What Is Esoteric Christianity?
CHRISTIANITY is the spiritual practice of following Christ as the apex of Godly discipleship.
ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY is an approach to that same Christianity, intent on comprehending original teaching and practices, minus the corruptions of institutionalized religion, culture, and politics.
The esoteric Christian student is pursuant of sincere Godly life, with all the essential elements of humble service, spiritual knowledge, inner and outer works, mental and emotional equilibrium, and divine relationship.
Many esoteric Christian groups arose during the sixteenth century Christian reformation period, in parallel with other protestant organizations seeking freedom from centuries of Roman Catholic dogmatism and oppression. As with denominations such as the Lutheran and Reformed traditions, esoteric Christians underscored the importance of the “sola scriptura” ethos (by scripture alone), weighting authority in the sacred documents themselves, rather than in the clergy or digressive human traditions. Special emphasis is given to solid biblical exegesis, utilizing both classical historical interpretation and critical analysis of multi-layered esoteric symbolism; the latter method being espoused by scholars such as Origen of Alexandria (c 184 AD – 253 AD). From studying the scriptures, the individual could form a sound picture of spiritual life and therein cultivate a closer relationship with God, without the need for unnecessary human intermediaries or legalistic observances. Consequently, within many esoteric groups, there is no apostolic succession, no human-appointed prophets, no popes, no bishops, no saints, no transubstantiation, and little prominence given to manmade rituals.
There is much harmony with classical evangelical Christian doctrine, such as the threefold nature of God, the deity of Christ, the resurrection, creationism, angelic and demonic reality, physical miracles, human liability, eternal salvation, eternal damnation, the significance of faith and works, the second coming, the destruction of earth, the creation of a new heaven and earth. There are also some contrasting notions, such as pre-incarnate spirit life, greater significance of mystical contemplation, the origin of sin, a convergence of predestination and freewill models of redemption, more emphasis on deconstruction of the outer self, and greater value in quality non-canonical materials (pseudepigraphal, intertestamental, individual monastic and mystical writings).
Esoteric Christianity is not a new-age made-up version of Christianity that highlights one’s favorite spiritual bits and omits the disagreeable ones. Neither is it anything to do with theosophy, anthroposophy, hermetism, Kabbalah, meditation, astrology, Gnosticism, Manicheism, Martinism, Rosicrucianism, or anything like that. Esoteric Christianity also distinguishes itself from liberal Christian, new-age, pagan, and Asian spirituality by way of its clear absolutism, monotheism, accountability, and historicity. It is a hard path. An individual’s choices in good and evil, right and wrong, truth and falsehood – in conjunction with being drawn by God – determine their destiny. Not everyone makes it. We are not here for the purposes of personal happiness and fulfillment. We are here to demonstrate our integrity and trustworthiness before God; to love God and follow God.
Essentially, esoteric Christianity IS Christianity, with the distortions of empire removed, original doctrines upheld, and genuine supernaturalism restored.
For my part at least, thirty years of investigation, study, contemplation, and personal practice have satisfied me of Christianity’s immutable wisdom and foundational reality.
Exegesis. An approach to interpreting scripture utilizing objective scholarly knowledge and critical analysis techniques. The word derives from the Greek word exēgeisthai, meaning “to read out of/to interpret”. Exegesis aims to ascertain the original meaning of Biblical texts – understanding the author’s singular intended communication – by way of understanding context logically, historically, and linguistically. It is the opposite of eisegesis, which means to “read into” a particular text.
Pseudepigrapha. A body of texts typically written between 500 BC and 100 AD ascribed to various prophets, historians, noblemen, etc. where the claimed author may not be the actual author, or is unknown. They often deal with substantial metaphysical matters concerning creation, origins, destiny, spirit beings, resolution of good and evil, and eschatology. Typical examples include 1 Enoch, Book Of Jubilees, Book Of Giants, Apocalypse of Abraham, Ladder Of Jacob.
Empire. The human administration of a negative supernatural force.