Friday, July 12, 2013

What is the sin against the Holy Spirit?

Q: I have a friend asking what it means to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Someone told her 'continuously deny that Jesus is the lord' and I'm wondering if there is more to it. Can you give me some insight?

I'm thinking that doing things 'in His name' that are really for your own glory would qualify, thinking of the 80's televangelists or the Westboro Baptists.

A: First answer: nobody really knows.

Q: Yeah, I want the second answer.

A: Ok, it's going to be paradoxical. Sinning against the Holy Spirit is sinning against the Holy Spirit. Now you're going to want the third answer.

Q: you really are a closet Catholic, aren't you? And yes, I want the third answer

A: I'm out of the closet

Q: First answer is 'nobody knows' second answer is a paradox if the third answer is 'offer it up' I might just give up and go back.

A: Third answer: Okay, in a way it is actually simple. The sin against the Holy Spirit is not trusting in the Holy Spirit. And the reason it is "unforgivable" or whatever is implicit to the case. If you don't trust the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit isn't at work in you. So you are closed off (you have closed yourself off) from the source of forgiveness.

It's like, if you are the only person who can rescue me from a storm, but I won't accept your help, I'm screwed, because I have closed myself off from the one thing that can help me.

[adapted from a recent Facebook chat dialogue. Q: is a parishioner. A: is me. Pastors (or at least I) get asked this question often. It arises out of a reading of Mark 3.29, "But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” For more on this, the Wikipedia entry is quite good,]

1 comment:

  1. So many make this so much harder than it is. So we have a path to Grace and Salvation, but we aren't happy with that. Lets add some layers, a few works based requirements, and maybe add an exclusive membership of our church requirement. Oh yeah, what if we made a specific day of the week that is Holy instead of everyday being blessed. sometimes I wonder why the Almighty doesn't just give up and leave us to our own hubris.