Welcome to all the new members, including the ones who have not
actually posted an introduction yet.
TwOwned, let me try to respond to your querry, but first let me say
something to the rest of the group.
I wanted to tell everyone that I am sorry I have not been here
lately. I was working on a few major acquisitions for our library
that ran over $300,000, and kept me working 12 hours a day or more
for all this time. Just before that I had a bit of a hand injury
(fell down while trying to chase a fox out of our garbage *lol*) and
was unable to type. I know the other mods here have been very busy as
I'm back now though. It sometimes seems as though when we are here it
is only the hecklers who talk, and when we are gone no one talks at
all. You all are welcome to talk even when we are gone, just for the
Anyway to the subject at hand.
TwOwned, you state....
>>>I'm new to the group but not known. I have discernment and am not
afraid to admit when i'm wrong, just gotta help me hear you out ?!?!?
My Jealouse God is nice to me lol<<<
I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but I think what you may
be trying to say is that you are not here to simply proslytize, but
that you are interested to understand the Gnostic view in spite of
the fact that you find the Judeo/Christian "God" to be valid in your
belief system. If I am wrong, feel free to let me know. At this point
though I will simply answer what I believed you were saying.
The two primary forms of "Gnosticism" as defined in most academic
circles are called the Valentinian and Sethian categories. The
Sethians do generally put the Old Testement "God" in a rather bad
light, but the Valentinians do not. Since I think it is more the
Sethian thinking that you may be addressing, let me play Devil's
Advocate (so to speak) and see if I can put thier thinking into a bit
of perspective by trying to argue from that position.
The issues that Sethian texts tend to use as a polemic against
this "jealous" God is not whether he is nice to some people, but
whether he is really good and just. There is reason to question
whether these attacks were meant literally, or if perhaps this notion
of God was being used as a metephor for something wrong in the human
mind, but either way the point still applies. From the Sethian
perspective the moral and ethical virtue of this God is being
questioned. In their view this God is jealous, violent, angry,
vindictive, and he makes arbitrary laws that incite people's worst
attributes. These Sethians were not simply willing to say "it must
just be part of God's wisdom".
This observation also carried over into a view of the world itself
and the notion of where "evil" comes from and how it exists. Besides
the problems in the human popluation, they believed they saw a flaw
in existance itself. This flaw is partly philosophical, but also
partly material. They invisioned a sort of absolute infinity as a
source that is intransient, unchanging, and outside of existance.
This they viewed as the true "good", although it isn't really good
because the infinite can have to accurate names. However, in turn it
means that something that is transient is also imperfect, flawed. The
God of the "Bible" is difficult to reconcile with this (though
the "Bible" itself didn't quite exist yet in those days).
Whether we agree with them or not, their observations are worth
taking a look at (not only from an historical perspective, though
that is very important also) since they challenge some assumptions
that many people today take for granted. And, while some people set
the "Gnostics" up as a sort of mascot for their own disillusionment
with modern Christianity, there are also a few people out there who
feel they find genuine philosophical and spiritual insight in the