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christfollower

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Gnosticism
« on: October 25, 2007, 06:17:45 PM »



One of the most dangerous heresies of the first two centuries of the church was Gnosticism. It's central teaching was the spirit is entirely good and matter is evil. From this unbiblical dualism flowed five important errors.

1) Man's body, which is matter, is therfore evil. It is to be contrasted with God, who is wholly spirit and therefore good.

2) Salvation is the escape from the body, achieved not by faith in Christ but by special knowledge(the greek word for knowledge is gnosis, hence Gnosticism).

3) Christ true humility was deied in two ways: 1-Some said Christ only seemed to have a body, a view called Docetism, from the greek word dokeo (to seem). and 2-others said that the devine Christ joined the man Jesus at baptism and left him before he died, a view called Cerinthianism, after it's most prominet spokesman, Cerinthus. This view was combated in much of the epistle of 1John

4) Since the body was considered evil, it was treated harshly. This ascetic form of Gnosticism is the background of part of the letter to the Colossians.

5) Paradoxicallyu, this dualism also led to licentiousness. The reasoning was that, since matter-and not the breaking of Gods Law was considered evil, breaking his law was of no moral consequence.

The Gnosticism addressed in the NT was an early form of the heresy, not the inticately developed system of the second and third centuries. In addition to that seen in Colossians and in Johns letters, acquaintance with early Gnosticism is reflected in 1,2 Timoth, Titus, and 2 peter and perhapes in 1 Corinthians.

Johns readers were confronted with an early form of the Gnostic teaching of the Cerinthian variety. This heresy was also libertine, throwing off al moral restraints. Consequently, John wrote his epistle with two basic purposes in mind 1: to expose false teachers and 2: to give believers assurance of salvation. In keeping with his intention to combat Gnostic teachers, John specifically struck at their total lack of morality and by giving eyewitness testimony to the incarnation, he sought to confirm his readers belief in the incarnate Christ.


The epistle of John as well as other scriptures proved that Gnosticism was a dangerous heresy. Beware of false teaching they can and will seperate us from the true gospel of Christ.
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lordfly

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 06:50:41 PM »

Heretical? Seriously?

:|
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riversbend

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 06:53:54 PM »

and I thought "christians" turned the other cheek .
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jenetty

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 07:43:37 PM »

Considering I just said I was Gnostic, I'm a bit annoyed by this post. 

The Gnostics that followed Jesus are the ones that were executed in the early years of the "Chrisitian" church so they could bring about the fear, guilt, and control.  The Truth is we are the truth, the way, and the warriors for Christ.  We seek only to know God on a personal level and we do.  We spread the true love of God and to be a light in a lonely desert. 

God is not judgemental, petty, jealous, or frustrated.  He/She only loves us unconditionally and it is up to us to turn towards Him/Her or walk away.  Our way is simply to live within God's Light and enjoy existence.  We speak to God like we are speaking to a dear friend. 

We worship our Father, the one LOVING God.

We love others as we love ourselves.

We respect our innate divinity.

We are all one, we are all connected.  We are spiritual entities in human form on a mission for God, to learn and experience life.  The "I Am" is all of us and God.  Jesus said if we had the understanding of a child we would understand it easier because His teachings were simple, not complex.  There is no "do this or you burn in hell".   It is simply LOVE. 

I'm sorry if you have a problem with that.

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christfollower

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 08:05:11 PM »

    Gnosticism traces its roots back just after the beginning of the Christian Church.  Some researchers state that evidence of its existence even predates Christianity.  Whichever the case, the error of gnosticism had affected the culture and church of the time and possibly even a earned a mention in 1 John 4.
     The word "gnosticism" comes from the Greek word "gnosis" which means "knowledge."  There were many groups that were Gnostic and it isn't possible to easily describe the nuances of each variant of Gnostic doctrines.  However, generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis).  This knowledge usually dealt with the individual's relationship to the transcendent Being. 
     A more detailed Gnostic theology is as follows.  The unknowable God was far too pure and perfect to have anything to do with the material universe which was considered evil.  Therefore, God generated lesser divinities, or emenations.  One of these emanations, Wisdom desired to know the unknowable God.  Out of this erring desire the demiurge an evil god was formed and it was this evil god that created the universe.   He along with archons kept the mortals in bondage in material matter and tried to prevent the pure spirit souls from ascending back to god after the death of the physical bodies.  Since, according to the Gnostics, matter is evil, deliverance from material form was attainable only through special knowledge revealed by special Gnostic teachers.  Christ was the divine redeemer who descended from the spiritual realm to reveal the knowledge necessary for this redemption.  In conclusion, Gnosticism is dualistic.  That is, it teaches there is a good and evil, spirit and matter, light and dark, etc. dualism in the universe.
     What we know about Gnosticism is gained from the writings of Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Origen, and some later manuscripts discovered in the eighteenth century such as the "Codex Askew, Codex Bruce, the Berlin Gnostic Codes and, most recently, the Nag Hammadi collection."1   Nag Hammadi is a town in Upper Egypt near ancient Chenoboskion and 13 codices discovered were discovered about 1945. 
     The danger of gnosticism is easily apparent.  It denies the incarnation of God as the Son.  In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins.
      Nevertheless, the Gnostics laid claim to Jesus as a great teacher of theirs and as such requires some attention.  It is possible that 1 John was written against some of the errors that Gnosticism promoted.
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riversbend

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 08:06:03 PM »

Considering I just said I was Gnostic, I'm a bit annoyed by this post. 

Don't blame you, I was very annoyned with it.

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jenetty

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 10:53:29 PM »

Don't blame you, I was very annoyned with it.



Thank you.
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jenetty

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2007, 11:02:51 PM »

    Gnosticism traces its roots back just after the beginning of the Christian Church.  Some researchers state that evidence of its existence even predates Christianity.  Whichever the case, the error of gnosticism had affected the culture and church of the time and possibly even a earned a mention in 1 John 4.
     The word "gnosticism" comes from the Greek word "gnosis" which means "knowledge."  There were many groups that were Gnostic and it isn't possible to easily describe the nuances of each variant of Gnostic doctrines.  However, generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis).  This knowledge usually dealt with the individual's relationship to the transcendent Being. 
     A more detailed Gnostic theology is as follows.  The unknowable God was far too pure and perfect to have anything to do with the material universe which was considered evil.  Therefore, God generated lesser divinities, or emenations.  One of these emanations, Wisdom desired to know the unknowable God.  Out of this erring desire the demiurge an evil god was formed and it was this evil god that created the universe.   He along with archons kept the mortals in bondage in material matter and tried to prevent the pure spirit souls from ascending back to god after the death of the physical bodies.  Since, according to the Gnostics, matter is evil, deliverance from material form was attainable only through special knowledge revealed by special Gnostic teachers.  Christ was the divine redeemer who descended from the spiritual realm to reveal the knowledge necessary for this redemption.  In conclusion, Gnosticism is dualistic.  That is, it teaches there is a good and evil, spirit and matter, light and dark, etc. dualism in the universe.
     What we know about Gnosticism is gained from the writings of Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Origen, and some later manuscripts discovered in the eighteenth century such as the "Codex Askew, Codex Bruce, the Berlin Gnostic Codes and, most recently, the Nag Hammadi collection."1   Nag Hammadi is a town in Upper Egypt near ancient Chenoboskion and 13 codices discovered were discovered about 1945. 
     The danger of gnosticism is easily apparent.  It denies the incarnation of God as the Son.  In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins.
      Nevertheless, the Gnostics laid claim to Jesus as a great teacher of theirs and as such requires some attention.  It is possible that 1 John was written against some of the errors that Gnosticism promoted.

You know, for some reason I like you Christ Follower, cuz I just see you as being someone who is simply doing what they feel is the right thing.  That's all well and good.  But I don't like your style.  I'm not even going to waste my time reading what you've written.  Having been in auditoriums of 1,000+ gnostics, to feel that pure loving energy that emanates from us, and the fact that I consider quite a few of them as being my friends and very WONDERFUL God loving people, I know what WE are.

Love and light!
~Jeannette
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lordfly

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 11:07:19 PM »

So thus far it's Gnostics, Muslims, and Witches that are going to hell.

For those of you playing at home.
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jenetty

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 08:50:10 AM »

So thus far it's Gnostics, Muslims, and Witches that are going to hell.

For those of you playing at home.


That's the score I've gotten, too.   :D
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zard0z

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2007, 10:33:26 AM »

It denies the incarnation of God as the Son.  In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins.

And simply put, without that the Christian religion is nothing...

This is why I have a problem with Christianity...It all relies on one magic man to make things all better (no matter what you have done in this world, as long as you accept Jesus as your saviour, you're in)...I don't buy that...
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christfollower

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2007, 10:53:01 AM »

And simply put, without that the Christian religion is nothing...

This is why I have a problem with Christianity...It all relies on one magic man to make things all better (no matter what you have done in this world, as long as you accept Jesus as your saviour, you're in)...I don't buy that...

Why Not? If I may ask.

The reason for the savior is love. God loves his creation. However he gave us free will so that it would be our choice to love him back. Man fell away from loving him back and it started with Adam and man continues to seperate themselves from the love of God. When Adam was found to be in disobedience, God cursed every man to die. Romans 6:23 states for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. You see sin, no matter how big or small is all the same to God who is perfect and Holy. So yes no matter what a person has done He will accept them through His son Jesus. If your child were to go off and make a mess of their life you would gladly accept them back into your home. I do not know any parent who would'nt. However as a parent you would discipline them for their actions. God does the same thing. The Bible tells us that the Lord Disciplines those that he loves. So do people pay a penalty for their disobedience? Yes, however it does not have to be eternal because Jesus paid the ultimate penalty for us. So just as any parent would let their child back into their home God lets us back into His home. Are there consequences for sin? Yes, however we do not have to stay in our sin, and we can receive the blessings of God through our obedience in Him and his Word.
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Normal Joe

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2007, 11:08:28 AM »

The doctrine of salvation by knowledge. This definition, based on the etymology of the word (gnosis "knowledge", gnostikos, "good at knowing"), is correct as far as it goes, but it gives only one, though perhaps the predominant, characteristic of Gnostic systems of thought. Whereas Judaism and Christianity, and almost all pagan systems, hold that the soul attains its proper end by obedience of mind and will to the Supreme Power, i.e. by faith and works, it is markedly peculiar to Gnosticism that it places the salvation of the soul merely in the possession of a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and of magic formulae indicative of that knowledge. Gnostics were "people who knew", and their knowledge at once constituted them a superior class of beings, whose present and future status was essentially different from that of those who, for whatever reason, did not know. A more complete and historical definition of Gnosticism would be:


A collective name for a large number of greatly-varying and pantheistic-idealistic sects, which flourished from some time before the Christian Era down to the fifth century, and which, while borrowing the phraseology and some of the tenets of the chief religions of the day, and especially of Christianity, held matter to be a deterioration of spirit, and the whole universe a depravation of the Deity, and taught the ultimate end of all being to be the overcoming of the grossness of matter and the return to the Parent-Spirit, which return they held to be inaugurated and facilitated by the appearance of some God-sent Saviour.
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Normal Joe

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2007, 11:10:29 AM »

The attempt to picture Gnosticism as a mighty movement of the human mind towards the noblest and highest truth, a movement in some way parallel to that of Christianity, has completely failed. It has been abandoned by recent unprejudiced scholars such as W. Bousset and O. Gruppe, and it is to be regretted that it should have been renewed by an English writer, G.R.S. Mead, in "Fragments of a Faith Forgotten", an unscholarly and misleading work, which in English-speaking countries may retard the sober and true appreciation of Gnosticism as it was in historical fact.

Gnosticism was not an advance, it was a retrogression. It was born amidst the last throes of expiring cults and civilizations in Western Asia and Egypt. Though hellenized, these countries remained Oriental and Semitic to the core. This Oriental spirit -- Attis of Asia Minor, Istar of Babylonia, Isis of Egypt, with the astrological and cosmogonic lore of the Asiatic world -- first sore beset by Ahuramazda in the East, and then overwhelmed by the Divine greatness of Jesus Christ in the West, called a truce by the fusion of both Parseeism and Christianity with itself. It tried to do for the East what Neo-Platonism tried to do for the West. During at least two centuries it was a real danger to Christianity, though not so great as some modern writers would make us believe, as if the merest breath might have changed the fortunes of Gnostic, as against orthodox, Christianity.

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shawnawrites

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Re: Gnosticism
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2007, 11:35:34 AM »

Was it week two of your brainwashing...I mean new Christian studies at church? It seems to be so now everyone has to listen to it too. Been there, bought the bumper stickers, and now I am awakened with knowledge.
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