from challies.com

Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling is a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down. According to publisher Thomas Nelson, it “continues to grow in units sold each year since it was released [and] has surpassed 15 million copies sold.” Nelson is involved in an expansive new marketing campaign that involves a new web site and daily radio devotionals. ECPA reports that “Thomas Nelson began its partnership with the Salem Media group to provide 60-second daily messages on Eric Metaxas’ show, which is carried on more than 100 stations nationwide and worldwide on SiriusXM Radio. The Jesus Calling radio devotional reaches more than 500,000 people each day through these segments.” With 15 million copies sold, it has marched its way into rare company.

Yet it is a deeply troubling book. I am going to point out 10 serious problems with Jesus Calling in the hope that you will consider and heed these warnings.

1. She speaks for God. Far and away the most troubling aspect of the book is its very premise—that Sarah Young hears from Jesus and then dutifully brings his messages to her readers. Jesus Calling makes the boldest, gutsiest, and, to my mind, most arrogant claim of any book ever to be considered Christian. The publisher describes the book in this way: “After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world. In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace (italics mine).” There is no way to avoid her claim that she is communicating divine revelation, a claim that raises a host of questions and concerns, not the least of which is the doctrine of Scripture alone which assures us that the Bible and the Bible alone is sufficient to guide us in all matters of faith and practice.

2. She proclaims the insufficiency of the BibleJesus Calling only exists because Sarah Young had a deep desire to hear from God outside of the Bible. In the introduction she describes the book’s genesis: “I began to wonder if I … could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day.” In those few sentences she sets up unnecessary competition between her revelation and what we are told of the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “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.” Biblically, there is no category for what she provides as the heart and soul of her book. Biblically, there is no need for it and no reason we should expect or heed it.

3. Her deepest experience of God comes through a practice God does not endorse. Young does not only endorse her practice of listening, but goes so far as to elevate it as the chief spiritual discipline. “This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The messages that follow address that felt need.” Notice that her solution to addressing the desire for Jesus’ Presence and Peace is not Scripture or any other means of grace, but the very messages she provides in her book.

4. She is inspired by untrustworthy models. In early versions of Jesus Calling, Young tells of her discovery of the book God Calling and the way she modeled her practice of listening on it. She describes it as “a devotional book written by two anonymous ‘listeners.’ These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. This little paperback became a treasure to me. It dove-tailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.” It is worth noting that recent versions of Jesus Calling have been scrubbed of this information. God Calling is an equally troubling book that saw much success beginning in the 1930s and has seen a revival of interest in the wake of Jesus Calling. It is at times subbiblical and at other times patently unbiblical. And yet it is a book she regards as a treasure and a model for her own work.

5. She provides lesser revelation. Young admits that her revelation is different from the Bible’s (“The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard”), but does not explain how her writings are different. Jesse Johnson says, “She does grant that the content of Jesus Calling should be measured against Scripture—but that is true of Scripture as well. In the end, there is no substantial difference in how Young expects us to view Jesus’ words to her, than how we are to view the Bible. I mean, Jesus’ words to Sarah are literally packaged into a devotional, so that we can do our devotionals from them every day.” If her words are actually from Jesus, how can they be any less authoritative or less binding than any word of Scripture?

Read the full article here.

from blogos:

Christianity is built on the foundational belief that Jesus died and rose again on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The Qur’an frequently mentions Jesus, calling Him a messenger of Allah or one of the prophets (Sura 5:75). What does Islam teach about the death of Jesus?

Sura 4:157 in the Qur’an is key to understanding the Muslim view of the death of Jesus. It reads, “That they said [in boast], ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.” According to this authoritative Muslim teaching, Jesus did not die on the cross, but it only appeared that He did.

Then what happened to Jesus according to teachers of Islam? Muslim interpreters themselves are divided regarding the end of Jesus’ earthly life. Sura 19:33 teaches, “So peace is on me [Jesus] the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life [again]”! Yet most Muslim scholars teach that this phrase “raised up to life [again]” will take place at the second coming of Jesus when He sets up an Islamic kingdom. As Sura 3:55 teaches, “Behold! Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee [of the falsehoods] of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.'” What is clear is that the Qur’an teaches Jesus will return to earth at the end of time.

Another view is that Jesus did not die on the cross but was taken up or translated to Heaven where He now dwells with Allah. It is believed He will someday return and initiate an Islamic rule over the world.

The irony is that though the Qur’an is uncertain how Jesus died, it contradicts the known historical facts regarding His death by crucifixion. His death was not only recorded in all four Gospels and other New Testament books, but was mentioned in historical documents from ancient times such as Josephus and Tacitus. Further, there is no credible alternative to the view of Jesus dying on the cross. To believe Jesus was not the person on the cross is to suggest that His closest followers and own mother did not recognize Him, nor did those who put Jesus to death. Further, if Jesus was “replaced” on the cross, who was His replacement?

No adequate alternative exists other than the biblical account that Jesus died on the cross. The question is whether He rose from the dead on the third day. If He did, He both fulfilled prophecy and proved His power over death as the Son of God, something that leads us to believe in Him by faith and receive eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). Further, those who have placed their faith in Him are called to love Him and others (Matthew 22:37-40) as well as to urgently share His message with all who will listen (Romans 1:16; Matthew 28:18-19).



A number of churches in recent years have taken to the course of being ‘relevant’, by offering alternatives to Halloween.  One congregation that has taken this to an extreme is Passion Church of Maple Grove, Minnesota by incorporating the evil-themed Michael Jackson video ‘THRILLER’ in its services.

In an interview with local TV station KSTP, church leader Jason Bailey says:

“Everyone loves Michael Jackson so it’s an easy invite.  As a church, we just want to take a strong stance to say that you can overcome your fear, regardless of what it is,” he said. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  As a church, we just have a strong belief that do not have to be anti-culture to be pro God.”

The church has made this an annual event, having performed the ‘THRILLER’ feature in previous years.  A number of other churches around the country have also tried to copy the ‘success’ of Passion Church’s performance, and have created Halloween activities featuring the video and dance routine.  A search on YouTube reveals more than a dozen congregations that have posted videos of their production using the Michael Jackson song, including Ignite Church in Winterville, North Carolina, The Potter’s House in Denver, Colorado, and Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas.

When Michael Jackson produced the ‘THRILLER’ video, his family’s long-time association with the Jehovah’s Witnesses brought him under fire, and he was excommunicated from the church because of the video’s overarching Satanic themes.  Jackon’s attempts to add a disclaimer to the video only served to ignite further controversy:

“Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult – Michael Jackson

The lyrics of the superstar’s song and video speak for themselves:

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’awl’s neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller

Yet, in spite of this overtly Satanic message that the video promotes, followers of Passion Church testify to ‘many coming to Christ’, as revealed in the following post from Twitter:


Use of haunted house imagery, including skulls, tombstones, and zombies are prevelant not only in the performance, but also the sermon devlivered by Pastor Jonathan Brozozog.

False Teacher Alert!

This quote here is a glaring reason why Juanita Bynum and Global United Fellowship should be avoided:

“we will focus on the Cultivation of Spiritual gifts rather than on doctrines and theological positions. They firmly believe that there is more that “Unites Us” than that which “divides us”.”

When a group puts “spiritual gifts” ahead of Doctrine, it means they do not believe in the sufficiency of God’s Word: The Bible! And you should run from that group!

From Yolanda Adams Morning Show!

This past week  it was announced that Juanita would be elevated  to the position of Bishop, by Bishop Neil C. Ellis, presiding bishop of Global United Fellowship.  GUF is a Christian Fellowship that embraces Churches, Ministries, Fellowships, and Pastors who acknowledge, accept and submit to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

GUF professes they will not allow any name denomination, doctrine, tradition, socio-economic or Cultural composition, to separate or prevent us from experiencing the authentic fellowship of the Saints of the Living God.  Our mission is to foster biblical Unity among Christian Believers as one Body in Christ.

Their focus is on empowering and the perfecting of the saints through biblical training, mentoring, discipling,personal and ministry development.  Furthermore, we will focus on the Cultivation of Spiritual gifts rather than on doctrines and theological positions. They firmly believe that there is more that “Unites Us” than that which “divides us”.

Bynum’s ministry began to flourish in 1997 when she released her video and audiotape “No More Sheets,” which is about her transformation from the her old sexual lifestyle. In 1999, she again spoke about “No More Sheets” to enlighten the people at Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Woman Thou Art Loosed Conference.

Congratulations to Bynum on her new appointment as Bishop, and we hope it will be a blessing in her life.

From John Muncy:

This is going to be one of those posts you will not want to “like”. Because it goes against the very grain of our culture and society. Americans are about success and wealth. And the American Gospel is about success wealth. The most popular American preachers of our day are proclaimers of success and wealth.

But how does this line up with what Jesus preached and taught? Read this following statement from the Lord Jesus VERY carefully…

Mark 10:23
“And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Are you serious? Can we truly believe that Jesus is claiming that those who have riches will have a hard time entering the Kingdom of God?

So that there is no mistake in what was being said here, the reaction of His disciples makes it clear that they too were blown away by the Lord’s statement…

Mark 10:26
“And THEY WERE ASTONISHED OUT OF MEASURE, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?”

Before I get into the answer the Lord gives, let’s consider what He was saying and how it applies to you and I living in modern America. Because we are FILTHY RICH people in this nation!!!! (Oh, I’m sure you don’t think you are “filthy rich” – but, when compared with 90% of the world’s population – YOU and I are stinkin’, filthy rich!!!!!) But we can’t see it…

The thought of being content with just merely having food and clothes seems to be the furthest thing from our minds, even though this is what is clearly taught in our New Testaments. (See 1 Timothy 6:8)


Do you have fresh, clean running water in your house? Do you have it available in more than one place in your house – such as a sink in your kitchen or in your bathroom (or bathrooms). Do you have inside plumbing that allows you to take a warm shower, or wash your clothes in a washing machine? Can you flush the toilet and have sewage removed from your house as simple as that? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

Do you have electricity in your house, where at the touch of a button you can have light, a toaster, or a stove, a refrigerator? Do you have any other types of electronics, such as a computer, the Internet, a stereo, a radio, a television or any of the typical electronics of the day that permits you to connect with much of the world at the tip of your fingers? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

Can you open up a closet and see several pieces of clothing hanging in there? Do you have more than a couple shirts/blouses, pants/dresses? Do you have more than one pair of shoes? Do you have jackets, hats, scarfs, belts and other accessories? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

Can you dial 911 and get a police or fire department response to come to your aid? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

Do you have a form of transportation such as an automobile, a motorcycle, or even a bicycle that allows you to get to places faster than walking? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

Can you open up the cupboard or a drawer and find food in your house? Do you live at a place where you can drive to a store and buy food? Do you have access to a grocery or a restaurant? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

Do you have a place you can go to, such as a hospital or emergency room, or a local doctor in case you ever got sick or hurt? YOU MUST BE STINKIN’ RICH!

THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD DON’T LIVE IN THIS TYPE OF WEALTH! And yet most of us think nothing of it, and completely take it all for granted. We would only have to go back a couple of generations and find that most of our relatives had none of these things.

Is there anything wrong with these things? No. So why am I making it an issue today? Because of what these things seem to be doing to all of us…

THESE THINGS SEEM TO REPLACE OUR UTTER DEPENDENCE AND TRUST ON GOD. Who needs God when we have a successful job, a car, a house, a cupboard of food, a bank account, a good doctor, and a boatload of activities? When you become successful and wealthy, and you don’t worry about where your next meal is coming from, you can then fret about things like your chip on your manicured fingernail or the small scratch on nice riding lawnmower.

When Jesus said to look at flowers that dress better than kings, and birds that get fed each day, He was saying that they all expressed a dependence on God that us humans seem to struggle with, even though we are consider much more important than they. It’s a shame that we make such a big deal over the trivial things of life, while we completely overlook the most important things of life.

Mark 10:24
And the disciples were ASTONISHED at His words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for THEM THAT TRUST IN RICHES to enter into the kingdom of God!

That’s the whole point – trust! What Jesus was saying that so shocked His disciples is really quite easy; He was saying that we have a tendency to have things that end up HAVING US! And we find that we put our trust in our success and wealth. Jesus said this is why it is so hard for successful/wealthy people to enter the Kingdom of God – they depend on it, rather than Him. They trust their things. We all do it.

We get up each morning, flip the light switch and trust our room will light up. We walk up to the sink, turn a knob and trust that we can pour ourselves a cool glass of water. From that point throughout the entire day, we live in a world of ease and convenience – and expect it to always be that way. But that is only how STINKIN’ RICH people think!

Until we come to the place that we realize that none of us deserve any of these things and that even the best of our conveniences will never replace our ULTIMATE DEPENDENCE upon God, we will never know what it means to truly TRUST IN THE LORD.

When you get to the place that you see that your house, your car, your job, your bank account, your health, and your very breath is nothing short of the grace of God, then and then alone will all of this make sense.

Somebody will die today in their nice automobile. What will their beautiful shoes mean to them when they are laying inside their car after a head-on collision and their life is quickly fading away? Will they be so concern that their 401K is doing good? Will it really matter that they had the nicest lawn in the neighborhood? Who will care that they liked their Starbucks extra hot? Will any of these “important” things be important when they realize that they will stand before a holy God in a few moments?

Put your TRUST in God, not things! For EVERY thing is passing away!

THINK ABOUT IT! – John Muncy

From Answers in Genesis:

by Ken Ham on October 20, 2015

In the latest issue of World magazine, Bart Campolo, son of well-known speaker, author, sociologist, pastor, and social activist Tony Campolo, gives frank answers about his walk away from Christianity and his new job as a “humanist chaplain” at a secular university in California. You can read the interview for yourself.

I would like to make two comments about Bart Campolo’s statements given to World magazine:

  1. When asked the question, “What spiritual nurturing would someone who doesn’t believe in a spiritual life need?,” Campolo answered, “It’s interesting that you should ask, because here’s the thing. If somebody came to the conclusion, as I did a number of years ago, ‘I think this life is all there is. I think that when I die I’ll be dead,’ the most immediate question that came to me was, if this is it, how do you make the most of it? I have this wonderful opportunity to be a sentient human being, to be able to think and feel and understand and fall in love and have relationships.” He goes on to talk about helping others who don’t believe in God to have a fulfilling life.

    But Campolo believes that once he dies, and when others (including the people he supposedly helps have a fulfilling life) also die, then that will be the end of them! They won’t even know they ever existed. So for all his fluffy talk about living a full life and falling in love, and so on, ultimately life is all totally pointless! All he is doing is leading others to a purposeless, meaningless life—on their way to eternal separation from God in a place the Bible calls hell.

    From other statements Campolo made to the magazine, it seems that the issues of why there is suffering and death in the world had an effect on whether he could believe in a loving God. However, unless you take a stand on a literal Genesis (which his father, by the way does not), you cannot understand that we are living in a fallen world (Genesis 3)—we are not in the original “very good” world God created.

  2. Over the years, I have seen that when there’s compromise on God’s Word in one generation, often there is much more of a rejection of God’s Word in the next. Tony Campolo, who from all accounts is a genial man (though terribly wrong theologically in many areas), is often called a founder of the “Christian left” and was a spiritual advisor to former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Even his recent statement on gay “marriage” tells us where he stands on the authority of Scripture: “It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” I personally believe his slide into liberalism (both theological and political) had a significant effect on his son. (A few years ago a couple of our staff members talked to his son, who used to live in our area, and heard him speak about social issues; Bart appeared to be in alignment with his father on many issues.)

    What happened here with Bart Campolo should be another reminder to parents to be diligent in training their children to stand uncompromisingly on the Word of God and in equipping them to defend the Christian faith. Knowing what his father believed and taught, Bart did not grow up in a household where the Word of God was authoritative and accurate from Genesis to Revelation. Yes, we’re seeing more and more young people walking away from the church. The statistics are frightening, and I want to challenge you to help us bring back the lost generation. Know the statistics, know the problem, and be a part of the solution.

I encourage you to equip yourself, your family, your friends, your pastor, and your church with key resources to train your youth: Already Gone, Already Compromised, and Ready to Return. The foundation of our Christian doctrines is in the book of Genesis, where the gospel begins.

Please join me in genuine prayer for the Campolo family, and for our church’s young people who are the next generation.

from Got Questions:

In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Word of Faith or prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:5, 9-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”


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