Victoria S. Hardy

Victoria S. Hardy

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Gospel of Thomas

At lot of controversy has stemmed from the gnostic gospels, many feeling that this is the Jesus that they knew existed and were unable to find in the Bible and many feeling that it is sacrilege to even mention the word gnosis (knowledge). It seems to me the more artistic the person, the more the gospels seem to apply and the more fundamental, frightened or materially bound the person, the greater the sin for seeking.

I suppose that the idea of salvation coming from outside of you could be a soothing idea, knowing that being dunked in water and saying a few words can clear all obstacles from your path to heaven and knowing that once you are saved, you are always saved, is a wonderful theory, but is it truth? After I discovered the gnostic gospels a few years ago, I mentioned to a friend (a lifelong Catholic) that I figured I was a gnostic christian, there was silence on the phone line for a few seconds and then she whispered, as though God was listening, that I didn't know what I was saying. There was fear in her voice as though I had just admitted to murdering someone and maybe in her opinion not agreeing with the orthodoxial view is comparable to murder.

I guess the problem I have had with religion is the way it is man-aged, we must all conform to one ideal, one solution, one way. We must not stray from the path of what the leaders have laid before us, we are to assume that they know Jesus better, but the Gospel of Thomas tells us that Jesus said, "The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge(gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves." #39

Our religious leaders want us to believe that they have the answers and that the path of salvation is through them and only they can save us. But in the gospel, Jesus said, "If those that lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know youselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty." #3 So how can our leaders help us know ourselves? Isn't "finding ourselves" the cause of much suffering in the religious community? Isn't that considered selfish? We are to know that we are born sinners and then look to those above us to point us in the right direction. Perhaps if our leaders knew themselves better, then Ted Haggart wouldn't have been telling his congregation one thing and his prostitute lover and meth provider another.

So why were the ways of salvation hidden from us, I guess the question one mught ask is, "Who benefits from our ignorance?" and the answer becomes perfectly clear. The churches on every corner and their leaders benefit. So seekers continue seeking, don't be strayed from the path by fear or condemnation. Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one out of a thousand, and two out of ten thousand, and they shall stand as a single one." #23 and he also said, "Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find the kingdom. For you are from it, and to it you will return." #49

Happy Seeking

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