Author Topic: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?  (Read 3827 times)

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Offline William T

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2015, 04:09:42 PM »
Thank you for your post.  The canonical status of those books sometimes referred to as "Apocrypha", known to Catholics as "Dueterocanonical," is uncontroversial among the Orthodox; I support these works.  In fact recently I mounted a defense of them in a disputation with Josiah on these fora.  In fact, I am inclined to favor the Ethiopian Broader Canon whoch not only includes 1 Enoch, but many other works.

The Shepherd of Hermas likewise is best understood as something to be used in accordance with the instructions of St. Athanasius in the 39th Paschal Encyclical; it is not NT scripture, however, its use for catechtical purposes is sanctioned.

On point 2 I do agree that some of these texts can be used to support Tradition, however, others are essentially worthless.  The links I posted however show these as being used in an essentially Gnostic manner.

I think books like Apocalypse of Peter or whatever are best left for academic study.  You could read Enoch or Shepard to a five year old or a catechumen...those other books require a more academic perspective.  They are rejected Christian writings that aren't necessarily heretical but have some serious and heavy duty flaws.  Enoch and Shepard aren't rejected in any way.  I don't think Peter can really be used for anything outside of more academic use.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:17:40 PM by William T »

Offline wgw

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2015, 04:15:08 PM »
Agreed.  This should be uncontroversial I think.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2015, 04:15:45 PM »
We use the Revised Common Lectionary, which you'll find is suitably free of gnostic or so-called gnostic texts.

It's also free of a lot of scriptural verses that make people uncomfortable... sorry, just had to make a jab.

But yeah, accusations of "Gnosticism" are typically overblown.

I can see how that can be a horribly misused word.  I was surprised to see it was used at all in modern day western parlance.  There are legitimate unbroken expressions of it in the East (Yazidi for example)...the West it becomes a little harder to trace and look at in modern times.  Even if people want to call themselves gnostics, it is usually too technical and philosophical/New Age-y to be taken as anything as 100% Authentic.   The biggest fear is for it to turn into a trendy philosophical/trendy word that can be used as a generic "catch all" word.

I think Gnosticism in the West pretty much dovetailed with hermeticism and neoplatonism and all the weird variants thereof into a catch-all "Western esoterism", finding expression in alchemy, astrology, and other disciplines like that, through the rosicrucians, masons, etc. and today in parts of the New Age movement. Talking about "authentic" Gnosticism seems dubious because it was never a stable, unified school of thought.
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Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2015, 04:20:41 PM »
We use the Revised Common Lectionary, which you'll find is suitably free of gnostic or so-called gnostic texts.

It's also free of a lot of scriptural verses that make people uncomfortable... sorry, just had to make a jab.

But yeah, accusations of "Gnosticism" are typically overblown.

I can see how that can be a horribly misused word.  I was surprised to see it was used at all in modern day western parlance.  There are legitimate unbroken expressions of it in the East (Yazidi for example)...the West it becomes a little harder to trace and look at in modern times.  Even if people want to call themselves gnostics, it is usually too technical and philosophical/New Age-y to be taken as anything as 100% Authentic.   The biggest fear is for it to turn into a trendy philosophical/trendy word that can be used as a generic "catch all" word.

I think Gnosticism in the West pretty much dovetailed with hermeticism and neoplatonism and all the weird variants thereof into a catch-all "Western esoterism", finding expression in alchemy, astrology, and other disciplines like that, through the rosicrucians, masons, etc. and today in parts of the New Age movement. Talking about "authentic" Gnosticism seems dubious because it was never a stable, unified school of thought.

Very true.
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Offline wgw

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2015, 04:29:52 PM »
We use the Revised Common Lectionary, which you'll find is suitably free of gnostic or so-called gnostic texts.

It's also free of a lot of scriptural verses that make people uncomfortable... sorry, just had to make a jab.

But yeah, accusations of "Gnosticism" are typically overblown.

I can see how that can be a horribly misused word.  I was surprised to see it was used at all in modern day western parlance.  There are legitimate unbroken expressions of it in the East (Yazidi for example)...the West it becomes a little harder to trace and look at in modern times.  Even if people want to call themselves gnostics, it is usually too technical and philosophical/New Age-y to be taken as anything as 100% Authentic.   The biggest fear is for it to turn into a trendy philosophical/trendy word that can be used as a generic "catch all" word.

I think Gnosticism in the West pretty much dovetailed with hermeticism and neoplatonism and all the weird variants thereof into a catch-all "Western esoterism", finding expression in alchemy, astrology, and other disciplines like that, through the rosicrucians, masons, etc. and today in parts of the New Age movement. Talking about "authentic" Gnosticism seems dubious because it was never a stable, unified school of thought.

Now on this, I think you raise a very excellent point which touches close to the core of my argument.  You argue that Western Gnosticism was coterminous with the occult; I concur; I would argue this conditon existed in the East as well, althoigh frankly there is so much mysticism and dissimulation in non-Christian religions of the East that this fact seems to "shrink to insignificance."  We should not forget at any time however that according to St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Epiphanius of Salamis and other credible Patristic experts, the Protoheresiarch of Gnostic Christianity was the dreaded Simon Magus, wno was as much of an occult figure as anyone else, in purely Eastern terms.

The Roman Marcus, who founded the sect of the Marcosians, was a almost a satire of Simon Magus, resorting to what amounted to parlor magic in order to swindle Old Ladies.

However, my point is that in being coterminous with the Occult, Gnosticism managed to essentially adopt the most sincere expression of Theistic Satanism ever attained.  The Ophite conceit glamorizes the Serpent and makes God out to be the devil.  Yazidism glamorizes the Peacock Angel, a rebellious archangel, whose origins closely parallel those of Satan or Lucifer in Christian thought, who is more specifically based on the Islamic Shaitan.  My view is that only Gnosticism represents a sincere, earnest worship of the devil on the basis of the error that the Old Testament deity is somehow malign, which is an adolescent theology, ideal for those caught inextricably in the torments of Teen angst, but otherwise grossly erroneous.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:30:08 PM by wgw »
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Offline William T

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2015, 04:41:04 PM »
We use the Revised Common Lectionary, which you'll find is suitably free of gnostic or so-called gnostic texts.

It's also free of a lot of scriptural verses that make people uncomfortable... sorry, just had to make a jab.

But yeah, accusations of "Gnosticism" are typically overblown.

I can see how that can be a horribly misused word.  I was surprised to see it was used at all in modern day western parlance.  There are legitimate unbroken expressions of it in the East (Yazidi for example)...the West it becomes a little harder to trace and look at in modern times.  Even if people want to call themselves gnostics, it is usually too technical and philosophical/New Age-y to be taken as anything as 100% Authentic.   The biggest fear is for it to turn into a trendy philosophical/trendy word that can be used as a generic "catch all" word.

I think Gnosticism in the West pretty much dovetailed with hermeticism and neoplatonism and all the weird variants thereof into a catch-all "Western esoterism", finding expression in alchemy, astrology, and other disciplines like that, through the rosicrucians, masons, etc. and today in parts of the New Age movement. Talking about "authentic" Gnosticism seems dubious because it was never a stable, unified school of thought.

Agree, especially when looking at the West.  I think even if someone like Jung,  Julius Evola, or whomever calls themselves gnostics or Pagans it really is very different than Yazidi or "Hinduism"...these are best looked at as "modern" conditions.  Direct links to paganism or gnostic practices is just too difficult to do where the direct links have been obliterated, we can do geneologies and speculate how these things evolved within a culture... but that's going to be far from any concrete prognosis.   Words like gnostic or pagan in general may be useful for technical phenomenological outlooks, but become very difficult when in dialogue with people who never call themselves "pagans" even if they worship some pantheon of gods.  I may be able to go on about "paganism", but what does that have to do with someone who worships Shiva?

And as you hinted, Neoplatonism never exactly died.  Whatever problems neoplatonism has, it is not Gnosticism, nor do I think it's really that big of a spiritual problem.  Neoplatonism Is probably one of the better spiritual outlooks for people born in a secular environment.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:46:16 PM by William T »

Offline wgw

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Re: Gnosticism...Theistic Satanism?
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2015, 04:45:48 PM »
I disagree regarding Neoplatonism; classical Platonism, sure, however Neo-Platonism introduced a number of direct references to pan-Hellenic paganism.  I would go so far as to regard Julian the Apostate as essentially neo-Platonic.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 04:46:11 PM by wgw »
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