In a desire to provide guidance to our children, Christian parents and churches can create an unhealthy, unbiblical and even heretical culture. In this study by recent Greenville University graduate and St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church assistant pastor Kait Mathews, we are invited to give a thoughtful consideration of the theological heresy and psychological trauma. Presented on July the 19th, 2020 here is Pastor Mathews’ work:
“As the Gospel began to circulate through the Roman world in the first century, the ancient heresy of Gnosticism was one of the earliest to infiltrate the Church. The word Gnosticism originates from the Greek word gnosis which means knowledge. The Gnostics believed that there was a secret knowledge that was exclusive to those with a true understanding, which then would lead to the salvation of the soul. This spiritual salvation was superior to the Gnostics, because they saw the human spirit as naturally good, but imprisoned in the body which was naturally evil. Thus, the goal of the Gnostics was to free the spirit from the person embodying it and that was only possible with the mysterious knowledge of the “true understanding” that they possessed. The split between spirit and body led the Gnostics to distort the early church’s cognizance of who Jesus was. Gnostics envisioned Jesus as the messenger of the “true understanding” and they didn’t think that Jesus was fully man. Rather, His body just seemed to be human. This is also known as the heresy of Docetism. This seemingly human Jesus is a denial of the Christian doctrine of the incarnation of Jesus as fully man and fully God.1 I think a danger in reading our passage from Romans today is that we might get the impression that Paul is trying to teach Gnosticism.