The unforgivable / eternal / unpardonable sin
What is the unforgivable sin?
Interpretations 13 to 24, all different.
Interpretations 13 to 24 of the unforgivable sin, in random order:
13. Those who reject Jesus as Messiah: Hank Hanegraaff writes:|
"The Pharisees mentioned by Matthew militantly hated Christ and
attributed His miracles to Beelzebub, the prince of demons. ... with
premeditation and persistence, they willfully blasphemed the Holy
Spirit’s testimony that Christ was the Son of the living God. ... "
"Passages like Matthew 12:22-37, Mark 3:20-30, and Luke 12:10 all have
one thing in common. They consistently portray people who knowingly
persist in rejecting Christ’s messianic mission despite His miracles and
the ministering power of the Holy Spirit. ... Therefore, their rejection
of Christ epitomized the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit." 1
14. Believing that Jesus was possessed by a demon: Grantley Morris
"Verse [Mark3:]30 is crystal clear: those whom Jesus warned about the
danger of committing this sin genuinely believed that Jesus had a demon.
Imagine knowing the Scriptures inside out and yet being so spiritually
blind as to be convinced that Jesus’ miracles were evil and that the
Savior of the world – the One on whom their eternal destiny hinges – is
demon possessed!" 2
15. Worshiping in churches. The Bible and History web site
explains that the unforgivable sin is to turning away from the Word of God
by worshiping in churches. "Piney" writes:
"Jesus said 'don't go looking' where the people are pointing because
the Kingdom is within you. He insisted that you cannot worship in houses
built by human hands or by the works of human hands. He said that you
MUST worship the Spirit God in the place of your human spirit as it is
devoted to the Spirit OF truth." 3
16. Playing religious music: "Piney"
also writes: |
"Is Replacing The Word of Christ with
"Music" The Unforgivable Sin? It is in the Oldest Traditions That
Instruments Came From the Devil. The book of Enoch along with the book
of Jubilees and many ancient views of the Jews is that God will come
with ten thousand of His saints and the explicit sin is refusing to obey
the Word of God and replacing it with mixed-sex choirs and instrumental
music to seduce the holy people into the valley of the Cainites. ...
This has the effect, as in many Old Testament examples, of telling
Christ: 'We do not want to hear from you.' This is a claim that He and
His words are destructive for our religious systems. And this is the
unforgivable sin." 4
17. The New Age movement: Nick Goggin of BibleStudySite.com writes:|
"I am also equating the unforgivable sin to the sin of the rapidly
growing New Age movement today who's tentacles
are even now reaching into the Christian denominations and drawing out
the spiritually baser fellows among them, wherein man presumes himself
to become as God." 5
18. Rejection of Jesus' offer of salvation: Mary Fairchild of
"I believe, the only unforgivable sin is the rejection of Jesus
Christ's offer of salvation, His free gift of eternal life, and thus,
His forgiveness from sin. If you don't accept His gift, you cannot be
19. Interchanging God and the anti-Christ: An author at Christian Clarity Review
defines the Unforgivable Sin as calling God anti-Christ and calling the anti-Christ God. She/he concludes:
"Even their best ‘literal’ caricature of Christ Speaking to the storm
is to go out in a hurricane and yell: Stop it!, neither believing in the
real existence of what they speak toward nor in the power of the Word of
God –and then laughing at God because of their own failures as if their
powerless, non-creating speech of sin were the Same as Himself as Word
of God–and then saying their ‘literal’ is not an alternate literal of
spelling and pronunciation of God as being anti-Christ/non-creating
speech of sin."
"That is the only unforgivable sin." 7
20. Inability to differentiate between good and evil: Austin Cline,
writing for the Agnosticism/Atheism section of About.com, says:
"A broader interpretation argues that the sin doesn’t lie in
attributing Jesus’ power to demons but the inability to properly
distinguish good from evil or God from Satan." 8
21. Taking a critical attitude towards speaking in tongues: Don
McCullough of The Rest Stop writes:
"... the gifts of the Spirit are from the Holy Spirit. There are some
people who come on very negative about some of the gifts of the spirit,
especially speaking in tongues. ... It is my
opinion that if you go around saying a bunch of negative things about
tongues, or of the other gifts, you are getting close to blaspheming the
Holy Spirit. So, my advice is DO NOT BADMOUTH THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT."
22. Accepting the mark of the beast: Don McCullough suggests a second
unforgivable sin. He quotes Revelation 13, 14 and 20 which discusses
of the world events. The author says that the beast will give people two options:
to accept the mark of the beast on their forehead or hand, or to have their
head chopped off. If they choose to live, then after death, they will be
tortured in Hell in the presence of Jesus and angels.|
It is not clear
in Revelation 14:10 whether Jesus is supervising their torture, or actually torturing the inmates, or
acting as an observer. McCullough concludes that those who accepted the mark
have committed the unpardonable sin. 9
23. Falsely recanting one's beliefs: Geoff Thomas wrote about
Fritz Spiera, a Roman Catholic, who lived at the time of the Protestant
Reformation. Spiera became convinced that the Catholic Church's teachings
were wrong. He became a Protestant. However, his heresy was detected and he was charged
with undermining the pope's authority. Faced with the alternatives of
recanting his new beliefs or being burned alive at the stake, he denied his
new beliefs and returned to Catholicism. He believed that he had committed
the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit and lived in agony. 10|
||24. Being a homosexual: "Kevin D" asked a
question of Yahoo! Answers: "Is being gay an unforgivable sin?"
Unfortunately, he did not define whether "being gay" meant that
having a homosexual orientation, or being sexually active with a member
of the same sex. Results were:
"No": 33 responses. Two typical comments were:
"Yes": 1 response.
||"It's not a 'sin' at all -- it's human nature. How can being what God made you (if there is a God and if he made us) a sin?
||"No, while of course it is a sin, it is not unforgivable."
"Undecipherable": 2 responses.11
||"Yes. God meant for men to be with women. its in the Bible, no
matter how much you want to deny it. its there.
The question was asked on the
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender section of the Society & Culture
section of Yahoo! Answers. So, the responders might have been biased.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Hank Hanegraaff, "The Unforgivable Sin," Christian
Research Institute, at: http://www.equip.org/
Grantley Morris, "Unforgivable!," at: http://net-burst.net/
The quotation by Grantley Morris requires the following statement:
"Not to be sold. © Copyright, 1997, 2002, 2006
Grantley Morris. Not to be copied in whole or in part without citing this entire paragraph. Many more compassionate, inspiring,
sometimes hilarious writings by Grantley Morris available free at the following
internet site www.net-burst.net Freely you have received, freely give."
"Piney," "The Unforgivable Sin," at:
"Piney," "The Unforgivable Sin Two," at:
Nick Groggin, "The Unforgivable Sin," Watchmen Bible Study Group, at:
Mary Fairchild, "What is Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit?" About.com, at:
"The Unforgivable Sin is Against the Spirit/Speech/Word of God," Christian
Clarity Review, 2006-APR-17, at:
Austin Cline, "Was Jesus Crazy? The Unforgivable Sin (Mark 3:20-30)," About.com, at:
Don McCullough, "Is there an Unforgivable Sin?" The Rest Stop, at:
Geoff Thomas, "The Unforgivable Sin," Grace Magazine, at:
"Is being gay and unforgivable sin?" Yahoo! Answers, at:
Copyright © 2006 to 2013 Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2006-OCT-24
Latest update: 2013-JUN-08