One of the most striking verses in the Christian bible for me was found in Mathew 12. I won’t quote the verse here but it basically says there is one sin that will NEVER be forgiven and that is “blasphemy against the Spirit”. Since I have come to understand that Christianity is all about forgiveness this verse was very loud to my ears. Let’s study the concept of blasphemy.
What is blasphemy? Here is a common definition:
blas⋅phe⋅my /blæsfəmi:/ — noun
expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred
That is a pretty plain one but I believe gets to the heart of the matter. The question is disrespect but whose version of God and just what is disrespect?
Blasphemy has come to have hundreds of different interpretations over the centuries.
- Some believe that just saying the words “God D**m” is blasphemy and anyone saying those words can never get into heaven. If that is the case then only a very small minority of us will see the pearly gates. I don’t curse as a regular thing but I do have my rare outbursts as most everyone does. But I personally don’t believe that God will damn us to an eternity of agony just for using a cuss word.
- Some believe it is accusing Jesus Christ of being demon-possessed instead of Spirit-filled. I think this one is pretty much related to the times and not so much today.
- Some today believe that blasphemy would be attributing a miracle of a redeemed person’s changed life to Satan’s power rather than to the effects of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I surprisingly have been personally exposed to this one in that when I said I believed the Holy Spirit reached me, the first thing a clergy said was “How do you know it wasn’t the devil”. I was utterly dumbstruck by those words.
- Others say just not believing in Jesus is blasphemy.
Since these biblical words are so vague there are hundreds of different interpretations starting from the early Christians all the way up to the current day theologians. Einstein was quoting Occam’s Razor when he said the simplest answer if usually the correct answer. I recently came across an Amish interpretation and that is blasphemy against the Spirit that seems to be as simple as it can get. This particular Amish person said
“blasphemy is speaking for God”.
In my mind that means putting words in God’s mouth that were never there in the first place. Could it really be that simple? Could God be saying he wants his presence to be individually felt by each of us by looking into our own hearts and not just listening to others opinions about him.
It doesn’t take a serious theologian to understand that speaking for God is how the majority of current religious doctrine has been formed. One person expanding/explaining what he thinks God means. I don’t know the simple answer to what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit means so I will kind of discount these particular words as not being a major part of my personal belief system. To me God will remain all about of hope and forgiveness…