It’s all over social media; everybody’s talking about it, and some churches are even teaching classes on using it. The Enneagram is the latest “shiny new thing” to hit evangelicalism, but is it just a harmless personality test, or is there a more sinister side to this popular fad? Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Enneagram and what the Bible has to say about it.
Enneagram articles Berean Research
The New Age & Quack Spirituality Origins of the Enneagram at Fighting for the Faith (Steven Kozar’s interview with Marcia Montenegro focuses mainly on the historical origins of the Enneagram and includes additional helpful links.)
Christian Answers for the New Age (CANA) Facebook Page Marcia Montenegro (Marcia frequently posts informative Facebook articles on the Enneagram. You do not have to have a Facebook account to see them.)
Christian Answers for the New Age (CANA) Website Marcia Montenegro (Scroll down to “E” for Enneagram articles.)
Girl, What’s Your Number: The Enneagram Episode Sheologians
My exposure to the enneagram came through a “friend” and a Gurdjieff study group. I believed the Gospel as a young man. My conversion was a very dramatic event in my life. At the time I was surrounded by friends that, like many others in the hippie days, were into astrology, New age teachings, etc. The morning after I came to Christ on my knees and alone the night before I announced my conversion to my friends. They and others close to me thought I was nuts. My joy subsided in a few weeks as I really had no root or direction towards growth in my new found faith. I drifted back into my life style of pot smoking and hanging out with my friends. I still had a hunger for spiritual truth and got involved, with one of my best friends, in a Gurdjieff study group. G.I. Gurdjieff was a near eastern mystic that taught his own amalgam of teachings that mixed various near eastern teachings. I read all of his books and participated in “The Work”. After two years in this group my marriage, my mind were a wreck. One night on the heels of events involving my friend I cried out to God just the words “help me!” A peace came over me and when I got home I picked up a bible and read through the New Testament in a couple weeks. I began to really understand “The Faith once delivered.” Through some other study and events I came to understand that I had opened myself to a true doctrine of demons. This is how false teaching is described in 1Tim. 4:1. I had opened my self to spiritual bondage. Imagine my shock when I heard Andy Stanley mention where he fell on The Enneagram. Then I read an article in Christianity Today encouraging the use of this as a tool in Christian growth. I just want to say as strongly as I can run from this. Look it up, Google it, check out the origins of this so called “Tool” for Christian growth. It originates from decidedly non Christian philosophy and mysticism. It is more akin to Gnostic teachings than anything related to the Christian faith. The fact that some with a reputation of solid biblical teaching are encouraging its use is alarming.
Steven- Thank you so much for your testimony. I rejoice with you that God brought you out of darkness and into His marvelous light! :0)
I’m a little behind the times, here, but echo an experience that might sound like Steven’s. I was so relieved to find origins of the enneagram exposed. Prior to that, I felt as if I were drowning in confusion and self doubt because I simply could not decide on my “number.” After YEARS of monkeying around with the thing. A pastor told me it sounded like I had a lot of work to do. In the end, it took no effort at all to toss the thing into the trash.
Thank you ladies for this information I’ve never heard of it but I’m sure it’s coming. Churches and bible studies are promoting the idea that the is “something more” or “something deeper” that the average bible reading Christian is missing.
Thanks for this. Well done.
The enneagrams is out there. Thanks for bringing topics back to the word. .
I understand your concerns about the enneagram, but it is inaccurate when attributing it to some contemporary new age guy. The enneagram as a tool, not a doctrine, goes back to the early days of the Catholic Church. I am more concerned with using the Ancient Greek humors (plhlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic, choleric) as a tool for understanding personality types and it’s influence on more respected tools such as the disc test.
If anyone is using the Enneagram as a counseling tool or for their personal benefit, I would highly recommend reading Richard Rohr And The Enneagram Secret by Don and Joy Veinot and Marcia Montenegro. The authors have written an extremely well researched and presented piece of evidence to prove that the Enneagram as it is now being marketed is not only of quite recent origin but occult to the core. It is available on Amazon.
It is excellent! I have a copy and recommend it as well.
My daughter’s private Christian school in Orlando is now giving the Enneagram to all their students. I wrote the headmaster, principle, and guidance counselor, sharing what I knew from Marcia Montenegro and asking them to prayerfully consider not using it. I’m pretty sure they never watched or looked at anything I sent. I was told that my daughter could sit out of the test but they still viewed it as a “useful tool”. It is so disheartening but not at all surprising. The church that is attached to this school has a pastor that lists himself as “an enneagram coach”. What a giant pile of nonsense! I’m so aggravated.
So sorry to hear that, Becky. Not to worry you, but if they willfully deny Scripture to use the Enneagram, I would encourage you to dig in to everything else they are teaching your daughter, theologically. If they’re mishandling Scripture in one area, they’re probably mishandling it in other areas as well.
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. The Enneagram has its roots in the Desert Fathers of the second half of the IV century who were monks and theologians that developed the roots of the system based on the concept of original sin and how it manifests through our ego. The enneagram personality types spring from the list of the capital sins which the church has used for centuries. Nothing esoteric or magic about it, even though some authors would like to give it that New age flavour to better market it in those quarters. In the 60s and 70s a highly trained Chilean born psychiatrist expanded the concept in a very similar way to Jung’s archetypes to give us the system that we have. This is simply personality theory and is a tool for self discovery. None of its points are against the Scripture. On the contrary, it can help us in our process of sanctification toward spiritual maturity. The mystical references that link it to its supposed origins refer to the figure, which is attributed to Pytagoras and not to the system. I prayerfully and humbly encourage you to take the test and learn about it, your life we’ll never be the same. Bible characters will come so much alive and we’ll learn how our Lord and Saviour was able to use these 9 preferences according to the different needs and situations he encountered. You’ll be able to understand and better treat your loved ones and help them to conquer their own foes as you do yours. Nothing supernatural or spiritual about it, even though the Bible talks about 9 gifts and 9 fruits. So, I challenge you to give it a chance. It is a wealth of wisdom and knowledge that God can use to make us better individuals. Praise be his name. Blessings!
CP, you said, “On the contrary, it can help us in our process of sanctification toward spiritual maturity.”
This is blatantly false and opposite of what Scripture says about sanctification and spiritual maturity. Furthermore when you state that if I would just give it a chance and take the test, my life will never be the same, again this is hogwash. Being justified by faith alone in Christ alone is what gives us a regenerated new heart. And absolutely nowhere in the Bible does it state as you do that “our Lord and Saviour was able to use these 9 preferences according to the different needs and situations he encountered.” He most certainly did not. I encourage you to listen to the podcast and explore the links we shared in this post. And please stop chasing after carnal ways. You must repent of this worldliness and turn to Christ.
Don’t need to add to scripture. Gods word is sufficient
2 Timothy 3:16
Do not handle touch taste
Can’t drink cup of demons cup of The Lord
1 Corinthians 10:21
Divination displeases God
Having reached out to Andy Stanley’s church once I learned of Northpoint Community Church & Catalyst leadership conferences introduction of Ian Cron’s enneagram teachings from the book, The Road Back To You. Of course, it’s unquestioningly promoted as an ancient Christian tool. Upon further inquiry, I finally recieved email feedback from the Northpoint Community Church (online) audience experience associate, I was told that they do have some church staff trained as enneagram coaches using the integrative iEQ9 enneagram program….which upon digging I found that the material of New Age psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo is a main resource for the iEQ9 training. Its noteworthy to point out that until about 50 +/- years ago the enneatypes that Naranjo claims to have been given by a spirit guide, Metatron, in an occult practice called automatic writing — never before existed, even in its earlier Sufi form– the enneagon.