The “Gnostic” View Of Women

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It is written:

Genesis 1:27-So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The Bible is clear that both males and females are made in the image of God. However, in the late first century A.D., there was a religious group which arose known as the Gnostics. They were called this because of the Greek word ginosko, which means “knowledge.” You see, the Gnostics tried to combine paganism with Christianity, claiming to have special knowledge about Jesus that His Apostles did not possess. Many people that I have been blessed to study with over the years have come from a Gnostic background, and one prominent belief among several is that Gnosticism elevates and honors women while the Bible degrades them.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

“It was not the early church that demeaned women. It was Gnosticism. Many Gnostic texts put down the woman in no uncertain terms. Take this one, for example: “Flee from the insanity and fetters of femaleness and embrace instead the salvation of men.” 4 I have not found a statement like this within the mainstream of Christianity in its two thousand years of history. 5 According to the Gnostic Jesus, as we noted above, physical, heterosexual intercourse is evil because it carries on the work of Ialdaboath, the evil and blind Creator. The Gnostic texts develop this subject at length. The Chief Archon, the “cat-faced” Yahweh, creates sexual intercourse to embroil the first pair in matter. 6 Thus the soul became entrapped in “a contemptible body.” 7 Women and sexual desire render escape from the material body more difficult. The Gnostic Jesus teaches that heterosexual sex, childbirth, and motherhood are evil, a result of the Fall. Conceiving wombs and milk-giving breasts are rejected, 8 as are physical mothers in general. 9 The sex act, in whatever form practiced can be used only by unmarried, solitary people for spiritual rituals that produce enlightenment― not babies! Stephan Hoeller, the contemporary Gnostic, states, “It is more important to be a woman than to be a mother.” 10 As we shall see, however, even being a woman in Gnosticism is not very important. The Gnostic Christ comes to remind people of their heavenly origin and, by implication, to warn them of the trap of gender-specific sexuality. 11 He orders his disciples to “abandon bestiality,” 12 “to destroy [the] works of femaleness,” 13 and pronounces a curse on “you who love intimacy with womankind and polluted intercourse with it.” 14 This ancient refusal of marriage and childbirth has suddenly become thoroughly modern. We should have known. In the great contemporary rush to practice Gnostic forms of spirituality, the Gnostic worldview will be applied to everything and to sexuality in particular. That androgyny, homosexuality, and the refusal of child-bearing and marriage have taken such a hold in our contemporary culture is linked to the rise of Gnostic spirituality. A generation ago, Americans would not have imagined the need for books with titles like Marriage Under Fire, 15 or that states would pass a Defense of Marriage Act or the existence of a political movement such as Alliance for Marriage, whose goal is to defend traditional marriage via the adoption of a Constitutional amendment. But the present cultural acceptance of abortion, homosexuality, and the discussion of the nature of marriage is related not so much to new theories of democracy and civil rights as to the great shifts taking place at the deep level of spirituality.” (Peter R. Jones, Stolen Identity: The Conspiracy to Reinvent Jesus, 1438-1466 (Kindle Edition); Colorado Springs; Cook Communications Ministries)

The second century work known as the gospel of Thomas clarifies the Gnostic position regarding womanhood:

Thomas 114-“Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.’ Jesus said, ‘I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”

God’s Word (the Bible) elevates women, but the religions of the world often dishonor them.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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