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The So-Called ‘Gospel’ of Judas: Unmasking an Ancient Heresy
Breakpoint with Charles Colson ^ | 4/12/2006 | Charles Colson

Posted on 04/13/2006 8:12:35 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback

Welcome to Holy Week, American style. Just as millions of Christians are preparing to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the media is once again out to debunk historical Christianity.

Just last weekend I was in an airport bookstore and saw the new book counter filled with numerous editions of The Da Vinci Code. Then I picked up the New York Times, and there I was greeted with the headline on the front page that read, “In Ancient Document, Judas, Minus the Betrayal.”

You probably have seen the hype, including a one-hour National Geographic TV spectacular: After seventeen hundred years, the story goes, the long-lost text of the so-called “Gospel of Judas” has re-surfaced. It claims that Jesus secretly told Judas to betray Him; so Judas is really a good disciple.

Well, it’s not a new discovery. This “new gospel” and the heresy it espouses—Gnosticism—were rejected as fiction by Christian leaders and the Church as early as 180 A.D.

Gnosticism was an attempt to add to Christianity an essentially Eastern worldview dressed up with Christian language. It was presented to the Roman world as the true Gospel—complete with endless mysteries that only those with secret knowledge could unravel. Many unsuspecting people were enthralled with Gnostic writings, particularly their sometimes gory and salacious initiation ceremonies. Christian pastors and theologians repeatedly rejected all forms of Gnosticism, until, by the middle of the third century, it had all but disappeared.

But now it is back with a vengeance, with supposed discoveries and works like Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. It provides the means for Christianity’s detractors to debunk the historical Jesus, and it certainly sells books. Seven million copies of The Da Vinci Code is testimony to that. Gnosticism has particular appeal today because of the postmodern age, which has rejected historical truth. So you can find God any way you wish, through your own group. This, of course, is the belief that is at the root of the spreading New Age movement.

The danger is that we have a biblically illiterate population. People today don’t know—maybe don’t care—whether there is a difference between the Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of John. They are unfamiliar with the work of the ancient canonical councils of the Church (which rejected the Gnostic “gospels” time and again) or even of the basic creeds or confessions of the Christian Church. Sadly, people are as gullible today as ever.

Now it is tempting to get angry at National Geographic and the liberal press for unleashing this fraudulent “gospel” at the beginning of the holiest week of the year. But don’t. Instead, let’s use the media attention to debunk the debunkers, to point out to friends that this regurgitated Gnosticism—the Da Vinci Code and the “gospel” of Judas included—is nothing more than historically unsupportable fantasy.

Then we can point them to the knowledge that is accessible to all people that has been accessible to Christians for two thousand years and proven historically accurate. It’s called the Bible.

But whatever you do, get informed first. Come to our website (see further reading below) or call us here at “BreakPoint” (1-877-322-5527) and find some of the resources that we are offering. And get busy because millions can be suckered in—unless you and I set the record straight.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: breakpoint; charlescolson; davincicode; gospelofjudas; heresy; judas
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There are links to further information at the source document.

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1 posted on 04/13/2006 8:12:36 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback
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To: 351 Cleveland; AFPhys; agenda_express; almcbean; ambrose; Amos the Prophet; AnalogReigns; ...

BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

2 posted on 04/13/2006 8:13:25 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback ("I was in such a hurry to climb that tree, I punched a squirrel.")
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To: Mr. Silverback

Oh, geez. Brown's book is FICTION. Mother Goose is more factual.

I've accidently flipped to the Judas show a few times, but never can get through a few minutes before flipping channels again.


3 posted on 04/13/2006 8:19:10 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: Mr. Silverback
It provides the means for Christianity’s detractors to debunk the historical Jesus, and it certainly sells books. Seven million copies of The Da Vinci Code is testimony to that.

Uh, dude, The Da Vinci Code is fiction. To get mad over that is like the Muslims getting mad over The Satanic Verses, minus the death threat.

4 posted on 04/13/2006 8:19:32 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Coleus; MHGinTN

Ping!


5 posted on 04/13/2006 8:19:47 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback ("I was in such a hurry to climb that tree, I punched a squirrel.")
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To: Mr. Silverback
no surprise here as Jesus has been hated since he was born. To quote Jesus himself...

John 15:

18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

6 posted on 04/13/2006 8:20:04 AM PDT by Battle Hymn of the Republic
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To: Mr. Silverback

i saw that show ... judas said that Jesus appeared as a kid during the last supper, told him that only judas was worthy of the eternal secrets among other oddities ... sounded like the DemUnderground existed around the year 200ad


7 posted on 04/13/2006 8:22:14 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch (But even if he does not...)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Christian pastors and theologians repeatedly rejected all forms of Gnosticism, until, by the middle of the third century, it had all but disappeared.

"Disappeared?" Is that what they call it when the Emporer Constantine slaughtered them all?
8 posted on 04/13/2006 8:22:54 AM PDT by MatD
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Mr. Colson hit the nail on the head. This "gospel" of Judas is a hoax and heresy. Any true Christian can see right through this ridiculous claim.

If any Christian believes this garbage, then they need to get into a good bible study.

That's my 2 cents.


9 posted on 04/13/2006 8:23:08 AM PDT by micho
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To: Mr. Silverback
Well, it’s not a new discovery. This “new gospel” and the heresy it espouses—Gnosticism—were rejected as fiction by Christian leaders and the Church as early as 180 A.D.

Gnosticism was an attempt to add to Christianity an essentially Eastern worldview dressed up with Christian language. It was presented to the Roman world as the true Gospel—complete with endless mysteries that only those with secret knowledge could unravel. Many unsuspecting people were enthralled with Gnostic writings, particularly their sometimes gory and salacious initiation ceremonies. Christian pastors and theologians repeatedly rejected all forms of Gnosticism, until, by the middle of the third century, it had all but disappeared.

This is all I need to know.
The endless TV programs about the "Bermuda Triangle", "UFOs" and "Bigfoot", remind me of both the gullibility and persistence of moonbat subjects, and the large following that they enjoy.

My personal conviction is that we can't even unravel what happened, exactly, 100 years ago in our own culture and country and, yet, some are obsessed with finding "hidden" meaning or fact in long lost myths and fabrications.

Most of us are busy enough with our daily lives that we have no time for mischief. Others, obviously, have a lot more time than knowledge and good sense, and are forever digging up myths to "re-examine".
Contemporary Americans are mostly ignorant of the role that fabrications and negative propaganda played throughout history, primarily around the time of the Reformation. Just become familiar with the outrageously juvenile and primitive beliefs and gullibility of modern illiterate muslims, and you have a good grasp of what most of history has been like.

10 posted on 04/13/2006 8:25:33 AM PDT by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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The church in America has been made ripe for neo-Gnosticism years of shallow theology. We treasure personal faith at the expense of belonging to a true community of faith that stretches back through countless generations of true believers.

No longer are the creeds studied and dissected for the truth they hold.> We forget that the ancient creeds were written to refute ancient heresies. We think they are useless, but look at where we are now.

11 posted on 04/13/2006 8:25:56 AM PDT by Gamecock ("I save dead people" -- God (Eph 2:5))
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To: Battle Hymn of the Republic

I have been a Christian all my life. But the more I read about the early and middle Christian eras the more I find that the bible as we know it has been rewritten how many times and how much has been lost in these rewritings??????


12 posted on 04/13/2006 8:27:44 AM PDT by snowman1
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To: Mr. Silverback

Garbage like this just makes my faith stronger.


13 posted on 04/13/2006 8:29:38 AM PDT by Catholic Canadian (Formerly Ashamed Canadian - thank you Stephen Harper!)
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To: antiRepublicrat
The Da Vinci Code is fiction.

True enough, but there is enough fact twisted and mixed into it to make it highly pernicious, and there are a good number of people (one of whom cornered me and nearly killed me with boredom at the feed store some time back) who believe that there is a str5ong factual basis for what the book presents as fiction.

14 posted on 04/13/2006 8:30:19 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (If you find yourself in a fair fight, you did not prepare properly.)
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To: mtbopfuyn
Oh, geez. Brown's book is FICTION.

So was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Many people, including Brown himself, believe the book is a form of historical fiction.

15 posted on 04/13/2006 8:30:30 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback ("I was in such a hurry to climb that tree, I punched a squirrel.")
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To: Mr. Silverback
As a Christian, I must say it is a complete embarrassment the way that Christians are threatened by a fictional book.

Dan Brown is forced to build a fortified fence around his Rye NH home because of hostilities and threats from fruitcakes over his book.

It's also embarrassing that most don't know the word Gospel has nothing to do with religion, it means "word" and nothing else.

My suggestion is to be secure in your faith and instead of making a ass of yourselves attacking writers of fiction and old documents that even NG acknowledged are without provenance.
16 posted on 04/13/2006 8:31:03 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Doing the job Americans will do, paying the taxes illegals don't pay.)
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the media is once again out to debunk historical Christianity

Fair enough given that they provide conservatives with yet another golden opportunity to plumb the depths of rabid barking moonbattyness in Old Media.

17 posted on 04/13/2006 8:31:19 AM PDT by Milhous (Sarcasm - the last refuge of an empty mind.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Jesus said it would have been better had Judas not even been born.........End of Story!


18 posted on 04/13/2006 8:31:30 AM PDT by Boanarges
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To: Catholic Canadian
Garbage like this just makes my faith stronger

You Sir/Madame are among the few who see so clearly.

God Bless
19 posted on 04/13/2006 8:32:50 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Doing the job Americans will do, paying the taxes illegals don't pay.)
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To: Mad Dawg

I have argued with people right here on FR who have stated flatly "The book is fiction, but the history in the book is fact."

Of course, all they had to back up the claim was the book itself.


20 posted on 04/13/2006 8:34:37 AM PDT by Skooz (Chastity prays for me, piety sings............Modesty hides my thighs in her wings......)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Where in the Bible is there the instruction for a canonical council to determine what should be in the Bible?


21 posted on 04/13/2006 8:35:33 AM PDT by JmyBryan
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: HEY4QDEMS
It's also embarrassing that most don't know the word Gospel has nothing to do with religion, it means "word" and nothing else.

"Gospel" means "good news".

The word "logos" (Greek) means "word".

23 posted on 04/13/2006 8:48:06 AM PDT by Disambiguator (Unfettered gun ownership is the highest expression of civil rights.)
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To: HEY4QDEMS

"It's also embarrassing that most don't know the word Gospel has nothing to do with religion, it means "word" and nothing else."

... uh, no, it does not mean "'word' and nothing else." The word "Gospel," Greek, "euangelion," (spelled phonetically) means "good news" or "good message." It has a clearly more hopeful and optimistic denotation than merely "word" and a distinctively Christian connotation. Word in Greek is "logos." Which, although denotatively merely means "word," does in given contexts mean far more, e.g. John 1:1. And context, far more than mere dictionary definition, determines what a word really means.

So criticize both the "Gospel of Judas," which is just another piece of Gnostic junk, and, if appropriate, the over-reaction of some Christians to it. But don't assert what is clearly not true.


24 posted on 04/13/2006 8:48:32 AM PDT by Belteshazzar
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To: snowman1
there is lots of info on your question, but check this out... http://www.carm.org/questions/rewritten.htm
25 posted on 04/13/2006 8:50:30 AM PDT by Battle Hymn of the Republic
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To: HEY4QDEMS

Actually, doesn't gospel mean "Good word", or "good news", rather than just "word"?


26 posted on 04/13/2006 9:00:33 AM PDT by Ro_Thunder ("Other than ending SLAVERY, FASCISM, NAZISM and COMMUNISM, war has never solved anything")
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To: snowman1
The regional or local Catholic Church Councils of Hippo, 393 A.D., and Carthage, 397 A.D., and later, Carthage 419 A.D. gave us the canon of Sacred Scripture as we know it today.

More information - here

27 posted on 04/13/2006 9:05:03 AM PDT by pbear8 (I have to wait until Monday for '24'!!!! =()
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To: snowman1
the more I read about the early and middle Christian eras the more I find that the bible as we know it has been rewritten how many times and how much has been lost in these rewritings??????

The interesting thing on the National Geographic video was that at one time there were something like 30 gospels. Isn't the DaVinci Code based around studies of the Gospel of Mary Magdeline?

I didn't know that the earliest Gospel, Mathew, wasn't written by Mathew, and wasn't written until decades later. Apparently John wasn't written until 60 or more years later. None of the authors for the for Cannonized Gospels are known.

It was interesting that the Gnostism denomination of Christianity believed in a more "personal" relationship with Christ and with God, just as todays funamentalists believe. But the hierchical Christians which became the Catholics dominated them two centuries later.

One thing in the NG show I remember from my Southern Baptist Sunday School, or perhaps my New Testament history class at Oklahoma Baptist University, was that Judas was particularly favored by Christ. The Gospel of Judas confirms that, and they hadn't even dug it out of the desert when I was taught that.

28 posted on 04/13/2006 9:05:12 AM PDT by narby
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To: MatD
Disappeared?" Is that what they call it when the Emporer Constantine slaughtered them all?

You have a very poor grasp of church history, my friend. The Gnostics had pretty much vanished long before Constantine's reign. The Apostle's Creed was the church creed written to ferret out Gnostics, and it was in use by the early 2nd Century.

It was the Arian heresy that Constantine called the Council of Nicea to settle. The result was that Arianism got a small setback by the adoption of the Nicene Creed, but Constantine himself was baptized on his deathbed by an Arian. His son, Constans, was an Arian, as well.

So quit reading "The Da Vinci Code" as history - it will just embarass you in the end.

Constantine didn't slaughter any Gnostics,as they were long dead. And he only banished the leading Arian bishop for two years.
29 posted on 04/13/2006 9:05:40 AM PDT by horse_doc
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To: Ro_Thunder

Yes it does means Good Word, my mistake.


30 posted on 04/13/2006 9:05:51 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Doing the job Americans will do, paying the taxes illegals don't pay.)
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To: Skooz

"The story is true" - Dan Rather


31 posted on 04/13/2006 9:11:51 AM PDT by SteelCurtain_SSN720 (If you pass the rabid child, say "hammer down" for me)
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To: Disambiguator
"Gospel" means "good news." The word "logos" (Greek) means "word".

On behalf of the people who read the Bible on a regular basis, thank you!

32 posted on 04/13/2006 9:12:20 AM PDT by 50sDad (ST3d: Real Star Trek 3d Chess: http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~abartmes/tactical.htm)
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To: narby
It was interesting that the Gnostism denomination of Christianity believed in a more "personal" relationship with Christ and with God, just as todays funamentalists believe.

Didn't they also believe that the flesh was inherently evil, countered by the Spirit being inherently good? (Carried through to modern thought, this is one of the basic concepts of Scientology...)

If we are "made in God's image", how can our bodies be inherently evil?

33 posted on 04/13/2006 9:15:46 AM PDT by 50sDad (ST3d: Real Star Trek 3d Chess: http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~abartmes/tactical.htm)
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To: InvisibleChurch

And again, the heresy of "hidden knowledge" given only to the elite of the Followers. (Another concept rewarmed for Scientology. New Age = Old Lies, eh?)


34 posted on 04/13/2006 9:17:28 AM PDT by 50sDad (ST3d: Real Star Trek 3d Chess: http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~abartmes/tactical.htm)
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To: narby
It was interesting that the Gnostism denomination of Christianity believed in a more "personal" relationship with Christ and with God

You really might want to re-think this. Most brands of 1st Century Gnosticism believed that the God of the Old Testament was the corrupt offspring of a female god, who wasn't supposed to procreate without permission. And it goes downhill from there.

Simon the Sorceror (yes, THAT Simon the Sorceror) was the most ambitous af the early Gnostics, proclaiming the HE was the Messiah. And he wasn't even the worst of them.

Gnosticism wasn't a denomination of Christianity - it was a heresy from the get-go, and huge handfulls of Gnostic beliefs are as incompatible with Christianity as Islam is. The belief that Christ never REALLY came to earth and was crucified, but rather a phantom image was, is a core Gnostic belief that pretty much kicks them out of the Christian community.
35 posted on 04/13/2006 9:19:45 AM PDT by horse_doc
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To: MatD

"Emporer"?


36 posted on 04/13/2006 9:27:15 AM PDT by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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To: Mr. Silverback
It claims that Jesus secretly told Judas to betray Him; so Judas is really a good disciple.

I guess Judas lacked a good spokesman and press secretary.

37 posted on 04/13/2006 9:30:28 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Proud soldier in the American Army of Occupation..)
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To: Skooz
I have argued with people right here on FR who have stated flatly "The book is fiction, but the history in the book is fact."

Probably the same ones who said, "Forged but factual", about certain documents.
I'm going to waste my time arguing with that?

38 posted on 04/13/2006 9:30:50 AM PDT by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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To: Catholic Canadian
I find it truly ironic that the MSM while certain that there can be no truth in the Bible which as been accepted by millions of people for a couple thousand years and has been proved repeatedly by archaeological finds, but believes that a questionable translation of a fragment of a third century document MUST be the ultimate truth.
39 posted on 04/13/2006 9:34:16 AM PDT by newcthem (Thought I was an American.......now I find I'm just a racist.)
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To: Mr. Silverback

I want ON your Chuck Colson ping list, please!


40 posted on 04/13/2006 9:34:30 AM PDT by freepertoo
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To: horse_doc

I think your post is a very clear cut explanation. I would add that the MSM is driving these questionable interpretations of religious events - from the *DaVinci code to this latest Judas gospel.

Without arousing doubt about fundamental Christian belief, the social secular and liberal agenda fails.

*Yes, I know the "it's only fiction" defense.


41 posted on 04/13/2006 9:37:31 AM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: narby
Judas was particularly favored by Christ

I'm sure that as one of the faithful Judas was high on the Lord's list until those last few hours.

But without Judas, there might not have been Christianity at all.

42 posted on 04/13/2006 9:42:48 AM PDT by AmusedBystander (Republicans - doing the work that Democrats won't do since 1854.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
"The danger is that we have a biblically illiterate population."

To me, this is the most salient point that Colson makes.

If people were even aware of what is stated in the Bible, these wierd suppositions would never be able to see the light of day.

43 posted on 04/13/2006 9:44:32 AM PDT by nightdriver
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To: 50sDad

Looks like some others piled on as well. You can't get away with anything around here!


44 posted on 04/13/2006 9:51:11 AM PDT by Disambiguator (Unfettered gun ownership is the highest expression of civil rights.)
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To: horse_doc

The Albigensians in the south of France during the Middle Ages were gnostics. Gnosticism has survived even to this day, if you count all Christians who believe that they have "special knowledge" that departs from the canonical scriptures. That gnostic vice is the same vice that resulted in Adam's fall. "Eat of this tree and ye shall be as gods!" Orthodox Christianity has never been about special knowledge.


45 posted on 04/13/2006 9:52:10 AM PDT by maro
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...

This web site (click above image) is designed to provide information for anyone who wishes to inquire about Jesus Christ and Christian origins due to claims that appear in current popular media.

Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


46 posted on 04/13/2006 10:00:07 AM PDT by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Some have intimated that these writings reveal a plan that backfired when Jesus was killed. Not so… Jesus said he came to lay down his life for his sheep, that they might live. In fact the plan was in the works for a long, long time. Eph 1:4

The idea that Judas was “unsung and unrecognized hero” of the 12 apostles? Afraid not – Jesus called him the “son of perdition” and “the devil.”

Others talk about the inaccuracy of the traditional canon due to the idea that many recollections weren’t written down until sometimes hundreds of years after Jesus’ time.” They are unaware that scholars now agree most of the New Testament was written within 5 to 30 years of the resurrection. Certainly before the destruction of Jerusalem about 35 years post resurrection which wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the NT. Think about it; Paul quoted the writers of the gospels in the book of Acts and also mentions in the creed or “statement of belief” in 1 Cor 15 that over 500 people saw the risen savior and most were still alive at that time.

Happy Pesach!

47 posted on 04/13/2006 10:02:11 AM PDT by patriot_wes
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To: Boanarges

That is the first thing I thought when I heard about this new Judas gospel! I will take the words of christ over anyone!


48 posted on 04/13/2006 10:09:34 AM PDT by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: MatD
Perhaps Emperor Constantine had to slaughter all the Christians (and the Gnostics).

Think about it: God's way of "cleansing" syncretistic and heretical revisionism of the Gospel.

Only Christianity had the strength--the staying power--to survive the Trial By Ordeal. It did purify the faith.

Kinda like Spock losing his vision while the pancake monster died. Both Spock and the alien flapjack had to undergo the intense light. It killed the creature, but Spock survived. Same analogy here.

Tells you something about the conviction with which the Gnostics really viewed their faith, huh?

Sauron

49 posted on 04/13/2006 10:11:35 AM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Uh, dude, The Da Vinci Code is fiction. To get mad over that is like the Muslims getting mad over The Satanic Verses, minus the death threat.

You're looking at it as a non-Christian.

As a Christian, the Da Vinci Code, while fiction, is dangerous for two reasons:

(1) Assuming Christians are right, believing in Dan Brown's bestseller will damage your right relationship with God.

(2) Being full of fabrications and a few half-truths, there are many gullible people who will believe what was written. If they read it in a book, it's got to be right, right? ;) The power of a half-truth is stronger than that of a lie.

That's why Christians oppose the book.

HTH,

Sauron

50 posted on 04/13/2006 10:16:07 AM PDT by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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