November 6th 2013
What did they believe about God and the Bible?
They believe that there are essentially two separate Gods, a good God and a bad God, or the Devil. Manichaeists believe that God created the good things in life and the Devil created the material, bad things in the world. They believe that the soul is a mix of God, man and the Devil and that the soul is under the influence of both powers, good and evil. They obviously do not believe the Bible to be filled with truth and instead adopted the deities of the first creation, the second creation and the third creation.
Wh What did they believe about creation?
Manichaeists believe that there are three separate creations. The First Creation was when good and evil existed in two independent realms, one was the World of Light, ruled by the Father of Greatness together with his five Shekhinas (divine attributes of light), and the other realm was the World of Darkness, which was ruled by the King of Darkness. The Father of Greatness could be interpreted as God and the King of Darkness could be interpreted as the Devil. Then comes a point where the Kingdom of Darkness notices the World of Light and jealous of it, and proceeds to attack the World of Life out of greediness. The Father of Greatness calls to the Mother of Life, who sends her son Original Man to fight off the attacking powers of Darkness. The Original Man, or Jesus, carries three separate shields of light, Clear Air, Refreshing Wind, Bright Light, Life-Giving Waters, and Warming Fire, the Original Man loses this battle and the forces of darkness devour as much light as they can, while Original Man is trapped with the forces of darkness. In the Second Creation, the Father of Greatness calls to the Living Spirit, the Living Spirit’s five sons and the Original Man, and the Original Man answers to the World of Life. The Mother of Life, the Living Spirit, and his five sons then created a universe from the bodies of the evil spirits from the World of Darkness, along with the light that the evil bodies have consumed. They created ten heavens and eight earths from the evil spirits and the light they devoured. The sun, moon, and stars are all created from light recovered from the evil beings. The Third Creation is when demons, archons, fell from the heavens then the Father of Greatness begins the Third Creation. There is still light being recovered from the evil beings, and they then become sexually aroused in greed, towards beautiful images of the beings of light, such as the Third Messenger and the Virgins of Light. But once the light leaves their bodies and plummets toward earth, the evil beings still continue to swallow up as much of it as they can to keep the light inside of them. Eventually, the evil beings swallow huge quantities of light, which ends up producing Adam and Eve. The Father of Greatness then sends the Radiant Jesus to awaken Adam, and to enlighten him to the true source of the light that is trapped in his material body. Adam and Eve reproduce more children, trapping the light in bodies of mankind throughout human history. The appearance of the Prophet Mani was another attempt by the World of Light to reveal to mankind the true source of the spiritual light imprisoned within their material bodies.
What did they believe about the human person?
Human race implied the continual imprisonment of the light-substance in matter and a hindering of the consummation of all things. They believed all material things to be “evil.” Humanity, the world and the soul are seen as the byproduct of the battle between God, Primal Man, and Satan. The human person is seen as a battleground for these powers, the soul defines the person, but it is under the influence of both light and dark. This dispute plays out over the world as well as the human body. Neither the Earth or the flesh were seen as inherently evil, but rather possessed portions of both light and dark.
How did their beliefs oppose Christianity?
Mani proclaimed himself as Jesus.
Mani rejected the whole of the Old Testament.
Mani claimed to be the Paraclete and said he was “the messenger of God.”
Mani referred to Jesus Christ as a personification of Light in the world, nothing more.
The historical Jesus of Nazareth was entirely repudiated by Mani.
Mani rejected the use of such apparently Christian terms as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to designate divine personalities.
Mani believed in “Three Creations.”
Mani believed that humans were conceived my Demons that swallowed particles of light.
How could Theology of the Body be used to argue against them?
In Genesis God says the body is “very good” which is contrary to the Manichaeism’s belief of the body, they believed the body to be evil. They said a Good God would only have spiritual existence and it is impossible to be like God because they would solely be spiritual. This is a false statement because we were made in the image and likeness of God. We would also have to deny the existence of Jesus Christ because there would be no resurrection of the body because it would be pointless.