Blasphemy is one of those terms that people either ignore because they could care less if they did it, or they wake up and take an inventory because they don’t want to be a person who desecrates anything.
So what exactly is it called when someone takes an act of God and diminishes it by calling it something else or attributing it to something else? Of course this is understandable when someone who doesn’t come from a faith based perspective, where the existence of God is not their presupposition.
This post is for those who do at least have the minimal belief that there is something more to life, that there is a God and who are free to acknowledge that life is not confined to those things that are empirically based. In such people, we can see amazing works take place in the spiritual or non-physical dimension. People learn humility. They decide they really want to be a better man or woman, mom or dad. They seek out transformation. They grow to overcome addictions and destructive behaviors. They mature to a place where they truly love other people and desire to help them. In my mind these are not small human achievements, they are the work of God and the evidence of the work of his spirit, regardless of who is doing them. The source of all goodness is God, that is who he/she is.
So often I hear Christian people create a distinction when they see positive changes taking place in the lives of non-Christians. For example, when the Buddhist shows more compassion than the local church goer, or when the Atheist was more willing to lend a helping hand to the stranded people, or when the Yoga instructor gave generously to the poor. In these cases, Christians have said that while these things are good things, and these people are doing good works, these works are not God’s work, and these gestures are merely the work of man. I’ve even heard them tell me that because they are not Christians, then God sees these works of the heart to be evil, stating that without Christ all human deeds are evil.
Really? It’s evil to sacrificially give to the person in need? Isn’t this the essence of the story of the good Samaritan? Isn’t the true neighbor, the “non-religiuos” (Samaritan) doing the right thing for the right reasons?
Which begs the question: If the contemporary works of modern “good Samaritans” are good, doesn’t it go without saying that they are the work of Christ? Isn’t it blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to diminish the work of Christ’s spirit and attribute it to something else? How is the Christians’ refusal to see these works of others as Christ’s work any different than the Atheist refusing to see things for anything other than matter and motion?
I would like to see even one person who is a believer in Jesus tell me that the work of the Spirit did not begin in their life until they were a believer. In fact isn’t the contrary what happens? That cosmic Christ works in our lives, calling us, inviting us, being patient with us, convicting us, and drawing us in long before we ever come to faith. If so, then how can someone make a determination that one good work is Christ’s while the same work from another person is not?
The work of the cosmic Christ is everywhere. Once a person has eyes to see it, they can’t unseen it. The goodness of the world is simply the hand of Christ retelling his story in the lives of men and women all over the globe.
In the end, Jesus tells us that the righteous are those who have no idea they were doing the work of Christ. He was thirsty and they gave him drink and they didn’t know it was for him. (Matt 25:27) Meanwhile there are people doing all kinds of religious things, thinking they are doing God’s work and in the end Jesus tells them that he has no idea who they are and tells them to get lost because they are workers of iniquity. (Matt 7:21).
Perhaps, this is why the blasphemy of the holy spirit is unpardonable: Namely, that those who do not have the eyes to see him working in the diversity of others, will find nothing in heaven that they truly desire. Their only home is in a world of harsh judgement, criticism, and condemnation.