Gnostic communities seem to have operated along similar lines,
regardless of whether they were Valentinians, Cainites, Sethians or
belonged to any other denomination of Gnosticism. Despite being
charged with elitism by the Church Fathers, the Gnostics were surprisingly
egalitarian in most other respects, drawing devotees from all
levels of society. Perhaps the most defining feature of Gnostic groups
was their disregard for authority and any sort of hierarchy.As we have
noted, the Valentinians even went so far as to take it in turns to be
minister during their services, including allowing women to offer the
sacraments; this seems to have been typical of many other groups as
well. Tertullian complains that ‘one does not know who is a catechumen,
who is a believer, they meet with one another (in the house
of assembly), listen to one another and pray with one another’.
Martin, The Gnostics. The first Christian Heretics. p. 58.
Nam stat fua cuiq~ dies, breue et irreparabile tempus.