Is the Enneagram personality test an acceptable Christian practice?

Hello, I am from Minnesota. I listen to your utube podcasts/videos. I first began listening to your broadcasts on KTIS out of St.Paul. I have questions, that’s my reason for contacting. Our church has an event on the Enneagram personality test. It is promoted as “Christian”, helpful etc. I have done lots of research on it and it isn’t a simple, innocent personality test. It is connected and aligned with new age/pagan beliefs and the author’s of all of these books on the subject, well the teachings in these “Christian” books on the subject have a very different teaching of Christ than the Bible. I have read Ravi Zacharias’ book, “Why Jesus?”. It is reminding me of the theme in that book. There are lots of popular pastors promoting it. Doesn’t that look as if, they too are in agreement with the same ideals, if they are promoting those books? Has anyone from RZIM researched this Enneagram practice? Thanks for a response!!

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Welcome @GrannyAnnie. Good to have you here.

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@GrannyAnnie

Hi Ann,

Let me add my welcome to Gwen’s. :slight_smile: I hope you enjoy the community and find help with your questions.

In the case of this question, can I ask one back just to clarify…

In what context and/or for what purpose is your church (and others as you mention) promoting or driving these tests? I suppose for me that would change the question. A personality test in and of itself I’m sure is totally innocent and could very well be helpful in some regard… but I suppose it depends on what you are using it for and what kind of authority it is given in it’s outcomes?

Does that make sense? If you could maybe give some context as to why it is being promoted that might help in thinking over the question.

In Christ
Tim

Let me just add that I know very little about the Enneagram test and it’s background… I’m just looking for some clarification on the question first. :slight_smile:

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Hi Ann,

I have done a little research on this as I have also been interested because this seems to be a popular thing in the Christian church now. As I understand it, the exact origins of the Enneagram are unclear, but it was expanded upon and later used by several occultist. I plan on researching this some more and will let you know if I find anything more of interest. If you find out anything, I would be interested in hearing from you as well.
Thank you, Ann, for starting this conversation. May the Lord lead you in truth as you investigate this topic and may your time on Connect be a tremendous blessing to you.

Mary Beth

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Hi Ann,

Thank you for the list. I am in class today until about 3 so I will respond to you by the weekend after I have time to read and research.

Again, I am glad you started this conversation as another lady on Connect and I have been emailing about this topic. It is definitely worth looking into.

I am looking forward to our future posts.

Thanks again!

Mary Beth

Hi Ann,

I read the articles in your list as well as some others that were linked in. Truth be told it was only scratching the surface of this topic. I will try and condense it to bare bones as much as possible.

As stated earlier, the exact origins of the Enneagram are questionable and dubious, at best. Some articles stated that it was an ancient Chaldean symbol or seal, others said it could be traced to the sacred geometry of the Pythagorean mathematicians, esoteric Judaism or Kabbalah, while still others said variations of the Enneagram symbol have appeared in Sufism, also known as Islamic mysticism.

The consistent thread in all the articles was the names of 4 people who were responsible, to some degree, for deploying, expanding upon, developing, or introducing to the West this system of classifying personality types and the psychological motivations that influence a person’s make up.

One of those names was George Ivanovich Gurdjieff. A Greek-Armenian who, according to several reports, was raised in an Orthodox, Armenian-Christian household, but abandoned his family’s wishes for him to join the priesthood, instead becoming influenced by Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism. According to Gurdjieff, the Enneagram is “the fundamental hieroglyph of a universal language.” He is credited with what is known as The Forth Way which is an approach to development that focuses on the Self and the question of humanity’s place in the Universe. The other three ways being known as: The Way of the Fakir (body), The Way of the Monk (emotions/heart) and The Way of the Yogi (mind). He was known by many to be an occultist.

Another name that came up in each article was that of Oscar Ichazo. A Bolivian-born founder of the mystical Arica school, he is responsible for attributing the Enneagram to the nine personality types. He claims to have received this information from the Archangel Metatron while high on mescaline. When Ichazo was six years old he had an out of body experience with many more such experiences to follow. He was an occultist who delved in Buddhist meditation, Kundalini yoga, and shamanism.

A Chilean student of Oscar Ichazo, Claudio Naranjo, was also an occultist and a proponent of hallucinogenic drugs. In 1970, the death of his only son by accident, proved to be the catalyst that started him on a six month long spiritual journey under the tutelage of Ichazo. As a psychiatrist, he utilized meditation, Gestalt therapy, mental telepathy, and psychedelic sessions for the purpose of official studies as well as therapeutic uses. According to some, he is also credited with connecting the nine points of the Enneagram to nine different personality types and, along with Ichazo, introducing the Enneagram to the West.

The forth person whose name continued to surface in these articles was Pyotr Ouspenskii (also spelled Peter Ouspensky). He was a mathematician, esoterist, student and practitioner of Gurdjieff’s philosophy and also an occultist.

I am sure you have picked up on the common theme- occultism. Your sources listed in your post make it obvious that you are familiar with the Biblical teachings and warnings on engaging in any form of the aforementioned practices.

My personal concern is for the Christian church and the unbiblical, even demonic, practices taking place inside her walls today. Within the Enneagram of Personality there lies a redefining of words and the definitions of which are completely contrary to the scriptures and to the foundation of our faith. A redefining of the Person and work of Jesus Christ, of my personal sin and my personal responsibility for it, salvation in Christ alone, and the message of the cross. In essence, a redefining of the Gospel. A redefining that starts with looking inward to the Self as opposed to a focus on the One who saves me from it, and in spite of it, because of unmerited grace.

All of this leads me to ask the same questions found in 2 Corinthians 6:14. What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

To anyone who has different information, understanding or opinions regarding the topic of the Enneagram, I sincerely welcome your questions, comments and feedback and look forward to your contribution to my understanding.

Mary Beth


https://www.equip.org/article/tell-me-who-i-am-o-enneagram/

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Thanks for looking at all of the articles. What you have posted confirms everything I have read and your summation is the conclusion I have arrived at also, that it is NOT a "personality " test that stands alone. It is aligned with new age/pagan practices. Another article that is worth the time, "TELL ME WHO I AM, O ENNEAGRAM ", it can be found on equip.org. The author used to teach the Enneagram. He tells , his experience and why as a Catholic , he can no longer teach it. The really disturbing thing, many very , well known pastors are promoting this practice in their churches. Our pastor suppressed our concerns, telling us that it’s used in: (long list of popular pastors), also, it’s just a tool, etc. We had a ladie’s event last night at the church, the speaker spoke on this topic. We are so “grieved” in our hearts by it all. I am sure, you also stumbled upon Richard Rohr. He is a common thread between the authors on this topic. He is a frequent guest on “Oprah” podcasts, etc. He has some very heretical views on Christ. Many of our young adults are being influenced by his teachings, because of the Enneagram movement. Thanks again, MaryBeth for joining me in this topic and shining a light.

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Hi Ann,

The following link was posted earlier but for some reason did not show up. If this turns out to be a repeat, please forgive.

https://www.equip.org/article/tell-me-who-i-am-o-enneagram/

May the Lord bless you and help you in all your service to Him.

Mary Beth

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Hi I raised a similar question about the Enneagram in another post which pointed me here. I am in no doubt that it is not good for the church to be involved in such a thing. Yet when prominent pastors see it as a tool people get sucked in.

Marcia Montenegro mentioned above now’s her stuff of the Enneagram and yet the likes of Pete Greig don’t see anything wrong with it and that it is a tool. Pete Greig is the founder of the 24/7 prayer movement.

He is currently promoting Stabile and Crons book the road back to you and in a Facebook discussion said that the questions in the book are harmless.

Yet many of us who spoke about the danger of the Enneagram on this discussion including Marcia were not believed . IMHO I find this to be dangerous and does nothing to lead us to Christ.

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Hi, Steve, you are right that it is being presented by very well known pastors as a “tool” to better our relationships. There’s this lack of decernment that is troubling, congregants trust their pastors and take this practice at face value. New believers or those attending as seekers could read these books and be misled into the other aspects of new age spirituality. Many of the authors, including “The Road Back To You” author, Ian Cron love Richard Rohr. As I mentioned before, anyone that investigates the history of the enneagram will discover it’s origins and teachers and find nothing "Christian " about it.

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This is interesting.

Would you say that, since the practice of personality identity classification seems to somehow serve a useful purpose, in the practice of occultism, Christians should stay away from it?

…Or does it rather seem, that since the enneagram has connections with occultism it shouldn’t be used by Christians to perform personality tests… Whereas, if an alternative personality test was used by Christians, do you think it would it be fine?

to serve in that practice?

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Hi Tim,

Thank you for your questions. I hope I am able to answer them in a way that directly addresses your thoughts.

I have no objections to personality test per se. I do believe they can be a useful tool in helping us to understand one another and even ourselves. A personality test that appears to have occultic roots and underpinnings, though, is a game changer for me. As a child of God, to knowingly engage in something that has been unduly tampered with by those whose spiritual constructs are in opposition to His, is for me to participate in something that flies in the face of the Almighty. I am responsible for what I know.

We hear a lot today about discovering your “true self”. It will make you free, bring you joy, etc., When I really discovered my true self, it was nothing short of appalling and terrifying. The very reason Christ came to die. As I read the Word, God reveals to me who I am, and more importantly, Who He is. A lot of times I don’t like what I read about me in scripture because it’s true and it hurts, but then He has this awesome way of healing that when I own it and confess it because what I uncover, He will cover with forgiveness and cleansing. Discovering Him helps me in the process.

The study of the Enneagram of Personality left me with a lot of questions.

How much has it been altered or developed by the occultists from its original form or intended use? Or has it?

Since being introduced to the Church, how much of the occultists’ Enneagram teachings have been retained? How is this impacting the Bride of Christ?

How is this necessary for the sanctification and building up of the Body?

Why were so many occultist drawn to this teaching and symbol? Is it a case of like attracts like?

What are the fruits of those who live by and adhere to its philosophy?

Is God pleased?

If I have somehow misconstrued your questions, or if you have answers to any of mine, please let me know. I am interested in your thoughts. What do you think? Should Christians use the Enneagram as a tool to help them? Is this whole thing much ado about nothing?

Grace and peace,
Mary Beth

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Not sure how helpful, but would it not fall into the category of Christian liberty, like other personality test?

Hi Zarae,

Thank you for your question. I believe it would absolutely fall into the category of Christian liberty. I apologize if I came across as dogmatic or appearing to know everything. I was strictly talking about myself and my personal convictions.

Thank you again, :slight_smile:
Mary Beth