Gnosticsm & the Proclamation of Christianity with special reference to John's Gospel (Cont)
Scorning of the Scriptures
John 5: 18 (NIV)
Many have rejected the Scriptures and prefer the humanist standpoint which is that humanity is sufficient itself; it does not need God.
Humanists believe that some human beings can, on their own, lead a 'pure divine like life on earth', despite the fact that no humans have ever done this. They see no need for Jesus Christ of the gospels and cannot accept His Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection.
"As for sin and redemption, who believes in sin nowadays, and who needs redeeming? The whole idea is demeaning! Man is doing very well on his own without God. We are learning fast about the origin of life on earth, and how the earth came about, without any need to think a 'God' had anything to do with it." Here we see 'great thoughts about man' and only an empty space left for God.
Evolutionists love Richard Dawkin's 'Selfish Gene' theories, which make 'sin' an essential result of the evolving process. Human cloning is getting closer and we are well on the way to the next step, the making of synthetic life. "There is no need at all to involve a 'god' or 'God' in such processes. As for the ancient worn out concept of the soul, we now think we can locate the brain region from which the religiously inclined derive their spiritual thoughts. So be real. Forget the soul. It does not exist."
Susan Blackmore in "The Meme Machine" (OUP 1999) seeks her ultimate explanation for society, the individual and religion in something called a 'meme' (a kind of copied behaviour). 'The root of all evil', she reckons, is the illusion of concepts of 'self and free will' - which are nothing, of course, but memes. If only we could get rid of the illusion that self and will are real, we could happily live our lives 'body, brain and memes' in the comforting 'knowledge that that is all there is.'
The greater part of morality, she writes, is simply stopping 'all the harm that we normally do', rather than taking on 'any great and noble deeds'." I agree with the last sentence. It would be wonderful if we could stop all the harm that we all do. But it is not possible to do this 'simply'. I think it takes the power of God within us to do this 'simply stopping'. But she would of course not agree. Again it is a case of thinking 'great thoughts of man and very small to non-existent thoughts of God'.
But truly their "understanding is darkened" (Ephesians 4: 18) and "how great is that darkness" . These people are good at answering the 'what' question but remain ignorant of the 'why'. So many of them are virtual pagans whose parents and grand parents had rebelled against Christianity and carefully shielded their children from any contact with the scriptures. No wonder they remain ignorant in their attacks on what they brand as Christian.
"They are deceitful children, unwilling to listen to God's instruction. They say to the seers, 'See no more visions!' and to the prophets, Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophecy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path and stop confronting us with your Holy One of Israel!" (Isaiah 30: 10,11 (NIV))