Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The recent and dramatic rise of modern Gnosticism, implemented in part, by the capture of the vocabulary of reality, is merely the continuation of the effort, identified by Eric Voegelin, to form a Western civil theology by immanentizing the Christian eschaton. The totalitarians of the previous century in effect were examples of this political action and the failure of these sundry regimes indicates the results when the gnostic movement moves through reality challenging Christianity and proclaiming a new civil theology and the end of history. At least so far. History has shown it is a difficult proposition to vitiate the differentiated reality of two millenia of philosophical and theological analysis, not to mention the event of the Christ.

The modern Gnostic order has not receded nor does it tack in quite the same direction as it did during the totalitarian era. The modern Gnostic movement, represented by the current administration of President Barrack Obama and his particular Marxist variant, a combination of, among other things, a virulent scientism, progressivism, and the Obama cult of personality that suggests a racist component, is much more subtle, seeking to appeal to the economically “challenged” by promises of transfer of wealth through punitive taxation on the wealthy, placing responsibility (and guilt) for African Chattel Slavery on the white middle class, and to move the country, economically,  away from market capitalism.

The Obama regime proffers on the basis of the immanetization of human existence, a false representation of concrete society as an eschaton, the fallacious Utopian dreamworld of a madman.

Christianity which stands to be destroyed if Gnosticism wins the day, finds itself in reduced circumstances. The Roman Catholic Church is faced with a bitter and fractious critique related to various officials “hiding” pedophile priests from civil prosecution. The mainstream Protestant churches, perhaps continuing to suffer from the effects of their own gnostic revolution (the Reformation), have become nearly completely immanentized. It should be noted that contemporary Christianity as a result of the rise of materialism, individualism, existentialism and to a lesser extent dialectic-materialism has not succeeded in deeply penetrating many social institutions. Also, Voegelin adds, “ . . . the likeliness of a fall from faith will increase when civilizational progress of education, literacy, and intellectual debate will bring the full seriousness of Christianity to the understanding of ever more individuals.” All of which indicates the tenuous position of Gnosticism’s primary opponent in the current struggle between good and evil.

Still the challenge facing the classical Gnostic movement may be occurring much quicker than it would in, for example, Europe, and may be an indicator that the corruption is not as pervasive as once feared.

The best illustration of that challenge is the so-called Tea Party Movement (TPM). Here it is plainly visible that the TPM represents an opposition to a rising state repressiveness and while we may criticize the planning, execution, and indeed effectiveness of the TPM, at least to date, we should realize that these people represent the initial cadre of free citizens who are seeking redress of grievance from a regime that is more than willing to resort to violence. History has numerous examples of derailed and psychopathological Gnostics, unable to recognize reality, and immersed in their counterexistential dream world, reacting violently to their greatest fear, “the horror of existence and a desire to escape it.”

Indeed, we are living in truly interesting times.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles