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A BIT OF CONTROVERSY
Not everyone who reads my weekly blog is a Facebook Friend and able to comment on my page. This comment came via an e-mail reader.
“On a recent afternoon talk show on a Christian radio station in Augusta, the author of Jesus Calling was the topic of discussion. The people on this program mentioned that she has inserted some not-so Christian thoughts in recent writings. They indicated that her writings reflect her leaning away from God and toward the angel of light. Specific examples were given.
I have no copies of any of her books and have had no desire to purchase any although I did look at the contents of one book at a local Christian book store last week. In fact, two different Christian book store employees with whom I spoke had not heard about the controversy. These two stores are among the most conservative in our area.
I shall pray that God guards your mind as you read her words and that the Holy Spirit will guide you into Godly Truth.” from L. in Augusta
My response to L’s comment:
I appreciate your prayers and value the mature Christian friendship we share that includes godly concern for one another and truth spoken in love.
As with any author who has published what they feel God has spoken to them after reflecting upon His Word there is always room for human error. I believe that only the Word of God is infallible. However, in Jesus Calling each of Young’s daily reflections are based upon specific scriptures which she references at the end of each reflection. As far as I can tell she is a believer in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of the One True Living God. I have not read her other works and am therefore not at liberty to comment on them.
It has always been my habit that before I read one of Young’s daily writings I first read for myself the scriptures she references, meditate upon them and then read what Young feels the Lord spoke to her when she read the same scriptures. I have never found her thoughts to be contrary to the full counsel of God and often am encouraged by and agree with her admonitions to bear up in faith the trials of life, remain focused on God, and not allow the world to conform me to its image or judge success by its standards. I personally find nothing amiss or alarming in her writings in Jesus Calling.
However, like you, I have heard the rumblings of offense caused by Young’s writing in the first person, in the voice of Christ, by those who feel she has taken the sharing of her thoughts and insights during meditation too far, giving them the appearance of extra-biblical revelation. I also am aware that some Pastors are greatly concerned congregants will be lured by the popularity of Young’s book into substituting Jesus Calling for the Bible in their daily reading. But that argument could be made against reading any daily devotional – could it not?
Having said that and after further research over the concern that Young is “leading masses away from sound doctrine and luring them to follow and practice pantheism,” I must fall back upon the Lord’s instruction in I Corinthians and Romans: “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (I Corinthians 8:9) “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14:13).
Accusing a fellow Christian of practicing Pantheism is a serious charge and one I do not take lightly. Pantheism is the erroneous belief that God is everything and everyone and that everyone and everything is God. The Bible teaches that God is omnipresent (everywhere at once at all times) but does not say the He is everything. That would be like saying the grass is God, a tree is God, an animal is God, the universe is God…you are God. And if that were true, worshiping anything in nature, a rock or an animal or an idol made of gold would have just as much validity as worshiping God. Pantheism is idol worship and the Bible clearly and consistently denounces such practices and warns us of the consequences of breaking the first two of God’s Ten Commandments. This is serious business!
The last thing I would ever want to do in my writing or speaking is cause any harm to a seeker of Christ or fellow follower and believer in Christ. To the best of my ability I to strive to adhere to the Methodist ideal of: Do no harm. Do good. Love God.
Therefore, until the matter of Young’s departure from the absolutes of God’s Word is cleared up and this controversy is longer an issue, I will no longer be pointing my readers in her direction. Thank you for the heads up!