By Jarrod Belcher
“But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” One of the controversies of the early church was the battle with Gnosticism which blended Christian themes with some very anti-Christian themes. A few of them stand out. There is dualism which is the belief that everything material is evil and that the spiritual world is doing battle with the material world to overcome it. This led to the denial that Jesus was himself human because anything material is by definition evil. Therefore Jesus only appeared to be human. Their view of God was also a pantheistic view which believes that God is in everything and everything is God. The gnostic teachers claimed to be Christians but said that they had an advanced knowledge of things that the apostles didn’t have. These views alone make the gnostic movement a cultish version of Christianity.
In fact one of the things that separates Christianity from virtually every other religion is the emphasis on the bodily resurrection. It isn’t that our material bodies are evil, it’s that we are under a curse that Christ will redeem us from. And notice the great reward promised by Christ. Christians believe we will be given eternal life and united with our bodies having been made perfectly new. We call that glorification. That is hardly a repudiation of everything material. We also deny the pantheistic view that God is in everything and everything is God. There is only one God who exists as Father, Son, and Spirit, and everything else has been created by him. We are not “little gods.”
And finally, while it is true that the more you study the Bible the more you will know about God, it is not true that there is a secret knowledge unavailable to the masses but possessed by some very special people. Knowledge about God is available to us only through his Holy Word found in the Bible. It is so easy to read even a child can at least understand the saving message found in the gospels. Sadly, remnants of Gnosticism still plague the church even today. Let us be on our guard to preserve true Christianity.