Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

My heart sank as I read this headline: North Carolina Church Plans Halloween Bible Burning. My first thought was that a church had developed such a disrespect for the Bible and a sense of license for taking "freedom in Christ" that they thought this kind of behavior was okay, even exemplary.

The reality was worse. Some excerpts (the article is mercifully short):
Marc Grizzard, of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, says that the first King James translation of the Bible is the only true declaration of God’s word, and that all others are “satanic”. ... “[We will be burning] books by a lot of different authors who we consider heretics, such as Billy Graham, Rick Warren… the list goes on and on,” Pastor Grizzard told reporters. ... Mother Teresa is also on the list of Satanic authors.
As I read this, I recalled the Bible's definition of the "unforgivable sin": attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to demons (or the Devil). In Matthew 12:31-32 (KJV, for Grizzard's sake):
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 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.
I now understand a bit better why blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is such a terrible sin, sharing a bit of the heartbreak God must feel at being so slandered by someone calling himself a Christian. A militant, God-hating atheist would be more likely to come to know God than this man. I'm not sure there's still any point to it, but I'm praying for Pastor Grizzard. Pray with me if you like, and for God's sake, be careful about calling anything "Satanic".

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