2 Corinthians 11:4,13-14
"Another Jesus" Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church Through Contemplative Prayer (A Biblical Critique of Sarah Young's Jesus Calling) by Warren B. Smith, Lighthouse Trails Publishing.
A few years ago I purchased a copy of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young because it came so highly recommended. After reading the introduction and several entries I knew something wasn't right and I got rid of the book. Maybe it was the audacity of someone presuming to speak in the first person as Jesus, or maybe it was because this "Jesus" didn't sound like the Jesus I knew from scripture. "Another Jesus" Calling by Warren B. Smith addresses these valid concerns and why Young's "Jesus" is not the Jesus of the Bible.
One issue with Young's "Jesus" is that he uses New Age terminology and concepts that the real Christ wouldn't. For example, he invites the reader to become his "channel". He describes himself as being above all and in all, a concept consistent with the New Age teaching of God Transcendent and God Immanent in every form of life.
He suggests that the reader "take a road less traveled" (hinting at M. Scott Peck's book) and that to go "out on a limb" (the title of Shirley MacLaine's book) with him is the safest place to be. As Smith writes, "...the true Jesus Christ is quite aware of these mega bestselling New Age books. It defies reason that he would make any kind of positive reference - directly or indirectly - to the titles of two of the most popular New Age books published in the last three decades. Taking "a road less traveled" with M. Scott Peck is not what we are called to do. Going "out on a limb" with Shirley MacLaine is not the safest place to be."
The "Jesus" of Jesus Calling frequently refers to himself in terms of "light" but as 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, even Satan will appear as an angel of light, so Smith urges readers to test what this "Jesus" says against the truth of scripture. Additionally, he points out that Young's "Jesus" liberally uses New Age terms such as ultimate reality, universal presence, guiding Presence, Love-Light, Light-bearer, supernatural plane, living channel, divine alchemy, paradigm shift, cocoon of light, awakened soul, and true self. "Jesus" talks of humanity collaborating and co-creating with him. In another of Young's books, Jesus Today, her "Jesus" uses the New Age term infinite intelligence which refers to God in everything and everyone. These are concepts and words that are contradictory to what Jesus taught and said in scripture.
For me, one of the most disturbing things in Jesus Calling was that "Jesus" bemoans the night of his birth in Bethlehem as "a dark night for Me" in reference to having to give up his glory so he could come "under the most appalling conditions" in order to identify with mankind. Smith writes, "This doesn't sound like the voice of our Savior - it sounds instead like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5). And when you really think about it, wouldn't it be more likely that Satan himself would be the one to describe the night of Jesus' birth as that 'dark night for me'?"
Another issue Christian readers need to consider is how Young supposedly got these messages from Jesus. By her own account, she used the same method of "guided writing" (also called "automatic writing" and "spiritual dictation") that the authors of God Calling used (the book that influenced Young and led her to write her own). This practice is a New Age form of meditation where the participant sits in silence while emptying her mind and with pen and paper ready, records or dictates the messages she receives from the spirit world.
So why does any of this matter as long as the reader feels closer to God as a result of reading the book? Because, as Smith documents with scripture, it is a false Christ that contradicts what the true Christ said about himself. Smith writes, "Two thousand years ago, the true Jesus Christ warned about false Christs and false teachings that would come in His name and deceive even the elect if that were possible."
What I appreciated most in "Another Jesus" Calling is Smith's careful attention to comparing what Young writes to what scripture actually says about Jesus. It is a valuable resource that every Christian needs to read before embracing the counterfeit Jesus of "Jesus Calling" or other books like it where an author writes in the first person as Jesus.