The “Innocence” of the Enneagram Part 2

For those just tuning in, Part 1 was published Saturday, not our typical day for posting, but be sure to take a minute to read Part 1 as it sets the tone for this series.

This section is the more “innocent” sounding part of the Enneagram – the part that wants to be of help to you. . . and yet is it really what it seems even in this area? Additionally, do its solutions agree with the Bible?

The following is from The Berean Calls newsletter: “ The Apostle and the Enneagram  (October 8, 2020)”

There is no doubt that the Enneagram is taking much of the Christian church by storm. What is the draw of the Enneagram? Many gravitate toward the Enneagram thinking it is a personality test by which people can determine what type of person they are: why do I do the things I do and react to others in the ways I do? They want to improve on themselves, win the struggle against sin. And they have no fear of involving themselves with it, and trust it is fully aligned with their Christian faith since it comes from Christian publishers, is endorsed by celebrity Christians, and is used and promoted by their pastor and church elders who are, after all, charged with guarding the flock. What could possibly be wrong with it?

The bigger name Enneagram teachers, though, are very clear the Enneagram is NOT a personality test to enable one to figure out what type of person he or she may be. Popular author and Enneagram teacher, Christopher Heueretz, writes: “As Russ Hudson frequently emphasizes, “Type isn’t a type’ of person, but a path to God’.”

So, “number” isn’t what type of person you are but which of the 9 possible paths will get you to God. (Does this sound “Christian” to anyone?) In using the Enneagram, you are on a quest to discover which one of these is your personal path. But didn’t Jesus clearly teach that He was the ONLY path to God (John:14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”  and that ALL OTHER PATHS lead to destruction? (Matthew:7:13)?

The answer that so many seek to figure out why they do what they do is addressed in Scripture. And since the Bible is the final authority for faith and practice, we would expect this to be the case. Among the various portions of Scripture, we might turn to is Romans chapter 7, where the Apostle Paul reveals his own struggle with this issue at some length, part of which is: “For I do not understand my own actions: For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want to do is what I keep on doing ” (Romans:7:15-19).

We do the things we do and react to others the way we do because even after salvation, we have to deal with our old sin nature…[but]  Jesus will deliver us – the Enneagram cannot.

The fact that we need to be delivered from our sin nature is completely at odds with one of the core tenets of the Enneagram. This tenet draws on Jungian psychology with a bit of fanciful theology provided by Franciscan Priest and mystic, Richard Rohr. They claim there exists in all of us an unsullied, unsinful “True Self” which has never been  separated from God at all. According to this core teaching, you and I have unfortunately created a “False Self” which believes we are sinners, though we are not [or so it says]. If properly “worked” – another overused therapeutic term – our individual path will get us back to our true unsinful self which is and always has been with God. Yet the Bible states that you, my friend, are a sinner. Who are you going to believe – New Age frauds or the Bible? According to the Bible, sinners need to fess up to that truth to be saved. Moreover, Christians are to steadfastly believe that they will be delivered from all sin. The One Who delivers us from the body of this death is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans:7:24-25  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, He will).

So the fact that we are not yet perfect but have still to deal with our own sin (and other people’s sin) in this life is no reason to despair, and no reason to seek out the wisdom of New Age charlatans. 

Finally, the Apostle Paul only knew of one path to God. In Romans:10:9

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Just one path. Just one way. Not 3, 5, 9 or unlimited. Just one and it is through the One. And if anyone asks how they can understand and fix themselves, the answer is – you don’t. He does.

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians1:6)

1. Heuertz,Christopher L. The Sacred Enneagram; p. 43, Zondervan. Kindle Edition. It also should be noted that Russ Hudson is a New Ager.

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