Gnostics justified themselves by seeing themselves as Christians, and they allowed for the existence of the exterior, traditional form, which they said was a true help to the general populace, but was only worthy for the masses, not the elite. Gnostic leaders and their followers were seen as being superior to the normal Christian because they were given greater teachings which the ordinary Christian could not handle, teachings which could and would only be given to those select few who were found worthy of them. Indeed, they were greater than the Apostles because of this special knowledge – this gnosis- which God had given to them, although some of the Apostles also were given them and taught them to those they found were capable of following them. People are often able to be led by the nose by this tactic, today as much as ever, because we want to feel we are special, and this is one way that this desire can be met. Indeed, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We like to feel superior to everyone else, and we think our personal beliefs must likewise be superior. Many people, if questioned about their faith, will not know any specific answers, but will nonetheless feel that this questioning from outsiders is proof positive of the truth of one’s belief, because they believe it and if others just cannot get themselves to the level where they too can believe, that just shows how inferior they really are. This is so, not just in religious things, but in all areas of knowledge and social interaction, from the sciences to politics.
And an interesting reflection on how everyone needs Christianity, even on a purely natural level, whether they want to admit it or not. Share