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Gnosticism

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  • terminate_your_division
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 17, 2007
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      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

      TwOwned
    • pmcvflag
      Hey All 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
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 18, 2007
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        Hey All

        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
        well.

        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
        record.

        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
        Gnostic texts.

        PMCV
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