Manichaeism

1. In the Manichaean belief, there was a overall idea that the Bible was a "crude and contaminated attempt at the truth." There was a refusal of the ideas found in Genesis of how God created the world, and when He looked down upon what He had made, decided that it was very good, as well as that Mani, the founder of Manichaeism, was the Paraclete rather than the Holy Spirit.

2. The Manichaean belief regarding creation tells of two Principles (those of Good and Bad) existing before Heaven, Earth, and everything else. The Principle of Good exists in the realm of light as the Father of Majesty, whereas the Principle of Bad is the King of Darkness. The realm of light is infinite in all directions except down for that is where the realm of dark forms a boundary. The two forces were supposed to live in peace, however, the Prince of Darkness, Satan, decided to invade the light. This intrusion prompted the Father of Majesty to go to war, for which he created the Mother of Life and consequently, the first man.

3. The human body serves as a "workshop of salvation." There is an entire doctrine of salvation around the human body. However, due to the "mixed" background of the human person, there is no way that a person cannot achieve salation by his or her own resources. They are forced to contend with contrary forces that continousoly disrupt one another as light and dark constantly circulate throughout the world. In Manichaean belief, the body is to be used solely for salvation. A Manichaean attitude would negate all value of purposes of the body, except for the attempt to reach salvation.

4. One opposition to Christianity is the disbelief in the Incarnation of Jesus. The Manichaean idea states that teh body of Jesus only appeared to be a physical manifestiation but was really an imagined entity. Essentially, throughout Manichaean teachings, nothing distinctively Christian remains: no atonement, no substitution on the Cross, no deity of Christ, the Trinity is denied; the Scriptures are attacked and other "holy writings" referred to as authoritative.

5. The whole idea of Theology of the Body is one that the Manichaean beliefs oppose very strongly. Theology of the Body puts the human body in a light of value and worth, whereas the Manichaean idea rids the body of any sense of value. Manichaeism assigns evil to the body and sees the body as the source of evil, but Christ does not. Christ does not condemn the body as an evil entity.

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