May 30, 1998
"Suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:2-3).
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. With these words the Acts of the Apostles bring us into the heart of the Pentecost event; they show us the disciples, who, gathered with Mary in the Upper Room, receive the gift of the Spirit. Thus Jesus' promise is fulfilled and the time of the Church begins. From that time the wind of the Spirit would carry Christ's disciples to the very ends of the earth. It would take them even to martyrdom for their fearless witness to the Gospel.
It is as though what happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago were being repeated this evening in this square, the heart of the Christian world. Like the Apostles then, we too find ourselves gathered in a great upper room of Pentecost, longing for the outpouring of the Spirit. Here we would like to profess with the whole Church "the same Spirit ... the same Lord ... the same God who inspires them all in everyone" (1 Cor 12:4-6). This is the atmosphere we wish to relive, imploring the gifts of the Holy Spirit for each of us and for all the baptized people.
2. I greet and thank Cardinal James Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, for the words he has wished to address to me, also in your name, at the beginning of this meeting. With him I greet the Cardinals and Bishops present. I extend and especially grateful greeting to Chiara Lubich, Kiko Arguello, Jean Vanier and Mons. Luigi Giussani for their moving testimonies. With them, I greet the founders and leaders of the new communities and movements represented here. Lastly, I wish to address each of you, brothers and sisters who belong to the individual ecclesial movements. You promptly and enthusiastically accepted the invitation I addressed to you on Pentecost 1996, and have carefully prepared yourselves, under the guidance of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, for this extraordinary meeting which launches us towards the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
Today's event is truly unprecedented: for the first time the movements and new ecclesial communities have all gathered together with the Pope. It is the great "common witness" I wished for the year which, in the Church's journey to the Great Jubilee, is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is here with us! It is he who is the soul of this marvellous event of ecclesial communion. Truly, "this is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps 117:24).
3. In Jerusalem, about 2,000 years ago, on the day of Pentecost, before an astonished and mocking crowd, due to the unexplainable change observed in the Apostles, Peter courageously proclaims: "Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God ... you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up" (Acts 2:22-24). Peter's words express the Church's self-awareness, based on the certainty that Jesus Christ is alive, is working in the present and changes life.
The Holy Spirit, already at work in the creation of the world and in the Old Covenant, reveals himself in the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery of the Son of God, and in a way "bursts out" at Pentecost to extend the mission of Christ the Lord in time and space. The Spirit thus makes the Church a stream of new life that flows through the history of mankind.
4. With the Second Vatican Council, the Comforter recently gave the Church, which according to the Fathers is the place "where the Spirit flourishes" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 749), a renewed Pentecost, instilling a new and unforeseen dynamism.
Whenever the Spirit intervenes, he leaves people astonished. He brings about events of amazing newness; he radically changes persons and history. This was the unforgettable experience of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council during which, under the guidance of the same Spirit, the Church rediscovered the charismatic dimension as one of her constitutive elements: "It is not only through the sacraments and the ministrations of the Church that the Holy Spirit makes holy the people, leads them and enriches them with his virtues. Allotting his gifts according as he wills (cf. 1 Cor 12:11), he also distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank.... He makes them fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church" (Lumen gentium, n. 12).
The institutional and charismatic aspects are co-essential as it were to the Church's constitution. They contribute, although differently, to the life, renewal and sanctification of God's People. It is from this providential rediscovery of the Church's charismatic dimension that, before and after the Council, a remarkable pattern of growth has been established for ecclesial movements and new communities.
5. Today the Church rejoices at the renewed confirmation of the prophet Joel's words which we have just heard: "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" (Acts 2:17). You, present here, are the tangible proof of this "outpouring" of the Spirit. Each movement is different from the others, but they are all united in the same communion and for the same mission. Some charisms given by the Spirit burst in like an impetuous wind, which seizes people and carries them to new ways of missionary commitment to the radical service of the Gospel, by ceaselessly proclaiming the truths of faith, accepting the living stream of tradition as a gift and instilling in each person an ardent desire for holiness.
Today, I would like to cry out to all of you gathered here in St. Peter's Square and to all Christians: Open yourselves docilely to the gifts of the Spirit! Accept gracefully and obediently the charisms which the Spirit never ceases to bestow on us! Do not forget that every charism is given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church.
6. By their nature, charisms are communicative and give rise to that "spiritual affinity between persons" (Christifideles laici, n. 24) and that friendship in Christ which is the origin of "movements". The passage from the original charism to the movement happens through the mysterious attraction that the founder holds for all those who become involved in his spiritual experience. In this way movements officially recognized by ecclesiastical authority offer themselves as forms of self-fulfilment and as reflections of the one Church.
Their birth and spread has brought to the Church's life an unexpected newness which is sometimes even disruptive. This has given rise to questions, uneasiness and tensions; at times it has led to presumptions and excesses on the one hand, and on the other, to numerous prejudices and reservations. It was a testing period for their fidelity, an important occasion for verifying the authenticity of their charisms.
Today a new stage is unfolding before you: that of ecclesial maturity. This does not mean that all problems have been solved. Rather, it is a challenge. A road to take. The Church expects from you the "mature" fruits of communion and commitment.
7. In our world, often dominated by a secularized culture which encourages and promotes models of life without God, the faith of many is sorely tested, and is frequently stifled and dies. Thus we see an urgent need for powerful proclamation and solid, in-depth Christian formation. There is so much need today for mature Christian personalities, conscious of their baptismal identity, of their vocation and mission in the world! There is great need for living Christian communities! And here are the movements and the new ecclesial communities: they are the response, given by the Holy Spirit, to this critical challenge at the end of the millennium. You are this providential response.
True charisms cannot but aim at the encounter with Christ in the sacraments. The ecclesial realities to which you belong have helped you to rediscover your baptismal vocation, to appreciate the gifts of the Spirit received at Confirmation, to entrust yourselves to God's forgiveness in he sacrament of Reconciliation and to recognize the Eucharist as the source and summit of all Christian life. Thanks to this powerful ecclesial experience, wonderful Christian families have come into being which are open to life, true "domestic churches", and many vocations to the ministerial priesthood and the religious life have blossomed, as well as new forms of lay life inspired by the evangelical counsels. You have learned in the movements and new communities that faith is not abstract talk, nor vague religious sentiment, but new life in Christ instilled by the Holy Spirit.
8. How is it possible to safeguard and guarantee a charism's authenticity? It is essential in this regard that every movement submit to the discernment of the competent ecclesiastical authority. For this reason no charism can dispense with reference and submission to the Pastors of the Church. The Council wrote in clear words: "Those who have charge over the Church should judge the genuineness and proper use of these gifts, through their office not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good (cf. 1 Thes 5:12; 19-21)" (Lumen gentium, n. 12). This is the necessary guarantee that you are taking the right road!
In the confusion that reigns in the world today, it is so easy to err, to give in to illusions. May this element of trusting obedience to the Bishops, the successors of the Apostles, in communion with the Successor of Peter never be lacking in the Christian formation provided by your movements! You know the criteria for the ecclesiality of lay associations found in the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici (cf. n. 30). Ask you always to adhere to them with generosity and humility, bringing your experiences to the local Churches and parishes, while always remaining in communion with the Pastors and attentive to their direction.
9. Jesus said: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" (Lk 12:39). As the Church prepares to cross the threshold of the third millennium, let us accept the Lord's invitation, so that his fire may spread in our hearts and in those of our brothers and sisters.
Today, from this upper room in St. Peter's Square, a great prayer rises: Come, Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth! Come with your seven gifts! Come, Spirit of Life, Spirit of Communion and Love! The Church and the world need you. Come, Holy Spirit, and make ever more fruitful the charisms you have bestowed on us. Give new strength and missionary zeal to these sons and daughters of yours who have gathered here. Open their hearts; renew their Christian commitment to the world. Make them courageous messengers of the Gospel, witnesses to the risen Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Saviour of man. Strengthen their love and their fidelity to the Church.
Let us turn our gaze to Mary, Christ's first disciple, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Mother of the Church, who was with the Apostles at the first Pentecost, so that she will help us to learn from her fiat docility to the voice of the Spirit.
Today, from this square, Christ says to each of you: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15). He is counting on every one of you, and so is the Church. "Lo", the Lord promises, "I am with you always to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20). I am with you. Amen!
What do Harry Potter, the Star Wars series, The Matrix, Masonry, New Age and the Raelian cult, which claims to have cloned the first baby, have in common?
Their ideological soil. Identical esoteric ideas suffuse the novels, the movies, the lodges, the "alternative spirituality" and the cloning "atheistic religion," and this ideological soil has a name Gnosticism.
"Gnosticism" is an eerie word whose meaning eludes our minds. I often meet Catholics who have heard the term but have only a foggy idea of what it means. Perhaps Gnosticism itself is foggy.
Yet, whether we understand it or not, Gnosticism may be, at the beginning of the third millennium, the most dangerous enemy to our Christian faith. Notice, I'm not saying Star Wars or Harry Potter is the danger. They provide us with good lessons and fine entertainment. They are just two signs of the power of the real enemy: Gnosticism.
Why? What is Gnosticism?
In one dense but masterful summary, we find the essential aspects of Gnosticism. In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II writes:
"A separate issue is the return of ancient Gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age. We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practicing Gnosticism that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting his word and replacing it with purely human words. Gnosticism never completely abandoned the realm of Christianity. Instead, it has always existed side by side with Christianity, sometimes taking the shape of philosophical movement, but more often assuming the characteristics of a religion or para-religion in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian."
Let's examine what the Holy Father is saying about Gnosticism.
First, its nature. Strictly speaking, Gnosticism was an esoteric religious movement of the first centuries A.D., a movement that rivaled Christianity. In a broader sense, it is an esoteric knowledge of higher religious and philosophic truths to be acquired by an elite group. John Paul alludes to the first meaning with the phrase "ancient Gnostic ideas" and to the second as an "attitude of the spirit" that "has always existed side by side with Christianity."
A Gnostic is one who has gnosis (a Greek word for "knowledge") a visionary or mystical "secret knowledge" capable of joining the human being to the divine mystery. Gnostics, the Pope remarked, distort God's word "in the name of a profound knowledge of God." What is this "knowledge" they claim to have?
The Gnostic worldview is dualistic. Reality consists of two irreducible elements: one good, the spiritual world (the realm of light); and the other evil, matter (the realm of darkness). Two supreme powers or gods oppose each other the unknowable and ineffable god, from whom a series of lesser divinities emanated, and the evil god, or demiurge, who produced the universe from foul matter and possesses it with his evil demons.
Man is composed of body, soul and spirit. The spirit is man's true self, a "divine spark," a portion of the godhead. In a tragic fall, man's true self, or spirit, was thrown into this dark world and imprisoned in each individual's body and soul. The demiurge and the demons keep man's spirit as a slave of the material world, ignorant of his "divine" condition. Hence the need for a spiritual savior, a messiah or "Christ," to offer redeeming gnosis. This savior is a guide, a master who teaches a few "spiritual" people the Gnostics about their true spiritual selves and helps them to wake up from the dream world they live in. The Gnostics would be released from the material world, the non-Gnostics doomed to reincarnation.
What is an example of how these beliefs are embodied in popular stories? Consider the Star Wars movies. There is much good in them. The stories are admirable in many ways. But they are chock-full of Gnosticism.
Star Wars is the clash between the two supreme powers of the universe "the force" and the "dark side of the force," which is exploited by the "emperor" (the demiurge) and his demons (Darth Vader, the siths). The Gnostic heroes are the Jedi, who possess the "secret knowledge" of their own spiritual powers; unlike the non-Gnostic, they are able to use "the force" well. Each Jedi has a master, who trains him to acquire this redeeming gnosis. Ben Kenobi, for instance, was for a time the master of Anakin and Luke Skywalker. The greatest spiritual guide in the saga is Yoda, a respected senior member of the Jedi council and a general in the clone wars.
As Christ's followers, we must sort out the good seed from the weeds (cf. Matthew 13:24-30). I propose a distinction between the Gnostic values and its philosophy.
Gnostics promote, without a doubt, positive values. They draw a clear-cut separation between good and evil, stress man's spiritual dimension, instill high and noble ideals, foster courage and concern for others, respect nature, reject materialism and often reject hedonism, too.
Such values shine like pearls in an age of moral relativism that thirsts for gain, the ephemeral, the hedonistic. Aren't these some of the virtues and ideas we love in Star Wars and Harry Potter?
The other side of the coin, however, is not so positive. The good values are rooted in a Gnostic philosophical understanding of man, God and the world that is, as the Pope put it, "in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian." Why?
Note the opposite views. The Christian Creator is love a Trinity of persons who wants to establish with us a personal relationship of love quite different from that unknowable God, usually conceived, like the Star Wars "force," as an impersonal energy to be manipulated.
The God of Revelation made everything good the angels, the world, our body and soul. Evil is not a force of the same rank as God; rather, it springs from angels' and men's personal free choice. Salvation is offered by God in Christ, man's only redeemer.
Salvation is a grace a free gift from God that Man can neither deserve nor earn. It is not gnosis, "secret knowledge" we can acquire by ourselves with the help of mere human guides or Christlike figures. In short, the Christian religion is a "dialogue" of love between God and man, not a self-centered "monologue" in which man divinizes himself. That's why John Paul says Gnosticism cannot lead "toward a renewal of religion."
It distorts God's word, "replacing it with purely human words."
Then and Now
Finally, the Pope alludes to the historic span and manifestations of this ideology. "Gnosticism," he says, "never completely abandoned the realm of Christianity
sometimes taking the shape of philosophical movement but more often assuming the characteristics of a religion or para-religion."
Let's look at a few representative Gnostic movements in history.
With the rise of Christianity, ancient esoteric ideas developed into Gnostic syncretism. Thus, in the first centuries A.D., the Apostles and the Church Fathers had to combat several "Christian" Gnostic religious systems, such as those of Cerinthus, Manander, Saturninus, Valentinus, Basilides, Ptolemaeus and the ones contained in the apocryphal gospels: of truth and perfection, and of Judas (Iscariot), Philip and Thomas.
The third-century dualist Manichaean church or religion spread from Persia throughout the Middle East, China, southern Europe and northern Africa, where the young Augustine temporarily became a convert.
Teachings similar to Manichaeism resurfaced during the Middle Ages in Europe in groups such as the Paulicians (Armenia, seventh century), the Bogomilists (Bulgaria, 10th century), the Cathars or Albigensians (southern France, 12th century), the Jewish Cabala and the metaphysical speculation surrounding alchemy.
Modern times witnessed the resurgence of Gnosticism in philosophical thought the Enlightenment, Hegel's idealism, some existentialist currents, Nazism, Jungian psychology, the theosophical society and Freemasonry.
More recently, Gnosticism has become popular through successful films and novels, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Matrix. It has also gained followers among the ranks of ordinary people through pseudo-religious "movements," such as the New Age and the Raelian cult.
These contemporary Gnostic expressions should certainly inspire us in the good values they promote. At the same time, we should be cautious examine their philosophical background and reject what is incompatible with our Christian faith.
At the beginning of the third millennium we seem to face the same old clash between Christianity and Gnosticism. Both fight to conquer the "soul" of this world the minds and hearts of peoples and cultures.
For this reason, defeating Gnosticism has become an essential task of the New Evangelization. "Against the spirit of the world," the Holy Father says in Crossing the Threshold of Hope, "the Church takes up anew each day a struggle that is none other than the struggle for the world's soul."
Into the Gnostic Wonderland
Morpheus, a man with circular mirrored glasses, approaches Neo Anderson, a young man who feels something is wrong with the world.
"You are a slave, Neo," the man says. "You, like everyone else, were born into bondage kept inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste or touch. A prison for your mind."
Morpheus holds two pills in his hands one blue, one red.
"This is your last chance; after this, there is no going back," he says. "You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." Neo takes the red pill.
Sounds familiar? It is a memorable scene of the hit movie The Matrix.
Morpheus' offer visualizes what our culture often offers. The blue pill stands for materialistic relativism believing there is no truth nor right and wrong, or, as Morpheus put it, "You believe whatever you want to believe."
Consequently, "You wake in bed" you enjoy yourself in comfort, money, hedonistic pleasures, social success. We often see the blue pill available over the counter in books, colleges, courts, institutions, the media.
The red pill stands for Gnosticism believing reality is ultimately divine and can be manipulated by whoever has "secret knowledge." This is "Wonderland," and it, too, can now be bought over the counter like the blue pill.
Thank God there is a third option Morpheus didn't take into account something neither blue nor red but transparent: Call it water. Water stands for our Christian faith. Christ, the water of life (see John 7:37-39), came to bring us the "living water" of "eternal life" (see John 4:7-13) through the water of baptism.
The blue and red pills counter the effects of water in different ways. Materialistic relativism tries to destroy all objective truths and values. Gnosticism, instead, proposes alternative truths and values. Moreover, it interprets Christianity as esoteric knowledge, not to destroy it but to distort it.
Neo, Vader and Voldemort
First, where is Gnosticism in today's culture? You might bump into it in successful films and novels, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Matrix, or face it in "religious" and "philosophical" movements, such as the New Age, the Raelian cult and Freemasonry.
Note the difference between the three media products and the three movements: The movies and the books do not instill a credo you must believe in if you want to watch, read and enjoy them. In fact, they are commendable in many ways they provide us with elevated entertainment, valuable lessons and admirable heroes.
The movements, instead, are credos one must embrace in order to be an authentic New Ager, Raelian or Mason. As Catholics, we might be inspired by the noble ideals of these movements but not by their philosophy. Their philosophy is "Wonderland." And "Wonderland" is not "Christianland."
What is the Gnostic "Wonderland"?
The story of The Matrix shows it.
Morpheus reveals to Neo that human beings are trapped in a false "reality." Why? Some time ago men created the Matrix, an artificially intelligent entity. Needing man's energy to survive, the Matrix became a computer-generated dreamworld the world we think we live in to enslave men in a huge lab and suck their energy with the help of "agents."
However, a man succeeded in freeing the first human beings and teaching them the truth before he died.
The Oracle (a prophet) predicted this man will return to liberate all people and bring them to Zion, the last human city. Thus, a few freed men and women free others, looking for this man. Morpheus believes Neo to be the One and tries to free his mind so Neo can operate as the savior he is.
Here is the story's translation into the Gnostic worldview:
Two supreme powers or gods fight one another for supremacy. One is the pleroma ("fullness" in Greek) the good unknowable godhead, from whom many spiritual entities called aeons emanated. The other is an evil, deformed god, called the demiurge ("craftsman") that fashioned the flawed universe, along with archons, or demons.
Reality is dualistic. Everything is spiritual, particularly but not solely man's spirit. This is man's own true self, and it is good, for it is a portion of the pleroma's divine essence. Everything material, like man's body, is foul and evil, because it was produced by the demiurge and his demons to keep man's spirit a slave in the material prison of creation. Thus, every human being, knowingly or unknowingly, serves this false god and lives ignorant of his divine condition. His fate is reincarnation.
How does one free oneself from matter and join the divine pleroma? Through secret, esoteric knowledge called gnosis the visionary or mystical awareness of one's own divinity. One becomes a Gnostic by following spiritual guides or masters, historical figures of the "Christ," such as Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, Moses, Mohammed and Rael.
Review the story of The Matrix and our introductory scene and you will understand the philosophy.
Zion and mankind stand for the pleroma. The Matrix and its "agents" are the demiurge and his archons, who created the illusory world to enslave man and hinder him from realizing their spiritual powers. Morpheus and his crew are the Gnostic. Morpheus is also Neo's guide. Neo will become the ultimate "Christ," the One who will offer redeeming gnosis to the rest of the mortals.
Consider the Star Wars series. "The force" is the good godhead opposed by "the dark side of the force," which the emperor (the demiurge) and his siths (the archons) employ to enslave all peoples. Only the Jedis (the Gnostic) are capable of transcending the physical laws of nature and join "the force" to use it for the salvation of all. Each Jedi acquires gnosis with the help of a master. Yoda, for instance, trained Ben Kenobi, and Ben Kenobi trained Anakin and Luke Skywalker. In the last scene of The Return of the Jedi, you see Yoda, Ben Kenobi and Anakin "saved" "energized" with "the force."
Harry Potter follows a similar pattern. It portrays the clash between the "white" magic (the pleroma) practiced by the witches and wizards (the Gnostic) and the dark arts exploited by the Dark Lord Voldemort (the demiurge) and his followers in the Slytherin House (the demons). Every professor at Hogwarts is, of course, a master, with Albus Dumbledore as the school headmaster. The non-Gnostic are called the Muggles, ignorant human beings who, like the Dursley family, are subject to the laws of the material world.
We expect Harry Potter to finally become the "Christ," the savior. Note the boy never becomes a wizard and never acquires magic powers. He only becomes aware, through training, that he is a wizard and has these powers from birth. That's gnosis.
Most people who enjoy these three popular sagas might be inspired by their positive values but do not take their Gnostic wonderland seriously. But to leave fiction and enter the New Age movement, the Raelian religion or Freemasonry requires a "conversion" of the initiated. To join, you must swallow the red pill.
The pleroma is the Mason's inaccessible great architect and his divinities, the New Agers' impersonal "energy" or the Raelians' community of wise extraterrestrial scientists called Elohim who created all life on earth 25,000 years ago. The three groups identify the demiurge with all "dogmatic" churches and religions but especially with the Catholic Church with her archons (the Church leaders and particularly the Pope) she traps men in the false "reality" of Christian Revelation, hindering them from the self-consciousness of their own divinity.
The Gnostic are the Masons, the New Agers, the Raelians. Many historical figures have incarnated the "Christ," known as Maitreya in Masonic and New Age circles and as Rael ("the messenger") among Raelians.
Water or the Red Pill?
On the surface Gnostic wonderlands might look Christian they promote religiosity, spiritual values, concern for others, respect for nature, the sense of mission, rejection of materialistic relativism. How can we discern if a movie, a novel, a movement or an organization is rooted in a Gnostic or in a Christian worldview?
We need to examine its underlying concept of God, man and the world. First, God: Is God the only supreme good power or is there another evil force of the same rank? Is God somebody with whom we have a personal relationship of love or something like a force to be used? Is Jesus of Nazareth the only savior or are there many "Christs"?
Second, check the notion of man: Is he a loved creature or a portion of divinity to be freed? Is man a unity of body and soul or just a spirit imprisoned in a body? Does man's salvation come from a gratuitous gift of God (grace) or from "secret knowledge" acquired by training (gnosis)?
Third, think of the world: Is creation good and real or evil and illusory a sort of prison?
The answers unveil the pervading philosophy. A fictional story, of course, does not need to present the Christian truths. The question is whether or not there is room for a Christian worldview in the story.
Mark this substantial difference: A red pill is a man-made drug that may fail to cure; water, instead, is a God-made basic element for life. Gnosticism is a man-made self-centered philosophy a "monologue" in which man divinizes himself and fails in the attempt. The Christian revelation is a God-made gift "dialogue" of love that God establishes with man for eternal life.
The Christian revelation is Christ. To definitively discern what is Christian from what is not use what I call "St. John's criterion": "By this you know the spirit of God: Every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world" (2 John 4:2-3).
At the beginning of the third millennium three worldviews compete to conquer the minds and hearts of peoples and cultures, the world's soul: materialistic relativism, Gnosticism and Christianity. The blue pill is easy to recognize. But the red pill is often dissolved in apparent water.
The New Evangelization demands a clear-cut separation between Gnosticism and Christianity if we want to bring every thirsty person to the Water of Life.