Defending the Idol
It is unfortunate that Pastor Zach Tyler and so many other Enneagram proponents have embraced and defended this idol as a spiritual tool through which the word of God is interpreted. Can a Christian honestly accept concepts like “shaman, shamanism, magic songs, altered states of consciousness, animal or nature spirits, channeling, hallucinogens, shamanic soul restoration, divination, automatic writing, and other undeniably dark New Age practices? How are they in any way compatible with biblical Christianity?
One of the recurring themes in the book of Judges is the Israelites’ replacement of the One True God with created idols. We find it in Judges 2:11:
And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.
God judged His people and then raised up judges to deliver them from the egregious results of His righteous judgment. However, after each judge died, the people turned back to their worship of idols. It was a spiritual process of cleanse, rinse, and repeat. (Judges 2:16-19; cf. Judges 3:7-11) When Gideon broke down his father’s Baal idol and cut down the Asherah, the town’s people were out for blood. Gideon’s blood. (Judges 6:25-30) Christians today are inclined to shake their heads and give these passages a tsk, tsk – while claiming they don’t understand how the Nation of Israel could have so easily turned from the God Who delivered them to idols they had created by their own hands. Is the church that much better, though? It doesn’t seem so.
As the occult origins of the Enneagram are pointed out to those happily engaged in the Enneagram craze, a very common defense is, “Choosing to use the Enneagram or not is like the question of eating meat sacrificed to idols.” (1 Corinthians 8) In other words, Christians are as free to engage with the Enneagram as the Christians in the early church were free to eat meat that had been “sacrificed to idols.” But, as our good friend and associate Marcia Montenegro succinctly points out,
The Enneagram is not like meat sacrificed to idols. The Enneagram IS the idol.
In her October 2022 article, “Is the Enneagram Like Meat Offered to Idols?” Marcia correctly explains that meat is spiritually neutral. It is just food and not a spiritual tool. The Apostle Paul voiced this very sentiment:
Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. (1 Corinthians 8:8)
The issue wasn’t about shunning meat that was used in a ritual to an idol, but that we are to “flee from idolatry” itself. That is pretty straightforward. Even so, Intervarsity Press, Zondervan, Thomas Nelson Publishers, and Russell Moore at Christianity Today are all in on promoting this idol as the current spiritual tool of choice – and why not? Like the very best idols in the ancient past, this one is very profitable.
In a 2010 interview, Claudio Naranjo confessed that he invented the story that the Enneagram is ancient and that he channeled the specific Enneagram types through automatic writing. Naranjo’s lies concerning the Enneagram’s origins and his “channeling” of the specifics occurred six years before IVP introduced the Enneagram idol into the Evangelical church. When informed of its true origins and of Naranjo’s channeling of the types, IVP – and the other publishers we contacted – ignored the evidence and simply resent their form letter asserting its ancient origins. As more Christians are becoming aware of its occultic connection, this is becoming an increasing problem for the Enneagram priests and priestesses. Pastor Zach Tyler at Gospel for Enneagram recently attempted to mitigate Naranjo’s automatic writing confession in his Gospel for Enneagram Youtube video, “Is the Enneagram Demonic? An Informed Response.” Is Tyler providing an “informed response,” or is this an uninformed or deceptive attempt at defense for something that is incompatible with Biblical teachings?