Ex New Ager, Spiritualist & Professional Astrologer, participated in past life regression, astral travel, spirit contact, tarot cards and had spirit guides… Marcia Montenegro is a woman who I highly admire and have loved her resources for years!!!
She’s been a guest on my radio show The Supernatural with Laura Maxwell and her articles have featured on my blog. I HIGHLY recommend you check out her blog and Facebook page. (Details at foot of her below post).
“JESUS ALWAYS” BY SARAH YOUNG WINS 2018 CHRISTIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR
By Marcia Montenegro.
Sarah Young’s bestselling “Jesus Always” (Thomas Nelson), one in a series of devotionals, won the 2018 Christian Book of the Year. See https://bit.ly/2JVaRey
Before this book came out, Bible Gateway introduced it by emailing the first several devotionals to anyone signing up for them. Having read and written on “Jesus Calling,” I signed up in order to read them and comment, and then I wrote posts on the devotionals for days 1, 3, and 4 (links below).
As far as I know, all of Sarah Young’s Jesus devotionals put words in the mouth of Jesus. In the first edition, she claimed she listened to hear Jesus speak, and then wrote down what he said (this was altered in the later 10th anniversary edition – see links to my articles below).
Here are my main objections (includes objections to “Jesus Calling”)
1) Young claimed Jesus gave her these words (this was claimed in the preface to the first book and I quote her) which means they would be equal to Scripture. It also means Scripture as given in the Bible is insufficient.
2) Young writes the devotional parts as though Jesus said the words — even if one argues that Young is not claiming Jesus said them, this is literally putting words in Jesus’ mouth. This raises issues of speaking for Jesus (or appearing to) and can lead to confusion for new believers, unbelievers, undiscerning believers.
3) Many of the things this Jesus says are seriously inconsistent with the character of Christ or with Scripture. I give specific examples in my articles.
4) Young writes that she was inspired to listen for Jesus by the book “God Calling,” which is at odds with Christianity! I have a section in my articles on “God Calling.” If Young was inspired by this book, which she calls a “treasure,” this is evidence of a serious lack of discernment, so how can we trust what she writes supposedly from Jesus in any of her books?
5) How can this be Jesus when the words coming out of his mouth (as written in these books) are so trite and sappy? In contrast, the words of Jesus in the Gospels shine with profound wisdom and piercing insight. To attribute the cloying words we see in Young’s book to Jesus demeans him.
6) Attributing words to Jesus that he did not say violates several serious biblical principles and commands.
Young’s Books for Children.
Even more disturbing are the children’s versions of these books. For January 1, in the children’s version of Jesus Always, “Jesus” says:
==I have placed signs of My loving Presence all throughout your day. Do you see them? The smile of a friend, the gift of a small flower blooming in a sidewalk crack, a hug from someone who loves you.==From “look inside” feature on Amazon
Comments from CANA:
It is very close to pantheism to equate a friend’s smile or a flower to God’s presence. If there is no smile that day, or there is a dead flower, or if it’s a terrible day and the child is sick or suffers in some way, what then? What happens to God’s presence — does it mean he’s not there? Does it mean his presence is not loving? Can we only know God’s presence through the good, and not the bad? These are false promises and false signs and could cause a child to stumble in faith.
A child should not be taught to look for God’s presence in random objects or people. Rather, a child should learn who God is from the Bible, and that his love is there no matter what happens, good or bad. A child can learn that:
1) We know God cannot be contained and so he is present in creation, but he is distinct from it
2) We know God is with us through faith in Christ
3) Creation shows there is a Creator, but God is not part of creation (Romans 1)
4) We learn to trust God through knowing him and what he has done, and we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
These ideas can be taught to children gently and carefully from God’s word.
Biblical Theism teaches God to be both transcendent — beyond the created world — and present in the world, or immanent. God is omnipresent (present everywhere) because He cannot be contained in any one locality: “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?” (Is. 66:1; see also 1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chron. 2:6; Ps. 139:7-10; Jer. 23: 23-24; Acts 17:24).==(from CANA article on One Thousand Gifts at https://bit.ly/2MLAUmi
Another issue is that the books imply that it is supposedly Jesus who is speaking. So will not a child think this is like reading the Bible and equate these words to those in the Bible? I don’t see how a child would not do so. If the child is told that it’s not really Jesus, that it’s only what he might say, then that is confusing as well. If Jesus is not saying these things, why write them as though he is?
I briefly looked through a few other pages and it’s the same repetitive superficiality found in Jesus Always and Jesus Calling for adults. No matter what the words may be, the major issues remain raised in the objections above.
We are to measure spiritual teachings — especially any said to be from Jesus himself! — by God’s word, not by our feelings or if we think it is comforting, and these books fail in many ways.
By Marcia Montenegro
“Jesus Always” wins 2018 Christian book award. See the CANA response athttps://www.facebook.com/103502882236/posts/10155271230252237/
Jesus Always, Day One
Jesus Always, Day Three
Jesus Always, Day Four
CANA Articles on Jesus Calling
On blog of Southern Evangelical Seminary (includes information on changes in 10th Anniversary edition)
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Former New Age Spiritualist, Laura graduated from Strathclyde University, Scotland, earning a BA Honours degree in Psychology.
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