Monday, August 24, 2009


I return as promised, to share with you the issue that has bothered me over the past couple of days.

In the past I have spoken of my concern that heresies such as gnosticism could gain in popularity and take root once more, during our lifetime.

It would appear that my concerns have proven justified.

Recently I have found myself taking a strong apologetic stance towards mainstream Christianity when dealing with recent Internet posts. It may seem on the surface that gnosticism is a hokey old heresy that went out with the dinosaurs... but I believe it holds the perfect deceit to entrap the people of this generation.

Gnosticism essentially believes that salvation is earned through the learning of secret knowledge. It holds that anything that is spiritual is good... and that anything that is physical is evil... a trap laid down to ensnare our souls. It rejects the notion of a physical resurrection and believe s that as our bodies are evil and only our souls are important... it does not matter what we do with our bodies. In fact it encourages sin, in order that a person may better understand the nature of sin.

All of which mainstream Christianity takes issue with.

Why do I think such an outdated heresy would be so popular in the modern world?

I believe that many people want an excuse for their actions, they want to do whatever they want, without having to face any comeuppance. Christianity teaches us that there is a comeuppance... but that Christ paid it once and for all and that however much we sin, unending grace is there for us... but having received such grace... we are to do our best to live in a way that is pleasing to God.

Gnosticism carries no such challenge. It offers enlightenment and spirituality... without the need to try and be obedient to God.

It is a completely self indulgent philosophy and puts self at the centre of spiritual development. It forgets that we are broken and incapable of pleasing God without the direct intervention of God.

Why do I think there's a threat that it may return?

In the past few decades, mankind has become endlessly fascinated with the intrigue and shadow play that surrounds conspiracy theory - the Moon landings, the Kennedy assassination, UFOs, secret world organisations and black operations... and this has spread naturally, to the history of the Church. The Church has not helped itself at all with it's previous worldly non biblical handling of heresy. Therefore with certain books and films egging them on... people have started to draw the conclusion that perhaps the heretics were telling the truth and the Church conspired to cover it up.

All of which is nonsense. A large part of the New Testament is aimed at countering the claims of these heresies... and two of the most prominent critics - Peter and John, knew Jesus first hand and were in his inner circle.

Why do I think it could be happening now?

My recent debates with people along the very lines of gnosticism have led me to conclude that there are at least some people propagating it... probably in schools and maybe even some churches!

Which brings me to my main point... definition.

A long time ago I wrote on this blog about the need to define yourself personally... lest other people do it for you.

It is absolutely plain to me that the same is true for what we believe. If we do not speak up for what we believe, then other people will fill the gaps and do it for us... people who do not have a proper understanding of what we believe, why we believe it or even who or what we really are... people who are indifferent or even opposed to the true Gospel message.

Even if you don't believe me on the issue of gnosticism, take a good long look at how the media presents Christianity it skews us into two groups - traditionalists and liberals. Is that what you are? Are you a liberal? Are you a traditionalist? Or are you something else?

Me? I'm a Christian... and I'm not going to settle for being something that somebody else tells me I am.

What I am is what God called me to be... and so are you if you'll only let him have you.




  1. Thanks for the insight.
    I agree that 'Gnosticism' or whatever it is called, is not something for Christians.
    God wants us to be spiritual, not only our souls, but also physical.
    How can a clean soul live in a contaminated body?

  2. Nicely put, Nick. I'm not sure that Gnosticism is coming back, I have to say that I think it never really went away - certain elements within the Church feel that they have a certain superiority because they know the truth and they have the responsibility of passing it on when they feel others are worthy of it!

    Docetism is very much a part of the contemporary Church too, and Montanism, and Monarchic Modalism! All the heresies the Church pronounced anathemea in the first couple of centuries have stuck around, and many of them have been revitalised over the past couple of hundred years.

    But it is helpful to point it out, thanks Nick


The ideas and thoughts represented in this page's plain text are unless otherwise stated reserved for the author. Please feel free to copy anything that inspires you, but provide a link to the original author when doing so.
Share your links easily.