Gnosticism in America

They say we should know history because if you don’t know history, history will repeat itself. Unfortunately that is truer than you might think.

One thing that has really caught my attention lately is the false doctrine that has become mixed into Christianity. Any time you mix something else into Christianity, it is no longer Christianity.

Did you know Paul encountered the same thing?

These days we hear terms like liberation theology, collective salvation, contemplative prayer, and mysticism. I am going to tell you right now, some of those might sound good, but none of those are Christian. Yes, they have Christian elements the same way a counterfeit bill looks like the real thing.

When I first heard of all these things taking off, it was enough to make me a bit anxious. I wondered how many folks would be fooled by the lies. A good counterfeit is hard to spot, and some of these false doctrines have attractive elements. Folks who are not grounded well could be easily drawn to these.

At one point in my life, I thought the new age theology was interesting. Praise be to God, He sent a good Christian my way that brought me back to the truth.

Paul had the same concerns. The heresy that Paul saw when he wrote Colossians was an early form of Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a blend of different religions that devaluated Christ. Paul wrote the following warnings:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
Colossians 2:18-19

How do we learn to recognize the counterfeits? We study the real thing – the Word of God, and we build our relationship with Jesus. Paul gave the Colossian church the following advice.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7

If you still think you might get fuzzy or confused by the teaching and conversation going on around you, spend more time in your Bible and in prayer. God will show you the way. Remember, Christ did it all. If you are not attending one, I encourage you to also find a good Bible teaching church.

Continue to pray for revival, and pray for America to swing back to the one true God.

LIFE APPLICATION

Key Focal Verse:

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
Psalms 34:1-2

Today’s challenge is to ask God to show you clearly when you encounter Gnosticism and the best way for you to respond to those folks. Ask God to give you the words to share His truth with them. Pray for folks to cling to Christianity and avoid false prophets. Pray for workers for the harvest.

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