Skip to comments.The Rev. Charlie Camlin: "You Might be a Gnostic"
Posted on 04/29/2006 6:15:26 PM PDT by sionnsar
From the Rev. Charlie Camlin of Holy Trinity REC in Virginia, we have the rather timely sermon You Might be a Gnostic. In this sermon, Rev. Camlin takes a look at the recent hoopla over the "Gospel of Judas":
Several years ago, it was the Gospel of Thomas. Then we had the conspiracy-theory influenced Da Vinci Code. Now we have the Gospel of Judas. Most of you probably heard all of the hype before Easter about the recent discovery of the so-called Gospel of Judas. National Geographic spent millions of dollars having this ancient text restored and translated from the Coptic language into English. It promises, just like the other works mentioned, to turn what we know as Christianity on its head. Having read it, I can confidently tell you that you can relax.Having laid this foundation, Rev. Camlin goes on to address several indicators that "...you might be a Gnostic" and he then rebuts each of these aberrant doctrinal positions very well. I commend this sermon to you as it is indeed most timely.
To begin with, we have actually known about this gospel for over 1,800 years. The godly Bishop of Lyons, whose name was Irenaeus, wrote against this work in his book Against Heresies. The Gospel of Judas and numerous other rejected writings that have been recently re-discovered, were rejected by the Church long ago because they were the work of a heretical group known as the Gnostics. The Gnostics name comes from the Greek word gnosis which means knowledge.
The main reason why these books were rejected from the Christian canon was because they contradicted just about everything else found in Scripture. These Gnostics of the first few centuries said that the serpent in Genesis 3 was really the hero of that story. They made equal heroes out of Cain, who killed his brother Abel; Esau, who rejected his birthright for a bowl of stew; and Korah, who led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. Likewise, for them, Judas Iscariot is the real hero of the gospels. In other words, they contradict everything else taught in Scripture.
If you read the Gospel of Judas, you will also see that it is completely nonsensical. Of course, it does not help that large portions of the ancient text were in such bad shape that numerous lines are completely missing. But based on what they did translate, it would not seem to matter. There is enough available to render this work complete nonsense. However, as contradictory as it appears to historic, orthodox Christianity, Gnosticism has plagued the Church at various times throughout history. Part of the problem arises from the fact that they employ much of the same language that orthodox Christianity does. Perhaps this is most evident in American Christianity. Philip J. Lee, in his work Against the Protestant Gnostics, does an excellent job of recording this. I do not have time to get into all of his themes, but our appointed Gospel lesson affords us the opportunity to look at a few of these issues. Bear with me as I employ the familiar phrase of a popular comedian as a rhetorical device to look at these issues.
- If you do not believe that Jesus Christ was raised bodily, you might be a Gnostic.
- If you think that the Old Testament is irrelevant to Christianity, you might be a Gnostic.
- If you think that the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus makes no sense, you might be a Gnostic.
- If you think that ignorance is mans greatest problem, you might be a Gnostic.
- If you think that Christianity is an exclusive club, you might be a Gnostic.
- If you think that ordained ministers are optional for Christianity, you might be a Gnostic.
- If you think that being added to the visible Church is optional for a Christian, you might be a Gnostic.
BTTT and bookmarked!
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