I have recently read multiple posts or articles questioning the integrity/appropriateness of the popular devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. Most of the controversy seems to stem from the author’s device of using first person to describe “conversations” with Jesus. The author freely states that these words are not “infallible” or “canonical”, but simply descriptive of conversations with Jesus during devotional periods.
I do not see anything wrong with that, given the disclaimers in the Forward/Introduction. Use of first person is a powerful device to describe how the messages came to her. This device has been used in many sermons/homilies, especially around Easter. I do not want to add to the controversy or continue it as a doubtful disputation. But, I would be remiss if I let this criticism pass without telling my side.
Many people have quiet times with Jesus. Many experience Jesus talking to them during this time. Every Sunday (or Saturday for Sabbath keepers) we would be without the weekly sermon if no one ever repeated what Jesus had spoken to them during these quiet times of fellowship with Christ. So what is the problem? Certainly, it could not be the fact that Sarah Young dares to speak out as a woman, with a separate and distinct relationship with Jesus! What part of Galatians 3:28 do you not understand?
Galatians 3:28 (NKJV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I am suspicious of those who say, Mark 9:38-40 (ASV)
38 … we saw one casting out demons in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followed not us.
The reply is poignant:
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man who shall do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is for us.
It seems to me that we might take our lead from the Bible itself in this matter:
Acts 5:34-39 (NKJV)
34 Then one in the council stood up, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in respect by all the people, and commanded them to put the apostles outside for a little while.
35 And he said to them: “Men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do regarding these men.
36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing.
37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.
38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing;
39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God.”
That’s the best advice I can give, and that’s all I have to say about that!