What’s wrong with the Enneagram? In my last post, I introduced you to the Enneagram of personality. What many people often mistake for a simple personality test is in fact a rather complex system. Many businesses and Churches use the Enneagram personality test. So what’s the big deal? Why shouldn’t Christians use the Enneagram?
Not only is the Enneagram strongly associated with the New Age philosophy, but it has its origins in the occult. In an interview from 2010, Claudio Naranjo describes how he arrived at the nine personality types that form the Enneagram.
Naranjo and his teacher, Oscar Ichazo, publicly claimed for many years that the Enneagram was an ancient Babylonian teaching. But in the video linked below, Claudio confesses that they both knew this to be a lie. Instead, Naranjo claims to have received the 9 Enneagram personalities from a process called “Automatic Writing”.
What is Automatic Writing? It’s a process in which someone begins writing without consciously thinking about what it is they are writing. The idea is to simply turn off your mind and let your hand do the writing. In Naranjo’s case, he claimed that the Enneagram’s personality types were given to him by a spirit called “Metatron”. Other famous people that have attributed their works to automatic writing are Joseph Smith and Aleister Crowley.
Many adherents to automatic writing claim that their hand is being guided by spirits, while others simply believe that the writing experience is simply occurring from the persons own subconscious. The practice is often used by psychics and mystics.
As you can tell, this gets into some pretty creepy territory. Speaking with the dead and inviting spirits to take control of our bodies are things we should not be engaging in. And the idea of following advice from people that partake in these enterprises should give serious Christians pause.
Gnosticism In The Enneagram
Gnosticism is a Greek term meaning “having knowledge”. This idea was popular in Christianity in the first and second centuries A.D. The main idea was that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was insufficient to work redemption. These Gnostic groups claimed there was a special knowledge that would bring you closer to God. Conveniently enough, these groups possessed that special knowledge. And if you joined their group, you could obtain it as well.
Many of the so called “Gnostic gospels” have become trendy lately. The gospel of Thomas, The gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Apocryphon of John are all examples of early gnostic writings. Gnostics had a deep belief in cleansing the self. The physical body was seen as sinful, and the spiritual aspects of existence we seen as good and pure.
In much the same way, the Enneagram claims that there is a true self and a false self. The true self is being obscured by the false self. And through the study of the Enneagram of personality, one can unlock the true self. This allows you to live as a fully divine person. You, in essence, become god.
These are just two examples of why the Enneagram should not be used by Christians. I have more to add to this subject, and will be doing so in my next post. In it, we’ll touch on three more troubling aspects of the Enneagram. If you would like more information on the Enneagram or have questions on New Age teachings, I recommend the website Christian Answers for the New Age, run by Marica Montenegro. She has first-hand experience with many of New Age practices and teachings. Her work has been some of my go to material on this subject.
Have you had experiences with the Enneagram or New Age practices? We’d love to hear from you!
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