ENNEAGRAM VS. SCRIPTURE
I discovered that BOTH the Ennegram Personality Profiler and
one of the Contemplative Prayer Mystic leaders Thomas Keating
both promote the idea of the true self vs the false self. In
the Ennegram taught at Baptist Theological Seminary, one can
find the true self ONLY by using the Enneagram. The implications
of this theology are staggering. It would mean that neither the
Bible or the Holy Spirit (which is sharper than any two-edged
sword) is capable of revealing our "true self". So
by deduction, either the Bible can only reveal the false self,
or NOTHING. How more blasphemous could this be...yet it all done
in the Name of Jesus....more Schlock in the name of a "deeper"
walk and "inner" being.
See article regarding the Enneagram below.
Kindest regards in Christ,
Rock Salt Publishing
January 25, 2004
BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY AT RICHMOND
3400 Brook Road
Richmond, Virginia 23227
Dear Dr. Graves,
I trust that you received my letter of appeal to you concering
Dr. Israel Galindo and the promoting of the Enneagram at Baptist
Theological Seminary at Richmond. I am still hopeful to hear
from you regarding your position on the Enneagram and your intentions
regarding its use and further promotion at your seminary.
In Dr. Galindo's own words he states in his Myth of Competence
"and a lack of fully realized self-differentiation, or
Self Actualization is well known and implement New Age term
and principle and has as one its major tap roots Psychologist
Abraham Maslow. This was one of Maslows favorite tenets:
self-actualized people perceive reality more directly, more accurately.
Well it might have been one of Maslow's tenets, but it certainly
is not a Scriptural tenet. It goes hand in glove with Self-Realization,
a linchpin in Tony Robbins unbiblical Theology. "Maslow,
Abraham: The term "self-actualization" has been popularized
by this man. The underlying assumption is that man is basically
good and has within himself all he needs to develop his full
potential to be a worthwhile individual; i.e., to self-actualize.
Maslow is also noted for developing a hierarchy of motivational
needs, including both physiological and psychological ones. The
physiological were more primary in his thinking." Source:
Furthermore, the Ennegram is supposed to tell your your "true
self", from your "false self". This concept is
totally unsupported Biblically and there is not even one single
example of it in Scripture. Our true nature is already revealed
to us in Scripture and Jesus himself already tells us what comes
out of the heart of man which defiles him. And it is the role
of the Scripture throught the process of Salvation and Sanctification
via Holy Spirit to fix us WHO searches our heart sharper than
any two-edged sword, and certainly sharper than any pagan/occult
based Ennegram can reveal. It is a person (The Holy Spirit) that
does this not a THING (Enneagram diagram or a subjective numerology
based hocus pocus.
I thought you might also need to have further documentation
that the Enneagram is completely not-compatible with Christianity.
By Craig Branch
Some of the most prolific growth of the New Age Movement has
been in the areas of psychology and medicine.
One significant factor in understanding this is that these
are helping professions. People who are in pain, physically and
emotionally (and there are millions), are the more vulnerable
because they are more desperate for help.
Humans are fallen people with a sinful nature and are intensely
interested in themselves, egocentric. And in their insecurity
people are also very interested in knowing about themselves,
others, and even the future, in order to have more control.
But instead of looking solely to God and his revealed wisdom
and truth in Christ Jesus, humans tend to look instead to the
creation and Satan's counterfeits. Someone astutely commenting
on the New Age distortion observed that man, instead of pursuing
God, is pursuing the image of God.
This can be seen in many concrete examples. Millions of Americans
believe that astrology is scientific, and over half of Americans
read their horoscopes daily. People believe in I Ching, Tarot
cards, palm readers, crystals, reflexology, iridology, color
therapy, subliminal tapes, etc.
People are flocking to New Age self-help, human potential
seminars like Scientology/Dianetics, Tony Robbins Seminars, S.A.G.E.,
John Bradshaw's Inner Child seminar, etc. In this same vein,
a growing number of Americans are expressing an interest in the
study of the Enneagram.
The Enneagram is an occult oriented chart or diagram with
many points and lines inside and touching a circle. The chart
purports to describe nine different personality types, and therefore,
nine approaches to the perception and response to reality.
Well-known psychic Helen Palmer writes in her book, The Enneagram,
that "The teaching can help us to recognize our own type
and how to cope with our issues, understand our work associates,
lovers, friends, and to appreciate the predisposition that each
type has for higher human capacities such as empathy, omniscience,
and love". Enneagram is one of the few models of consciousness
that addresses the relationship between personality and other
levels of human capability.(p. 3).
Although the Enneagram has a few variables depending on which
authority is used, the trend is to present nine intuitive styles
of personality, and the nine psychological diagnostic categories
which appear in the DSM III (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual
III). This is an attempt to give the enneagram scientific credibility
Workshop participants are given a series of personality assessment
questionnaires which are standardized with the program, over
a period of 3 days to a week. The questions and resulting analysis
are part of the esoteric/occultic tradition of the enneagram.
The participant is then asked if the analysis, and other corresponding
number on the chart, fits their perception or personality. Most
will agree and then the lessons on behavior and perceptions are
The goal is supposed to lead to self-enlightenment which leads
to authentic personal freedom on a level never before experienced.
These enneagram workshops are being offered in more and more
Catholic parishes and retreat centers throughout the country.
The roots of the enneagram can be traced to two men: George
Gurdjieff and Oscar Ichazo. Both men were involved in occultic
pursuits. Guurdjiieff learned of the enneagram from a sect of
Sufis (mystical Islam). The Sufis used the enneagram for numerological
divination. Oscar Ichazo later developed a personality theory
around the enneagram and added it.
Ichazo was deeply involved in psychedelic drugs, shamanism,
yoga, even studying mysticism in India and Tibet. Ichazo has
received instructions from a higher entity called Metatron and
members of his group are guided by an interior master, the Green
Another leading figure in the enneagram movement was psychiatrist
Claudio Naranjo, associated with the New Age experimental Esalen
There are many myths associated with the enneagram. One myth
has to do with the alleged antiquity of the program when it actually
dates in the 1960's. Another is that it is scientific. Like many
New Age practices, its leaders are always trying to assign scientific
credentials, but none exists.
And the most important myth is that it can be adapted to fit
Christianity. Catholic* charismatic lecturer Dorothy Ranaghan
has written a well-researched booklet, A Closer Look at the Enneagram,
and asks the important question, "If the enneagram is unscientific,
esoteric, taken from a contemporary sycretsit version of Islamic
mysticism and tainted with the occult, how is it that many Christians
have bought into the system so wholeheartedly?" (p. 37)
One obvious reason is that Christians are not students of
the word of God, the source of all truth for matters of faith
and practice. SOURCE: http://www.watchman.org/reltop/ennegram.htm
*Finally, It is tragic that it would be some Roman Catholics
that have done their homework to expose the Ennegram for what
it is and its true roots and character, that more Evangelical
Christians did not step up to the plate as good Bereans and Stewards
of Gods' Word. But God can even speak through Balaam's Ass to
get our attention, if need be. But what is even more tragic is
that once presented with the irrefutable evidence that the Enneagram
collides with Scripture, that teachers who are held to a stricter
accounting, would contintue to teach it and refuse correction!
Since I received a letter from Dr. Daniel Bagby, one of your
professors, who apparently thought my correspondence was intended
for you as the President, I think it only fair and in order to
provide you with my response to his letter re the Enneagram and
Dr. Galindo's promotion of it at your Seminary, which I have
The final blasphemy is that in the Enneagram's own definition
(see definition at the bottom of this email), it declares itself
to be a "technology or system of human development, self-discovery,
spiritual growth." Sorry that role and title is already
taken by the Lord Himself, and his training manual is His Scripture.
God is a jealous God and will have no other gods before him.
That is how we achieve spiritual growth...through the strait
"Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:14-15
So I can not fathom how your seminary can countenance the promotion
of the Enneagram!
And regarding the children (young adults) you are offering
the Enneagram to at your seminary, I submit this warning:
"It were better for him that a millstone were hanged
about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should
offend one of these little ones." Luke 17:2
I hope and pray you take this seriously. I await your reply.
Kindest regards in Christ,
Rock Salt Publishing
Dear Dr. Bagby,
Thank you for your reply. I did not think you were the President
of BTSR. I know that, according to your website, it is Tom Graves
who is the President. But it is also true that I am trying to
send this alarm and appeal to the President of the Seminary.
But because of its urgency, I also sent this letter to every
individual faculty member. I am quite familiar with II Timothy
2:22-26. If there were a fire in the theatre, would you only
warn the manager of the theatre, particularly if he were unresponsive?
Are we to remain silent when strange fire is being presented
at the altar? But Paul would never have condoned Divination,
Numerology, or any magic arts, which is precisely what the Enneagram
Personality Profile is, as I well document. Certainly you are
not suggesting that Paul did not oppose this and command us to
expose it in the Church. If you are so passionate about "having
nothing to do with foolish and ignorant speculations", then
why is your Seminary having anything to do with the foolish and
ignorant speculations of the Enneagram?
If you are familiar with II Timothy 2:22-26, then I am sure
you must also be aware of Paul's other Scriptures which commands
us to warn a heretick twice, then having nothing to do with him.
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions
and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned;
and avoid them." Romans 16:17
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second
The Enneagram is heresy. Surely you must agree that there
must be some absolute criteria by which we determine what heresy
in fact is? Finally, without the truth, it is impossible to "pursue
justice, integrity, love and peace." So, I am glad that
you quote this passage:
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;
if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging
of the truth;
But the rest of the passage is equally important:
2Ti 2:26 And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare
of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
The Enneagram is simply not Truth! To truly pursue peace, justice,
integrity and love, you (and I) must tell the truth to Dr. Galindo!
The whole idea and goal of our instruction is to FREE him from
the snare of the devil. Of course the Apostle Paul is absolutely
correct when he admonishes us to have nothing to do with foolish
and ignorant questions. But the key words here are "foolish"
and "ignorant". Paul even gives examples of these foolish
and ignorant arguments such as arguing over days and diet, myths
and endless geneaologies. But he would never say disputes which
stray from Sound Doctrine were foolish or ignorant.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and
contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable
In fact it is even this very context that Paul then commands
Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second
If that were true he would never have opposed Peter, never
have opposed Philetus and Hymaneus. If that were true he would
never have named names and said that these false teachers must
be silenced in the Church who are ruining whole households (and
households of God). We could never oppose anything...all a brother
or Christian teacher has to say is simply you are causing division
because you won't allow me to proceed with my vain stronghold
of imagination. If opposing me for opposing the teaching of the
Ennegram, how is it that you are then exempt from engaging in
defending its' teaching, aren't you then quarreling with me?
If you believe any engagment is causing quarrels then you should
remain silent too! But the fact is, the day we become Christians
we surrender the right to remain silent in the fact of false
teaching in the Church. So if I am bearing false witness you
SHOULD oppose me. But I am not bearing false witness. I bear
witness to the truth. So, instead of closing ranks with your
fellow professor, you should close ranks with the truth! And
in the end you are not serving him by remaining silent in the
face of his false teaching!
The answer is that Dr. Galindo must repent from promoting
the validity of the Ennegram at your Seminary and you must do
everything you can to so persuade him. You may not have the direct
authority to do so, but you can still exercise Matthew 18 with
him. Finally I pray that your response and his is not what Paul
had to lament with the Galatian Church that he was now therefore
the enemy because I tell you the truth!" "Am I therefore
become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Galatians
If there remains any doubt in your mind that I bear witness
to the truth as to the pagan/occult foundation of Personality
Theory & Profiling, I invite you to read the following documentary:
In particular read:
The History of Personality Profiling:
Rev. Hird's report: CARL JUNG, NEO-GNOSTICISM, & THE MBTI
If in fact, we are to take your admonition of II Tim 2 22-16
(AND WE SHOULD) there has to be some absolute mechanism by which
we determine what even constitutes " foolish and ignorant
speculations" so they we can avoid them. Isn't that mechanism
the Bible itself, including all of the passages that where we
are warned about deception, false teachers, by Jesus, Paul, Peter,
John & Jude?
If the Ennegram is a doctrine of a demon and seducing spirit,
would eradicating it from your Seminary constitute engagin in
foolish and ignorant speculations? Or would it simply be obedience
to the command to purge this leaven from your midst?
Kindest regards in Christ,
Rock Salt Publishing
From: daniel bagby
To: 'James Sundquist'
Cc: israel galindo
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2004 5:29 PM
Subject: RE: BTSR Promoting Enneagram vs. Father Pacwa vs. Christianity
Dear Mr. Sundquist: I received your e-mail--and it appears
that you believe I am the President of the seminary here. I am
not. I am a professor here. Thank you for your interest in our
ministry. Since I am admonished in Scripture to "have nothing
to do with foolish and ignorant speculations," because,
as the apostle says, they "only breed quarrels"-- (II
Timothy 2:22-26)--I will do as he says, and "pursue justice,
integrity, love, and peace" (2:22). Shalom-- may God bless.
ENNEAGRAM: (Source: http://www.ennea.com/what_is.htm
The word Enneagram is of Greek origin and refers to a diagram
with nine points or lines. "Enneagram" is the name
of the system of knowledge as well as its symbol.
The Enneagram is an ancient teaching of mysterious origins
which is said to represent every process of creation and renewal.
The Enneagram is taught as a technology or system of human development,
self-discovery, spiritual growth and self-actualization.
The Enneagram, today, is most often presented as a system
of personality types. Each personality type is characterized
by specific patterns of thought, speaking style, feelings, emotions,
sensations, and belief systems which are universal to the type.
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
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Dear Kathy Hurley and Theodorre Donson,
I have just finished reviewing your article "Refuting
Rev. Mitch Pacwa's erroneous negative views of the Enneagram."
I had already spent years researching Carl Jung and his influence
in the Church, so this was a natural sequel. For your convenience
I have enclosed your completely article for context. I do not
address every point. My responses are in red. But I should also
tell you that I have run my responses by a number of discernment
ministry Biblical Scholars who also agree with my conclusions.
I am sure that you are also aware that the Briggs-Meyers Carl
Jung based Personality Profiler is also used in conjunction with
the Enneagram. I do not address that in this document. My research
on Carl Jung regarding the Church is published in other papers
and is also available on various Biblical Discernment websites.
I should also point out the Roman Catholicism does not represent
Orthodox Christianity for all Christians who support Sola Scriptura
as the only and final authority in faith and morals for which
the Reformation took place. An though Mitch Pacwa may be accurate
in some points regarding the pagan origins of personality profiling.
He is in grave error on a number of other points which I will
demonstrate. But my main focus is to demonstrate that the Enneagram
itself is laced with teachings that are contrary to Scripture.
That is the test, not what the Roman Catholic Church ultimately
Thank you for taking the time to read my review below. I hope
and pray that you take it to heart!
Rock Salt Publishing
Religious Accusations Against the Enneagram Proven False
© 2001, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.
By Kathy Hurley and Theodorre Donson
The Enneagram is a system of nine personality types that has
been growing in popularity since the early 1970s. Each of the
types is associated with one of nine core "passions."
Sometimes called ego-fixations or compulsions, these nine negative
emotional states are anger, pride, deceit, envy, greed, fear,
gluttony, lust, and laziness. This list largely depends on the
tradition of "capital sins" in Christianity, although
the Enneagram interprets them psychologically, not moralistically.
The Enneagram describes the nine personality types as patterns
of thinking, feeling and behaving. By revealing these patterns
clearly, the Enneagram is used to guide people in overcoming
weaknesses and capitalizing on strengths,
This is not Christian because the Bible tells us to God's
strength is perfected on our WEAKNESS:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore
will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
may rest upon me. II Corinthians 12:9
to understand and develop compassion in relationships of all
kinds, and to understand oneself in ones own personal growth
and relationship to God.
Catholic theologian Mitchell Pacwa, S. J. wrote extensively
during the early 1990s on his interpretation of the Enneagram
and how, like Jungian psychology, he believes it is misleading
Christians in their search for spiritual direction. His two main
statements are an article on the Internet, "Tell Me Who
I Am, O Enneagram," (copyright 1994, Christian Research
Institute) and his book Catholics and the New Age (Servant Publications,
1992). He continues to present his ideas on Catholic conservative
radio and TV shows.
In mid-2000, the U.S. Catholic bishops committee on
doctrine issued a document on the Enneagram based on Pacwas
ideas. It cautions bishops that "the Enneagram has its origins
in a non-Christian world view and remains connected to a complex
of philosophical and religious ideas that do not accord with
Our Response to Pacwas Criticism of the Enneagram
This article is our response to these unfortunate interpretations
of the Enneagram. We call these documents "unfortunate"
because our own research clearly indicates that the Enneagram
has solid roots in the Christian writings of the "desert
These desert elders to whom you are referring were Gnostics,
the first major heresy in the Church, but their beliefs do not
accurately portray or reflect Orthodox Christianity. In fact,
it was the Gnostics who attempted to integrate Christianity with
Greek Philosophy. Paul was opposing this and condemning it in
the First Century in his own writings long before the advent
of the Desert Fathers of which you speak, who were simply continuing
the tradition of the same heresies. There is a Hebrew word for
mixing other religions with the true Faith, the word is Makshufot,
which means mixture. Not only did the Apostle Paul not mix Christianity
with Greek Philosophy he spent his entire campaign opposing this
mythology and doctrines of demons that had no power to restrain
sin. To suggest otherwise is revisionist history. It is ironic
that Father Pacwa would be refuting your personality profile
as pagan, when in fact it his own Catholic Church that spawned
mysticism in his own Church Fathers.
These men and women, sometimes called the Fathers and Mothers
of the Church, lived and wrote in the first five centuries of
Christianity. As the first interpreters of the Gospels, they
inquired into the inner development of human nature as it progresses
toward the experience of God.
Thus, we believe that Pacwa, with the U. S. bishops following
him, is placing himself in the strange-but-true situation of
encouraging Christians to be suspicious of authentic Christian
teaching about the inner life because it appears in a form with
which he is unfamiliar and therefore cannot immediately recognize
The confusion these documents creates is compounded by the
fact that none of them demonstrates an accurate understanding
of the Enneagram. Because Pacwas article available on the
Internet both summarizes his book and is the source document
for the bishop's statement, we will deal with it directly in
False Accusation of Numerology
Pacwas document is marred by several erroneous assumptions.
For example, it claims that the Enneagram depends on numerology
and therefore calls it "divination." However, the Enneagram
uses numbers, not numerology. The dictionary defines numerology
as "the study of the occult meanings of numbers and their
supposed influence on human life." Numerology assigns numbers
to the letters of the alphabet and offers guidance to people
based on the number equivalence of the letters in their names
and their date of birth.
Pacwa also claims that the numerology of the Enneagram is
based on the search for the "mystical meanings" of
recurring decimal numbers. This statement is misleading in two
ways. First, possible mystical meanings of numbers is not the
same as numerology. I thought you just said that numerology by
definition does assign mystical meanings to numbers?
Second, the Enneagram of personality as taught today relies
on no such numerical mysticism. It simply uses the numbers one
through nine. This is not numerology, just as arithmetic is not
numerology. But arithmetic is not numerology because it does
not assign numeric values to the soul or personality traits of
the soul. But the bottom line that in the end the Enneagram is
numerology because it still uses numbers to describe or make
determinations about things pertaining to the soul. The Enneagram
is no more compatible with Christianity than Astrology. But jus
like the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ attempts to integrate
astrology with Christianity, the Enneagram does the same thing,
and both have their numerology Ouija Board-like charts. And just
like the Mandela, the Enneagram has its wheel-like nine-pointed
False Presentation of "Essence" and "Personality"
Pacwa denigrates another teaching basic to the Enneagram, essence
and personality, by calling it "pantheistic." The Enneagram
claims to describe personality, which perceives reality in an
overly subjective manner, and is opposed to essence or a persons
true nature. If it is so subjective, then of what possible mathematical
value, let alone moral value can it have? There is not nine types
of personality, there are as many unique personalities as there
are snowflakes, or as many people who were ever born on the earth.
Just as star differs from star in glory, every one unique, so
too is every personality.
In criticizing this idea, Pacwa is apparently oblivious to
the Christian origin of the word "essence" in this
context. It was first used in the 1330s by Gregory Palamas, a
canonized saint in the Orthodox tradition. This can't be Christian
either, it is extrabiblical. Yes both Greek Orthodox and Roman
Catholics canonize saints. But the Apostle Peter says that ALL
Christians are saints. Biblically there is no such thing or justification
for canonization. Saints are saved sinners who are being sanctified
while they live and gloried when they are resurrected. But no
man can elevate that status of a Christian once they are dead.
God alone, can do that! And just like Roman Catholicism which
is always adding to Scripture with its binding traditions, what
possible discovery about the meaning of the word essence
could add anything to the Revelation already delivered to the
saints, once and for all! What did all of the saints, including
the Apostles, lack for 1330 years since the advent of Christianity,
lack that new revelation to Gregory Palamas gave us, when both
Paul and Peter declare in their own words we were already given
everything we need for our sufficiency in Christ? He explained
the nature of God as "essence" and "energies,"
or the means by which God communicates with humanity. God does
not communicate to man with energies but by his living
Word, God breathed and verbally inspired. Palamas' explanation
of God is pagan and pantheistic, therefore in grave error. Since
humanity is created in Gods image, this teaching evolved
to say every human being also has an "essence" or soul
and "energies" or personality. These views do not represent
Orthodox Christianity. Bible Chapter and Verse please!
Alleged Occult Basis of the Enneagram
Pacwa says the Enneagram has origins in the occult, which most
people associate with magic and human use of spiritual powers
not lawful to them. However, the ideas that underlay the Enneagram
have esoteric origins, not occult ones. BINGO...esoteric
origins that's gnosticism, mysticism and Eastern mysticism.
For most people, the word "esoteric" is equivalent
to "occult." In fact, religious traditions use this
word in its most basic definition, which is "inner"
or "interior." Esoteric principles teach the inner
development of humanity as it yearns for the divine. Spiritual
growth, contemplative prayer and the writings of mystics like
Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila and John
of the Cross are all "esoteric." Yes and they are all
unbiblical too, so they can't be Christian!
Here is what John of the Cross says about God:
*'My beloved [God] is the high mountains, and the lovely
valley forests, unexplored islands, rushing rivers'
John of the Cross
No God is not the high mountains, he is the creator of the
high mountains. Anyone worshiping the mountains, thinking they
are God is pantheist, exactly what you say the Enneagram is not.
I saw that God is in all things
.Julian of Norwich'
No, God is separate from his Creation. If Julian of Norwich's
statement were true, when as the Apostle Peter records that God's
entire creation will melt with fervent heat and be destroyed,
God would be destroying himself...an impossibility!
Julian of Norwich also taught that God and Jesus Christ are
our mother, a concept found nowhere in Scripture. Source: Julian
of Norwich's "Christ as Mother" and Medieval Constructions
of Gender, Thomas L. Long Presented at the Madison Conference
on English Studies. James Madison University. March 18, 1995
Alleged Sufi Basis for the Enneagram
Pacwa claims the Enneagram comes from the Sufis (who teach contemplative
spirituality in the Islamic world). Many Enneagram teachers (including
ourselves) used to present this erroneous idea. But how could
the underlying ideas of the Enneagram be Sufi when the Sufis
themselves disavow this claim? To be sure, there are Sufi books
on the Enneagram (for example, Laleh Bakhtiars three volume
work, Gods Will Be Done (KAZI Publications, 1993 and 1994)),
but the way they both describe and use the Enneagram barely resembles
the presentation of the Enneagram Pacwa refers to. Whether or
nor Sufis originated the Enneagram, Sufism is completely antithetical
to Orthodox Christianity.
Pacwa states the nine types of the Enneagram fall into three
groups of three, associated with the head, the heart, and the
gut (often called "the three centers"). Then he claims
these three categories of intellectual, emotional and instinctual
are borrowed from Sufism.
Yet Plato also taught such a tri-partite analysis of human
nature (for example, see his Timaeus). Well Plato was wrong too!!
The Bible, and therefore Christianity teaches that man is tri-partite,
but the three parts are the Body, Soul, and Spirit. So did the
Christian desert elders when they called Christians to three
renunciations in the physical realm (simplicity), emotional
realm (virtue rather than the passions), and intellectual realm
(relying on divine and not human knowledge to lead a person to
God). These Christian desert fathers were heretics for the same
reason that Plato was wrong.
Common sense leads to the same conclusion. Each day, when
faced with decisions, people ask themselves, "What do I
think about it?", "How do I feel about it?", and
"What will I do about it?" This may very well be true,
but therein lies the problem! What we do must be determined by
the authority of Scripture and keeping his commandments. These
are universal categories. They dont belong to any one religion
or philosophy. Once again, therein lies the problem and why this
can't be consistent with Christianity. Jesus Christ said that
I am the way the truth and the life, and no man comes to the
Father but by me. Does this sound like Jesus was making room
for other philosophies and religions? Even the Apostle Paul himself
stated that the world's philosophies had no power to restrain
sin!! Further, although they are given different names and appear
in many different forms, they are almost universally used by
the worlds religions and philosophies.
Because he wrongly believes the idea of the three centers
is Sufi, it doesn't matter if Pacwa was wrong about its source,
if it still remains that the Enneagram supports this idea. Pacwa
takes exception to the idea that imbalance among the three centers
is one of humanitys basic problems and therefore that balancing
the centers is important spiritual work for everyone to do. Yet
this was also Platos idea and the Christian desert elders
built upon it, these heretical early Christian desert elders
should be building their house on the rock Christ, not Plato.
Plato's views were antithetical to true Christianity...and who
better to know this than the Apostle Paul himself who opposed
these Greek Philosophers face to face and tried to evangelized
them away from Greek Philosophy, even to the point of tearing
his robes. Paul did not borrow from any other philosophy, let
alone Greek, but rather said I preach nothing but Christ crucified!
saying that when head, heart and body are balanced, people can
more clearly hear God and more authentically fulfill Gods
will. It also makes common sense that when we learn to think
when thinking is appropriate, feel when feeling is appropriate,
and act when action is appropriate, we live more whole, wholesome
and holy lives. It is impossible to be holy without Christ as
our Savior. As to balance qualities or traits in the old man,
once again, Paul did not balance the old man, he crucified it
and put on the new man of a New Creation in Christ Jesus. Balancing
as you describe it is a yin-yang Eastern Religion idea, but it
has no place in Christianity.
The Ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff
Pacwa claims that the Enneagram is unreliable because it comes
in part from the teaching of George I. Gurdjieff. However, its
Pacwas tactic here itself that is unreliable: guilt by
association. One does not authentically judge an idea as good
or bad by its association with people, but on the merits of the
idea itself. (Pacwa uses the same false argument regarding Oscar
Ichazos association with the Enneagram; we will deal with
Ichazo in a later section of this article.)
By giving only the kind of information about Gurdjieff that
causes alarm but not balanced enough to allow readers to decide
for themselves what kind of man Gurdjieff was, Pacwa relies on
the dishonorable tactic of ad hominem argument, better known
today as character assassination.
Well I agree we should not use ad hominim attacks. But since
this article is at least in great part devoted to defending whether
or not the Enneagram is Christian, then it certainly would be
appropriate to ask what both Oscasr Ichazo and Gurdjieff believed
about Jesus Christ.
For example, Pacwa claims that Gurdjieff "rejected"
the Orthodox faith in which he had been brought up to explore
the occult. If Gurdjieff rejected his faith as taught to him
in the Orthodox church, then why do Gurdjieffs ideas dovetail
with the Orthodox monastic tradition on almost every major point?
The answer to that question is easy. The monastic tradition to
a great extent was mysticism. And by Orthodox, I assume you mean
Roman Catholic. But Roman Catholicism has a host of traditions
that are not Biblical, and therefore clearly not Orthodox Christianity.
For more proof go to lighthousetrails.com
Whether you read the writings of contemporary monks and hermits
from Mt. Athos (for example, Orthodox Psychotherapy: The Science
of the Fathers (Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 1994) by Metropolitan
of Nafpaktos Hierotheos), sychotherapy is Christian? Read this
Psychology vs. Scripture
Psychology counsels no fear of the Lord at anytime in any
of its therapies, let alone at the beginning. So there is no
wisdom in it. The Bible teaches that there is body, soul, and
spirit; psychology says there is only the body and the soul.
The Bible teaches us that it is Holy Spirit that will lead us
in all truth and that it is sharper than a two-edged sword, dividing
even the soul from spirit. Psychology doesn't even believe in
the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches us about our eternal destiny.
Psychology offers no hope for eternity. The Bible teaches us
to lay up for our selves treasures in heaven. Psychology offers
no concept of heaven to lay up your treasures for. The Bible
says seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things (our
needs) will be added unto us. Psychology doesn't seek first the
Kingdom of God, in fact it never seeks the Kingdom of God. The
Bible teaches that our help comes from the Lord. Psychology tells
us our help comes from one or more of unproven theories and tens
of thousands of psychotherapists whose ideas were drawn from
paganism, divination, astrology, humanism, and evolution. The
Bible teaches that being lovers of selves is mankind's problem.
Psychology teaches that being lovers of selves is the solution.
Bible teaches that we can come freely to drink the waters of
life. Psychology charges for it. The Bible offers the opportunity
of becoming a new man in Christ. Psychology offers an improved
or even damaged version of the old man. The Bible teaches that
our strength is perfected in weakness and that in suffering,
sin loses its power. Psychology teaches us how to balance our
strengths and weaknesses with personality profiles derived from
paganism and divination. The Bible esteems the contrite and broken
spirit. Psychology esteems self-esteem. The Bible teaches us
to rejoice in the suffering or being persecuted with Christ to
produce character and overcome the world. Psychology has no interest
in Christ's suffering, our suffering with Christ, or sees any
redemptive value in his shed blood. The Bible teaches that Jesus
Christ believed in demon possession and delivered those possessed.
Psychology teaches that there is no such thing as demon possession...so
there is nothing to be delivered from. Psychology does not believe
we are in a spiritual war, because it does not believe there
is any such thing as Satan or his demons. The Bible tells us
that we war against principalities in heavenly places. The Bible
tells us how to be blessed in the Beatitudes. Psychology doesn't
even comprehend blessing, so it can not offer anyone a blessing
because it omits the person required to administer these blessings,
that is Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us we can't produce the
fruit of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control without
abiding in the vine which is Jesus Christ himself. Psychology
attempts to bear this fruit by abiding in the teaching of such
founders as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud who opposed Christianity!
*ENNEAGRAM PERSONALITY PROFILE:
SOURCE: Robert Innes, Personality Indicators and The Spiritual
Life, Grove Books Ltd., Cambridge, 1996, p.3; The Ennegram is
significantly occultic in nature and origin, coming from Sufi,
numerology, and Africa New-Age sources. George Gurideff, Oscar
Ichazo of Esalen Institute, and Claudio Naranjo are the prominent
New Agers who have popularized it, and then introduced it, through
Fr. Bob Oschs SJ, into the Christian Church.
If there is any doubt that Enneagram Personality Profile,
or Meyers-Briggs Temperament Sorter (Carl Jung) is unbiblical
and pagan-based, I invite you to read the following documents:
modern western interpreters of the tradition like the Englishman
Robin Amis (A Different Christianity, Praxis Institute, 1995)
or primary sources like Gregory of Nyssa and Evagrius Ponticus,
you see that the majority of Gurdjieffs ideas, images,
principles and practices come from the Orthodox monastic tradition.
This includes the helplessness of humanity to experience spiritual
growth without grace, which Gurdjieff called "higher influence"!
Gurdjieffs main contribution to this tradition was to modernize
Pacwa also says that Gurdjieff eventually settled in Paris,
where he taught "esoteric Christianity." However, that
phrase doesnt pique any interest and he moves on to report
Gurdjieffs other sophisticated beliefs out of context.
Esoteric Christianity is the Christian teaching about the inner
development of humanity toward the divine, and it definitely
was Gurdjieffs topic.
Gurdjieff had his shortcomings as all people do, and Gurdjieff
did study all the worlds religions and philosophies as
extensively as he could to find principles and practices that
promote humanitys inner development.
If he did not find these principles in Christ alone, then
he was on a wild goose chase, and would hardly meet the Apostle
Paul's definition or belief of what a Christian is.
However, by translating a basically Christian Orthodox theology
into terms free from religious pietism, Gurdjieff can be seen
as an innovative evangelist, not the purveyor of dangerous non-Christian
beliefs as Pacwa states. If Gurdjieff's ideas are what you state,
then he was not a Christian.
A Strange Misunderstanding of Christian Faith
Possibly the most telling statement Pacwa makes is on the nature
of Christian faith itself. He says that Gurdjieff taught faith
arose "from understanding" which is "the essence
obtained from information intentionally learned and from all
kinds of experiences personally experienced." Only understanding
can lead one to God and only experience and information allow
one to acquire a soul. This approach to faith places Gurdjieff
squarely in the Gnostic camp outside Christianity. For Christians,
faith is a gift from God; it is available to the brilliant or
retarded, the aged or the child, independent of whether a human
understands or not. Instead of human understanding leading to
God, it is God who comes to humans, offering to dwell within
our hearts through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In this paragraph, Pacwa demonstrates a misunderstanding of
many things. Most important, he does not comprehend what Gurdjieff
means by "understanding." Stated in its simplest way,
understanding in this context is knowledge that is personally
experienced; this is the teaching of the desert elders, who also
definitely said understanding is the only road to Christian faith.
Contemporary Christianity phrases it differently by delineating
a difference between knowing about God and knowing God. Knowing
about God is theology; knowing God is faith, and knowing God
is an experience a person has.
Pacwa seems to be caught in an intellectualized idea of faith
perhaps faith as a set of beliefs, or as assent to certain
truths when he says it is "independent of whether
a human understands or not." For Pacwa, understanding is
Gurdjieff, on the other hand, is teaching the tradition from
the desert elders: faith happens when you personally experience
the God you are taught about. Indeed, this is also the very meaning
of the formula used by Pacwa himself when he says God offers
"to dwell within our hearts through Jesus Christ by the
power of the Holy Spirit." What does "through Jesus
Christ" and "by the power of the Holy Spirit"
mean except that Christians experience God personally in their
Thus, the real meaning of Pacwas statement is that Gurdjieff
taught the core meaning of faith as described by the desert elders,
but then he confuses the issue by misinterpreting the meaning
of the word understanding.
He further diverges from an accurate portrayal of Gurdjieffs
teaching by claiming Gurdjieff taught ". . . only experience
and information allow one to acquire a soul." Gurdjieff
spoke of understanding as defined by the desert elders above,
not information. Further, he didnt say that we "acquire"
a soul but rather that all people are created with a soul "in
embryo" which they themselves had to develop. While Gurdjieffs
language may shock us with its originality of phrasing (Is that
such a bad thing in itself, or does it make us think in a new
way about a familiar truth?), his idea is not dissimilar to traditional
Christianitys goal of "growing in virtue" or
"becoming more like Christ" in ones spiritual
Oscar Ichazos Influence on the Enneagram
Pacwa deals with Oscar Ichazo in a similar fashion to the way
he treats Gurdjieff. A South American seeker, Ichazos main
contribution to the Enneagram of personality was to accurately
lay the nine passions (listed in Christian tradition by the desert
father Evagrius Ponticus) around the Enneagram symbol, a nine-pointed
star in a circle probably first drawn by Pythagoras. Thus, he
created a map for understanding how human beings lose their way
to God and find it again.
Ichazos particular genius lay in his insight that, of
the nine passions described in classical literature (listed above),
one is laid as the foundation of the personality. All of them
are temptations for everyone, but one creates a veil of illusion
that distorts a persons perception of reality and thus
unconsciously misguides his or her thinking, feeling and behaving.
Consequently, it misguides a persons quest for healthy
relationships with self, others, the world and God.
However, modern Enneagram books and seminars have little in
common with Ichazos original work beyond this basic point.
Ichazo teaches a complicated set of principles and practices
reserved only to the members of his "Arica School";
therefore, these teachings do not affect the modern Enneagram.
Further, if you read Ichazos descriptions of the nine
Personality typing in itself has no basis in Scripture. IT
is totally pagan in origin:
themselves and compare them to contemporary Enneagram books,
you see very little agreement. Thats because for the past
30 years, the Enneagram has been exposed to hundreds of thousands,
perhaps millions of people who have refined and reshaped the
description of the types from their own experience. The modern
Enneagram of personality owes its inception to Ichazo but has
moved beyond him.
Ichazo holds many ideas that would be considered odd or strange
by the average person and teaches beliefs contrary to his Christian
upbringing. However, none of these ideas or beliefs have anything
to do with the Enneagram as it is presented today by most teachers
of the system.
Pacwas Misunderstanding of Theological Problems and
the Enneagram Pacwa wrongly accuses the Enneagram of presenting
errors according to Christian theology. We wish to list these
accusations and deal with each as concisely as possible. It should
be noted that many of Pacwas accusations are "straw
man" arguments; the tactic is to misrepresent an idea by
weakening it, then to destroy the weakened argument. Jesuit education
(which both Mitchell Pacwa and Theodorre Donson received) teaches
clearly that guilt by association, straw man and ad hominem arguments
are false, misleading and to be avoided.
Jesuit training is not a credential anyway. Jesuits are responsible
for killing millions of true Christian martyrs who were running
for their lives!
Pacwa insists the Enneagram has occult origins. Because Gurdjieff
and Ichazo have done some things Pacwa disapproves of, he makes
the leap that these practices affect their teaching. This assertion
has no basis in fact. Further, the Enneagram as taught today
was never taught by Gurdjieff; Ichazo created the basic idea
but modern teachers are now so far from his teaching he himself
complains about it. There is no occultism in the Enneagram teaching
of prominent leaders in the field.
Pacwa says "some Enneagram experts claim that original
sin begins when small children choose their Enneagram type."
Then he launches into how this idea violates Christian doctrine
on original sin. First, some Enneagram experts may teach this
idea, but not many. Surely, we dont. It is a speculation
for which there can be no proof, so it is not good teaching.
Also, few Enneagram presenters teach that people "choose"
their type. Again, there is speculation on how we become the
type we are, but none of these ideas can be proved.
Pacwa claims it is erroneous to believe that "humans
can undo the effects of this so-called original sin of ego fixation
by means of . . . spiritual work." The core
issue of each type is alternatively called a passion, an ego-fixation,
a compulsion, and a psychological addiction to a point of view.
No Enneagram teacher we are aware of identifies this aspect of
the Enneagram with the Christian concept of "original sin."
Then Pacwa states that "such work (to deal with
the passion) can never be the removal of original sin,"
which is a very different statement than his first statement
about undoing the effects of sin. In his own confusion, he confuses
the reader. Further, along the way he denigrates the value of
spiritual "work," which the desert elders teach is
the very heart of Christian spirituality. They say that dealing
with the passions (as named by the Enneagram) is humanitys
most important spiritual work because through it people clarify
their souls so that they can progress in understanding the communication
of God to humans. SORRY That is the job of Scripture is called
sanctification, and only the Scripture can sanctify us. Adding
the Enneagram is adding unto his word which is already sufficient
to the perfecting of saints! His Word alone is the method by
which God communicates to humans.
Pacwa states, "Another theological error is the claim
that Jesus our Lord possesses the virtues of all nine types within
Himself." We are aware of only one small book and one chapter
in another book that use this idea. It is not an important part
of anyones teaching on the Enneagram of which we are aware.
Making as much of this idea as Pacwa does is the equivalent of
throwing a red herring into the discussion.
Pacwa disagrees that there are "nine faces of God"
of which each Enneagram type is a distortion. He claims "God
does not have nine faces. . . . [T]here are three coequal persons
in the one God [and] these three persons are neither multiplying
nor subdividing into nine faces." Pacwa apparently does
not know that the source of this image of the "nine faces
of God" is the mystical Hebrew teaching called the Kabbalah.
So you say the Enneagram is not occult. Well the Kabbalah
is the most occultic book on the earth. And most definitely not
Christian. Nine faces of God? This reminds me of Benny Hinn,
the false prophet and teacher who said that there was not a Trinity
by NINE parts of the Godhead.
The Christian perspective of which we are aware both respects
its Jewish roots and respects the Jewish faith as a sister faith
to Christianity. No respected Orthodox Biblical Scholar respects
or believes the Kabbalah. It is totally anti-thetical to Christianity!!!
It is another gospel of which the Apostle Paul himself would
say anyone who preaches it should be eternally damned! Also,
the word "faces" is a metaphor for "attributes."
These terms are used interchangeably in the Kabbalah. Thus, the
Enneagram relies on ancient Kabbalistic tradition for saying
there are nine faces of God. This is the most damning thing you
could say about the Enneagram and proof in your own words that
it is completely inconsistent with Orthodox Christianity! We
will deal with Pacwas problem with distorting the face
of God in the next point.
Pacwa says that God is sovereign and no one can distort the
face of God. However, Christianity teaches that humanity is made
in the image and likeness of God. Orthodox Christian theology
says that in Adam and Eves fall from Eden humanity retained
Gods image but the likeness was distorted. It is true that
Orthodox Christianity teaches, because the Bible teaches that
this likeness was distorted because of the Fall. But it also
teaches that only Jesus Christ can remove this distortion because
sin is the distortion and the wages of sin is death and only
by the shedding of Christ's perfect blood is their any remission
of sin. The rest of the perfecting process, or if you would,
the clearing up of the distortion of the image can only be done
by sanctification which can only be done through His Word, not
by an Enneagram or ANYTHING man has invented! With your concept
of Orthodox Christianity, all we need is a face lift or a little
plastic surgery to fix up the old man...no need to become a new
man, reckoning the old man as dead to pass from death unto life
to become a New Creation in Christ! And even as a Christian we
still live in mortal corruptible bodies, so we do not see through
the glass (mirror) clearly, but a distorted image. The distortion
will be lessened in the process of Sanctification, which the
Enneagram or nothing but Scripture can accomplish, but there
will always be some distortion until we see Him (Christ) face
to face. Then we will see him perfectly in our gloried bodies
when he gather the Elect up to meet him in the air with perfect
glorified bodies. BUT NOT UNTIL THEN!
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face
to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also
I am known. I Corinthans 13:12
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when
that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall
be done away. I Corinthians 13:9-10 KVJ
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that
we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall
not prevent them which are asleep.For the Lord himself shall
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel,
and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise
first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up
together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one
another with these words. I Thessalonians 4:15-18
This is the teaching to which Pacwa, a Christian theologian,
inexplicably objects. In the language of Christian theology,
the Enneagram says that every human being is created to live
out an attribute of God in the world, but due to the sinfulness
of humanity that attribute becomes distorted by egocentricity
into a passion or compulsion. The Christian journey is to regain
this lost attribute and thus to "share the life of Christ"
with the world. No the Christian journey is to die to self and
count it all as filthy rags, just as the Apostle Paul said. There
is NOTHING to regain.
Pacwa objects to saying that the distorted face of God is
a demon, as do some Enneagram teachers, and says doing so "moves
beyond absurdity to blasphemy"; he also says that "we
humans cannot free ourselves from the demons; God delivers us
from them." Here Pacwa once again demonstrates his unfamiliarity
with the teachings of the desert elders, the first Christian
interpreters of the Gospels. Certainly some of the first interpreters
of the Gospels were heretics, as these desert elders you describe,
but most early Christians were authentic believers in the Scripture.
The Apostle Paul would have marked these very desert elders as
heretics! And the Apostle Peter himself said that no Scripture
is open to private interpretation is these desert elders did.
Remember, a face of God is the same thing as an attribute of
God (explained in point 5 above), which can also be called a
virtue. This statement is completely unbiblical. Moses saw God
face to face, but no man has seen him face to face since. The
Scripture itself says that NO man has seen of the face of God
since Moses! And when Moses saw his face, he did not see nine
faces. And no man will see God's face, no, not even Christians
until we are in our glorified resurrected bodies when we see
him face to face when Jesus Christ returns in glory. What Chapter
and Verse did you get that idea from in the Bible? The opposite
of virtue is in contemporary language is vice; the desert elders
called it a "passion." They regularly referred to the
passions as demons and interpreted the Gospel stories of Jesus
casting out demons as instructions to Christians on how they
should handle the passions when they experience them. This too
is completely wrong. Demons were fallen angels, fully formed
created beings. Your very teaching of the Enneagram in fact would
qualify as a doctrine of demons and seducing spirits, the very
thing Paul warned about in the Last Days. If the desert elders
taught this, then they were complete heretics. Again we find
Pacwa disagreeing with ancient Christian teaching because it
appears in a form with which he is unfamiliar and which he has
not sufficiently researched. The ancient Christian teaching that
matters is what the Bible clearly teaches.
Pacwa claims that the "occultic Enneagram
figure" (a nine-pointed star in a circle) has determined
the idea that "only nine basic types exist." He says
there is no objective reason for this conclusion. However, in
1993 we the authors of this article wrote a book (My Best Self,
Harper San Francisco) that explained why there are nine types.
The explanation has to do with the three centers and how we use
them to perceive reality and to respond to our perceptions in
our daily lives. Groups of three types use one of the three centers
as a lens through which to perceive reality. Other groups of
three types use two of the three centers to figure out how they
will respond to their perceptions. The result is a mathematical
conclusion: three ways of perceiving reality times three ways
of acting on our perceptions equals nine types. And that is why
it is numerology which the Bible says is an abomination to God.
To explore this idea more completely, see our information on
our website on Breakthrough Enneagram (r), or see our latest
book, Discover Your Soul Potential.
Pacwa objects to practices such as assigning Enneagram types
to public figures and using the Enneagram casually to type friends
and family members leading to "the trivialization of relationships."
Here we are in agreement with Pacwa. People know their Enneagram
type through self-awareness; no one can decide for you what type
you are. Thus, the practice common to some Enneagram teachers
of using public figures as examples of Enneagram types is dubious
at best. What one knows about public figures is from a distance,
unless they also happen to be personal friends or relatives.
People assign them an Enneagram type from the outside, often
by looking at only a few salient features they present to the
world. Who but they and their personal associates know what they
are really like? One might develop a personal opinion about another
persons Enneagram type, but only the person him- or herself
knows for sure. IF the Enneagram is subjective as you state earlier,
not even the person himself can know his traits with certainty.
Only God knows this! Only God knows the complete personality
labyrinth of the inner most being. You also assume that the Enneagram
personality premise or nine-pointed star is even true in the
first place. People should confine expressing these opinions
to their personal circle and not make them part of their public
teaching. The case is similar with ones family members
and friends. All too often, people make judgments that so-and-so
is this type or that type based on insufficient knowledge. However,
just because the Enneagram can be misused in these ways doesnt
invalidate the entire system. Human knowledge will always be
misused. For example, Christian theology has been used to justify
the Crusades and the Inquisition; (Yes and it was the Roman Catholic
Church, not true Biblical Christians who inspired the Crusade,
and it was Jesuits, the same Order as Father Pacwa that inspired
the Inquisition) those justifications do not invalidate Christian
theology. True enough, but Christian Theology, i.e., the Doctrines
of the Apostles can certainly be used to invalidate the Enneagram
and all Personality Profiling and should be used to test it.
Rather, the people who created the justifications are judged
by society and by history to have made a mistake and fallen short
of their ideals. This is the wrong goal, it is not whether we
fall short of our own ideals as subjective as they are, but rather
that we fall short of the Glory of God; and the Enneagram falls
short because it is unbiblical.
The Enneagram in a Christian Context
Thus, we believe that the Enneagram is not only compatible with
Christian beliefs, it actually has evolved from them. Christian
beliefs and practicing them does not need to evolve into anything.
It is the end in and of itself, as Jesus Christ is the Alpha
and Omega, the Beginning and the End, there isn't anything after
the End. Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher of our faith
which was once and for all delivered to the saints....there is
no AFTER all to evolve too. Evolution of Christianity is an oxymoron.
Further, it is based on human experience. While it has not been
the subject of much strict modern scientific research, it has
been exposed to and refined by the experience of thousands if
not millions of people. Its authenticity comes from its accurate
insight into human nature. Once again, this is biblically backwards.
Authenticity is determined by testing the spirits, to see if
they be of God, being a good Berean to see if any teaching is
supported or prohibited by Scripture. The Bible already reveals
everything we need to know about human nature, or the sin nature
and what to do about it. In this regard, the Enneagram fails
the test. This knowledge is helpful in self-understanding, which
is the first step on the spiritual path according to many teachers
of the spiritual life like Teresa of Avila. Therefore it supports
healthy relationship with self, others, the world and God. Thats
why spiritual directors and seekers are attracted to it. No.
Wrong again. The first step on the spiritual path is to fear
the Lord. That is the beginning of wisdom. Then repentance and
acknowledgement that Jesus Christ, the Creator is their Savior
and Redeemer and Sanctifier. Of course, people are attracted
to your definition of spiritual path, because it makes man the
author and finisher of our spiritual path or salvation rather
than the Lord. People are not attracted to the Rock of Offense,
which is Jesus Christ himself, because man is not basically good,
only God is good. Man is a sinner with a heart that is wicked
and deceitful above all things. Only the Blood of Jesus can wash
him white as snow. Jesus said the highway to Hell is wide and
most choose it, only a few choose the narrow way (Christ alone).
There is nothing attractive about the Cross and true Christians
must pick up the Cross and follow him. That is the first and
last step to the true spiritual path. Not the Enneagram. The
core teaching of the desert elders lies in the nine passions,
the deserts elders core teaching is wrong if it thinks that
demons that TALKED to Jesus whom Jesus cast out are passions!
This alone makes them heretics not Orthodox Christians! the three
centers, centers is a Kundalini idea, drawn directly from Hinduism
NOT Christianity and the role of grace in the process of spiritual
growth. An increasing number of Enneagram teachers, including
ourselves, concentrate on these principles and eliminate unnecessary
complications of the system like the "arrows" (to which
Pacwa objects) and "wings." In this format, the modern
Enneagram provides a practical access to the earliest Christian
teaching about the development of the human soul in its yearning
for the divine. Wrong again. The human soul, unless redeemed,
has no yearning for the divine, as the Scripture (and therefore
Christianity) states that NONE seek after God. But many seek
the divine in the sense of following Satan's own aspirations
to become God, or as Jesus said many will come in my name
and say that I am the Christ.
In addition, acknowledging the weakness of desert elders
severe attitude toward the body, we, along with other Enneagram
teachers, have updated this spirituality if it is truly Christian,
it does not need updating, Scripture got it right in the first
place. In fact one of the marks of a false teacher is adding
and/or subtracting from Scripture, particularly in the Last Days.
with respect for the beauty and value of physical reality. In
this context, the Enneagram is an accurate mirror and guide on
that ultimate of Christian journeys, the journey of the human
person to God. This was Satan's offer to Eve in the Garden of
Eden, and what got us into trouble in the first place. No the
Enneagram is a blind guide. Father Pacwa is a blind guide. It
ironic that one false teacher attempts expose another false teacher.
Neither are Christian or compatible with Christianity but are
what the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ himself stated:
The blind leading the blind, both end up in the ditch.
Finally no Christian journey can take you the end of the journey
to God himself. It is God himself as Jesus Christ returning to
the earth to gather the elect from the four winds and changes
them from corruptible to incorruptible bodies, and he will do
so without the help of Enneagrams.
In conclusion the very title of your book Discover your
Soul Potential Using the Enneagram, could not be further
from the truth of what is written in Scripture. The soul has
NO potential in this life or the life to come without being born
again. Even upon using the Ennegram, you are still dead in your
trespasses. Contrary to Scripture a person is not basically good
but simply needs help from taking an Enneagram to restore himself
to wholeness are simply fix what is stuck so you can be in proper
alignment. Reading, believing and obeying the Bible is the answer
to the problems and fulfillment of the soul, not the Enneagram
© 2001, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.
Kathy Hurley and Theodorre Donsons most recent contribution
to Enneagram studies is their award-winning book, Discover Your
Soul Potential: Using the Enneagram to Awaken Spiritual Vitality
(WindWalker Press, 2000), and they are the authors of two other
bestselling books published by Harper San Francisco. Reach them
at their website, www.hurleydonson.com, and e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diagnosis and Prescription: The Enneagram and The Fourth Way
© 1998, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Enneagram: Key to Opening the Heart
© 1998, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.
Maurice Nicoll: Spiritual Giant, Gentle Genius
© 1996, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.
How Do We Keep The Enneagram Alive Within Us?
© 2001, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.
What Are the Real Origins of the Enneagram?
© 1998, Enneagram Resources, Inc. All rights reserved.