Are Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, who are pushing the Enneagram craze among Christians, truly providing a map to The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery? Or, should we more accurately call their self-discovery manual “The Road Away from Him?” This is an important question. Are the Scriptures really all about you and me – or are they all about God? And, at a core level, is there really any difference between Cron and Stabile’s book, published by IVP, and the occultic book, The Secret Power of You: Decode Your Hidden Destiny with Astrology, Tarot, Palmistry, Numerology, and the Enneagram by Meera Lester, published by Adams Media? If one listens very carefully, they will hear the siren call of the serpent from the garden, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) It is sad that many Christians today seem to be more interested in self gratification and less interested in the true Christian faith, as found in the Bible.
As Kyle Keltz considers the question, “Why Did God Create Anything?” he notes,
Many people today, whether they know it or not, technically qualify as adherents to a worldview known as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD). MTD is the view that God created humanity with the main goal of providing for humans and making them happy.
What better way to adhere to this popular religious path than to put yourself into the center of the biblical story and cast God in the role of a supporting actor? Keltz writes:
So, did God create the world with the sole intention of providing a place for humans to live so they can be happy and feel good about themselves? Nope. God created the world for His glory in that He created the world for the sole purpose that humanity knows and loves Him. The God of classical Christianity is not the god of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
As much as we, as well as Marcia Montenegro at CANA, Dr. Ron Huggins (as well as others), have been researching and warning as many as possible about the Enneagram craze that is sweeping the church, many Christians today are so self-absorbed and invested they are unwilling to listen. As Marcia shows in “The Enneagram GPS: Gnostic Path to Self”:
As a former professional astrologer, one objection this writer has for finding “one’s type,” is that our nature is such that we too easily revel in a label that we can use as an identity, and then continue to view ourselves through that filter. A Christian should strive to view himself through God’s word; man-based categories detract from and may blur or negate that perspective.
Focusing on the self easily leads to self-absorption. It is fine to know one’s strengths and weaknesses, but the Enneagram is not needed for this, especially because 1) there is no objective basis for the Enneagram, and 2) the Enneagram claims to offer solutions via an “awakening” to the “True Self.” Using the Enneagram to identify one’s type too easily becomes a pathway to its prescribed solution.
Indeed, the Enneagram Institute points to the Gnostic and New Age belief of “our true identity as Spirit or Essence” and acknowledges the influence of the Kabbalah (https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/the-traditional-enneagram/).
According to Palmer (the psychic), “The ultimate vocation of the Enneagram is to awaken the ‘Inner Observer’ in service to psychological wholeness, authentic spirituality and ultimately compassion for ourselves and each other” (http://www.enneagram.com/index.html).
The warning about the occultic origins of the Enneagram were quite available to Roman Catholics as early as 1992, when the book by Mitch Pacwa, SJ, Catholics and the New Age, was published. The warning to Evangelicals went out via the Christian Research Institute in 2009 with, “Tell Me who I Am, O Enneagram.” Unfortunately, too few of Catholics or Evangelicals heeded these warnings. Perhaps the warnings did not reach them, or perhaps the pursuit of self-knowledge, self-realization, or just plain SELF, is just too strong in many to even hear the cautionary notes showing the mystical occultic nature of this practice.
Joy and I recently watched the movie American Gospel: Christ Alone. It is so well done. It is about the appeal and false doctrine embodied in the Word Faith teachers, such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White and so many others, that has been heavily embraced in certain Evangelical circles, not only in America but around the world. It breaks our heart that so many are embracing an absolutely false faith emanating from these false prophets and teachers. What makes Word Faith so popular is that mankind becomes the focus of the faith story. According to Kenneth Copeland, a supposed minister of the Gospel of Christ, God is pretty small really, about the same size as Adam. To quote Copeland, “God made an exact duplicate of Himself and if you stood Adam and God together, you wouldn’t know which was which.”
According to Word Faith teaching, God is not only a mere supporting actor in “my faith story,” but He is actually dependent upon us to get anything done! He cannot act without my permission and if I speak faith filled words, like a magic genie, He must perform and provide. Such heresy is unthinkable, and certainly doesn’t belong on so-called Christian television stations.
The road of self-discovery, whether it is through psychology, the Enneagram Journey, or finding “our true identity as Spirit or Essence” through Gnosticism and New Age belief, ends up being the same road that Adam and Eve’s chose for their self-fulfilling enlightenment in the garden. They listened to the serpent and,
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. (Genesis 3:7)
The passage in Genesis goes on to say they were afraid and hid themselves from God. It’s not much different today. If you are striving to gain your identity from self-knowledge, you are left naked and afraid before a holy God. On the other hand, once we come to grips with the true knowledge that Scripture is about God and His holiness, we realize He is the main character of the story. We are supporting characters! And our “character” is not all that great. Attaining true self-knowledge is a very humbling experience and leads people to take one of two roads. They can choose to humble themselves and accept God’s forgiveness and loving offer of eternal life, or they can live in denial (now there’s a good therapeutic term!) of their lost and helpless condition and run from the truth. Any supposed “self-realization” or “self-knowledge” that does not lead you to the cross is in fact self-deception. Jesus Christ is the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrew 2:12 KJV) and our Christian identity is in Him. If you are trying to find it anywhere else, to paraphrase Johnny Lee’s 1980s song, you are lookin’ for you in all the wrong places.Ω
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