Monday, June 05, 2006

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

A question frequently encountered by scrupulous Christians of all backgrounds is: "What exactly does 'blaspheming against the Holy Spirit' mean?" This sin is mentioned in St. Luke 12:10: "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit it will not be forgiven him." Our friends in the Diocese of St. Gregory present the standard Orthodox answer in their Q & A on the Holy Spirit:
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not disbelief in the Holy Spirit, His Divinity or His work; nor is it insulting of the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the complete and continuous, lifelong refusal to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the heart. The outcome of such a refusal is lack of repentance from the person’s side and consequently, lack of forgiveness from Almighty God’s side...However, if a person, no matter for how long having rejected the Holy Spirit turns back, accepts Him and repents (even if it were during the last minute of his/her life), they will be accepted by Almighty God.
According to its website, Abuna Yesehaq received the diocese into the Ethiopian (Oriental, or non-Chalcedonian) Orthodox Church in June 2004. The "Q & A" is well worth reading, particularly by Western Rite Orthodox who are preparing for the Feast of Pentecost.

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