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Gnosis: The Main Expression of Paganized Christianity in the New Age by Linda Kimball, June 1, 2018

gnostics.jpgIn the essay, "The Paganization of Biblical Studies," Dr. Peter Jones, Professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, Calif., identifies liberalism and/or progressivism as a form of neo-Gnostic paganism, or mystical pantheism.  

Occult Gnostic pantheism arose among certain Jews during the Babylonian exile, thus it is grounded in ‘Ageless Wisdom Teachings’ from the time of Babylon.  Eventually, Gnostics developed Christian variations and then in the heart of Christendom, another version arose---'Liberal Christianity.'  Liberal Christianity took shape among medieval mystics such as Meister Eckhart (1260-1327); Renaissance occult science, occult philosophy such as Kabbalah and the Hermetic tradition; occult groups such as the Rosicrucian’s; certain Radical Reformers (i.e., Kaspar von Schwenkfeld) and the ‘death of Christian God’ movement. (1) It took form and quickly became a battering ram against the Bible in 19th century Germany. 

Its first real manifestation was at the University in Tubingen where a Christian theologian named Ferdinand Baur (1792-1860) had formed a school of faux-theology for the purpose of raising questions about the Christian faith, a tactic designed to undermine and destroy its status as the fount of truth and moral law.  (1) Among areas that came under attack was the person of Jesus Christ, the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, the fall and nature of sin, the Authority of the Bible, the way of spiritual salvation, apostolic tradition and Church doctrine.

By far the most heretical and destructive incursion into divine truth was the Gnostic assertion of the immanence of God at the expense of His transcendence (separateness from His creation) so that the personal Creator becomes a pantheistic impersonal expression of an evolving cosmic process. (1)

More than two hundred years after its first appearance, today’s fully developed Neo-Gnostic Progressive Liberal 'Christianity' is absorbing and radically reinventing and inverting the Bible. It begins by replacing the Genesis account ex nihilo with an inverted evolutionary cosmogony:

“At the outbreak of the modern era, the (gnostic) system of inverse biblical exegesis was once again activated.”  Ioan Couliano, “The Tree of Gnosis”

Peter Jones describes the destructive work of liberalism throughout its history as the importation into the church,

"...via the use of Christian terminology...the various historic expressions of pagan notions, in particular, the denial of God's transcendence.   In this sense, the first "liberals" were the Gnostics.  Certainly a form of Gnosticism, sometimes called proto-Gnosticism is behind the denial of the incarnation in the Johannine epistles, and of the resurrection in the early and later Paulines.   Interestingly, the Liberals of the modern period have had a great admiration for the proto-Gnostics, in particular, Marcion.  In A.D. 150, Marcion, a theologian from Pontus in Asia Minor, was excommunicated from the Church in Rome for heretical teaching.  He dismissed God the Creator, the Old Testament, the Mosaic law, and three of the gospels. From the few epistles of Paul that he accepted, he expunged Old Testament quotations and claimed to worship the "alien god" behind the God of Scripture." (Dr. Peter Jones, 2007, truthxchange.com)

Dave Doveton, Canon theologian and Director of the Training Centre for Ministries and Community in the Anglican Diocese of Mauritius holds that the Gnostic temptation is at the root of every Christian error and heresy:

"In gnosis everything is the intellectual self-production of the individual. This is the real reason why the only authentically Christian heresy is gnosis: the pretension of a self-redemption of man who does not need the intervention of the Other of [One] on High, that is the intervention of God." (The Episcopal Church: the Way of Baalam: False Teachers and the re-appearance of ancient Gnostic beliefs, Dave Doveton, reviewed by David W. Virtue, Virtue Online, March 28, 2011)

The Catholic philosopher and historian, Thomas Molnar (1921–2010) concurs. He writes that the gnostic pagan temptation is never very far from a civilization organized by the Christian religion because what paganism and the occult promise is self-created, deified humanity whose soul is "no longer touched by God." (The Pagan Temptation, p. 3)

While secular pagan materialists still claim there is no living God "up above" (in the third heaven) and that matter or energy in motion is all there is, this view has already been eclipsed by occult pantheism and gnosis.  The intellectual self-production of neo-Gnostics such as Hartford Seminary professor of liturgy worship and spirituality, Miriam Therese Winter, is rapidly filling the spiritual vacuum created by the nihilism of secular pagan materialism.  Winter teaches:

 "Our Mother who is within us we celebrate your many names. Your wisdom come. Your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us..."  (Dave Doveton, virtueonline.org)

Within occult pantheist systems divine energy is present everywhere within nature and man and is therefore the divine spark in the minds of Gnostic pantheists.  The ‘mother’ within is the divine spark that is itself an expression of divine oneness with reality--the universal divine energy (false god) represented by both female and male energies.  These two major aspects of the divine universe are the goddess and god, even though the universal divine is androgynous.

Molnar writes that the idea of a "divine spark" (or Mother, deepest self, Christ consciousness, divine essence) within man or woman is the spontaneous bent,

"...of the archaic mind which predominated in most parts of the world and which threatens to prevail once more in our time the temptation. to identify God and self, to recognize in the soul a divine substance, indeed the seat of divinity." ("The Gnostic Tradition and Renaissance Occultism," Thomas Molnar, The Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Vol.1, No.2, 112, 1974)

Now that the supernatural Triune God ‘up above’ (in the third heaven) is dead in the hearts of millions of Westerners, man's mandate in the gnostic-pagan process of conscious evolution depends upon the initiative of man, said the mystical pantheist heretic Teilhard de Chardin.  Christians should not fear the process of evolution (divine energy reaching into the psyches of the chosen) because it only brings them inexorably into ‘oneness’ or ‘convergence’ with the impersonal, omni-gendered divine substance, Monad, Spirit or Universal Mind:

"Though frightened for a moment by evolution, the Christian now perceives that what it offers him is nothing but a magnificent means of feeling more at one with God...In a spiritually converging world, the "Christic" energy acquires an urgency and intensity of another order altogether." (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 590)

Doveton observes that the Gnostic pagan tendency places gnosis and/or inner knowing---intellectual pride, personal feelings and mystical experience---above clear scriptural teaching, and this tendency is behind the decisions of the Episcopal Church to permit the 'blessing' of same sex unions.    In other words, gnosis overturns the pervasive,

"...absolute and strong biblical prohibition of same-gender sexual relations which has been interpreted as such and upheld by the church for two millennia..." (Ibid, virtueonline.org

Doveton summarizes the infiltration of Gnostic doctrine into the church thusly:

1.The Gnostic doctrine of the migration of the soul results in spiritual elitism.

2. Gnostic influence reduces faith to the interior, the personal and the subjective.

 3. The Gnostic idea of salvation is similar to forms of Hinduism and Buddhism; Gnostics believe that man's problem is not sin but ignorance.

4. For the Gnostic, the problem is not an 'original sin' but the captivity of the soul in material existence.

5. For Katharine Jefferts Schori, PB of The Episcopal Church, Jesus is the route to God for Christians, people of other faiths approach God through their own social contexts, they relate to God, they experience god in human relationships

6. The implication is clear here - Jesus is not the unique revelation of God, valid for all people at all times; He is merely the exemplar of a relationship with God.

7. Gnostic attitudes to the authority of Holy Scripture are that it is seen as incomplete and needs adding to. So any one cultural expression or contextual embodiment of Christianity is limited in its understanding and experience of the gospel.

8. Gnosticism is bound up with victimhood. Bishop Tom Wright observes that many issues in the Christian church today suffer from a complete lack of reasoned debate and are instead decided on the basis of a priority of "victimhood"...which enables anyone with hurt feelings to claim the moral high ground, and the invention of various 'identities' which demand not only protection but immunity from critique.

 9. Gnostics regard states of mind or consciousness as of primary importance and regard behavior as of secondary importance.

10. For many churchmen in TEC sin is not a breach of right behavior but rather, "sin lies not in the specific actions but in the context and intention with which it is performed and received.

When Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio was effectively disinvited from delivering an inaugural prayer at President Obama's second inauguration and was replaced by 'gay affirming' Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, Dr. Albert Mohler noted that America has begun a new chapter in its downward spiraling moral revolution. 

From now on said Mohler, if you believe in and teach God's Revelation and Christian truth you will be required to offer public repentance and evidence of having 'evolved' on the issue in question:

"This is what is now openly demanded of Christians today. If you want to avoid being thrown off the program, you had better learn to evolve fast, and repent in public." (The Giglio Imbroglio---the Public Inauguration of a New Moral McCarthyism, Albert Mohler, Jan. 10, 2013, AlbertMohler.com) 

Dr. Jones warns that we are in the presence of a powerful pagan/Gnostic theological agenda, claiming to be spanking new, objective, scientific, and Christian but is in fact both Godless and as old as the hills:

"It is my belief that this trend in biblical studies is part of the setting in place of a pagan reconstruction of human culture for the planetary era.  Gnosis in one form or another is expected to become the main expression of secular religion in the new millennium. In order to equip the Church for this new age, the scientific study of Gnosticism is vital." (The Paganization of Biblical Studies, Peter Jones)

2018©Linda Kimball

1.From Old Gnosticism to New Age, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal, Vol. 28:4-29:1, 2005, p. 33

Linda writes on worldview and related subjects.

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