Gnosticism and its impact on Christianity

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Well, the category of this section is "Faith General", so I believe it's probably assumed that other faiths / religions would be under this section. I'm pretty much open to debate or discuss anything, even if you don't agree with my points.

The main flaw of what I'm trying to get at though is these religions do not really explain anything about our Human existence, as to why we are here, where we came from or where we are going. Instead, it's just relegated to a story that Mankind somehow fell from Adam & Eve, and that there will one day be in a Fork in the road in which we are judged to either go to Heaven or Hell. The question is, why would God put people on a planet to test them or their "faith" ? There is no logical argument for why God would do that.

The Bible is actually a story of Human witness accounts and originally was a blueprint for an Alien invasion of Mankind and genetic modification of the Human Species in which the fallen ones came down to mate with Human women as they found them to be beautiful and divine, and therefore corrupted the Species. Mankind existed long before Adam and Eve, but the arrival of Adam and Eve is a metaphorical story for an Alien invasion.

There is also the line in the Bible book of Genesis that says "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".

The book "GENEsis" was not named that way on accident.

The context of this implies the process of genetic alteration of the Human species. It is not God speaking himself that says that.

Surely what you say though about the Protestants is also true.

I believe what I said to Daniel, that there is not enough common ground here. All I can do is suggest some things, the easiest of which is the podcast I also suggested to Daniel: https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/lordofspirits

It's important to start from the first episode, btw. I believe it will dispel myths on both sides, while also building bridges.

This is what I can do for now. I won't enter into a discussion of your assertions, because they seem to me to be purely modern and materialistic conceptions. If those are at least put into question, then I think we can begin a conversation.
 
You mean those Goths who swept through the Spanish peninsula and mixed with all the Semitic descendants of the Carthaginians, Phoenecians, and the various other natives of the area? Or the Romans and Greeks who also freely intermarried with Semites, Africans, Scythians, etc, and who also freely intermarried with all those Goths? Or all those other barbarians who swept through Europe? Racial purity LMAO.

All religions outside Christianity are invalid. Christianity is the One True Religion. Professing to be the One True Way is by necessity a fundamental aspect of religion since it seeks to provide the ultimate answers to ultimate reality. If you don't claim that your religion is true and that others are false then you end up undermining your entire belief system.

The Eastern Christian Greek Roman Empire was still standing for centuries after the West fell, and even reconquered parts of the West. The Roman Empire split into two halves before the West fell. This is basic history from high school.

I can't speak for the other forms of Christianity, but the Catholic Church has for centuries taught that certain parts of the Bible contain figurative language and are not literally true.

Humanity is naturally religious and has always engaged in some form of religious ritual or worship. Even the most primitive barely contacted tribes of South America have some form of it. Religion is a fundamental aspect of humanity which you see throughout all cultures in all parts of the world throughout all of history.

In Christianity God wants you to worship Him, but we have free will and so can choose not to.

I don't forget the evil acts of various Christians. Christianity explicitly states that all men are in a fallen state and subject to sin. It also teaches that we have free will and can choose evil or good; this is in fact the very thing that elevates us above common animals. I don't approve of these things and that is not something taught by Christianity. Scripture explicitly states that people who engage in acts of evil will be punished by God. If God did not disapprove of evil then He wouldn't have said, over and over, that evildoers will be punished. Have you ever actually read the Bible? Its there for all to see in any language you wish to read it in.

Christianity is universal. Read about the Great Commission and the Pentecost and the tradition of Biblical translation that goes back to the very beginning. Christianity has taken hold across all continents and across vastly different cultures. That's about as universal as it gets. Even the word Catholic comes from the Greek word for "universal." Its in the very name of the Church!

False religions may believe that Lucifer is another name for God, however they are wrong.
The essence of God - at least the God we Gnostics believe in - is "Simplicity". If Christianity is the one True Religion, how are there thousands of denominations of it, and which one is true one and how is that one specific sect valid whereas all others are invalid? This is where the issue begins.

I've spent many years researching and studying religions, and I can give an outsider view to claim that the only Christians which could even have a remotely legitimate claim in that regard would be the Orthodox, but then again the Catholics would deny that based on Jesus's claim. The Vatican has also reserved for itself the most Institutional Power and its own State, the likes of which the Orthodox did not claim.

To date, the Vatican is the oldest and most powerful institution still in operation, with no other business or organization that has stood as long by far.

Christianity may have taken hold across all continents and vastly different cultures, but now you have a new contender "Islam" which is rapidly replacing it, and many of the countries which Christianity took hold never created the amazing architecture, arts, literature and other inventions that came from Europe.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
The fact is that spiritually "illuminated" people do not worship Idols or utilize any form of "worship". It the demonic forces or "gods" that demand their followers worship them. The "Real God" does not demand worship, and also there is no "Getting Good / Right with God". One either is of the Divine Lineages or they are not. There is no conversions, no forgiveness, no redemption. These are all made-up concepts invented by the religions.

Another prime example of the sort of mentality I was describing above. This is why Pride is typically depicted as Lucifer's sin. There's no difference in form from the statement above then what you see from the fedora materialistic view.
 
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Diocletian

Woodpecker
The essence of God - at least the God we Gnostics believe in - is "Simplicity". If Christianity is the one True Religion, how are there thousands of denominations of it, and which one is true one and how is that one specific sect valid whereas all others are invalid? This is where the issue begins.

I've spent many years researching and studying religions, and I can give an outsider view to claim that the only Christians which could even have a remotely legitimate claim in that regard would be the Orthodox, but then again the Catholics would deny that based on Jesus's claim. The Vatican has also reserved for itself the most Institutional Power and its own State, the likes of which the Orthodox did not claim.

To date, the Vatican is the oldest and most powerful institution still in operation, with no other business or organization that has stood as long by far.

Christianity may have taken hold across all continents and vastly different cultures, but now you have a new contender "Islam" which is rapidly replacing it, and many of the countries which Christianity took hold never created the amazing architecture, arts, literature and other inventions that came from Europe.

The divine simplicity of God is a standard teaching of Christian theology and was arrived at through reason.

The Orthodox and the Catholic Church used to be one until the Great Schism, so they both can legitimately argue that point since they came about from the exact same original source. In any event that argument primarily exists in online forums and does not really play a role in the daily lives of Catholics, maybe the Orthos here can chime in on that for their part.

Non-Christian cultures have nice art, literature, etc. but it is not on the same level of that from Christian cultures.

What would you say are some of the great achievements of Gnosticism and how has it had a beneficial impact on mankind, and what would you say is it's impact on Christianity?
 
The vast majority of that art, literature, music, and architecture took Christianity as its subject. By extension so did a lot of that engineering as it came in the form of the magnificent cathedrals that still adorn Europe to this day.

Racial blood? Which race? Before Christianity, and in the early years around the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Europe had been invaded by swarms of non-European barbarians who mixed in with the population. Then of course you had all the Semitic peoples in the Levant who formed the core of early Christianity, as well as all the Semitic Carthaginians and Phoenecians who traveled throughout the Mediterranean and mixed in with the various Greek and Italic cultures, and of course we all know the role of the Greeks and Italians in Christianity and their accomplishments. The Egyptians were also absolutely vital. St. Agustine was a Berber who converted from Manicheaism, and that circles back to the philosophical tradition of Christianity. Racialism is a thoroughly modern concept which was imposed upon history at various points after the "Enlightenment" to justify barbaric crimes. Right now racialism is all the fashion among the left to justify hatred of "white" people. You're trying to use it to describe aspects of history in which race had absolutely no role. It is completely ahistorical.

As for weakness, you can read the history of military conquest by Christian cultures if you wish. There's plenty there. On the other hand look at Islamic nations and see what their supposed strength got them. Christianity being "weak" is the kind of thing edgy teenage heavy metal fans larping as Odin worshipers say, ignoring the fact that the various pagan religions were conquered and overthrown by those supposedly "weak" Christians. That was not just through military strength, but also the cultural strength of a people who sustained a massive effort to spread Christianity through often hostile populations in remote lands over the course of centuries.

Christianity was from the very beginning purposefully spread to all peoples of all nations instead of being limited to certain ethnic groups a la Germanic Paganism or Judaism. Its that tolerance which helped it to become so successful. As for those Catholic and Orthodox priests you describe, their actions are a result of their individual choices and are not justified by any aspect of Christian theology. That is tolerance in the new Orwellian usage of the term.

Christianity will survive, I have no worries about that. What great achievements do the Gnostics have and what do you think is their future?

I think many people think the correlation with Christianity is not causation in regards to the excellence that Europe achieved.

That will be decisively proven or disproven once there are enough non-European Christians.

If it continues to occur in Nations outside of Europe outside of European peoples.

If Christian India, Christian China and Christian Africa becomes great in their own right.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
First I would like to say that, while conversation with non-Christians can be fruitful, it cannot be fruitful when there is open contempt and clear ignorance from the other side (which will not be recognized, as it comes from anger, and is demonic). I don't know why such a person would wish to come to a Christian forum simply to attack, but we should ask God to have mercy on him - for debate is clearly impossible without common ground, which is the case here, and it won't lead to anything other than anger on both sides - leading the demons to win.

The second thing I wanted to say is more important, though related to the above as well, and it is that I don't believe your assertion to be correct. While we must condemn ecumenism (even within Christian 'denominations', and equally for other traditions) and be very firm that the Scripture is God's direct revelation to man, and that Christ is the center (the heart) of all Creation, we need to keep in mind that if this is the case, and as St. Paul also wrote, it is literally impossible for long-standing traditions to be fully of the devil, but instead they must contain at the very least (and probably more) a kernel of truth (a kernel is, remember, the inner part of a seed, which can be planted into a full grown plant), for Christ is Lord of all history and of all nations - and this is why 'the law' is written in all men's hearts. Of course, it is not only possible but probable that these other traditions have been mistaken, corrupted, transformed and taken in a very bad direction, or several - by the mere fact that they were guided only by this one manifestation of God, instead of the full revelation. One indication of this is that several pagan traditions were not, originally, what one would call a polytheistic faith - though in time it has become corrupted and it appears outwardly as such. But in recognizing this, it is also important to recognize the same process has occurred in our own Churches - in the case of Protestantism, in a much more radical and revolutionary way than anything in any other religion, where the departure from original doctrine is not nearly as severe.

The reason I point this out is that I think this is a purely Protestant approach, which might be residual in former Protestants and latent in others for the very simple fact that every form of Christianity has, by its very existence side by side with the modern world, been Protestantized - and I believe it is this very thing that contributes to turn people like the pseudo-gnostic member over to the demons (I say pseudo because there is no true gnosticism anymore, it is a tradition that died and was reanimated artificially, similarly to European neo-paganism in general). But even more importantly I find this attitude does not reflect the Trueness of Christ, which is present in every moment, and a man and a society can no more flee it entirely than one can stop breathing. Of course, certain people and certain societies might restrict to a greater or lesser extent their ability to breathe, but if they do so for too long and too strongly, they will asphyxiate. These asphyxiations happen quite naturally, and occurred to many cultures and traditions (like gnosticism), which is a testament that they did not keep enough of God's truth in them to survive or didn't have much to begin with. Others will be incorporated into Christ (like European paganism was, in its various forms). As to the other ones which survived intact to the modern age, it is I think a testament to the opposite, and it is thus quite possible to incorporate their localized tradition into Christ (as was done, for example, in Japan, to a degree - before some historical problems arose).

Remember that St. Paul did not enter Greece preaching to them saying they were worshiping demons (though there was definitely some of that going at the time too), but rather to make known the God which to them was still unknown.
What about traditions such as Voodoo and Wicca? Do they contain kernels of truth as well?
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
I think many people think the correlation with Christianity is not causation in regards to the excellence that Europe achieved.

That will be decisively proven or disproven once there are enough non-European Christians.

"By 2018 Africa had the most Christians: 599 million, vs. 597 million in Latin America and 550 million in Europe."
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
What about traditions such as Voodoo and Wicca? Do they contain kernels of truth as well?

Voodoo, quite likely; wicca, as far as I know, it's another form of neo-paganism, with no continuity or tradition. Having a kernel of truth does not mean they cannot be dangerous, which any dealing with wild principalities has the potential to be, especially if not accompanied by a spiritual authority with experience, and especially with the right authority and experience.

In a way it is precisely because voodoo deals with real things that you shouldn't mess with it.
 
Prosperity Gospel but for nations, instead of individuals. And equally as wrong.
I have a difference in opinion on that. Given that God does promise to bless his people in times past if they are obedient to him as a Nation.

A lot of this is because greater Justice and mutual aid as a result of the Salvation of Souls in general reduces the parasitism that would destroy Society. The negative impacts of murder and crime in general. The loosening of the bonds of oppression and reduction in destructiveness as relationships improve because more Men love God.

Its flows from Christian obedience that such a thing leads to better conditions for all. Is the subsequent better conditions wrong that come from Christian Charity and Christian Justice?

Those peoples in Africa and Latin America due to the faith of many will have not committed as much crime. Treated their brothers with more kindness and Justice. And tried to love their neighbor more well which all contribute to better conditions that in turn help to build up the Foundations of a Nation. Like better formed stones holding up a house.

Its inevitable on a National Scale for things to improve.

Likewise is God wrong to bring Greatness to a Nation that is obedient in addition to those benefits? And subsequent Judgment and Cursing to Nations that rebel?

What reason do you think God will break his pattern of blessing and cursing in that manner?

Was Europe wrong to be blessed in this manner?

Its ancillary benefits to the most important task of Salvation but its undeniable those things have an impact.
 
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The title of this thread is "Gnosticism and its impact on Christianity".

lair of dionysus (interesting name btw) has demonstrated exactly what the impact of Gnosticism is.
There is nothing to add really, nothing to analyze.

Its been a substantial and persistent negative for as long as it endures in whatever strain remains. Even if latent in Christian circles.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
I have a difference in opinion on that. Given that God does promise to bless his people in times past if they are obedient to him as a Nation.

A lot of this is because greater Justice and mutual aid as a result of the Salvation of Souls in general reduces the parasitism that would destroy Society. The negative impacts of murder and crime in general. The loosening of the bonds of oppression and reduction in destructiveness as relationships improve because more Men love God.

Its flows from Christian obedience that such a thing leads to better conditions for all. Is the subsequent better conditions wrong that come from Christian Charity and Christian Justice?

Those peoples in Africa and Latin America due to the faith of many will have not committed as much crime. Treated their brothers with more kindness and Justice. And tried to love their neighbor more well which all contribute to better conditions that in turn help to build up the Foundations of a Nation. Like better formed stones holding up a house.

Its inevitable on a National Scale for things to improve.

Likewise is God wrong to bring Greatness to a Nation that is obedient in addition to those benefits? And subsequent Judgment and Cursing to Nations that rebel?

What reason do you think God will break his pattern of blessing and cursing in that manner?

Was Europe wrong to be blessed in this manner?

Its ancillary benefits to the most important task of Salvation but its undeniable those things have an impact.

My only disagreement is to what the blessings are and what they manifest themselves as. And what I see is just pure materialism.

When I was reading the list of supposed blessings of Christianity they were all from the modern period (Renaissance and onward) not from the Christian centuries of the Middle Ages. One of the reasons is, of course, that moderns don't understand the Middle Ages - this misunderstanding is so severe that it was already happening as the West was leaving it, so already in the Renaissance there is this incomprehension and subsequent branding of it as a 'dark age'. The dark age, in fact, began as we left the Middle Ages, and it continues to this day, only more entrenched in materialism. In a sense, modern Christians have the same attitude towards the Middle Ages as atheists have towards religious people - since they do not understand any of the deeper meanings and forms which conducted those meanings, they simply state it is 'darkness', 'ignorance', and so on.

Some went so far as to say that the Catholic Church is responsible for bringing about the utterly aberrant and destructive schooling and medical systems of modernity, which is utter nonsense (if there is any responsibility, it is minor), but if it were true it would have been a grave fault. More common ones, yet no less grave, are the purely profane art, science and technology (these last two very connected, since science became in the modern world only a vehicle for industry).

As I wrote elsewhere, all these accomplishments are, first, only superior in technicity for that is the only aspect which is purely material (which is the characteristic reduction of modernity), but they are impoverished in every other sense - and that technical superiority is truly the only progress made in modernity (yet, it contains even on its own ground of the material, several severe downsides which are never weighted). But more importantly, these accomplishments in technicity were themselves only possible by relinquishing Holy Tradition, by the downgrading of the Church from the top of the hierarchy, by destroying Christendom itself.

This is nothing new. The Book of Enoch contains an earlier version of this same pattern of atrocity and also the same pattern of the people believing it to be a blessing. The only thing that is new and particular to modernity is the extent of the degradation that happened and also the extent to which people still see in that degradation a 'rebirth', an 'enlightenment' and 'progress'.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Likewise is God wrong to bring Greatness to a Nation that is obedient in addition to those benefits? And subsequent Judgment and Cursing to Nations that rebel?

What reason do you think God will break his pattern of blessing and cursing in that manner?

Was Europe wrong to be blessed in this manner?
I believe that the West received blessings from God in the past. But let's also look at what Europe is going through at the moment. I can't help but make analogies but to Old Testament Israel where God allowed them to be overtaken by the nations around them even though those nations were heathens once the Israelites starting going back on their covenant.

God does bring down disaster immediately sometimes in the Scriptures but we also read about him being slow to anger and if you look at the record of the various kings in the books of Kings and Chronicles, he would still sometime let the people turn away from him for a few generations before eventually bringing down judgement. Christian Europe has been turning away for the 100 to 150 years and I think we're in the beginning stages of the judgement coming down.
 
My only disagreement is to what the blessings are and what they manifest themselves as. And what I see is just pure materialism.

When I was reading the list of supposed blessings of Christianity they were all from the modern period (Renaissance and onward) not from the Christian centuries of the Middle Ages. One of the reasons is, of course, that moderns don't understand the Middle Ages - this misunderstanding is so severe that it was already happening as the West was leaving it, so already in the Renaissance there is this incomprehension and subsequent branding of it as a 'dark age'. The dark age, in fact, began as we left the Middle Ages, and it continues to this day, only more entrenched in materialism. In a sense, modern Christians have the same attitude towards the Middle Ages as atheists have towards religious people - since they do not understand any of the deeper meanings and forms which conducted those meanings, they simply state it is 'darkness', 'ignorance', and so on.

Some went so far as to say that the Catholic Church is responsible for bringing about the utterly aberrant and destructive schooling and medical systems of modernity, which is utter nonsense (if there is any responsibility, it is minor), but if it were true it would have been a grave fault. More common ones, yet no less grave, are the purely profane art, science and technology (these last two very connected, since science became in the modern world only a vehicle for industry).

As I wrote elsewhere, all these accomplishments are, first, only superior in technicity for that is the only aspect which is purely material (which is the characteristic reduction of modernity), but they are impoverished in every other sense - and that technical superiority is truly the only progress made in modernity (yet, it contains even on its own ground of the material, several severe downsides which are never weighted). But more importantly, these accomplishments in technicity were themselves only possible by relinquishing Holy Tradition, by the downgrading of the Church from the top of the hierarchy, by destroying Christendom itself.

This is nothing new. The Book of Enoch contains an earlier version of this same pattern of atrocity and also the same pattern of the people believing it to be a blessing. The only thing that is new and particular to modernity is the extent of the degradation that happened and also the extent to which people still see in that degradation a 'rebirth', an 'enlightenment' and 'progress'.

If the Renaissance and "Enlightenment" didn't happen wouldn't the subsequent results otherwise make true the bbiblical statement "Righteousness exalts a Nation but sin is a reproach to any people"(Proverbs 14:34)?
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Voodoo, quite likely; wicca, as far as I know, it's another form of neo-paganism, with no continuity or tradition. Having a kernel of truth does not mean they cannot be dangerous, which any dealing with wild principalities has the potential to be, especially if not accompanied by a spiritual authority with experience, and especially with the right authority and experience.

In a way it is precisely because voodoo deals with real things that you shouldn't mess with it.

Voodoo is a fundamentally evil and satanist religious practice, one of the main reasons west Africa and Caribbean Black nations like Haiti or Jamaica have been the worst off countries on the planet.
 

Tactician

Kingfisher
Gold Member
@lairofdionysus

Hey, I've read a bit about Gnosticism & found it really depressing. Parts seem to suggest we are basically slaves & suicide looks like a good option. In contrast with Christianity, I can see Gnosticism being criticized as an elaborate trap to get you to kill yourself.

I don't want to be a dick, but what I want to ask you is why haven't you committed suicide. This isn't some thinly veiled insult or suggestion that you do so (I'd rather you didn't!). I genuinely want to know, if you're open to talk about it. Christians have a ton of reasons to continue living & experience God's love, but I don't think this is the case for Gnostics.

Also, other religions like Buddhism or Kaballah/Qaballah have a sort of "path of return" where they at least try to reach enlightenment or something along those lines, so suicide wouldn't be a good option. Under Gnosticism, does suicide "solve" anything, or would you eventually end up back "here?"
 
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