Author Topic: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism  (Read 730 times)

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Offline Aindriú

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True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« on: December 22, 2010, 01:51:33 AM »
In the hotseat, if not in a place far hotter.

Very droll. But true only if you make salvation dependent on assent to true doctrine. A sixth sola? - sola doctrina?
Can't rightly say, as I do not subscribe to any of the sola/os anymore.

But as for Orthodoxy, assent to true doctrine, i.e. Orthodoxy, is the bare minimum.

This made me wonder, where is the line between True Doctrine and Gnosticism?

We need a correct faith for our relationship with God, but when does this become something else?

Discuss.  ;D

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Offline Iconodule

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Re: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 11:24:39 AM »
I don't understand why you are singling out Gnosticism from other heresies. Expand or reframe your question.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 11:36:26 AM »
I don't understand why you are singling out Gnosticism from other heresies. Expand or reframe your question.

Gnosticism, in general, is "salvation through knowledge".

One of the arguments for Orthodoxy, as with many of the Christian faiths, is that "this" faith is the "fullness of Truth". Often times, this fullness of truth is presented as "necessary" for salvation (e.g the quote from Isa, above).

When does this necessity of "Truth" cross the line from "true doctrine" into "gnosticism". That is, the knowledge not only benefits your faith and relationship with God, but without it, your salvation is impossible.

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Offline blessedbeggar

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Re: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 11:45:20 AM »
Forgive my humble, and possibly uninformed opinion. As a newcomer to Orthodoxy, I would think that True Doctrine can more accurately be found in the teachings of Orthodoxy, and the writings of the Fathers that have been with the True Faith since the earliest of times. As for Gnosticism being focused on as a heresy, there is much merit there. I have recently come to Orthodoxy from a pentecostal denomination, and gnostism runs rampant there, and in most other protestant traditions if one examines them properly. After all, their traditions are built on the self-revelation of only a few, and then expounded upon based on those few misguided revelations. You can't get more "hidden-knowledge" based than to build a denomination on the few passages of scripture that speaks of "tongues." This is an important heresy to stand against when the majority of "christians," other than the Catholic church has left the history, Tradition, and Apostolic truth of the real Church. Again...this is only my 2 cents, but I hope it contributes in some small way.

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Blessed Beggar
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved."

Offline Iconodule

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Re: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 11:47:52 AM »
I don't understand why you are singling out Gnosticism from other heresies. Expand or reframe your question.

Gnosticism, in general, is "salvation through knowledge".

Well, it's a bit more than that actually. Defining "Gnosticism" that way is neither meaningful nor useful- every religion can be called "gnosticism" by that definition.

 I would say that someone has slipped into Gnosticism, if, for example, he believe that the material world is a prison for souls created by a demiurge, and that we need to to escape materiality through esoteric knowledge and thereby merge into the Godhead.

Christian gnosis is different, is acquired differently, and for a different purpose. So long as someone maintain Orthodox faith, in the life of the Church and its Mysteries, he is an Orthodox Christian and certainly no Gnostic.

Offline Aindriú

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Re: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 12:09:33 PM »
I don't understand why you are singling out Gnosticism from other heresies. Expand or reframe your question.

Gnosticism, in general, is "salvation through knowledge".

Well, it's a bit more than that actually. Defining "Gnosticism" that way is neither meaningful nor useful- every religion can be called "gnosticism" by that definition.

 I would say that someone has slipped into Gnosticism, if, for example, he believe that the material world is a prison for souls created by a demiurge, and that we need to to escape materiality through esoteric knowledge and thereby merge into the Godhead.

Christian gnosis is different, is acquired differently, and for a different purpose. So long as someone maintain Orthodox faith, in the life of the Church and its Mysteries, he is an Orthodox Christian and certainly no Gnostic.

I agree. The devil behind Gnosticism is the "cosmic cynicism" that goes with it, formulating the impulse "if I tough it out and be good, I can get out of here".

At the same time though, Gnosticism is "alleviated" by the correct knowledge. Hence, my wondering of the "line".

A Baptist, perhaps, would claim the only necessity is to accept Jesus as your savior. But if there is a need to accept a certain amount of truth more to this to understand and fully appreciate God, why is that not tip-toeing the line of "special knowledge" that will save you from Hell?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 12:10:40 PM by Azurestone »

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: True Doctrine vs Gnosticism
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 12:11:40 PM »
I would say that Orthodoxy is salvation by work and grace.