Should You Run From Jesus Always?


The following is a sample chapter from the "RUN! It's Jesus Calling" book.

SINFUL OR ACCEPTABLE?

Let's just jump in and get started by looking at the most obvious potential problem: Jesus Calling is written as though Jesus is speaking. Is that sinful or is that acceptable to God? I'm big on being sure we're all on the same page as far as definitions, so let's start by answering the question:

What is sin?

Sin is acting or thinking in a way that is contrary to how God acts and thinks. Righteousness is the opposite of sin. Righteousness is acting and thinking in accordance with the character of God. You are sinning any time you are not being righteous. So you are sinning whenever you act or think in a way contrary to how God acts or thinks. This is because you were created in the image of God. When you do not reflect that image, you are sinning.

Sinful of AcceptableTo help us know the character of God, He has given us His laws, such as the Ten Commandments. God's laws describe His character and what we should be like. If we break God's laws, we are sinning... we are not behaving in a way that is consistent with God's character.

So, this is the question: is writing Jesus Calling in a way such that “Jesus” is speaking the words of each devotion sinful or righteous? Is it acting in accordance with God's character or is it acting contrary to the character of God?

Let's take a look at the opening line of the January 16th Jesus Calling devotion. This is typical of all the Jesus Calling devotions:

“Come to ME, and rest in My loving Presence.” - Jesus Calling January 16th, 2004, page 17 (capitalization as in original).

You may not have a copy of Jesus Calling handy so you can look up the context, but the “ME” and “My” in the above quote refers to “Jesus.” This is “Jesus” speaking.

Who is Jesus?Let's stop and think: Who is Jesus? He is God. When God speaks, and His words are recorded in writing, what are they called? That’s an easy question, they are scripture.

Since the words in Jesus Calling are coming from the lips of the Son of God, then the book “Jesus Calling” should be added to the Bible. If we take it at face value, as it is written Jesus Calling is an additional revelation from God. There is no question about this, because it is God who is speaking.

If this book were fiction Jesus could be shown as speaking. I don’t agree with that being acceptable to God, but at least it would be identified as fiction. But, the author of Jesus Calling never represents Jesus Calling as fiction. The Jesus Calling devotions are presented as factual, giving instructions, advice and commands that come from the lips of “Jesus.” Putting these words in the mouth of Jesus makes them equivalent to scripture.

But, I can hear those of you who have a copy of Jesus Calling saying:

“In the introduction to Jesus Calling Sarah Young states: 'I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is...'” (Jesus Calling, 2004 edition, page XII).

Sarah Young plainly states in the introduction to Jesus Calling that what she has written is not scripture.

What does it mean to say something is not scripture? One thing it means is that it could not have been spoken by Jesus. Everything Jesus speaks is perfect, true and without error... in other words it is scripture. If it comes from the mouth of Jesus, it is scripture. If it’s not scripture, then it cannot be Jesus speaking. So we have to ask, if it is not scripture, why is Jesus represented as speaking these words?

If Jesus is represented as saying something He never said, what is that called?

It is lying. And that means Jesus Calling is blasphemy. It is a lie to put any words in Jesus' mouth that he did not say. In later chapters we'll learn that many of the words that have been put on the lips of our Savior are not Biblical. But, that's another issue. For now we're just talking about a devotional book that is neither scripture nor fiction, in which Jesus is made out to be speaking.

That book is blasphemy. God never spoke the words the book is representing Him as saying. That means it is a lie to have these words coming from the lips of God. Christians know lying is wrong. We are to have the character of God, and lying is a major violation of God’s character.

Do you think I'm being too harsh? Maybe too legalistic? When God is represented as having said something He never said, what would you call that? (Write your answer here: __________________ ________________.)

I’ll get back this question in a later chapter.

What is blasphemy?

Blasphemy is doing or saying something that does not show proper reverence for God. Blasphemy is also doing or saying something that harms God's reputation... something that detracts from His glory. Putting words into the mouth of Jesus, words Jesus never said—Sarah Young says they are not scripture, so Jesus could never have said them—is misrepresenting God. It is attributing a lie to God. It is representing God as someone He is not... that's blasphemy.

“Whenever anybody places words in the mouth of God that God did not say, they are misrepresenting Him as well. To write a book and present that book to others as the words of Jesus talking to them goes way beyond the standard practice of an author writing their thoughts and beliefs. They have taken their words and exalted them to the status of equality with the Bible no matter what claim they try to make otherwise.” - Robert Alan King, A Christian Rebuttal to Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, Introduction, 2011 Kindle book

So why did Sarah Young write this book with Jesus speaking all of the devotions?

In her introduction to Jesus Calling Sarah Young writes:

“I have written from the perspective of Jesus speaking to help readers feel more personally connected with Him [Jesus]” – Jesus Calling, 2014 10th Anniversary Edition, page XIII

In her words, the reason is so that you will feel more personally connected with Jesus. Can you become more personally connected with Jesus by reading something that misrepresents Jesus... something that has Jesus saying things He never said? No. You'd be reading a lie. Misrepresentation is a form of lying. Lying is a sin and sin doesn't bring you closer to Jesus, it separates you from Jesus.

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. – Isaiah 59:2

Sarah Young is right in one respect. You can feel more personally connected with the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling. But, that does not mean you are growing closer to the real Jesus, the Son of God. The reality is you are “becoming more personally connected to” a lie. To a “Jesus” who does not exist. And that means you are moving further away from the real Jesus and closer to a false Jesus. Even a small lie moves you away from Jesus.

Yes, even a small lie about Jesus represents the almighty creator God as being less than who He is... less than the perfect, eternal, omniscient, holy, righteous, loving God we know from scripture. Never forget Jesus IS GOD. And never forget who God is.

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God. - Deuteronomy 10:17

Here's another question: Does the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling sound anything like the Jesus of the Bible? Read the book of Isaiah starting with chapter 40. This is the true Jesus speaking:

Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; besides Me there is no God. - Isaiah 48:12-13

Who is speaking here? The Son of God, Jesus. These words, as well as most of Isaiah chapters 40 through 66, are a direct quotes from Jesus. They are the words of the Son of God. How do we know that? Go to Isaiah 48:16

Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.

Who did the sending? “The Lord God,” the Father.

Who was sent? The speaker, “Me.” That can only be the Son. The One who has been speaking since the beginning of chapter 40.

Who was also sent? The Spirit.

Here in the Old Testament we see the Trinity. The Father is doing the sending. It is the Son who has been speaking since chapter 40. And the Spirit was also sent. These are the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is what the true Jesus Christ sounds like. His words have a depth and richness to them not found in Jesus Calling. This is not the Jesus of the Jesus Calling devotional book.

Never forget Jesus IS GOD. You do not become more personally connected to God through words placed in His mouth by a human writer... words He never said... and as we'll see in a few chapters, words that in many cases contradict what the real Jesus has said in the Bible. Any form of a lie is sin, and sin separates us from God.

The Jesus Calling devotions ARE NOT the true Jesus calling.

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“Many Christians today are greatly concerned about the rising influences of communism, humanism, secularism, and social injustice. Yet those evils, great as they are, do not together pose the threat to Christianity that false shepherds and pastors do. Throughout the history of redemption, the greatest threat to God’s truth and God’s work has been false prophets and teachers, because they propose to speak in His name. That is why the Lord’s most scathing denunciations were reserved for the false teachers of Israel, who claimed to speak and act for God but were liars.” – John MacArthur, Was Jesus Polite To False Teachers, September 27, 2013

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To order on Amazon: Click here: Run! It's Jesus Calling. Or to learn more about the unbiblical nature of Jesus Calling, visit the RUN! It's Jesus Calling web site

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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