This might be one of the toughest posts I’ve written. I know how widespread the Enneagram is. I know it’s widely accepted. I personally really wanted it to be okay.
But I’m not a “one” anymore. If you know about the Enneagram, you likely have an idea of what a “one” means. And no, my number didn’t change. I’ve changed my views on the Enneagram as a whole.
Normally, I spend 99% of my time talking about what I’m for rather than what I’m against. So, today’s post may feel a little out of character, but because I’ve shared previously about the Enneagram in a positive light, I feel it’s important to share when I learn things that affect what I’ve shared.
I’ve actually been quiet about the topic of the Enneagram for a while because I just haven’t been sure of what I think about it. After we shared a post about the Enneagram and Prayer and ideas for how to make a habit of prayer based on your personality, I got asked to publish a book on the topic (which was so flattering!) and even then I just felt uneasy creating such a permanent product on something I wasn’t 100% sure about and said no. If I created a book on prayer, I wanted it to be a classic, something that in 20 years I could be proud of and confident in its content. (Funny enough, I just announced the title and cover of that book last week! 😁 )
Lo and behold, a few years have passed and I have done some more research including this very helpful podcast episode from Alisa Childers that opened my eyes to many things I didn’t know about the Enneagram. I knew it had a questionable start, but only vaguely, and heard enough people equate it to the idea that Christmas was also originally pagan so the Enneagram was okay too.
I want to share some specific red flags. You may be able to rebuttal each one perfectly, but keep reading because I’m totally okay with that!
1. The guy who wrote the types said he wrote it “automatically”. Wiki says “Automatic writing, also called psychography, is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing.” Here’s a video about the Enneagram’s origin.
2. The first well-known book on the Enneagram by a Christian was, The Road Back to You. This book made it feel okay. As I started reading about the Enneagram, it did feel like that little fact, that Christians were writing whole books on it, meant it must be fine. Come to find out, both authors of the book consider themselves progressive Christians and follow the teaching of Richard Rohr. I didn’t know a ton about Rohr, but from the little I did know, this was a major red flag. (Just a couple things Rohr believes–all religions share the same truth and are just different paths, and Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t necessary. This recent tweet from Rohr says a lot too “I say we need to switch our thinking from ‘Jesus came to fulfill us’ to ‘we have come to fulfill Christ.’ We are part of this ever-growing cosmic Christ that is coming to be in this one great big act we’re all part of.”) Many conservative Christians that currently study the Enneagram still quote early Enneagram adopters, like Rohr.
3. The defense in favor of using the Enneagram as Christians feels like it’s really trying to force the idea that it’s okay. As I began to read the arguments FOR the Enneagram by believers, and even pastors, the arguments were pretty weak. One argument was that Paul used false gods in Acts 17 to point people to Christ. That’s valid, but he didn’t use false gods to point people who were already Christians to Christ.
4. How is this test different than Meyers-Briggs? The spiritual undertones mean you likely will not find a book on the Enneagram that’s just a basic facts about personality. It will have a Christian-spin or a spiritual one. Even as we worked on our post years ago, I asked Kara to research, and one of the books I suggested ended up being spiritual but not really Christian at all. It’s too easy to slip into ideas that aren’t biblical when books have a spiritual slant.
Essentially, anything that made me feel like maybe it was okay was wiped out by these points. On the podcast, Alisa and her guest, a former psychic of 20 years, talked about how prevalent the enneagram is becoming in the church and essentially how we’ve made it seem okay when really, it’s something sneaking into churches much like new-age beliefs have entered in previous generations. I knew exactly what they meant because recently, I had read several books on prayer from the 70-80s and they mentioned the serious threat of Ouija boards in youth groups and other occult beliefs.
With all that, I’m letting the Enneagram go.
But what if I’m wrong? What if the Enneagram is really okay?
I don’t mean that to sound snarky, but the truth is, it might be fine but it’s not necessary to my faith.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says,
“You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.”
And I’m already seeing the reality of that. As I untangle myself from the Enneagram, I am able to acknowledge sanctification in a deeper way. When I was a “one”, being a perfectionist, naturally judgmental or hard on myself and others became my identity. This is coming from someone who for the last few years felt very confident I wasn’t using my number as something that boxed me in. I truly didn’t feel limited by it until I stepped back and imagined my life without the label of “Enneagram 1 / Perfectionist”.
I saw my sanctification in the complete way that Scripture talks about. It isn’t limited by who I identify myself as.
If you’ve got a lot of sunk cost (became a coach, did the workshops, brought it to your church) in the Enneagram, it might be really hard to hear this and I totally understand. When we’ve invested a lot in anything, we’re more prone to want to defend it instead of cut our losses. I totally get that because I’ve totally done that.
My hope is that for those unsure, or for those I’ve influenced in any way to check it out, I can share what I’ve learned.
And please, don’t take my word for it! I challenge you to do some research, and more than anything pray that the Lord would give you discernment. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and can share a bit of my own journey as I learn things but I will always challenge you to seek the Lord for wisdom.
YESSS thank you! It’s such a relief to me to see someone speaking out about this. I’ve been scoffed at a lot for saying I’m not comfortable with it. A lot of people say it’s “just a tool,” but when it comes to spiritual matters I’d rather be safe and avoid the appearance of evil.
Yes!! I think the fact that it has unavoidable spiritual nature is the deciding factor. And thank you for speaking out! I think it’s going to be tough for me to do that in a more personal way because I hate sounding judgy but I’m praying the Lord will give me the right words.
I agree with you about the spiritual nature of the enneagram. Even the Christian use of the enneagram makes it more alarming. When you use ordinary science or ordinary psychology, you don’t usually need to talk about it as a spiritual thing that way. (not that ordinary science has nothing to do with our Christian walk, just there’s a difference).
I agree Ruth!!
Wonderful article, thank you for sharing your heart and what you have learned. So many times as Christians we try to take a worldly idea and spiritualize it. To me it’s just another way to try to walk with Christ and hold the world’s hand. Therein, the line drawn in the sand by Christ becomes foggy. God bless you as you allow him to work in you and perfect you.
I love that picture! Walk with Christ and hold the world’s hand! That’s pretty profound. As I researched a lot on the topic, why people say it’s ok specifically, there was that sense of just wanting to justify why holding hand’s with the world is ok. Like we want to get as close to the line as we can without going over when that’s not the goal at all.
“I saw my sanctification in the complete way that Scripture talks about. It isn’t limited by who I identify myself as.” I so appreciate this, Val. I loved the Enneagram at one time and encouraged friends and family to learn about it. But the past year I have had a gross feeling around it. When its popularity exploded in Christian circles, it seemed to become a substitute for Jesus. With the focus on understanding ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses and how we relate to other numbers, it started to feel very limiting. It was easy to excuse behaviors and left little room for repentance and the sanctification of Christ. It’s so nice to know we are not alone in feeling this way!
Yes!! That totally resonates! I felt so sure that “wouldn’t be me” but it’s really subtle and slips under which is why it’s so dangerous and why I had to share! That line you quotes is literally why saying no to it is allll worth it!
Yes and Amen!!!! Thank you for using your platform for the glory of God and for truth!! I’m very encouraged by you Val, keep up the great work! I can’t wait for your book, I already pre-ordered it 🙂
Deja! That means so much to me!! Thank you!!
Thank you!!! My spirit is checked every time I see enneagram. Friends do this. My niece is a coach, yet I am so uneasy, so I have never done anything with it. Thank you for this. Helps me know I am not just weird!!!!! I will go back and listen and read the extra posts you have included. Thank you for this written post. I gave up instagram and facebook when the new terms and conditions came out and feel like I am missing out on so much!!! So I appreciate the email!!!! Love you, Val. Marcia Hansen
Awww thank you Marcia! I am with you on being left out on social media! So glad you are enjoying the email! I’m actually loving sending them more now that I’m off Instagram!!
Thank you!! I was enthusiastically agreeing with this blog post! You are definitely not alone in your questioning/letting go of the enneagram. Thank you for taking that step of courage to post this!!
Thanks Jess!! I hope it’s helpful to anyone who also has that uneasy feeling!
Thank you! I really respect you making the effort to take this stand. It would be so much easier to just keep quiet. The points you have made seem very valid. I have never gotten into Enneagram, so it may be easier for me to accept, but I think it is something we should be careful about using.
Thank you so much for sharing. I tried to “get into” the enneagram but never really did because I had a strange feeling about it. I don’t want a number to define me. I want God to define me! I am HIS not a number.
Denise! So true! I wanted to get into it because I LOVE content specific for my personality but ultimately it totally pigeon-holed me even subconsciously even when I was adamant that it wouldn’t.
Valerie, when I first heard about this I was interested. The more I heard about it, I began to get a check in my spirit, “Carmen, don’t.” I left it alone. I’m so happy that influencers, like yourself, are speaking out. Thank you for being brave and following the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Well said sister ❤️
Thanks Alex!! 🙂
THANK YOU! I’ve been uneasy with Enneagram for quite some time. I’ve listened to Alisa Childers podcast on progressive Christianity, and will look up this episode also!
Yes! I had to listen to her episode on Richard Rohr after too. Just getting the full scope, it’s crazy how quickly these ideas reached those of us who would NEVER agree with the major proponents of the Enneagram.
I have had the same shift recently. The Lord convicted me about it and I got rid of all my enneagram books and every mention of it on my social media. The upsetting part for me is, I felt uneasy about it when it was first mentioned, then like you said, others made it seem “okay” and so I stepped my toe in. When I heard (somewhere else, but you mentioned it here also!) that the guy who wrote the types said he wrote it “automatically”. That was it, I knew it was bad news no matter how it’s packaged now. It also gave me “numerology” vibes which I know is mentioned in the Bible as something to stay away from. I will definitely be sharing this, thank you for taking time to write this out even though it was uncomfortable!
Yes Chelsea! You are so write! Even just the word ‘gram’ seemed dark but not enough to stop me in the beginning. I am curious to see how this shifts our generation, like the divide. Where one camp will go and where the other will go. My husband talks about how he thinks cell phones will be seen like cigarettes. In the beginning we had no idea the dangers and now it seems obvious with cigarettes. Where will the church end up with the Enneagram? Look back and think ‘how did we let that in?’ or quietly go away or stick around.
Thank you for sharing this! I feel like the tendency for bloggers/influencers is to change for themselves, but not really get into the whys with their community. I am so grateful for your transparency on the topic.
I remember when I first started hearing about the enneagram, I felt so out of the loop! But as I was looking into it, I found a number of articles that just made me feel uneasy and I stayed away for digging deeper. At this point, I think I’ve put it into a similar category as yoga . . . . .useful tools, but just not for me.
Aww Leah! That means so much to hear you say that!
Thank you for posting! I have been doing some research on the Enneagram myself lately, as I see it creeping into the church. I appreciate your willingness to speak up. 🙂
Thanks Sarah!! I’m praying it doesn’t turn someone off who might be really invested but instead inspires someone to research too! There’s a lot out there that I wasn’t aware of. I listened to a well-known pastor on a podcast talking about why he did think it was good to use actually say he hadn’t researched it much! Yikes!
Thank you so much for your prayerful thoughtfulness, as well as your courage in posting. I too have been very uncomfortable with the enneagram. I will be sharing this, as well as sharing Alissa Childers’ podcast!
Thanks Tara and appreciate you sharing it! I’m actually glad to be able to have it here so I can share it too. 🙂
Thank you so much for this. I could never really get into the Enneagram and share a lot of your sentiments.
YES. Thank you for saying this. I am Catholic, and I avoid anything and everything Richard Rohr touches, including the enneagram. It has super creepy “spiritual” origins, and I’ve watched more than one Christian move from the enneagram to progressive Christianity to “spiritual but not religious.” It really is a slippery slope. Love that you felt uncomfortable, researched, and were brave enough to change your mind.
Oh yikes Angela!! Sad to hear you’ve already witnessed it influencing people into the progressive church! And thank you! That unsettled feeling has been there a while, I think I was just too lazy to dig because I didn’t see how it could REALLY be harmful. But learning more about the progressive church has changed my mind.
Thank you for your post! Great perspective.
God bless you for your courage, Val. I think you have shown humility, a rare trait!
Aww Rebecca! That means so much to hear!! 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this! I have often struggled with the enneagram in a few different ways. I understood that the labels were there for helping uncover the why behind actions and all that, but I honestly felt like when I was trying to dive in deeper with it, it was NOT getting me closer to my identity in Christ, but further FROM it. There are facets to EVERY enneagram type that I relate to. I bounced from number to number and I think there had been 4 times I landed, pretty confidently, on a number only to find myself questioning again. If my identity is wrapped into a number, I’d say that’s when I’ve lost my appetite for the Jesus who makes all things new. I believe in the science that says brains can change. I believe Jesus is part of that as we find ourselves in surrendered renewal through His transformative power. So many Christians, especially the influential, being so caught in this had honestly gotten me caught in it to. I was questioning my identity and wrapped up in something JESUS DIDN’T CREATE. His Word says who I am. That’s what I need to know. That’s the word I cling to. Again, thank you for sharing and I truly hope many more will begin to break loose from identities the world created in exchange for the truth of God’s word.
I love that you were able to detect that it was pulling you further from rather than closer to God. That takes so much discernment!
This is fantastic, and I am greatly encouraged by this post. May I assume, then, that your book on prayer won’t have ties or teachings based on the enneagram? I’d love to preorder!
Correct! This is the first time I’m sharing my views against it but I’ve stepped back from talking about it for a while now! I hope you enjoy the book!
What a great post. I really appreciate your humility/ability to re-examine your thoughts and feelings around what is becoming such a polarizing topic. I saw a tweet just yesterday relating to the fact that virtually every proponent of the enneagram has slipped into Progressive Christianity in some way – but especially Critical Race Theory/Intersectionality. I thought it was an interesting observation, and valid as well. BTW, I found your blog from a FB group I am part of – someone there posted your article. Keep up the great work, and God bless you.
Matt! Thanks so much for sharing and that’s very interesting for sure. What was the group?! Appreciate them sharing the post! 🙂
Here’s the group. Marcia is the lead admin, and Alisa is part of it as well.
Thanks Matt! I joined! 🙂
Matt, I have noticed that exact same connection. I first heard about the enneagram on a podcast by a very popular, then-conservative Christian woman. She had a guest on who had written a book about it and the guy was very effusive about Richard Rohr, etc. That was maybe 5 years ago? That podcaster has since fully embraced Progressive Christianity and openly disavowed traditional tenants of the faith. I see it happening right now to another popular Christian writer and blogger. Enneagram, then “I don’t know that I believe (fill in the blank” anymore, and now the connection Matt is describing. I bet in this calendar year, that writer will be fully committed to Liberal Christianity. You can see it happening. Sorry to go on so long, Val. This is such an important topic, and I love that you are blogging about it, especially since I too no longer use social media.
Thanks for this thoughtful reflection on this assessment. Your observations about it’s origins and how it tends to be enjoyed more by open theologians it telling. It is almost e”ntirely relational, about personality, like DISC and MBTI. But it lacks the scientific basis of these others. The “automatic writing” is a tool of many mediums.
Thank you for writing this post! I have written a blog post about the topic myself which I will be publishing in early April. Would you mind if I referenced this article and/or linked to it? (If I can figure out how to do that!) My blog is very small and less than a year old, so it won’t be seen by many, but I would love to show that I am not alone in my rejection of the enneagram for use by Christians.
Yes you definitely can Gina!! And I should get the pingback so I can read it too when it comes out. Cant wait to read!
Thank you so much!! It is scheduled to post on the afternoon of April 7th.
Thank you for sharing this! Even if it’s okay to use, I stopped using it when I found myself finding my identity in it and justifying sins with it. I am not a “one.” I am a new creation in Christ Jesus who was made to worship Him. I am supposed to be becoming more like Him instead of settling into my “oneness.” Thank you for this hard look on the enneagram.
Thank you so much for this, I am currently in counseling because a Christian counselor I used to see pushed this so heavily that I am trying to untangle myself as well. I was labeled a “9” and every time I would get stressed or upset I was a “6” and it just got to be that my true issues and hurts were not acknowledged but explained by the number and it stops the deeper process of needing further help. I am grateful for the women in my life who encouraged me that I didn’t lack faith but I was a true human with struggles and fears and a personality test like this did not explain the many aspects of me. I call it a labyrinth of lies. It never stops and attempts to explain every single emotion and motive. That is uneasy and no different honestly than signs and numerology. I will forever reject it and I honestly see a wave of people who will have been affected negatively by this, I warned my counselor and told her to get educated because a lot more people will be coming in and will most likely need detox from this trend as well. Thank you for speaking on it.
Oh wow Stephanie! That is so interesting to hear! Praying for wisdom and discernment for that counselor and praise God for friends who don’t coddle our beliefs but challenge us!
You have much courage dear one. and the only one who has the right to define you i s Jesus; I define myself as “God’s Little Girl” even if I am 68 years old.
Because of my “mature age”, I confess that I was a searcher for many decades. No, that does not make me an expert and I hope I do not come across that way. It has been an “interesting journey” to Christianity. I have been one since I was 33 y.o. I was raised in a Christian home, but I don’t remember seeing Christianity at home.
So I longed for something I believed in, not my parents beliefs. When I was exposed to Christianity in a women’s Bible Study group, I got interested. Soon I was involved in Precept Upon Precept Bible studies in the same group and gave myself to Jesus Christ.
I tell you all this because we must all be discerning about what is true Christianity. WE have the Wonderful Holy Spirit who will lead us into ALL TRUTH. Yes all things are permissible but not all beneficial. Well,honey, if it ain’t beneficial to you, and the Kingdom of God, leave it alone. It’s bad for you! LOL!
Pray for the BODY to develop discernment and to use the voice of the Holy Spirit as our guide. Bless you Dear One for standing against the lies of the Father of Lies.
Awww thank you so much for sharing this Phyllis! This is quite encouraging and so true!
Yessss yessss yessss. I was in shock when I heard the origins of it ( among so many other things) when I listened to the podcast that Alisa Childers did. Wow mind blown. I shared it with so many of my Christian friends!
That is awesome Katie! I agree, the episode painted a much fuller picture I think many believers (myself included) were tiptoeing around!
Such a good post! I was very into the enneagram for quite some time but always had an uneasiness in my spirit. I ignored the doubt for a while until my pastor gave a message on how our identity is in Christ, and I realized just how much I’d allowed myself to wrap my identity in the enneagram. After hours of research into its origins, I was appalled at what I found and what I had let myself get wrapped up in. While I don’t bash people over the head with what I’ve learned when it does come to in conversation, I gently ask my friends to do some research and test it to see if it be true.
Yes! And I know for me atleast, I was adamant that it wasn’t my identity and of course Christ is my identity but it for sure influenced my thoughts in a way that didn’t reflect truth. Totally agree!
Thanks so much for writing this! I first heard of the Enneagram through sooo many Christian influencers on Instagram talking about it regularly and how important/helpful it was to know. Being curious, I started to research it a bit and was surprised to read of its origin considering I’d heard of it from Christians. I agree that it is something you can get wrapped up in as part of your identity instead of Christ.
Monica! Kudos to you for taking the initiative to research! It’s so easy to forget that we need to do that especially when something becomes so commonplace!
THANK YOU for speaking out and sharing your heart. I totally agree with you!!
I am so glad you spoke up and spoke out about this. I feel like I was one of the only ones who felt funny about the Enneagram, but it was becoming almost a requirement as a Christian. I have always pushed back from it, and I am so happy to hear your view on it. Thank you!
So glad you see all of these red flags, too! It worries me how pervasive the enneagram has gotten in the church.
Hey thank you for this perspective! I see a lot of value in these comments. As the Holy Spirit transforms us
we become different people and often give up or “shed” parts of our personalities that once defined us.
I hope I am explaining that correctly. But as believers The Holy Spirit makes us new as we learn to submit to His guidance. We are not a “number” but “fearfully and wonderfully made ” created in God’s image. I am so
Well done! I’ve just recently come to this conclusion myself, for many of the same reasons. Way to take a stand on your public platform! 🙂
Agree so much! My identity should be through Christ!! So many outside distractions that can be tools but shouldn’t our main tool be prayer and the word of God! He needs to be First!
Thank you for this post. I never got into this. I looked at it and did not have a good feeling so I didn’t pursue it.
Thank you for having the courage to address this and change your stance on something publicly! I pray the Lord will bless you as you seek to be faithful to him.
Thank you for this post. I took the test several years ago at the urging of a friend who found the whole thing “transformative.” However, I have done zero with it and don’t even recall my “number”–I have found myself unable to and uninterested in embracing it and I believe that this has been a mercy and protection from God. The argument that “it’s just a tool” similar to the Myers-Briggs, or any other personality inventory has never sat comfortably with me. I think that people are quick to adopt “tools” that reflect their own beliefs and hearts, rather than sitting with the One whose reflection we are called to be.
I am so grateful that you posted this! Thank you for speaking up! Thank you for being bold!
Thank you for this! I have always felt uneasy about it. Very informative!
I’m right there with you and have come to the same conclusion after encountering similar criticism. Thank you for being honest and open about the change in perspective!
I always felt a nudge in my spirit when people excitedly discussed enneagrams, but I never took the time to understand why. I’m so glad you dig in and share the wisdom you discover. My mother was often on the outside of clicks when I was younger (80s-90s), and I was always rolling my eyes when she’d make rules like no Oija boards or dead man come alive games at friends birthday parties. BUT, she has impacted sooo many of our friends lives as the Holy Spirit guided her.
Thank you for being bold and going against the flow. I’ve never really wrapped my head around the Enneagram, but to me, any benefits that I might receive from this or any other resource don’t outweigh the benefits of putting Christ at the center no matter what. He’s number one. Everything else is second.
I adore you. Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to step back and have a change of heart on this one.
Spiritual warfare is REAL! Adopting New Age practices has implications we can’t always perceive and I think you are spot on to reject it completely. We don’t need tools like this to grow in our Spiritual lives. And you are SO much more than a “1”. ♥️
I really like this. I believe we are always supposed to test what we believe or accept, and this is just another topic to consider. I do also think that personality tests are fun, but do NOT define me. They may highlight some of my tendencies, but they do NOT limit me or what I am able to do. My dad HATED personality tests for this reason, and while I do feel there is validity to some personality tests, I think we have to always consider these things against God’s Word and what we KNOW to be true!
Love it! So happy you came to see the truth about it! its dangerous!
As a therapist, I learned so much from the Enneagram, but definitely faced some pushback. I kept defending it and was frustrated that my boss wouldn’t let me use it in my practice. After reading through this article, I unfollowed all of my enneagram accounts and am getting rid of any books I have. Even though it can have a Christian lens, my identity does not rest in my “oneness.” I’m a beloved daughter of God! It’s hard to be “wrong” about it, but I know that God will continue to work through what I’ve learned and help me to move on to a life without the Enneagram. Now, I know why the Enneagram was on my Examination of Conscience when I went to Reconciliation the other day. I didn’t confess that because I thought the Church was wrong. I need to continue to trust in the wisdom of the Church. Thank you for your boldness. I love your ministry and your big heart so very much!!
My brother’s church did a whole sermon series on the Enneagram and he told me that I should specialize in it as a counselor. It seemed like an intriguing idea but I didn’t have time to get into it as I was finishing my masters and that takes up tons of time. Everything that you mentioned is all news to me but I found it insightful. It is very important to discern everything and not just accept what is popular in culture. Thank you for being bold and speaking out knowing people will disagree.
I love the way you’ve approached this. I have had mixed feelings about personality test and enneagram test. Yes, these can be helpful tools, but anything that can be elevated above God-given discernment and His leadership in our lives can become a snare.
I’m having it thrown in my face as the “Christian version of 16 types test” lately. Just because it’s “spiritual” doesn’t make it Christian. Pagans are spiritual, witches are spiritual (both the wrong spirits). Occult stuff is “spiritual”, talking to demonic spirits.
I’ve tried that test on 3 different sites and answered same way each time.. different results each time.
Yes! Thank you for posting this! I have been feeling the same way but you have laid it out so well and clear! Thank you ❤️
Thanks for your thoughts Val. I would recommend reading “the Enneagram goes to Church” by Todd Wilson, a scholar and pastor-theologian with a PhD from Cambridge and a preference for conservative evangelicalism (he aligns himself with John Piper and Tim Keller so calls himself an unlikely enneagram convert.) He comes to a different conclusion to you – he has researched it’s origins, recognises many Christians are throwing it out entirely, and instead offers a helpful theological framework for Enneagram transposing it to a Christian key.
As a theology student and a pastor, I have long appreciated the benefits of Enneagram in my spiritual formation but have been aware of potential tensions of the Enneagram with my theology and the temptation to define myself by a number rather than as a child of God. This book offers a sound biblical lense to interpret the Enneagram, new opportunities for me to apply it to my ministry and a multitude of ways I can better love people.
Hey! I did a little research and based on what I’ve read, I don’t think Todd Wilson and I agree on things. Hate to say that! His wife was reading an enneagram book that got them into it. The book she apparently read 3 or 4 times was by a spiritual type who dabbled in Buddhism and Sufism. Here’s him talking about his beliefs.
I get that God can redeem things, but after lots of prayer and honestly, against my own hopes in the beginning, I can’t defend its value when evaluating the costs.
I appreciate your insight though! I know we will all land on the issue in different places!
Of course you’re welcome to disagree with the author 🙂
Yes, he talks about that book you mentioned on the opening page, and then in the second chapter he spends many pages addressing the issues you’re talking about: picking the theology of the enneagram apart, asking the question whether christians even should use the enneagram, looking at its origins, its advocates, its use by other religions etc.
I’m not particularly attached to the enneagram and am happy to take it or leave it, but I do think the discussion is more nuanced and grey than current dialogue about the ennegram. I wouldn’t want people reading your blog who have found it a helpful tool to feel in any way ashamed if God has used it in their spiritual formation. People might have seen good fruit in their lives from it and it may have actually brought them close to God. Your post encouraged people to do their research so I guess I just wanted to recommend a resource which offers a healthy framework if people are compelled to continue using the enneagram.
Grace and peace to you and thank you for getting us to think critically about resources we engage in 🙂
That makes total sense! Definitely don’t want people to feel shame. And I hope people will do their own research and figure out where they land. Like I said, I could totally be wrong! Appreciate the dialogue Heather!!
Thank you so much for sharing this! I have listened to a few podcasts about the origins of the enneagram and it is iffy for sure. If someone brings it up in conversation with me and asks what I am on the enneagram, I answer, but I don’t participate beyond that, I don’t feel like it’s needed to explain my identity. I used to be really into the enneagram, but I don’t think it’s necessary now. I felt like I was boxed into my struggles and it gave me an excuse to do things because I was a certain number. I just stay away from it now, and my security in my identity in Christ has improved because of it!
This is an interesting perspective. I have been aware of and studied the enneagram for 16 years. I’m sad for the misdirection that has been caused by people misguiding/typing/identifying people. I’m a conservative Christian that has learned to love people deeper because of the knowledge I have as a result of studying the enneagram. My identity is absolutely in Christ, but I sin and miss the mark daily and understand how and why a bit better. I also have so much more grace in my marriage because this is a tool to understand my husband in a deeper and more emotionally intimate way. I can’t jumó on board with the broad strokes of “Christian Influencers” on this topic.
Thank you for boldly sharing your thoughts on this! I recently came to the same conclusion when I listened to an episode of the Abide podcast.
Val, thank you so much for this post. Your points are very intriguing and I’m thankful for your boldness. And your point–if you’re wrong–it’s okay–knowing or believing in your enneagram does not have any impact on your sanctification or justification in Christ.
I’ve often felt “confined” by the enneagram. “It’s just the way I am” has been my thought since discovering my “number” but Christ didn’t die on a cross to save us and leave us where we were–he died on the cross to save us and CHANGE us through the power of the Holy Spirit–does the enneagram put the Holy Spirit in a box? Possibly!
Thank you for making me think!
Exactly! I may very well be wrong and I don’t feel like my life will lack for anything without it.
Thank you Val!!! I have never been super comfortable with the enneagram either and now you have confirmed why! I appreciate you stepping out boldly to share this! Amen, sister!
Thank you for standing in truth. Christians tend to get on a band wagon without doing their own investigation. They “rely” on people to lead them and they need to “rely” on God’s word. I am so glad you did your homework so that many others will understand where this is coming from.
Thank you for this post. I really actually like the Enneagram; it did help me figure out a few things about myself, but I never for sure fit one type. But that automatic writing…that’s definitely a turn-off for me.
It’s kind of like Jesus Calling where the author says she wanted more than the Bible provided. More?! Those kinds of things are bothersome. I’ve actually thought of not reading any other book one year except the Bible…but I love books so much. haha!
I have always been leary of the enneagram and felt like a fish swimming upstream if I ever opposed it in Christian circles. Thank you for speaking up about this.
Thank you. I didn’t know of the origins. I have basically seen it as a better way to understand myself (like with Myer-Briggs), but I haven’t solidified it to an “identity”.
I really appreciated this article! I posted it on my FB and had a lot of engaging discussion about this back in March. I shared the Alisa Childers video the other day in a FB group I’m in that was discussing this topic and today I received this message regarding your post on my FB page:
Warning: Your post goes against our Community Standards on spam
I couldn’t believe it! I’m going to repost your article on my page as I don’t see anything that would go against FB Community Standards. Your article was very helpful and needs to be heard!
Thanks so much for this article! I have several friends that rely on the enneagram and your article provided a lot of helpful points we could discuss. I tried posting it on FB but they seem to have blocked it due to their Community Standards on spam. Unbelievable!
Thank you for your post. I feel the same way. I liked certain parts of it, but once I knew the background, I didn’t want anything to do with it.
Really thankful for your transparency and living by the Word ❤️
Thanks so much Amy!!!
Our answers for understanding are already written in the word. The enneagram is a demonic tool. The symbol is demonic. It is a Trojan horse of introducing the church to the occult and leading more astray. These ancient symbols and use of numbers are satanic. Did Jesus practice the enneagram? Teach of it. It has roots from the Samouni brotherhood in ancient Mesopotamia. Many ancient magic rituals and practices are surfacing today and being used to lead the masses to Satan. I am recently saved after 20 years of practicing ancient occult and my life came to a complete destruction, God revealed to me how I had been working with and inviting the demonic through my open heart to the occult. This is not a joke. I can’t believe the Church is embracing this!!!!
Thank you so much for sharing this!! I’ve heard several people who were previously in the occult say how obvious it is that it’s demonic and always appreciate their perspective since it’s not a world I was familiar with!