Apostasy is spreading everywhere throughout the “Christian” world, and the command by God’s Holy word to “test all things” has never been more appropriate as is now. No resource, organization, or person, no matter what reputation it has had through the years, should be exempt from scrutiny. I have found that to be the case with Guideposts, and wish to issue a serious warning for Christians to avoid anything produced by this organization which, when examined, is NOT really a Christian organization. Guideposts produces daily devotionals and other material that has been popular for many years with Christians. I have never been a regular reader, but have from time to time read some of its devotionals, and it seemed okay to me. (Rick Warren’s error-filled Purpose Driven Life book also seemed okay to me at first). On Guidepost’s website, it says:
“…We’ll bring you true stories of hope, faith, personal growth and positive thinking, plus inspiring quotes, daily devotionals and prayers for every need. A little inspiration…it can change your day, even your life.”
Seems good, but all is not what it seems, which is the reason for writing this. If you are a Bible believing Christian, my advice to you is to:
Stay away from Guideposts devotionals and any other material;
Get rid of what you have and stop subscribing;
Do not offer Guideposts to anyone;
Warn others of its true origins and its interfaith, ecumenical and occultic underpinnings and purpose.
How Did Guideposts Start?
Guideposts was founded years ago by the late Norman Vincent Peale, known for his Power of Positive Thinking ideology, which is a philosophy he had in common with Robert Schuller, another guru of positive or possibility thinking. Few know that he was a 33 degree Mason. But Peale was also a universalist and denied various critical tenets of the Christian faith, including the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation. In a 1984 interview on the Phil Donahue Show, he said:
“It’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine. … I’ve been to the Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.” Donahue exclaimed, “But you’re a Christian minister; you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the Way and the Truth and the Life, aren’t you?” Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways! God is everywhere.”
Regarding his Freemason roots, here is a quote from the Masonic Magazine in 1993:
“My grandfather was a Mason for 50 years, my father for 50 years, and I have been a Mason for over 60 years. Freemasonry does not promote any one religious creed. All Masons believe in the Deity without reservation. However, Masonry makes no demands as to how a member thinks of the Great Architect of the Universe. … men of different religions meet in fellowship and brotherhood under the fatherhood of God.“
His teaching emphasized the power of your own mind, a power that turns the wishes of your mind into reality if it is strong enough. The theme in his most famous book was one of ‘belief in yourself… in your abilities’, rather than trust in the Lord. After reading about much of his teaching, I find it unbelievable that he still finds credibility within Christian circles, and was even recommended by Billy Graham. By his own fruits and his words, he was not a Christian. Peale’s source of knowledge has more to do with heretical teachings linked to the word-faith movement, positive thinking, and also occultic sources, such as visualization, as seen in the December 1998 issue of Guideposts. Peale endorsed the book The Jesus Letters by Jane Palzere and Anna Brown. “What a wonderful gift to all of us from you is your book. You will bless many by this truly inspired book.” This was a book communicated through a process known as automatic writing by a spirit who called himself Jesus. (1) This is pure occultism.
Guideposts sells numerous books on angel sightings, near death experiences, pets in heaven, and other experience based stories with much content that contradicts Scripture. Guideposts also promotes false teachers such as Joel Osteen (prosperity gospel), Henry Blackaby (contemplative spirituality) and St. Therese of Lisieux (contemplative mystic), and Sue Monk Kidd (contemplative spirituality). Guideposts is strongly ecumenical and interfaith based, with much material written by Peale still being offered, and thus is a source of introducing occultic ideologies to many unsuspecting non-believers, and many Christians. Contrary to the claims on the website, the “power of positive thinking” is not based on Holy Scripture, but on Peale’s New Age ideas. He has also endorsed many New Age/occultic teachers, such as Bernie Siegal and Eric Butterworth.
When one reads Norman Vincent Peale, it is obvious that he never tells anyone that they must come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before they can become a child of God, born again and indwelt by His Spirit. Instead the assumption is that everyone is already a child of God and can access the Power through using certain principles and techniques. (2)
So Who is Sue Monk Kidd?
This Christmas, my wife received a Guideposts planner from a Christian friend. As she was going through the pages, she came over to me and said, “look at the name here.” I was shocked to see that the name of the person who wrote that particular day’s devotional was Sue Monk Kidd. I was even more shocked when I found many more devotionals written by her, roughly a third of all the devotionals in the book.
Sue Monk Kidd is a former Baptist Sunday School teacher. One day after church a co-worker gave her a book by Thomas Merton. In short, after reading this book, Sue Monk Kidd was hooked by the idea of contemplative spirituality as a way of getting to know God “better”, and the rest is history. Because much of what she writes is “good”, her books are very popular now with many well-meaning Christians, including The Secret Life of Bees which was made into a movie. But many do not know that Sue Monk Kidd’s ‘Jesus’ is not the Jesus of true Christianity. She is now a major player in the promotion of the false movement of contemplative prayer (aka contemplative spirituality or contemplative mysticism). She is to be marked and avoided as instructed by Holy Scripture.
The following is from Ray Yungen’s book exposing mysticism in the church, A Time of Departing:
Monk Kidd’s spirituality is spelled out clearly in her book When the Heart Waits. She explains:
There’s a bulb of truth buried in the human soul [not just Christian] that’s “only God” … the soul is more than something to win or save. It’s the seat and repository of the inner Divine, the God-image, the truest part of us. (emphasis mine)
Sue Monk Kidd, an introspective woman, gives a revealing description of her spiritual transformation in her book God’s Joyful Surprise: Finding Yourself Loved. She shares how she suffered a deep hollowness and spiritual hunger for many years even though she was very active in her Baptist church. She sums up her feelings:
Maybe we sense we’re disconnected from God somehow. He becomes superfluous to the business at hand. He lives on the periphery so long we begin to think that is where He belongs. Anything else seems unsophisticated or fanatical.
Ironically, a Sunday school co-worker handed her a book by Thomas Merton, telling her she needed to read it. Once Monk Kidd read it, her life changed dramatically. What happened next completely reoriented Sue Monk Kidd’s worldview and belief system. She started down the contemplative prayer road with bliss, reading numerous books and repeating the sacred word methods taught in her readings. She ultimately came to the mystical realization that:
I am speaking of recognizing the hidden truth that we are one with all people. We are part of them and they are part of us …
When we encounter another person, … we should walk as if we were upon holy ground. We should respond as if God dwells there.
(A Time of Departing, 2nd Ed., pp.134-135
It is sad to know that a once solid Baptist Sunday School teacher can be deceived so easily, yet it is no surprise. It is also sad to see that a supposedly Christian organization is not really a Christian organization, and is promoting mysticism to millins of Christians through Sue Monk Kidd. From her book Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Monk Kidd clearly rejects Holy Scripture as the authority for Christians in exchange for something else:
“I remember a feeling rising up from a place about two inches below my navel. … It was the purest inner knowing I had experienced, and it was shouting in me no, no, no! The ultimate authority of my life is not the Bible; it is not confined between the covers of a book. It is not something written by men and frozen in time. It is not from a source outside myself. My ultimate authority is the divine voice in my own soul. Period. … That day sitting in church, I believed the voice in my belly. … The voice in my belly was the voice of the wise old woman. It was my female soul talking. And it had challenged the assumption that the Baptist Church would get me where I needed to go” (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, pp. 76, 77, 78).
The following by Dwayna Litz (who has a great evangelistic outreach ministry called LightingThe Way Worldwide, shows that Kidd was being promoted at least since 2006:
Guidepost Magazine No Longer Christian?
A friend of mine sent me a recent Guidepost magazine, outraged by an endorsement they were making in the November, 2006 issue. I looked over it, and I was also taken aback by their promotion of theological feminism and decided to give them a call.
I picked up the phone and called Guidepost magazine. I kept my voice calm and low and spoke to someone to make a comment. I said:
“I was under the impression that Guidepost is a Christian magazine. Is that true?”
She said, “No, it is not true. It is a spiritual magazine to reach out to people in all faiths.”
I said, “Oh, ok, so that would explain why you are promoting someone who walks with the turtles to get the spirit of the turtle and who makes a shrine to the Mother-god and who is offended by patriarchal language of the Bible.”
She didn’t say anything.
I continued, “I am talking about your endorsement of Sue Monk Kidd and promotion of her books. That is atrocious from a Christian standpoint.”
She calmly answered, “Ok,” to acquiesce cordially to me as a “customer.”
I said, “I have a Christian ministry, and I will be letting people know about this.”
She said, “Ok,” and we hung up.
The conversation lasted for about two minutes. I just wanted to let everyone know that the November 2006 issue of Guidepost is now promoting Sue Monk Kidd, and, by their own admission, the magazine is not Christian but “spiritual” to “reach people of all faiths.”
Obviously Guideposts still promotes Sue Monk Kidd, as well as Joel Osteen and other unbiblical resources. Even though there is much which Guideposts recommends that is good, there is a whole lot of New Age leaven and other false teachings being sown that disqualifies Guideposts as a sound Christian resource.
Beware of Guideposts.
(1) http://www.letusreason.org/Poptea2.htm (Let Us Reason Ministries)
(2) Norman Vincent Peale: http://www.watchman.org/reltop/peale.htm
For more on Norman Vincent Peale, Sue Monk Kidd, and Guideposts Magazine:
Sue Monk Kidd’s Spirituality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLGeEG2J55I&feature=youtu.be
Occultism Invading The Church (http://christiantrumpetsounding.com/Occ%20Inv/Occult%20Invasion%204.htm)
Guideposts Magazine: Christian or New Age? (http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/guidepo/mag.htm