2:00PM EST 1/1/2020 Rosilind Jukic
If you don’t know what an Enneagram is, don’t feel dumb or alone. A lot of people are still unfamiliar with the Enneagram.
In fact, I had never heard of it until a few months ago when I saw someone post about it on social media.
Shortly after that, I saw several articles pop up about how it can help your marriage, how it can help your walk with God and even a pastor who took several weeks to preach a series of Sunday sermons on the Enneagram to his congregation.
That’s when I realized I needed to know more about this really funny word.
The Enneagram isn’t something new; it’s just in the past couple of years that it’s gained traction among Christians. It teaches that there are nine different personality types.
What makes the Enneagram concerning from the start are its origins in the occult, divination and New Age. This article from The Gospel Coalition delves into the occultic background, and I encourage you to read it for yourself.
3 Biblical Reasons Christians Should Say No to the Enneagram
Beyond the sketchy origins of the Enneagram (something Christians should absolutely take into consideration), there are other reasons why we should reject the urge to join this new fad in the church.
Over the past few months, my dad (Dr. Hackett and author of the blog “Foundational“)and I have been writing about our concern about the direction the evangelical church is heading.
Because we have a form of godliness, but deny its power, we have to find that power in other places:
So we create adrenaline-charged atmospheres in our churches. We become fascinated by New Age doctrines.
We practice energy healing. We preach self-help, self-care and how to live your best life now.
We obsess over preachers and evangelists of the past, visit their graves, take pilgrimages to their churches, engage in necromancy and pray for their mantles.
We “Christianize” yoga, meditation, centering and other Eastern religious activities.
All because our godliness being void of power has created a vacuum that demands something … something for which we have determined that God, the Bible and the Holy Spirit are not enough. Blasphemous.
It is worse than blasphemous, because we expect unbelievers to deny God and His power, because by their very definition, they do not believe in Him.
But the light that is in us has become darkened, because by our very definition we should believe, and we don’t.
We lie. We blaspheme. We declare God’s power and deny it at the very same time. But then we go a step further and march right into the devil’s territory and borrow His sulfur-saturated, evil, twisted, distorted, and demonic ideas and try to worship God with them.
I would like to add that researching Enneagrams has caused me to consider why Christians are so preoccupied with personality tests at all.
We spend a lot of time filling out questionnaires that tell us about ourselves, doing those silly Facebook quizzes and pondering whether we’re introvert, extrovert or somewhere in between.
I know. I have done this very thing.
But preparing for this article has given me a whole new perspective on this and it is central to the danger I find not only in Enneagrams, but in this entire quest to know who we are.
1. Christians should say no to Enneagrams because their identity is in Christ.
The very first danger I see with Enneagrams is the quest to know who we are.
This is a natural question every human, at one point or another, asks themselves: “Who am I?” God created us with this deep need to find our identity. And He simultaneously created the answer: Himself.
When we discover our true identity in Jesus Christ, we have no need for personality tests, quizzes, Enneagrams, Myers-Briggs—all of which have, at one point or another, been proven as scientifically inaccurate.
Of course they are! Human psychological study will never be so advanced as to answer the plaguing question: “Who am I?”
The temptation to identify ourselves as introvert or extrovert; melancholy or sanguine; judging or perceiving; or any of these personality types is great. We get a false sense of knowing ourselves and understanding others. But we will only ever truly know ourselves when we seek to know God. The more we know who God is, the better we see ourselves for who we really are.
More importantly, the more we glorify God in our lives, the less our significance and self-awareness matters to us.
2. Christians should say no to Enneagrams because self-awareness is a trap.
I am deeply concerned with how much the church has begun to shift its focus off God, His sovereignty, and His supreme glory and on to self:
In other words, self-glorification.
The idea of “self” in general flies in the face of God’s Word that commands us, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil. 2:3, NKJV).
Self-awareness has its roots in ancient philosophy that denies God and His supremacy in our lives.
As Christians, we are not called to be self-aware; we’re called to be God-aware!
When we become God-aware, our identity comes into proper alignment, and we understand that we are: Lost, Helpless, Corrupt, Not good (Rom. 3:10), Chosen, Adopted, Redeemed and Made new.
What more do we need to know? In other words, our self-awareness cannot help us. Apart from God, we are nothing and nobody; we cannot redeem or cleanse ourselves. When we are aware of this, if our natural inclination isn’t to turn to God, but to try to help ourselves, we will spend the rest of our lives in futility.
Once we come to a proper view of ourselves, our only hope is to become God-aware and find a new identity and awareness in Him!
3. Christians should say no to the Enneagram because it is rooted in the counsel of the ungodly.
Psalm 1 tells us that we are blessed when we do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Why?
Because the mind of the unbeliever is unregenerate; it is filled with knowledge rooted in philosophies that deny God, His power and His very existence. While I know that this may seem extreme to some (perhaps many), if we calls ourselves Christians, we must allow God’s Word to dictate every decision and action of our lives. And His Word clearly says that we are blessed when we do not walk in the counsel, in the philosophy and in the advisement of the ungodly.
So using a personality test rooted in occult and New Age origins, attributing our identity and awareness of who are to it, and then allowing this newfound identity to determine our direction is dangerous. There is no blessing in that!
The Christian should, instead, turn to God’s Word, allowing it to reveal who we truly are apart from God—in all of its raw, rough, ugly detail, and then discover Christ’s solution to that problem. Through that, we will uncover our real identity.
When we become aware of who He really is, our own desire for affirmation and significance loses importance.
Once we come to this place, our direction is clear; the question of “Who am I?” is answered, and we have peace and security—the quest is over. And that vacuum we were born with is filled.