When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.

08 July, 2013

Heresies of the Week: Obscure Gnostic Sects, Part 1

There are a number of obscure Gnostic sects about which we know little.  Because the information is so sparse, it seems silly to share just one at a time, so I decided to group them into two posts.  Look for Part 2 next week!
Archonticism is a 2nd and 3rd century Gnosticism sect, whose name comes from the Greek “Archontes”, meaning “rulers”, because they believe the world was created and is ruled by evil Archons. They believed in common Gnosticism ideas, such as seven heavens and that the God of the Old Testament was evil. The Archonti practiced Asceticism and lived in extreme poverty.
Bagnolianism is an 8th century sub-Manichaeism Gnosticism French heresy. Their teachings were almost entirely in line with Manichaeism. The believed the world was eternal, that God did not create the soul when He imbued it into the human body, and rejected the Old Testament and much of the New Testament.
Bosnianism: see Bogomilism. Bosnianism, also known as the Bosnian Church, was a branch of Bogomilism in Bosnia during the Middle Ages. It died out by the time of the Ottoman Conquest. 
Cainitism was a small, little-known 2nd century sect of Gnosticism who were said to worship Cain as the first victim of the “material” god. They were believed to use the Gospel of Judas in their teachings. They believed that, by venerating Cain, they would be able to redeem themselves from Original Sin. This sect was likely influenced by Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian religion, some of whom also venerated Cain. 
Colobasianism was a 4th century Gnosticism sect of whom little survives. They were considered to have made improvements upon the Gnosticism sects who preceded them, but what those “improvements” were is unknown today. 
Luciferianism is a Gnosticism-related, antitrinitarian heresy that venerates the characteristics of Lucifer, many seeing him not as the Devil but as a guiding spirit and some revering him as the true God rather than the Biblical God. Many make the distinction that this isn’t Satanism because Lucifer is the light bearer aspect of Satan, or that Lucifer is a more positive ideal than Satan.

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