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Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435

 The American Religion - A Gnostic Christianity

"Today we have a new gnostic awakening that is taking place all over the Christian Church! It is being called various names such as “revival”, “renewal”, even “transformation”, “the power of God” but it is far removed from Scripture and no different than the Gnostic doctrine once practiced early on. We need to comprehend the extent of this gnostic influence today: Seeing it for what it is will help you withstand the deception that is now taking place. But you must see it for what it is or you will be carried away by it. I do not see any more middle ground on this issue, it will increase even more."

The Gnostic Jesus, a Gnostic Christianity


The American Religion

book by Harold Bloom

Gnosticism: Bloom thinks religion in America is more Gnostic than Christian.

“The American Religion…masks itself as Protestant Christianity yet has ceased to be Christian.”

“The American Jesus was born at Cane Ridge.”

"According to Bloom, the American Religion began on August 6, 1801, when 25,000 frontier-people of many denominations showed up at Cane Ridge, Kentucky for a huge revival meeting. Many went non-linear. Bloom: “Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists at once became American Religionists, rapt by ecstasy.” And: “The drunk, sexually aroused communicants at Cane Ridge, like their drugged and aroused Woodstockian descendants a century and a half later, participated in a kind of orgiastic individualism, in which all the holy rolling was the outward mark of an inward grace that traumatically put away frontier loneliness and instead put on the doctrine of experience that exalted such loneliness into being-alone-with-Jesus.”

What are the characteristics of the American Religion? The belief that:

1) What is best and oldest in us antecedes the Creation. “The God of the American religion is an experiential God, so radically within our own being as to become a virtual identity with what is most authentic (oldest and best) in the self.” And: “God is within.” And: “We are mortal gods, destined to find ourselves again a world as yet undiscovered.”

2) What makes us free is not belief but knowledge. “Awareness, centered on the self, is faith for an American.”

3) Freedom is solitary. “The believer returns from the abyss of ecstasy with the self enhanced and otherness devalued.” And: “The freedom assured by the American Religion…is a solitude in which the inner loneliness is at home with an outer loneliness.”

4) Once redeemed by Christ, man returns to innocence. “Only the American Religion promises what Freud tells us we cannot have: ‘an improved infancy.’”

5) The Bible is the Word of God. “The American Religion, unlike Judaism and Christianity, is actually biblical.”

The American Jesus.

“The American Christ is more American than he is Christ.” And: ”Jesus…is a nineteenth- or twentieth-century American, whose principal difference from other Americans is that he already has risen from the dead. Having mastered this knowledge, he teaches it to whom he will.” And: “The American Jesus is the resurrected friend, walking and talking one-on-one with the repentant sinner. And this Jesus comes to one of his own free will, and not the sinner’s; he chooses one.”

source: goodreads


Bloom is a Jew, not a Christian, however:

... the children of this world are in their generation wiser
than the children of light. Luke 16:8

these 2 articles/books together is very meaty stuff you
most likely will not appreciate if you never thought about
the fact that America's religious contributions to the modern
world are very different than anything that is regarded as
orthodoxy for the first 1800-1900 years of Christianity.

Then again nothing is really new under the sun, it just
got remixed and dished up again under new labels.
The American version however is the endtimes version
of it, and much more intoxicating than the original. It went
around the world and has polluted original Christianity to
such a high degree that no society or church is not affected
by it, so I would slightly disagree with the opening statement
of "no different than Gnostic doctrine once practiced early on".

It is different in a way that originally cults and the church
were separated, at least initially, today they almost merged
completely, in front of our eyes.

When God's word was preached at Cane Ridge, many people
were barking like dogs and jerking their bodies uncontrollably.

“The American Religion, unlike Judaism and Christianity,
is actually biblical.” -- Harold Bloom, on what it means
for Americans that "The Bible is the Word of God"

Few people are really on the narrow way in any strict or
straight is the gate sense, it's mostly a huge compromise
with darkness posing as light. Of course we are told to come
out of her, my people, and salvation is offered to anyone
that repents. Today nobody knows anymore of what they
should repent of - and why. That is the real and serious
problem of our time. There is not really any cure for any
patient that insists that there is nothing wrong with them.

Yet, it's still time to repent of the American religion,

Seek the LORD while he may be found...

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

 2017/8/26 22:53Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1923

 Re: The American Religion - A Gnostic Christianity

If Harold Bloom is not Christian but a unbelieving Jew why should the church accept his evaluation and opinions of the church? If he or his associates, known for their intellectual training and vigor and not their spirituality, were to come to the true church they would find it doesn't resemble Cane Ridge.

David Winter

 2017/8/27 8:29Profile

Joined: 2016/11/15
Posts: 227


David Winter, I agree with you.
And "a-servant", most of that article sounded like poppycock.
Why did you post it?


 2017/8/27 10:12Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


It's about understanding how the gnostics invaded the church,
let's get to the basics of that here:

The old/new Gnostics :

"The Christians had the Scriptures. But Knowing God through
a written book was considered Head knowledge and insufficient
for a spiritual life. The Gnostics offered experiential knowledge,
the deeper things that came from the spirit."

"The Gnostics thought that one must directly experience
the spirit to learn the truth, this being apart from the word.
Stepping over into the supernatural, experience becomes
the teacher and gives them real knowledge. What was and
is now being taught is spirit to spirit communication that is
completely outside the Biblical revelation given by the apostles."

 2017/8/27 20:26Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1433


A-servant, I take that you're warning about revelation apart from and contrary to the Scripture which is prevalent today.

One thing I haven't ever seen anything about regarding the early charismatic revivals is the discerning of spirits. I know that there are reports regarding mainline denominational pastors who publicly refuted these meetings but I got the impression that these pastors rejected or simply denied the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. I know this is probably a gross oversimplification of the situation and that God has always had faithful Spirit lead brethren but the accounts or summaries of such have not discussed these people's views. I'd really appreciate seeing the people's testimonies to balance out the fans and detractors.

 2017/8/28 6:59Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1947

 Re: I Was a Flaky Preacher

"I'd really appreciate seeing the people's testimonies to balance out the fans and detractors"

Some may benefit from this book by a pastor named Ted Brooks.

It's his testimony. It can be read at the following link.

 2017/8/28 9:50Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


Not sure how many of you ever travelled extensively, or lived
or is living in any other parts of the world than the USA.

Then, after a few years, it's possible to clearly see what is
essentially Christian, as in a local church in Asia for example,
and what is distinctively American in origin.

Spiritual beliefs can be an exact portrait of the national character
of a nation. America for example created: Pentecostalism, Mormonism,
Seventh-day Adventism, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses
and other religions.

From the first link in the OP by LetUsReason Ministries:

"We have heard the argument that “the man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument” This is what we are confronted in Mormonism, no matter what objective proof is shown to a Mormon, they rely on their subjective “burning in the bosom” experience and ignore what the Bible states as objective truth. Beliefs and systems of thought came from personal experience but this does not mean they are from God or of the truth.

For those who have begun to practice their Christianity like this, it becomes very difficult to make sense to them why it is wrong. Because they cannot understand the truth from the word, they are unable, incapable to read or hear the word in its correct interpretation, its always outside the Biblical context and meaning. It means only what they want it to mean and that is subject to change at their own whim. Instead they have trained themselves to look to an experience and feelings to validate what they perceive as the truth. They can no longer follow logic through to its conclusion because they are not intellectually attentive, and the words that we are familiar with do not mean the same thing to them."

 2017/8/28 20:14Profile

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


"The Gnostic sense of spirituality is derived from an inner gnosis
(experiential mystic knowledge) that goes beyond reason, logic and
most of all, the Holy Scriptures. For many, spirituality is perceived
intuitively or psychically, as opposed to Biblical faith, i.e., simply
believing and obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Spirituality
experienced mystically is thought to be a witness of an inner union
with God, the basis of which is self-consciousness which means it
is no longer a matter of reason, faith and grace.

An inner self-conscious feeling of holiness seems to be of
primary importance. To arrive at a high spiritual level, all
objective consciousness of the external world must be lost.
The Persons of the Trinity, the Holy Scriptures, doctrine and
morality becomes irrelevant.

The ideal sought after is a higher consciousness of union with the
divine inner self called the "Christos". When this union is experienced,
a sense of spiritual worthiness as well as a feeling of being a
"Son of God" equal with Jesus Christ is felt. This subjective experience
is seen as a baptism into the Christhood and a knowledge of
one's own worthiness.

Knowing God

The "Gnostic" teaches that knowing God and His Presence is
experienced in a mystic or intuitive sense rather than through faith
in the person Jesus Christ according to the Holy Scriptures. The
Gnostic builds his faith on subjective experiences, whereas the true
Christian builds his faith on the written Word of God, the only God-
given premise of the true faith.

As in the eastern religions, the perception of God is sought
subjectively rather than in God Himself and the written Word. There
is a desire to know God through feelings, mystic thoughts, voices,
visions and dreams. A "sense" of the "presence of God" is believed
on as long as spiritual experiences last. When these experiences
subside or cease, spiritual fervour wears down to rise again when a
spurt of vain and endless fantasy starts a new "spiritual" cycle.

Gnostic prophets are known to have a form of godliness based on a
spiritual roller coaster experience. Their philosophy of known God
depends on touching God experientially. Faith is produced
subjectively through experiences and then turned inward on self
until a feeling of "knowing God" or "possessing God" comes about.
The Word of God and the commandments are not believed on as the
final voice of God, or as the only source by which He is known. One
of the characteristics of a false prophet, albeit sometimes hard to
detect, is the lack of love toward the commandments of God.

--- Travers van der Merwe [Strange Fire]

 2017/8/29 20:20Profile

Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL


Here is a book written by a Lutheran pastor on this subject.


 2017/8/29 21:45Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1433

 Re: "Strange Fire" proposing yet more strange fire

These teachings about what classifies as Gnostic is on very dangerous ground. By the definition proposed by Travers van dear Merwe, Jesus Christ was a Gnostic as were the Twelve, Stephen and Paul. Authors like van der Merwe have defined Gnosticism so broadly that they can accuse anyone with an experiential knowledge of God of being one.

 2017/8/29 22:03Profile

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