Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 22 June 2020

Dr John Thomas Christadelphian Connection to Medieval Gnosticism

Dr John Thomas Christadelphian Connection to Medieval Gnosticism

Christadelphian origins come from Dr. John Thomas 1805–1871), who emigrated to North America from England in 1832 John Thomas was born in Hoxton SquareHackney, London, on 12 April 1805,[1] was the son of a Dissenting minister, also named John Thomas. His family is reputed to be descended from French Huguenot refugees[2] Blore, Charles B. Dr John Thomas: His Family and the Background of his Times The distinctive family name "Bloy" comes from Blois in Normandy, and the Blois family settled in Norfolk in 1769.

In Greek Christadelphian means "Brethren of Christ." They trace their spiritual roots through such groups as the Waldenses, Albigenses and Huguenots.
The Cathari  (/ˈkæθərɪzəm/; from the Greekκαθαροίkatharoi, "the pure [ones]" was a Christian dualist or Gnostic revival movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly what is now northern Italy and southern France, between the 12th and 14th centuries.

The followers were known as Cathars The adherents were sometimes known as Albigensians, after the city Albi in southern France where the movement first took hold.

It is evident, that the term Albigenses, or rather Albienses, employed by our author, was taken from the town of Albi, where the Waldenses flourished. (The Late Rev. Joseph Milner  The History Of The Church Of Christ 1794–1809)

Many medieval  "heresies" were named after their  founders but some ‐‐ the Albigenses,  for example ‐ were derived  from particular localities or their manner of life The Protesters Alan Eyre

In Eureka: An Exposition of the Apocalypse Dr Thomas calls the Paulicians and Albigenses "the remnants of the woman's seed" and claims they are part of the groups which make up the two Witnesses:

Thus, I have briefly tracked "the remnants of the woman's seed," under the names of Novatians, Donatists, Aerians, Paulicians and Albigenses, through a long and sanguinary period of sack-cloth-witnessing of a thousand years, against the Apostasy as by law established in "the two Wings of the Great Eagle."

Now, the Puritan Woman, styled by her enemies and persecutors "the Donatists;" but by the children of her body, Cathari, or the Pure Ones; for the first 1260 years of her existence was Providentially settled in the wings of the Roman Eagle. Her remnants were not to be found in Persia, India, China, or America: but after the discovery and settlement of America, the persecutions and massacre of her seed by the Serpent-Powers of Europe caused her to seek refuge in the American wilderness, whereby the help of "the earth," which styles itself "the unterrified democracy," she is fed and nourished to the full.

The truth was corrupted into the Catholic apostacy in the 2nd and 3rd centuries (2 Thess 2), enthroned by Constantine AD312-324 (Rev 12,13,17). Then the true witnesses fled into the wilderness and were given succour in 'the two wings of the great eagle' (eastern and western provinces of the Roman empire) for 1260 days of years. (Rev 12.6,14).They were variously known as the Paulicians, the Novations, the Donatists, the Albigenses of Southern France, the Waldenses of the Alps, the Vaudois, the Hugenots, the Anabaptists.

The 3rd Editor of the Christadelphian magazine C. C. Walker also agree with this interpretation

Rev 12 Verse 14.—“Two wings of a great eagle.” The extremities of the Roman Empire. “The wilderness.” Exile from place and power. Geographically, Northern Africa first, and many other countries afterwards in the course of the 1,260 years. The wilderness wanderings of the woman are illustrated in the experiences of the Donatists, Novatians, Paulicians, Waldenses, Albigenses, &c. Notes On The Apocalypse C. C. Walker, The Christadelphian

contemporary Christadelphian writers have tried to distance themselves from such groups as the Paulicians and  Albigenses: 

Harry Whittaker says Dr Thomas "turned a blind eye to the massive perversions of Truth by Donatists and Waldenses and Albigenses and Huguenots in desperate attempts to identify them with the Lord’s faithful remnant." Revelation - A Biblical Approach Harry Whittaker

The Cathari were said to be a sect of the Albigenses. Both showed gnostic tendencies. The Protesters Alan Eyre

Some Christadelphians have embraced the Socinians as their theological forebears. This is particularly evident in Alan Eyre's historiographical works The Protesters and Brethren in Christ, which have enjoyed great popularity within the Christadelphian community.

however Dr. Thomas knew of the Socinian and Unitarianism he has antipathy towards them as well as toward Trinitarianism and Arianism

But the New Man of the Spirit is free, looking searchingly into the perfect law of liberty, and having no respect to "the philosophy and empty delusion," and antitheses of gnosis, or "oppositions of science," falsely so called, in which the flesh delights. He troubles not himself about Trinitarianism, or Antitrinitarianism, Unitarianism, Arianism, or Socinianism. He has no more deference for these than for any other of "the works of the Devil," or for the Old Man himself.

Eureka: An Exposition of the Apocalypse

Christadelphians are neither Arians, Socinians, nor Trinitarians; but believers in the "great mystery of godliness, Deity manifested in Flesh," as set forth in "the Revelation of the Mystery," preached by the apostles.

The Huguenots
 The label Huguenot was purportedly first applied in France to those conspirators (all of them aristocratic members of the Reformed Church) who were involved in the Amboise plot of 1560:

an interesting artical on the derivation of the word huguenot will be found in the Encyclopaedia Meropolitana, Vol XX, p. 381. Pasquier, in his Recherches de la France, vol. VIII., p. 53, has an entire chaper on the origin of the name and we read hat in the Vita S. Irenaei Op., ed. Lutet (Paris), 1675 the witer of ha work in describing the desecration of him who was the great assailant of he gnostic heresies, says

"Qui gnosticos represserat, ejus reliquiae Hu-Gnosticorum cruentatas jam pridem 
sanguine bonorum ac barbaras onanus, effugere non potuerunt."
and the term Hu-Gnostici is deliberately reatained in the notes hrough the 1675 edition above named 

The Huguenots, officially called the Hu-Gnosticorum began in the sixteenth century, where the word Huguenot came to designate French Calvinist Protestants, members of the Reformed Church established in France by John Calvin in about 1555. 

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