Manicheans – Mani
The Manichean’s were the followers Mani. In about 252AD, Mani, a Persian, mixed Christianity with Gnosticism and
other Persian elements. He stated his teaching came from Christ and the Persian Magi.
Mani taught there are two gods; one evil and one good.2 Jesus was not a real man [did not have flesh].1 Jesus came
to reconcile man to Satan, the dark god4 but Jesus did not undergo punishment on the cross.6 Satan is the god of
Moses and the prophets.7 Man does not has free will,8 some are born with their nature totally depraved,9 while
others are born nearly perfect.9 He taught reincarnation based on Karma.5 Mani said he was the Comforter
(Paraclete) and also the “that which is perfect” of 1 Corinthians 13: 3. Mani taught Vegetarianism,10 Marriage, and
begetting children are sins,10 and that there was a purgatory for purifying souls.5 After being purged of sins in the
sun, the souls fly to the moon [Purgatory].5 The soul of man is from light and his body from darkness.2
St. Augustine was a Manichean for eight years before becoming a Christian. After becoming a Christian, he
taught free will (see: City of God). It was not until 417 AD, while debating with Pelegius, that he began teaching
what today’s Calvinists describe as the doctrine of “total depravity” and the “bondage of the will.”
It seems that in reaction to Pelegian doctrine that “man could be sinless from birth,” Augustine went too far the
Archelaus, AD 33 –
The Judges concluded against Mani that man has free will; so if Mani can sin, his spirit can’t be an
emanation from God. The angels, and Satan (dark, evil god) are not of God’s essence.
Augustine recorded that Mani taught when the sun and moon have liberated all the light they are able, there
will be a fire kindled on the earth which will burn for 1,468 years, after which, there will be no light left. The King
of Darkness and his hosts will thereupon withdraw into the pit prepared for them. Mani taught, unlike the
world, man was the created by demons. The aim of demons is to imprison in man, through the propagation of
the race, as much as possible of the light, and so to hinder the separating process by the sun and the moon.
Manicheans teach salvation comes from rigorous asceticism, and by the practice of certain ceremonial
observances. Manicheans deny the saving efficacy of baptism but believe Salvation consists simply in the
liberation of the light from the darkness. In the case of the Elect this takes place immediately after death; in the
case of adherents who have not practiced the prescribed forms of asceticism, it takes place only after
considerable torment [purgatory]. In the case of the ordinary sensual man, there is no deliverance.