Ecclesiastical Christianity vs Jesus
A problem I have had trouble reconciling has been any Church Doctrine holding that their version of Christianity is the authoritative version based on the decisions of other people who came and decided before them. I implore anyone to engage help and inspiration in discussing the works, teachings, and precepts of Jesus from others who seem to have travelled further in their path. But this is not the same. Catholics pitted against Protestants and Protestants pitted against each other. And more to the point, where is the true Jesus in any of it? Where is Jesus in so-called “Christianity?” [ Read Part I ]
Following Jesus Solves this Problem for Me
If this confuses you as much as it confuses me I can share how I solved my problem and it was an easy one to solve. I gave up. I surrendered. I surrendered in trying to force an alignment of my Spirit with different theologies. I finally just breathed a sigh of relief when I had it discovered that I needn’t do that at all.
How I follow Jesus is that I start with the Gospels. No better way to start than from the horse’s mouth. Traditionally, the Gospels have simply been Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from the New Testament Bible. Since the Bible has been put together, there are now other texts discovered that ecclesiastical christians may argue against and we call these the Gnostic Gospels.
Gnostic Christianity or Gnosticism
This is where I fit. Gnostic Christianity. Though I did not wake up one morning desiring a label to cast upon myself, found one and began wearing it. I have always resided here yet had no name for it until I began to search out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I want to explain what makes this such a wholly good fit for me because if I can enable one sister or brother in this world to finally merge her or his spirituality in with their existence in this realm, I would like to be able to show what I did and how it happened for me.
Gnostic: 1. Relating to knowledge, esp., esoteric mystical knowledge. 2. Concerning the Gnostics. A Christian heretic of the 1st-3rd century claiming mystical knowledge.
Heresy and the Heretics
Yes. I took note of the word heretic. I put it in anyway. Many heretics were jailed when the Truth needed to be quelled. And considering that heresy is simply contrary to Orthodox Doctrine, there’s not really a reason to throw a label of judgement onto it except that for back in the day, rulers would jail or kill you for heresy. Today I am a proud heretic and not out of defiance – but necessity. Truth is neverchanging. Doesn’t need protection. But unfortunately when heretics used to spring up, somebody needed to protect something so off with their head.
You gotta think. Not necessarily you – But the Spiritual Seeker has to think. Who would be so threatened by the truth [or a lie for that matter] and Why that “they” would need to jail you for heresy*? From Galileo and William Tyndale, to even our beloved Jesus who was put to death for heresy. How can this irony escape anyone?
If, even after the Christian rules were formed, and Jesus had come back in the form of a guy named “Martin” during Galileo’s period, and still taught and lived in the same manner as he did before the “rules,” would he have still been put to death? You can bet that I believe it.
*Why: Because if I’m a Ruler and have everything worked out the way I want it and religion had very much to do with Politics and very little to do with Spiritual Truth, if someone threatened to expose even that fundamental concept, I may be regulated or de-throned or couped. Plus, I need to control the people and who better to do that than a Religious Dude who’ll threaten you with Hell? This way I look squeaky clean and all the more benevolent while the rest of you all go to Church and fear breaking my laws due to Heresy and under the guise of “Breaking God’s Law.” Then if I need to burn you at the stake, your comrades will say the Devil got upon you and still, I look squeaky clean. Amen.
My Own Salvation
As a child, age 6, I accepted the Indwelling Christ as my Spiritual Guidance. I asked my Mom to teach me the Bible around this same time. I began to?speak with?babysitter’s around age 7-8 about Jesus and other Metaphysical Matters concerning God and people. I remember other supernatural events would begin around this time too. Even today I remember hearing my Mom whisper, “If she starts talking about Heaven, God, whatever…just tell her to go play.” I also remember my Mom gently chiding me that people didn’t want to get worn out.
It was about this time,too, “negative energy” would enter into my life too. I recount incidents of knowledge that a 6 – 9 year old should not have – but I had them and I don’t want to delve into them too much here – as I haven’t really resolved a lot of those issues. At this time too as the Indwelling Humanity began to take hold with almost equal power as the “Light”??But I was to emphasize that if, as a small child, you seemingly had “too much grown up knowledge that your baby brain didn’t know how to handle” you are not alone! So for me, then, the Divine and the Devilment often went hand in hand.
Growing up then and with my parents attempting to find Sanctuary in Church due to our moving so often I was exposed to many Churches. I’d began growing a sense about Church. Some of the men up there were crooks; Others misguided; Others were called. Most of the Churches, I would feel, were not telling the whole story. They were never able, for me, to tap into that place that my Indwelling Christ resided. And that, I needed to nurture. It was almost as if even as a child I knew I would have later demons to battle.
So I began studying on my own. In college I took Theology courses. I bought every book on ancient religion and roots of Christianity I could find. Later, because so many books were either pro-Jesus and anti-magic or anti-mysticism, I would have to begin to make sense of it all myself. I was either Good or I was Evil. Or so I thought. It began merging for me when I began understanding the similarities of each religion and understanding that man-made religion wasn’t doing it for me.
I am a person primarily of Spirit. [See HSP] MY Spirit cannot buy another version of Truth if it has its own – and it does. What is then left for me is to quantify my Truth. So I did that by studying every book on mysticism, metaphysics, magic, New Age, Judaism, Ecclesiastical Christianity, Eastern Religions, Greek mythology, and probably others I can’t recount now, that I could get my hands on. In the end, I understood a little more history and the roots of how religion was formed, but still. My Spirit was not satisfied. I still hadn’t found the Truth in print. So finally. I turned back to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and this time coming at it from a different place of understanding. E. Fox would call this the “Spiritual Key” of understanding.
Gnosticism, Gnostic Gospels & other Metaphysical Texts
Metaphysical, Mystical and Gnostic understanding, both then, for my purposes are used interchangeably and without looking up some Wiki, can we yet deduce, for ourselves what Gnostic Christianity is? Well this is precisely how I did it. I read the Gnostic Gospels first. In tandem, my journey would lead me also to Emmet Fox’s Sermon on the Mount as well as A Course in Miracles. Keep in mind, however, that by this point I had also studied Chakras, Kundalini rising and other Eastern and Yogi concepts so that the metaphysical and transcendental qualities for me by this point were second nature. Manifesting Spiritual understanding and so forth, would be guiding me now in this era.
The Gnostic Gospels as already said, are not to be found in the canonized Bible. They are nicely compiled, however in Elaine Pagels The Gnostic Gospels. Amazon was kind enough to have remembered I ordered it online May 2004. I am ashamed to say, however, I have not read the entire book front to cover due to their being so many very awesome resources on the internet. But, nevertheless if you want the Gnostic Gospels in a compiled and hard copy format, I recommend this book.
Otherwise, as I have done too, there are stand-alone’s of the Gnostic Gospels as well.
Speaking of online. Here is a simple and concise meaning on the Gnostic Gospels from Wikipedia on this date April 08, 2007… All links within this article will open in this same window and will link to sources I am not verifying or vouching for but I have left intact for your own Gnosis. Right click and open in a new window should you not desire to leave this page right now.
The Gnostic Gospels are a class of writings about the life of Jesus which are associated with the early mystical trend of Gnostic Christianity. They are not accepted by mainstream Christianity as authentic, and are therefore declared heresy and not included in the standard Biblical canon. Rather, they are part of the so-called New Testament apocrypha.
The Gnostics were named after the term “Gnosis”, a Greek word for knowledge. Gnostic philosophy and religious movements began in pre-Christian times. After the Crucifixion, the name “Christian Gnostics” came to represent a specific section of the Christian community who believed that the path to spirituality was not by simply worshipping Christ, but in each person gaining knowledge and insight of the spiritual nature within themselves, thus gaining a spiritual enlightenment. This community blends the teachings of Jesus Christ with a variety of other beliefs.
The documents known as the Gnostic Gospels were not discovered as a complete book, but rather through a number of various finds. The Nag Hammadi Library was discovered accidentally by two farmers in December of 1945 and was named for the area in Egypt where it was discovered. Other documents are also included in what are now known as the “Gnostic Gospels”, but were found at different times or in different locations, such as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, which was recovered in 1896 as part of the Akhmim Codex and published in 1955. Some documents were duplicated in different finds, and for others, such as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, only one copy is currently known to exist.
Though there are many documents that could probably be referred to as Gnostic Gospels, the term most commonly refers to one or more of the following: Gospel of Mary (recovered in 1896), Gospel of Thomas (versions found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1898, and again in the Nag Hammadi Library), Gospel of Truth (Nag Hammadi Library), Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library), Gospel of Judas (recovered via the antiquities black market in 1983, and then reconstructed in 2006)
The Spiritual Solution
I don’t know about anyone else but when I heard a long time ago that there were other books and recounts of his testimony and teachings I was excited. So I read as many as I could. They would further offer existence to the metaphysical solution that books like Sermon on the Mount, A Course in Miracles, and many others offer: That our Spiritual Solution begins inside.
The Spiritual Solution doesn’t seem so hard to understand for the person who may be coming at it from a blank slate – or even an atheistic or agnostic slant. Seems it may be harder for those with religious backgrounds as it’s requiring you to put down what others have decided for you and to begin anew. The keys to success are honesty [with self], open-mindedness and willingness. That’s it. If anyone has these essentials at their disposal and approach their Spiritual Transformation in this way, they will be wholly successful and spiritually ever-growing.
Gnostic Texts Online
The Traditional Gnostic Texts Online
- Gospel of Thomas: Read the Gospel of Thomas online.
- Gospel of Mary Magdalene : Jesus loved her above others. Read her.
- Gospel of Judas : Resources and read online.
- Gospel of Truth : Resources and read online translations.
- Gospel of Philip: Online resources and read online translations.
Miscellaneous Gnostic Texts of Interest
- The Secret Book of John Introduction: The Apocryphon of John translation
- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Thomas
- The Four Canonical Gospels plus Thomas: Read and compare online.
- Nag Hammadi Library’s Alphabetical Index at the Gnostic Society Library
Gnostic Forum to Discuss Gnosticism and Relay Resources