Breaking the Stronghold of Gnosticism

…and hastening the “born again” experience.

Readership: All
Reader’s Note: This post is the fourth in a series on Gnosticism.
Length: 1,200 words
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Stronghold of Gnosticism

The last post, 10 Defining Traits of Gnosticism (2021-10-28), showed that Gnostics try to carry their own weight in life. Here, I’ll summarize these 10 traits in terms of the underlying lies they represent.

  1. Platonic/Aristotelian logic is capable of understanding and systematizing metaphysical phenomenon.
  2. The intellect is sufficient as a reliable moral and spiritual guide.
  3. An idealized human condition can be achieved.
  4. People can decide for themselves what truth is, based on their own values, beliefs, moods, preferences, prerogatives and purposes.
  5. Spiritual reality is a subjective experience.
  6. People are capable of maintaining their overall attitude, behavior, and mood.
  7. Spirituality is associated with sensuality. (Hedonic vs. Ascetic)
  8. God is purely a spirit being or force, not mortal.
  9. People can make up their own moral rules and live by them.
  10. Things of this world (pedigree, history, possessions, traditions, etc.) make up one’s life and personal worth.

I’ll refer to this list in the remainder of this essay.

It may be easy for us to get the impression that Gnosticism is equivalent to Progressivism or political liberalism, but this is not necessarily so. Gnosticism is an embodiment of the human inclination towards independence from God, and as such, it applies to everyone. We are not aware that we are all Gnostics to some degree.

Read down the list above. It is the same as saying, “I can do just fine on my own without God. I can be functional. I can be happy. I can find love, contentment, popularity, self-esteem, and so on… without having to admit any fault of my own or ask God for anything. Jesus doesn’t need to die for me.”  Those 10 defining traits of Gnosticism are man’s way of doing just that.

This collection of lies forms a stronghold that must be broken if one is to come to God.

Breaking

The Greatest Archetype (2021 May 21) described how a person needs to come to the opposite realization:  “I cannot do just fine on my own without God! I cannot be functional! I cannot be happy! I cannot find love, contentment, popularity, self-esteem, and so on… I have deep faults of my own and I cannot change myself!  God is my only hope!  I be the sinner whom Jesus died for!” 

“Only when we have come to the end of ourselves, not as we might imagine ourselves to be while in a state of desperation, but in totality, are we are able to receive the Holy Spirit. All our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to carry them out. Only Christ has that power. Because the natural man is not able to reach beyond its own martyrdom, it requires the invasion of the Holy Spirit.

At the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Love and Grace of God’s Truth pounces on our heart and dominates our spirit, against our will, and contrary to our natural mind. We may try to fight the realization (e.g. by relying on vain rational justifications or emotional defense mechanisms), or run and hide, just as Peter did, but deep within our being, we know that we will inevitably be dominated by the gracious providence of God, and that our self-centered will shall be overruled by His greater will. We are filled with a sense of gratefulness for having received this greater purpose for living, and the honor that it entails.”

In other words, we must come to a place where we know we will never achieve the thing we desire most. We must confess our Gnostic tendencies – our frantic grasping to achieve those things — as trial evidence of believing in lies and relinquish our claim to authority over our own lives. I must come to Jesus with the horror of knowing that I drove the nails into his hands and feet… and yet, I cannot turn away in shame. I need what only He can give me. I must trust Him to help me.

Understanding the Experience of Being Broken

I grew up in a Baptist church, so I used to have the idea that the “born again” experience is a conscious act of the will. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to believe that it is not. It has more to do with the breaking of the inherent autopilot habituation toward Gnosticism (the list of 10 traits above), and it is the same thing as the “born again” experience described in John 3. The “breaking” experience is not something that can be entered into willingly. For most people, it is unexpected, uncontrollable, and it is strongly resisted. However, it does help if one willingly avoids indulging in sin and idols, which only postpone or short-circuit the “breaking”.

To be honest, the message behind The Greatest Archetype is from God, and for a long while, I wasn’t sure I totally understood it. I started writing this post 3 years ago, but I was confused about what it meant and I didn’t know how to finish it. The reason it was so difficult and confusing for me to finish this post is because the idea of God “breaking” us, and the related idea of “knowing one’s self” are not explicitly described in the Bible. I suspected that it might have been a heretical notion.

I only began to understand the concepts after I finished writing it and started getting some feedback in the comments section. Lastmod, bless his soul, went into another one of his anti-God modes. His issue is that, all his life, God has been trying to “break” him, as was described of Peter in the post (which is also like breaking a horse), but he keeps resisting in various ways. In the past, he turned to cocaine and who knows what else. Up until recently, he was indulging in pride/distrust, bitterness, and spiritual rebellion.

It was hard to watch. I mean, it was pointless to try to engage with him, because it couldn’t go anywhere due to his attitude. It’s like I had to keep reminding myself that God knows him better than he knows himself, and He knows all about his issues, and this is just the way he is going to be, and leave it be, really.*

It was interesting to me how this post speaks directly to his issue with God — but… he said he couldn’t understand this post at all. It was obvious to me that he didn’t know himself, and couldn’t see himself.

That’s when I realized how “knowing one’s self” fits into the picture.

He carried the notion, as we all do (or did at one time), that when God is trying to break him, then it means God is trying to destroy him.

But this is a response of distrust in His authority. We must accept the Right Hand of God, for good or ill. This acceptance brings a calm humility and deep peace.

And the answer is… No, God is not seeking to utterly destroy us. It’s just a crack that runs through the hardest places in the heart – just big enough to let the sin drain out.

Knowing one’s self will be covered in the next post in this series.

* I’m proud to say that Lastmod has been making steady progress in his faith since that time.

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About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Addictions, Answered Prayers, Attitude, Confidence, Desire, Discerning Lies and Deception, Discernment, Wisdom, Discipline, Education, Enduring Suffering, Evangelism, Forgiveness, Fundamental Frame, Gnosticism, Holding Frame, Introspection, Love, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Perseverance, Philosophy, Purpose, Rites of Passage, Self-Concept, The Power of God. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Breaking the Stronghold of Gnosticism

  1. info says:

    Acts 17:28

    “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…”

    Therefore ultimately everything that we are comes from God. In this manner the Humble is able to be Exalted and the Exalted can be Humbled according to His good pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oscar says:

      @ info

      Good, point. And, remember that St. Paul was quoting a pagan Greek poet when he said “in him we live, and move, and have our being”.

      Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, which means humans will never arrive at the whole truth without Him. But, because humans are created in the image of the One who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, even pagans can arrive at some of the truth.

      Romans 2:14-15

      “14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”

      Like

      • redpillboomer says:

        “Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, which means humans will never arrive at the whole truth without Him. But, because humans are created in the image of the One who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, even pagans can arrive at some of the truth.”

        This is why, IMO, many content creators in the Manosphere, coming from a secular point of view, can have success in sharing some ‘truths.’ They seem to be particularly good at ‘seeing’ (discerning) the fallout, so to speak, from ‘Eve’s fallen nature.’ They don’t do as well, IMO, with seeing (discerning) ‘Adam’s fallen nature’ and the fallout from it. Granted, they are concentrating on ‘Eve’ and all ‘her’ horsesh!t; but let me tell you, from having been Blue Pilled myself at one time, plus currently dealing with the men on my men’s team who are mostly Blue Pilled, the fallout from ‘Adam’s fallen nature’ is another pile of manure we have to deal with in this day and age. It’s an S-show coming and going when you’re talking about the genders and the results of the fall cascading down through the millennia, impacting our current culture.

        Like

  2. info says:

    “And the answer is… No, God is not seeking to utterly destroy us. It’s just a crack that runs through the hardest places in the heart – just big enough to let the sin drain out.”

    Its like heating a metal and getting rid of the impurities:

    1 Peter 1:6-7

    “…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

    Psalm 66:10

    “For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us like silver.”

    1 Peter 4:12

    “12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Red Pill Apostle says:

    In reading items 1-10 laid out the way they are, it becomes obvious that Gnosticism is just another form of idolatry. Each of the points Jack lays out are either idolatry itself or a means of rationalizing idolatry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jack says:

      “In reading items 1-10 laid out the way they are, it becomes obvious that Gnosticism is just another form of idolatry. Each of the points Jack lays out are either idolatry itself or a means of rationalizing idolatry.”

      Exactly! But in daily practice, why can’t we recognize it for what it is?

      Like

      • Red Pill Apostle says:

        Jack — Like most idolatry, Gnosticism is subtle in that it takes actions and mindsets that are good and warps them. For example, making money becomes greed when the heart prioritizes that over God’s commands. Using points 1 and 2, logic and intellect, it’s easy to see that these are gifts from God that we use in life and in understanding His word. The subtle shift is in the attributed source of the power and it’s application. When people cut God out of the equation on these two points, we see a similar mindset to those men who set out to build the Tower of Babel.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oscar says:

    Off Topic: Paging Mr. Deti! I’m not saying this comic was written specifically for you, but I’m not saying it wasn’t written specifically for you, either.

    https://www.arkhaven.com/comics/comedy/hypergamouse/why-not-me?totalInSeries=27

    Liked by 2 people

    • Red Pill Apostle says:

      I don’t remember the blog I was reading at the time, as I read a bunch of them last year, but a commenter on one had that cartoon’s message play out in real life. The short version is that he was a newer attendee of a church singles function and over the course of his time there talked with multiple women. The fact that he’d be painting his apartment that weekend came up and one woman offered to help. She got his attention for an entire day working together, showed that she was a willing helper and they’d been married for decades at the time of his comment. It’s a Deti relationship principle played out in real life.

      Liked by 3 people

    • thedeti says:

      Perfect.

      If your woman isn’t all over you like that, dump her on the spot.

      Like

  5. redpillboomer says:

    — The intellect is sufficient as a reliable moral and spiritual guide….
    — An idealized human condition can be achieved…
    — People can decide for themselves what truth is, based on their own values, beliefs, moods, preferences, prerogatives and purposes…
    — Spiritual reality is a subjective experience…
    — People can make up their own moral rules and live by them.”

    And there you have the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, we’re living in.

    Like

  6. Red Pill Apostle says:

    This slightly off topic but completely worth it. John Christ has 3 YouTube videos he did, called Undercover Pastro, that are supposed to be satire, but are way too close to the reality of churchianity. Some of the jokes he makes were whiskers away from being true at a church we used to attend.



    Like

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  11. ramman3000 says:

    “I used to have the idea that the “born again” experience is a conscious act of the will. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to believe that it is not. It has more to do with the breaking of the inherent autopilot habituation toward Gnosticism (the list of 10 traits above), and it is the same thing as the “born again” experience described in John 3. The “breaking” experience is not something that can be entered into willingly. For most people, it is unexpected, uncontrollable, and it is strongly resisted.”

    Jesus said “I stand at the door an knock”. But the Bible is also clear that salvation is not always available (e.g. Nebuchadnezzar). God is not a vending machine. Eventually you wipe the dust from your boots and you leave the village to its fate. Moreover, if someone reject the Holy Spirit when that moment of breaking comes, this is ultimate blasphemy, perhaps even unforgivable. By all rights, God can withdraw the offer if it is rejected and it may be a long time until it is offered again. So, while the offer requires a conscious act of will to accept, the offer is not always available.

    To every man God makes an offer, even a demand. Such an offer or demand is clear and unambiguous. It may be expected or unexpected (often the latter). It may be resisted, though the power of the presence of the Holy Spirit may make it seem irresistible and uncontrolled, but this is illusion: one always has a choice. It makes no sense to say that (1) it is not an act of will, and then say that (2) it can be willfully resisted.

    The “born again” (or “breaking”) experience is not predicated on Gnosticism.

    Like

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