Gnosticism is the expression of the Evil within human nature.
Readership: All; Christians;
Reader’s Note: This post is the ninth in a series on Gnosticism.
Length: 600 words
Reading Time: 2 minutes
After conducting this study of Gnosticism, I’d say it pretty well fits the bill of a world-wide ruling ideology that has fundamental motivations that are general enough to be applied to multiple fields of human social and political movements. The reason is because the fundamental principle of Gnosticism rests entirely on the human propensity to reject the Lord and to find meaning and value through alternative achievements, philosophical vestments, and personal excellence.
Not too long ago, Bruce Charlton asked the question, Why does the ruling ideology of the world Not have a name? (2021 September 12).* I’ll go through the statements that Charlton posed and match an answer according to what we know about Gnosticism.
“This question has often been asked, but the answer is simple and clear. The answer is that the ruling ideology of the world is Evil — and evil has no positive definition.
The name of Evil does not derive from what it wants but from what it opposes; and that is Good, which is God and divine creation.”
Judging by the history and religious philosophy of Gnosticism and how this has led up to the present day, we can see that the Gnostic wants several things. Once we accept that Gnosticism is an expression of Evil, then we can see that these are things that Evil wants, and this forms a positive definition according to its own ethical paradigm.
- The Gnostic is drawn towards the exaltation and glorification of the self through image, popularity, and logical self-determinism. Christ is thereby ignored or denigrated.
- The Gnostic desires to be free from the confines of an external authoritative structure, while still retaining the benefits of the blessed life. This shows up in the overvaluing of democracy and the incessant calls for equality.
- Gnosticism entails that one is to be free to determine one’s own morality without being judged by contrasting ethical systems. From a Christian view, this comprises the element of rebellion.
- The underlying “hope” of the Gnostic aspires to achieve an idealized human condition (apart from Christ), and this preoccupation summarily replaces the hope of knowing the upward calling of Christ and sharing in the riches of His glory.
All this is evil from the Christian view, because it pursues these things through achievements, adherence to a Gnostic ideology, education, heredity, scientific advancement, socio-economic class, sophistication, etc., which is essentially a form of salvation by works, and is accompanied by the denial or rejection of Christ.
All these things are cast as positives within the Gnostic world view, which redefines evil to be anything that causes hardship, shame, or embarrassment, or limits one’s own volition, or prevents the materialistic pleasures and conveniences that make life enjoyable.
“Evil is not something you Are, but a cause you serve. It is not a specific group, but one side in a Spiritual war; a war where each individual can and must choose which side he supports. (No abstention is possible.)”
“The problem with giving a name to Evil thus understood is that it constitutes the entirety of world and national governments (all parties), the mass media, and the (cross-linked) bureaucracies of all major social institutions (including ‘Christian’ churches).”
Yesterday’s post, The Pervasive Influence of Modern Gnosticism, revealed that Gnosticism aligns with this view of Evil – that it is everywhere.
“For most people, Evil thus understood also includes almost every person they know.”
This would also agree with what we’ve learned about Gnosticism – it is the default human condition.
“So the problem of naming Evil is the problem of acknowledging its overwhelming prevalence and power.”
Only the redeemed can name Evil properly, all others remain short sighted, seeking only after their own desires and personal well-being, which is the positively framed essence of Gnosticism. (John 6:44)
* H/T: The Orthosphere (Alan Roebuck): Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: A Quick Primer on the Latest False Religion and How to Correct it. (2021-11-02)
- The Catholic World Report: The New Gnosticism (2011-05-02)
- The Orthosphere: Atheism, Agnosticism, and Cultural Low Self-Esteem (2014-05-08)
- Σ Frame: A Brief History of Gnosticism (2021-10-26)
- Σ Frame: The Religion of Gnosticism (2021-10-27)
- Σ Frame: 10 Defining Traits of Gnosticism (2021-10-28)