Recently, Scott Walker was at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coallition event before 1,000 people. While there, he read from Jesus Calling. Here’s an excerpt from Religion News Services on the event:
When Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker spoke last Saturday (April 25) to an influential gathering of Christian conservatives in an Iowa church, he brought along a little reading material.
Standing before more than 1,000 people at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, the Wisconsin governor used part of his time to read from “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence,” a Christian devotional written in the first-person voice of Jesus by missionary-turned-author Sarah Young.
This bothers me. Why? Well, I’ll tell you.
Here’s a line right from the article I just linked about the book – it is a “…devotional written in the first-person voice of Jesus by missionary-turned-author Sarah Young.” Yes, read that again. Sarah Young wrote a book claiming it was directly from the mouth of Jesus. She is claiming she is exposing new revelations of Christ. She is claiming to speak on behalf of Jesus or that Jesus is speaking through her. This is un-Biblical, wrong, and dangerous theology.
Why un-Biblical? I’ll let Tim Challies say it better than me:
“…the primary concern relates to Young’s method and her claim that she speaks for Jesus. Many concerned Christians have pointed out that the Bible gives us no clear indicator that we can claim Jesus will speak through us (apart from the Bible) and that Jesus’ agency behind her words is unverifiable. Young implies that though the Bible is inerrant and infallible, it is insufficient. After all, it was not reading Scripture that proved her most important spiritual discipline, but this listening, this receiving of unmediated messages from the Lord. Thus the heart of the book is not the Bible, but these extra-biblical messages from Jesus. Some have pointed out with suspicion that the Jesus of Jesus Calling does not speak in the voice of the Jesus of the Bible, but in the voice of a middle-aged woman.”
The messages are claimed to be from Christ, but are coming from the voice of someone other than Christ. We already received his message and as it was noted in the word, it’s complete – we’re not supposed to add to it (Revelation 22:18-19). This is adding to it, this is un-Biblical.
Why wrong? The message is incorrect and shallow. Michael Horton said, of the book,
“[The message of the book is t]rust me more in daily dependence and you’ll enjoy my presence…Compared with the Psalms, for example, Jesus Calling is remarkably shallow…The Psalms first place before us the mighty acts of God and then call us to respond in confession, trust, and thankfulness. But in Jesus Calling I’m repeatedly exhorted to look to Christ, rest in Christ, trust in Christ, to be thankful and long for a deeper sense of his presence, with little that might provoke any of this. Which means that I’m directed not actually to Christ but to my own inner struggle to be more trustful, restful, and thankful.”
Why is it dangerous? It sets the precedent that extra Biblical revelation is more important than the word of God. It sets the stage to believe that there are extra Biblical messages still coming from Christ which are more important than the Word or more worthy of your time. It’s wrong, it’s dangerous, and it’s un-Biblical.
I’m disappointed in Scott Walker, as one who claims Christ and claims to be an Evangelical Christian, but I am not super surprised. A lot of Christians have fallen into this trap of this and many other “self-help Christian books” of modern Christianity. But, if it’s not pointing to the cross, pointing us to rely on the majesty of the Lord, pointing us to act/repent, pointing us to trust Christ as Lord – it’s wrong. This is a theological problem I have with Scott Walker.
Does it mean I wouldn’t vote for him? No, it just means I don’t agree with his theology or the books he choses to read. I voted for a Mormon for President in 2012 and I have far more theological differences with their beliefs. I pray Governor Walker realizes the error and seeks the word, not a false prophets words claiming to come from Christ.