Monday, February 01, 2021

Andrew the Preacher

Man of God
 
 
Andrew Miller on his 55th birthday,
with his parents Mel & Lydia

 
A tribute by Sarah H. Leslie
 
Andrew Miller has a special place on the streets of gold. At the ripe old age of 55 he departed from here on earth just a few days ago. He was a preacher to all who would listen. When my husband taught Men's Sunday School class, Andrew sat at the desk next to him, a co-teacher who shared much insight about the love of Jesus Christ. He would copy down words from verses of the Bible and add many extra letters, and words that were legible, filling out multitudes of tablets with ink. He would hand out his notes after Sunday School or church services. 
 
A number of years ago, after he went through a particularly rough bout of pneumonia, I went to visit Andrew at his house. He showed me his bedroom. That's when I realized he was a preacher. He had arranged neatly stacked piles of his handwritten sermon notes all over his bed, along with Sunday School booklets and Bibles. He knew what was in each pile and was quite particular about it. He said this was where he gave his sermons. Indeed, many testified that he would preach to his little nieces and nephews who would sit around him. That day Andrew told me a long story about a street of gold, tall golden gates with pearls, and "shiny, shiny gold everywhere." He kept emphasizing the gold and how shiny it was. I couldn't understand all of his words because he spoke so rapidly. But I caught the gist. How did he know about this? I asked his sister and his father and they said they couldn't recall a time where he had ever listened to Revelation on Bible tapes or heard a sermon about it. But he knew about it. Somehow he knew about it. 

I then went and told my Dad about this. He wasn't a bit surprised. You see, it wasn't until I was 16 years old that I realized, with dismay, that other people did not treat mentally handicapped people very well. My  father, Paul T. Huling, had raised us to believe that there were very special people in the world who had particular gifts and abilities that we could not discern nor measure. Dad taught us that people who appeared to us to be mentally handicapped were actually NOT -- they were actually SUPERIOR to us! And we should treat them this way, with much deference and respect. He strongly believed that God had endowed some people with unique capabilities of intelligence that we had not yet figured out scientifically. He hoped that one day mankind could discover these types of mental gifts and utilize them for our mutual betterment. He also believed they had special spiritual gifts: God could see it all, but we just hadn't yet figured it out. After Dad watched the 1988 movie Rain Man about an autistic savant, he exclaimed, "See? This is what I've been saying!" Dad was very proud that God had gifted him with an autistic grandson, Ace, who has unique gifts that include knowing intricate details about the Titanic, and also about every American president. 

"Dedicated to Andrew, Ace and Pamela,
whose humanity is inestimable and whose worth is immeasurable."

In 2004 we dedicated a monograph to Andrew, and to Ace, and to Susan Conway's daughter Pamela. Pamela and Andrew were specially gifted by God with Down's Syndrome.
 
While we were working on the research for The Pied Pipers of Purpose, we realized to our horror that much of the purpose-driven stuff coming into the church world was based on the corrupt worldview of the management guru Peter Drucker. Drucker spent the last third of his long life advocating for measuring humans based on their economic worth to "Society." It was called "human capital," "knowledge capital," and now it can readily be seen in the Chinese model for "social capital.” Before publishing I discussed our monograph with my father. He had been trained in Peter Drucker's methods in an industrial quality-control setting making "perfect widgets". When I explained how it was being applied to human beings he was appalled.

As we watched new methods and utilitarian mechanisms come into the church in the guise of managing the flock, we recognized that the new "standards" for "performance" that were being drafted would exclude Andrew, Pamela and Ace. Some church structures were so coercive that they would have also excluded us. 

So we warned about the damage this would do to poor innocent sheep, the lost, the weak, the weary, the handicapped, the infirm, the elderly, and the wounded. We feared that under such a repressive system exceptional people would be maligned and harmed. Indeed, as the years went by we received a multitude of reports of sheep fleeing these churches implementing these machinations. As we wrote we also added a satire, based on its undergirding heresy that God was insufficient and that man must make up for His lack. We would go on to publish many Herescope blog posts warning about the dangers of the purpose-driven system. Some of our research was published in Paul Smith's book New Evangelicalism

  

God placed Andrew in a loving home in a small close-knit conservative Mennonite community. You can watch his memorial service HERE where you can witness there are still warm places left on earth in these troubling times. Be blessed by watching starting at the 13 minute mark to see Andrew's best friend Jacob Byler read Scripture with much animation. You've probably never seen or heard the Bible read this way. It is just beautiful! 

When his sister Priscilla sent me Andrew's photo, she wrote: "This was his 55th birthday in May... he never asked for much in life other than tablets and blue ink pens, Diet Coke, a wrist watch and occasionally a walkie talkie set. His favourite things in life were Jesus, his dad and mom, hugs, to be loved and be prayed over, and social life with people. COVID robbed him of that this past year... but he is definitely making up for that in heaven! What a gift he was to our family for 55 years! He was born on my 7th birthday and my parents' 8th Anniversary!!" 

Indeed, Andrew's favorite thing was known far and wide -- birthdays! Andrew had all of his family member's birthdays memorized and he also knew about church people. Early on I began to rehearse with him, "Andrew, when is my birthday?" He would look puzzled, and then a big grin would spread across his face as he would remember "Jesus' birthday." Every year he would then call me on my birthday.

I have a list of people I am anxious to see again some day when I go home to the Lord. One of the first people I will want to see is Andrew. I especially want to see him in all of his glory -- with all of his special gifts and abilities in Jesus fully revealed. That will be a wonderful day!

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls;
every several gate was of one pearl:
and the street of the city was pure gold,
as it were transparent glass."

(Revelation 21:21)






Wednesday, January 27, 2021

“GO, STAND and SPEAK”

Part 2 of “For we cannot but SPEAK”
 
Read Part 1: SPEAK NOW 
 
“…lift up thy VOICE with strength;
lift it up,
be not afraid…”

(Isaiah 40:9b) 
 
Exhibit 1


The GOSPEL Cannot Be Muffled, Masked or Muzzled
Before proceeding in this article series it is first important to establish a key Scriptural stance. The source of TRUTH is God’s WORD, the BIBLE, and the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. The Bible posits “the WORD of the TRUTH of the GOSPEL” of Jesus Christ. (Gal. 2:5,14; Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5). Believers are exhorted repeatedly in Scripture to SPEAK, PREACH and TEACH the WORD: “Let the WORD of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; TEACHING and admonishing one another…” (Col. 3:16). Here is God’s will: 
 
Who will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge
of the TRUTH.”

(1 Tim. 2:4) 
 
The Old Testament prophets PREACHED the TRUTH in the face of the LIES of idolatry that people were hearing. The prophets posited God’s WORD to stand against the FALSE and idolatrous mythical NARRATIVES that so captivated ancient Israel. Those prophets who were obedient to God in SPEAKING TRUTH endured much pushback, opposition and persecution. Their TRUTH was deemed religiously and politically incorrect against the established norms. Over and over again God instructed Jeremiah to “go and speak.” King Jehudi was so “triggered” by Jeremiah’s TRUTH that he burned rolls of God’s WORD in his hearth fire. This destructive act backfired. Jeremiah 36 records that God prevailed upon Jeremiah to write God’s WORDS again, and He added even more WORDS.
 
In the New Testament the Religious Establishment, with cooperation with the Roman empire, was determined to suppress the TRUTH of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death, and especially His resurrection. But these officials ran into difficulties from the very beginning. The TRUTH could not be contained. It leaked out everwhere no matter how fiercely the authorities clamped down on it. At times the TRUTH poured out like a flood. Peter courageously PREACHED the FACTS of the GOSPEL TRUTH regarding the WORD that God had sent “unto the children of Israel, PREACHING peace by Jesus Christ”
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; Whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. And He commanded us to PREACH unto the people, and to TESTIFY that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
(Acts 10:36, 38-43) 
 
THE CENSURESHIP CRACKDOWN 
Recently BigMedia, joined up with BigTech and SocialMedia, has been engaging in LIES and PROPAGANDA, skewed to its particular worldview. Ignoring and suppressing inconvenient FACTS, while promoting FALSE NARRATIVES, is their new modus operandi. The intent is that their LIES become the “truth” and the TRUTH appears to be a lie. FACTUAL TRUTH is being aggressively suppressed, censored, shut down, blocked and obliterated. Those who believe LIES to be “truth” are aggressively finding ways to silence those who TEACH TRUTH. 
 
Make no mistake about it – the new “truth” that these Technocrat Elites are imposing is a FAKE RELIGION, a FALSE religious, political and philosophical worldview for the reigning global Church-State-Corporate system. This is a sign of the times. 
 
It is quickly becoming evident that the suppression of FACTUAL TRUTH is now expanding to censor BIBLICAL TRUTH. These unprecedented days require discernment, knowledge and courage. We will be documenting this encroachment of FREE SPEECH in future articles. Here is where we stand right now. We know the TRUTH of Jesus Christ and His GOSPEL. And we know that His resurrection is FACT. 
 
“But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

(2 Peter 3:18) 
 
FREEDOM OF SPEECH 
It is understandable why Christian Americans resort to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in times like these. Those of us who have actually been taught history or studied the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution recognize the significance of the freedoms granted by this remarkable Amendment. The First Amendment provides freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly. It establishes freedom from religious coercion or totalitarian repression. It reads: 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. 
One church historian has made the case that here in America it was the freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights that was set up to be a bulwark against a totalitarian rise of a State Church, which is an institutionalized and mandated sacralism: 
The First Amendment of the [U.S.] Federal Constitution, which provided that “Congress shall make no law establishing religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” was the death sentence of “Christian sacralism.” This Amendment is a Monroe Doctrine in which the soil of the New World is closed to sacralist plantings from the Old World.[2]
There is indeed a rising new State Church, but it is global in its scope. BigMedia, BigTech and BigAcademia have joined together to indoctrinate the public with their new worldview which is antithetical to Christianity. And this worldly consolidation of power now openly seeks to impose its BELIEFS on the public. Thus any dissenting VOICES, such as those of born again Christians, must ultimately be SILENCED. 
 
There are serious signs of trouble for those who would pin their hopes on resolving First Amendment issues here in the United States court system. First, in the past several months we have witnessed an unprecedented level of corruption in the courts at all levels. Second, when one takes a freedom case to the court, if it rules against you, it sets a precedent that erodes freedom for the next case to come along. Third, we have been told that there will be a “packing” of the U.S. Supreme Court with new justices. This highest court up to now has been the place of last resort for those hoping to retain their freedoms. This does not mean that one cannot try, or that you should not try. We have biblical precedence in Paul’s appeal to Caesar, who testified as to his ultimate purpose in that process: “the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the GOSPEL” (Phil. 1:12). At the time Paul wrote this he was in bonds, imprisoned, yet his hope wasn’t in earthly redemption but heavenly. 
 
For several decades many enjoyed freedom of speech in the milieu of SocialMedia and the Internet. However, BigTech along with BigCorporate has exhibited tyrannical behavior over the past several months, ramping it up in the past two weeks in coordinated moves to shut down people, platforms, and technology. Shockingly, there are no rights of recourse when one is censored by BigTech. Whereas one might utilize the judicial system to attempt to regain free speech in society, this is not possible with BigTech Giants who are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which give them immunity.[3]  Thus there is no right of appeal. BigTech Oligarchs are accuser, jury, prosecutor and judge. 
 
Recognizing the signs of the times, we are cognizant of the fact that we cannot trust in chariots and horses (Ps. 20:7), “for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). Therefore, “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24). We proclaim that we “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1), fully dependent upon the mercy of the Lord for courage and strength (Joshua 1:6,9). We assuredly know that we possess a higher freedom than can be found in State documents or man-made rights. Our freedom to speak and assemble is found only within the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. And by His Holy Spirit the GOSPEL TRUTH cannot be contained. 
 
Being born again, not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible,
by the WORD of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever….
But the WORD of the Lord endureth for ever.
And this is the WORD
which by the GOSPEL is PREACHED unto you.”

(1 Peter 1:23.25) 

What follows is a study of a pivotal moment in the early church that reveals the source of our FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This passage gives us strength, hope, courage, and joy for the days to come. We have taken the liberty of using current vernacular to illuminate this passage’s relevance to us today. The intent is to illustrate how a small remnant group of believers SPOKE the TRUTH boldly in the face of the Church-State Establishment attempts to SUPPRESS it. 
 
 
 
 
THE DAY THE TRUTH POURED OUT
After Jesus’ resurrection, His tiny core group of eleven followers expanded with family, friends and devotees to number 120 by Pentecost. Whereupon the wind of the HOLY SPIRIT turned a remnant of faint-hearted men into emboldened advocates for  TRUTH. An amazingly transformed Peter then stood up and confessed a risen SAVIOR, the TRUTH, to a diverse crowd from many nations, proclaiming: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses (Acts 2:32). He urged them to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). So powerful was Peter’s WORD of TRUTH ringing out that 3000 souls were converted that very day. 
 
Oops. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Religious Establishment thought they had put a lid on the Jesus Christ TRUE STORY. They thought they had planted their heavily financed FAKE NARRATIVE firmly in people’s minds by bribing the guards who had been at the tomb to tell LIES. But what happened next was even more out of their control. In Acts 3 Luke tells us that Peter and John took what seemed to be a routine visit to the temple when an inexplicable healing miracle occurred – “a certain man lame from his mother’s womb,” a man quite familiar to the temple-goers, aged “forty years old” (Acts 4:22), was healed! Not by Jesus – He was by now sitting on the right hand of the Father – but by lowly Peter, the rough fisherman! 
 
Excitedly this healed man went “walking, and leaping, and praising God” into the temple, “and all the people saw him walking and praising God” (Acts. 3:8). Plenty of eyewitnesses! This was just the sort of worst-case scenario that the Religious Establishment didn’t want to see happen. Not only had Jesus 
died, but there were multiple reports He had come back to life, and now His disciples were filled with power for doing His same sort of miracles. The Religious Establishment feared it was losing control. All of this happening was outside of their purview. This temple healing incident posed a direct challenge to their religious authority and political power. They rose in opposition to SUPPRESS the TRUTH TAUGHT by Peter and John: 
 
“…as they SPAKE unto the people,
the priests, and the captain of the temple,
and the Sadducees,
came upon them,
Being grieved that they TAUGHT the people,
and PREACHED through Jesus
the resurrection from the dead.”

(Acts 4:1,2)
 
It was the Sadducees who came out first. They had to SQUASH the FACT that there had been yet another inexplicable resurrection, a FACT that their doctrine denied. Recall that the chief priests had previously “consulted that they might put Lazarus to death – the man who had already died once whom Jesus raised” (John 11, 12:10). This was the Religious Establishment’s Cancel Culture running amok, which culminated in the killing of Lazarus’s healer, Jesus of Nazareth. So this was not going to be a friendly encounter. It was an aggressive move to reestablish their supremacy and control over a potential insurgency. 
 
These religious officials were not rejoicing in this man’s miraculous healing. No. Rather, they were upset about the TRUE STORY getting out – the Gospel TRUTH that Peter was TEACHING. So what did they do? The next predictable act that always accompanies a failure to suppress the TRUTH. Powerful Elites will always resort to more stringent punitive measures: “And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide” (Acts 4:3).
 
Did this unlawful arrest suppress the TRUTH? No. While Peter and John spent the night in jail, meanwhile “Howbeit many of them which HEARD the WORD believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand” (Acts 4:4). It backfired! To the 3000 were added 5000! One high profile miracle, and the accompanying testimony about Jesus Christ, along with the move of the Holy Spirit in men’s hearts, had launched a spiritual revival – despite this brazen crackdown on FREE SPEECH! 
 
There was a hearing the next day, although a legitimate charge is never cited. The question the leaders asked Peter and John revealed their spiritual blindness: “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” They must have been shocked by what transpired next. The new man, “Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost,” answered them boldly (Acts 4:7-8). The transformation of this weak-kneed fisherman into a courageous leader was yet another miracle in their midst. And PREACH he did, giving all glory to Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Who, Peter reminded them, they had crucified, and Who rose from the dead, and furthermore, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Ironically, in their effort to suppress TRUTH they had to listen to Peter stand before them and state the GOSPEL TRUTH!
 
The BigLeaders were rendered speechless! For a brief moment their false NARRATIVE totally crumbled. “They could say nothing against” either Peter and John’s remarkable transformation, nor the lame man’s incredible healing. It was time for a Re-Set. Things were getting out of control. The TRUTH was leaking out uncontrollably all over Jerusalem and they were seemingly powerless to stop it. Luke records that “But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.” (Acts 4:15-16) 
 
This statement represents their total failure at that moment to control the NARRATIVE. There was no point enlisting fact-checkers. This on-its-face TRUE STORY was “manifest to all.” Every place this healed man joyfully leaped testified to the TRUTH. Jerusalem citizens could visibly see the evidence of this great miracle. Worse, there was still present in Jerusalem that day many of those eyewitnesses to Pentecost from all across the Mediterranean world. How far across the known world would this TRUTH leak? It was time to plug the leaks and jumpstart punitive measures. 
 
THE CENSORSHIP EDICT 
A CENSORSHIP crackdown ensued. The Religious Establishment exerted its bullying authority. In order to suppress THE TRUTH they issued the following edict: “But that it [the GOSPEL TRUTH] spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they SPEAK henceforth to no man in this NAME. And they called them, and commanded them not to SPEAK at all nor TEACH in the NAME OF JESUS.” (Acts 4:17-18) 
 
This new mandate presented a pivotal crisis at the very beginning of the Church era on earth. Would Peter and John obey? Or would they cower in fear? Falter with doubt? Did they back down and say, “Oh, sorry, sirs, we’ll shut up now”? Did they vacillate and start making plans to return to fishing in Galilee? Did they hang around hoping that they’d get a big cash bribe like the guards at the tomb? Did they rush out of the meeting to explain to the crowd that they had just cut a deal with the Religious Establishment and as long as everyone behaved and was QUIET there would be no trouble? No. These men were not political activists, they were spiritual PREACHERS. SPEAKING Gospel TRUTH was non-negotiable. Peter and John didn’t fail their Lord Jesus Christ. They responded to the authorities with a plain statement of TRUTH that has trumpeted resolute strength to the BODY of CHRIST through the centuries and across continents: 
 
“But Peter and John answered and said unto them,
Whether it be right in the sight of God
to hearken unto you more than unto God,
judge ye.
For we cannot but SPEAK
the things which we have seen and heard.”

(Acts 4:19-20) 
 
RUNNING TOWARDS DANGER 
Predictably the Religious Establishment responded negatively: “So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done” (Acts 4:21). At this point God’s Holy Spirit was moving upon the hearts of men. So much so that the Leaders were stymied. Did they fear the power of the crowds – the very mechanism they had previously used to agitate and manipulate Pilate to crucify Christ? These same crowds had previously proved to be very fickle. How many of the multitudes were now believing that Jesus was resurrected – a FACTUAL TRUTH? 
 
Acts 4 records that Peter and John recognized the signs of their times. It dawned on them that they were witnessing a literal fulfillment of Psalm 2, that they were living in the prophesied time when the kings of the earth and the rulers “were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ” (Ps. 2: 26). The very political Religious Establishment in Jerusalem was aligned in opposition to Gospel TRUTH. Recognizing this, Peter PREACHED openly to the crowds: “For of a TRUTH against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together” (vs. 27). This politically powerless band of disciples recognized that the Church-State on Earth had all been arrayed against Christ, and now against them, in a frightful display of power. 
 
Did these men react in fear to these aggressive threats by praying that God would help them run away? Did they ask for an easier load? Did they request to be safe and sheltered from harm? No. Empowered and emboldened by the Holy Spirit, these men were no longer feeble wimps. Instead they prayed a most radical prayer to the Lord: “grant unto thy servants, that with all BOLDNESS [we] may SPEAK Thy WORD” (vs. 29). Like David, who “ran toward the army to meet the Philistine” Goliath (1 Sam. 17:48), these men ran towards danger. They prayed out loud together asking God to grant them courage to go forth, to SPEAK the TRUTH – in direct disobedience to the admonition they had just received to shut up and be silent. They even asked God for accompanying “signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Thy holy child Jesus” (vs. 30). 
 
They desired that God would display His power. They weren’t going to flee from their calling. There would be no hiding under a bushel (Matt. 5:15). The light of the Gospel TRUTH they were proclaiming would fulfill what Jesus once told them to do: “so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). They were essentially praying the WORDS in Ephesians 3:20, asking that God would “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” And God answered thunderously: 
 
“And when they had prayed,
the place was shaken where they were assembled together;
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
and they SPAKE the WORD of God with boldness.”

(Acts 4:31) 
 
“GO, STAND and SPEAK” 
The real battle was about to begin. Acts 5:10-16 speaks of multitudes and more multitudes coming to salvation in Jesus, to the point that sick people were actually laid on the streets “that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them” (v. 15). And “they were healed every one” (vs. 16). 
 
We do not read of the Religious Establishment joyfully celebrating such open miracles and widespread healings. They were not thrilled that there is a great repentance going on in their nation. Instead we read that they “were filled with indignation” (vs. 17, Gk. zelos, which is also translated envy). They were angry that they had lost control of the situation. In desperation they grasped what power they still retained and “laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison” (vs. 18). They resorted to brute physical force and incarceration. And there is no citation for whatever crime was supposedly being committed. The disciples had been SPEAKING and, by God’s grace, healing. Was it against the law to SPEAK? To HEAL sick people? The irrational Religious Establishment was apparently willing to see people suffer with sickness and sins in order to achieve their power objectives. 
 
But the TRUTH could not be contained. God must have had fun doing this next miracle. This time He sent His angel to open the prison doors. The angel charged the released apostles with a wonderful mandate: GO, STAND and SPEAK in the temple to the people all the WORDS of this LIFE” (vs. 20). And the men OBEYED! They continued to SPEAK – in the temple openly! 
 
The next series of events described in Acts 5 sounds like the Keystone Cops – panicked authorities running around hurriedly trying to figure out what had happened when they discovered the men had escaped from jail. Luke informs us that once again the apostles were apprehended, but this time, thankfully, they were brought “without violence: for they feared the people lest they should have been stoned” (vs. 26). Here again can be seen the restraining effect of the growing multitudes upon the Religious Establishment – these BigLeaders feared man (Prov. 29:25). Upon this latest harassment arrest, once again Peter and the apostles were put to the test:
 
“And when they had brought them,
they set them before the council:
and the high priest asked them,
Saying, ‘Did not we straitly command you
that ye should not TEACH in this name?
and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your DOCTRINE,
and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.’
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said,
‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’

(Acts 5:27-29) 
 
“WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN” 
These faith-filled WORDS have reverberated across the centuries and around the world. Such boldness comes only through the Holy Spirit. The God of Daniel who CLOSED the lion’s mouths can OPEN the mouths of believers. Such boldness cannot be repressed. Such TRUTH cannot be suppressed. 
 
The Religious Establishment could not endure such a brazen threat to their authority, particularly by men who openly preached their complicity and moral guilt in Christ’s crucifixion. Peter and John were physically “beaten” and “commanded that they should not SPEAK in the NAME of Jesus.” Did Peter and John react by fleeing the scene? Do we see them running scared out of Jerusalem? Did they hunker down and hide? Did their advisors tell them to keep a low profile and stay quiet to let the storm blow over? After all, this time they had just been painfully beaten, covered in bloody welts and bruises. What more reason did they need to give up and abandon their calling? Did they SHUT UP? No. Instead, we read the most astonishing FACT:
 
“And they departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy
to suffer shame for His NAME.
And daily in the temple, and in every house,
they ceased not to TEACH and PREACH Jesus Christ.

(Acts 5:41-42) 
 
We know the rest of the story. The Religious Establishment soon embarked upon a massive campaign of brutal suppression of SCRIPTURAL TRUTH, eventually enlisting the fanatic Saul of Tarsus who was present at the fatal stoning of Stephen. Saul was a partisan activist, wielding the full power of the Religious Establishment to wreak his violent havoc. But how many persecuted saints prayed in faith for his conversion? Paul, who Jesus directly called to be an Apostle, would later write of these persecutions in 2 Corinthians 6:9, testifying of boldness in proclaiming the TRUTH: “For I DELIVERED unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the SCRIPTURES” (1 Cor. 15:3) 

 
“But the WORD of God
is not bound”

(2 Timothy 2:9) 
 

 
 
“THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT BOUND” 
And here is the sum of the matter. The FACT of Jesus’s Resurrection is TRUE. This Gospel TRUTH cannot be restrained. It cannot be suppressed. It cannot be censored, cancelled or blotted out. Men may fail “…but the WORD of God is not bound.” (2 Timothy 2:9). The Devil has a million ways to squelch the TRUTH, including sanctions and penalties, threats and imprisonment, cancellations and expulsions, banning and shunning, tortures, death and destruction. But God reigns! The living miracle, a converted Paul, would write to the Thessalonians, to “Pray… that the WORD of the Lord may have FREE COURSE, and be glorified…” (2 Thess. 3:1). 
 
The next twenty centuries of church history, bear record of men and women who suffered torture, ruin, imprisonments, deprivations and death for the cause of the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of SALVATION found in the HOLY BIBLE, the SCRIPTURES, the WORD OF GOD. 
 
FREEDOM of SPEECH is grounded in God’s WORD. Human documents may fall, and human justice may fail, but God’s WORD is “For ever… Thy WORD is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). The TRUE STORY is found in God’s WORD. The GOSPEL is FACT, not myth. 
 
“AS DYING, AND, BEHOLD, WE LIVE; 
As chastened, and not killed” (2 Cor. 6:9)
As the dust of the traumatic year 2020 settles, and 2021 worsens, we can now see clearly that we live in a time prophesied by Daniel when there is a massive, concerted effort by Powerful Elites to “cast down the TRUTH to the ground” (Daniel 8:12). Yet Daniel was also told that “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3). May we shine GOSPEL TRUTH into the darkness. Where we are cancelled or shut down on one platform, may God grant us other avenues. 
 
The TRUTH is this: we are charged to “stand” and “withstand” because “we wrestle not again flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12-16). We must not neglect to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God” (vs. 17). We must obey Jesus’s final WORDS charging us to SPEAK and TEACH the GOSPEL of His Salvation: 
 
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
ALL POWER is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
GO ye therefore, and TEACH all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
TEACHING them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

(Matthew 28:18-20) 
 
“I know thy works: behold,
I have set before thee an OPEN DOOR,
and no man can shut it
:
for thou hast a little strength,
and hast kept my WORD,
and hast not denied My NAME.”

(Revelation 3:8) 
 
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the WORD of their TESTIMONY;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

(Revelation 12:11) 
 

Endnotes:
2. Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Eerdmans, 1964), p. 61. Verduin authored an entire book on this topic late in his life: That First Amendment and the Remnant (Christian Hymnary, 1998). He also authored The Anatomy of A Hybrid: A Study in Church-State Relationships (Eerdmans, 1976). These books represent an alternative historical perspective concerning church and state, including early U.S. history, which sheds considerable light on the concept of separation of church and state, as well as the religious freedom issues that gave rise to the First Amendment.  
3. See a good explanation in this article by Michelle Edwards, "Silencing Parler: The Power of Twi++er and 'Person X'," UncoverDC, January 20, 2021, https://uncoverdc.com/2020/09/23/doj-announces-proposed-legislation-for-section-230/ .
 
NOTE: Spelling, word and phrase anomalies in this post are intentional. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

SPEAK NOW

Part 1 of a series: “For we cannot but SPEAK” 

 

“And many of the brethren in the Lord,
waxing confident by my bonds,
are much more BOLD
to SPEAK the WORD
without fear.”

(Philippians 1:14) 

 

The “dark winter” that has been predicted is not just political speech. It is also a spiritual indication of the rampant moral depravity both within and without the church. Never was there such a time as this when people desperately need to hear us SPEAK the TRUTH that Jesus died for their sins, so that they can confess and repent, and experience the cleansing joy of His shed blood on the cross for their sins, bringing them to His salvation and the LIGHT of a new life. 


“But if we walk in the LIGHT,
as He is in the LIGHT,
we have fellowship one with another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.”

(1 John 1:7) 

 

This post begins a new series for the new year to encourage, edify and admonish believers that NOW – during a crackdown and suppression of free speech, and concurrent increase in hate speech – is the time for US to SPEAK the TRUTH in LOVE of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the devil is devious and he will work to oppose and corrupt this message. Our series will also examine his methods and warn of his tactics. 

 



Marching Orders for the Endtime Battle 

In 1969 Corrie ten Boom wrote a book Marching Orders for the Endtime Battle in which she sought to prepare the last days church for the coming of the Lord. In her chapter titled “Signs of the Times” she asserts that 

The end-time has started already…. I believe everything that is written in the Bible about the coming again of Jesus. Everything that was written about the first coming of Jesus happened exactly as foretold, so that which is written about His coming again will happen likewise. 

 

From Corrie’s unique perspective, having miraculously survived the Holocaust during the Third Reich, she rejoiced to see the rise of the nation Israel. Like many who follow biblical prophecy, she believed that in 1967 there was a pivotal victory in that land. But this was also a sign of the endtimes. Immediately after America’s “summer of love” in 1967 there was a year filled with riots and hate in 1968. This is eerily similar to what we’ve just experienced in 2020 – reminiscent of labor pains that come back harder the closer it is to the end (1 Thess. 5:3). Corrie reminded her readers what this signified: 

We do not know the day, neither the hour, in which Jesus will come again. But neither do we know a day nor an hour in which He could not come. The whole world lives now in this expectation; something must happen by which the great problems will be solved. When we look at world history in the light of the Bible, we can find many clear signs: “Men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world” Luke 21:26 (RSV)…. There will be earthquakes, epidemics and famines. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). 

 

Corrie’s admonition to the last days church was written to those of us who remain alive now, who still stand on God’s Word, and cherish Jesus in our hearts as our first love (Rev. 2:4): 

The only thing we have to do is what the Holy Scriptures teach us. 

• We need to raise our voices like the voice of a trumpet so that as many people as possible will awake—first of all those who belong to the Church of Christ. 

• We have to proclaim loudly that the end is near, so that people will be startled out of their everyday rest and security by this godly message, as through the roaring of the lion (Amos 3:8); that they will fear and get ready to meet their God. 

• We urgently need such a “blowing of the trumpet,” since the day of the Lord draws near, as the prophet Joel says: “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly (Joel 2:15). 

• For we need to prepare ourselves for all that will soon come to pass. 

 

After encouraging believers to gird up with the armor of God for the spiritual battle, and reminding us of 2 Kings 6:16 that “They that be with us are more than they that be with them,” she then recounts her own testimony: 

In the concentration camp, where I was so often confronted with death, the Lord often gave me grace to see the whole situation more or less in the light of eternity, and then everything was so simple, so uncomplicated. It was as if I saw myself: I stood there, and there stood the devil. The devil was much, much stronger than I, but Jesus stood at my side, and He is far stronger than the devil. And because I stood at Jesus’ side, I was more than conqueror. That is reality. 

It is essential that we realize in these days that Jesus is Conqueror! To stand at His side, to follow Him, to be hidden with Him in God; that is the safe position for every soldier of Jesus in this time and in the coming final battle. 

Excerpted from Corrie ten Boom, Marching Orders for the End Battle: Getting Ready for Christ's Return (1969), reprinted by CLC Publications 2016, pp. 93-97. Emphasis added; some revision in formatting was done for textual emphasis.

 

The Truth: 

“I am come a LIGHT into the world,
that whosoever believeth on Me
should not abide in DARKNESS.”

(John 12:46) 

 

 

PERSONAL NOTE: 

This new year ends our partial sabbatical from writing on this blog. The Lord blessed us with rest to step aside from the heavier duties of research and writing in order to seek His face. For several years we lived and prayed the words of Habakkuk 2, asking the Lord to “reprove” our imperfect vision, like eyeglasses correcting our spiritual sight: 

 

“I will stand upon my WATCH,
and set me upon the tower,
and will WATCH to SEE
what He will SAY unto me,
and what I shall answer
when I am reproved.
And the LORD answered me,
and said,
Write the VISION,
and make it PLAIN upon tables,
that he may run that readeth it.”

(Habakkuk 2:1-2) 

 

May our readers be blessed in this new year to renew their commitment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, study His Word, hear His voice, and be filled with His Holy Spirit to revive your flagging spirits and obey His calling: 


“Thou therefore gird up thy loins,
and ARISE,
and SPEAK unto them all that I command thee:
be not dismayed at their faces,
lest I confound thee before them.”

(Jeremiah 1:17) 

 

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,
be sober,
and hope to the end
for the grace that is to be brought unto you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

(1 Peter 1:13) 

 


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Enneagram Divination

Evidence of an Evangelical Paradigm Shift

 

“…Learn not the way of the heathen….”
(Jeremiah 10:2a) 

 


 

By Sarah H. Leslie

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The graphic exhibit above is from the Winter 1998 issue of Gnosis magazine, which billed itself “A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions.” This is an occult periodical titled with the ancient word gnosis, the Greek word for knowledge.[1] Gnosticism was a potent heresy in the early church, and it has shown up in many guises throughout church history. 

This Gnosis cover image depicts an utterly unclothed woman in a trance (I covered her up). This image is credited to have come from a Tarot card deck, which is witchcraft.[2] The magazine contains an article about G.I. Gurdjieff titled “Oracles Within: The Inner Animal Teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff” which has to do with shapeshifting, from the very deepest dregs of Satanism. In case our readers have never considered the utter depth of depravity of man described in the verses in Romans 1, particularly verse 23 (“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things”) the exhibit below from page 36 of the article about Gurdjjieff in Gnosis magazine illustrates it (again I covered up the nakedness): “ 

Exhibit: Gnosis graphic of a bird woman from the Guirdjieff article[4]

“Who changed the Truth of God into a lie,
and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,
Who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

(Romans 1:25)
 

 

So now you can plainly see the milieu of G.I. Gurdjieff. He has been a well-known figure in the occult world.[5] “Gurdjieff had great influence on the modern New Age Movement.”[6] He is credited with the Enneagram, an esoteric symbol, a device to “see” into hidden things of the “universe.”[7]

The Enneagram is increasing in popularity in the evangelical world. The Enneagram symbol is being used as an assessment device to “divine” one’s inner self. This represents a fundamental paradigm shift away from the written and spoken Word of God (logos, λόγος – by which we are born again – e.g., 1 Peter 1:23,25) to a visual symbol to “divine” one’s self (idolatry -- εἰδωλολατρεία; literally, image worship – 1 Cor. 10:14; Gal. 5:20; Col. 3:5). 

The “image” of beasts that Gurdjieff taught, and the “image” of the Enneagram, both typify visual forms of worship strongly forbidden in Scripture (Lev. 26:1, e.g.). In fact, increasing imagery is a sign of the endtimes. Our tech-laden culture is now surrounded with visual images, and sadly many people are functionally illiterate. It was inevitable that there would be a corresponding spiritual shift to the visual. The day is rapidly approaching when people will worship the beast and the image of the beast (Rev. 13:12,15; 14: 9, 11). 

 

Exhibit: Basic Enneagram from p. 39
of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret.


Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret 

A few months ago I was sent a review copy of a new book titled Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret by Don & Joy Veinot and Marcia Montenegro, published by Midwest Christian Outreach.[8] I decided to write a review when I realized the significance of the current rise in popularity of the Enneagram in the evangelical world. I had noticed that recently Lighthouse Trails had published a warning on May 20, 2020 about Zondervan’s big marketing push for the Enneagram,[9] which referred to their previously published booklet by Lois Putnam titled The Enneagram—An Enlightening Tool or an Enticing Deception?[10] Others with discernment had also written on this topic, including Gary Gilley’s brilliant analysis “The Enneagram—Part 1.”[12] 

Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret painstakingly documents the known origins of the Enneagram. This history was important to establish because so much of it has been “updated” and sanitized in order to make the Enneagram seem like a helpful psychological self-improvement tool that evangelicals can safely use to “see” into their personality. The authors explain, “According to early disciple and Russian P.D. Ouspensky (1978-1947), Gurdjieff taught the Enneagram was a knowledge of all that is in the cosmos.”[13] He then developed a “path of self-transformation” to “awaken” the consciousness. Terms associated with his beliefs include “Fourth Way” and “The Work.”[14]

On its face, these terms should be immediately suspect to the Christian who knows God’s Word is the only source of Truth about ourselves and the universe. There is no other “way” than Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). As Paul wrote, he feared “lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Even through his subtitly, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). But many evangelicals are no longer standing upon objective facts, biblical truth and rational science. There is a tendency to be emotion-driven, living in the subjective realm. Many are falling into the shifting sands of cultural relativism, media narratives, peer pressures and pseudo-science (2 Tim. 3:6; 2 Cor. 11:3. Many have opened themselves to alternate pathways to “truth”, which now includes the Gnostic, occult and New Age worldview of esoteric and deep secret knowledge (gnosis). 

Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret recounts the circuitous path by which the Enneagram traveled from Gurdjieff to Richard Rohr who has “played a key role in bringing in and popularizing the Enneagram in the evangelical churches.”[15] Rohr is described as a Franciscan friar who is also known for social justice, contemplative practices, panentheism and a theology of “nonduality” (no right or wrong). He is also known as a Perennialist – “the belief that there is one Divine Reality at the center of all religions” (p. 78). His theology that all humanity is united spiritually is a core tenet of the global New Age religion. The authors recount other names associated with Rohr who have become well-known promoters of the profitable Enneagram, including Bob Ochs, Mitch Pacwa, Ian Cron, Suzanne Stabile, and Christopher Heuertz. 

This book is available from Midwest Christian Outreach HERE.

Occult Origins 

The mystical origin of the Enneagram is documented in many occult research sources. The Seeker’s Handbook, a New Age encyclopedia of terms, listed George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff as “Assumed name(?) of an influential and somewhat notorious occultist”[16] and defined Enneagram as: 

“In metaphysical and esoteric systems, especially the Gurdjieff work, a model of the principles working in the universe, usually represented as a nine-pointed star with lines connecting every other point. Widely viewed as a profound key to the organization of the universe and human psychology, where it is treated a system of nine distinct personality types…. Nineness seems to be an archetypal feature of world-design…”[17]

 

The remainder of this definition goes into deeper occult meanings of the symbol itself and its “nine world-generating powers of various pagan goddesses—a history which is so spiritually dark that I will not repeat it here lest any be deceived. The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult defines the term Ennead (the number nine) as a term used in both numerology and mythology.[18] As I read this definition my mind flashed back to what I already knew about mystical symbolism of the number nine. When I entered the Baháʼí temple in Wilmette, Illinois in the summer of 1974 I was told that the architectural significance of this nine-sided building represented nine major religions of the world that would one day be united as one.[19] The Baháʼí faith teaches that Jesus was merely one of a succession of christ figures culminating in a “unified world order.”[20] The Enneagram fits into this syncretistic vision of a global religion. 

Exhibit: Read Lighthouse Trails' warning about this Zondervan film HERE;
 

Further insight into the occult significance of the Enneagram symbol can be found in Dr. Cathy Burns’ Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated, a classic reference compendium warning Christians explicitly of the occult origins of many popular symbols, signs, logos, diagrams, etc. Dr. Burns classifies Enneagrams under Astrology, which is a form of divination (see the warning in Jeremiah 10:2), and cites “Djwhal Khul, the spirit guide who revealed this diagram and its meaning to Alice Bailey,” the woman who forged the rise of the occult New Age Movement.[21] She also notes that the Enneagram resembles the Tree of Life of Jewish Kabbalah mysticism.[22] The astrology connection is underscored by Marcia Montenegro, one of the authors of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret, who notes how astrology is done by “identifying with and divining one’s human interactions and events according to one’s Zodiac sun sign.” She warns that there “is a dangerously similar pattern with the Enneagram. Christians are identifying with their Enneagram number.”[23] As one who practiced Astrology during the hippie era I can attest to the dangerously seductive nature of trying to identify my personality traits via a star sign, which corresponds with “divining” the future.[24]

There is one other important aspect of the Enneagram – it is a series of triangles inside a circle. Dr. Burns notes that a circle is the symbol of the universe.[25] Triangles have embedded symbolic occult meaning depending on how they are pointed, upwards or downwards. They can represent devilish deity, the divinization of man, sexuality, and other secret coded meaning. Series of triangles have additional meanings, such as the 5-pointed pentagram, which represents the devil Baphomet, “the embodiment of Lucifer as a god.”[26] The Enneagram’s unique triangular arrangement subtly depicts this very image. Believers are therefore warned to NOT engage in gazing at the image of the Enneagram, nor should they attempt to maneuver through its triangles! If you have done so, and fall under conviction of the Holy Spirit upon reading this, please pray a prayer of repentance (1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”). 

Rohr's attempt to Christianize the occult symbol

 

Reading the Tea Leaves 

The Enneagram is being used as a tool for divination—accessing or discovering secret things. Divination would include such practices as channeling via occult symbols, horoscopes, palmistry, tea leaf reading, the Ouija Board, crystal ball gazing, and other forms of sorcery and vision casting.[27] Divination is expressly forbidden in Scripture: 

“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee,
thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
There shall not be found among you any one
that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire,
or that useth divination,
or an observer of times,
or an enchanter,
or a witch,
Or a charmer,
or a consulter with familiar spirits,
or a wizard,
or a necromancer.”

(Deuteronomy 18:9-11) 

According to Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, an expert on how the New Age has influenced evangelicaldom, 

Divination generally refers to attempts to learn "hidden things" that cannot be known by normal means. Divination falls into two broad categories: mechanical and internal. Mechanical divination uses physical means to acquire hidden knowledge. Examples of this include such things as gazing into crystal balls, examining the livers or other internal organs of animals, interpreting the way arrows land after being thrown into the air, and reading Tarot cards. The internal category, sometimes called "soothsaying," involves conjuring up a spiritual entity during a trance or an altered state of consciousness. Sometimes this spirit entity will appear as a person, no longer living, who returns and speaks words of wisdom. Sometimes the spirit who is "called up" speaks “through” a medium. In Acts 16:16 the slave girl had a "spirit of divination."… Whatever the category or method used, divination is an attempt to ferret out hidden (occult) information.[28]

It is significant that some of the practitioners of the Enneagram believe that “it is the face of God.”[29] Bob DeWaay, in his review of Richard Rohr’s book The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective informs us that “Rohr includes a graphic of the Enneagram with the face of Jesus in the middle of it (245).”[30] This is imagery, which is idolatry. If you are seeking the “face” of God you need to turn to the Bible, God’s written Word: “Thy Word is true from the beginning,” Psalm 119:160a). And, as Jesus prayed to God, His Father, “Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth” (John 17:17). There is a profound difference between Christianity, which is based on the written Word of God, and other religion systems that rely upon imagery, imagination, idolatry, and stimulations of the senses in order to access the spiritual realm. 

Exhibit: An Enneagram figure with 4 temperaments and astrology (Source)

The Enneagram Assessment 

The old occult Enneagram has been repackaged. The Enneagram has been called an “odd conglomeration of mystical sources [that] has been modified and integrated with pop psychology, temperament theory and ad hoc mystical spirituality.”[31] It is being marketed to evangelical Christians as an assessment tool, a psychological test that will measure their personality. 

When I asked Don Veinot whether these Enneagram “tests” had been put through the normal processes of validation or reliability, he referred me to “The Enneagram, Science, and Christianity” by Jay Medenwaldt (Part 1 and Part 2). We have strong disagreements with much of this author’s stance regarding the use of psychological testing instruments, but he does correctly point out that the “enneagram is not a scientifically validated tool.” For those who want to delve into the actual research on the test’s reliability and validity, they will be sorely disappointed by the lack of unbiased objective hard scientific data. Interestingly Medenwaldt also compares the Enneagram to Astrology “because they both ‘work’ for the same reasons.” His list of warnings (“reasons”) about the Enneagram instrument is characteristic of what we know about human nature—we are susceptible to irrationality, coincidence, false characterizations, confirmation bias, correlation and causation errors, groupthink and felt needs. Medenwaldt sums up: 

All of these explanations are widely accepted by psychological scientists for why people sometimes make errors in their reasoning. This is just the normal way people think so the growing popularity of the Enneagram is not surprising. After all, it does seem like a pretty good test on the surface (this is known as face validity, which is the lowest level of scientific validity).[32]

 

All psycho-social testing instruments are inherently flawed. They are not hard science (1 Tim. 6:20). The troubles with using them in the church, as noted by Medenwaldt, include the potential for mischaracterizations and mislabeling people, the possibilities for abuse in the church, the misuse of the test itself, and its inherent “anti-intellectual and anti-science” nature.

My husband Lynn and I have education and professional expertise in testing and assessment measures. We have published, edited and authored many articles and books pertaining to spiritual and academic issues in testing for the past 40 years.[33] Once I became aware of the overt occult nature of the Enneagram I declined to look into it further. Thus I will provide no scholarly analysis. 

Also, given my hippie experience with Astrology I am fully aware of the dangers of “looking” too deeply into something like this. There is a basic risk whenever delving into the occult realm – it leads to endlessly spiraling circuitous routes to find “truth” that never ends. I did not want to go near temptation lest I become deluded into identifying myself with one of the 9 “types”. It is clear from Gary Gilley’s analysis of the Enneagram in his Part 2 that the purveyors of it have purposefully exploited the “deeper” meanings,[34] and developed intricate complexities that lure people into the spiraling loops of endless philosophies that never answer (1 Tim. 1:4). 

Exhibit: A JoPa e-mail 5/10/13


Emergent Enneagram 

Readers wanting to look further into the background of the Enneagram can research Richard Rohr in the search engine of the late Pastor Ken Silva’s Apprising Ministries website. There are a multitude of well-documented articles documenting the rapid rise of influence of Rohr via the Emergent Church movement. During the period of time that Pastor Silva was writing these articles he was sharing his research with me, and he became more and more convinced that there was a push to mainstream the Enneagram into the evangelical church world. Pastor Silva published articles such as: 

 


Thankfully others with discernment have written good articles to warn about the dangers of the Enneagram. Gary Gilley summarized several of the most key issues: 

“Despite the recent popularity of the Enneagram, there remain numerous concerns for the discerning Christian. For example:
• “Absolutely none of the Enneagram’s teachings are derived from Scripture.
• “The sources upon which the Enneagram rest are mysticism, visions, psychological theory, and experience.
• “There is no scientific verification of the Enneagram, and even the vast majority of psychologists reject it.
• “The foundational developers of the modern Enneagram took a Gnostic approach in which they sought esoteric and secret knowledge. The great flaw in Gnosticism was abandoning the objective truth of Scripture to seek hidden knowledge. When Gnostics supposedly found secret knowledge, they developed a religious system that proved to be early Christianity’s greatest challenge in the second and third centuries. The teachers of the Enneagram have imitated this very approach, seeking esoteric knowledge from unreliable sources, developing a system of supposed mystical truths, and promoting it among the unsuspecting.”[36]

Exhibit illustrating Catalyst's promotion of the Enneagram[37]

Putting this issue into its bigger context, the launching of an aggressive Enneagram marketing campaign into Evangelicaldom is a huge sign that the big corporate and/or spiritual gurus think that the church is ready to more fully enter the massive paradigm shift from the Written Word over to the Visual Image. This has extraordinary implications for remnant believers, especially as we see the stage being set for a global church. For many decades we have warned both in the church and to the outside world about the necessity of literacy, knowing how to read and write language. We wrote an entire post about this titled “Envisioning Emergence” on July 23, 2009, which described the pivotal role that the Emergent Church Movement played in orchestrating this shift over to a global visioning:

“Dreams, images, icons, symbols, meditations, chantings, labyrinths – anything but God’s Word – have become fully operational in the modern Emergent movement. All serve as a means to an end. Mysticism and experientialism do not simply supplement Scripture, they replace it.”[38]

 

Now, more than ever before, believers need to spend time away from the barrage of incessant imagery, especially emanating from Big Tech, and immerse themselves in the Truth found only in God’s Word. 

“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat he us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
(James 1:16-18) 

 

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
(1 Peter 4:17) 

 

Endnotes:
1. Exhibit #1 is the cover of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions, Winter 1998 (No. 46) with the nudity of the female figure covered up. 
2. We wrote a post about Gnosticism on December 14, 2005, titled “The Gnostic Army,” https://herescope.blogspot.com/2005/12/gnostic-army.html 
3. Ibid. The “About our cover” on the inside cover of this issue of Gnosis states: “The Star card from an as yet unnamed Tarot deck by Stevee Postman, scheduled for release in the fall of 1998 from Inner Traditions International.” 
4. Ibid, Gnosis, p. 36, from an article by Rob Baker titled “Oracles Within: The Inner Animal Teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff.”. This graphic exhibit includes artwork credited to Susan Hill.
5. Simply read his Wikipedia page and notice the many links and footnoted documentation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff 
6. Don & Joy Veinot and Marcia Montenegro, Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret (MCOI Publishing, 2020), p. 62. 
7. Veinot, p. 24. The use of a device to “see” into the spiritual word is otherwise known a “channel” or a “medium” for the demonic. 
8. Available from the Midwest Christian Outreach bookstore: https://midwestoutreach.org/enneagram
9. “Warning: Zondervan Introduces Its First-Ever Film, Nine: The Enneagram Documentary— to Release in Theaters Fall 2020,” Lighthouse Trails Research, May 20, 2020, https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=32297. See also their April 20, 2020 post “Passion Conference Louie Giglio Gives Thumbs Up to Enneagram—Could Influence Scores of Young Evangelicals,” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=32142 
11. Many of the footnotes in this article link to other writings by discerners. See also Gary Gilley’s review “The Sacred Enneagram, Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher L. Heuertz, June 16, 2020, https://tottministries.org/the-sacred-enneagram-finding-your-unique-path-to-spiritual-growth-by-christopher-l-heuertz-rapids-zondervan-2017-268-pp-paper-18-99/ 
12. Gary Gilley, “The Enneagram—Part 1,” April 9, 2020, https://tottministries.org/the-enneagram-part-1/
13. Veinot, p. 60. 
14. Veinot, p. 61 and also see the Wikipedia pages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Way 
15. Veinot, p. 69. 
16. John Lash, The Seeker’s Handbook: The Complete Guide to Spiritual Pathfinding (Harmony Books, 199), p. 284. This book is a New Age reference resource.
17. Lash, Ibid., p. 264. 
18. Nevill Drury, Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult (Harper & Row, 1985), p. 78. 
19. In the summer of 1974, I fell into dangerous deception and was nearly persuaded that Baháʼu'lláh was “the Christ.” In the late 1960s I had been a hippie deep into Eastern mysticism and the occult, but then had then accepted Jesus into my heart in 1971. However, after taking a college class on the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin and reading his book Hymn of the Universe I fell back into an evolutionary worldview. However, one book preserved my faith – Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison (1930). Despite this book's shortcomings it fully persuaded me from Scripture that Jesus Christ had indeed physically arisen from the dead. I kept stumbling over the rock of the Word (1 Peter 2:8) and could not reconcile Jesus Christ with another christ. During this time the young man who was attempting to convert me to the Baháʼí faith insisted that the number nine had deep spiritual significance. I have since learned that it does indeed have occult meaning. 
20. See footnote 19. The Wikipedia entry for Baháʼí states: “At the heart of Baháʼí teachings is the goal of a unified world order….” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baháʼ%C3%AD_Faith. I was told that this faith thought it could unite all the world religions into one system for global peace.
21. Dr. Cathy Burns, Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated (Sharing, 1998), p. 281. She attributes this information to research done by Texx Marrs in footnote 18 of her chapter 16. Although Texx Marrs did early work in exposing the occult he later became extremely antisemitic and his writings are not recommended.
22. Burns, Ibid., p. 283, citing Martin and Diedre Bobgan’s landmark book Four Temperaments, Astrology and Personality Testing (EastGate, 1992). 
23. Veinot, p. 97. 
24. When I was a new believer I was gently warned by a young woman after she saw my horoscope poster on the walls of my apartment. It was artwork, very beautiful with gorgeous colors. But I immediately fell under such great conviction that the Holy Spirit led me to take the poster and throw it outside into the dumpster. Praise God for leading me to this small act of obedience! 
25. Dr. Burns, Ibid. p. 27. 
26. Dr. Burns, Ibid., p. 30. 
27. For vision casting see “Rick Warren & Vision Casting,” Herescope, October 12, 2005, https://herescope.blogspot.com/2005/10/rick-warren-vision-casting.html and “What Is Vision Casting?” Apprising Ministries, Oct. 5, 2011, http://apprising.org/2011/10/05/what-is-vision-casting/
28. Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, “Divination Finds Further Expression In The Evangelical Church,” The Plumbline (Vol. 9, No. 3) , June July, 2004. 
29. Veinot, p. 85 citing Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile, who teach at Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation from a Patheos Q&A on October 21, 2016 (see footnote 7, p. 142). 
30. Bob DeWaay, “Enneagram: Pagan Mysticism Promoted as Christian Growth,” Critical Issues Commentary (Issue 138), Summer 2019. https://cicministry.org/commentary/issue138.htm 
31. Bob DeWaay, Ibid.
33. In the 1990s we published The Christian Conscience magazine. What is left of our old website is archived on the web. For examples, see our article “Peering Into the Peers,” and its sidebars, published May 1997 (Vol. 3, No. 4), pp. 6-21: http://web.archive.org/web/20000817202339/http://www.christianconscience.com/hs/peertest.htm, http://web.archive.org/web/20000418104327/http://www.christianconscience.com/hs/define.htm, http://web.archive.org/web/20000418050451/http://www.christianconscience.com/hs/armes.htm, http://web.archive.org/web/20000418231920/http://www.christianconscience.com/hs/pitman.htm and http://web.archive.org/web/20000418190223/http://www.christianconscience.com/hs/oxymoron.htm. See also Cynthia Weatherly’s article “When Is Assessment REALLY Assessment,” published October 1995 (Vol. 1, No. 9), pp. 28-32,50, http://web.archive.org/web/20000914181433/http://www.christianconscience.com/edu_ref/assess.htm which was also published in the book we published the deliberate dumbing down of america: A Chronological Paper Trail by Charlotte Iserbyt (Conscience Press, 1999), as Appendix XI, p. A-44-A51, which contains much testing information, the entire book downloadable free online at: http://deliberatedumbingdown.com/ddd/deliberate-dumbing-down/. See also “When Johnny Takes the Test,” by Melanie K. Fields, Sarah H. Leslie, and Anita B. Hoge published September 1995 (Vol. 1, No. 8), pp. 8-17, http://web.archive.org/web/20000914181427/http://www.christianconscience.com/edu_ref/naep.htm
34. Gary Gilley, “The Enneagram Part 2,” June 12, 2020, https://tottministries.org/the-enneagram-part-2/
35. Read a description of JoPa, cofounded by Emergent leaders Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones in the article by Pastor Ken Silva titled “TONY JONES AND HIS PASTOR DOUG PAGITT WITH JOPA PRODUCTIONS AND CHRISTIANITY 21,” Apprising Ministries, May 17, 2009, http://apprising.org/2009/05/17/tony-jones-and-his-pastor-doug-pagitt-with-jopa-productions-and-christianity-21/
37. This photo was included in an e-mail to me from Jim Fletcher dated May 3, 2014 in which he said he had been attempting to talk about his concerns with Brad Lomenick, director of Catalyst. Jim wrote: "In the $149 'Experience Kit,' they have download cards for the Enneagram Institute and their RHETi personality assessment. When you go to the website, you see their New Age spirituality in full flower, including a prayer to the perfect universe." For an explanation of Catalyst, and Leadership Network's pivotal role in setting up a mystical Emergent movement in Evangelicaldom, see our post Are You 'Stinking Selfish'? Herescope, June 20, 2016, https://herescope.blogspot.com/2016/06/are-you-stinking-selfish.html, and especially note the extensive historical documentation at the bottom of this post.
38. Sarah H. Leslie, “Envisioning Emergence: Part 6: The Emerging Church – Circa 1970,” Herescope, July 23, 2009, https://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/07/envisioning-emergence.html. This was part of an article series examining the roots of the Emergent Church Movement. Berit Kjos archived the entire series on her website: Previous articles in this series: 
Part 10: Carl Rogers – Father of the Emergent Culture, https://herescope.blogspot.com/2009/09/carl-rogers.html