Another belief of Gnosticism was that the creator God of Genesis (i.e.
Jehovah) was an evil being, because he created an imperfect, evil
world. Matter is considered evil, and therefore any god that created
matter was a god of pure evil. They call this god "The Demiurge". Some
sects banned heterosexual sex since it created children, and therefore
created more evil, since children were made from matter. This could be
why the Sodomites were hailed as heroes in some sects. These sects
often endorsed homosexuality, since it couldn't create children. A
medieval sect of Gnostics called the Bogomils was said to have been
exclusively homosexual (9). The god above the Demiurge was the "real"
god. They believed that the serpent of Eden was the real god, and they
identified him with their serpent god Abraxas and the Ophite serpent.
The serpent of Eden (i.e. Lucifer), they believed, tried to save Eve by
bringing her enlightenment when he told her to eat the forbidden fruit.
The Greek goddess Sophia (wisdom) was also worshipped by the Gnostics.
In some sects, it was believed Sophia sent the serpent into Eden to
enlighten Adam and Eve.
Jesus and Christ were to separate beings according to the Gnostics.
Since Jesus was made from matter, they reasoned he couldn't be divine.
Jesus was an imperfect man who was nailed to the cross, while Christ
was a perfected spirit who got away. Gnostics also felt that since
Christ had tried to save man, as had the Serpent of Genesis, that
Abraxas/Ophite must have really been the father of Christ. In some
Gnostic sects, it was taught that Lucifer and Christ were twin
brothers. Thus, in Gnostic theology, Jehovah is the devil and Lucifer
is god! So Gnosticism is really the first form of devil worship. It is
a form of Luciferianism.
Goddess worship, an idea completely alien to Christians and Jews, is
part of Gnosticism. Many Gnostic sects worship the Greek Pagan goddess
Sophia, which they believed was the "goddess of wisdom". The worship of
Sophia is straight out of Paganism, and no where in any Judeo-Christian
writings is there a mention of goddess worship.
Unfortunately, some modern day secular scholars herald Gnosticism as a
superior from of Christianity. Perhaps it’s because they feel that the
more pagan philosophy of Gnosticism better explains why evil exists in
the world, and they like the idea of becoming an enlightened being
through seeking knowledge, rather than faith in grace of the orthodox
Christian. Secular scholars dismiss what much of what contemporary
critics such as Irenaeus and Tertullian wrote about the Gnostics,
insisting it is merely "Christian propaganda". They prefer to read the
writings of the Gnostics themselves (like the Nag Hammadi library) to
draw their own conclusions. This is hardly an open-minded attitude.
Imagine if someone only read Mien Kampf and drew all their conclusions
about Nazism from that source.
In reality, Gnosticism was a very superstitious religion. Their view
of the universe might be called hysterical at best. Their accounts of
creation are wild and chaotic. In the creation account of one Gnostic
sect, angels repeatedly raped Eve, reflecting how that sect viewed the
Gnosticosm had little cohesion as a movement. Beliefs of sects
varied far and wide because each sect relied on it's own personal
"revealtion". Gnosticism was never able to achieve the feeling of
unversal brothethood orthodox Christianity experienced (the word
"catholic" does mean "universal", after all), and so it was destined to
fail as a movement.
Far from being enlightened, Gnostics were obsessed with magic and
spells, and Gnosticism is a favorite subject of occultists to this day.
The book Ancient Christian Magic is a catalog of magic spells used by
Gnostics. They include love spells, money spells and spells for
revenge. Despite all the talk about being "enlightened" the Gnostics
were some of the most superstitious people of their day! It's no wonder
orthodox Christians of ancient times wanted no part of them. Nor should
modern day Christians.
At the council of Nicaea in 497 A.D., after centuries of persecution
from Pagans, the Christians could now breathe easy and decide what true
Christian doctrine was. With all the new converts, there was some false
doctrines creeping into the Christian theology, and the council
assembled to put an end to these false doctrines. Orthodox Christians
flatly rejected the doctrines of Gnosticism, and Gnosticism was
officially branded a heresy by the early church fathers. Nevertheless,
Gnosticism never completely died out, and from time to time throughout
history it resurfaces. Even today there are many groups that call
themselves "Gnostic". It isn't hard to see how a religion that believed
the God of the Bible was evil and the serpent of Eden was a god of
"enlightenment" could easily evolve into devil worship. 1948 in Toledo,
Ohio barber and fortuneteller Herbert Sloane started the "Our Lady of
Endor Cultus Satanis Coven." It held many beliefs typical of the
ancient Gnostics; inversion of Biblical heroes as villains and vice
versa, the worship of the Ophite serpent, chanting of "Nema, Nema,
Nema, Nema!" (Amen backwards), etc. etc. The group is said to have
dissolved after the death of Sloane. In Los Angeles the Abraxas
Foundation is a Gnostic cult founded by a Charles Manson follower named
Nicholas Shreck. The Abraxas foundation believes that the weak should
be destroyed, paving way for the strong. These groups could be
considered both Gnostic and Satanic. Errors of Gnosticism
The errors of Gnosticism are quite apparent. Some people in trying to
define Gnosticism as "over intellectualized", but considering how
Gnostics were very superstitious, I don’t think the word "intellectual"
firs the bill. A catolog of various Gnostic spells and incations for
love, money and even revenge can be found in the book Ancient Christian
Magic by Marvin Myer and Richard Smith. The book would have been better
titled Ancient Gnostic Magic, since true Christians don't believe in
magic spells! Most Gnostic magic is concerned with "words of power".
Abraxas was a favorite magic word of some Gnostic sects. Abraxas was
the name of the Gnostic god, and it's where the word Abracadabra comes
from. One spell mentioned in the book has to be rcited over an image of
an ape. Another spell is a love spell used by a Gnostic sorcerer to try
to take another man's wife away. The book also has illustrations of
amulets Gnostics used. The amulets look crude and primitive and not
something a supposedly enlightened Christian would ever deal with!
Gnosticism is a core foundation of Western occultism. It is the epitome
of superstion, not enlightenment.
Gnosticism in all it's forms denied the divinity of Christ, and
abandons salvation through grace, and this is usually the starting
point for every heresy. Gnostic Christianity probably arose, not only
to hold on to Pagan traditions, but to try to explain why God allows
evil in to exist. But true Christianity teaches that only the grace of
Jesus Christ accepted through faith is the only thing that can obtain
salvation. The creator God of the universe is not a being of evil. Evil
does exist, and it was brought into the world because man disobeyed God.
God allows evil to exist until the end of time when it will be
destroyed. Why doesn't he destroy it now is something God only knows.
But Gnosticism doesn't really answer the question either. All it does
is present God as a less than all-powerful being locked in a constant
struggle with an equally powerful evil force. This is no different than
earlier faiths like Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Mithraism, etc., Faith is
important to the Christian. Christians know they will never have all
the answers to their questions about God, and so we accept what we
don't know on faith. We do know that before the fall of Adam and Eve
that they were innocent. After they fell and evil was introduced into
the world, man lost his divine perception. The Gnostic on the other
hand believes he can do better than this by some kind of mystical
enlightenment. This isn't a unique theme in eastern religions, and is
taught by Buddhism and Hinduism among others. There are many aspects of
Gnosticism that are downright blasphemous. Saying that God is evil and
the devil is really God is the ultimate in false doctrine. Also, there
is no room for the worship of the goddess Sophia. A good example of
what orthodox Christianity believes is found in the ancient Apostles
Creed. It basically lays out the doctrines of what orthodox Christians
should believe, ie. The Trinity, the resurrection of Christ, etc.,
Much of modern day occultism has it's roots in the Gnostic religion.
The Cabala, Freemasonry, and many practices of Western sorcery have
their roots in Gnosticism. The Gnostics are also an influence on Wiccan
and Neopagan groups.
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