Wednesday, 18 August 2004

PoMo Christianity and Gnosticism

I have been reading the letters from Peter, John and Jude over the last couple of weeks. These were all written to combat the emerging heresy of gnosticism that arose in the latter half of the first century and matured in the second century AD. I have been struck by some similarities between the expressions of PoMo christianity and gnosticism:

An assertion that we cannot know the truth.
Interpretation of scripture to fit personal wishes.
A focus on mysticism and 'special knowledge'.
Support of immoral behaviour.

Also not specifically a gnostic trait, but also discussed: a desire to return to older, empty religious forms.

Now if I were clever and dedicated, I might prepare an in depth paper in the same way Leighton has regarding sophists, as a study of I Corinthians. However the truth is, I'm off on holiday in a couple of days, and it ain't gonna happen.

Why the apparent attack on PoMo stuff? It's not really an attack, but over the last 18 months I've been following a number of blogs, reading comments, following posters back etc. I've had a period when I've absorbed quite a bit of info from a wide variety of sources, many of which seem to be aknowledged leading lights in the 'emerging church' movement.

I began with no perspective, either good or bad. I met people that stirred me. Some stirred me to love and enthusiasm, and pushed me closer to God. Some I found made me question what I believed and thought in a very positive way. The 'worship labyrinth' concept sparked a bit of creativity, and a desire to exand the way I worshipped. While there were things that didn't sit quite right, I became quite positive about EC things. But then I dug deeper, and some rather unpleasant things started to crawl out. There appeared to be a large body of people with free-wheeling liberal, and frankly heretical 'theology'. I observed an absolute denial of certain clearly stated biblical truths, together with an incorporation of humanistic philosophy into stated beliefs and a support of immorality.

It was interesting too, that some sites actually made me feel slightly ill after reading their contents. I'd come away feeling soiled, and as though God's spirit within me was offended.

Now I certainly don't want to get into a 'burn the heretic' rant, but I think that the EC is NOT a 21st century charismatic movement. Instead I think it is a reaction of the disaffected to mainstream 'safe' religiousness, in great danger of being hijacked by a rejuvenated form of an ancient heresy. Those who would consider yourselves part of this movement and love Jesus, I would say "be on your guard".

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