Friday, February 20, 2009

The Unforgivable Sin

Growing up I heard, and had, many discussions about the unforgivable sin of scripture.

Mark 3:22-30; Matthew 12:31-32

My friends and I went round and round about what it meant to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

First, we have "Blaspheme"
(bls-fm, blsfm)
v. blas·phemed, blas·phem·ing, blas·phemes
1. To speak of (God or a sacred entity) in an irreverent, impious manner.
2. To revile; execrate.

[Of Course, now I have to look up
execrate (ks-krt)
tr.v. ex·e·crat·ed, ex·e·crat·ing, ex·e·crates
1. To declare to be hateful or abhorrent; denounce.
2. To feel loathing for; abhor.
3. Archaic To invoke a curse on.]

Second, we have "Holy Spirit"
In Christianity the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is the spirit of God. The term Christ (literally, Anointed), is also used to refer to this presence. That is, the Spirit is considered to act in concert with and share an essential nature with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ). The Christian theology of the Holy Spirit, or pneumatolog , was the last piece of Trinitarian theology to be fully explored and developed.

So what we are saying is that if you put a curse on the Holy Spirit, this is the unpardonable sin. What I find interesting is that this has often been interpreted to mean "suicide".

I found it refreshing to hear from one of the bastions of Conservative Orange County Theology - a minister at the Crystal Cathedral remind us that suicide does not fall into this category.

This was extremely powerful in that we are told elsewhere that to blaspheme wo/man (which is what Suicide would seem to be doing - blaspheming self as human) is forgivable. To blaspheme Jesus or God is also forgivable, but the Holy Spirit is something else.

It reminds us that the Holy Spirit is still other than Jesus and God, and yet still the same. Let I look the fool and try to explain the Trinity,
[John Wesley offers this -" I do not mean that it is of importance to believe this or that explication of these words. I know not that any well judging man would attempt to explain them at all. One of the best tracts which that great man, Dean Swift, ever wrote, was his Sermon upon the Trinity. Herein he shows, that all who endeavored to explain it at all, have utterly lost their way; have, above all other persons hurt the cause which they intended to promote; having only, as Job speaks, "darkened counsel by words without knowledge."]
I will still wrestle with the dogma of the unpardonable sin, but freer in knowing that the myth of "suicide" as the unpardonable sin is waning.



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