Different is Not Blasphemy

One of the biggest problems with Christianity in politics is not Godliness vs ungodliness, but rather that politics distorts the idea of good for many and push a lot of Christians with strong political beliefs to commit acts of evil against other Christians. Church and country politics is perpetuating the misuse of the word blasphemy.

Having a disagreement about what scripture says is not acting against God. Additionally, we all learn differently and God reveals truth to us in different ways. Those differences should be welcomed and should be used to strengthen our faith and aid in our effort to mature as Christians.

Mark 3:23-29
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

Luke 12:8-10
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. 9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

According to my concordance blasphemy comes from three Greek words, blasphemia, blasphemeo, and blasphemos. What these mean are to speak evil of, slander, curse, abuse, insult, or hurt.

My mother in law (teacher of bible study for 20+ years) believes that blasphemy is attributing to Satan that which belongs to God. Theologian Adam Clarke believes this unforgivable form of blasphemy against the holy spirit is ascribing the miracles of Christ to the works of the devil. Adam Clarke claims that no believer need be worried about committing such a sin because no believer can. This idea that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not possible for a believer is dangerous, because it allows a believer to attack another without fear of consequence. I challenge this thought by saying that all who believe in Jesus Christ are miracles of Christ and are works of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, any act against or slander of a believer who speaks from the Holy Spirit within them is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

The blasphemer looks at what is good and claims it comes from Satan. The religious look at what is good and claims it comes from their God. The irreligious looks at what is good and claims it comes from people, nature or no one.

These very different perspectives make it difficult to agree on who gets the credit when there is good in the world. It also makes it challenging to determine what is good.

When people who claim to be Christians call acts or ideas supported by scripture and the Holy Spirit heresy or blasphemy, as many political Christians are doing with the current Pope, they muddy the waters further on what is good. They also risk being the heretic or blasphemer themselves. They risk the most severe of all punishments from God, unforgiveness. Jesus said only one thing is unforgiveable, and that is someone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit. This was said while Pharisees were claiming things he was doing were evil or from the devil.

This risk is not worth taking. If you are a Christian calling the acts of another believer satanic or evil, blasphemy or heresy; I call on you to stop. I say this to you because you are important to me. I don’t want a single one of you to lose God’s gift of grace and mercy, freely offered to every man and woman.

Only God knows if one is truly blaspheming the Holy Spirit, but I have real concerns about someone who believes it is worth the risk to make such a judgement.

There are at least four possibilities why someone would take this risk.

  1. They don’t realize they are doing it. They believe the word blasphemy is just another tool for winning an argument. This word is slanderous and evil when used to win an argument. It is intended to make someone look bad and to win support for what you believe. This is what the pharisees did, and this is what many are doing today.
  2. They believe they know what only God can know, that which exists in the heart (Psalm 44:21, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:8). This would be arrogant and foolish.
  3. They don’t actually believe in a God and say they do solely for personal benefit. This would make supporting such a person a great tragedy for a believer. This lie would be a sin against God and neighbor, since it hurts both. It isn’t an unforgivable sin to be lead astray by false teachers, but I wouldn’t want to have to explain to God why I didn’t choose wisely who to follow.
  4. They are concerned more people will be harmed by their silence. These people will not bring out the blasphemy or heretic words unless there is no other choice, and only after great careful consideration of the consequences. The study and biblical support and personal prayer required for this choice should make this a very rare and a personally excruciating event. Speaking bad of another believer shouldn’t be done lightly or easily.

Unfortunately, people calling each other blasphemer and heretic is a lot more common than it should be. This makes it so believers are struggling to understand what is good. This in turn makes it impossible for unbelievers to understand what we believe is good. The true blasphemer will use this confusion to benefit personally, while losing their inheritance promised to them after death.

The personal gain is not worth it, please resist and please encourage others to resist. It isn’t worth becoming the blasphemer and taking that risk shows a lack of a healthy fear of God. I hope you decide not to listen to anyone willing to take that risk unless they supply reasoning showing great care and consideration to the Word of God. Quoting a scripture or two should not be enough, they must have a great deal of evidence. The word of God is full of support for ideas, if something is only said once or contradicts an idea said multiple times it is likely a flaw in translation.

Take great care before calling another believer a blasphemer for disagreeing with you. A believer has the Holy Spirit inside them. If what they are doing or saying is being driven by the Holy Spirit you are potentially blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

Christians can disagree about specifics of doctrine and belief without demonizing each other. This is prevalent in politics, but it does not belong in Christianity.

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