Can pagan practices be redeemed for Godly purposes?
Seems like a silly question.
What is Happening in the Church
I was having a conversation recently about the Enneagram and the fact that the church that my sister attends is employing this “personality test” to help parishioners find their place in the local body.
If you don’t know what the Enneagram is, there are many web sites and YouTube videos that discuss this and why it is not appropriate for the Church. [Food for thought: when people who have been saved out of the New Age, refer to this as New Age and dangerous for Christians, believe them.]
Back to my story… Knowing that Enneagram is new age and pagan, I was wondering why “Christians” would so easily embrace it and when challenged, defend it. Knowing that our Heavenly Father and Almighty God told the children of Israel (and us by extension) not to even enquire how those in the land he as giving them to posses worshiped their gods, to tear down their high places, and groves and Ashtoreth poles. He told us not to have idols. Paul said he had determined to know nothing but Yeshua Messiah and Him crucified. He also told us to tear down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
I have been thinking for a long time now that perhaps “Christianity” is the great delusion spoken of in the Bible. Christianity as an institution has embraced many pagan things throughout the centuries – Halloween (whitewashed as Fall Festival), Christmas (not really Yeshua’s birthday), New Years (honoring Janus the 2-faced god), Easter (Eosteroth the fertility goddess and her pet rabbit). Pagan festivals and rituals repurposed and “cleaned up” to worship Almighty God. So is it such a stretch that Christians would embrace Enneagram?
What Are You Afraid Of?
Many Christians seem much more afraid of observing the holy days of Almighty God which he specified – Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits (when Yeshua actually rose from the dead), Pentecost (Shavuot), Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShanah) Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) than shunning the man-made repurposed holidays mentioned above.
It reminds me of the story in Acts 19 where the new Gentile Christians burned their pagan books.
And a number to those who has practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Acts 19:19 ESV
They made a public statement renouncing their old life in magic and sorcery and occult practices. Luke does not specify the amount of money, but 50,000 of almost any coin is a lot of money. And they chose to burn all those magic books in an act of repentance. They didn’t sell them to get some of their money back. They didn’t donate them to a resale shop. They turned their back on their old way of life and destroyed those books. They didn’t say, “Let’s do magic for God now.” “We will only practice white magic to help people.” Because they knew that was not possible.
They were more concerned about and afraid of offending their Heavenly Father than continuing in their old sinful and abhorrent ways. They repented, burned it down, and followed Him.
But It Helps People Find Their Strength
One of the excuses proponents of enneagram use is that it helps people. Satan has convinced many “Christians” that they can use occult practices to help themselves and others serve the Almighty better. They think they can redeem their old ways and use them for good. So if you carry this line of thought out to its illogical conclusion, because enneagram “helps” people, shall we embrace and allow fortune tellers, horoscopes, tarot cards, palm readers, séances, crystal balls, drugs (pharmakea/sorcery) because many are “helped” by these practices. Is it ok to take a hit from a joint or a sip or two of your favorite alcoholic beverage before stepping up to the pulpit or Sunday School lectern to teach because you are nervous and it will “help” calm you down? Or you just need confidence, insight, and strength to carry on or overcome your depression? I think most of us would answer with a resounding NO! You can’t!
Our Heavenly Father does not want to be worshipped that way. Yeshua came to redeem man back to His Father, not things that man with Satan had created. Yes there were things in the Tabernacle and the Temple that were set apart (holy) for use in serving the Almighty God. They were created for that purpose. Our God never asked them to take things that had been created or made for pagan practice and clean them up for holy [set-apart, special, godly] purposes. In fact He told us to come out and be separate.
Remember that the devil appears as an angel of light – but he is still the devil, Satan, the deceiver.
The other part of their argument for enneagram is that it helps people find their personality strengths to serve Him. Why is finding your strength necessary? Our Heavenly Father always used those who thought that they were not qualified to do what he was calling them to do. Moses was not confident in his speaking ability. Abraham was childless when he was promised he would be the father of many nations. Paul had been a vehement persecutor of the early church when he was called to spread the Gospel. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. If we do something in our own strength, we are likely to take the credit. We can’t do anything without Him and He wants us to know and acknowledge that. He will use those who are yielded, pliable, willing, surrendered, not qualified in their own mind. Perhaps He does not want to use you in the area that you think you are strong in. Rather than looking for your natural personality strengths, you need to learn to listen to His voice and go and do as He leads.
What the Bible Says About This
Paul makes it quite clear in 2 Corinthians 6 where he quotes from various Old Testament scriptures:
14Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”(Lev 26:11-12) 17Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, (Isa 52:11) And I will receive you.” (Ezek. 20:41) 18“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, (2 Sam 7:14 & Isa 43:6) Says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NASB
So if you watched the short video linked above, you can see that Enneagam is pagan, was received via automatic writing which is not the Holy Spirit. It is unclean. Don’t touch it. The unclean thing cannot be cleaned. It cannot be redeemed. It has not been redeemed. Only Yeshua can redeem and He did not die on the cross for the Enneagram.
The answer to the initial question is NO! Paganism cannot be redeemed. A pagan who is repentant can be redeemed, but paganism can’t. Get Out! If you embrace or even dabble in paganism, you will be sucked in even deeper eventually.
Have you heard of Enneagram? Have you experimented with it? Can you see that it really has no placed in the life of a child of God? I encourage you to read your Bible – everyday and “study to show yourself approved unto God a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed.” Be open to His leading not your own understanding. And be willing to let go of things He asks you to let go of, including Enneagram.
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