Blasphemy

liberatedatheist
atheistScience Freak
liberatedatheist's picture
Posts: 137
Joined: 2009-12-08
User is offlineOffline
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?

I Am My God

The absence of evidence IS evidence of absence


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 3388
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
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 asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


kostel25
kostel25's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: 2008-09-04
User is offlineOffline
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
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2484
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
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.

____________________________________________________________
"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.