A heartfelt Thank You to Marcia Montenegro, Jay Medenwaldt, Alisa Childers, Krista Bontrager, Melissa Dougherty, CRI, Dr. Christopher Berg, Dr. Rhenn Cherry, Midwest Christian Outreach, Cultish (Apologia Studios), Women in Apologetics, Steven Bancarz, Sean McDowell, Unbelievable with Justin Brierley, Fr Mitch Pacwa, Doreen Virtue, Dr. Douglas Groothuis, Brandon Medina, and Apologetics315 for all of the research they have undertaken regarding this topic! It was their work that made this post possible!
“As Christians, it is important to investigate any new practice or teaching prior to use, and the Enneagram is no different.”Dr. Christopher Berg
- What is the Enneagram?
- Inherent Design and History
- Richard Rohr
- Can the Enneagram be redeemed?
- Know yourself to know God?
- Links to articles and video resources
- Scripture references
What is the Enneagram?
You might be asking, “Isn’t the Enneagram just a personality test?” And at first glance, that is all the Enneagram appears to be…which seems harmless. So why write this?
With the Enneagram becoming a growing focus within numerous evangelical churches (i.e. utilized for staff trainings, hiring of staff members, discipleship, marriage retreats, as well as the headliner for various sermon series), it’s incredibly important that we slow down and take the Enneagram through the interviewing process… conducting a background check, not to mention examining it’s references. (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1; Acts 17)
“The Enneagram (Ennea=9, Gram=Diagram) is simply a map (GPS) for self-discovery and personal growth based on 9 basic personality types. The Enneagram accurately and clearly describes why you think, feel and behave in particular ways based upon your core fears and core desires. The power of the Enneagram is in its ability to harness and transform self-limiting behaviors into life-enhancing personal empowerment. The gift of the Enneagram is that through self-discovery, one can create and sustain meaningful and lasting relationships with others, God and themselves.”Beth McCord, www.yourenneagramcoach.com
As Russ Hudson frequently emphasizes, “Type isn’t a ‘type’ of person, but a path to God.” The nine types of the Enneagram form a sort of color wheel that describes the basic archetypes of humanity’s tragic flaws, sin tendencies, primary fears, and unconscious needs. The understanding of these components, when shaped through contemplative practice, helps us wake up to our True Self and come home to our essential nature.”Christopher L. Heuertz, “The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth”
For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.Colossians 1:9-12
Inherent Design and Timeline
Contrary to claims made by Cron, Stabile, Rohr, McCord, and Heuertz, the Enneagram does not have ancient roots, nor is it Christian. Far from it, actually! The nine-pointed diagram itself was constructed in 1916 by an Armenian esoteric philosopher named, George Gurdjieff, as a way to know the secrets of cosmic reality. According to Gurdjieff’s pupil, P.D. Ouspensky (1878-1947), the enneagram circle with 9 points was designed as “…a ‘cosmic blueprint’ — a diagrammatic representation of the fundamental laws that create and sustain everything from the whole of Creation to individual organisms. The Enneagram demonstrates the interaction of the Law of Three and the Law of Seven that gives rise to all phenomena…All of Creation, the Physical world, the Subtle world, the Causal world and beyond that the Absolute – everything is contained in 9.” For more on this please click here.
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”Acts 20:28
Fast forward to the 1960’s and you will meet you will find the very first application of personality types to the Enneagram. Enter Oscar Ichazo into the timeline of the Enneagram. Oscar Ichazo was a Bolivian born spiritual seeker who was a follower of Gurdjieff’s esoteric teaching. In 1968, Ichazo founded the Arica School in Arica, Chile which focused upon both New Age and Occultic practices. Per Wikipedia and Ramparts magazine, Ichazo’s Arica School promulgated “A body of techniques for cosmic consciousness-raising and an ideology to relate to the world in an awakened way.”
Per the research of Brandon Medina, Marcia Montenegro, and Dr. Ron Huggins, Ichazo claimed to had been inspired and guided by two Spirit Guides: “Metatron” and the “Green Qu’Tab. It was during this time at the Arica School, while being instructed by these “fallen angels,” that Ichazo reports seeing a vision of 108 enneagram shapes…picking the modern day design as his own invention. Upon each point, Oscar was inspired to place what he called “Ego Fixations.” According to Gnostic philosophy, these fixations exemplify what is termed as the False Self. Gnosticism proposes that we have a True Self, also termed the Divine Self or Pure Self, which has never been separated from God. Ichazo believed that if we shed the “False Self,” how we see ourselves via our emotions and experiences, we can unmask the True Self. Father Mitch Pacwa, a former teacher of the Enneagram, asks a necessary question, “What evidence do we have that there’s one capital sin at the core of your personality? Except Oscar Ichazo and his spirit Metatron said so.”
Claudio Naranjo, a Chilaen Psychiatrist and student of Oscar Ichazo, is often thought to be the architect of the modern day enneagram of personality. Naranjo was a man who experimented with both psychedelics and spirit contact as a way to grow spiritually. As you can view for yourself via the video above, Claudio Naranjo confessthat he derived each trait predominantly through Automatic Writing (spirit contact and divination). This means that Naranjo received the enneatypes primarily via channeling Spirit Guides as they wrote for him. It goes without saying that this is not a Christian practice, nor something that was redeemed by the cross. These spirits are not ones who obey God nor worship Him. Therefore, we can be certain that they do not have God’s interests in mind, nor what is best in terms of our salvation, healing, and/or growth. (Col 2:8; 1 Tim 4:1)
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.Deuteronomy 13:1-5
“There must never be found among you anyone who…practices divination, an omen reader, a soothsayer, a sorcerer, one who casts spells, one who conjures up spirits, a practitioner of the occult, or a necromancer.”Deuteronomy 18:10-11
Large numbers of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total 50,000 silver coins.Acts 19:19 (this is post-cross)
Per Marcia Montenegro, and her article “What about the Enneagram” written for Southern Evangelical Seminary, “One of Naranjo’s students at Esalen, the Jesuit Bob Ochs, took the Enneagram to the Roman Catholic world and taught it to several priests. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, later co-wrote The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. Rohr, who had much influence on Rob Bell and Brian McLaren, continued to have an influence on the developing Progressive movement in Christianity. It is the popularity of his book that got the Enneagram into the evangelical church. One major avenue was via books by his students Chris Heuertz, The Sacred Enneagram (Zondervan), and Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile who wrote The Road Back to You (InterVarsity Press).” Friends, this was the path of the Enneagram from Gurdjieff to the church.
And while the origins are shown to be nefarious at best, what is most concerning is the theology attached to the Enneagram. As you will see from the videos and links provided within this post, what is promoted by the Enneagram authors mentioned above is not in-line with essential Christian doctrine… but is instead a pragmatic syncretism of various spiritual doctrines pointing heavily to a Gnostic worldview. Richard Rohr and his mentees focus heavily upon contemplation, which is “unlearning” what we have gleaned about God, man, sin, and salvation through the Church, and thereby encourages Christian’s to be open to learning from other religions…such as Buddhism. For a clip of Rohr speaking, please click here. More videos of Richard Rohr are included below as well. Friends, when an author slaps scripture upon a New Age tool, does it then become Christian? Per GK Chesterton, no more than standing in a garage makes someone a car. Yet sadly, this is what we are witnessing w/ the Enneagram.
“Gnosticism presents a radically self-centred alternative gospel. Instead of pointing to Christ, Gnosticism proclaims that salvation comes from inside, finding yourChristian Institute, Gnosticism
true identity within. It denies the goodness of the Creator and the glory of his creation. It denies the Incarnation, the resurrection and the need for redemption. Gnosticism sets itself against true Christianity at every point. It has been described as the ultimate heresy. This false teaching was faced by the Church in the second and third centuries AD.”
With all of this in view, the promotion of the Enneagram as Christian is both incredibly misleading and heartbreakingly deceptive. The ancient wisdom advertised by the authors above was a fabrication originated by Claudio Naranjo (and his cohort Oscar Ichazo) in the mid-20th century. To quote Naranjo, “I thought of Oscar Wilde who said, ‘if you want something to be famous, attribute it to a famous person.’” So, there it is…a confession of the Enneagram’s erroneous beginnings.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”1 John 4:1
“Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings,2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. 3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creation of God is good and no food[e] is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer. 6 By pointing out such things to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, having nourished yourself on the words of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 But reject those myths fit only for the godless and gullible, and train yourself for godliness.”1 Timothy 4:1-7
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”Romans 16:17-20
But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
If the occult origin of the Ennegram isn’t enough to deter you, what about the incredible lack of psychological reliability and validity attached to the Enneatypes? According to an interview with Dr. Rhenn Cherry, a Biblical Counselor who wrote his PhD dissertation on the Enneagram, approximately 139 doctoral-level mental health professionals, with an average of 26 years experience, participated in a peer reviewed study in 2015 which found the Enneagram placing 2nd to last place on the first round of testing and last on the 2nd round out of 36 protocols. The Enneagram is not a valid scientific tool pertaining to Personality, even if marketed as such. The article can be found here.
“This begins with recognizing that the Enneagram can’t be reduced to a personality test and that we have much more to learn. As Russ Hudson frequently emphasizes, ‘Type isn’t’ a ‘type’ of person, but a path to God.’🚩 The nine types of the Enneagram form a sort of color wheel that describes the basic archetypes of humanity’s tragic flaws, sin tendencies, primary fears, and unconscious needs. The understanding of these components, when shaped through contemplative practice, helps us wake up to our True Self and come home to our essential nature.” 🚩Christopher Heuertz, author of The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth
For an in-depth review of Christopher Heuertz’s book, “The Sacred Enneagram,” by Biola University’s Kenneth Berding, please click here.
“Examine me, O God, and probe my thoughts. Test me, and know my concerns. See if there is any idolatrous way in me,Psalm 139:23-24
and lead me in the everlasting way.”
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
The reason why the Enneagram performs so poorly psychometically is because it was not designed as a personality tool. Per the quote above by Enneagram author, Christopher Hereutz, is intended to help us find what both Gnostic and New Age teachers call the True Self or Essence. Their True Self anthology/theology demoted that we have never been separated from God, and that the False Self (ignorance/sin) is the mask we wear. Per Hereutz, the Enneagram was not meant to be a Personality assessment. And as we have gleaned, nor was it Christian. For additional research regarding the psychometric underpinnings of the Enneagram, please view Jay Medenwaldt’s research (click here).
Father Mitch Pacwa, an American Jesuit priest as well as a former enneagram teacher in the 1970’s, asked the following questions in a recording found here called, Catholics and the New Age: 1) How do we know there are only 9 personality types? 2) If 9 is correct, how do we know these are the correct 9? Fr Pacwa not only digs extensively into theological concerns if the enneagram, but also encourages his listeners to look for the evidence behind the claims. Friends, when we combine the psychometric findings with Claudio Naranjo’s confession, we arrive at the same conclusion held by Theology Mom, Krista Bontrager, “In sum, I think the best we can say is that the Enneagram is unsubstantiated pseudo-science. At worst, it might be a demonically inspired framework.”
“The books by Gurdjieff’s disciples and articles about Oscar Ichazo prove they practiced occultism and that occultism is interwoven with the enneagram itself. Therefore, I believe Christians need to be aware of the enneagram’s occult origins so they can prevent occult traces from infecting their faith in Christ Jesus.”Fr. Mitch Pacwa, “Enneagram: A Modern Myth.”
“Unless you’ve done graduate work in psychometrics, the scientific data probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to you (which is why there are two parts to this article). For those who have studied psychometrics, it’s a no-brainer that the enneagram simply cannot do all its proponents claim it can. Any scientist who studies personality would simply look at the reliability scores and conclude the test is not accurate enough to be helpful, and therefore, they wouldn’t use it because the potential for harm will be too high. I hope this information is helpful and informative, for those who’ve been silently skeptical of the enneagram and for those who are fans of it. My goal was and is to be as objective as possible, which is why I included statistics that may have been hard to understand. In this article, I mostly wanted to get the data out. In part 2, I explain why the enneagram still seems to work (for some), why it matters if we use it or not, and offer recommendations for better tools that can be used as a replacement.”Jay Mendenwaldt, “The Enneagram, Science, and Christianity (Part 1)”
✏️ “Is the Enneagram Institute’s RHETI® version 2.5 Scientifically Validated?” By Jay Mendenwaldt
“Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be sharers with them, 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live like children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”Ephesians 5:6-11
“We overcome our evil not by a frontal and heroic attack, but by recognizing it, naming it, and letting it go. The Enneagram works by insight. Once we see our False Self for what it is, we are no longer attached to it, and it no longer blocks us from realizing our inherent union with God. The Enneagram helps us see our own compulsive blindness and how we are acting at cross-purposes with our best interest. Realizing that, we can eventually flow with our gift and integrate our sin, our shadow, our failure, the “stone” which we rejected. We finally see that I am what I am, good and bad put together into one self; and God’s mercy is so great and God’s love is so total that God uses even my sin in my favor! God is using all of me to bring me to God. That is the Good News!” 🚩🚩 (This is not from God, friends! – Mer)Richard Rohr’s Daily Mediation, May 25, 2014
“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”2 Corinthians 11:14-15
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”Galatians 1:6-8
But of all of the concerns presented thus far, possibly the most pertinent to consider is the theology of Richard Rohr. Rohr, the author of “The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective” and “The Universal Christ,” is a self-professed Panentheist who follows what’s termed, Perennial Wisdom, and is viewed as an esteemed spiritual mentor by Suzanne Stabile, Ian Cron, Christopher Hereutz, Rob Bell, Beth McCord, David G. Benner, and Oprah Winfrey. Most of whom have been incredibly influential regarding the Enneagram entering the Church. Borrowed from researched conducted by Christian Apologists, Steven Bancarz and Alisa Childers, Richard Rohr advocates the following unbiblical viewpoints 🚩 regarding Jesus and the Biblical Gospel…The Biblical response 🔍to Rohr’s claims will be in parentheses ().
- 🚩Rohr claims that Jesus and the Christ are two different/separate beings(🔍Acts 17:2-3; John 20:28; Acts 2:36; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 John 1:7)
- 🚩Rohr teaches that Jesus did not exist before the virgin birth; (🔍John 1; John 8:59-59; Jude 1:5; Mark 14:61-64)
- 🚩Rohr advocates that You and I are Christ. Rohr reports that we are actually the Christ. He teaches that sin blinds us to this purposed reality, and that we just need to be conscious of this. Per New Age beliefs, this is dependent upon a works-based path of spiritual maturity; The concepts being taught by Richard Rohr mimic Brahman more than Christianity; (🔍Matthew 24; Isaiah 45:5; Romans 8; Eph 2)
- 🚩Rohr denies the necessity of the cross (🔍Romans 3:23, 5:8; Acts 4:12; 1 Cor 15)
- 🚩Rohr writes in the “Universal Christ” that we should worship dirt and rocks, then trees, and then angels, … each before we worship God (🔍Luke 4:8; Romans 1:23-24)
- 🚩Rohr declares that God doesn’t have a name; (🔍YAHWEH Exodus 3:14, 6:3)
- 🚩Rohr instructs that the “True Self” is the Divine Self or the part of us that has NEVER been separated from God. (🔍Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1)
The claims above are not only contrary to the Biblical Gospel but also present a false view of Jesus’s identity. Jesus was not a created being, born with the purpose of showing us the way to enlightenment. Jesus is the 2nd Person of the Trinity…the Son of God. He is Lord! Richard also jokes in the 1-hour video shared below that Christ was not Jesus’s last name but a separate being altogether! To Rohr, Jesus was was a highly evolved human who was speaking on behalf of the Christ, and that we essentially need the Christ, not Jesus. This is extremely important to understand! 🚩
“Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ..”Colossians 2:8
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17
Dr. Patrick Mitchell, a Senior Lecturer in Theology at the Irish Bible Institute, has written a book review on Rohr’s The Universal Christ which provides a snapshot of Rohr’s theology in this quote: “Ironically, for someone who champions inclusion, those that do not agree are caricatured as ‘primitive, exclusionary and fear-based’. In The Universal Christ, sin is reduced to recognising that ‘I have never been separate from God nor can I be, except in my mind.’ The cross is reinterpreted as our ‘negative experiences’ and the gospel is psychologised as self-acceptance. In other words, it is hard to read Rohr as a Christian author at all.” Friends, examining Richard Rohr’s theology is of utmost importance when promoting the Enneagram, as so many Enneagram authors have been impacted by his books.
“I have never been separate from God, nor can I be, except in my mind.” 🚩Richard Rohr, “The Universal Christ” page 44
“The whole Enneagram diagram is called ‘the face of God.’ If you could look out at reality with nine years of eyes and honor all of them, you would look at reality through the eyes of God.” 🚩Richard Rohr, “The Enneagram (part 1)” May 26, 2014; Rohr’s Daily Meditations
Per former New Age teacher now Christian, Steven Bancarz, we also need to watch for Fallacies of Equivocation when reading Richard Rohr’s book, “The Universal Christ.” What is a Fallacy of Equivocation? According to Answers in Genesis, these deceptive practices involve shifting “from one meaning of a word to another within an argument.” For example, a Fallacy of Equivocation utilized by Rohr would be defining Christ as the physical light of the world (i.e. found in rocks, etc). This is also termed a “Bait and Switch tactic.” Twisting scripture as to advance a false gospel happens more often than we realize… Which is why we should always be testing what we hear and read alongside God’s Word. (1 John 4:2; 1 Cor 11)
“ I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are following a different gospel— 7 not that there really is another gospel, but there are some who are disturbing you and wanting to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell! 9 As we have said before, and now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell!10 Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ!”Galatians 1:6-10
Two ways false teachings get into the church can be through either “proof-texting,” which is taking a single verse out of its context (as Satan did with scripture per Matthew 4) as to promote a particular agenda, as well as the usage of misleading terminology. As Dr. Groothius points out in the video shared above, often non-Christians will utilize “Christian words without using the Christian Dictionary – the Bible.” Fr Richard Rohr is one example of this behavior. One example is his usage of the incredibly essential Christian teaching of being, “in Christ.” Biblically, we know by studying God’s Word that the term “Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word, “Messiah.” Christ is also read, “Anointed One.” By reading what God has intentionally gifted us (the Bible), “Christ” is not a separate Being, as is proclaimed in Gnosticism, but is instead a title as well as a role for which Jesus was meant to fulfill. To say otherwise is incredibly dangerous to Christians who are predominantly reading books and social media posts about God’s Word instead of opening the Bible! (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 4:12). Rohr’s theology is entering the church at lightening speed through the enneagram, and it’s heartbreaking to witness!
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims a different Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are the true God and that you are winning back their allegiance.”1 Kings 18:37
According to a recent study conducted by Barna and the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, only 37% of Christian pastors in the United States hold a biblical worldview. With this attack on God’s Word being waged, we truly do need to be praying for the Church as well as asking God why this is the case? But one thing is for certain, if we don’t know the true, Biblical Gospel along with the foundational teachings of Christianity (the nature of God, the Lordship of Jesus, man as creation, sin, and salvation), through God’s Word…we will fall for counterfeit copies! For more information pertaining to this research, please click here.
Can the Enneagram Be Redeemed?
Given it’s occult origins…a tool intended to provide hidden spiritual wisdom via divination (Deuteronomy 18),…the question of whether the Enneagram can be redeemed for Christian usage is a common one. The scripture reference utilized by numerous Enneagram proponents is found in a letter written by Paul to Timothy while Timothy was serving the Church in Ephesus. Let’s read 1 Corinthians 10 here in context:
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food,4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
Per the ESV Study Bible, exegesis of this passage focuses upon the themes of idolatry and conscience. Paul provides the Corinthians Church instruction throughout his first letter regarding how to navigate being a Christian in a pagan culture. And we can relate still today! Looking to verses 14-33, Food is addressed specifically as an example: If we are dining with others on their private homes or purchasing food at the farmers market, Paul recommends that we not ask if it has her offered to idols as that would be unkind. The animal was created by God and therefore good. We are not addressing the pursuit of idols…idolatry is NOT a creation of God but an invention of man.
Christian, we were bought with a price! We were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! And one day (hopefully soon), Jesus will return. God will create a new Heaven and a New Earth where there will be no more tears and no more pain (Revelation 21:4). But our redemption entail that we should keep sowing the flesh in light of His abundant grace? (Galatians 6) As Paul pleaded, “By no means!” (Romans 6) In Acts 19, Luke records Paul being in Ephesus sharing the Gospel of Grace with some of the magicians and exorcists in the city. Upon receiving Jesus as Lord, those who were formally practitioners of divination, were then redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. However those practices were NOT. Even though this event occurred after the cross, magic and exorcism were not redeemed…nor ar
Many of those who had believed came forward, confessing and making their deeds known. 19 Large numbers of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them up in the presence of everyone. When the value of the books was added up, it was found to total 50,000 silver coins. 20 In this way the word of the Lord continued to grow in power and to prevail.Acts 19:18-20
Friends, God redeems liars (creation), but He doesn’t redeem lying. God redeems people from the sin of idolatry, but doesn’t condone the worship of anything other than Himself. God forgives those who commit adultery, but in no way does He redeem adultery. Therefore, while all things are lawful, not all things are profitable. Lying is not profitable. Adultery is not profitable. Idolatry is not profitable. And as you can guess, neither is divination! Even if one of these behaviors appears to be helpful. Sisters, “helpful” does not always equate to God’s best for us. And “helpful” in our limited wisdom may be actually be deceptive and harmful! That’s why we need God’s Word (the Bible) as to examine what we are experiencing. The Holy Spirit will never contradict Himself, He will always point us to Truth.
For more information regarding the question of Christianizing the Enneagram, please read this article by Marcia Montenegro and Midwest Christian Outreach (here).
Know Yourself, Know God?
Friends, as you are all possibly keenly aware through life experience (either misquoting others or being misquoted yourself), is that proof-texting is not isolated to God’s Word. One proof-texting example pertaining to the Enneagram is from Augustine’s Prayer (John Calvin is often referenced alongside Augustine). Let’s take a look at the prayer for ourselves and exegete whether Augusting is advocating this type of sentiment (looking within as to know God):
“Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You,
And desire nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You,
And ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear You,
And let me be among those who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing save only to You,
And let me be poor because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me that I may see You,
And for ever enjoy You.
—St. Augustine of Hippo
To quote Marcia Montenegro (here), “Augustine is being taken entirely out of context! Augustine was talking about knowing one’s self as a sinner who therefore needs God, and his prayer was that he would forget self and think more on God.” When we look to scripture, we see and hear over and over God’s loving instruction to look to Him first (Matthew 6:33), and to set our minds of things above (Colossians 3). Jesus, Lord and God, admonished Peter in Matthew 16 for turning relying upon human wisdom instead of upon God’s word.
For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.Colossians 1:9-12
So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him: “God forbid, Lord! This must not happen to you!” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”24Matthew 16:22
Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.Colossians 3:1-3
This misquoting of both Calvin and Augustine by various authors and pastors might possibly be due to a misunderstanding of terminology. Further demonstrating the profound impact Fr. Rohr’s theology is having upon countless churches! Richard Rohr’s “True Self,” a term suggesting that every human is inherently divine, is apparently being confused with the “new self” as taught by Paul in Ephesians 4:24. To reiterate, the True Self/Divine Self is both a Gnostic belief taught by New Age practitioners that our true essence has always been divine…never having been seperated from God (and perhaps, equal with God). But according to God’s Word, Adam and Eve chose disobeidence, and sin therefore entered the human-line. With hearts focused upon self-preservation and comfort, we are no longer able to discern God’s will apart from His intervention. Enter the Gospel of Jesus, and the words that point to Him (the Bible). Without God’s Word dividing the soul and the spirit (Hebrews 4:12), we will easily be swayed to follow our emotions as well as the cunning philosophies of this world.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,Proverbs 3:5-7
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 Acknowledge Him in all your ways,
and He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Biblically speaking, we won’t be able to know God by looking within, but we CERTAINLY, by God’s Grace alone, will come to know more and more each and every day our desperate need for Him. (Philippians 1:6; Psalm 139:23-24). And as we grow in knowing our need, we also grow in celebrating the immense gift of the Gospel…alongside community. We would no longer view someone else as tied to a trait but as a sinner like us, saved by Grace, and being santified by Jesus alone. Reader, please check anything I say both against the Bible for yourself as well as alongside the sources (Enneagram authors) shared within this post.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23
The Enneagram was birthed by New Age, practices and philosophy in the 20th century (not ancient), is promoted in churches by means of Pragmatism (“whatever works = truth”), and advocates a gospel that is contrary to the Biblical Gospel (not Christian). And friends, even if there were ancient connections, the theology is teaching a “different Jesus” and a “different gospel”…it is not Christian. In light of the evidence that the Enneagram is not a spiritually neutral tool and that it’s Psychometrics are incredibly poor, why would we promote it?
“To be fair, self-help isn’t all bad. It’s not like Scripture tells us to sit back and just pray about all our bad habits and watch them magically disappear. Rather, the message we would like to emphasize is that self-helpism has limits. There is a line between being good stewards of our bodies, emotions, and behaviors versus trying to change our own hearts or sin nature apart from the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work. The message within self-helpism (and within every ‘ism’ mentioned in this book) is idolatry: Humanity takes something good and even powerful, and then mistakes it for God—giving it powers that are God’s alone.”Hillary Morgan Ferrer, Mama Bear Apologetics™: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies
It’s important to remember that if Peter, a disciple who walked with and talked with the Son of God, could be swayed to add to the cross of Christ (the Gospel)… So can we! Please read the full chapter of Galatians 2, as God has given us an historical example of God-fearing man needing lovingly bold correction. (2 Timothy 3) Reader, there is no question that every single one of us WILL need correction and reproof. But faithful is the correction that comes from a friend. (Proverbs 27:5-6) It takes immense prayer and grace-driven courage to address matters where you feel as though you’re going against the grain…to chose sound doctrine over what’s popular and trendy.
“Nothing in the Bible indicates God cares about personal traits. Peter was impulsive (as we see from some passages), Moses was insecure regarding his speech, Paul wrote he had a thorn in his side (we don’t know what that was), Gideon made a lot of bad decisions, and on and on. God used them despite all of this. God cares about character, not personality. He cares about obedience.”Marcia Montenegro
Ladies, looking within only gets our minds set upon ourselves, and places our own reasonings and emotional perspectives in the driver’s seat. (Prov 3:5-7; Col 3:2) And that matters immensely! For what we focus upon often consumes us, and what consumes us ultimately leads us. And what leads us, inevitably rules our hearts. And what rules our hearts can certainly dominate the content of our conversations. Friends, there’s nothing more significant than the Gospel of Jesus, and nothing more crucial to share! Sisters, any tool or teaching that makes you or I the hero of our story, is a tool or teaching to crucify. “It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” It’s not about us! It’s all about Him! And we live this life trusting in the Son of God who loved us and gave His life for us. We trust in His work,…not in our own. We can rest in the mind-blowing gift it is to be His, and that according to His Word: God’s got this!
“I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”Galatians 2:20
The question that needs to be prayed over now is this: “If God made it clear that you needed to surrender the Enneagram…would you?”
Articles and Video Resources
- Claudio Naranjo’s public confession 🎞
- Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram, by CRI ✏️
- Is the Enneagram Spiritually Neutral? ✏️
- The Enneagram- A History, (Part 3) by Brandon Medina ✏️
- The Enneagram Interview Transcript with Dr. Christopher Berg ✏️
- What about the Enneagram, by Marcia Montenegro for Southern Evangelical Seminary ✏️
- The Enneagram has No Christian Origins by Marcia Montenegro ✏️
- Augustine’s Prayer to Know God and Himself ✏️
- The Fictions and Facts of the Enneagram by Marcia Montenegro ✏️
- Claudio Naranjo’s confession regarding the enneatypes 🎞
- Christian Answers for the New Age (Webpage) 🔍
- Christian Answers for the New Age (Facebook): https://m.facebook.com/FormerNewAger/ 🔍
- The Enneagram GPS: The Gnostic Path to Self , By Marcia Montenegro ✏️
- The Enneagram, Science, and Christianity, By Jay Mendenwaldt (Part 1)✏️
- Is the Enneagram Legitimate for Spiritual Growth? By Jay M. (Part 2) ✏️
- Explosion of the Enneagram Among Evangelicals, By Krista Bontrager ✏️
- The Enneagram by Fr Mitch Pacwa ✏️
- The Enneagram Goes to Church and the Angels Are Not Rejoicing, By Marcia Montenegro ✏️
- Apologetics315 with Marcia Montenegro 🎞🎙
- The Not-So-Sacred Enneagram by Kenneth Berding ✏️
- What does the Bible say about Divination, by GotQuestions
- Can God Use/Redeem Anything? By Marcia Montenegro ✏️
- What is Christ Consciousness? By GotQuestions ✏️
- Christ Consciousness Debunked, by Steven Bancarz ✏️
- New Age: Real Concerns for the Church ✏️
- Enneagram and the Church – Video Playlist 🎞
- Who is Richard Rohr?✏️
- Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation 🚩
- What is Panentheism? Childers and Montenegro 🎙
- “Richard Rohr’s Muddy Waters: Learning Rohr’s Language” by Midwest Christian Outreach ✏️
- The Cosmic Christ of the New Age by Steven Bancarz and Cultish 🎞
- A Heretic’s Christ, A False Salvation (Book Review of Richard Rohr’s Universal Christ), by Douglas Groothius and CRI
- Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret, by Joy and Don Veinot, with Marcia Montenegro 📔
- Richard Rohr teaches a class a. “The Enneagram: The Discernment of the Spirits.” 🎞
- What is Contemplative Prayer? by Gotquestions
- Contemplative Prayer, by Christian Answers for the New Age ✏️
- The Gift of Being Yourself (David G. Benner), Review by Marcia Montenegro ✏️
- The New Age Trojan Horse, by Dr. Christopher Berg 📔
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.”
Acts 19:18-20 “Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.” *Post Resurrection
Colossians 2:6-8 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ (Jesus).” *Paul may have been addressing Gnosticism here.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” *Test every message alongside Scripture.
Matthew 24:24 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect…” *Jesus speaking
Jeremiah 14:14 “And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.”
1 Corinthians 15 “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me…”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Psalm 50 El, God, the Lord[b] has spoken,
and summoned the earth to come from the east and west.[c]
2 From Zion, the most beautiful of all places,[d]
God has come in splendor.[e]
3 “May our God come
and not be silent.”
Consuming fire goes ahead of him,
and all around him a storm rages.[f]
4 He summons the heavens above,
as well as the earth, so that he might judge his people.[g]
5 He says:[h]
“Assemble my covenant people before me,[i]
those who ratified a covenant with me by sacrifice.”[j]
6 The heavens declare his fairness,[k]
for God is judge.[l] (Selah)
7 He says:[m]
“Listen, my people. I am speaking!
Listen, Israel. I am accusing you.[n]
I am God, your God!
8 I am not condemning[o] you because of your sacrifices,
or because of your burnt sacrifices that you continually offer me.[p]
9 I do not need to take[q] a bull from your household
or goats from your sheepfolds.
10 For every wild animal in the forest belongs to me,
as well as the cattle that graze on a thousand hills.[r]
11 I keep track of[s] every bird in the hills,
and the insects[t] of the field are mine.
12 Even if I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and all it contains belong to me.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls?
Do I drink the blood of goats?[u]
14 Present to God a thank offering.
Repay your vows to the Most High.[v]
15 Pray to me when you are in trouble.[w]
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”[x]
16 God says this to the evildoer:[y]
“How can you declare my commands,
and talk about my covenant?[z]
17 For you hate instruction
and reject my words.[aa]
18 When you see a thief, you join him;[ab]
you associate with men who are unfaithful to their wives.[ac]
19 You do damage with words,[ad]
and use your tongue to deceive.[ae]
20 You plot against your brother;[af]
you slander your own brother.[ag]
21 When you did these things, I was silent, so you thought I was exactly like you.[ai]
But now I will condemn[aj] you
and state my case against you.[ak]
22 Carefully consider this, you who reject God.[al]
Otherwise I will rip you to shreds[am]
and no one will be able to rescue you.
23 Whoever presents a thank offering honors me.[an]
To whoever obeys my commands, I will reveal my power to deliver.”
1 John 4:1-3 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”
Hebrews 1:1-2 ”Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
Colossians 3:1-3 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
2 Timothy 3:2 “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,”
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “But test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
Proverbs 3:5-7 “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
Peter 1:20-21 “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
1 Peter 1:10-12 “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
Ephesians 2:1-10 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Hosea 4:1-3, 5-6 “Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away. You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”