Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gnostic studies

Among at least one Gnostic sect, all who had achieved gnosis (enlightenment), were considered to be equals, not only of each other but even of Christ, whose salvation work was not by blood but by His teaching.

There was no hierarchy in this sect; indeed, the positions of bishop, deacon, etc., were divided up by lot, which was interpreted as the will of God, and changed often. The sect even had the audacity to consider women as equals and to allow them to serve in these temporary positions.

This was, of course, all very offensive to the non-Gnostic Christian church, which was in that same era solidifying its hierarchal structure and for which the blood of Christ was the very heart of the faith.


Janice Thomson said...

If I didn't mind titles Gnostic would be appropriate for similar views I carry. However I'd rather be simply known as a student of philosophy.

Eastcoastdweller said...

And I love the meaning behind philo-sophy -- love of wisdom.

I am halfway through Pagel's excellent book on Gnosticism -- right at the chapter where She is going to present the pros and cons of which was the "true" Christianity.