Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I wanted to write and share with you yet another example of church leadership embracing New Age methods. Recently, an acquaintance on Facebook posted a link to an Enneagram chart happily reporting her number and encouraging others to contact her if they want to know more about the Enneagram. What concerned me the most is that this acquaintance is the wife of a pastor of a young, but rapidly growing church in our area. Though not familiar with the Enneagram, I knew it likely had mystic / New Age origins by its very description. It broke my heart that a pastor’s wife would encourage such a thing. A day after her post, and after researching it for myself, I reached out to her privately warning her of its roots. I encouraged this pastor’s wife that God’s Word is enough and then hoped for a gracious response.
Her response was quick and indeed gracious, but defended their use of the Enneagram by explaining how they have looked at several resources tying what the Enneagram reveals back to the Gospel and that they were using it much like the Myers-Briggs or other personality type system to learn more about each other in order to build one another up.
Sadly, that is how so many of these New Age ideas enter even the conservative church. Someone somewhere at some point put a Christian spin on such an idea, wraps it up in attractive packaging, and tags it “christian.” And the young, hip, “relevant” pastors / leaders gobble it up. All discernment thus goes out the window. For the discerner, it is both sad and frustrating.
I did reply back to my acquaintance and gently yet firmly challenged her that if they were indeed just using the Enneagram as a personality test such as the Myers-Briggs, why not then just use the Myers-Briggs? Why use something that opens up the door to other mystic / occult type practices that seekers or young-in-faith believers might choose to explore?
She never replied back.
This is yet another reminder of how Satan is the master of deceit and confusion. What better way to continue to destroy the church by “innocently” introducing things that seem otherwise “harmless”? Both leaders and lay people need to be courageous at speaking up and warning others about such practices and reject them unequivocally. ___________
By Mike Oppenheimer: “Enneagram claims to be an entry point for deep personal healing and renewal. Enneagram is a psychological and spiritual system for a higher consciousness. We are told it will help us understand the personality types and the differences in each other which should reduce unnecessary conflicts (transforming one into a more tolerant person). We can transform our habits by being our own observer in how we think and go from unconscious behavior to conscious behavior. This is done through a series of probing questions called a PERSONALITY PROFILE questionnaire where one learns what his or her type is.
“The Enneagram symbol is a nine-pointed, star-like figure. The nine lines comprise a perfect triangle and a twisted hexagon contained within a circle. This is a New Age type mandala, a mystical gateway to personality classification. The drawing is based upon a belief in the mystical properties of the numbers 7 and 3.” (source)
Click here for more research on the Enneagram.