Calvinism & Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Slain Arminian, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Slain Arminian

    Slain Arminian
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    Matt. 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30 and Luke 12:10 all state that men will be forgiven of all sins except blashemy of the Holy Spirit. If Calvinism is scripturally accurate, does this mean the unelect will be forgiven everything, but blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

    If blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is simply not believing in Christ as many assert, then isn't it ironic that man will be forgiven all of those sins that were under his control and not be forgiven for the one sin he could not control because of his spiritual blindness?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    I think you are misunderstanding both the verse and the sin.

    Both are unrelated to issues of soteriology per se. See the thread in the "Other Religions" thread on the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
     
  3. Slain Arminian

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    Pastor Larry,

    I read through the thread you suggested. Thanks for your opinion, but that thread really didn't explore the context. Yes, those men accused Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebub, and then afterwards Jesus gives the warning about committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Because of thejuxtaposition of these two things, most of us infer that these men probably did commit this sin or were getting very close. But different people interpret these scriptures differently.

    Some like you interpret it to be the attributing of Jesus' casting out devils to Beelzebub, others see it as a willful, continous rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior. I put three links down, the first two running along your line of thought, the last one, running along the lines I mentioned-- simply unbelief in Christ. I believe this one makes the most sense. If it were a single act, then why not hold that any manner of speaking against the Holy Spirit were blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Didn't people continue to cast out demons after Christ's death and resurrection through the Holy Spirit as a wintness to Christ as the Messiah?

    http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/bible_says/single_questions/unpardonable_129541.html
    http://www.biblepath.com/salvation11.html
    http://www.billygraham.org/spiritualhelp/answers.asp?show=oneq&rside=onecat&q=27

    Anyway, plenty of theologians see it as the very specific sin that you cited in that other thread you mentioned.


    But my question was in regard to whether the unelect would be forgiven all sin, but blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

    If the sin can't be commited now, then that question is mute now. But it certainly wasn't mute when Jesus declared that there was an unpardonable sin. And this question is very much related to sotiology, if one believes that noone will go to heaven with unforgiven sin. So, in the schema of Calvinism, wouldn't it be ironic if the only sin the unelect were not forgiven for was the one sin that could not help but to commit?
     
  4. Harald

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    Hi. The Bible teaches Christ's blood remitted all sins of God's elect. Without shedding of blood there's no remission the Bible says. The Bible says the blood of the new covenant was shed for MANY, namely the elect of God. The blood of Christ was not poured out for the non-elect, according to the word of God. If that blood was not poured out/shed for any but the elect and without this shedding (Christ's shedding)there is no remission, how can any of the non elect have any sin forgiven before the holy and righteous God? since no purging blood was shed for them. They cannot remit sins through their efforts, works, deeds, wishes or desires, nor by their decisions. How then, if precious blood of Christ was not shed for them, the only blood which propitiates God and removes sins? Has God revealed some other way of remission of sins than the blood of Christ? Not that I know of. Then those for whom this blood was not shed are definitely without hope and will perish eternally under God's righteous judgment against sin and iniquity. None will ever be found in the lake burning with fire and brimstone for whom the blood of Christ Jesus was poured out on Calvary, and these had been elected of God's sovereign will unto salvation, from everlasting. They are saved by His grace, in and by Christ Jesus the mediator, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. The elect are totally incapable of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which by the way is NOT persistent unbelief with regard to the Gospel. Amen.

    Harald
     
  5. Slain Arminian

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    Harald,

    That was really nice, but you never answered the question. You ignored it or evaded it quite splendidly though.

    What is your definition of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? You never defined it. What was Jesus talking about when He said, "And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy of the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come." (NIV Matt. 12:31-31).

    Mark 3:28-29 puts it this way: "I tell you the truth all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven. But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven: he is guilty of an eternal sin."

    I didn't post the question about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because I was asking what it was, though I am open to learning any new insights into the matter. I wanted to know how it fit in a Calvinistic scheme. Don't bother avoiding the question by saying the premise of the question is all wrong or that these verses were taken out of context. If you think so, explain how it is.

    Harald, based upon the argument of your previous post, the only logical fix for this delimma is to believe that all of the unelect and only the unelect will commit this offense; for all other sins will be forgiven men, and as you said all of the elect for whom Jesus died will be forgiven.
     
  6. Chris Temple

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    You seem to be weaving a web of confusion where none exists. Is not rejection of the Spirit's witness of Christ unforgiven? Whether Calvinist or Arminian, the sin remains.

    From FULL Calvinist, John Gill:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> And whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man, &c.] By whom is meant, not any man, as Grotius thought, but the Lord Jesus Christ, so often called "the son of man", on account of his human nature, in which he appeared in great meanness and obscurity. Now many might, through ignorance of him, thinking him to be a mere man, and taking up with common fame, speak evil of him, deny him to be the Messiah, reproach him for the meanness of his parentage and education, and for the freedom of his conversation with publicans and sinners; and do many things contrary to his name, as Saul, whilst a Pharisee did, and thought he ought to do; and yet be afterwards convinced of their mistakes, and be brought to a sense and acknowledgment of them, and obtain pardoning grace and mercy, as Saul did, though a blasphemer; and who is an instance of what is here promised,

    it shall be forgiven him through the grace of God, the blood and mediation of Christ, under the application of the blessed Spirit.

    But whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, in the sense before declared,

    it shall not be forgiven him: not because the Holy Ghost is greater than Christ; or for want of efficacy in the blood of Christ; or because God cannot pardon it; but because such persons wilfully, maliciously, and obstinately oppose the Spirit of God, without whom there can be no application of pardon made; and remain in hardness of heart, are given up to a reprobate mind, and die in impenitence and unbelief, and so there is no forgiveness for them,

    neither in this world, nor in the world to come; that is; they shall never be forgiven, see #Mr 3:29. The distinction here used, does not refer to a common one among the Jews, of the Jewish state and the times of the Messiah; but to the present state of life, and that which will be after, or upon death: and it does not suppose there may be forgiveness of other sins, though not of this, in the other world; but strikes at a notion the Jews had, that there are some sins, which repentance and the day of atonement expiate in this life; but there are others, which repentance and the day of atonement do not expiate; and these a man’s death expiates, or makes atonement for {a}. The form of confession used by sick persons is the following {b};

    “I confess before thee, O Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, that my cure is in thy hands, and my death is in thy hands; if it be thy good pleasure, heal me with a perfect healing: but if I die, hxylo yttym aht, "let my death be for the pardon", forgiveness, and atonement of all the sins, iniquities, and transgressions, which I have sinned, acted perversely in, and transgressed before thee; and give me my portion in paradise, and justify me "in the world to come", which is hidden for the righteous.”

    But the sin against the Holy Ghost is such, as is not forgiven, neither before, nor at, nor after death, nor by it: all sins that are forgiven, are forgiven in this world, and that perfectly and at once; and all that are forgiven in this world, there will be a manifestation and declaration of the pardon of them in another; but such sins as are not forgiven here, there will be no declaration of the pardon of them hereafter. In short, the sense is, that the sin against the Holy Ghost never has forgiveness; it is not pardoned now, and consequently there will be no declaration of the pardon of it hereafter. The Jews use the phrase in the same sense {c}; a certain sick man said to his son,

    “give me water, and such certain food; but if not, I will not "forgive thee, neither in this world, nor in the world to come".”

    That is, I will never forgive thee. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And Reformed Commentators Jamieson-Faussett-Brown:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come—In Mark the language is awfully strong, "hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation"—or rather, according to what appears to be the preferable though very unusual reading, "in danger of eternal guilt"—a guilt which he will underlie for ever. Mark has the important addition (#Mr 3:30), "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit." (See JFB on "Mt 10:25"). What, then, is this sin against the Holy Ghost—the unpardonable sin? One thing is clear: Its unpardonableness cannot arise from anything in the nature of sin itself; for that would be a naked contradiction to the emphatic declaration of #Mt 12:31, that all manner of sin is pardonable. And what is this but the fundamental truth of the Gospel? (See #Ac 13:38,39 Ro 3:22,24 1Jo 1:7, etc.). Then, again when it is said (#Mt 12:32), that to speak against or blaspheme the Son of man is pardonable, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not pardonable, it is not to be conceived that this arises from any greater sanctity in the one blessed Person than the other. These remarks so narrow the question that the true sense of our Lord’s words seem to disclose themselves at once. It is a contrast between slandering "the Son of man" in His veiled condition and unfinished work—which might be done "ignorantly, in unbelief" (#1Ti 1:13), and slandering the same blessed Person after the blaze of glory which the Holy Ghost was soon to throw around His claims, and in the full knowledge of all that. This would be to slander Him with eyes open, or to do it "presumptuously." To blaspheme Christ in the former condition—when even the apostles stumbled at many things—left them still open to conviction on fuller light: but to blaspheme Him in the latter condition would be to hate the light the clearer it became, and resolutely to shut it out; which, of course, precludes salvation. (See on #Heb 10:26-29). The Pharisees had not as yet done this; but in charging Jesus with being in league with hell they were displaying beforehand a malignant determination to shut their eyes to all evidence, and so, bordering upon, and in spirit committing, the unpardonable sin. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
     
  7. Slain Arminian

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    I like the Jamieson-Faussett-Brown quote; this is where they put on their Arminian hats:

    To blaspheme Christ in the former condition—when even the apostles stumbled at many things—left them still open to conviction on fuller light: but to blaspheme Him in the latter condition would be to hate the light the clearer it became, and resolutely to shut it out; which, of course, precludes salvation. (See on #Heb 10:26-29).

    So, these reformists, at least here, concur with the notion that men are open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit unless they've committed the unpardonable.

    [ January 09, 2002: Message edited by: Slain Arminian ]
     
  8. Harald

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    Sir (Slain A.). I should have specified that I did not specifically answer your inquiry re. the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What I wrote were some thoughts that came to mind as I read the thread as a whole. You ask my definition of the blasphemy of the Spirit. It is penned down in God’s word, in the Gospel accounts. Did not some already answer it, it being attributing the obvious work of the Holy Spirit to Beelsebul. I am not a Calvinist, so you would have to ask some who calls himself Calvinist about that thing with the Calvinist scheme. The Bible does not explicitly say all of those going into perdition have blasphemed the Spirit. Do you find that in the word of God? Those who go there, or, are put there by the Judge of all the earth, go there on account of unforgiven sins, but most specifically on account of Adam’s sin. For this see Rom. 5:12-19. On account of Adam’s sin men are born spiritually dead, under just condemnation. If that condemnation be not lifted off by grace of God in justification (by Christ’s obedience, Rom. 5:19) a man will inherit the lake of fire. The so called rejection of the Gospel is not the basis for men going into perdition. As the Bible teaches the basis for some men’s going to heaven is Christ’s obedience, just as much the basis for some men’s going to perdition is Adam’s disobedience, his sinning in Eden. This false doctrine that the so called rejection of the Gospel sends men to perdition is grounded in false interpretation of the Bible and a false understanding of grace and of the Gospel of God. Those who say ”rejecting the Gospel” sends men to the burnings most often tend to say the Gospel is ”an offer”. They also tend to say Salvation is an offer. But they won’t find the word offer in the NT in soteriological contexts. The nearest I come to think of is God’s condemnation of such trickery – ”For we are not as the many who keep on hawking (huckstering, peddling, adulterating for gain, trading in, offering for sale) the word of *God, but to the contrary as out of purity, but as of God, in the sight of *God, in {and by} Christ we are speaking.” (2Cor. 2:17, own translation). With regard to the Gospel of Christ the Bible does not speak of offering salvation or grace. It talks about PREACHING the Gospel, it talks about EVANGELIZING, which means to proclaim, or, announce the Evangel (Glad Tidings). It also talks about preaching Christ and Him crucified. Someone said quite wisely (in my opinion) that the preaching of the biblical Gospel is the preaching of the particulars of the everlasting covenant. It is indeed sad that many keep on hawking Jesus as if He was some cheap newspaper, by offering Him in a ”take it or leave it” kind of manner. Both Arminians so called as well as Calvinists so called are guilty of this offense. The Holy Spirit has not called these hawkers, they run but have not been sent (cf. 1John 4:1). I know this got off the original topic but yet I feel it might be necessary to say it. Still men are held accountable if they believe not God’s witness concerning His Son, Jesus. But the non-elect are not held accountable for not believing on the Lord Christ in the sense the elect are given (John 6:45) to believe in Him (at Gospel conversion), because He did not die for them (the non-elect). How could they be accountable for not believing in Him with a saving faith (so called) when in fact He did not redeem them in the first place. But men as men (non-elect men) are responsible to believe the Bible’s testimony regarding what Christ did (does and will do) and who He is, because God has testified it concerning His Son. The elect will all be given, in grace of God, to believe in Christ according to the working of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:19). Amen.


    Harald
     
  9. Slain Arminian

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    Harald, you make some good points above.

    I don't believe every nonelect individual commits blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, but I believe this one sin shows that salvation is conditional upon what man does or doesn't do. I agree that Christ finished the work of salvation on the cross and there is no other means of atonement. But the way I interpret these Scriptures is that Christ's forgivness is conditional, just as Adam's opportuniy for immortality was conditional. Notice how Jesus said all sins would be forgiven men. Then, the very next sentence He says that blaspphemy of the Holy Spirit is the exception and that it is the eternal,unpardonable sin.

    I don't know of anyone who believes Jesus was saying that all men's sins will be forgiven except those who have commited the unpardonable. Nor do I know anyone who believes Jesus was saying that all the nonelect commit this offense. What other logical explanation is there for how these verses appear right next to one another than to say that salvation is conditional? If there is one I would like to hear it.

    You're right that so-called Arminians and so called Calvinists have their problems. These labels don't easily fit; I've heard some high Calvinists accuse the low Calvinsists as being Arminian as if it were a bad word. I just hope this forum's name doesn't change to Calvinism to ******** :D But the consequences of this sin demonstrate IMHO that God's salvation is an offer, an offer that He will only withdraw if one goes so far as to commit the unpardonable.

    [ January 10, 2002: Message edited by: Slain Arminian ]
     
  10. Harald

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    It was interesting to read your contemplations, Slain A. As myself concerns you are entitled to your opinions on this board as well as all others are, and as myself. Yet I believe the Bible teaches that before Almighty God men ought to be scriptural in their thinking when it comes to spiritual matters, things of the Bible, such as we now are discussing in this thread. One passage which I believe teaches this is Acts 17:29-31, that all men everywhere (as subjects of the Creator)are responsible to repent of any idolatry, misconceptions of God and His dealings with His creation and creatures. This repentance in that context I believe is enjoined upon men because the glory of God's infinite attributes demands it.
    You affirm salvation is an offer. I will have to disagree with you most definitely, because I believe God's inspired word also thus disagrees with you. If you have time and desire, may I suggest you give all NT passages where the word "Offer" is used in the immediate context where salvation or grace is discussed. Also the word "condition" or "conditional", or, "prerequisite" (as some use instead) in the same way as offer. If you find any let us discuss again.

    Harald
     
  11. Slain Arminian

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    I haven't been able to find any explicit verses like that. But that debate is raging in other threads, where Calvinists do quite well in holding their own. Here, I'm asking Calvinists to define this sin and explain how it relates to predestination and forgiveness.

    [ February 05, 2002: Message edited by: Slain Arminian ]
     
  12. Slain Arminian

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    I'm taking this back to the top. Although this question has been evaded and then ignored, it is a good question. And no, I'm not spinning a web of counfusion. The confusion only comes by trying to answer how these Scriptures teach anything other than that salvation is conditional. Thank you.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    The question has been neither evaded nor ignored. It has been answered. You misunderstand the issue and draw unwarranted conclusions. You are seeking an issue where there is not one.
     
  14. Eladar

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    Jesus states that Satan will try his best to deceive the elect, but this is impossible.

    Therefore, according to Jesus, it would be impossible for a member of the elect to commit the unforgiveable sin(Either that or Jesus is a liar, and Jesus must always be truthful).

    Satan is trying to fight a battle he cannot win. He is fighting the long defeat.

    [ February 06, 2002: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  15. Slain Arminian

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    The question has been neither evaded nor ignored. It has been answered. You misunderstand the issue and draw unwarranted conclusions. You are seeking an issue where there is not one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, the question hasn't been answered. Tell me which post you think answered it. Your posts were simply a run-around to another thread. After visting that thread it neither answered my question nor had any consensus of defining blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in the first place. Despite it's definition, I see these verses connected to it a weak spot in the Calvinist's armor. My Sunday School class is studying Matthew. We're not quite to the twelfth chapther. They're mostly Calvinistic in view; I hope they can provide a better understanding to how they interpret those verses.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Slain Arminian:
    No, the question hasn't been answered. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The answer is: The unpardonable sin was attributing the casting out of demons by Christ to the power of Satan. It is not about Calvinism and has nothing to do with it. When you study the context, it becomes pretty clear what the issue is. All sins are forgivable except the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is the "unpardonable sin." It has no relevance to Calvinism.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Despite it's definition, I see these verses connected to it a weak spot in the Calvinist's armor.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't understand what the weak point is. You have not argued your point very well here. You have failed to properly identify the sin and then built an idea (that is weak in itself) on a misidentified interpretation.
     
  17. Slain Arminian

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    My point is that Jesus said that all sins, including blasphemy of the Father and Son, would forgiven men except the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This sin would not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. These verses make perfect sense from an Arminian perspective, because it illustrates how salvation is open to anyone who has not committed this offense, but for those who have committed this offense all hope is lost. Here is an example of where a man's particular sin removes him from the possibility of salvation, for this sin alone will there be no forgivness. My point was clear enough unless you just didn't want to see it. It's too bad this thread had to take on such a negative tone.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I don't know how much more to say this but you have still missed the point of the passage. It is talking about forgiveness and saying that all sins can be forgiven but the unpardonable sin. It does not mean that they are forgiven for that would contradict clear biblical revelation. It is unforgiveable to attribute the works of Christ through the Spirit to Satan because it is a conscious willful rejection of the claims of Christ as witnessed by the Pharisees. It does not deal with mere refusing to accept Christ. That was not the issue in the passage.

    There is not a negative tone in this thread. It seems to me that the question was answered and you simply didn't like the answer. That is fine. I would encourage to avail yourself of a number of good works on both Matthew and the Holy Spirit and see what the writers are saying about it. The "negativity" is frustration over the same issue being repeated when it has been answered.

    [ February 07, 2002: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  19. Ray Berrian

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    Deleted for irrelevance to the topic. Try again to relate it to this thread or start one of your own.

    [ February 08, 2002: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  20. Eric B

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    This just dawned on me as well, as it pertains to the election/free-will debate. Jesus speaks of an unpardonable sin, and also statements like whoever betrays Him, it would have been better for him if he wasn't born.
    But to the "non-elect", all of their sins are technically "unpardonable", because Christ did not die for them. It would have been better for ALL of them if thay hadn't been born (that's the whole point in the opposition to reprobation/preterition). So then why this specification then? Is He just proclaiming to those Pharisees that they are non-elect? (Since it has been said that the preaching to the non-elect is only to pronounce their judgement)? Is the unpardonable sin ultimately simply being of the non-elect? (Blasphemy of the Spirit is said to stem from hardening (of the heart), and in the Romans 9 debate, "hardening" is associated with the reprobation process ascribed to all "non-elect").
    Once in Hell, it won't make a difference that the person's sins were unpardonable, or were pardonable, but the pardon wasn't "cashed in" (just like the charge leveled at unlimited atonement). These are more points that make it look like everyone who will be in Hell does not fit in one single category of simply "not chosen". This seems to be what Slain Arminian is getting at.
     

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