What’s Wrong with Jesus Calling by Sarah Young? (Part 2)

This is a 2 part post. See Part 1 here. I do not like giving critiques (so I usually don’t) but this one diatribe makes it necessary because it reminds me of the Witch Hunts.

When I read the critiques of this book I shudder. Christians that fall for these nasty spirited reviews must be blind or just believe anything they read.

The Critique #3 Problem: New Age Terms

One absolutely laughable post critiques Young’s book with the title NEW BOOKLET TRACT: The New Age Implications of “Jesus Calling” The author, Warren B. Smith writes:

“Sarah Young’s “Jesus” also makes indirect reference to two of the mega best-selling New Age books of the last thirty years—Shirley MacLaine's New Age book or Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled. Young’s “Jesus” invites her millions of readers to “go out on a limb” with him and to take “a road less traveled”: Shirley MacLaine's New Age book or Scott Peck’s

What a Joke! 

No where in any of Young’s books does she refer to Shirley MacLain’e New Age book or Scot Peck’s book.  For this author to use a common phrases like this he needs to go cirque about 10,000+ Christian books that use similar phrases.

Have you ever used either term: “go out on a limb” or “a road less traveled”? I have. 

  • The term the road less traveled meaning  is from From Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, 1920. It is a common phrase I have heard from the pulpit.
  • As to “Out on a Limb” I have personally used this phrase many times and NEVER had anything to do with Shirley MacLaine’s book. Etymonline says that the figurative sense is from 1897. The Phrase Finder supplies a quote from 1895. For example, the Steubenville Daily Herald, October 1895: […] If we get the 14 votes of Hamilton we’ve got ’em out on a limb. All we’ve got to do then is shake it or saw it off.

The Critique #4 Problem:  “Visualization”

Warren B. Smith claims because Young uses the term visualization she is a New Ager.

Look how ridiculous! Here is the sentence he quotes: “One morning as I prayed, I visualized God protecting each of us.” Wow! Really. This make her New Age?

The Bible refers to visual reminder: It will become a visual reminder Isaiah 19:20

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines vi•su•al•i•za•tion \ˌvi-zhə-wə-lə-ˈzā-shən, ˌvi-zhə-lə-, ˌvizh-wə-lə-\ noun, 1883 1: formation of mental visual images or 2: the act or process of interpreting in visual terms or of putting into visible form.

The Critique #5 Problem:  “Meditation” 

Warren B. Smith claims because Young uses the term meditation  she is a New Ager. If you follow Warren B. Smith  logic you better call the Bible New Age too.

According to the  The NASB Topical Index the word meditation is all through the Bible: 

MEDITATION  (see PRAYER) general practice of ♦ by Isaac: Ge 24:63 ♦ by the Psalmist: Ps 104:34 ♦ evidently by Jesus: Mk 1:35 in relation to the Lord, meditation upon His word practice of: Jos 1:8; Ps 1:2; 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 97, 99, 148 results of ♦ prosperity: Jos 1:8; Ps 1:2–3 ♦ success: Jos 1:8 ♦ productivity: Ps 1:2–3 ♦ spiritual insight: Ps 119:99: meditation in His temple: Ps 27:4: meditation upon His lovingkindness: Ps 48:9: meditation upon the Lord Himself: Ps 63:6: meditation on His works: Ps 77:12; 143:5; 145:5: meditation on His wonders: Ps 119:27: meditation on His majesty: Ps 145:5, in relation to one’s heart: Ps 4:4; 19:14; 49:3; 77:6, in relation to time ♦ day and night: Jos 1:8; Ps 1:2 ♦ in the morning: Ps 5:3 ♦ all the day: Ps 119:97 ♦ toward evening: Ge 24:63, various other uses ♦ meditation on terror: Is 33:18 ♦ meditation on certain virtues: Php 4:8

Imagery is all though the Bible: God is masculine (Father, King, etc.), feminine (Nursing Mother, Woman and Coin, etc.), animal (Mother Bear, Eagle, Lioness, etc.), inanimate objects (Rock, Fortress, Strong Tower, Mountain, Shield, etc.). Imagery helps us understand the character of God.

The Critique #6 Problem:  “Light Bearer” 

Warren B. Smith claims because Young uses the term Light-bearer she is a New Ager. The term Light-bearer in a dozen devotionals and in the Bible:

  • Ezek 32:8 As for all the light–bearers in the heavens, I will obscure them over thee – And will stretch out darkness over thy land, Declareth My Lord Yahweh.
  • Phil 2:15 so that you may prove to be blameless and spotless, faultless children of God in a crooked and perverted age, in which you shine as light–bearers in the world as you continue.

Why Does Smith Slam Young?

Warren B. Smith has an flat-out evil agenda.  I see the same evil in those criticizing William Paul Young's books. It's like they want people to wallow in shame and not see how much God loves them-- remind you of anyone? Pharisees?  

The Pharisees taught same lies many pulpits teach today and sung in the church like the song  lyrics "You are good, when there’s nothing good in me."  They all teach that we are worthless. (Sin and our righteousness is worthless--not the person. ).

The truth is that we have inherent value because we are made in the image of God. Our value and worth are not dependent on us.

But those of us who are desperately broken and wounded may believe that if there is nothing good in us, there is no hope for real transformation. We think that the best we can do is some form of temporary self-discipline, a way to cover up our shame through façade and performance. 

All the positive speaking in the world won’t change a rock into a bird of paradise. Many of us learn to fake it until we are completely exhausted from trying to keep all the lies spinning. Inevitably, the poisons in our inside-house begin to seep out in ways we can’t control. Or we simply give up and act out what we have already determined about ourselves.

If I believe the deepest truth about me is worthlessness, then why are you surprised when I act like I’m worthless? Am I not at least being honest? Yes, I would be, if that were the truth about who I am; but it is not the truth.

Does anything that is “not good” originate in God? No! Are we still image bearers, made in the image of God? Yes, we are! God, who is only good, creates only good—very good! This is why Jesus asked the rich young ruler, “Why are you calling me good? There is only One who is Good, and that is God” (Matthew 19:17). This is not Jesus saying, “There is nothing good in me,” but asking, “Do you see God in me, young brother? Is that why you are calling me good, or is this still about performance?” If you read the rest of that story, you will see that it is still about performance.

Young, Wm. Paul. Lies We Believe About God (pp. 32-34) Lies We Believe About God (pp. 32-33).

Bottom Line

I should mention there are others who slam Young's book. I am no longer surprised to see 5 point Calvinist slam anything that focuses on God's love and grace. If feel the need to read the review really pray and look at it hard.  What is the motive? Are they critiquing the words the author wrote or protecting their teachings--like limited atonement?

For more see Why I Left Calvinism by Baxter Kruger.

We need more people looking at those who slam others in the name of Christ. Many  people scan the critical review then avoid the book or person without further investigation.

I'm glad I took the time to really investigate (I am a former police officer) and there is no evidence in this review that would ever hold up in court. In fact it was was quite easy to blow holes in Warren B. Smith allegations.

Smith accusations are completely groundless, inappropriate, ridiculous, and just plain silly.  The Calvinist critiques are just as ridiculous.  Don't get caught up in this kind of slander!

PRAY. Ask God and do diligent research. Do not be one of the fools that jumps on this bandwagon. 

Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. Proverbs 10:18-19

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