Once Aryan Skynet Goes Live It Doesn't Matter Who Pulled The Switch
Judeo-Christianity just keeps getting dumber and weirder if one of my Christmas presents this year was any indication. One of my Gen-X neocon cousins apparently let his Christian convert Jew wife do the couple’s shopping for presents this year. Proof that not every Ashkenazi inherits their famous intellect, this is a woman that even my grandmother, a lifelong Christian herself, has described as a “religious fanatic”. Thankfully, they sent their presents along and weren’t present at the gathering to witness my barbarian smirk on receiving from them a little book titled Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence.
The author, Sarah Young, is a missionary whose devotional writing has met with the prestigious stamp of approval of such exemplars of Christian decency as failed Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker. What makes her unique among purveyors of such kitsch is that she claims to have accessed the book’s content through “messages” dictated to her from Heaven, with the whole of the text written in the first person, as if authored by Jesus Christ Himself.
Ruth Graham of The Daily Beast reported on the Jesus Calling phenomenon last year:
The seventh-best selling book in America last year was a 10-year-old Christian devotional written by a woman who claims to have written down the words of God. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence sold more copies in 2013 than the much more buzzed-about titles Lean In, the latest Stephen King book, and 50 Shades of Grey, according to Nielsen BookScan. Overall, more than 10 million copies in 26 languages have been sold since the book’s inauspicious debut in 2004. […]
Despite Young’s absence from the conference and media circuit where so many inspirational books find an audience, Jesus Calling has become a veritable industry unto itself. It has spawned apps, journals, calendars, deluxe leather editions, special versions for teens and women, and a follow-up called Jesus Today, which also became a best-seller and was named 2013 Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Publisher Thomas Nelson says it sold more than 2.5 million Jesus Calling products by 2013 not counting the original book itself. The book has also inspired unaffiliated homages like Heaven Calling and The Spirit Calling.
If Jesus Calling has become a cash cow for its author and publisher, it has also, it’s fair to surmise, become something of a headache. Though many evangelicals talk of listening for God’s voice and experiencing his presence, the notion of speaking publicly in the voice of God is questionable at best, heretical at worst. Young’s book has prompted objections from within the mainstream evangelical community, from people who say the book is misleading, or even dangerous. “She puts her thoughts into the first person and then presents that ‘person’ as the resurrected Lord,” David Crump, professor of religion at evangelical Calvin College, told Christianity Today. “I’m tempted to call this blasphemy.”
Thomas Nelson specifically requested I not use the word “channeling” to describe Young’s first-person writing in the voice of Jesus—the word has New Age connotations—but it’s hard to avoid it in describing the book’s rhetorical approach. And on the edges of evangelicalism, where alertness to “New Age” influence runs high, concern has bloomed into outrage. Writer Warren B. Smith, who calls himself an “ex-New Ager,” wrote a 2013 book called ‘Another Jesus’ Calling, devoted entirely to dismantling Young’s claims to orthodoxy. In it, he calls the book “an obvious attempt by our spiritual Adversary to get an even further foothold inside the Christian church.”
Thomas Nelson has clearly heard the complaints that Jesus Calling is heretical; the introduction to recent editions of the book includes subtle but significant changes.
In early editions, Young’s introduction pays specific respect to a book called God Calling, a 1932 devotional edited by British writer A.J. Russell, who claimed not to have written the book himself. He said the book was written by two anonymous female “listeners” who wrote down what they thought were messages from God. The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, a guidebook published by evangelical Harvest House, says God Calling is “replete with denials of biblical teaching.” […]
The latest edition of Jesus Calling includes some important changes. The paragraph about God Calling has been deleted, and references to received “messages” have been changed to the less mystically inflected “writings” and “devotions.” In a passage in which Young recounts her early attempts to write down what God told her, the new version characterizes this as “focusing on Jesus and His Word, while asking Him to guide my thoughts.” Thomas Nelson refers to the book as “Sarah’s prayer journal,” emphasizing that Young is not claiming to speaking for Jesus. A skeptical reader, comparing the two introductions, would see an effort by a publisher to bring an increasingly controversial but lucrative best-seller into line with mainstream evangelical orthodoxy.
Among the many nuggets of wisdom extended to readers of Jesus Calling – whether cupped in the glowing hands of the King of the Jews or the blood-dripping claws of New Age Satan, I really don’t pretend to know – one in particular beamed more brightly than the others. “Sit quietly in My Presence, letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking,” my personal Savior, Computer Programmer, and MK Ultra Technician commands me on page 200. Gee, a book published by a Rupert Murdoch News Corp asset that tells its readers to close their eyes, open their minds, and let some corporate incense waft into their heads so as to become complicit in their own brainwashing. Why am I not surprised?
I suppose this is the thanks I get for being a horrible neo-Nazi and sending Jewish “Holocaust” revisionist David Cole’s memoir Republican Party Animal to my cousin for Christmas last year. “Dear Lord!” I can imagine his idiot wife exclaiming after leafing through it with big, cartoonishly gawking eyes. “Looks like your cousin could use a little faith booster! I’ll tell Jesus to give him a ring the next time I have one of my powwows with Him.”
See y’all at Jesus Camp!