Bishop of Lyon Disputes with Gnostic Narcissus, pupil of Valentinus.
The early Christians isolated Christianity from all other religions, and from any sense of philosophical Christianity. Classical Gnosticism had an intellectual brand of religious philosophy, just like Modern Theosophy. A central reason, this could not gain traction, is because the Gnostics were intellectual, and education was a luxury of the elite.
When the proto-Orthodox Christians gained imperial support and patronage from the Roman emperors, this sealed their authority. It was the proto-Orthodox Christians who rooted out any of the early unconventional schools of thought, e.g., as argued in Against Heresies. The Hellenes, those Chrestians of the oracular temples, the Ophites and Therapeutae of Alexandria and Greece, the Roman educated elite and the temples, taught of a Virtue and SCIENCE, which they tried to widen the vision of the Christians about. How can the very people whom constructed and passed in secrecy or through discipleship the knowledge possessed by even their Galilean prophet, be subordinated by the new priestly state-religion? The proofs the youth seek, can verily only come from that SCIENCE, and from an intellectual and mature religious philosophy. Christianity has created the false belief that, because Gnosticism was defeated—no “refuted” for certain “errors” not in line with the credo, that this means G n o s t i c i s m or the MYSTERIES are refuted and defeated. We beg to differ.