Monday, February 28, 2011

Parallel Between Gnostics and Latter Day Saints

Many Gnostics of the first and second centuries believed our physical world was created by a demiurge, an imperfect and lesser being than Almighty God whom they also believed in.

It occurs to me that in some ways this parallels the LDS teaching of Exaltation, in which the faithful become equals of Jesus, gods over their own creation within the greater universe of Heavenly Father. If the faithful can become Godlike after death, and that is how Jesus got put in charge of our universe, doesn't that more or less make him the demiurge? Even setting asside whether or not Jesus was perfect before he became a god, he's still running a francise and has to send quarterly reports back to Heavinly Father back at corporate.

In gnosticism the demiurge is a lesser shadow of God. In the LDS man aspires to become the demiurge.

Of course, this breaks down if you push it too far. The demiurge isn't even always good, whereas the LDS hold Jesus in very high esteem. Like most other Christians, they see him as perfect or nearly so. Still, it's pretty interesting any time a divine hierarchy turns up in a famously monotheistic religious tradition.

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