Should You Run From Jesus Always?

Who Is Calling?
Jesus or Sarah Young?

Jesus Always - Who Is Calling?A friend once told me that, if when reading a book the author states something you know to be wrong, then don't trust that author in the other things they say. In other words, if someone is wrong in an area you are familiar with, don't trust them to be right in areas where you have no knowledge.

I imagine you are not an expert in New Age beliefs. Most Christians have very limited knowledge at all about New Age. That means you can not evaluate Jesus Always devotions in that area.

I've also found that most Christians have gaps in their Bible knowledge, and don't take the time to research (test) assertions about scripture they are not familiar with. They may know the important doctrine, but outside of that their knowledge is limited.

In the introduction to her first book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young references the book “God Calling” (a book in which god speaks to the author) and states that she received the devotions in Jesus Calling as a result of Jesus speaking to her:

“I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying. I felt awkward the first time I tried this, but I received a message. It was short, biblical, and appropriate.” - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xii.

“My journaling soon changed from monologue to dialog. Soon, messages began to flow more freely, and I bought a special notebook to record these words. This new way of communicating with God became a high point of my day.” - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xii.

“I want to share some of the messages I have received... I have written them from the point of view; i.e., the first person singular (I, Me, Mine) always refers to Christ.” - - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xiii.

Not only does Sarah Young clearly describe receiving messages from God, she disparages hearing God's voice solely through scripture as not being adequate. She makes the point that God has more to say than what is included in scripture:

“I knew God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.” - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xii.

But then the story changed...

In the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling (2014) she eliminated her praise of the “God Calling” book as well as references to receiving messages from God.

“This is how I was listening to Him—by focusing on Jesus and His Word while asking Him to guide my thoughts. I was not listening for an audible voice; I was spending time seeking God's Face (Psalm 27:8 NKJV).” - Jesus Calling, 2014, xvii

In the Jesus Always (2016) book, the "About The Author" section states Sarah Young's devotional writings were all the result of her hours of bible study and prayer.

“Sarah Young's devotional writings are person reflections from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying, and writing in prayer journals.” - Jesus Always, 2016, page 383

So what was originally described in Jesus Calling as writing down messages she had received from Jesus; in 2014 became Jesus guiding her thoughts as she read scripture. Then in Jesus Always it is now her personal reflections, with no mention of Jesus even guiding her thoughts.

We have three distinct stories that range from receiving messages directly from Jesus and writing those down, to her devotional books just being her “personal reflections.”

All of these stories can't be true, and there has been no explanation of these changes. What happened to cause these changes in the description of where these devotions come from?

What are the possible explanations you can come up with?

1. She never was really hearing from Jesus. She just made it up.

2. She was hearing from some form of spiritual being (Jesus? Demons?), but the skepticism was so strong that for marketing reasons it was no longer a good idea to say this.

3. She just thought she was hearing from Jesus, but over time came to understand that these were actually just her own thoughts.

4. Her editor is changing the description of how Sarah Young wrote these books, and she has no option other than to go along, if she wants to continue having her books published.

5. None of the above. (Can you think of any other options?)

Sarah Young wants us to trust her and the Jesus she has created. Over and over in Jesus Always her Jesus says that he is “training” you. Well, who is this that is training you? Voices Sarah Young has heard in her head? Thoughts inspired by Jesus? (By the way, I always thought that it was the Holy Spirit who illuminates scripture for us.) Or are these devotions coming solely from the mind of Sarah Young? Who are we being asked to trust?

The way things stand right now, with no explanation of why the story keeps changing, it appears that one or two of these stories are not true, and that is serious. If that is the case, are we to trust someone who made up a story (or allowed her editor to make up a story) to explain the source of her spiritual “knowledge?” Not me. So far the trust-o-meter for both Jesus Calling and Jesus Always is registering a zero.

I hope we get an answer soon.

 

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All quotes from Jesus Always are copyright 2016 by Sarah Young
Hebrews 7:25 -- 2 Corinthians 2:14 -- John 8:29 -- Matthew 28:19-20 -- Isaiah 57:16 -- Psalm 103:9