I think I was formally introduced to the Enneagram when I received an advanced review copy of Alice Fryling’s book Mirror for the Soul: A Christian Guide to the Enneagram from InterVarsity Press. I had already discerned something was increasingly off at IVP and the book looked off as well. As much as I related to the entire Myers-Briggs INFJ thing in terms of how it explained my personality, there was something instantly off-putting about the Enneagram. I had an actual visceral reaction to the book as I flipped through it. I threw the book in the trash.
I didn’t have time to figure out why it seemed off. Life was full of too many other things. I simply knew I had no desire to go down that rabbit hole. Not only did I not have the desire, I felt distinctly like wisdom dictated I not even mess with it at all.
Last year I believe the Lord led me to some resources that made clear why I felt such a visceral reaction to it. I’m putting all of them together here in one post because I believe this information is important.
If you’ve wondered about the Enneagram or are concerned about someone you know who is bordering on obsessed with it (which I understand is quite common), you’ll find the information below helpful. I think the Enneagram is yet one more example of the Church being infiltrated.
Myers-Briggs Versus The Enneagram
Regarding the usage of INFJ as my Myers-Briggs type on my website over the years, I’m also addressing that. I’ve been slowly weeding out the posts that discuss personality types. I’ve considered Myers-Briggs typing as a form of shorthand for quickly getting to know someone or relate to them. It did seem helpful in terms of understanding why I interacted with the world in certain ways that others didn’t. But when observing people who become deeply involved with the Ennegram, it seems like there is something much more all-encompassing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. In The Enneagram, the Angel, and the Divine Coma, Marcia Montenegro points out this difference:
Moreover, it is a red herring to bring up the Myers-Briggs which, unlike the Enneagram, is not derived from spirit contact. Myers-Briggs is not in the same category as the Enneagram. It is claimed the Enneagram is a spiritual tool; Myers-Briggs makes no such claim. While Myers-Briggs claims to assess the personality, the Enneagram was never designed for that. The Enneagram is not to assess personality types but to figure out which of the nine paths to God each one must take to reconnect with their “true self.” In addition, Myers-Briggs is no longer viewed as valid by psychologists. Many have stopped using it.
So I’ve been finding all the references to INFJ and personality types while I’ve been auditing my website and removing them. They aren’t all gone, but I’m getting there. (Once I post this Enneagram post, I will be able to redirect all of those posts here which will make it much easier.)
I don’t have any problem with the idea of introverts and extroverts because I think that is a basic way of explaining how people function in life. There is no implied spiritual aspect to it. But if my goal is to point people to Christ and the truth of the Word, then I don’t want to muddy the waters by adding in extra things that may be of no real benefit (like the INFJ stuff). I don’t feel convicted it was sinful to write about such things. Rather it feels like wisdom dictates that I can better use my time and space here to focus on the Truth of the faith.
As an aside, it’s interesting to note that a key idea in the Enneagram is the “true self” which is a term I often see. When I learned this while watching these videos, I realized that I think I had even picked up that vocabulary and used it a few times. Not because I follow or even understood the Enneagram, but because it was floating around and I apparently picked it up. In using it I would not have meant it in the same way, but rather as being the person God has created you to be from a Biblical perspective. But the Enemy is so easily able to bring things into our world without our even realizing it. It was a good reminder.
The following sections feature different videos and resources that were originally forums posts. They are now combined here. I pray you find them helpful.
Updated note: I continue to add more resources in the comments to be sure to look there as well.
“When we start shifting our words to something worldly, something happens inside of us”
YES! THIS! THIS! THIS! I had written down on my tickler list to write a post about “stop using other terminology” when I “happened” upon this video. I’ve cued it up to the part where Krista Bontrager nails it. Watch it to the end.
Christians are obsessed with everything except the Bible. The language of the Bible is rich enough that we don’t need to adopt the words of other cultural movements. Increasing numbers of Christians talk more in the language of the Left than they do the Bible right now. I find that deeply troubling.
(I did write that post: Vocabulary In Your Life & Church – From The Bible or the Woke Left?)
Related article: Explosion of the Enneagram among Evangelicals
Is The Enneagram A Trojan Horse In The Church? With Marcia Montenegro
The timing of this was Providential. I had already been reading and thinking about the Enneagram and personality types.
Why I Quit The Enneagram – Jillian Lancour, Marcia Montenegro, and Doreen Virtue
This video is another helpful look at the Enneagram and its unhealthy and unbiblical impact on Christians and churches.
Book mentioned in video: Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret
More Reading About The Enneagram From Marcia Montenegro & Midwest Christian Outreach
I haven’t read all of these, but every interview I’ve seen with Marcia has been very good. I also trust Midwest Christian Outreach to publish solid resources.
A few articles specifically about the Enneagram:
- The Naked “Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram”
- The Enneagram, the Angel, and the Divine Coma
- The Enneagram Goes to Church and the Angels Are Not Rejoicing
A sampling of her articles on other topics related to spirituality:
- One Thousand Gifts – A Commentary
- The Labyrinth: A Walk by Faith? Concerns about the Christian Use of Labyrinths
- Is it true that God can Use/Redeem Anything?
- The Basic Spirituality of Yoga
- Contemplating Contemplative Prayer: Is It Really Prayer?
- The Twightlight Saga: Your Soul for Immortality
See all of the articles here: Marcia Montenegro at Midwest Christian Outreach
Thanks for condensing all of this information on the Enneagram, Sallie. I haven’t had time to read it all, but I will be perusing this post for a while because it’s just so chock full of valuable information. I was distracted early in my Christian walk with the Four Temperaments stuff that Tim LaHaye had out. I’m not opposed to it. Like you found with the Myers-Briggs tools, it’s a way to better understand yourself and how people interact with each other. My issue with these type of tools, especially in the church, is that they place our eyes more on ourselves than on the Lord. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I could stand to focus less on myself and my problems and more on the awesome God we serve. Just an early observation. Thank you again so much!
“they place our eyes more on ourselves than on the Lord”
Yes. I agree. The last video deals specifically with the impact these “tools” have on people in church relationships, etc.
I hope you find these resources helpful as you go through them at your own pace. That’s why I put the little warning/disclaimer on the notification bar. Over the next few weeks I am going to be putting up quite a bit of information like this and I didn’t want people to feel overwhelmed by it. People can pick and choose which things to explore and which ones to ignore. I simply want to provide good resources to help people in their walk with Christ.
Good to hear from you. Merry Christmas!
Thank you, Sallie! Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!
I haven’t watched this one yet, but I’ve seen it recommended so I’m going to put it here.
Janine has an extensive post about the Enneagram and Christians
Another video I haven’t watched yet, but am going to post based on the very positive comments on YouTube and who is conducting the interview (Sean McDowell). Dr. Berg did his doctorate on the Enneagram.
I’ve run into two different Christian friends as far as Ennegram goes: where you fall (from what I gather) which is it’s evil, and the others who viewed it as a personality type.
I think I’ve taken the Ennegram personality test online a couple of times, and never really remembered which one I was. I find personality tests amusing, so the descriptions amuse me, but that’s about as much I really wanted to mess with it.
I also found Meyers Brigg interesting when I saw that test back when I was in college.
As a general rule, I find the personality tests and personality types as a great way to talk with people on how they do things, OR the really silly ones can be absolutely hilarious to make fun of.
I’ve seen personality type tests as you explained them – a shortcut to kind of understand how people function in the world. Caroline and I enjoyed watching one guy on CensorTube who would poke fun at all of the different M-B types. But I decided that given all the theological confusion in the church and the world today, it would be better to simply back off from even sharing that kind of information in a fun way.
That said, there seems to be something particularly insidious about the Enneagram. This extends to the point that when I was picking an image to use on this post, my spirit recoiled at even using the related symbolism on my site.
A reader sent me an email with this link. I wanted to share this additional information for those doing research.
The Enneagram: An Occultic PsychoHeresy
Zondervan to Launch Enneagram Documentary: “Nine”
I haven’t watched this, but am adding it to the resources here.
I haven’t watched this, but when I see videos of Christians speaking against the Enneagram, I add them here.
It’s around the 28 minute mark.
The Jackie Hill Perry video
Another short video