Sin against the Spirit

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In all three synoptic gospels, Jesus speaks of the sin against the Holy Spirit and says any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven except blasphemy against the Spirit  (Mt 12: 31-32; Lk 12:10; Mk 3:29).  In an age of spiritual confusion and divisive fundamentalism, it is inevitable that spiritual narcissism demonises everything except one’s own egocentric or ethnocentric religion, sect or version of fundamentalism.  Jesus says that anyone who speaks against the Son of Man shall be forgiven, but to demonise the Holy Spirit of God, whose grace forgives us, cuts us off from forgiveness.  God’s grace is boundlessly forgiving, but demonic perversity refuses to be forgiven because it blasphemously ascribes the grace of forgiveness to Satan.  When the virus of divisive fundamentalism confuses the grace of the Holy Spirit outside its own sectarian circle with demonic delusion, it confuses its unconscious apostasy with its own self-righteous religiosity.  It confuses unconscious pride with its own egocentric or ethnocentric self-righteousness, ascribing illumination outside its own sectarian circle to demons.  It takes the Name of God in vain by ascribing the Name’s revelatory grace to demonic delusion.   Ascribing the grace of the Spirit, beyond the borders of a given sect, to demonic delusion, is commonly a necessary pre-condition of membership.  Fundamentalism is actually disguised despair and unconscious nihilism.  Scripture affirms that any sin and blasphemy can indeed be forgiven, but if within a sectarian circle, forgiveness itself, outside its borders, is demonised, that sect cuts itself off from forgiveness, revealing it is suffering from demonic delusion.

Divisive fundamentalisms widely ascribe sacred traditions outside their exclusive sectarian circle to demonic delusion, insisting that all new members demonise what they have left.  If what they left was in fact demonic delusion, there is, of course, no sin against the spirit, but if what they left was inspired by the Holy Spirit, they are required to sin against the Holy Spirit as a condition of membership.  When such confusion insinuates itself into otherwise genuine sacred traditions, divisive fundamentalism begins to take hold.   All sacred traditions are subject to the temptation of divisive fundamentalism, because fear of demonic delusion is easily played on by all demonic scams.  What the satanic does is to confuse us, in order to divide us.  By ascribing genuine illumination to demons, disguised, it is said, as angels of light, we are persuaded to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, unfortunately an extremely common phenomenon in an age of narcissism and nihilism.  Sectarian fundamentalism reveals itself to be unconscious apostasy, masked as divisive religiosity, confusion spawning division, parodying genuine sacred tradition.  In our time, a wide variety of sacred traditions suffer from the virus of divisive fundamentalism and it falls to the wisdoms at the heart of each tradition to diagnose and cure the virus.

The sin against the Holy Spirit is only unforgivable because it excludes itself from all forgiveness, which the demonic does in the interests of satanic confusion.  But the demonic is delusional, not ultimately real.  Consequently, the fundamentalist delusion is in principle dissolved by the grace of the Holy Spirit before it even arises.  Of course, each genuine sacred tradition has its own way of diagnosing and curing this, and so of healing the fundamentalist virus, but if they listen to one another’s wisdoms, they may find much to learn from one another, much as medicine learns from the medicine of other cultures.  The enemy is the virus, not a different religion or wisdom, but truth is under attack by demonic relativism, which is determined to plunge healthy, holy difference into nihilistic division.  The wisdom of the Holy Spirit is able to diagnose and to heal confusion and division with the grace of profound forgiveness, leaving no cause for despair, but few in our time escape the catastrophes of narcissism and nihilism, bearing witness, paradoxically, to the blessing of wisdom and its capacity to heal.  If the sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven, it is only because it attributes the grace of the Spirit of forgiveness to demons, which wisdom cures by ascribing the glory of wisdom to God.  Sin falls short of the glory of grace but wisdom trusts the grace of forgiveness and ascribes all glory to God.