Every believer should read and digest Warren Smith’s newest book, ”Another Jesus” Calling ( Warren Smith, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Eureka, Montana, 2013, 174 pages, $12.95). It gives insight from a former New Ager about the way in which New Age thought and terminology is infiltrating and permeating the Christian church at large. Sadly it is all being done through publishers, book stores and books that are supposed to be Christian. The allure of these questionable books is often a veneer of Bible terms, a promise of deep inside information and the excitement of a current mystical trip with personal impressions and perhaps even voices from the beyond.
Jude 4 warns about those false teachers and spiritual counterfeiters who “secretly slip in”. The antidote of course is to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered d to the saints”, (verse 3). John Benton’s statement is surely as true today as when Jude wrote; “The church was being corrupted by false teaching and false teachers. If the truth is lost or perverted then the devil will have halted the work of salvation”, (Slandering Angels The Message of Jude, Evangelical Press, England, 1999, page 54).
Warren Smith is a graduate of Tulane University and a former New Age insider and practitioner. He clearly understands the major mystical philosophies and themes being brought into the church today. Some of these masquerade as the voice of Jesus but upon biblical examination show themselves not to be what they claim but rather another voice from another place. Are we to look for voices or look at verses? One has to wonder if these experiences are fabricated, imagined or worse yet demonic.
Smith opens the book with a Prologue (page 14) in which he talks about identity theft. He then shows how Jesus warned regarding the widespread theft of His identity when He spoke of “false Christ’s” and those saying, “I am Christ” in Matthew 24:5. Smith then moves into a thorough investigation of Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling.
Smith probes the original source and “inspiration” for Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling book. Young became enamored with a book entitled, God Calling. This book claims to be direct messages from God given to 2 women in the 1930’s’ and is edited by an A. J. Russell. God Calling has been critiqued for years by counter cult ministries. Personal Freedom Outreach, St. Louis Missouri did a critique of God Calling some years back getting ahead of the curve. In their article God Calling, A Critical Look at a Christian Classic, they clearly showed, as Smith does, that God Calling is full of New Age ideas, occultism, and denials of biblical teaching which has the women on the receiving end looking more like psychic mediums than committed Christians. Sarah Young called God Calling, “a treasure to me”, (Smith, page 21).
Smith informs us that; “God Calling is a channeled book that was delivered through the occult practice known as spiritual dictation….This is when a spiritual entity conveys information from the spirit world to a willing ‘channel’ or ‘listener.’ The channel usually speaks or writes what the spirit dictates. Many New Age teachings have been delivered in this way. In God Calling,’Jesus‘told the Two Listeners – ‘I cannot bless a life that does not act as a channel. Be channels both of you.” (Smith page 24 and 26). Smith uses 10 short chapters to express 10 concerns with God Calling (now known as the source and fountainhead of Young’s Jesus Calling). Among the concerns that Smith expresses in chapter titles we find;
- Channeled Book From Jesus
- Permeated With New Age Terminology
- God’s Universal Spirit?
- God ‘in’ Everyone?
- Name it & Claim it
- Experience Replaces God’s Word
- Jesus Needs Us More Than We Need Him?
- New Truth & New Revelation
- The New Aga & Psalm 46:10
- New Age Christianity
These chapters (short and easy to digest) and the ones to follow are amply documented. From pages 51 to 131 Smith lays out twenty concerns regarding Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling. Very briefly some of them are Sarah Young’s dependence on a channeled New Age book and her denigrating the Bible by wanting more than the Bible offers. Young says; “I knew God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more”, (Smith page 53).
It is obvious that Young learned occult channeling from God Calling when she states; “I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying”, (Smith page 53). We would have to ask how Young can be certain of the origin of the communication?
Warren Smith’s other areas of deep concern have to do with who Young is channeling. Is she actually channeling Jesus? She has not tested the Spirit’s not does she seem willing to weigh the messages against the clear Word of God. The major problem here is that Young has Jesus contradicting Himself. How can the one who is truth speak what is untrue. Did Jesus really tell Young; “I am with you always. These were the last words I spoke before ascending to heaven”, (Smith page 60)? These words (from Matthew 28:20) were not in fact the last words that Jesus spoke before ascending into heaven. These words in Matthew were spoken in Galilee after the resurrection (verse 16). The last words of Jesus before ascending from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem are in fact found in Acts chapter 1, (verses 7-9). How could Jesus not know what he said before ascending? Perhaps these words will be expunged when the editors catch on to the obvious goof supposedly made by Jesus. It is hard to believe that Jesus contradicted Himself because Young says so. She either is being lied to or has a poor memory.
Young also has Jesus flattering her to a point where it gets tacky and uncomfortable to read. Jesus in these communications sounds like a breathless love struck teen. Young has cast Jesus almost as a boy friend who says; “When you trustingly whisper My name, My aching ears are soothed”, (Smith, page 64). She has Jesus portraying His words as; “my love call to you”, (Smith page 65). He is also purported to say that His “Love-light” will make her “face tingle”, (Smith, page 65). Jesus words, He says, are His Love-call”, (Smith page 65). Jesus in Young’s telling creates in her; “fireworks of heavenly ecstasy”, (Smith, page 65). Does Jesus really involve Himself in personal one on one communication that sounds like seductive flattery? Is there anything even remotely like the Bible in these tingly “communiqués?
Smith is also concerned that Young involves herself in creative visualization. He explains this New Age practice and shows instances of Young’s use of this. Smith also shows how that Young wrongly accuses Abraham (and this according to Jesus) of idolatry and son worship as the reason for Isaac being sacrificed. Smith dismantles this obviously wrong idea piece by piece in chapter 10).
Is Sarah Young really “practicing the presence of God” as she claims? Smith deals with that idea at length. Does Jesus actually tell Young that she is a co-creator with God? Chapter 13 takes that apart thoroughly. Warren Smith goes on and on showing that Young is creating “another Jesus” and that her Jesus is not the true biblical Jesus at all. It really boils down to this; “Do we have a love of the truth or do we just experience what we want to experience and hear what we want to hear? Ultimate truth is not found in channeled messages, “new” revelations, or “new” truth. Ultimate truth – God’s truth and nothing but God’s truth – is explicitly, authoritatively, genuinely, and most amazingly found in the pages of God’s inspired Holy Word. And it is in those pages that we find our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, (Smith, page 131).Ω
A very good review of a very important book. God Calling has done much damage and Jesus Calling is doing the same.
God Calling, incidentally, was written by two women who used the meditative method of the Oxford Group, a spiritual movement that was at its height in the 1930s. This often resulted in the occultic practice of automatic writing.
Pastor H.A. Ironsided had grave concerns about the Oxford Group’s method:“Each [Oxford Group] member is urged … to sit quietly with the mind emptied of every thought … waiting for God to say something to them…. Sometimes they tell me nothing happens, at other times the most amazing things come. Tested by the Word of God, many of these things are unscriptural. They lay themselves open for demons to communicate their blasphemous thoughts to them.”
Alcoholics Anonymous came out of the Oxford Group, and it can be stated that this unholy meditation/spirit communication must be considered a spiritual root of the twelve step program. AA co-founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith attended the Oxford Group, together and separately.
This Lighthouse article deals with AA/ Oxford Group and contemplative spirituality.
I was given “Jesus Calling” about two years ago but a good friend. I immediately related the title to “God Calling” by the two sisters, but thought I will give it a try because she was so enamored of it. After reading just a little of it, I felt that Jesus sounded strange and not like He did in the Bible. I felt a little guilty thinking He sounds mushy or almost silly. I could not continue to read it because it really made me uncomfortable. I asked my daughter, who was also given a copy, what she thought about it. She said she liked it and it was uplifting to her. Your article shows me that I need to bring the subject up again with her. I simply could not and will not read this book. Your article is confirmation to me that the Holy Spirit gave me discernment in this matter.
Praise God for giving you Biblical discernment in this matter, Carol. Praying that your daughter will be open to your sharing these concerns. Thanks, Pastor Fisher, for this article & for pointing to Warren Smith’s excellent book “Another Jesus Calling” (Lighthouse Trails gives great discounts on multiple copies).
When I’m discouraged & feeling like true Christianity has vanished from the earth, the Holy Spirit recalls to mind that wonderful Scripture, Romans 11:4 ~~ “But what is the Divine response to him? I [God] have preserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (Rom 11:4)” Thank You, Father, for preserving a remnant unto Thyself. Please keep us immersed in Thy Word and safe from all deception. God Bless, ~Brenda
The verse quoted as evidence that Jesus contradicted himself is being used in a disingenuous manner. Matthew 28, Mark 16 as well as Luke 24 all cover the same time period.
Mark 16:15 & 19
And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Matthew 28:19 & 20
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” Amen
So it is very clear that according to the inerrant Scriptures that Jesus did in fact say this and THEN was received up into heaven, set at the right hand of the Father.
I will make no argument for or against the book but will caution anyone against using the Holy Scriptures in a disingenuous manner. We have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit if you have been truly born again, and as such the Spirit gives us discernment if we will listen.
Please quit listening to men and seek the Lord Jesus with all your heart and he shall be found by you.