I believe my remarks showed clearly that I was referring to Orthodox Christianity, an orthodoxy based upon the results of the debates in the Council of Nicea.
Early Christian heterodoxies e.g., Gnostic, Arianism were virtually snuffed out in most places and often used as sacred texts writings not incorporated into the Bible, so the cannons of such sects are virtually unknown to most Christians throughout history.
In 367 C.E. the Archbishop of Alexandria, Athanasius wrote an Easter letter that condemned heretics and their, “apocryphal books to which they attribute antiquity and give the names of saints.” Bishop Theodore, the head of the Pachomian monasteries had the letter translated into Coptic and had it sent to the monasteries and told them it was the law. Most probably because the monks were heretics or were influenced greatly by the books.
Early in the fifth century, Shenoutte, Abbot of the White Monasteries attacked a group of “heretics” at Pneueit, for not accepting the command of Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria these heretics were referred to by Cyril as “kingless”…He threatened the heretics and said “I shall make you acknowledge the archbishop Cyril or else the sword will wipe out most of you and moreover those of you who are spared will go into exile.” He seized their books, “full of abomination and every act of magic.” It is clear that these were Nag Hammadi texts, and the Thomas gospel were perceived as a direct threat to the organization of Mother Church at least back as early as the time of Tertullian and Irenaeus in the middle of the second century C.E. and that their hiding in a jar was meant to preserve them from the long arm of the Bishop of Rome.
Orthodox Jews and orthodox Christians insist that a chasm separates humanity from God, in that God is apart from, not a part of humanity.
For orthodox Christians only Jesus shares the apotheosis. Many Gnostics considered “self-knowledge is knowledge of God; the self and the divine are identical.” This statement is the primary heresy to Christianity as we know it today
The Gnostics, especially whose leaders rejected the path of “hierarchical” Christianity, viz., that which is now considered orthodox Christianity essentially believed in “Tut tvam asi” the ancient Sanskrit saying, from the Chandogya Upanishad, which says "You are it" or "thou art that". That divinity which you seek outside, and which you first become aware of because you recognize it outside, is actually your innermost being.
It's not a nice thing to say; for it's not good for institutions if people find it's all within them... it is the God within you coming out... and blasphemy to orthodox Christianity. It was this belief in self-apotheosis, and denial by the Gnostics for the need of a hierarchical system of the faith that drove the Orthodox Christians to persecute them after the Second Century AD, as illustrated above.
As I said earlier, the problem, or distance between the church and the words of Jesus are the difference between the connotation... the spirit of the word, and the denotation... meaning it is a hard fact. This is the basis for the Christian Church, the historical Jesus. But His words, even in the Gospel of Thomas have to be seen as their connotation... the spirit of the meaning... and the pointing of a way to lead a good life and to seek the transcendent. This was and is the religious part of the message, a way to a truly religious or transcendent experience.
Orthodox Christianity indicates that one finds God only through Jesus, and in this contemporary meaning, implies that one finds Jesus only through the Church.
But the Gnostic Thomas text indicates a different inference very clearly:
Thomas II: 20. Saying (3) “Jesus said, ‘ If those who lead you say to you, “See, the kingdom is in the sky, then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea, then the fish will precede you.’ Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father.”
And Saying (113) His Disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?” <Jesus said> “It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘here it is’ or ‘there it is’. Rather the kingdom of the father is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it.”
In the Gnostic gospel according to Thomas, Jesus says, "cleave a piece of wood, I am there; lift up the stone and you will find me there.” in this manner has the historical Jesus identified himself with the Christ... or Buddha consciousness. He is living in terms, not of the ego, but of the Christ, seeing the ubiquity in all of the radiance of that which is the deepest center of being within you……and you wont find that in the orthodoxy of Christianity; too bad, for it works....hhhmmm, maybe that's why it isn't part of the orthodoxy?
One text, referred to by the LA Times as "an absolute Gold mine of Gnosticism" is "The Nag Hammadi Library" 3rd Revised Edition, James M. Robinson, General Editor....... That is the text from which the information presented in parargraphs 3 and 4 are drawn.