Charlie's Blog: February 2020


The Unforgivable Sin

Then was offered to him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, so that he spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed, and said: Is not this the son of David? But the Pharisees hearing it, said: This man casteth not out the devils but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Or how can any one enter into the house of the strong, and rifle his goods, unless he first bind the strong? and then he will rifle his house. He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.

Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

The unforgivable sin strikes fear into everyone who hears about it. We comfort ourselves with the knowledge of God's mercy and forgiveness, so the notion that we can do something to put ourselves beyond the reach of God's forgiveness is unsettling. But this fear is a good thing because it shows that we are not lost yet. Those guilty of the unforgivable sin do not have this fear. This is because the unforgivable sin is fundamentally an obstinacy that puts one beyond God's reach. We know this obstinacy as agnosticism.

When Jesus performs the miracle of casting out the demons, He was providing empirical proof of His divinity and power. This is the first and most basic way of knowing the truth. We observe things with our senses and see things with our own eyes. The Pharisees both heard about and saw the miracles being performed in their midst. The first impulse would be to deny they were taking place, but these miracles of Jesus were undeniable. Unable to deny the empirical evidence before them, they tried their next trick--irrationality.

The Pharisees ascribed to Jesus the power of the Devil to cast out other demons. Jesus did what He did as a trick to beguile the people into error. Jesus resorted to the second way of knowing the truth to refute the Pharisees which is logic and reason. We know this as common sense. A house divided against itself cannot stand, so Jesus was showing to them the foolishness of their error. Devils don't cast out devils. Then, Jesus gave them the warning about the unforgivable sin.

The third way of knowing the truth is by direct and divine inspiration. This comes by way of the Holy Spirit working in our hearts and souls. If you can see with your eyes and reason with your brain, you can feel within your soul the moving of the Spirit of God. This is what was happening in the midst of these Pharisees. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus knew they were resisting the Spirit of Truth. This was dangerous.

The danger of this resistance comes because there is no fourth way of knowing the truth. When you resist empirical reality, common sense, and the Holy Spirit moving in your soul, what is left? What else can God do to reach you? You are damned.

This obstinacy surrounds us today in the form of relativism and agnosticism. The agnostic denies not just the truth but the ability to even know the truth. Pontius Pilate displayed this when he derisively asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Obviously, the man knew about philosophy being an educated Roman and considered it a waste of time. Truth Himself was in front of Pilate, and Pilate could feel it in his soul. But he resisted and condemned Jesus to death. Tradition holds that Pilate would later die by an act of suicide. It should be noted that despair is another form of resistance to the Holy Spirit.

It is one thing to not know something. It is another thing to know something incorrectly. But it is pure foolishness to declare that nothing can be known. This declaration puts you beyond God's reach. The atheist is a mistaken fool, but he can be reached. The agnostic and the relativist can never be reached. They can't be shown anything. You cannot reason with them. And God Himself cannot overcome the resistance in the agnostic's heart to the truth.

Jesus gives us a clue to how to defeat the agnostic with His analogy to the house divided. The Pharisees offered a self-refuting argument. Likewise, agnostics offer their own self-refuting arguments. They assert the truth that truth can't be known. How can we know that we can't know? This is nonsense. You can't use the thing that you are denying in the denial of that thing.

The divided house thinking pervades all relativism and agnosticism. They undercut themselves with their sophisticated arguments that seem clever at first but are self-refuting. This is because all knowledge rests upon two presuppositions. The truth exists, and we can know it. The agnostic and the relativist deny both. This means we can ignore them and everything they say. Or, we can simply reduce their self-defeating foolishness with mockery and snark. These people who deny truth itself are idiots.

You can't reach the man who refuses to be reached. This is the unforgivable sin. The fool would rather deny the truth and be damned than accept the truth and be saved. This is a common thing today as our culture abandons religion, reason, common sense, and even science itself in its relativist insanity. The Devil helps this along by creating confusion at every step and turn. But this confusion is banished when we return to first principles in times of confusion. The truth exists, and we can know the truth. We must always cling to these two things because the alternative is madness and damnation. You can't exhaust God's mercy, but you can exhaust your options.