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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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Forgetting Valentine’s Day…

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Valentine’s Day rolls around every year without fail.  Husbands forget Feb 14th at their peril.  Somehow our wives interpret our forgetting Valentine’s Day as a sign that we don’t care, that we may be putting other priorities like work and sports above them.  So, husbands, be warned.  Flowers are much cheaper than lawyers.

 

After forty-one years of marriage, I love my wife more now than I have ever loved her.  To celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we flew to England to visit with our youngest son, serving then as a youth missionary in Newcastle.  It is an amazing gift to be married to someone whom you really like to be with.  My wife has been that gift to me.  She has been so loyal in supporting our 31-year ministry at St. Simon’s North Vancouver from 1987 to 2018.  That is why I dedicated my book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’ “with gratitude to my dear wife who has been married to me for almost thirty years, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  You can imagine that it is not easy to be married to a clergyman, especially with the challenges that faithful Anglicans have been facing in North America.

 

My wife served as our St. Simon’s NV Music Director, co-ordinating several different choirs and contemporary worship bands.  Archbishop David Somerville, who first ordained me, once said that if the devil ever gets into the church, he will come in through the choir.  Because music is so closely connected to worship, it makes sense why music can easily be contentious.  Sometimes people have worship wars over contemporary songs vs. traditional hymns.  At St. Simon’s NV, we decided in 1996 to honour both expressions by offering both a traditional 9am BCP service and a contemporary 10:30am service.  Because my dear wife is musically bilingual, she is able to encourage both expressions with integrity.  Unlike many church choir directors who are always quitting and creating havoc, my dear wife has been a source of musical stability for the past two decades.  Dynamic music is a key to a vibrant, healthy Church.

 

My wife and  I went to Winston Churchill High School in Vancouver, both graduating thirty-nine years ago in 1972.  But we only really noticed each other from a distance.  We became friends while taking the bus home from the University of British Columbia.  She was in Music naturally, and I was in Social Work, dreaming about becoming an Anglican priest.  For around a year, we were only good friends.  But eventually the penny dropped and I saw the light.  My wife really impressed me with her great listening skills, her good sense of humour, and her hard work.

Finally one day in 1975, I invited her to go bike-riding to Little Mountain in Vancouver.  The rest is history.  Coming back from our second bike ride, I said to her, “Don’t take me too seriously, but relative to two days, I would like to spend the rest of my life with you.”  For some reason, this shocked her.  But she got over it, and we quickly moved to become engaged.  When I introduced her to my mother, my mom said something that she had never said before: “The woman who marries Ed will need to have quarters for the bus”.  What she meant is that while I have strong leadership giftings, I work best when I am complimented by someone with strong administrative giftings, who pays attention to the details.

 

In my first Valentine’s Day article for the Deep Cove Crier thirty years ago, I wrote: “Why do I still enjoy Valentines Day?  It’s because all of us have a need to feel loved, even when you’re married.  So often romantic love can fade imperceptibly from a marriage.  In the busyness of children, work, school and sports, our marriage can easily get lost in the shuffle.  Marriage Counselors tell us that romantic love is one of the greatest lacks in modern marriages.  The bible reminds each husband to love his wife as his own body, to love his wife as he loves himself, to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5).

 

Husbands, let’s surprise our wives on February 14th and make our family homes the most romantic spot on Planet Earth!”

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.


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Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagram

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Note: The following article emerged out of a footnote to a larger investigation into the relationship between Dr. Carl Jung, neo-gnosticism, and the MBTI.

     Who is George Gurdjieff, and why is he having such a massive indirect impact on our churches today?  Why in particular are ‘post-charismatic’ Roman Catholics, especially well-meaning nuns, becoming caught up in his practices?[1]  The Rev. Dr. Robert Innes, Lecturer in Systematic Theology at St. John’s College: Durham, England, tells us that the man credited with bringing the Enneagram to the West is George Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian from what is now the Republic of Georgia. While still a teen, Gurdjieff became immersed in occultic practices such as astrology, mental telepathy, spiritism, table turning, fortune telling and demon possession. Gurdjieff claimed that  while he was in Afghanistan in 1897, he visited a monastery of the esoteric Sarmouni sect where he learned their mystical Sufi dancing, psychic powers and the Enneagram.[2]

     The massive popularity of the Enneagram in Christian circles, the 2nd most popular personality test after the MBTI[3], makes it well worth assessing what we are actually opening ourselves to.  Advocates like Barbara Metz and John Burchill describe the Enneagram as “a sleeping giant, awakened in our times…”[4]  Fr. Mitchell Pacwa SJ, Professor of Scripture and Hebrew at Loyola University, Chicago, has written a brilliant critique of Gurdjieff and the Enneagram, entitled “Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram”.[5]  Fr. Pacwa’s studies of ancient literature and archeology show that there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Enneagram in any form before Gurdjieff.  Rumours of the Enneagram’s antiquity(e.g.  pre-Muslim Christian influence of Persia, or Pythagorean or Platonic mathematics)[6] serve to give it an air of authority but have no proper historical basis.  Perhaps most incredible is the unsubstantiated claim by Ted Dobson & Kathleen Hurley that there “are indications that several of the New Testament writers were familiar with and used the Enneagram.”[7]

     The heart of Gurdjieff’s Enneagram teaching, which he described as esoteric

Christianity, is numerological divination.  Dividing one by three yields the decimals .3333, .6666, .9999 – the points joined by the triangle in the figure.  Dividing one by seven yields the decimal .142857: a recurring number which contains no multiples of three and the digits of which correspond to the oddly-shaped six pointed figure.  It seems that the Enneagram’s relation to these mystical numbers (three and seven) was held to give it a truly cosmic significance.[8]  Gurdjieff taught that “all things in life work on two laws –3 and 7”.  All psychological laws fall within the law of three — as within Gurdjieff’s three alleged personality centres (path, oth, & kath), and all material things fall within the law of seven.[9] Each human being on earth is claimed to have one, and only one, of the nine Enneagram numbers.[10]

Enneagram teaching holds that God has nine different faces, corresponding to the nine patterns of the Enneagram.[11]  Robert J. Nogosek, C.S.C., wrote a book along this line entitled “Nine Portraits of Jesus: Discovering Jesus Through the Enneagram” (Dimension Books), claiming that Jesus, being sinless, had all nine Enneagram personality types.[12]  Beesing, Nogosek, and O’Leary also teach that each of us has one of nine different totems [Enneagramic animals].  In the ‘christianized’ version of the Enneagram, a #2 “helper” personality can be redeemed from being a cat into becoming an Irish setter, and then receives the Enneagramic colour of Red.[13]

     Gurdjieff’s work led to the formation of the New-Age cult, Arica, founded by his disciple Oscar Ichazo.  It was Ichazo and his colleague Claudio Naranjo (an instructor at the Esalen Institute) who together developed the Enneagram in the 1960’s as an indicator of personality in its current form.[14]  Naranjo merged the Enneagram with 9 of Freud’s 10 personality defense mechanisms.  Fr. Pacwa notes that Ichazo claims to receive instructions from a higher entity called ‘Metatron, the prince of the archangels’.  Ichazo’s students are guided by an interior Master, the Green Qu’Tub.[15]

Ichazo and Naranjo taught the Enneagram in the 1970’s to Fr. Bob Ochs SJ who then taught this ‘secret wisdom’[16] at the Loyola Seminary, from which it spread heavily within the Roman Catholic and Anglican communities.  Gurdjieff’s role in the Enneagram was covered up by Ichazo, saying that he had “been ordered by his source not to reveal the name of the person or being who gave him the Enneagram.”[17]  Moral Theologian, Msgr. William B. Smith commented that “the more you read about it, the more it begins to resemble a college-educated horoscope…As a tool for spiritual direction, it seems to me most deficient, even dangerous.”[18]

     Barbara Metz, SND, and John Burchill, OP, recommend the Enneagram as a way of engaging in “kything prayer”.  Kything Prayer can be done with any other person, present or absent, dead or alive, whose Enneagramic reading ‘moves against your numerical arrows’. The key is to “let your center find itself within the person with whom you are kything” and to “Picture yourself within the [other] person.” An alternative form of Enneagramic kything is to “invite the other person’s spirit into themselves.”[19]

One may very well ask how appropriate it is for Christians to be inviting the spirits of the dead into themselves.  Does this not slide into occultic channeling/mediumistic practices that are clearly forbidden by Holy Scripture?[20]  Is it enough for Enneagram advocates like Jim Scully of Pecos Abbey to say “that ‘occult’ and ‘satanic’ are not synonyms?  God told me back in 1979 that the greatest issue facing the Church would be the deception of inter-faith syncretism.

Maybe it is time for us as Anglicans and Christians to truly wake up and repent of our syncretistic mixing of Christ and the occult, of good and evil, of truth and deception, of light and darkness.

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook.

It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ‘Ed Hird’, #102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 

[1] (1) Theodore E. Dobson, who was a R.C. charismatic priest well-known for his inner healing books, has co-written an Enneagram book with Kathleen V. Hurley entitled “What’s My Type?”  Dennis, Sheila, & Matt Linn, also well known in the Roman Catholic charismatic sphere for inner healing, strongly endorsed Ted Dobson’s book, saying “This is an encyclopedia of information about the Enneagram. We are a One, a Six, and a Seven.” (Front Inside Cover).  David Geraets, OSB, Abbot of the Pecos R.C. Benedictine Abbey and self-described post-charismatic, comments that Hurley and Dobson “give us fresh and invigorating insight into the Enneagram.” (Front Inside Cover).

[2] Robert Innes, Personality Indicators & the Spiritual Life, Grove Spirituality Series, Cambridge, p. 12; “Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram”, Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, S.J; Christian Research Journal, Fall 1991, p. 14ff;  Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele (The Enneagram Made Easy, Harper Collins,1994, p. 1) say that “The Russian mystical teacher G.I. Gurdjieff introduced it to Europe in the 1920’s …”

[3] Robert Innes describes Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram as “the two indicators most widely used by Christian groups…”(p.3)  Baron & Wagele hold that “Many of the variations within the nine [Enneagram] types can be explained by relating the highly respected Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to the Enneagram.  This will increase accuracy, give greater breadth to the system, and lead to a more finely tuned understanding of ourselves and others. (p. 7, 136-149)  Suzanne Zuercher, author of “Enneagram Spirituality” (Notre Dame:Ave Maria Press, 1992, p. 157) “places the whole of the Enneagram within a basically Jungian framework.” (Robert Innes, op. cit., p. 14)

[4] Barbara Metz, SND, & John Burchill, OP, The Enneagram & Prayer, Dimension Books, p. 11

[5] Fr. Mitchell Pacwa, op. cit., p. 14ff

[6] Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele, The Enneagram Made Easy, Harper Collins, San Francisco,1974, p. 1:   Baron & Wagele claim that “The roots of the Enneagram go back many centuries.  Its exact origins are not known but it is believed to have been taught orally in secret Sufi brotherhood in the Middle East.”  Dobson & Hurley hint that the Magi (Wise Men) who visited the baby Jesus brought the Enneagram, teaching that the Magi were “Wisdom seekers from ancient Persia who were probably the originating or at least the first organized caretakers of the Enneagram.” (p.182)  Dobson & Hurley also allege that Pythagoras, the 6th century B.C. mathematician, “learned the Enneagram in Persia before founding his school…” (p. 183)

[7] Dobson & Hurley, p.3

[8] Robert Innes, Personality Indicators and the Spiritual Life, Grove Spirituality Series, Grove Books Ltd., Cambridge, p. 13

[9] Margaret Anderson, The Unknown Gurdjieff, London: Routledge, p.71-72.

[10] Dobson & Hurley, p. 15: “It is important to remember that each person has one, and only one, Enneagram number.”

[11] op.cit., p. 151.

[12] Robert Nogosek, Nine Portraits of Jesus, p. v

[13] Maria Beesing OP, Robert Nogosek CSC, & Patrick O’Leary SJ, p. 120.

[14] Innes, op.cit, p. 13

[15] Lilly & Hart, Transpersonal Psychologies,‘The Arica Training’, p. 341

[16] Hurley & Dobson: Again and again they refer to the Enneagram as “secret wisdom” (p. 1, 9, 14, 136, &167).  Claudio Naranjo claims that Fr. Bob Ochs and others promised not to teach others the Enneagram, but that they broke their promise of secrecy. “The Enneagram– Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone”, Audio Tape recorded at the Association of Christian Therapists, Feb. 1990, San Diego;  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the occult as: kept secret, esoteric…from the Latin word celare: to hide.

[17] “The Enneagram: a Critique”, St. Clair McEvenue, Catholic Insight, July/August

1996, p. 10  Beesing, Nogosek, & O’Leary, authors of “The Enneagram: a Journey of

Self-Discovery” (Dimension Books), claim that Oschar Ichazo was taught “the Enneagram in La Paz, Bolivia, by a man whose name he pledged not to reveal” (p. 1) See also “Psychology Today”, Sam Keen, Vol. 7, No. 2, July 1973, p. 64″.

[18] Msgr. W.B. Smith, The Homiletic & Pastoral Review, March 1993

[19] Metz & Burchill, op. cit., p. 107; p. 109: “The person does not need to be physically present (Barbara was in Kenya when I kythed with her), nor need the person be living.”

[20] See Lev. 19:31, Lev 20:6, Deut 18:10-11, 1 Chron 10:13, Jer 27:9-10, Acts 16:16-24, & Rev 22:15



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Why Pray when You can Fight?

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Fighting makes us feel strong.  Prayer reminds us that we are vulnerable.  Fighting makes us feel in control.  Prayer reminds us to let go and let God.  Fighting feeds on anger and bitterness.  Prayer feeds on forgiveness and peace.

I became a Christian 46 years ago, after 17 years of spiritual hide-and-seek.  Being raised in church, I was taught to pray as a child but never really understood the intimacy of a real relationship.  As a teenager, my prayer life gradually faded into non-existence.  I never rejected God.  I just kept God at a convenient distance without even realizing it.

God to me was not untrue, but rather irrelevant.  I never rejected prayer.  It just slipped off my radar screen into oblivion.  I never rejected the Church.  I just found it painfully boring and obscure.  Though I was desperately seeking for the meaning of life, I had no idea that the Church would have anything to offer in that area.

When I was brutally attacked as a teenager by a gang member, I turned to martial arts in a secret desire for both self-defense and revenge.  Fighting made me feel strong.  I had no idea that prayer might turn out to be a more powerful weapon.  Within a year, I came to know Jesus Christ on a personal basis, and lost the desire to get even.  A few years later, I discovered that this bully had gone after someone larger than him who had kicked this bully’s teeth in and twisted a broken beer bottle in his face.  Hearing that story taught me that violence always breeds violence.  It was better to forgive because there is always ‘a faster gunfighter just waiting around the corner.’  Even with that realization, it still took me twenty years  before I finally parted company with martial arts.

When I met Jesus Christ 46 years ago, I was flabbergasted that someone was actually listening.  Prayer no longer felt like talking to the ceiling plaster.  It felt personal, real, and infectious.  I couldn’t get enough of connecting to this new best-friend.  There had been  an emptiness inside me that skiing, golfing, and parties couldn’t fill.  Through prayer, I felt a new inner peace and warmth that even my former drinking buddies noticed.

Going back to church, I noticed that church wasn’t as boring as it used to be.  While it may have changed, the big thing was that I had changed from the inside out.  I developed a new love and concern for people that I used to avoid and even look down on.  Instead of resenting life, I began to wake up looking forward to the next adventure that was ahead of me.

One of the things that troubled me though, as a new Christian, was the infighting between all the different denominations.  Why couldn’t the Anglicans, Baptists, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Presbyterians, etc learn to get along and stop competing?  Sometimes Christians reminded me of my old life as a non-Christian when I would rather fight than pray.

One of the wonderful gifts of serving on the North Shore from 1987 to 2018 is that denominational bickering is at an all-time low.  Clergy and pastors speak well of each other’s congregations and even freely send parishioners to attend other churches.  There is a generosity among North Shore pastors that allows them to bless each other instead of cursing each other.

This hasn’t happened by accident.  It is the fruit of forty years of weekly prayer by the North Shore clergy, first at Hillside Baptist, then at Valley Church, and now at Sutherland Church. By praying together on the second Wednesday of each month, God has been teaching the North Shore pastors how much we need each other.  North Shore Clergy have been learning that they are too busy not to pray.  By focusing on Jesus Christ, they have been rediscovering that we are on the same team.  Denominations are second.  Jesus is first.

Every denomination has its own strengths and weaknesses.  Instead of putting down another group for their flaws, we are learning to hold them up in prayer that they may become all that they are meant to be.  Presbyterians don’t need to become Anglicans, and Anglicans don’t need to become Baptists.  Our real calling is to love each other with the life-changing love of Jesus Christ.  Many churches have formed because someone was hurt.  We have been learning that it is time to forgive, time to heal, time to pray.  Why fight when we can pray?  My prayer for those reading this article is that we may rediscover the deep truth that the family that prays together stays together.

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse

-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.


-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102-15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 0A5.

For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca