“A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
- Lk 3:4

Gnosticism Destroys Biblical Understanding – Part 1

(Read Part 10 – Evolutionary Thinking Destroys Biblical Understanding)

Part 11 – Basic Catechism on the Bible

by Kennedy Hall and David Rodríguez

Last week we discussed how evolutionism, an affront to God’s Divine Revelation, is supported by pseudo-science. This week we explore how Gnosticism is playing a parallel role in upholding the errors of evolutionism against Divine Revelation in our modern society.

 

The Heresy of Gnosticism

It is difficult to pinpoint a singular definition of Gnosticism. Nevertheless, the root word is “gnosis” which means knowledge. Of course, knowledge itself can be a good thing, but we know that at least a form of knowledge was the bait used by the devil to tempt Adam and Eve (Gen 3:5). Gnosticism refers to a spiritualist set of ideas that view secretive or continually revealed knowledge as supremely important, or even salvific. In the earliest days of the Church, gnostic heresies were common. In a recent article, I wrote about how the gnostics co-opted scriptural names in order to peddle false gnostic “gospels,” which were of course not Gospels at all.

The Catholic Faith is the only one that adequately addresses seeming paradoxes. For example, there is only One God but Three Divine Persons. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. Our Lady is both Virgin and Mother, and we can say She is both Mother of God and Daughter of God. The Church is the Immaculate Bride of Christ but filled with sinners here on earth. It is only by dying that we can rise to new life. Most heresies come about because man, in his pride, refuses to submit to one of these so-called ‘paradoxical’ doctrines. In the Faith, we prefer to refer to these deep and sublime truths as ‘mysteries.’ The Protestants, for example, refuse to accept the Mystery of the Church. The rationalists refuse to accept the Mystery of the Incarnate Person of Christ. The pagans refuse to accept the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. So what mystery does Gnosticism deny?

In one succinct phrase, Gnosticism denies the truth that God is Creator. An extremely insightful article I recently read[1] (though lengthy and academic), made a compelling argument that the main error underlying Gnosticism is an error regarding the divinely revealed truth about creation. The True Mystery (or paradox) is that God has always existed and sustains all creation, but is not Himself part of creation and creation is not a part of Him. This is truly a perplexing metaphysical problem and one which baffled the ancient sages of the world. Even the wisest of pagans, like Socrates and Aristotle, were unable to adequately resolve this problem.

The Divinely Revealed religion however solves this seeming paradox because it professes that God creates ex nihilo. Thus, while all creation reflects its Creator, and is sustained by its Divine Maker, creation does not possess His Divine Nature. This is what Gnosticism refuses to accept. In fact, if you deny that God creates out of nothing, then your only solution is paganism, Gnosticism, evolutionism or some variation thereof.[2]

 

The Link between Gnosticism and Evolutionary Thinking

Catholic Truth further teaches infallibly that God can infuse His Divine life (grace) into His creation if He so chooses, as when He bestows supernatural grace upon man. Yet even with this grace, which makes us very much like unto God, man is still distinct from God. Even though we may be “one” with God (as members of His Mystical Body, the One Holy Catholic Church), we are still not equal to God, but distinct. Gnosticism, on the other hand, sees the “oneness” of creation with creator and refuses to acknowledge the distinction. Creation and creator become one for the gnostic and the evolutionist![3]

Since Gnosticism insists that creation itself must be part of the creator, then it logically follows that creation possess the divine spark within. If the creator is eternal, then creation too is eternal. Gnosticism further posits several levels of creators, such as a Supreme Being who works through successive levels of lower spiritual beings (coopting Catholic language, they would use the word ‘angels’). Gnostics thus acknowledge a kind of heavenly hierarchy of beings involved in creation and all of creation is in some way part of this divine hierarchy and one Supreme Divine Being.[4]

For the so-called “christian gnostic,”[5] Christ would be the highest in this hierarchy and possess much of the ‘spirit’ of the Supreme Being, but he would still be beneath the Supreme Being, not equal to him. For the gnostic, Satan would likewise be one of the highest beings who turned to evil and is in constant battle with his counterparts who remained good. Thus good and evil are constantly at war, and to a large extent evenly matched. However, non-Christian gnostics might just as easily argue that Satan is the good angelic being who suffers unjustly at the hands of the legalistic spiritual being worshiped by Christians.

Gnosticism further argues that the evil spiritual beings imprisoned spiritual human creatures in their material bodies. Salvation therefore is found in freeing the spirit from the body, which comes about primarily through their secret gnosis (knowledge). The one who achieves this higher plane of self-knowledge begins to become one with all creation.[6] Ultimately, through his “higher level of consciousness’ he fully ‘returns’ to the Supreme Being from which he came and takes his ‘rightful’ place in the divine hierarchy of creation.

 

Gnosticism Today

Hopefully this very brief summary of Gnosticism shows you why it is so easily adopted by pagans. All the creation myths of pagans posit this basic concept with different characters, events, and battles. Moreover, it is easy to see why in a modern world-view, Gnosticism fits in perfectly with evolutionary concepts. Even worse, Gnosticism today is essentially one and the same with New Age-ism and occultism, which has frightfully become the fastest growing ‘spirituality’ among the young generations.

Identifying gnostic writings is not as difficult as it may seem. When in doubt, if you get the “feeling” that something is a little gnostic, check with the logic of St. Thomas to assure yourself of orthodoxy. St. Thomas was supremely logical and his reasoning is concrete and common sense. Gnostic writings should give you a feeling of a “shadowy” character, instead of the realist sense of good theology. In fact, one of the hallmarks of gnostic-inspired theology is the presence of confusing and seemingly contradictory language. Consult a good priest or theologically wise friend if you are unsure. In the end, if you stick to the great minds, like St. Thomas or St. Alphonsus Liguori, you will be safe.


[1] The author is not named, but the article is entitled “Teilhardian Evolution and the Amazon Synod: The Nest of the Antichrist” and is hosted at a website called Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church.

[2] Sufficient reflection upon this statement should help every Catholic become aware of the intrinsic relationship between Gnosticism and evolutionism.

[3] Thus, it should not surprise us that a popular “religion” of choice today has become green environmentalism. We have to recycle, save fossil fuels, and turn off our electrical appliances. It is fine to murder babies in the womb, but we must protect baby whales at all costs. The great evils are now “sins against the environment.” We are told that we need an “integral ecology” and that all countries and companies must promote “sustainability.” This even leads to the worship of ‘Mother Earth’ (or Gaia or Pachamama…). If you were following the events of the 2019 Synod at the Vatican, then you saw all of this on full display.

[4] If you are familiar with the teachings of freemasonry then you know they too accept a generic Supreme Being while denying the Blessed Trinity. Freemasons also profess supernatural realities and believe in a spiritual hierarchy, though it is that of the occult. Nevertheless, freemasonry, Gnosticism and evolutionism are all intrinsically linked, like shimmering facades of the same great diabolical illusion.

[5] These, for example, would include the heretics that St. John the Apostle so vigorously condemned. One of the chief gnostic heretics was an Egyptian Jew named Cerinthus. He claimed to have received angelic knowledge (surely it was from the demonic angels). Cerinthus spread his cult across Crete and Corinth, and his disciples were opposed by the great St. Paul. Once St. John entered a public bath, and noting that Cerinthus was there, he immediately told his disciples they had to leave, lest they be near the heretic when God smote him. Shortly after they exited, the building in fact collapsed and crushed Cerinthus to death. These traditions are related to us by St. Irenaeus of Lyon.

[6] Hopefully this connection also shows the reader how Gnosticism is linked with eastern mysticism, including Buddhism and Hinduism, and how it harmoniously blends into today’s New Age movement.

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