Saved not by truth, not by gnosis, only by faith?

Someone viewed our Seminary website and emailed me the following thoughts. Not sure what I think, if I agree with her. See my thoughts below her letter.

Dear Council ~

I came across your site, and was interested to see how you blend what you describe as esoteric or mystical concepts with variations on Christian faith.

I became a Christian last year, and have found that yes, Christian faith is a mystery. from the outside, it makes little sense. that God would or could limit Himself to One Man, and that One Man’s death could do anything for us. the concept that we are saved not by striving after truth, or by our insights, but by faith in Jesus strikes us as counter-intuitive.

We have this idea that spiritual truth and freedom is something we have to work for, find out, discover, or look within ourselves to find. but the One who said plainly “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed” did not mean for us to try to reach God, peace, enlightenment, or wisdom through our own efforts. if we could do that, God would not have sent His Son, who proclaimed Himself to by the Light of the World, the Bread of Life, and the giver of living water.

We all long for union with God, and some kind of understanding. but we are meant to seek and find that not within oursleves, or through concepts, but in and as a unique Person, who lived, died, and lives now. it’s that humbling one’s self before Jesus the Person which is most difficult. we long to treat Him as a symbol, nice man, teacher, or idea, or perhaps as a blue print to what we can become, if we too “wake up” to the fact that we and God are one. yet the truth is that we need Jesus. the gap between us and God, which we may try to bridge through innumerable means can not be bridged by us, but has been bridged already by God, as and through His incarnate Son. because He died for us, and lives now, we too can live.

Realizing that somehow, Jesus could give me something i could not get myself, and coming to the point where one humbly asks for Him to help you, is hard. it takes a toll on self, ego, pride, and the intellect. but coming to that point is so worth it. Ravi Zacharias describes it as “you humble your self before Him, and He accepts you”. and in that acceptance is a real new life, new self, and walk with God.

In and because of the historical, pre-existant, and now living Jesus.


* * * * * * * * * * *

Katia writes:

Definitely seems counterintuitive as she says to think one man’s death could “save” us, no gnosis, no awakening required.  So I think I don’t agree with her.    I think Jesus died because of man’s actions, and maybe some of Satan’s, and because he didn’t want his followers to be killed in a hunt for him. I don’t think he died to satisfy a justice-obsessed god who needed to see a broken bleeding god. And if he died to defeat death, to “save” us from death, why haven’t we been saved from it yet? No evidence things in that department are any different than before the crucifixion. However we do have evidence that Yeshua’s MESSAGE has made things different, “saved” people, by waking them up with the achievement of gnosis, leading thousands of bright souls to commit acts of charity and kindness, to unselfishly guide and aid the humans around them.  Most people go thru their lives not really guiding and aiding humanity. Jesus inspires people to wake up and spread the gnosis. This humbling yourself before him as the lady above describes could be the quieting of the selfish-me, the “humbling” or taming of that me-me-always-me persona in our heads (eg0).

+Katia

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Katia

Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at NorthernWay.org.

8 thoughts on “Saved not by truth, not by gnosis, only by faith?”

  1. Dear Katia and blogger,
    I have recently come to know the Esoteric Interfaith Church and deeply appreciate the message and beliefs. I have been a Christian my whole life of almost 50 years and have spent considerable time exploring the different denominations and have researched them in search of the ‘right’ church for me. Although many are closely related in their basic beliefs and foundations, the dogmas and stiff rule-making hierarchies left me feeling empty.
    The beauty of the message of the E.I. Church is that it, to me, closely mirrors what the blogger was saying above, although I do not believe she understood that. Having been in her shoes and having asked the same questions, here are my thoughts:
    Being ‘saved’ by accepting the gift of life through Jesus Christ is only possible when one quiets his heart and ‘looks inside’ to see that there is an emptiness that will only be filled by God. Whether we believe that Jesus died for our sins so that we may be redeemed, or whether Jesus was crucified simply as an act of violence, does not affect the overall outcome of our position today. The end result is the same.
    In order to accept the faith of traditional Christianity, or to accept the belief in Esotericism, the same process is applied. We must look inside ourselves, recognize that there is something missing, and turn to God to fill that space. I believe that we will be filled by the Creator.
    This goes back to me earliest questions about Christianity as a child. I asked my parents, “what about Native Americans, or others, who did not hear Christ – are they in Hell or can they be saved?”. This was a simple question, but it opened the door to many, much more complex questions and, for me, a lifetime of searching for those answers.
    To be brief, I have come to believe that God, the Universal Creator and Power of all things, speaks to the various peoples of the Earth in various forms. Look at the variety in people and culture around the world and you will see that our God must have a palate of many colors. So, it is reasonable to believe that He reaches out to the different peoples in different ways. How arrogant we would be to think that only one belief structure or denomination would be right for every living person.
    I invite this blogger to look deep within and examine the real message that Christ was sending in the New Testament. It is a message of love and forgiveness and, just as Christ found people more important than the rules of the temple, we will find that faith is more important than the rules that surround it.
    Peace to you all.

  2. Hi Katia,,

    The blogger wrote about the “variations in Christian faith” that she saw at your site and I’m not sure if she is criticising what she sees at your website, or liking it. Perhaps she isn’t aware that “variations” began immediately after the crucifixion, and that everything is a “variation” of Jesus’ teachings, etc. The idea of “One True Christianity” is a bit of storytelling. There are variations, we choose one because it connects us to the Sacred, with its Pauline-based, Gnostic-based, Sacred Union-based, or any of the hundreds of variations inbetween.

    The point that I agree with her about is that Jesus Christ contains a sacred mystery and offers a true mystical experience of the Eternal, through him. I can see that she’s having some mystical experiences with Jesus, but his ability to shower us with love isn’t because he was crucified, or because of the concept that he “died for our sins.” He was already showering the world with love, compassion, and healing, every day that he walked the dusty roads of Judea.

    I disagree with the idea that Jesus is the only bridge to an experience of the Everlasting. For me, that will always be a bit of hubris that seeks to set Christianity above all other religions. And it is much of Christianity, with its “we have the only bridge to God” idea, that might need to develop a little humility about itself and itsr relationship to other religions. There is more than one way to connect to the Eternal.

    I love Jesus and feel his mystery deeply but I don’t believe that he died for my sins. In fact, I don’t want anyone to “die for” or be tortured o that my life can be better. I find that idea really appalling. Love is the universal bridge into the Everlasting, not death, not torture, not austere deprivations that later versions of Christianity developed.

    Love, Jen
    Jennifer Reif
    “The Holy Book of Mary Magdalene”
    http://www.demeter.spiritualitea.net

  3. Hi Eddie,
    I love what you say here…all of it, you are really coming from a place of wisdom and experience. Thank you, it was great to read your post.
    Love, Jennifer
    “The Holy Book of Mary Magdalene”

  4. To Jennifer and all;

    You make some wonderful points in your post and I agree with most of what you are saying. The only exception that I would comment on, and this is personal belief, is that Jesus did, in fact, die for our sins. The difference in today’s religions is whether we believe, or not, that His death is the only path to the Creator.
    I share your view that Christianity as a body could use a dose of humility in dealing with other faiths and religions. For me, that is the basis of an Interfaith church, and something that I hope to explore much more.
    However, I do continue to hold onto my faith in Christianity. We know that there are several accounts of Christ’s teachings, recorded by different people at different times, and they all share the same message, which lends to their credibility. It is also for this reason that these, and not other, books were included in the Bible by the Great Council. As Paul said, “2 Cor 13:5 Test yourselves and find out if you really are true to your faith. If you pass the test, you will discover that Christ is living in you. But if Christ isn’t living in you, you have failed.”
    Surely by this we are saying the same things…Christ, the Holy Spriit, The Creator, God, is alive in us all, and by opening our hearts to this fact we come to the truth. The mystery you mentioned, to me, is like what Paul said “1 Cor 13:12 Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.”
    People of all nations and of all cultures see this cloudy picture in the mirror. Later, we will all see clearly.
    Thank you for your post and peace to all.

  5. My Dear Rev.Dr. R;

    I also resonate a bit of conflict after careful reading of the original email. It seems contradictory to rest the very survival of our consensus consciousness on the concept of having a higher purpose, while yet so readily dismissing the natural (and rightly so!) human endeavor of learning and striving to reach the Christ mind or unity by the non-action simple acceptance.

    Could we compare this to those of us who disdain an interest in self study and regard the search for deepest meaning as _new age drivel_ often spoken from the self-assured perspective of promised deliverance at the rapture? (IOW – no need to help ourselves, because the trumpets will blow and the true souls will rise.)

    Perhaps this comparison is harsh and forgive me for it please, but these arguments usually devolve — as with all foot-pounding dogmata — into a discussion of effort and will vs acceptance and grace.

    The mystery school recommends effort and will (to TRY) while the Christ mind urges acceptance and grace (to FORGIVE). But I ask does it not require effort and will to achieve acceptance and grace?

    To this humble soul it is the difference between saying. “I am Saved by Christ” and the challenge of living as if you were. These are the seas that must be parted by each one of us so that we may progress to the other side.

    Love and peace to all.

  6. I think this letter addresses two of the most notorious questions that have faced the saints sense the first century. Now I relized their other questions that led to the great diversity amongst the early believers but these two always seem to arise in most any conversation of faith.

    1) Why exactly did Yeshua die?
    2) How do we reach God, though Yeshua or by Yeshua’s teachings

    When we look at the some of the answers to question 1 that have been popularized through the ages we find that most of them are focused on the idea Yeshua’s death being the payment of some cosmic debt that was owed. With out this payment we were doomed and God could not save us. What I wonder with this whole concept is who ran up the bill, and who was that bill owed too that God was powerless to act short of the debt being paid by the death of Yeshua? The problem for me arises in that I believe in a Creator that is truly all powerful. If he had to pay a debt, then the creator owed someone something that could not be forgiven, and therefore was not all powerful. The second problem is that this perspective doesn’t sit well with Old Testament scripture.

    For example in we can read Isa 43:13 “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” Here God is telling Isaiah that no one can take your from him. If we are to believe this then how can we believe in a debt that had to be paid by Yeshua’s brutal death? If Yeshua had to die to pay this debt then someone or something was stronger then God and could take us from his hand.

    The next level of argument is that the debt was owed to God. So God killed his own son to pay himself off??? But if we read what God says in Isa 43:25 “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” He had already said that he alone blotted out our sins and that he would not remember them. God goes on to say that his people will praise him alone!!! Isa 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

    Yeshua says in Joh 12:44 “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. ” The Greek word “pisteuō” translated as believeth carries a much broader meaning then the English word believe generally conveys. It means to believe that one is telling you the truth, you can trust in what I say or what I am about is the deep more important meaning of the word. Jesus is saying I am just an Icon of the truth. The real comes from the Creator and believing in that truth is what is important. We read books written after Yeshua’s death called the Gospels but the real Gospel is what he taught and said. The things we are the believe to be true. Gospel is simply means the good news. Matthew 4:24 tells us that Yeshua went about preaching the “Gospel” or “Good News”. He wasn’t preaching Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John he was preaching the words that the Creator had given him. He was telling people of the good news of the Creator not Yeshua. He would have been telling people of things like this found in Isaiah 43:

    Isa 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isa 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. Isa 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

    Of course the followers of Yeshua would have been a diverse group and had many different pieces of the message he brought to us. Many of them, even those who were heard him first hand would have only heard some of the gospel that he told. To grasp the fullness of his message, I believe one must open themselves to the immenseness of that good news that he taught of. Yet each of us was created unique, and our vision of that creation is unique as well. We will not all feel nor see the same view of the truths that are around us. But it is this ability to be diverse to be unique that the Creator placed upon us, which make us the special beings that we are to show forth praise.

    Perhaps getting all get wrapped around so many words, dogmas, rules of religion, etc. as we all do from time to time we should also find time from our diversity to come to focus not so much on the messenger, but on the very message that he was giving us. To day it seems that everywhere I go everyone is trying to elevate the messenger, Yeshua, above the one he came here to tell us about. We have lost focus on who is who so to speak. The creator and the Goddess are the message of Yeshua, it is about them that the gospel Yeshua told us was written. Not the other way around. Yeshua was telling us that his way of thinking was the way to the Creator, not that we are to think only of him (Yeshua) to be saved.

    We, like Yeshua himself with all his miraculous power and knowledge, are nothing without the Creator. This is the gospel that Yeshua spoke, and it is the reason he was put to death 2000 years ago. Telling the truth about the Creator then was as objectionable to the pious masses of those days, as Yeshua tells us it will be in our time. Diversity is what has allowed us to still be able to hear and read most of the truths that were given for us. If only one version of the story was hear for us, then we would only have those piece that one writer remembered, interpreted and thought was important. Because the early believers wrote down and preserved the pieces of truths they were given, be they the Canonical Gospels and texts of the Roman Church (Bible), the set of writings commonly called the Gnostic Gospels and texts, the dead sea scrolls, and other texts like the Gospel According to Judas, or the Books of Enoch, we today have many of the piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle that when it is assembled will give a clear picture of the gospel that Yeshua shared with us 2000 years ago.

  7. I tend to think that the “we are saved by the Death of Jesus” idea as a bridging theology used by the early Church to convey the importance of Jesus to those enraptured by a demiurgic (ie false/immature) concept of God, and was a ‘necessessary’ bridge to help break them out of their false ideas of God before they could understand the point of Jesus. The problem is, the Church also quickly settled on this bridge as the whole point, rather than as a tool to help converts set aside their false beliefs and awaken to the Truth Jesus was trying to convey.

  8. “A broken heart and contrite spirit” the only exceptable sacrifice we can offer. But who really wants to feel that pain and depression? It hurts, but it works! If i would have known how empty it could get i would not have called on God. Yeshua came to me at my lowest point and burned his light into my forehead. That didn’t happen in church. Maybe i had some faith but it was all about being broken to be allowed into the mysteries! What a cosmic trip is all i can say, don’t do churches any more. james.

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