Category Archives: Gnosticism

Saturday Night Live (SNL), DJesus Uncrossed, the Romans, the Jews and the God of the Bible

DJesus UnCrossed is SNL’s latest attempt to de-christ Christ. Of course, in our day, Jesus is easy to disrespect. One wonders if SNL would attempt a comedy journey through the life of Muhammad. No further comments needed.

David Flowers believes that the skit has something to teach us, and that we should begin to listen to our critics. He argues that the skit has hermeneutical problems, but that it shows our hypocrisy and inconsistency in our faith. Flowers argues that this is the result of an American-shaped Jesus. He is correct to assert that humor has a way of offending Christians and revealing weaknesses and hypocrisy. We should be aware of them.


The Jesus raised from the dead murdering Romans out of revenge seems bizarre in light of the biblical narrative. Flowers is correct to assert that it reveals the Jesus kick-ass motif portrayed by many in our evangelical culture. It is easy to object to the video’s false portrayals, but in what sense is this skit true, even with its exaggerative and faulty hermeneutics? There is something to be learned here. Flowers is correct that we are to listen to our critics. The point, however, is that our critics don’t go far enough.

Surely the 2nd Amendment Rights’ Jesus is very American and Neo-Conservative like. But that doesn’t even begin to describe the type of justice-driven Messiah we as Orthodox Christians believe.

For starters, we believe in a Messiah that is ascended to the right hand of the Father, and from that place of kingship rules and reigns over us and creation. He is not an unmoved Mover. Further, Jesus did not have the Romans in mind when He judged, He had the corrupt and idolatrous first century Jewish generation in mind. Upon them, He brought a profound tribulation (Mt. 24). The Gospel Lesson this Sunday is Luke 13:31-35 where Jesus laments over Jerusalem. He sought her with love, but she continued to kill and murder the prophets sent with a message of salvation and deliverance. The vengeful Jesus portrayed by SNL has no interest in context, but it should well observe that the Messiah who destroys is first the Messiah who shows mercy.

How Can we Learn from SNL?

First, Saturday Night Live is not a theology show. Its humor is devoid of accuracy, and frankly, that is not their interest. They have been on the air for 37 years because of their exaggerated (especially in the last ten years) view of current events. This is important to keep in mind.

Secondly, use these opportunities to correct false information. Bill Maher, the well-known HBO atheist host, does this better than anyone I know. He takes a portion of Scriptures and twists its meaning in a fashion that would make even the devil jealous. This is a good time for Christians to be hermeneutically savvy. In fact, go ahead and make a t-shirt with that slogan “I am hermeneutically savvy.”

Thirdly, do not allow an exclusively New Covenant narrative to shape your theology. As James Jordan observes: “The division of the Bible into “Old Testament” and “New Testament” is merely for convenience, for the Scriptures are one narrative from beginning to end.” It is important to note also that this one narrative portrays God as a God of justice who says all vengeance belongs to Him. The modern Marcionites have failed us just as much as SNL has.

Finally, remember that the life of Jesus–especially as we meditate upon it in this Lenten Season–is a life of cross before glory; suffering before resurrection. The Jesus that came out of the grave was first a Jesus that came riding on a donkey as the Prince of Peace. But that same Jesus has promised to come again riding a horse of judgment upon Jerusalem and upon all those who despise His Name.

On Gnosticism, An Introduction

If you have studied the early church, and if you are a student of history this term is used quite often. At the same time, while it is used, and while it rings a heretical tone, yet, I am not so sure the Church realizes how much Gnosticism is infecting her.

The reality is we all battle and struggle with Gnosticism in our lives, whether we know it or not. Gnosticism is very pervasive in our thinking.

But let me begin by defining Gnosticism. The word comes from the Greek gnosis, which means “learned or knowledge.” We all like knowledge and we all desire to be learned. But the real question is “what kind of knowledge were the Gnostics after?” The Gnostics were after a knowledge that was esoteric; that is, knowledge understood only by a few. It was a special type of knowledge. And this knowledge would bring them salvation. What kind of salvation? Salvation of the soul from a material world.[1] For the Gnostics, the world was created a demiurge.[2] The Demiurge was a producer; a creator-type figure. The Gnostics did not believe that the Triune God created the world. Rather they believed that the world was created by this monstrous demiurge. And because they believed this demiurge was evil, therefore creation was evil. Now we can spend quite some time talking about the myths[3] regarding the origin of demiurge, but I want to focus on the philosophy of it. There are actually many gnostic groups, and they all have different views of who Jesus was. Some claim he was merely a human who attained this gnosis; this secret knowledge. We are to follow Jesus because he learned the way to abandon the body. He was the one who freed his soul from the material world. Continue reading On Gnosticism, An Introduction