Matthew 12:23-32 (NAS)
"All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" But, when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons." And, knowing their thoughts ("Eidws de tas enthumhseis autwn") Jesus said to them, "Any kingdom divided against ("meristheisa kath' eauths") itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason, they will be your judges. But, if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me ("kat' emou"); and he who does not gather wiht Me scatters. Therefore I say to you, and sin and blasphemy shall be frogiven 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.""
Mark 3:22-30 (NAS)
"The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons." And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. If Satan rises up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" -- because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."
Luke 12:10 (NAS) (the words of Jesus)
"And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him."
Here is the situation: I made the good confession and was baptized at the tender age of 14. Now, after nearly 14 years of living the Christian life and resisting any doubt that may come to my mind as an attack of Satan, I have begun to let doubts of many and various kinds enter into my mind, desiring to honestly examine my faith but also scaring myself greatly by what thoughts I have been thinking. Now, I have never outright denied my faith, only questioned.
One of those questions was regarding all the various, often contradictory, religions that exist in the world. I wondered whether, in actuality, God/the gods were simply "messing with us" or "having a little fun" by giving us, for example, contradictory but also exclusive ways to save our souls, and thus distressing us greatly. I also put questions about this to various Christian mailing lists/discussion communiites. This thought might be construed as attributing evil to what is in actuality good; attributing evil to all aspects of religion (including the Christian one and, thus, to Christ Himself and to His Holy Spirit). While I have never outright placed myself in agreement with these thoughts (I have only wondered), attributing evil to good seems to be what the scribes/Pharisees were doing in the passages above. I did none of this with malicious intent and, indeed, desired these thoughts truly to be wrong. One of the above passages implies that Christ responded in the way He did based on the fact that he "perceived" their "enthumhsis", which seems often to be taken and translated to say that He knew their true intentions, yet, the term "enthumhsis" seems to actually have the meaning of "considerations/reflections/ideas/concep
Do I misunderstand the nature of blasphemy?
Numbers 15:30 (NAS)
"But the person who does anything defiantly,...that one is blaspheming the LORD..."
2 Kings 19:22 (NAS)
"Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice, and haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israle!"
Acts 13:45 (NAS)
"But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming."
In these cases, we see malice/haughtiness/etc. associated quite directly with blasphemy. THough I have wondered whether I was being haughty in thinking what I was thinking, I ultimately believe my questions were honest/sincere and not haughty.
Some definitions on Dictionary.com include malicious intent for the term "blasphemy" while others simply define it as speaking evil against or speaking irreverently against. http://dictionary.reference.com/bro
Please note that, when I had these thoughts, I had not even considered these passages or that this might be blasphemous. So, it might be argued that I was doing this in ignorance...
1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NAS)
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent agressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus."
Paul, then, was shown mercy for his sins, including blasphemies (of the Holy Spirit?), because he did them in ignornace. There are numerous other cases, both in the Old and New Testaments, of God being more lenient on those who commit sins in ignorance.
I have prayed throughout this process of questioning that God would see me thorugh it, preserving my soul.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NAS)
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be prserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."
I also pryaed that God might give me a sign (any root of "blasphem-" said thrice before last night was up), if, indeed, I had lost my soul. This never happened.
With all this in mind, have I blasphemed the Holy Spirit and do I have any hope of not being eternally condemned?