Sue Monk Kidd is a popular author, whose books are read by many Christians and used in many Sunday School studies. Her books are carried in countless Christian bookstores, and surprisingly are endorsed by and quoted from the most unlikely Christian leaders. Ray Yungen talks about Monk Kidd in A Time of Departing:
[Sue] 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 [everyone] 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. . . .
How did a Baptist Sunday school teacher come to believe that divinity is within all? [A]Sunday school co-worker handed her [Monk Kidd] 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., p. 134-135
Dance of the Dissident Daughter, published six years after When the Heart Waits, shows clearly Monk Kidd’s transition into goddess and panentheist spirituality, going so far as to say that God can be found even in excrement. In speaking about mysticism, she states:
As I grounded myself in feminine spiritual experience, that fall I was initiated into my body in a deeper way. I came to know myself as an embodiment of Goddess…. Mystical awakening in all the great religious traditions, including Christianity, involves arriving at an experience of unity or nondualism. In Zen it’s known as samadhi…. Transcendence and immanence are not separate. The Divine is one. The dancer and all the dances are one. . . . The day of my awakening was the day I saw and knew I saw all things in God, and God in all things (pp. 161-163, Dance of the Dissident Daughter).
Perhaps what is so disturbing about this is the favorable quoting and endorsement of Monk Kidd’s writings. For instance, Eugene Peterson (author of The Message) writes an endorsement on the back cover of When the Heart Waits, saying: “As I read her book, Sue Monk Kidd became a companion to me. I love having her walk with me on my journey.” Since Peterson is also on the back cover of Richard Foster’s contemplative book, Prayer Finding the Heart’s True Home and Brennan Manning’s Ragamuffin Gospel, his endorsement of Sue Monk Kidd probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. But then there is David Jermiah, who in his book, Life Wide Open, favorably quotes from Sue Monk Kidd’s book, When the Heart Waits. While this was brought out publicly several years ago, Jeremiah still has made no public statement about his quoting Sue Monk Kidd and about her beliefs. But that might be because he also quoted from other contemplatives and New Age sympathizers in his book (see list below), and to reject his quoting of Monk Kidd would mean he would have to reject many other comments in the book, thus negating the credibility of the book all together.
Monk Kidd’s work has been endorsed by other unlikely names. Moody Monthly, of her book God’s Joyful Surprise, said, “… [Kidd] suggests some disciplines for cultivating an ‘interior quietness’ … Her writing, well-balanced by the wisdom of writers like Brother Lawrence, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri Nouwen, is alive with humorous anecdotes.” Of the same book, Today’s Christian Woman says “the message and challenge of the book is profound.” In God’s Joyful Surprise, Monk Kidd discusses her admiration for Thomas Merton and his teachings on prayer.
Life Wide Open by David Jeremiah – Those he favorably quotes in the book:
Sue Monk Kidd