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  • Writer's picturekeithburwell

ENNEAGRAM AND THE END TIME CHURCH



One of the main reasons for this website is to highlight the actual signs of the end of the age and Jesus' return. As has been mentioned, the mainstream churchgoer has a very basic understanding of what to expect. Many others have a “Left Behind”, cut and dried, simple expectation that is too narrow and devoid of real substance. As the time draws ever shorter, we need to become laser focused on what we truly need to look for.

THE MASK OF BEAUTY

Look at the two pictures of Mumbai, India, below. The lobby where the photo on the left was taken is literally 75 yards from the location on the right. One would never know that just outside the beautiful courtyard, just out of eyesight, are several concrete barricades and a checkpoint where each car is stopped and mirrors are used to determine if explosives have been attached.

The beauty and serenity of the location belies the danger that sits right on the edge of it. In fact, in many cases, the beauty is created to be a buffer that covers up the danger and hides it from the welcomed guest.



THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS


I found this out firsthand in a most unusual way on my first trip to Mumbai. Many are certainly familiar with the popular greeting often used in yoga- namaste. It is normally said in conjunction with a slight reverential bow and the hands clasped. As I was walking into this hotel for the first time, on either side of the door, were two women in saris, one of whom welcomed me in English, the other greeted me with “namaste” and a small bow. As I began to utter the word “namaste” back, I felt a voice inside of me say, “You don’t even know what you are saying.” Before I got the word out, I instead simply fumbled over a stuttering “thank you” and moved on to check-in.

This bothered me greatly and as soon as I got upstairs to my room, I looked online to find out what the real meaning of namaste is. One should note that while there are a handful of main gods worshiped in India, there are well over 30 million gods that Hindus could follow based on regional, ethnic, and situational differences. Therefore, it is impossible to know what all of the gods are. Consequently, another Hindu would have no idea what another’s god choice is. So, they say “namaste”, which in English translates to “I bow to the god in you.”


Think about that for a second. You could spend your entire natural born life as a Christian, Muslim, even a Buddhist monk. Yet in one moment of seemingly innocent greetings, you could be inviting any manner of spirits into your life. Does it sound crazy?

“C’mon Keith, don’t get so worked up. It’s just a word. You were just being friendly and courteous. God knows that.” Well, I will admit that God is infinite in His grace and mercy and yes, of course, He will forgive. However, the spiritual world is not a game of pattycake. There are real consequences. No one is giving you a free pass. Look at what the apostle Paul said- [Eph 6:12 KJV] 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Words mean things. See what James had to say.

[Jas 3:6 ESV] 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.


DANGER DOESN'T TELL YOU WHEN IT WALKS INTO A ROOM


Here is the point to remember as we jump into the rest of this article. Danger is often masked by beauty, both physical and spiritual. Whether it is words, architecture, or even landscapes, beauty can be a cover wherein our lives can be unraveled. Jesus understood this and warned us. [Mat 10:16 ESV] 16 "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Keep this in mind as we move forward.


WHAT IS THE ENNEAGRAM?



Let's define the Enneagram so that we are familiar with the symbol and tool as it will be the focal point of the remainder of the article. I will use Wikipedia as it captures the essence of the concept.

The Enneagram of Personality, or simply the Enneagram (from the Greek words ἐννέα [ennéa, meaning "nine"] and γράμμα [grámma, meaning something "written" or "drawn"[1]]), is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. Although the origins and history of many of the ideas and theories associated with the Enneagram of Personality are a matter of dispute, contemporary Enneagram theories are principally derived from the teachings of the Bolivian psycho-spiritual teacher Oscar Ichazo from the 1950s and the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo from the 1970s. Naranjo's theories were also influenced by some earlier teachings about personality by George Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way tradition.

As a typology the Enneagram defines nine personality types (sometimes called "enneatypes"), which are represented by the points of a geometric figure called an enneagram,[2] which indicate connections between the types. There are some different schools of thought among Enneagram teachers and their understandings are not always in agreement.[2]

The Enneagram of Personality has been widely promoted in both business management and spirituality contexts through seminars, conferences, books, magazines, and DVDs.[3][4] In business contexts it is generally used as a typology to gain insights into workplace interpersonal dynamics; in spirituality it is more commonly presented as a path to higher states of being, essence, and enlightenment. Both contexts say it can aid in self-awareness, self-understanding and self-development.

There has been limited formal psychometric analysis of the Enneagram and the peer-reviewed research that has been done has not been widely accepted within the relevant academic communities. Experts have generally dismissed the Enneagram, and widely consider it to be "pseudoscientific at best".


THE ENNEAGRAM IS SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE

At its most basic, the enneagram is a(nother) personality test, promising to show you, well,…you (because you don’t know you?), and it also shows you how to deal with other types. A quasi-spiritual use has been attached to it as well, somehow indicating our individual sinful nature and walking us back to God.

It has been brought into the American church in the last decade and continues to rise in prominence. Lest you think this is a fringe concept used by only a few small churches, note the following-


- Bethel Church has an Enneagram Collection of Books in their online store.

- Elevation Church is promoting Enneagram typology in their youth groups as a way to connect in dating relationships.

- Andy Stanley, Pastor of NorthPoint Ministries in Atlanta (a church with 7 campuses and 185,000 members, along with a global network of 100 churches), has a multi-episode podcast on leadership using the enneagram.

- Louie Giglio, Founder of the Passion Conferences, became a proponent of the tool and has been vocal about it.

- Craig Groeschel, founder and pastor of Life.Church, a 10 location church with 100,000 members, proudly asserts he is a type 3.

-Most of the major Christian publishers have books expounding on the topic, including Zondervan, Lifeway, and Thomas Nelson.


As can be seen, there is literally no shortage of major evangelical organizations pushing forward with the notion that the enneagram is something that is needed for you to fully realize your potential and purpose. A Rosetta Stone to understanding you and your relationships, including with God.


But, is there more to this than meets the eye? Is there danger hiding behind the numbers? Widespread use and many famous proponents does not justify it as scientific or even safe. A cliff is a cliff, no matter how many people are running towards the edge.



A WEAPON AGAINST THE END TIME CHURCH

I am not the first to write about the danger of the rise of the enneagram. I, however, want to look more at how it is being used as a marker and a signpost in what we would call, Revelation Unseen- the true landscape of the coming end of the age.


THE ENNEAGRAM IS AN AFFRONT TO THE HOLY SPIRIT AND A GATEWAY TO DARKNESS

I say this not to stir up anger or create strife. However, I must be clear for those who are reading. If you are using this tool- stop. Stop discussing it with others, stop using it to guide your interactions, and most of all, stop overriding what God says about you and the relationships you engage in. By the end of this article, I hope you will see why.


THE PEOPLE INVOLVED

Oscar Ichazo- The progenitor of the tool and a trained mystic in many traditions (Sufi, Kabbalah, Chakra Yoga, Pranayama, etc.) who reportedly received the concept of the enneagram during an Ayahuasca (hallucinogenic drug) induced session from the Archangel Metatron and Queen Qtub, mystical beings from Kabbalah and Sufi Muslim culture. A self-proclaimed messianic figure, Ichazo, at times, referred to himself as the alpha and omega.



Claudio Naranjo- a psychotherapist who studied under Ichazo and then brought the enneagram to prominence through New Age meditative institutes during the 70’s-80’s. The concept of the enneagram was reinforced through many hallucinogenic sessions as well as eerie “coincidences” which occurred with Ichazo, who, in turn, recognized it as them being "on the Path".




Chris Heuertz- an author who has brought the enneagram to the evangelical forefront through several books published by Zondervan, one of the largest Christian publishers in the world.



THE IDEOLOGIES AND TRADITIONS IT ROSE FROM

Below are *some* of the religions that the enneagram borrowed from in its current state.

· Sufism- Mystical Islamism

· Kabbalah- Mystical Judaism

· Tantric Buddhism- esoteric (spiritual) Buddhism

· Chakras- energy fields

· Shamanism- South American esoteric tradition of inducing trances for higher consciousness.

· Sarmoung Brotherhood- a secretive society that holds to the traditions of Zorastrianism.

· Hinduism- Third largest world religion

· Removal of Patriarchal Systems- The idea that man as the head of (households, families, companies, politics, etc.) has caused the downfall of society at large across the world for hundreds of years.

· “New Age” movement- alternative methods of enlightenment, achieving higher consciousness, and elevating the spirit.



THE SYMBOLOGY OF THE TOOL


Just like words, numbers and symbols have meaning. (NOTE: It doesn't matter if YOU find meaning in a symbol or not. It only matters what the intent of the symbol's creator was. We may see nothing, but if the the one who made it says it was intended for a certain purpose, then it should be recognized as such.) For example, where the casual observer may see simply a broken pyramid on the back of a dollar bill and think NO FURTHER THAN THAT (even a basic “That’s a strange symbol- I wonder what it means?” would be a start),

there are others who see much more in it and know there are reasons why symbols, numbers, words, letters, and themes get chosen. With that in mind, let’s look at the enneagram in more physical detail.





9 Types/ Points-

Hmm. No one can say why there are 9 types. Not ten. Not eight. There are nine. To come up with a specific FINITE set of types is pretty critical. To leave just one off could throw the entire model out, making it a parlor game. So why 9? No one knows. Not even the creators. In some accounts, it seems it was what Ichazo and Naranjo's spiritual advisors had shown them. Interestingly, the number 9 is very important to a few other groups- Baha'i, Pagans, Satanists, Occultists, Masonic orders, and also witches. The number nine is said to relate to power/ evil in the earth, and darkness.












Geometric Pattern- A leading straw man issue that proponents in the church regarding the enneagram like to hold up is the following- “Hey- just because it looks like a pentagram, don’t get hung up on that. It doesn’t mean it’s evil!” I agree with them, as when Matt Brown, pastor of Sandals Church says in a 2019 ARC Conference podcast. It is NOT a pentagram.


The ACTUAL issue, however, isn’t discussed. The fact that the shape comes from Hindu yantras that are used for their occult practices is the real issue. In fact, the inward yantra was used for the enneagram for most of the last 50 years, only in the last twenty being replaced with the more common linear shape.




















To be clear, no one needs to get worked up that it looks like a pentagram, because it literally is a yantra- an occultic tool.



Circle, Triangle, Hexagram- These are first and foremost intended to be Mandalas- shapes used in bringing about spiritual trances and meditations. These are also used to signify various “laws” (Law of One, Law of Three, Law of Seven, etc.)

In this way, God is brought into the equation (Oneness of God/ universe, Triangle=Trinity, 6 days of creation, etc.). This is, at best, an afterthought and is not the reason for the shapes. At worst, it is a condescending way to make the shapes within the enneagram somehow palatable to the Christian adherent.











THE DANGERS OF THE ENNEAGRAM

If it isn’t clear already, the tool is fraught with problems. There are no decent arguments to defend its use.


Argument 1- The tool is a scientific means to achieve greater understanding of one’s self.

WRONG Professional psychological organizations classify it as junk science with no basis in fact. It is, to the science world, a carnival act.

Argument 2- The tool is a way to improve interpersonal relationships by understanding one another. WRONG Garbage In / Garbage Out, based on point #1. If you can’t rely on science to back up the method, then how can you rely on the result to be accurate?

Argument 3- The tool is a way to allow the user to get closer to God. WRONG In absolute terms.

One would need to say that an occultic tool designed to change levels of consciousness through meditation, chanting and invocation of spirits, built by New Age pioneers with influences from every eastern and mystic religion over the last 5000 years (except Christianity) is somehow God’s preferred method of getting someone to “connect” with Him? In all sincerity, how could a church justify anything but condemnation of this device?


THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

Let us say for an example that someone determines they are to be a 9 on the enneagram- a mediator- one who doesn’t like conflict and looks to minimize discomfort. They go through their relationships and even into their calling in ministry and believe that this reinforces that they should not have any disagreements and they should be the “minimizer” of conflict. Until one day the Holy Spirit speaks to them and says, “I called you into this role to be a lightning rod. To be someone that took a stand, even when it caused conflict. I needed someone to be a constant voice of truth and clarity. There are plenty of others willing to minimize disagreement for the sake of “feelings”. I called you to put one against the other so that the Truth would be known and not watered down. Yet- you chose to enhance and reinforce the part of you that was exactly what I was trying to remove. Just like Moses- I would have strengthened your voice. In fact, it would have been a greater glory knowing that it was I who gave you the strength to stand up and not your own doing. But because you believed a voice from the occult that made you believe in a calling that was never yours, I was never able to use you fully as I could have.”



IMPLICATIONS TO A CHURCH IN THE END TIMES

1. Paul told Timothy that in the last days (both at that time and in the end of the age) there would be church environments that are apart from the Gospel which he preached to Timothy and others. [2Ti 3:1-7 ESV] 1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.


a. If your leadup to every conversation includes what your enneagram number or type is, where is your focus? Is this possibly what Paul spoke of when he said people would be "lovers of self"? More interested in what/ who they are then in others?


b. If you choose to get your wisdom about who you are from the New Age mysticism and occult practices, what room is there for the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus said He would do- “…guide us into all truth… John 16:13”. In fact, reliance on the enneagram would sound like “having the appearance of godliness, but denying it’s power.”


2. [2Ti 4:3-4 ESV] 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Clearly the enneagram fits this description.


3. [2Pe 2:1-2 ESV] 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.

a. There are many authors and practitioners of the enneagram tool that are NOT trying to help the church.


4. [1Ti 4:1-3 ESV] 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

a. One could argue that this verse specifically speaks to the Jesuits,










as they were the initial group of 5-7 authors who brought the enneagram into the church body in the 70’s and 80’s. Paul even indicates that these teachings would come from those who forbid marriage and require abstinence from food.



For centuries people have shot arrows at the church (universal), whether legitimate or not, and the church (or various denominations and groups) have had to fend off these critiques or sank under the weight of the allegations. As the body of Christ, we do not have the luxury of separating ourselves from those parts which we disagree with or don’t like. If it is TRULY part of the body, then the other members have an obligation to alert and bring to the attention of the rest, any issue that could cause serious harm. This is one of those areas.


I am not the only voice speaking against this evil which has crept into the evangelical community, but I am expressing the thoughts and ideas which God has given me to share. While this is proof of the lateness of the hour, this does not have to be the story of the downfall of many churches. I would hope that this article would help you to see the enneagram for what it is- a blatant repudiation of the power of the Holy Spirit and a doorway for evil doctrines and false teaching. The Church (universal) must stand up and say enough. Church leaders can’t worry about what people will say if they now come out against it, having previously embraced it. Do you think that God is not big enough to bring about revival in your buildings because you were obedient and took a stand?


REVELATION UNSEEN- The church is expecting persecution in the last days. And it will come. They are also expecting anger and hate from the world. But what most do not see, is that the enemy will work to undo the church from the inside out, using insidious methods designed to look like personality tools, or new methodologies, or even new concepts/ definitions of Truth that actually seem pleasant, helpful, and godly. Yet these will be the ways in which the enemy hurts the church more than any other.


I would ask those Christians who may be fighting to keep the enneagram in their church/personal life, etc.- If even 50% of this article is true, why would you ever want to continue using it?


The reality is this- once you know the truth of the enneagram, you are taking a stand- either on one side or the other. And what does it mean to stand on the side of an occult device knowing that God is standing across from you? Because there is absolutely no way Jesus would ever have determined His enneagram type in order to grow closer to the Father.

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