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Religious Gnostics—Old and New

September 3rd, 2006

“…the church of the living God,
the pillar and ground of the truth”

(1 Timothy 3:16)

People in the post-modern world are becoming more and more involved in an approach to truth that resembles an old form of Christian gnostic teaching. Many today do not even think in terms of truth as an absolute body of information. Instead, truth is being perceived as relative to the receiver or worshipper. In the very same way that the United  States Constitution, for example, is being referred to as a “living document,” by post-modern revisionists, the Bible is being seen as a source of truth, but not the exclusive source of truth. A “living document,” in the minds of many today, is an assertion that it may be changeable in order to reflect the new generation’s relativistic morals.

The Nag Hammadi religious texts are an example of early Christian break-away groups. Other more recent examples of gnostic information being influential among the masses include, The Da Vinci Code. But, unfortunately, it does not stop there. Some main-line Christian groups are now alleging that the Holy Spirit is speaking directly to people apart  rom the written word of God. The results of this kind of relativistic thinking have the following consequences:

1. The Bible is being used, but marginalized (see 2 Timothy 3:16,17). Where once, men may have recorded personal thoughts in the margin of their Bibles, now the biblical text is  being relegated to a place of secondary importance.
2. The Holy Spirit is being subjected to the feelings of man, rather than man being in subjection to the Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:20,21).
3. In a word, the truth is now being seen as the people, not the word of God (John 17:17). However, 1 Timothy 3:16 would place responsibility upon the church to be the pillar and ground of the truth—that is, not the truth, but the support of the truth.

Once again, the old adage, the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, is in order. Not the Bible plus a creed; or, the Bible plus a catechism; or, the Bible plus a religious experience, but the Bible only.

– Robert M. Housby

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