Discernment, False Teachers

“Jesus Calling”/Sarah Young

If you are considering commenting or sending me an e-mail objecting to the fact that I warn against certain teachers, please click here and read this article first. Your objection is most likely answered here. I won’t be publishing comments or answering emails that are answered by this article.

This article is kept continuously updated as needed.

This article is what I call a “clearinghouse article”. It is a collection of articles written by others on the teacher, ministry, or unbiblical trend named below. Either I have not had the time to write a full blown article on it myself, or I felt that the articles listed did a fine job of explaining the biblical issues and there was no need to reinvent the wheel.

Disclaimer: I did not write the articles below, and I am not thoroughly familiar with all of the websites used in my clearinghouse articles. I do not endorse anything on these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Here are the  biblical criteria I use when deciding whether or not to recommend a teacher, ministry, etc.:

Generally speaking, in order for me to recommend a teacher, speaker, or author, he or she has to meet three criteria:

a) A female teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly preach to or teach men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12. A male teacher or pastor cannot allow women to carry out this violation of Scripture in his ministry. The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be living in any other sin (for example, cohabiting with her boyfriend or living as a homosexual).

b) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers. This is a violation of Scripture.

c) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.

I recommend against any teacher or ministry who violates one or more of these biblical tenets.

I am not very familiar with most of the teachers I’m asked about (there are so many out there!) and have not had the opportunity to examine their writings or hear them speak, so most of the “quick checking” I do involves items a and b (although in order to partner with false teachers (b) it is reasonable to assume their doctrine is acceptable to the false teacher and that they are not teaching anything that would conflict with the false teacher’s doctrine). Partnering with false teachers and women preaching to men are each sufficient biblical reasons not to follow a pastor, teacher, or author, or use his/her materials.

Just to be clear, “not recommended” is a spectrum. On one end of this spectrum are people like Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth and Kay Arthur. These are people I would not label as false teachers because their doctrine is generally sound, but because of some red flags I’m seeing with them, you won’t find me proactively endorsing them or suggesting them as a good resource, either. There are better people you could be listening to. On the other end of the spectrum are people like Joyce Meyer and Rachel Held Evans- complete heretics whose teachings, if believed, might lead you to an eternity in Hell. Most of the teachers I review fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum (leaning toward the latter).

If you’d like to check out some pastors and teachers I heartily recommend, click the Recommended Bible Teachers tab at the top of this page.

Jesus Calling / Sarah Young
Not Recommended

Primary issues with Jesus Calling (and the entire Jesus Calling franchise/spin-offs) / Sarah Young: Twists and mishandles Scripture, false doctrine (extra-biblical revelation, New Age channeling and automatic writing)

Book Reviews

Book Review: Jesus Calling By Sarah Young at Rick Thomas

Book Review on The (sic) Jesus Calling at CARM

Toxic Devotion: A Review of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling by Bob DeWaay

Theological Issues

A Jesus Calling for Christmas Special by Gabriel Hughes

That’s Not Jesus Calling at Grace to You

Are there any doctrinal problems with Jesus Calling? at Got Questions

Jesus Isn’t Calling, God Has Already Spoken at Sheologians

Podcast Interview with Marcia Montenegro About “Jesus Calling” at Messed Up Church

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: A False Jesus? by Marcia Montenegro

Jesus Calling By Sarah Young: WUI (Writing Under The Influence) at Christian Answers for the New Age

10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling by Tim Challies

Specific Incidents with Jesus Calling / Sarah Young

David Jeremiah endorses Jesus Calling at Berean Examiner

Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ at Berean Research


“Another Jesus” Calling: How Sarah Young’s False Christ is Deceiving the Church by Warren B. Smith

Collections of Articles

Jesus Calling articles at Berean Research

6 thoughts on ““Jesus Calling”/Sarah Young”

  1. This is an amazing “collage” of discernment info. I love it! I can use these “clearinghouse” posts to help point people to problems within today’s churches. I can just share one or more about each subject to help others read about it their selves. I’m going to make a little folder of them on my home screen so I can get to them easily. Thanks, Michelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michelle, I urge you to change Sarah Young from “Not Recommended” to “False Teacher”. She claims to hear from God outside of scripture.


    1. Hi Beth- On articles like this about individual teachers the categories I use are “recommended” and “not recommended” (this is explained a bit near the end of the introduction to this article). However, if you’ll click on the “Popular False Teachers & Unbiblical Trends” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, you’ll find Sarah Young’s name listed there.

      I use “recommended” and “not recommended” on the articles themselves because there are some evangelicals who see the term “false teacher” and immediately dismiss or ignore anything that follows because “It must have been written by one of those crazy discernment bloggers who thinks EVERYBODY is a false teacher.” Women take my articles and show them to their women’s ministry directors and pastors when their churches are using materials by these false teachers, and I want them to at least be able to get a foot in the door instead of being immediately dismissed.

      It’s really of little consequence whether Christians accept or use the label of “false teacher” for these people as long as they know to stay away from them and why.

      Hope this helps to clarify. :0)


  3. Thank you for your work here. I was volunteering for a Christian organization and things seemed a bit “off”. I couldn’t put my finger on it until they hauled out the “Jesus Calling” book and repeatedly read from its pages. Sigh. I just left the organization rather than saying anything. I also left a church after attending it for a number of years after I posted something where Joyce M. twisted scripture very badly and then gave the wrong address for the scripture in the Bible and THEN said she like to push fundamentalists off a cliff. I guess they cut into her bottom line. My pastor called me and gently reprimanded me for posting that ANYONE is a false teacher and that it’s not my place. His wife, a dear friend, also told me it’s not my business to criticize any pastors. I grew up in the Worldwide Church of God and can see where that kind of thinking leads. I found a different church; but am saddened by the lack of discernment in many churches.


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