Question:

Dear Minister,

When I was in college I took a Jewish mysticism course and the professor explained a theory about God to the class. The theory was basically that God had a very small portion of evil in Him and He despised that evil so He created humans and hell to purge the evil from Himself.

At the time it made sense to me because I couldn't understand why God sent people to hell. I now understand how absurd that theory is, but I shared this theory with a few people at that time. Is this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

Thank you very much for writing such in-depth articles and for taking the time to read my email.


Answer:

Blasphemy is the purposeful slandering of another person while knowing the whole time that what is being claimed is false. In Hebrew, the word gadhaph, comes from words meaning "to throw stones at." The slander isn't limited to words; a person who purposely sets out to defy another in order to make that person look bad, while knowing it is he who is doing wrong, is also blaspheming that person.

"But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him" (Numbers 15:30-31).

Thus, we can put what Jesus said in better context. "Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw" (Matthew 12:22). Such power is clearly from God, but the Pharisees refused to admit that Jesus was the Messiah and a prophet of God. Though they knew the evidence was that a miracle was done by the power of God, they sought an alternative explanation. "Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons"" (Matthew 12:24). The problem is that their explanation was illogical, which Jesus then goes on to prove.

However, Jesus pushes further to say that the Pharisees not only offered an illogical explanation, they had purposely done so to slander Jesus' reputation. But they had used too broad of a weapon. They did not think that they were also blaspheming God the Father, by whose authority Jesus was performing this miracle and the Holy Spirit who was the power behind the miracle. "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come" (Matthew 12:30-31).

Jesus is not saying that a person who purposely slanders the Holy Spirit's work is unforgivable. It isn't that God refuses to forgive some people (II Peter 3:9). Jesus' point is when a person slanders the Spirit while knowing that he is stating a falsehood that type of person will refuse to repent of his sin. Worse, there is nothing available to turn this type of person around because the Bible is the work of the Holy Spirit and they gone beyond rejecting the Holy Spirit. They know the Spirit is the source of truth, but they deliberate make out His work to be sinful. This person never regrets what he did -- he is too arrogant to even consider himself to be wrong.

Seeing all of this, what happened with you is nowhere close to what you did. You were taught a false doctrine that contradicts what the Bible teaches. "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). That it came from someone claiming to know the Old Testament is a shame since it claims that God created the world so He could change His nature, a contradiction of "For I am the LORD, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6). You were deceived by this false teaching for a while and then learned it was wrong. You changed, which is what God wants (Ezekiel 18:21-23).