Between God Calling and the Jesus Calling Series
© 2018 BNES
See also, Training Manual for Mediums? - Quotations from the God Calling Books and the Jesus Calling Series
“We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible . . . ”
— One of the “Two Listeners,” God Calling intro
(A. J. Russell, ed., “The Voice Divine,” God Calling (Old Tappan, NJ: Spire Books, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1976), p. 12.)
“I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.”
— Sarah Young, Jesus Calling original intro
(Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. XII, (12 13 14 15 RRD 48 47 46 45 44).
Sarah Young’s best-selling 2004 book Jesus Calling and its sequels appear to be sound, biblical devotionals because of their familiar Christian language, occasional orthodox statements, and abundant scripture references. However, a detailed study reveals remarkable parallels with the best-selling 1935 devotional God Calling, a book “replete with denials of biblical teaching.”
A few similarities are apparent at first glance: the text is written as if “Jesus” is speaking directly to the reader, the narrative voice is soothing and reassuring, and the messages are sprinkled with scripture fragments. But beyond the structural parallels, there are considerable overlaps in content—¬ the books share distinctive word choice, phrasing, and ideas throughout.
To establish how closely God Calling and the Jesus Calling series are linked, a detailed comparison is presented here. This booklet is a collection of 270 quotations from eight of Young’s devotionals compared with quotations from God Calling. The quantity and detail of the similarities suggest that God Calling substantially influenced the writing of the Jesus Calling series.
In fact, the original introduction to Jesus Calling explicitly acknowledged an inspirational influence from God Calling. While this acknowledgement was redacted in later editions, the influence remains. The original introduction is presented along with the revised version in Appendix A.
How Is God Calling Problematic?
Listed below are a few God Calling passages that conflict with the Bible, together with opposing scriptures:
“I am actually at the centre of every man’s being” (GC Mar 16)
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15 KJV)
“I, who could command a universe—I await the commands of My children.” (GC Apr 03)
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14 KJV)
“I need you more than you need Me.” (GC Mar 29)
If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. (Psalm 50:12 KJV)
“Know no theology. Know Me.” (GC Nov 20)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3 KJV)
“Trust in the Spirit Forces of the Unseen, not in those you see.” (GC Oct 23)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God (1 John 4:1 KJV)
“Have you ever thought what it means to be able to summon at will the God of the World?” (GC Jun 25)
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Cor. 4:4 KJV)
As a particularly obvious example, God Calling promotes the forbidden practice of communicating with the dead. Even though Deuteronomy 18:12 describes necromancers as “an abomination to the LORD,” God Calling encourages the reader to turn to deceased loved ones for help:
Your loved ones are very safe in My Keeping. Learning and loving and working, theirs is a life of happiness and progress. They live to serve, and serve they truly do. They serve Me and those they love. Ceaselessly they serve. . . . How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand better, protect better, plan better, and even plead better their cause with Me. You do well to remember your friends in the Unseen. Companying with them the more you live in this Unseen World the gentler will be your passing when it comes. (GC Sep 06)
More exposition can be found in references on p. 41, but these examples and many more show that God Calling presents a contrary message to that found in Scripture. Through the lens of the less nuanced God Calling devotional, the underlying message of Young’s devotionals becomes more evident.
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