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Esoteric Knowledge

“There is something enticing about secrets. In our time, spiritualism, theosophy, New Age spirituality, and the occult claim hidden knowledge and connections to the supernatural. From the beginning Christianity has opposed these esoteric ways of false spirituality. It rejected what are now called “secret” Gospels that hid the truth from the faithful. Instead, it preached an open Gospel and a faith that was clear and evident to all.” (Fr. Basil)

“The public character of the gospel contrasts with the way many religions in the first century were transmitted, that is, as secret wisdom given only to a few worthy people. The gospel…was not esoteric knowledge whispered by priests to their most devoted followers, cryptically encoded into obscure and difficult texts and hidden ritual. The gospel proclaimed the coming of the King of kings, whose rule was extending throughout the whole cosmos, and so it was proclaimed openly. And everyone was expected to respond. Everyone was offered citizenship in this coming kingdom.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“The idea that a human being is capable of discovering and following the path to eternal life is central to many world religions, but entirely foreign to the revelation of the true God. From the Lord’s first stated requirement for life (Gn 2:17), to the apostolic declaration “that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us . . . is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1:2-3), God shows that He alone extends the mystery of eternal life. No esoteric knowledge is required from the earnest seeker who desires eternal life.” (Dynamis 1/23/2020)

“In place of this false religion [gonsticism], St. Paul places the Christian faith. He posits there is one God, the Father, and that the Father has a Son, Jesus Christ. But this Son is not some secondary being who has fallen away from the fullness of the Father, but is Himself the fullness, the 'pleroma', the beginning, the preeminent one. And for St. Paul, what separates creation from the Father who created it is the wickedness of human beings. We as human beings are not 'ignorant' of some secret hidden truths contained in mysterious ritual. Rather, we have consciously chosen to do evil, to bring evil into this world, and thereby alienate it from the Father. Jesus Christ, however, is through His flesh, through having been made man, reconciling the entire Creation to the Father by becoming a part of it, and uniting it to God in His Person, while through His death on the Cross, He has destroyed our sins so that no longer are we God's enemies, but can now be presented to Him as holy and blameless. This Gospel is the teaching that can lead all of God's creatures to salvation, and it is not hidden in some dark and esoteric ritual. Rather, St. Paul travels the world proclaiming it openly for all to hear.” (Fr. Stephen De Young)

“If you…don’t learn to speak to people in the world around you…You may attract a few converts who are looking for some esoteric brand of Christianity, but eventually you’ll [your church will] disappear… meaning needs to be made clear and comprehensible… if the Son of God came as “the Word,” He did so to reveal and to enlighten: to make the Truth known, understandable and accessible to us all.” (Fr. John Breck)


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