Some years ago I discovered Catharism whilst reading a book about the Albigensian crusade in the 11th century which was launched by the Catholic church against the Cathars in the Languedoc region.
The crusade ends at Bezier St Mary Magdalene in the citadel a medieval fortress where the Catholics slaughtered nearly 20,000 people in one day both Cathari and Catholics. The ensuing knights had asked the Cisterican Monks leader Arnaud-Amaury, Abbot of Cîteaux leading the crusade how will we know the heretics from our own he replied "Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own".
The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Elsewhere in the town many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice. Arnaud wrote to Pope Innocent III, "Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex.".
Catharism is based on a much older belief system from the Bogomils and Manacheism under a form of dualism.
There are 2 Dieties Rex Mundi (King of the world) is the god of the Old Testament an he is in fact the Devil and the other is the God of Light.
Rex Mundi - The Devil
Created a material world and is evil - He demanded "worship me in big cold buildings every Sunday and offer prayers to me". The God of the Old Testament is all that which is physical, substance, matter, chaotic and powerful.
The God of Light
The bringer of Light, Love, Order and Peace. A being or principle of pure spirit and completely unsullied by the taint of matter. This diety is a Femine diety known a the Shekhinah to Judaism and Christianity.
This entity is composed of five other elements of light:Reason (phase), Mind (heart), Intelligence (idea), Thought, Understanding (meaning).
The Shekhinah can also manifests itself as a form of joy, connected with prophecy and creativity.
They held a belief that our bodies and this world are merely a prison for our souls and therefore since we are made up of light and darkness - we are therefore a battleground for these powers: the soul defines the person, but it is under the influence of both light and dark and when we die we will then enter to the next level and if we have not learnt the lessons here we go around until we may progress to the next level as light to travel through the Universe.
Furthermore Catharism teaches the purpose of our life on Earth is to transcend matter, perpetually renouncing anything connected with the principle of power and thereby attaining union with the principle of love. Perhaps not all of them transcended matter, but Some Cathari also believe our purpose is to reclaim or redeem matter, spiritualising and transforming it.
These beliefs of the God of the Old Testament being evil are in direct opposition with the Catholic Church and to a large part Christianity in General which believes God not only created matter but was born into the material world in Jesus Christ and that's why they carried out the slaughter of of the Albigensian Crusade .
The sun, moon, and stars are all created from light recovered from the World of Darkness. The waxing and waning of the moon is described as the moon filling with light, which passes to the sun, then through the Milky Way, and eventually back to the World of Light.
Light is recovered from out of the material bodies of the male and female evil beings and demons, by causing them to become sexually aroused in greed, towards beautiful images of the beings of light. However, as soon as the light is expelled from their bodies they fall to the earth and are known as fallen angels which are related to the story of the fallen angels in the Book of Enoch and Nephilim described in Genesis (6:1-4). The evil beings continue to swallow up as much of it as they can to keep the light inside of them. This results eventually in the evil beings swallowing huge quantities of light, copulating, and producing Adam and Eve.
Jesus and the resurrection
Jesus was sent by the God of light to awaken Adam and Eve (Humans), and to enlighten us to the true source of the light that is trapped in our material bodies. Adam and Eve, had children and produced more human beings, trapping the light in bodies of mankind throughout human history as I described earlier. Jesus is a manifestation of spirit unbounded by the limitations of matter a sort of divine spirit or feeling manifesting within human beings.
Hell and Purgatory
They rejected the idea of Hell and Purgatory, which were and are dogmas of the Catholic faith. This world is the only hell and there is nothing to fear after death, save perhaps rebirth as it meant they have not been able to transcend matter and must live again through reincarnation.
They agreed largely with the Christian interpretation of the Doctrine of "resurrection" (cryptically referred to in Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2) as a doctrine of the physical raising of a dead body from the grave but not fully due to beliefs of rebirth.
The God of Light has made other attempts also to reveal to mankind the true source of the spiritual light imprisoned within our material bodies.
The Holy Trinity.
The Holy trinity is encompassed in modalistic monarchianism the Father, Resurrected Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons in God Himself.
Cathars did not believe the Bible is wrong. To them it's all about interpretation after all they embraced the Gospel of John. instead it's a story of our struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.
Accept be happy for those that have found their truth - remember this is their truth, an interpretation of the bible as outlined by Martin Luther in the context that each man is entitled to his own interpretation of the scriptures.