Monday, August 13, 2007

Reflections: Heresy?

I am definitely not orthodox in my Christian beliefs. I have been called a Marcionite by some of my Catholic friends, although I knew nothing about Marcion until being labeled his follower prompted me to look him up. Having done so, I will admit to agreeing with some of Marcion’s ideas.
I have also been called a Manichaean. Until I was called that, everything that I knew about Mani and his teachings was what I had encountered in the Confessions of Augustine of Hippo. I believe that I was called a Manichaean because my beliefs tend to be dualistic.
I was characterized as a Marcionite, it turns out, because I agree with Marcion that the Hebrew scriptures (or Old Testament) give an erroneous picture of God the Father. I would put the Old Testament on the library shelf next to the Iliad and other mythical classics in the Western tradition.
I consider my dualism to be Platonic, or perhaps, Neoplatonic in nature. I have been reading Plato since my college days, and I consider Socrates, as presented by Plato, to be a saint equal in spiritual insight to any of the prophets of the Hebrew scriptures. I have read some Plotinus, and tend to agree with his thoughts concerning the antagonism between spirit and matter, and the transcendence of the One.
I have also been called a Gnostic.
As time goes on, I will be presenting some of my ideas on these things. The links to the Catholic Encyclopedia are provided in order to make specific those heresies to which I have been assigned.