I was once told by a medium that I had been, in a past life, a Cathar in twelfth century France. This lady told me I died burned alive in the siege of the castle of Monsegur in 1243. This was the last stronghold of the Cathars in the Pyrenees, and held out for ten months before they were exterminated by the Catholic Church. The Albigensians is another name for the gnostic sect of the Cathars. They were named after the town “Albi”, which was one of their early centers. They lived in the general area of Languedoc and the mountains of the Pyrenees in south France where still remained a lot of ancient ruins and vestiges.
During the later years of my involvement with the New Age, I was coming closer to Christianity and started feeling I would find many unanswered questions in the Christian traditions. The misleading “reading” given by this psychic sparked my interest to study Gnosticism. In my longing to find my spiritual family, as well as being a native of France, I easily identified with the “French gnostic rebels”.
Gnosticism has been presented as some kind of “long-lost Christianity” or “original Christianity”. In fact, some of the various beliefs of these groups are clearly opposite to the teaching of Jesus. These beliefs included: a belief in reincarnation; that Lucifer and Christ are brothers; that Jesus and Christ are two separate beings; that salvation come through good works alone, and not grace; that the Creator God of the Old Testament is evil; that the Serpent of the Garden of Eden is actually good; and that God is evil. Gnosticism encompasses many different heretical religious sects. To support their ideas, various Gnostic sects wrote their own gospels. Some of these gospels claim to contain “secret teachings” Jesus gave to the apostles. These secret teachings were known as “gnosis”.
I discovered God has no “secret teaching”, everything that God wants us to know is all out in the open, written in the Bible and accessible to all who search the truth.
There is another sect whose name in Revelation is “the Great Harlot”, which is the Catholic Church along with many other Christian church denominations. Many people are turned-off with Christianity and are throwing out the baby Jesus with the dirty bath water of the Catholic Church. Being brought up as a Catholic I know the Catholic doctrine is manmade and has very little to do with the teachings of Christ.
The gnostic belief in reincarnation was a threat to the Catholic Church, not so much because reincarnation is a pagan belief not found in Biblical teaching, but because the believer in evolution through rebirth, tends to hold himself responsible for his own progress and salvation. Such a person has no need of priests and little regard for external dead-letter observances, rites, confession and conformity to institutional authority, hence their persecution over the many centuries while dogmatic religion remains in power.
Some of the Gnostic gospels I studied claim to be records of teachings Jesus gave to people other than the twelve apostles when He appeared to them in visions. They are also the Gospels attributed to some of the apostles and Mary such as: The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Philip, The Gospel of Mary, The Gospel of Truth and the Gospel of Mary Magdalana.
The Essenes Gospel of Peace written by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely is a fairy tale of pure darkness and a complete reversal of the True Gospel Of Jesus and the Apostles. It is in agreement with the world pagan view that the earth mother is our creator and she is to be worshipped as the goddess, the supreme deity presiding over Mankind.
The Gnostic gospels are books dating from the second century and later, which, being judged by the church to be full of errors were not accepted into the canon of the New Testament. Gnosticism existed in the pagan religions of Persia around the First Century B.C. Since Gnosticism was a pagan religion that existed a century before Christ, it is impossible it was somehow the “original” Christianity.
Gnosticism was a rebellion against traditional Christian beliefs and an attempt to combine Paganism with Christianity.
Gnosticism was the first major heresy Christianity had to combat. It began in the First Century. Paul’s letter to the Colossians and the epistles of John reflect the struggles these apostles had with “incipient gnosticism.”