A brief note regarding Gnostic Dualism

Sometimes I and others like me are charged with be Gnostics or Dualists. A brief note in response:

Gnostic Dualism is a pagan Theodicy, an attempt to explain the forces of Good and Evil in the world. Gnostics and Manichaeans put forward a cosmology that basically suggested a good god vs. an evil god.

Of course Christianity repudiates that notion. While Satan is very real, he is in no way equal to the God of the Universe.

Gnostic Dualism sought to make distinctions between matter and spirit. Matter being evil, and spirit being good. Hence with some of the manifestations of Gnosticism, you find aversion to certain foods and procreation...things associated with matter.

Biblical Dualism has nothing to do with these issues. Biblical Dualism is insisting that a distinction must be made between those who are Born Again and those who are not. Those who can see the Kingdom of God and participate in it versus those who cannot. God is over all as Ruler, but all at present is not part of His Holy Realm.

Contrary to all the Sacralist theologies mentioned above, we do not believe it is the task of the Church to eradicate this distinction prior to Christ's Return. We believe this tension, this antithesis, this grouping of wheat and tares will continue until the End.

Sacralism seeks to eliminate all dualisms. Everything, every facet of society must be transformed and made Christian, despite the fact that Bible nowhere commands this nor tells us how we would go about such a task.

Constantinianism is the Christian form of this Monistic construct. Yet, it is not Christian at all. Every society from pagan Egypt and Babylon, to Rome, to America seeks this same goal. They seek to create a cultural unity in which all of society works as a machine building and promoting the cultural religion whatever that might be...whether Ra, Jupiter, Marduk, Humanism, or ideologically driven Nationalism....they're all forms of Sacralism.

The Scriptures neither exhort us to engage in this, nor is there any expectation of success. In fact, because our Kingdom is spiritual we can live in any context. We live as sojourners, in a given society, but not of it. Sacralism seeks to erase this distinction. Sacralist thought cannot be found in the New Testament and even is out of accord with what we find in the Old Testament. Apparently rather than live as exiles waiting to return to Zion, the Jews should have tried to transform Babylon and make it part of Israel? The typology of Israel finds an anti-type in Heaven and Christ Himself....not in a modern nation-state like America.

We acknowledge the Bible does present us with a future Monism......the New Heavens and New Earth which will be righteous, pure, and Holy. But this only comes AFTER Christ's Return. Until then, we live in a dualistic system.......The Saved live alongside the Lost and the Lost war against the Saved.

Sacralism seeks to bring the Monism into effect BEFORE Christ's Return. They would have a day in which all of the world....political orders and cultural mechanisms are Christianized to create something like a Christian World Empire.

If this is not the task of the Church and if the Kingdom cannot be manifested in this way....then what are they labouring to build?

Pseudo-Zion, a false Kingdom of God.

The charge of Gnostic Dualism is a red herring, a distraction from the real issues at hand.

They would define the Kingdom of God as a geo-political, civilizational temporal form...

Man has tried this for several millennia. It all began at a place called Babel.

Just because pagans captured something of the tension between good and evil, that in no way implies that a Two Kingdom theology has found inspiration in their ideas. It's quite different and rooted in Scripture.

During the Middle Ages, 'heretics' like the Waldensians rejected the Constantinian order found in Europe and Byzantium. The interrogators and inquisitors often could not grasp a world that was not Monistic in structure. They would often charge these people with being Dualists because they made a distinction between the Church and the rest of society.

America was really the first nation to break from this Western Tradition though I would argue America has largely failed in this regard. Rather than Christendom as a larger concept, American Christians have often embraced America itself. America becomes the substitute for Christendom and in some cases the substitute for a larger doctrine of the Visible Church. Nevertheless because of America's pluralism, the Church was forced to think in terms of 'us and them' which is Biblically mandated.

But because America takes a theological role for many Christians...as the Visible Church or Christendom, the 'us and them' often plays out in the larger sphere as 'us/America/Christian Nation and them/the rest of the world/lost people'

Now that's a dualism we could do without.