Scripture, she claims to be adding words of Christ to those already recorded in Scripture. That's a dangerous claim.

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    2. P.s. I forgot to mention that the first verse you gave, Vickbo, is exactly what we should do: Search the Scriptures. They will give us the accurate words of Christ. In fact, that verse pretty much sums up why you shouldn't trust that Young's words come from Christ. Christ says we should search the Scriptures, not search extra-biblical writings.

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    3. You did not confirm my prior mention of Jesus' promise to believers: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice…" John 10:16
      "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…" John 10:27
      Rather, you responded that Jesus "guides and directs us." Perhaps you have not heard his voice?

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    4. Patty G.

      I'm sorry I didn't respond to John 10:16. I thought we were talking about Sarah Young's claim to speak for Jesus and that verse has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject.

      But it you wish for me to address it: That verse is Jesus speaking to Jews and explaining that Gentiles will also be included in the family of God.

      It's interesting and quite revealing that you feel my disagreement with Young's methods is a sign that perhaps I don't know Jesus. If that is your litmus test for salvation, you will find a great many pastors, missionaries, and Bible scholars don't know Jesus either.

      Have you heard the term ad hominem? It refers to a method of arguing where you attack the person instead of their position. It's a non-Christian way of approaching differences and it's typically used by people who cannot defend their position.

      You will note that I did not question your Christianity, nor did I even question Young's Christianity. I addressed Young's methods and I responded to your position.

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    5. I am horrified that you misinterpreted my simple question so as to believe that it was an attack on your Christian identity and unrelated to the topic at hand, namely hearing Jesus for ourselves. Although I only first encountered your website only a few days ago, on a link from Pinterest, it is obvious from your years of blogging that you are a committed Christian. I do not question that. I just wondered if you had heard Him speak to you.
      If one were to conduct a poll, perhaps the majority of born-again Christians have yet to hear His voice. But we should expect to do so! Yet, it seems that, for some reason, you don’t want to talk about it. What gives?

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    6. Hi Patty,
      You quoted John 10:27.

      Let me share the context of that verse:

      John 10:25-30: Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

      This is clearly a passage about salvation. To quote John 10:27 and to say "Perhaps you have not heard his voice?" is to question a person's salvation.

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    7. An Additional thought Patty,

      When you say born-again Christians need to hear God's voice. They hear God's voice whenever they read their Bibles. It is the only 100% reliable source of truth from God. The only source of God's truth that applies to every man, woman, and child 365 days a year.

      Sarah Young writes: "I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more."

      When I read the Scriptures below (which are a mere sampling of the Scriptures describing God's Word), I think Sarah Young's desire for more than Scripture means she doesn't have a clue what Scripture really is, and I don't want to read a Christian book that holds that view of God's Word.

      2 Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

      Romans 10:17: Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

      Isaiah 55:11: So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

      Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

      Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

      Psalm 19:7-11: The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

      Hebrews 4:12-14: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

      Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

      Matthew 22:29: But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

      Psalm 119:9: How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

      Matthew 4:4: But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

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  13. .. please don't argue over things you can't comprehend. What if Jesus really speaks through her or is it impossible. If I were you and really concerned about the body of Christ being deceived by wrong information, I will go before God to find out....And let me ask like Patty, have you heard from God before.
    Not only reading His word because His word has a voice.

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    1. Let me take your comment sentence by sentence or phrase by phrase:

      UNKNOWN: "...please don't argue over things you can't comprehend."

      ME: I'll address that ad hominem statement below.

      UNKNOWN: "What if Jesus really speaks through her or is it impossible."

      ME: I have answered that question in detail in the article above with multiple Scripture references to support what I've written. Let me refresh your memory since I’m assuming you read it before commenting.

      “Throughout Scripture God gives His children specific guidance for their particular situations (e.g. Abraham: Genesis 12:1; Ananias: Acts 9:10-15; Cornelius: Acts 10:1-6; Peter: Acts 10:9-15; Paul: Acts 16:9-10, Acts 18:9-11, 2 Corinthians 12:1-6).”

      “It's appropriate for a group/church/family to seek God's guidance for specific decisions. And it's important for individuals to ask God's guidance for things that are not directly addressed in Scripture. We should pray about what job to take, which person to marry, where to live, and even about insignificant decisions in our lives. God wants to direct our thoughts and show us His specific plans and purposes for us as individuals.”

      “But if we are looking for truths about God's love, if we are looking for hope, peace, encouragement, correction, comfort, etc., Scripture is our most reliable source. We don't need new words from God.”

      Sarah Young claims that her books are the exact words of Jesus as He speaks them to her and tells her to write them down for the whole world. If that were true, her books would be equal to the Bible. That is a dangerous claim used by cult leaders like Joseph Smith, and that practice cannot be called personal guidance or teaching or prompting or conviction. It goes beyond any guidance described in Scripture except the writing of Scripture itself.

      UNKNOWN: "so they can share If I were you and really concerned about the body of Christ being deceived by wrong information, I will go before God to find out...."

      ME: I am concerned about the Body of Christ, and that’s why I’ve done what Scripture tells me to do, and it tells me to point out errors such as Sarah Young’s claims to speak for God in a way that is not Scriptural.

      UNKNOWN: "And let me ask like Patty, have you heard from God before."

      ME: Let me point out the ways you have insulted me in your short comment:
      1. You began by saying that I am writing about things I can’t comprehend, thus judging my intellect or my relationship with the Lord or both.
      2. You said if I was really concerned about the Body of Christ, I would go before God and find out. In this statement you judge my motives and abilities, assuming I’m not concerned about the Body of Christ and have not sought the Lord about what I’ve written.
      3. And now you ask if I have heard from God “like Patty” who used a Scripture that challenged my salvation.

      Let me ask you this, unknown: Did you hear God’s voice telling you to write this comment? It contradicts His Words in Scripture, such as Colossians 4:6.

      UNKNOWN: Not only reading His word because His word has a voice.

      ME: ONLY reading His Word. Wow! I refer you to the Scriptures in the comment above.

      His Word doesn’t have a voice. It is His voice. And His voice does not sound the same as the voice in Sarah Young’s books.

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  14. No disrespect, but I beg to differ with you, God does and will speaker to people outside of His scripture if they will just believe.
    God wants an ‘intimate relationship’ with His people, and thosr of us who hunger deeply for more of Him, and pursue that intimate, personal hunger for Him can & are rewarded with Him speaking personally to us.
    He did it throughout the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and even stated He would do it moreso in the end times through dreams, visions and prophecies.
    As one who has unequivocally been on the receiving end of this marvelous, beautiful, intimate experience of Him speaking to me, I am here to testify that yes, it is possible, yes it has happened and is still happening and yes He will continue to do so as ling as His people are hungry enough to pursue Him for it.

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    1. No disrespect on my part either, Beautifully Broken,
      But you and just about every other person who has made a similar comment is not reading my comments or this post.

      Please forgive me for using all caps, but I do feel like shouting this:
      I NEVER SAID THAT GOD DOES NOT SPEAK TO HIS PEOPLE INDIVIDUALLY. I HAVE OFTEN BEEN PROMPTED BY GOD TO DO SOMETHING, TO SAY SOMETHING, AND EVEN TO WRITE SOMETHING.

      But that is not the same as if I claimed that something I wrote was "word-for-word" a message from Jesus, given to me to share with the whole world.

      Sarah Young says her books are not on the same level as Scripture, but her explanation of them makes them on the same level. If she is writing word-for-word from Jesus, she is writing Scripture. And if you believe God has called Sarah Young to write Scripture, you are sadly mistaken.

      Joseph Smith claimed to write the words of God when he started the Mormon Church. That is the claim of other heretics and cult leaders. It is not biblical. And no legitimate Christian teacher supports the claims of Young. See the links at the bottom of the post to see the many godly men who are concerned with Young's un-biblical claim to write for Jesus.

      If Sarah Young is doing what is right, why are these godly, respected Christian teachers concerned about her claims?

      My concern about Jesus Calling has increased because of the many comments I've received from people supporting Sarah Young's claims.

      Perhaps if people were reading and studying Scripture instead of reading Jesus Calling, they would understand how dangerous Young's claims are.

      Even if Young's words had the same balance as Scripture, I would not accept them as words direct from God. But they don't have the same balance as Scripture which should make any believer concerned.

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  15. I'm surprised by some of the comments that disagree with Gail's points. It seems like some Christians put "feelings" and subjective "experiences" above the revealed (and confirmed) Word of God.

    It's like in Numbers 12, when Miriam and Aaron questioned Moses authority (because of his wife) to speak for God exclusively (Scripture). "Hey, we receive words from God too," they thought. And God sometimes spoke to them audibly, or through dreams and visions (not subjectively). Yet, God was not pleased with them for their presumption. He gave Miriam leprosy for her arrogance.

    Now, not only do modern Christians perceive God's words non-audibly, and subjectively, they think that their perceptions are on-par with Scripture. (In other words, God's talking to them beyond what Scripture says.) That's a very dangerous presumption and leads to error.

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  16. I don’t believe that anyone is stating that what they are experiencing is anywhere on par to what Aaron & Miriam alluded to with Moses.
    Basically what Sara did/has done, is to publish her diary of her times alone in the secret place with God. She decided to share the words of encouragement that God spoke to her in her quiet times with Him, so as to share the uplifting encouragement with others. Which IS biblical to do~
    “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
    II Corinthians 1:4 kjv
    We are called to encourage, uplift, comfort in the same manner that we ourselves have been encouraged, uplifted, comforted through Christ Jesus,our Lord and our God. Sara has done no less and no more.
    It’s extremely sad how people today do not believe in the possibilities of God still speaking to us in these ways any longer. God does still give, to those seeking His face & His Presence, a word, whether it be of warning, encouragement, comfort, whatever, to individuals that are meant for other people.
    I will close with this, you believe what you believe, and let others believe what they will. If someone is truly in the Word, consistent in their walk with God with their prayer life, bible reading, fasting and being fed by His chosen ministry, then they will be able to discern true issues with something as opposed to just not believing such things are still possible. I, personally, feel there has been no harm, no foul on what Sara has done. I feel, If anything, it has only drawn people closer to God and seeking His marvelous Presence more in a time when it is really needed.
    Again, it’s a place of, we can agree to disagree on our view points here.
    Good day & God bless.

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    1. Beautifully Broken,

      I think it is very interesting that no one who disagrees with this article has actually addressed that point of the article. Instead, you and everyone else who has disagreed claims that this article is saying that God doesn't speak to us.


      It appears to me that no one wants to address the real issue - that Sarah Young is putting herself on the level of the men who wrote the New Testament and claiming she is speaking for Jesus. Instead, they want to pretend that this article says God doesn't speak to us today even though the text of this article says exactly the opposite.

      If people are reading the Word and seeking God, they will know that Sarah's Young's claims are not biblical. But they won't find that truth in Sarah Young's books.

      I am not aware of any credible Bible scholars or Bible teachers who accept Young's claims. Instead, everything I have read by men who have given their lives to serve God and study and teach his word (some of whom are linked at the bottom of this article) know that Young's claims are false and dangerous.

      I have had several people in this comment stream doubt my faith and falsely accuse me of a number of things in their fervor to support Sarah Young. If they were reading and studying Scripture, they would realize that is inappropriate.

      I love the Lord. He has spoken to my heart many, many times in the 45 years I've known Him. I have served 5 years in overseas missions and I currently spend 50 hours a week on this blog without pay or profit. And God has very clearly told me to warn people about the dangerous claims of Sarah Young. And your comment and many of the other comments in this comment stream have confirmed the importance of that warning.

      And I always find it ironic that almost every negative comment contains some hypocrisy. For example, you say "you believe what you believe, and let others believe what they will." If you want me to keep my views to myself, why have you shared yours?

      Delete
  17. Added note. I have written several things while being in my alone time with Him that I wrote word for word what was coming to me at that moment in time. That does not mean it is scripture, that just means I wrote in my journal what God spoke to me in that moment of intimacy in our secret place.
    My journal stays next to my chair where I read my bible, pray & meditate on His Word, and these journalings come in the midst of my time of prayer & meditating, so I do stop and begin to write in the moment. That is how it comes out word for word.
    Yes, it’s possible, because I have it happen often. And what Sarah has done would be no different then if my child would find my journal after I’ve passed and decide to have it published. Only difference is Sarah did her’s while alive to encourage others. To share the awesomeness of His love for us to others in need. No more, no less.

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    1. Beautifully Broken,

      You've made multiple comments claiming that this article teaches against God speaking to His children.

      1. The Article states exactly the opposite.

      2. I've responded to each of your previous comments pointing this out and explaining that I believe God speaks to us.

      3. You've repeatedly compared with Sarah Young does to prayer and journaling which are not the same things.

      What does it mean when someone refuses to accurately read an article before commenting? What does it mean when they ignore the answers to their previous comments and keep making the same point over and over again?

      In regard to this final comment (I won't publish any others from you): If you are saying that during your quiet times you believe you write down word for word messages from Jesus that He wants you to share with the world, then you're right. It's no different than Sarah Young's claims.

      And if your children published such a book claiming it was the words of Jesus, I would have the same concerns with it as I have with Young's book.

      Delete
    2. Beautifully Broken By Him,

      I have no problem with anyone saying they write what they "think" God is saying to them. They are simply writing their interpretation of what God may be revealing to them.

      I think we need to define what Scripture is. It's the revealed message of God. It is God's Holy Spirit inspired and directed words revealed to mankind for our benefit and spiritual maturity. (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

      We need to pay especially close attention to these words because many people will seek other words to comfort them. (2 Tim. 4:1-4; 2 Peter 1:16-21)

      When God speaks, He doesn't make a mistake or error. And whatever He says is the truth, and ought to be obeyed. This is the authority Scripture should hold in the life of the believer.

      The problem is when we declare we are writing the very words of God/Jesus. That's a different statement. If this is so, whenever God "speaks to us" it holds the same weight as Scripture because God cannot lie or be inconsistent.

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    3. Are you suggesting that Sarah Young claimed to write "the very words of God/Jesus"? I'd be very surprised. Could you provide a citation, Kerry?

      Delete
    4. Hi Patty G.

      I’m assuming you’ve read the article and you know that I’ve quoted Sarah Young’s written words from the Jesus Calling edition 2004. And you know that she says:

      1. “I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He [Jesus] was saying…”

      2. “I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him.”

      3. “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.”

      You also know that her books are written in the voice of Jesus, not her voice.

      You also know that despite the controversy, she has never denied that her messages are the words of Jesus as she presents them.

      But you doubt very much that she is claiming to write the words of Jesus unless I can give you a quote where she says "I am writing the very words of God/Jesus." Or perhaps you are saying that it's okay to say you are writing messages from God as long as you don't say you are using his "very words."

      My article is written to warn Christians that Young's methods are not biblical and they can lead to dangerous misunderstandings. Some will listen. Some will not.

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  18. Hi Gail, I just want to thank you for the information you have shared with your readers in the article above about Jesus Calling. Today is the first time I have actually read from your bible notes, and I would like to express how grateful I am that you have taken a stand for the Truth, which is God’s Word.
    I have Sarah Young’s book, which was given to me as a gift. I have read it sparingly, and I believe you are correct in all that you have expressed in this article. I had not seen it this way before, however I believe that this article is a good warning, one which I will heed to.
    I pray other readers will find your article enlightening as I did. God bless!

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    1. Thanks!

      I was also given Young's book as a gift some years ago. It's incredibly popular.

      My goal is to reveal Young's claims (in her words) and the dangers of those claims. I'm glad that this information was helpful to you.

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    2. Excellent article Gail! I am trying to research the right words to warn my family and friends who are being deceived by reading this "book" by Sarah Young. I will be sharing your blogspot with them and hope they read it. I'm sorry you had to deal with so many people who completely missed the point of your clear and simple explanation as to why "Jesus Calling" does not line up with Scripture. If she thinks Jesus would have said He "accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions-a filthy stable" then how could a Christian not want to burn the book?

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  19. You have misunderstood much of what Sarah wrote! You are way off target! And All this critiquing is quite unnecessary, as God is Already using Sarah's Beautiful and Inspired Books to Bless the lives of THOUSANDS of people!! The books have nothing less than All-star Ratings! Concentrate on Doing something YOURSELF to bring Glory to God!! Instead of trying to tear down someone else, who already is!

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    1. Dear Unknown,

      I addressed Sarah's Young's claims, not her character or her motives. You, on the other hand have judged my character and my motives.

      I'm not sure if Sarah Young's books teach against this kind of ungodly judgement, but the Bible does.

      You used a form of argument called ad hominem. That means that instead of simply stating your view, you attack the person with whom you disagree.

      I'm not sure if Sarah Young teaches against that kind of rudeness, but the Bible does.

      When someone tells me that a book glorifies God but they tell me it in a rude, judgmental way, It only confirms my concerns with the book.

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  20. Oh my goodness! You need to remove this post! Who are you to claim where Sarah Young is coming from and judging her! Do you not care that her writing ministers to many!? Unbelievable! If you don’t like her writing, don’t buy it. Just keep scrolling but don’t bash her publicly! You need to do some serious soul searching!

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    1. Dear Csp0606,
      Thank you for helping to confirm that my article is needed.

      You said that I should "Just keep scrolling" instead of writing about Sarah's Young's claims. But you didn't keep scrolling when you read my article. This and other elements of your comment confirm my concerns with the theology that readers are gaining from Sarah Young's books.



      Delete
  21. I also received this book as a gift ...read it here & there . I have always felt that a great many so called "christian " authors is merely voicing a personal opinion / understanding ( at times serve to confuse ) I believe your point of view / warning is correct, in your replies you backed up your replies with Scripture as we all should . Let's remember "Our Opinion " doesn't count unless it is aligned with Scripture , we can become or BE..."I"doleters we need to accept the discipline /correction scripture gives us. Thank you May The Most High God in Jesus name bless you .

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  22. Thank you, I have read Jesus Calling for a while. So many times I get this gut feeling this is not right. After reading your article, now I know what it is. I am recycling it and going back to "just" reading the Bible. Thanks again!

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    1. I'm glad to hear this, Barbara. You and others like you are the reason I have written this post. God bless you.

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