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Author Topic: Are Protestant Fundamentalists Gnostics?  (Read 12602 times) Average Rating: 0
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Linus7
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« on: February 01, 2003, 02:20:12 AM »

Protestantism rests on its twin pillars, Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone) and Sola Fide (faith alone). Neither will stand the test of the Apostolic Tradition, which includes the Bible.

My point here is the similarities between Protestant Fundamentalism, particularly of the Baptist variety, and ancient Gnosticism.

For Gnostics saving enlightenment or gnosis was all important. Those who had this gnosis were spiritual beings. The world of matter was no longer important; only the world of the spirit truly existed. No sacraments were necessary, no works of charity or kindness.

Modern Protestant Fundamentalists take a somewhat similar view. For them the born-again experience occurs not in the waters of Holy Baptism but in the instantaneous "acceptance of Christ." If one believes and says the "Sinner's Prayer," one is saved beyond any fear of future damnation, no matter what one's behavior may be.

The sacraments are emptied of power and significance and become mere symbolic memorials or "public professions of faith."

Perhaps I am stretching this analogy a bit. Protestant Fundamentalists may not have gone as far as the ancient Gnostics. Maybe they should only be termed "semi-Gnostics."

But am I the only one who sees the similarity here?

For both groups, salvation is something that occurs in your head; it is an individualistic gnosis. The Church is an afterthought, an invisible phantom composed of all "true believers" (whoever they are).

Care to comment?

Am I totally wrong?
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2003, 09:15:02 AM »

Linus 7, I've never thought of it this way, but I think that you're on to something. They aeem to be modern Gnostics indeed.
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2003, 03:21:16 AM »

Thanks, Nicholas.

I had hoped for more replies by now. I guess referring to Fundies as Gnostics here is no big surprise!

I have engaged many of them in debate at www.christianbbs.com , and the more I see of their beliefs the more convinced I become that they are heretics.

We should guard ourselves and our children against the contagion of Protestant Fundamentalism.

I think we need more instruction in Orthodox Apologetics.
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2003, 06:49:14 AM »

Linus7,

I just read through that entire thread on tradition; you did very good job and argued the points in a concise manner. Protestantism is not only characterized by the doctrines of Sola Scriptura, private judgement, and Sola Fide. It is also very much characterized by Protestant culture and temperament (extreme individualism) and ultimately geography and history.

Protestants do not even stay true to the founders of their own denomination (and many times some do not even know who they are) let alone to Church tradition.

People inventing their own personal religions or even being led into a state of non-belief is the end result of Protestantism.

I do not fear Protestants being able to make any significant dent into American Orthodoxy, American Orthodox are usually converts and are pretty strong in their convictions. What I fear is the dent that global Protestantism is making in the traditionally Orthodox countries of the East. They go there with all of their American dollars and Hollywood PR industry and target people who are going through difficult times, such as Russians and Ethiopians. Apologetics also have to be oriented to preserving Orthodox strongholds as well as creating new ones.  

In Christ.
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2003, 08:35:28 PM »

Aklie -

Thank you for your reply and for your compliments.

I agree with your assessment of Protestantism and its worldwide impact. I saw it firsthand in Russia, where I encountered Mormon missionaries (I realize that Mormons may not be considered Protestants) and Jehovah's Witness literature, as well as Baptists.

I think we should pray constantly and also try to evangelize the Protestants here at home ourselves.

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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2003, 10:41:23 PM »

Linus, I am no theologian or Patristic expert but you make some interesting and convincing points.  I wish there was more sources that talk about Protestant Fundamentalists as being Gnostics.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2003, 11:09:32 PM »

Linus,

A brave soul you are (with consise, well thought out apologetics too).  I read 2 pages of the Divisions thread over at that christianforums bbs and had to back out screaming and running as fast as my 24K modem could run... Shake the dust man, and go where there are ears to hear ... !
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2003, 04:54:38 PM »

Oblio -

Thanks for the compliments.

I may yet shake the dust off my feet as you advise, but I post over at www.christianbbs.com for the people who only read the arguments but never post. They are persuadable and can be won to the Lord from the heresies of Protestantism.

I have received many emails from Protestants asking me for more info on Orthodoxy or to recommend books. That's why I remain and slug it out over there.

I wish some of you would join me; I need all the help I can get!

If you come and post, however, resist the temptation (strong though it is) to use mockery, sarcasm, or name-calling in responding to even the nastiest of the heretics. Those are their tactics.

I never attack the person, only the ideas or doctrines.

I think most people who read the arguments can differentiate between the Christians and the heretics simply by the spirit in which their ideas are presented.

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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2003, 05:36:06 PM »

<clipped for brevity>

If you come and post, however, resist the temptation (strong though it is) to use mockery, sarcasm, or name-calling in responding to even the nastiest of the heretics. Those are their tactics.


I'm glad to know that someone is defending the Orthodox faith in a Christ-like way.  I don't post much here and I definately don't like getting into arguments.  The absence of flaming is the main reason I'm still here.

Having spent 38 years as a Protestant I would say that your argument about Protestants begin gnostics is not with some merit.  However Protestantism is a diverse phenomenon.  You could through some study find Protestant sects that recapitulate most of the heresies the church has faced.

Take Arianism for example, one of the first heresies fought by the church, which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Liberal Methodists and Liberal Presbyterians are backing away from trinitarian theology and affirming Jesus the Teacher.  I recently saw the results of a poll wherea large number of the Anglican clergy denied Christ's divinity and virgin birth among others things.

Getting back to the gnostics they seem to have been very keen on getting their own revelation rather than following the church and the bible.  Perhaps they were the Pentencostal/Charismatics of their day?

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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2003, 05:58:27 PM »

Hey Linus --

I have been posting a little bit, but I have not seen you over there! It can get pretty ugly.....

Greg
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2003, 09:27:10 PM »

Quote
[My point here is the similarities between Protestant Fundamentalism, particularly of the Baptist variety, and ancient Gnosticism.

For Gnostics saving enlightenment or gnosis was all important. Those who had this gnosis were spiritual beings. The world of matter was no longer important; only the world of the spirit truly existed. No sacraments were necessary, no works of charity or kindness.

Modern Protestant Fundamentalists take a somewhat similar view. For them the born-again experience occurs not in the waters of Holy Baptism but in the instantaneous "acceptance of Christ." If one believes and says the "Sinner's Prayer," one is saved beyond any fear of future damnation, no matter what one's behavior may be.

The sacraments are emptied of power and significance and become mere symbolic memorials or "public professions of faith."

Care to comment?

Am I totally wrong?


You're on the right track.  The latest popular examples are the "Left Behind" and "Prayer of Jabez" books.

This article from "Christianity Today", an Evangelical magazine, is a review of Dr. Harold Bloom's book on american religion as gnosticism and lends credence to your speculations:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2002/006/19.36.html
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2003, 01:08:08 PM »

Varangia -

I enjoyed the article. I think Bloom's analysis is more on track than the reviewer gives it credit for.

I have heard of another book that I have not yet read but would like to: Phillip Lee's Against the Protestant Gnostics.

The title sounds intriguing!

Greg -

I'm over there almost every day. I usually concentrate on the Tradition, the Bible, and Church Authority thread. The bedrock foundation of Protestantism is the notion that private interpretation of the Bible is the determiner of truth, a notion that is patently ridiculous, since the very canon of the Bible itself comes from outside the Bible.

I figure that thread is where I can do the most good.

There is one recent arrival there who calls himself "Michael777." He has announced that the Bible teaches that Jesus is not God! He uses the Protestant principle of Sola Scriptura and argues for it vehemently.

I believe his arguments are making it clear to open-minded evangelicals that something more than the Bible is needed and that private interpretation is an open invitation to heresy.
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2003, 01:22:28 PM »

Varangia -

I wanted to add a reply about your mention of the Left Behind series.

There is an entire topic field over at www.christianbbs.com devoted to "Prophecy and the End Times." Naturally, it is rife with Dispensationalist chiliasm and Pre-Trib Rapturist speculations.

I am pretty familiar with the Dispensationalist system, having spent some time as a teenager as a Southern Baptist. I used to read every "end times" prophecy book that came along and even carted a Scofield Reference Bible almost everywhere I went.

The more I see of Dispensationalism, the more I realize why the Church rejected chiliasm at its second general council, at Constantinople in 381.

It's a wild, arcane, convoluted system that posits several "Second Comings," several "resurrections," and numerous "Last Judgments." It's a heresy that has captured the popular imagination, as seen in the enormous sales of Left Behind.

I forget which Father (or Fathers) said this, but one or more of them said that everything in Christian doctrine is linked to everything else. If you get one thing wrong, all the other truths begin to fall with it. If you are wrong on baptism, you'll be wrong on the Eucharist sooner or later. If you misunderstand the Eucharist, pretty soon your view of Christ will be warped, and so on.

I see the current popularity of Dispensationalism as merely an outgrowth of Protestant mistakes in other places. Once you get messed up and lost, you can make all sorts of wrong turns.
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2003, 02:45:30 PM »

I think one of the bad things for Christians who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, is it causes the Church to withdraw from society.  What is the point of fighting the good fight when Jesus is on his way at any given moment.
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2003, 08:40:43 PM »

The whole Dispensationalist system is a disastrous mess.

The "Dispies" teach that God has two kingdoms: the Church (which of course they believe is an invisible phantom) and literal, fleshly, Jewish Israel.

The first is the "kingdom of heaven." The second is the "kingdom of God." This despite the fact that the Gospels use the two terms interchangeably (compare Matt. 10:7 with Luke 9:2, and Matt. 4:17 with Mark 1:14-15, for example).

They even believe that the Jewish temple sacrifices will be reinstituted during the "millenium."

Huh?
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2003, 09:02:13 PM »

Quote
[I forget which Father (or Fathers) said this, but one or more of them said that everything in Christian doctrine is linked to everything else. If you get one thing wrong, all the other truths begin to fall with it. If you are wrong on baptism, you'll be wrong on the Eucharist sooner or later. If you misunderstand the Eucharist, pretty soon your view of Christ will be warped, and so on.

I see the current popularity of Dispensationalism as merely an outgrowth of Protestant mistakes in other places. Once you get messed up and lost, you can make all sorts of wrong turns.

Linus,

I agree with you; and when I speculate about the gnostic tendencies in conservative Protestantism, it's primarily dispensationalism that I have in my sights.  There is a common thread that connects a firm antinomian commitment to "once saved, always saved" and belief in a pre-tribulation rapture that will carry one off without having to worry about any struggles or problems.  This came up in a conversation one day after liturgy during Lent, when (if I recall correctly) one of my fellow parishioners couldn't get an evangelical co-worker to understand the necessity of such ascetic periods in the Christian life.  Well, of course, Lenten fasting doesn't make any sense in the popular American, Evangelical schema, where the Lord "has done it all", and there is a manic fear of "works righteousness".

It's the weirdness--the contrived nature of dispensationalism that makes it so American, and which makes it such uneasy company with other American phenomena such as Mormonism, etc., although dispensationalists have enough residuum of traditional Christology, trinitarianism, etc., to recognize Mormonism as a false religion.

I want to be fair.  There are tens of thousands of people who follow Christ in Bible churches and other independent congregations who consciously desire nothing other than to be "orthodox", at least with a small "o"; and I think the Lord will honor them for the sincerity of their heart.  My point is that dispensationalism is a quintessentially American "thang"; and popular American Christianity is congenitally allergic to the Incarnation, as expressed in the sacraments; creeds; etc.  Bruce Wilkinson's Prayer of Jabez is so much more appealing to the American mentality than St. Theophan the Recluse, who promises no quick fixes and plenty of sweat.

 In this regard, I think that the more serious Reformed types and confessional Lutherans are in the same boat with us Orthodox in being unable to really appeal to this culture.  By no means am I saying that Orthodoxy should write our culture off.  It's just that secularism may have to wipe away more of the revivalist and millenarian impulses of the American psyche before Orthodox can present the freshness of the patristic gospel.  But you're correct in the sense that the errors of Luther and Calvin and especially Zwingli, especially in regards to private judgment, made something like dispensationalism possible
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2003, 05:08:42 PM »

Varangia -

You're entirely right.

What is especially frustrating in trying to communicate with the Protestant Fundamentalists is the number of erroneous presuppositions they make and impose on Christianity.

It took me awhile to figure out that one must first concentrate on taking out Sola Scriptura before anything else good can happen. Once the Fundamentalist sees that his basic premise is flawed, then the doors to other questions open up.

Until then it does one little good to argue with them on other issues. They imagine they have extracted all their doctrines from the study of the Bible. Anyone who questions them must be anti-Bible and, consequently, anti-Christ.

Of course this is untrue. No one sits down by himself with a Bible and invents Protestant Fundamentalism whole-cloth. They are told what to think by others and they then impose those beliefs on the reading of the Bible. Somehow what they are told is so effective (and deceptive) that the neophyte Fundie is left thinking he got it all from "the word of God." It is only later, when the essential weakness of Fundamentalism becomes clear to him, that the Fundie remembers what really happened.

I know how it was for me; at least I remember it clearly now. I began reading the Bible without external influences. I had a hard time figuring it all out, but I distinctly remember the strong impression that Jesus wanted me to change my ways and do good for people. It was only later, when I started attending a Southern Baptist church with a friend, that I started to "see" all the things I was supposed to see. It was then I became really complacent. I knew I was already "saved." The doing good for people could wait until I felt "moved by the Spirit," or until I got around to it.

The "word" for me became whatever I imagined it was. The difficult passages, like the entire second chapter of James, I simply ignored. Of course, once I acquired a Scofield Reference Bible, I had all the answers! Scofield's notes became like inspired text for me.

I was genuinely sincere; I really wanted to follow Jesus; but I was really deeply deceived and confused.

It sure was an easy "gospel," though: just believe and that's it; it was done, in the bag.

Orthodoxy is a lot tougher.

The modern westerner also rejects all ritual. Ritual seems so primitive, so physical. The Fundamentalist cannot see any ritual as truly spiritual. For them salvation is all in your head. How can one actually get grace in baptism or the Eucharist?

It takes a real "reformation" for them to understand the truth.
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2003, 12:38:36 AM »

For a while I was a standard protestant Baptist fundamentalist.

Then some time later, I became a dyed-in-the-wool Gnostic.  I've got all the texts on my book shelf: the complete Nag Hammadi library, several scholarly works by Pagels, introductory texts etc.  I've read all of them.

I've recently begun turning away from Gnosticism and toward Orthodoxy.  Over the last few months I've been realizing how deeply connected Protestantism and Gnosticism in general are.  It's late now, so I won't go into details about the connections.

If someone else gets a chance to read the book that Linus7 mentioned, let me know how it turns out. Smiley  If it covers all the bases, that's good.  If not, I might write one myself.
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2003, 09:34:00 AM »

Sapiens -

Thanks for your post. It intrigues me greatly.

Please return when you have time and write about your experiences and conclusions at length.

I am convinced the radical wing of Protestantism is at least semi-Gnostic.
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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2003, 09:41:22 AM »

Anyone else have any input?

I have been amazed in reading the posts over at www.christianbbs.com how many folks believe that simply believing in Christ (however they define that) constitutes being "born again."

Actually, that is what I, too, believed when I was a Protestant.

But that's it.

Some of them hesitate about being baptized and question whether or not it is necessary.

All of them seem to see the Church as a sort of consumer's-choice marketplace: try one for awhile and, if it is not "meeting my needs," then I can switch.

Christianity has become for them a totally individualistic affair of personal choice and "inner enlightenment."

What is also amazing is what they have done with the person of Christ.

Some of them complain very loudly about the portrayal (especially in icons) of Jesus as a child.

Why?

They complain that it somehow makes Him less important than His mother!

Go figure!

I think such complaints are a symptom of the semi-Gnosticism of modern Fundamentalist Protestantism.

They have so "spiritualized" Jesus that they miss all of the implications of the Incarnation. Thus it troubles them that He was ever a child.

Any comments on this? Observations?
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« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2003, 10:09:53 AM »

Yet, so many of these same Protestants that yell of depections of Christ (either as idolotry or as the above stated reasons) also have "Nativity Sets" at home and/or at their churches during Advent.
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2003, 01:26:32 PM »



I think such complaints are a symptom of the semi-Gnosticism of modern Fundamentalist Protestantism.

They have so "spiritualized" Jesus that they miss all of the implications of the Incarnation. Thus it troubles them that He was ever a child.

Any comments on this? Observations?

I'm convinced that if there is no resurrection of the body, then the theology of the fundies would not be altered at all.

Their theology is grounded in, what it seems to me, the death of Christ only, rather than the death AND resurrection. The resurrection ends up being just a confirmation that Jesus is God. Yes, we must worship in "spirit and in truth", but this is not and should not be opposed to the body. If it were, why the Incarnation?

The main question is, I guess, would Jesus have become Incarnate if man had no sin? For fundamentalist, I would suppose no. Hence, the Incarnation is simply a response to man's fallen state.

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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2003, 01:44:16 PM »

Quote
Yet, so many of these same Protestants that yell of depections of Christ (either as idolotry or as the above stated reasons) also have "Nativity Sets" at home and/or at their churches during Advent.

Good point Nicholas, but the radical reformer reponse is always: We do not pray to them ! followed by a bunch of OT quotes that condemn praying to idols and false gods, and graven images thereof.  I think another big problem is their insistance on the separtaion of the Spiritual and physical world, as if there is no connection, except of course when the Holy Spirit is leading them to interpret Scripture.  I'm not sure if this is a twist on Dualism or what, but I think it is a stumbling block to Orthodox spirituality for many.
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« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2003, 03:35:48 PM »

I agree that some are semi-Gnostic. They seem to deny that there can be anything good in the physical. I think that leads many to semi-Nestorianism and semi-Docetism.

The doctrines of the Incarnation, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and the Unity of the Church are "three sides of the same coin". Protestants deny the Real Presence, claiming that it's just bread and wine (grape juice to many of them). They refuse to accept the union of God with a physical material. They are forced to interpret the Eucharist metaphorically. Likewise, they are forced to a metaphorical understanding of the Church as the Body of Christ. They cannot accept anything visible as the Body of Christ. So, they resort to relativism and a belief in the a church "visibly/physically divided but invisibly/spiritually united". It is only a matter of time until this corrupts their understanding of the Incarnation. From time to time, I encounter Protestants who believe a form of Adoptionism or believe that the Divine Christ lived in the man Jesus.
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« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2003, 05:03:29 PM »

Monkey's right.

I once asked Berean if Mary is the Mother of God.

He replied in the negative, but it rapidly became apparent that he had not thought the matter through. In his defense, I think he came to realize that his first response was an error and that there really never was a time when Jesus was not God. Thus, Mary is the Mother of God.

Some Protestants actually believe Jesus became God at His baptism by John in the Jordan, when the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove.

That is nothing if not rank Nestorianism.

I have more to say about Monkey's post (with which I totally agree, as usual), but I have no time right now. I will have to come back to this thread later this evening.

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« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2003, 02:19:03 AM »

And just like their nativity scenes, I'm sure they'd say their coloring books are fine too - since they don't pray to them.   (Yes, Monkey, Linus an Oblio it's me.)
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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2003, 08:38:51 AM »

Elisha -

Good to see you, brother!

Glad to see you could make it over to the Zion of web sites!  Wink

I think you will like this place.

I know I do.  Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2003, 05:40:56 PM »

Welcome Elisha !

Don't forget the felt pictures  Grin
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« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2003, 05:49:28 PM »

Thanks guys, but this is just another message board which I don't have time for.  I plan to be more of a reader than contributor.
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« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2003, 05:51:00 PM »

But we are the BEST Orthodox message board out there!!

I assuming your religious affiliation is not Orthodox then Elisha?

Bobby
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2003, 08:13:32 PM »

Robert -

Elisha's definitely Orthodox. He's just a very busy Orthodox!
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« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2003, 08:23:40 PM »

Thanks guys, but this is just another message board which I don't have time for.  I plan to be more of a reader than contributor.

Sorry if I sent a mixed message.  I just mean that I should be doing more productive things like housework, work work, praying and such as opposed to hanging out on message boards - no matter how noble they are.  Remember, it is probably better to not watch TV and than to watch "wholesome" TV.
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2003, 11:53:29 AM »

Sometimes the message boards can be productive, too.

But there is certainly nothing wrong with avoiding them either.

Many people who visit CBBS have now been exposed to the Orthodox faith who never would have any other way. Some of them are responding positively, requesting more info, and a couple of them have even become converts.

Admittedly, the converts probably would have become Orthodox sooner or later even without anything we posted at CBBS, but, since they themselves have said our arguments played a positive part in their conversions, we must be doing some good.

I also believe we have planted seeds in the minds of some that will eventually germinate and grow, perhaps only many years from now.

The point is that spreading the gospel via the internet is still spreading the gospel. Surely it is not any less important than housework.

It may be fun at times, but that does not necessarily make it frivolous.
Orthodox Christians are not opposed to fun.

We should leave that to the Puritans.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2003, 11:54:35 AM by Linus7 » Logged

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« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2003, 01:32:03 AM »



I know this is an OLD post..but I find it VERY interesting, as I too have recently been thinking the same thing. I'm a former protestant fundamentalist, and looking back now I DO think that many are indeed Gnostics in at least some sense.

Most protestants as pointed out, talk about the BODY being evil  in fact. Just last night on TBN I was flipping through and heard some protestant preacher say something along the lines that Jesus KILLED his (this preacher's) body when he was "born again"....

The fundamentalists are beginning to get really close to the Gnostics if they're saying Crist killed their bodies. At one time it was just that we must "shed the flesh" but now they say we must "shed the body"...that nothing in the body can be good.

This idea is VERY Gnostic indeed. Of course they have alot of stuff that isn't gnostic..but this idea that the body is essentially evil, and we're "trapped" in this world, is not good.

So Linus, I totally agree with what you originally posted!

I also agree that other protestants seem to doubt that the incarnation, as they lean to Nestorianism. Hal Lindsey has said Mary did not give birth to God, but only Christ's humanity. This is EXACTLY what Nestorius taught that they were seperate...that Christ was actually 2 persons. In fact I once believed this myself. Now as Orthodox I understand I truly did not believe Christ united humanity and divinity...but thought that Christ God was just iiving inside a body like a robot. (or like the little alien dude in the original Men in Black film or something..LOL!)

Again,my thinking went back to the idea that the body is fallen to the exitent that its evil. As others have said a very gnostic belief.

So yes, I totally agree with the original post here.

And of course, I also agree with what others have said, that there are many protestants who are sincerly seeking Christ and God is merciful to all, especially those ignorant of the truth. So I dont think all protestants are evil, or heretics in the traditional sense,  but I do think the core of the teaching, is indeed gnostic. Or at least semi-gnostic.


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« Last Edit: July 09, 2003, 01:39:37 AM by Chuck S. » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2003, 07:37:51 AM »


Wow! I thought I would never see this thread pop up again!  Grin

Interesting comments, Chuck.

Funny thing, I sometimes take a peek at TBN, too, just to see what's going on.

Ever notice how so much is invisible or "spiritual" (i.e., merely symbolic) in the Fundamentalist's world? The Church, the Eucharist, baptism?

And so much rests with the individual and the state of his head.

The thing that troubles me, though, is that I (like you, Chuck) know that many (probably most) Fundies are very earnest in their devotion to Jesus Christ, even if it is a devotion without knowledge. I cannot help but believe that God will honor that devotion somehow.

I see also that we seem to have much more in common with them than we do with the liberal Protestants who are the very ones with whom we are engaged in dialogue in the so-called Ecumenical Movement. The Fundies, to their credit, won't participate in it.

Sigh . . . I pray that God will guide each of them to the truth and into His Holy Church.
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« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2003, 11:29:50 AM »

Linus7 et al:

Thanks for the good posts.

I came to the conclusion that Protestantism tended toward Gnosticism last summer when I was exploring Orthodoxy and the questions I had (you can view my essays at:
http://www.geocities.com/chealy5/ProtestantProblem.htm and http://www.geocities.com/chealy5/LordsSupper.htm).  In short, because Protestants do not, as a rule, believe in the visible unity of the Church, the naively undo their arguments about the Incarnation; and especially so in relation to the Lord's Supper.

I think a better term for Protestants, generally, is semi-Gnostic.  They, or at least the evangelical ones, do believe in Christ's Incarnation--it's just they don't allow the full implications of the Incarnation to play out in their think (sacraments, uncreated grace).

For more liberal/mainline Christians, I think the Gnosticism label more legitimately fits.  Indeed, many of them have not only embraced heresy, but have rejected Christianity by rejecting the Trinity for unitarianism.
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« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2003, 11:42:31 AM »

Why is my last post yellow?
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« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2003, 11:49:54 AM »

Yellow journalism?   Wink

Just kidding.  It happened to one of my posts too a few days ago.  I also have no idea why other than it's a bug that Bobby was supposed to have fixed.

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« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2003, 11:54:02 AM »

It's one of the great unsolved myseries of this particular Board.

You post - and it's in white or pale blue and you come back to it later and you have to hastily search for your sunglasses.

Yes Bobby has been fixing this now for a fornight Cheesy
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« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2003, 12:40:01 PM »

No such things as bugs, they are called features:)

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« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2003, 12:43:21 PM »

Ha - blooming Ha

Pull the other one Wink
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« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2003, 01:59:53 PM »



No such things as bugs, they are called features:)

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« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2003, 04:20:49 PM »

Just fixed up some code that might fix up the highlighting issue..we'll see.
Let me know

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« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2003, 05:31:42 PM »

I trust that post was tongue in cheek Tongue
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« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2003, 11:15:03 PM »


Hi Linus,

Yes, so much in the protestant world is "spiritual"...just as you said. I think a big reason protestants do not accept a visible church, is because they do not LITERALLY believe Christ is the head of the Church and would never leave it.

I've written protestants before saying Orthodox don't have a pope, or a "vicar of Christ" or someone "representing Christ on earth" because why would we need a substitute when we have the REAL Christ as the literal head of the Church?

I never get a response, as I think they are just baffled at this. Protestants claim to take the Bible literally, but I think we take it much more literally than they do. This being one example, as well as baptism, the Eucharist, Christ being the head of the Church etc...

Also I agree with you, that they rely on "knowledge" of the mind. They think one cannot be saved until they can "understand" God. I just read today, I think in 2nd Timothy where Paul warns about false teachers preaching "knowledge" but Paul goes on to say this is actually false knowledge...because they're always learning but never come to the True Faith.

The parallels between that and what 'fundies' believe is kinda scary actually...

But like you said, at least they're not denying the Resurrection, the Virgin birth, or the Trinity, or even the Deity of Christ. So for that, they must be commended.
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