One of the earliest heresies in the Church was Gnosticism.
Ancient Gnosticism was laced with idealistic Platonism and viewed the physicality of our humanness as being sinful and evil. For the Gnostics the body was evil. What was really important about man was his spiritual nature. As such the Gnostics either were ascetics in order to choke off the corporeal pleasures of man or they were libertines reasoning that if the body isn’t important they could do with it whatever they pleased. The key choking point in terms of Christianity is that because of the Gnostic view of the inherent evil of the corporeal they denied the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
In every way the Gnostics diminished the importance of the corporeal, the physical, and the material.
We find an incipient Gnosticism in much of the Church in the West today among those who, though affirming the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, still at the same time deny that our physicality, our DNA, our lineage is of any consequence. Such men have arrived at the point where they insist that the generations that preceded us and who have passed on to us our corporeal heritage should not be considered as having an impact on the people we ourselves are and the cultures we build. For the Gnostic Alienists that which alone matters as it pertains to our humanness is our Spirituality – Spiritual nature. For the Gnostic-Alienist if we are born again spiritually then that overcomes any and all physical genetic realities, (except gender .. but they are merely being inconsistent at this point. In time they will surrender this physical distinction as well.)
The fact that there is a denial of our inherited lineage going on is seen in a recent comment by one of the current leaders in the neo-Gnostic Alienist Christian movement,
“In Biblical times and before that, the Greek word “ethnos” did not indicate genetic similarity but “people born under the same religious rites.” Genetic similarity was incidental, for religious rites were a family affair, and therefore everyone born within the confines of a home was a member of that home, whether he was genetically part of that home or not. Most of the time the children born within the confines of a home were indeed genetic offspring of the head of the home, but this genetic relation meant nothing. (Their genetic relation to their mother’s family was never considered true relation.) Adoption into the family, therefore, was common, for it was nothing less than passing under the same religious rite, and therefore becoming a member of the “ethnos.” On the other hand, genetic heirs born outside the home or outside the land were considered not part of the “ethnos,” for they had not been under the same rites…. family and ethnos were a religious entity, not a genetic entity.”
Such a statement is astounding in its clear and unapologetic Gnosticism. To suggest that ethnos does not indicate genetic similarity and that the genetic relation meant nothing but was only incidental completely makes hash out of texts like Genesis 10 which gives us the table of Nations. You will notice that the Nations are listed there as being comprised of those who are definite blood sons of distinct Ancestral Fathers. That which comprises a “nation,” is not, contrary to certain Alienists, those who merely share certain religious propositional allegiances. Now certainly, Nations, will typically share a common faith but to deny that which makes a nation a nation is a shared genetic bond is incipient Gnosticism. Now, nobody denies that one can become part of a “nation” via adoption but the fact that adoption exists does not mean that nations are not primarily comprised of a common genetic tie.
Given the ascendancy of certain Gnostic emphasis’ in the Church one wonders how it is that St. Paul was not a Racist because he could write,
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Didn’t St. Paul know that he didn’t have any kinsmen according to the flesh but rather that his kinsmen were according to shared Religious propositions?
The same chap referenced above could write elsewhere,
“In the Christian anthropology – whether Calvinist or Arminian – man is defined ONLY religiously. Man is a moral being, and therefore only his religion determines his culture, his character, his productivity, etc. His physical characteristics – or his economic position, or his nationality – have no bearing on his culture, or his character.”
Here we see the Gnostic error. For the Alienists of this stripe man’s morality is abstracted from his humanity, as if morality can exist apart from a person’s humanity. We see the Gnosticism again when it is insisted that man’s corporeal humanity has no bearing on man’s culture or his character. Really? So, the argument here is that a family that has produced generations of Bulgarian weightlifters, because of God given genetic disposition, will suddenly produce a child who will be a prima-ballerina? What we are being told here is that centuries of characteristics of people groups has been in error; Scotsmen as typical fighters, Dutchmen as typically frugal, Irish as typically hotheaded. All of this is sinful thinking and according to Alienist Gnostics this thinking is pagan. However, the truth is that this is alienist Gnosticism trying to pass off as Christianity. Who God has created us to be in our corporeal – genetic natures is real and is to be considered. Now, of course we don’t absolutize these physical realities but neither do we dismiss them as being not real for to do so would be Gnostic.