Blasphemy

liberatedatheist
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Blasphemy

Matthew 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come."

So I'm new to RRS and was interested in the Blasphemy Challenge. I was wondering that given the trinity and the supposed equivalency of the father son and holy spirit, why is blasphemy against the holy spirit distinct from blasphemy against any other member of the trinity? What is so special about the holy spirit that we can't be forgiven for talking against it? What could prompt Matthew to make that distinction?

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iwbiek
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liberatedatheist

liberatedatheist wrote:

Matthew 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the one to come."

So I'm new to RRS and was interested in the Blasphemy Challenge. I was wondering that given the trinity and the supposed equivalency of the father son and holy spirit, why is blasphemy against the holy spirit distinct from blasphemy against any other member of the trinity? What is so special about the holy spirit that we can't be forgiven for talking against it? What could prompt Matthew to make that distinction?

the context of the verse makes it fairly clear.  in most christian theology (and jewish, for that matter), the holy spirit is the active agent through which god influences the world.  it's identified in the hebrew bible as god's ruah or breath that he breathed into adam.  in christian theology of course it's one of the personalities of the trinity.

in this passage of matthew, jesus uses god's holy spirit to exorcize a demon.  the jews present immediately accuse him of using demonic powers.  so, judging from the context, blaspheming the holy spirit is, quite simply, attributing the works of the holy spirit to a demonic force.  there is no explanation in the text as to why this sin is unforgivable.

of course, this doesn't jive with the pauline ideas of substitutional atonement and god's boundless forgiveness, which is why pastors and theologians do so many intellectual backflips to explain it.  one of my old pastors used to say that blaspheming the holy spirit was not accepting the forgiveness of christ, so of course it was unforgiveable.  this is quite tidy, but has no support in the text.  other pastors say that because this saying preceded christ's sacrifice, it is no longer valid.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


kostel25
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Speaking of "blasphemy" -

Speaking of "blasphemy" - I've been wanting to get this bumper sticker made forever, maybe this Cmass I will get around to doing it .. "Blasphemy is a victimless crime"

 

Smiling

 

 

What's the difference between Texas and Saudi Arabia? In Texas they execute you for murder, in Saudi Arabia they excecute you for having a Xmass tree.


pauljohntheskeptic
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kostel25 wrote:Speaking of

kostel25 wrote:

Speaking of "blasphemy" - I've been wanting to get this bumper sticker made forever, maybe this Cmass I will get around to doing it .. "Blasphemy is a victimless crime"

 

Smiling

 

 

Sounds like a great logo to me. Oh wait, I seem to have it.

I think you can find bumper stickers premade like that online I've seen somewhere, just Google it in shopping.

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"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.