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Long For Truth: Why "Jesus Calling" Should be Added to the Bible

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Why "Jesus Calling" Should be Added to the Bible

In our last post we looked at how the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young was a direct assault on the sufficiency of Scripture. We saw that Jesus Calling encourages Christians to seek the voice of God outside of the only way He has promised to speak to His people, through the Scriptures. Nowhere does the Bible ever direct us to go outside of itself to hear the voice of God.

In this post we will be discussing whether or not Jesus Calling is on the same level as Scripture. If it is, it should be obeyed and honored by God's people in the same way that Scripture is.

Direct Revelation

Is the canon of Scripture closed or is God still giving special revelation? If God is still giving direct revelation today then it stands to reason that books such as Jesus Calling should be added to the canon.

2Timothy 3:16 makes it clear that "All Scripture is breathed out by God." And, since every word of God is authoritative, every word received must be heeded and obeyed. So, if someone claims to receive direct revelation from God and then writes down the messages they receive for all to read, they are, in essence, putting their writings on the same level as Scripture.

Sarah Young claims to receive direct revelation from Christ.

"The following year, I began to wonder if I could change my prayer times from monologue to dialogue. I had been writing in prayer journals for many years, but this was one- way communication: I did all the talking. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God might want to communicate to me on a given day. I decided to "listen" with pen in hand, writing down whatever I "heard" in my mind," (JC P.10).

"My journaling thus changed from monologue to dialogue. This new way of communicating with God became the high point of my day," (JC p.12).

Jesus even gives her specific commands such as to listen for His directives, to walk closely with Him each moment and to relax in His "healing presence." Commands about remaining close to Jesus, walking in His presence, and giving anxiety over to Him are replete throughout the book.

"Walk closely with Me each moment, listening for My directives and enjoying My Companionship," (March 23, p.66).

"RELAX IN MY HEALING PRESENCE . As you spend time with Me, your thoughts tend to jump ahead to today’s plans and problems. Bring your mind back to Me for refreshment and renewal. Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me," (Jan. 2, p.3).

Notice the phrase, "Let the Light of My Presence soak into you." Soaking prayer is a part of contemplative spirituality, a dangerous practice that comes straight from Roman Catholic monasticism, brought into the Protestant Church with the help of Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. But that's for another post. For now, we are going to focus on the direct revelation that Young is supposedly receiving from Jesus Himself.

Young claims that only the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant:

"The Bible is the only infallible, inerrant Word of God, and I endeavor to keep my writings consistent with that unchanging standard, (J.C. P.12).

Is Jesus speaking or not? If He is, you better believe His words are infallible and inerrant! If there's any doubt whatsoever, it is foolish to write down and publish what may have come from either a deceitful heart, or worse, another spirit.

Only at the end of the introduction to the book does she say:

"I have written from the perspective of Jesus speaking, to help readers feel more personally connected with Him. So the first person singular ("I," "Me," "My," "Mine") always refers to Christ; "you" refers to you, the reader," (JC p.12).

Although she says she has "written from the perspective of Jesus speaking," on the very same page she says:

"My journaling thus changed from monologue to dialogue. This new way of communicating with God became the high point of my day," (JC p.12).

In the last paragraph of the introduction, she says,

"Themes of thankfulness and trust recurred often during my listening times. These themes are quite prevalent in the Bible, and they are essential for a close relationship with the Lord."

In an interview with CBN, Young says:

"It felt a little awkward the first time I tried it, but I did receive a short message. The content was biblical, and it addressed themes that were current in my life: trust, fear, and closeness to God."

So there is more going on than just writing from the "perspective of Jesus speaking," "dialogue" between Young and Jesus is taking place.

As I said in the beginning of this post, nowhere does Scripture command us to seek God's voice through impressions, inner voices, or promptings. But the Bible itself claims to be sufficient for all of life, and for every situation:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

As I pointed out in the last post, the Word of God alone is what is needed to "complete, and equip" the Christian for "every good work."

God Has Spoken

The opening verses of the book of Hebrews make it clear that God has spoken once and for all through His Son in these last days:

Hebrews 1:1-2 (ESV) ​Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

(ESV Study Bible Notes) Four points of contrast occur between vv. 1 and 2: time of revelation ("long ago" vs. these last days); agent of revelation ("prophets" vs. Son); recipients of revelation ("fathers" vs. us); and, implicitly, the unity of the final revelation in the Son (cf. the "many times and in many ways" in v. 1, implying, by contrast, that this last revelation came at one time, in one way, in and through God's Son). Since God has spoken finally and fully in the Son, and since the NT fully reports and interprets this supreme revelation once the NT is written, the canon of Scripture is complete. No new books are needed to explain what God has done through his Son.

Is Jesus Calling on the Same Level as Scripture?

I think we can answer that question by looking at just one passage of Scripture.

Psalms 19:7-11 (ESV) 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple:

Can Young say that the words she supposedly received from Jesus are "perfect" and "sure," making the simple wise?

8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

Are the words of Jesus in J.C. "right" and "pure, enlightening the eyes" as Scripture claims to do?

9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

Is every word of Jesus in J.C. "clean," "true, and righteous altogether?" Does J.C. cause us to fear the LORD as Scripture does?

10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Scripture has the right to make these claims, does J.C.?

11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

I think you can see my point. If Jesus has truly spoken to Sarah Young then His words to her are on the same level as Scripture; they have to be. Every word God speaks is authoritative and must be heeded and obeyed without question.

I'm sure Sarah Young would never have the audacity to say that J.C. is on the same level as the Bible. But if Jesus Himself spoke to her, and,"Every word of God proves true" (Proverbs 30:5) then the words of Jesus in J.C. should be added after of the book of Revelation.


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