- 1 Timothy 6:20-21
- Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge [gnosis], for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith.
"Gnostics" are "those who claim to know." By contrast, "agnostics" are people who say that they don't know.
- Gnosticism (from gnostikos, "learned", from Greek: γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices found among some early Christian and non-Christian groups called "gnostic" ("knowing") by Irenaeus and other early Christian leaders. In the past many scholars believed that gnosticism pre-dated Christianity, but now it is generally accepted that gnosticism developed into a coherent movement only in the second century CE.
Gnosticism is a heresy that, like God Himself, is ever ancient and ever new. Whereas agnostics say they don't know, gnostics say they do. The source of their knowledge (gnosis) is inside themselves. It is vastly easier to teach gnosticism than faith--it is simple, straightforward, seductive, and wrong: "Look inside yourself. By mystical insight, you will know what is good, true, and beautiful. You do not need information. You do not need to check your ideas against objective reality or external standards. What you think is true is true; what you think is beautiful is beautiful; what you think is good is good." Students love to hear that. It is music to their ears. The gospel message that we need to be saved from our wrongdoing by one who is innocent can't take root in this stony ground. The Beatles sang, "All you need is love." The gnostic anthem is, "All I need is me."
The New Gnosticism
Men's movement, Oprah, Gay lib.
Our sex-education classes.
"Everything I need to know is inside of me. Everyone has different beliefs. No one can know which ones are true, if any. Whatever I think is good is good. Whatever I think is true is true. I have the right to my own opinions. No one can judge me. As long as I am sincere, all of my actions will be acceptable."