- Oct 25, 2016
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If you want a fair accounting of that time you should read the chapter on The Socialism of the Heresies in Shafarevich's "The Phenomenon od Socialism."
The Gnostics were a threat to the church at a time that the church was starting to develop as a hierarchical organisation with political power. Gnosticism undermined that power by claiming that they only obeyed the higher power of God himself.12 Gnostics claimed that through visions they experience Christ's continuing presence. Gnostics claimed that because of this they were above the authority of bishops, priests and deacons. They would even claim that as they were still experiencing Christ now, they were even greater than the apostles13. If the Gnostics remained within the mainstream church, this attitude would undermine and weaken the episcopal authority of the church.
Clement argued that the church believed in the overall authority of God. However, this power had been delegated to the bishops, priests and deacons on earth. According to Clement by refusing to obey the bishops, the Gnostics were refusing to obey God himself.14