Hollow Man

No Gnostic

There was no deep revelation that prompted me to abandon my Gnostic faith and return to orthodoxy (in the general sense of that word). What was the draw of the Gnostic schools and what caused me to drop them?

I had the pleasure of studying Gnosticism in Bible college and found it a fascinating topic from an intellectual viewpoint. At the time, my connection with the church, in its western manifestation, was waning. Yet, I had only heard the Gnostics' voices through their opponents, like Irenaeus of Lyon. It was not until the Nag Hammadi Scriptures and its earlier editions were published that one could hear the Gnostics speak for themselves. The Gospel of Truth filled a gap especially. I entered onto the Valentinian path of Gnosticism. Searching for something more to commit to, I was soon drawn to the more hardcore Sethians. Works like the Apocryphon of John were my staple. [Side note: if you are easily offended, give the Apocryphon a miss, yeah?]

It was not any doctrinal reason that I moved back into faith in Jesus Christ as taught by the Canonical Gospels. It was actually the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” themselves. In them, the Lord Jesus is espousing some very heavy, Greek-influenced dualism and the fishermen that Jesus called his Disciples are all getting it. They all understand and fully accept these concepts from a foreign philosophy. Contrast that with the Canonical Gospels, where the Disciples are anything but geniuses at Greek dualist philosophy, and you cannot get anything more different.

That alone did not do it. I was blessed enough to have the Holy Spirit very active in my return, thanks to the fervent prayers of my wife and others who did not share my Gnostic leanings.

Merely to describe such doctrines is to refute them. – Irenaeus of Lyon

It is quite possible that Irenaeus was onto something. To merely read the Gnostic Gospels refuted their veracity to me. I could not relate or connect with the Gnostic Peter or Thomas. But the impetuous and cowardly Peter, who denied Jesus three times, and still became a wonderful servant through the redemption of Christ's forgiveness is far more relatable to a fallible sinner like me.

If you are seeking Truth, I pray and hope you find it. Reach out to me on Mastodon if there is something I can pray about for you.

#Testimony #Gnosticism #Doctrine