Gnostics are mystics. They believe direct access to God comes through knowledge, insight, and intuition.
Take for example the Gnostic Gospel of Judas, a document discovered recently by archaeologists. According to this document, Christ was in cahoots with Judas and told Judas to betray Him. Judas was given secret knowledge.
This secret knowledge is called inverted hermeneutics, or, in other words, upside-down doctrine. Gnosticism teaches that Christians misunderstand what Scripture says about God's character.
Consider the following inverted doctrines of Gnosticism that are prevalent in the movies:
According to Gnostic doctrine, the physical world is nothing but a prison for our souls. If we attain enough knowledge, we can escape this realm.
We see in the Gospel of Judas that Christ’s death was considered a good thing because it released His spirit from His body. Judas then becomes the savior of Jesus because he betrayed Jesus to death in order to let His spirit be released.
One popular film that portrays this Gnostic theme is The Truman Show. In the film, the OmniCam Corporation created Truman’s world to box him in. His life is run by the creator of the show, Christof, who controls the sun, moon, and everything around him. However, Truman is unaware of the secret knowledge that could free him from his world-prison. This is a Gnostic way of portraying the world.
The entire concept for movies like Pleasantville and the The Matrix trilogy follows the same logic: that the world humans see is not the real world, but a prison created to control and use them. Only secret knowledge can free individuals from the grasp of this false world, "the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."i
God's Word tells us that God created the world to be "very good (Genesis 1). He did not make it as a prison for our uncontrollable human spirits, but rather we were created in His image as stewards and rulers of the earth. Only when the serpent tricked Eve into eating from the forbidden tree did sin enter to mar the perfect creation.
Theosophist Helena Blavatsky tells us of a distorted Gnostic view of God's nature and person:
Therefore Jehovah [God] was called by the Gnostics the Creator of, and one with Ophiomorphos, the Serpent, Satan, or evil.ii
Gnosticism pictures God as a sadistic being who does not love His creation—the type of person who would create the world as merely a prison for human souls. We see this depiction of the Creator in The Truman Show. Christof, the man who created the world Truman lives in, is shown as a terrible man who would rather destroy Truman than let him escape his prison.
God's character is also Gnostically depicted in the film 300. In this movie, the protagonist—Leonidas—is the Lucifer character. The antagonist—Artaxerses—is the God character, called "king of kings and lord of lords." But he is power-hungry, and also has the characteristics of Satan.
In the Hellboy movie series, the distinction between God and Satan is again muddled. In the films, the protagonist is the devil. The catchphrase for the 2008 movie Hellboy 2: The Golden Army is, “Believe it or not, he’s the good guy.”
In 300, Artaxerxes tries everything to get Leonidas to bow to him, even saying, "I can make you rich beyond all measure, I will make everyone bow at your feet if you’ll but kneel at mine.” These words mirror the temptation of Jesus by the devil in Matthew 4, and make it sound like God desiring our worship is a bad thing. However, we know that God not only desires our worship, but fully deserves it. Philippians 2:10-11 tells us this:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Every knee will bow at the name of Jesus—including Satan's knee.
When asked for their favorite scene in The Matrix, the Wachowskis, who wrote and directed the film, said “the pill scene.” This pinnacle point in the film, symbolizing the fall of humanity, portrays the knowledge of sin as a positive experience.
In the same way that Satan came to Eve through a serpent and convinced her God was lying, Morpheus comes to Neo and tells him he is living a lie. "Remember," Neo says, "All I am offering is the truth."
As we know, a key doctrine in Gnosticism is that a divine being called Sophia used the serpent in the Garden of Eden to free humanity. By exposing the truth that humans are divine, the serpent becomes the saviour of humanity, helping people see that they are living in a prison created by God.
This blasphemy can also be found in The Truman Show. A key character in the film is Sophie, a woman who tries to free Truman by telling him the true nature of his world.
The film Pleasantville is another example of Gnosticism in Hollywood. In this movie, the town Pleasantville is practically Eden—the people are perfect, and everything is literally black and white. But then, people from the outside world come in to this perfect environment and begin to taint things.
The lead character says, “I know you want it to stay pleasant around here, but there are so many things that are so much better—like, silly, or sexy, or dangerous, or grief.” Do we really believe that danger, sex, and grief are better than purity and pleasantness?
Sin is depicted by color in Pleasantville, and is synonymous with enlightenment. This backwards doctrine counters Jesus' words that it is the pure in heart who will see God (Matthew 5:8).
Satan always makes sin look good (see 2 Samuel 11, Luke 4:1-13, James 1:15). The symbolism in these movies is subtly changing our views abut sin, trying to make us compromise.
Keanu Reeves, who played Neo in The Matrix.
Source: Danielle Belton on Flickr....
Many scenes in The Matrix point to Neo as the Christ character. People say to him in the film, “You’re my own personal saviour,” and, “You’re here to save the world.”
Neo tells the Matrix, "I’m going to show everyone a world without rules, a rule without you." Then, he ascends into heaven, just like Jesus did. Neo was even killed and resurrected in the trilogy as well.
This is not Jesus. This is the Gnostic counterfeit—Satan. Satan’s last deception is to impersonate Christ, as we see already beginning to occur in the New Age movement.
Hollywood has given us so many distorted pictures of what a savior should look like, that we're having a tough time deciphering the truth from the lies. When Satan shows up, pretending to be the world's savior, many people will think he’s Jesus.
They just won't know the difference.
It's crucial that we start taking a closer look at the movies we watch. Scripture tells us to, "abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good," and "flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness" (Romans 12:9; 2 Timothy 2:22 NKJV)
When we shut off our brains and soak in whatever the TV tells us, we are allowing false doctrines and youthful lusts to sneak into our minds and alter our paradigms.
This article is adapted from The Gnostic Gospel. To find out more about Gnosticism and Hollywood, get your copy of The Gnostic Gospel from our webstore